The University of Houston is addressing a local and national need for more experts in speech-language pathology and audiology with the launch of a doctoral program in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (COMD). The credential places UH among a select group of Texas universities that offer a Ph.D. in the field. The COMD department’s first class of doctoral students will begin in fall 2020.
“The Ph.D. program in COMD is in line with the goals and the mission of UH in that it will boost our national competitiveness, promote student success and offer a highly marketable terminal degree to our diverse student body,” said Paula Myrick Short, UH senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.
The COMD department in the UH College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences currently offers degree programs for undergraduate and graduate students, a post-baccalaureate leveling program, a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) certification and is home to the only Bachelor of Arts degree program for American Sign Language Interpreting in the state. Speech-language pathologists and audiologists have a wide range of job opportunities in schools, hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation programs, universities and private practice.
“The doctoral program has positive implications for not only UH, our department and our city, but also for the field of communication sciences and disorders as a whole,” said Ferenc Bunta, COMD associate professor . “It will generate more opportunities for our undergraduates and graduate students to be exposed to and involved in research. Our faculty will be able to mentor the next generation of researchers in speech, language, and hearing sciences.”
With approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) earlier this year, UH became the first university in the Greater Houston area to have a doctoral program in communication sciences and disorders.
“Our program addresses the critical shortage in the field at a local, state, and national level,” said Antonio D. Tillis, dean of CLASS. “I applaud the COMD department and the THECB for working together to establish the perfect structure for this program. I look forward to welcoming COMD doctoral candidates to campus, where they will enhance the University’s competitiveness in research and scholarship.”
The COMD doctoral program holds promise in attracting a diverse student body to the University and increasing minority access to faculty positions.
“UH’s status as a Tier One research institution and our reputation for being an inclusive and welcoming campus will attract Ph.D. candidates, who will go on to become faculty members at UH and elsewhere,” Bunta said.
If you would like more information about programs in COMD visit their website.