PhD in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences

PhD applications are considered year-round, but all applicants seeking funding should apply for fall 2023 and meet the January 9, 2023 deadline. Do not submit an application unless you have first connected with a potential advisorThe department conducts a holistic review of applications; some applicants may be interviewed as part of the application process. 

University Fellowship
Eligible PhD applicants will be considered for the DOVE Fellowship. The fellowship is available for incoming graduate students in research-based programs and promotes a diversity of views, experiences, and ideas in pursuit of research, scholarship, and creative excellence.

Department Fellowship
Eligible PhD applicants will be considered for the SLHS Inclusive Cohort Program. Up to three fellowships are available for students beginning their program in fall of 2023. 

Program Selection

Campus: University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College: Liberal Arts
Program: Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences PhD


The application fee is $75 for U.S. citizens/permanent residents and $95 for international applicants.

The department will provide application fee waivers for individuals who are Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color who apply to our programs. 

The Graduate School offers application fee grants to McNair Scholars.

Admission to a UMN graduate program requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in the US or a comparable degree from outside the US.

International and domestic applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. The department requires the TOEFL or IELTS exam. The exam date should be within two years of the graduate program start date.  

Exemption: Test scores are not required from applicants who meet the Graduate School’s "Education" standard.  

Official TOEFL Scores

University of Minnesota Minimum TOEFL Scores for Admission
Score Category Minimum Score
Total Score 79
Writing Subscore 21
Reading Subscore 19

Applicants must meet the University's requirements and the department expects a total score of 100 or higher.

The institution code is 6874.

Official IELTS Scores

University of Minnesota Minimum IELTS Scores for Admission
Score Category Minimum Score
Total Score 6.5
Writing Subscore 6.5
Reading Subscore 6.5

Applicants must meet the University's requirements and the department expects a total score of 7.0 or higher. 

Scores must be received directly from the test center. Please contact the test center where you took your test and request that your official test scores be sent to:

University of Minnesota Twin Cities Graduate Admissions
309 Johnston Hall
101 Pleasant St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

The department does not require the GRE and test scores will not be reviewed. 

Transcripts and Credentials 

Unofficial transcripts for all post-secondary institutions are required with your application (under the Academic History tab). Do not submit a grade audit or summary. All documentation must be in a transcript format.

Please follow instructions on the Transcripts & Credentials page, as well as the specific information given on the International Student Resources page.

Two letters of recommendation must be submitted on your behalf from individuals who can speak specifically about your potential as a PhD student in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences. Examples of such individuals include, but are not limited to, instructors, professionals in the field, and research supervisors.

Do not submit more than two letters of recommendation, only two letters will be reviewed by the department.

You may submit your application before all of your recommendations have been received. Do not wait for recommendations to submit your application.

Address each of the following points in a single document (two single-spaced pages):

  • What are your research interests and goals? Why?
  • What research, academic, and/or personal experiences have led you to your interest in the PhD in SLHS?
  • List the faculty member with whom you would like to work with, and why. 
  • What are your long-term career objectives/professional plans after graduate school?
  • Why are you choosing the University of Minnesota to pursue your doctoral degree?
  • What experiences tell us about your character and preparation that are not reflected elsewhere in your application?

Helpful Hints for PhD Applicants

  • PhD applicants should contact individual faculty members within the University of Minnesota’s Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences prior to submitting an application to help ensure a good fit.
  • We want to know how you can contribute to our graduate program; therefore, your statement should focus on how your undergraduate, graduate, and/or professional experiences have prepared you for our PhD program.
  • In your statement, be specific about how you fit into the program. Talk about the work of specific professors at the university with whom you would like to work. 
  • Personal information is less helpful than your professional goals, which can convince the admissions committee that you are serious about doing graduate-level work. Providing anecdotes about how you got interested in the field is less helpful than demonstrating that you are prepared for scientific work. 
  • Show an understanding that a PhD is a jumping-off point for a career that a PhD prepares you for.  

SLHS is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. All PhD applicants are required to submit a diversity statement following the University of Minnesota’s prompt (no longer than two single-spaced pages). 

Prompt: Supporting the development of a diverse student body is central to the University of Minnesota's mission. This mission is enacted by the inclusion of academically excellent students with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and/or a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Please write a statement that identifies the distinctive characteristics and/or life experiences, such as successfully overcoming obstacles or hardships, that you would bring to your graduate program and how that could contribute to the education and enhanced perspective of fellow students at the University of Minnesota.

Submit a 1-2 page resume or a professional CV that highlights your education, work, and volunteer experiences that are most pertinent to the profession.

Provide an academic paper or thesis for a previous course/program, or for publication, that incorporates existing research and/or original findings or ideas on an area of inquiry.

If you’ve been involved in published research, please provide a reprint of each published paper, and describe the nature of your contribution.