The requirements for the Joint M.S./Ph.D. is individual and flexible. It combines coursework from both the M.S. and Ph.D. with research and clinical training.
Usually, master’s degree academic and clinic courses are completed earlier in the program. Specific Ph.D. courses and research experiences are gradually integrated after the first several semesters of M.S. courses and clinical practice.
In addition, clinical practicum experiences are generally reduced in scope and extend longer (compared to M.S.-only training, which lasts for approximately 5 semesters).
How the joint MS/PhD program works
In general, the time savings should amount to approximately one year of study, but this will vary from student to student for a number of reasons.
Due to certification requirements imposed by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), academic and clinical courses associated with the Master’s degree program must be adhered to carefully. Students must have completed, or be concurrently enrolled in, any clinical courses in order to work with clients manifesting a particular speech or language disorder. Students in the Joint MS/PhD degree program may not elect to take as many of the clinical courses as MS only students, and thus may not have as diverse of clinical experiences. However, If the student does not take one, or more, of the courses required for the MS degree, the student must still acquire and demonstrate the knowledge and skills required for ASHA certification.
Although some of the academic coursework required for the Master’s degree can also fulfill requirements for the Ph.D. degree, M.S./Ph.Dd students will be expected to complete more detailed and/ or additional assignments (e.g., a course project or paper) in order to receive doctoral credit; such additional experiences are required in a minimum of 4 clinical “content” courses. (Clinical practicum experiences can not be counted toward completion of PhD requirements.)
When students earn the Master's Degree in the MS/PhD program
For the purposes of ASHA Certification, applicants can apply at any time after they graduate. Applicants have two years from the date that they appy for ASHA Certificatin to begin their Clinical Fellowship. The Clinical Fellowship must be completed within 4 years of the start date. If the Clinical Fellowship is completed before the applicant applies, it is valid for a period of 5 years. More information can be found here: ASHA
Admission to the Joint M.S./Ph.D. program
Because of the specialized nature of the Joint M.S./Ph.D. training program, applicants will be expected to meet strict GPA and GRE requirements for admission that may exceed those expected of other graduate students. Interviews with faculty will also be a part of the admissions process. Because of the dual nature of the training associated with this program, it is offered as a “full time only” option; students who are admitted are strongly discouraged from working in any capacity, other than in conjunction with assignments they may have as research or teaching assistants.
Discontinuing the Ph.D. portion once enrolled in the Joint M.S./Ph.D. program
If a student enrolled in the Joint M.S./Ph.D. program decides to discontinue pursuing the Ph.D. degree and wishes to obtain only the M.S. degree, the student will be allowed to do so if his/her grades meet the requirements for enrolled master’s candidates (i. e., minimum 3.0 GPA and no more than two C’s in departmental classes). Students who discontinue the doctoral portion of study will likely require additional time to complete the master’s degree depending on how long they have been in the joint program. Non-departmental courses may not be substituted for required CSD master’s courses. Departmental independent studies and research experiences may be used to fulfill master’s level requirements only with approval of the student’s committee.