Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Communicative Disorders and Sciences may be obtained with a specialty in speech-language pathology, audiology, or speech, language, or hearing science. The program is individualized to meet the students' interests, provides university teaching, clinical, and research opportunities, as well as a wide selection of courses within the CDS department and other disciplines including psychology, cognitive science, linguistics, neuroscience, anatomy, physiology, educational psychology, social work, dentistry, computer science, and engineering.

The department houses state-of-the-art research and clinic facilities, including the

Faculty and students in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences have close affiliations with several interdisciplinary centers at UB, including the Center for Excellence in Augmented Communication, Center for Cognitive Science, the Center for Assistive Technology, and the Center for Hearing and Deafness.

Faculty Accepting PhD Students

The following academic faculty are particularly open to accepting PhD students starting in Fall 2022:

  • Alison Hendricks, PhD:
    • The UB Language Learning Lab conducts research on how elementary school students learn language. We are passionate about making sure that all students - in particular those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds - are getting the help they need to be successful. We work both with students with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) and peers with typical language. Prospective students with interests in school-age language and literacy disorders, in particular, interests in the underlying processes supporting language learning, bilingualism, and acquisition of variable input, are encouraged to contact Dr. Hendricks to discuss their research interests further.
  • Bo-Hua Hu, PhD:
    • Dr. Hu's research, conducted in the Center for Hearing and Deafness, focuses on biological and molecular bases of acquired hearing loss. Our research aims to understand better the underlying mechanism of cochlear damage with various etiologies, focusing on how the cochlear immune system affects sensory cell pathogenesis. Our research involves a variety of pathological conditions, including acoustic trauma, aging-related degeneration, ototoxicity, and genetic cochlear degeneration. Our efforts are placed on identifying therapeutic targets for reducing inner ear pathogenesis. Prospective students who are interested in inner ear research are welcome to get in touch with Dr. Hu for more details.
  • Adam Sheppard, PhD, AuD, CCC-A:
    • Dr. Sheppard's research, conducted in the Center for Hearing and Deafness, interests broadly focus on the development of new diagnostic techniques to improve clinical services and evaluation of treatment efficacy. He is particularly interested in improving treatments for patients with hyperacusis and tinnitus. He uses a range of experimental techniques from psychoacoustic paradigms to objective measures of hearing. Prospective students are encouraged to reach out to Dr. Sheppard for more details.
  • Wei Sun, PhD, CCC-A:
    • Dr. Sun's research, conducted in the Center for Hearing and Deafness, focuses on central auditory plasticity related with hearing loss, brain injury, traumatic brain injury, tinnitus, and hyperacusis. Our research aims to understand the mechanisms of central auditory function and pathological changes contributing to different auditory and neurological disorders. We use animal models to study auditory behavioral, function and molecular level changes. Prospective students are encouraged to reach out to Dr. Sun for more details.