What is life in Seattle like?

The Pacific Northwest is often described as the best of all worlds. Our climate is mild. Because we are located on the beautiful Puget Sound, but close to the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges, you can be sea kayaking on Saturday and cross-country skiing on Sunday. Year-round hiking and world famous ski resorts are within easy reach of Seattle. Miles of bike paths, incredible on-campus sports and workout facilities, and the vibrant, energetic Seattle culture make the University of Washington a perfect place to study and live. The greater metropolitan area offers the full range of cultural and recreational opportunities you would expect, from the world-class Seattle Symphony to professional sports. Seattle is the home of the Seahawks, the Mariners, the Storm, and the Sounders as well as a friendly culture of community sports leagues. Clean air, a pervasive international flavor, and the warmth of the Pacific Northwesterner are all big draws.  For a helpful overview of the many vibrant Seattle neighborhoods that UW students (including our own) call home, check out this resource. (credit: Graduate Program in Genome Sciences)  For additional information on the ins and outs of renting in Seattle neighborhoods, please see this helpful guide, assembled by the union representing UW Graduate Students.

How do I identify a mentor?

One of our program’s strengths is that doctoral students work closely with a faculty member in a mentor/protégé relationship. First, consider your research interests. Next, review the list of potential mentors in Speech and Hearing Sciences or in affiliated programs and contact potential mentors whose research interests overlap with yours. During these conversations, feel free to discuss your ideas for inquiry and ask questions about their research projects. A critical part of the admission process is determining whether there is a good match between an applicant and available faculty. Finally, after communicating with faculty, we encourage you to visit the University and our department. Having an opportunity to meet with individual faculty and students will assist you in your deliberations.

Can my mentor be someone outside of the Department?

In some cases, a student’s research may be supervised by a faculty member whose primary appointment is in another department; however, the student must still have an advisor whose primary appointment is in the Department.

What coursework is required to apply to the PhD program?

There are no specific coursework requirements. At a minimum, students wishing to obtain the Ph.D. degree must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. If the bachelor's degree is in a field outside of speech, language and hearing sciences, students accepted into the Ph.D. program may be required to complete some foundational coursework in the speech and hearing sciences discipline while enrolled. This is decided on a case-by-case basis depending on the student's research interest area. If interested in clinical/applied research, students would need a clinical degree in speech-language pathology (master's) or audiology (clinical doctorate). 

I don’t have a master’s degree. Can I still work clinically if I complete a PhD?

No. Students wishing to work clinically must fulfill ASHA's requirements for certification by completing a separate graduate program in speech-language pathology (master's degree) or audiology (clinical doctorate). At the UW, the MS Speech-Language Pathology programs provide students with the necessary content for clinical certification eligibility and practice in speech-language pathology.

For individuals interested in speech-language pathology; our department does not currently offer a concurrent MS/PhD program. PhD candidates interested in clinical work must apply to a Master’s degree program separately to ensure that they will complete all of ASHAs Knowledge and Skills requirements for clinical practice. This can be done before or after completion of the PhD, but not concurrently.

How many students are in the Speech and Hearing Sciences PhD program?

We have one of the largest Ph.D. programs in the country, with approximately 20 doctoral students.

What types of financial assistance are available for PhD students?

We offer financial support to applicants who have been accepted into the PhD program. The precise nature of these awards varies, depending on their source, but they usually entail tuition remission and a monthly stipend. Typically, teaching or research assistantships require a work commitment of 20 hours per week. More information on assistantships is available here. Students may be eligible to apply for fellowship support in grant-supported institutional training programs. In the later stages of the PhD program and after consultation with their research mentor, students are encouraged to apply for individual research fellowships to support their work.