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Oh boy...I think I've been too interdisciplinary

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This isn't strictly speech-pathology related (or it might be...I don't know) but I figure you guys will know best.

I've just finished my MA in Linguistics, but I wrote my dissertation on a topic that was half pragmatics, half language disorders (autism and metaphor comprehension). I found the topic fascinating and I'm looking for PhD programs. Problem is, it's a bit too far away from many linguistics programs, but most Communication Disorders programs are clinical, which I'm not looking for (unless I am and don't know it). I'd be an international student in the US, and I'd be wanting to focus on research. It doesn't have to be autism specifically, although ideally I'd like to remain with atypically developing children and pragmatic comprehension.

So far I've found McGill's non-clinal program, KU's PhD on Child Language, and UMass Amherst's non-clinical program - but their website doesn't have much information on it. Can anyone suggest any others? This field could come under any number of departments or program titles, so it's challenging to find appropriate places to investigate further.

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  • 3 months later...

Michigan state and University of Washington also give the option of pursuing a PhD in communication disorders without the clinical portion of the program.  

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I don't know if this is too late for the OP, but maybe someone else will find it helpful.

I can't direct you to any programs in particular that are purely PhD/research oriented, but have you checked out ASHA's EdFind?  It's a great page for exploring Speech Pathology/Communicative Disorders programs, and there's a function that allows you to search for just PhD programs.  You would have to investigate each of these individually to learn more, but here's the link:


Given your background, it seems like a PhD program in the field of SLP/Comm Disorders might be a great fit for you.  I think programs really like candidates from diverse backgrounds, so it doesn't necessarily hurt you to have studied something other than SLP.  Furthermore, it's a field that is short of academics, unlike many other areas of academia.  There is a desperate need for more people with PhD's in the field of speech pathology to teach the next generation of students.  I think grad schools can't take on more students than they do now in part because of the shortage of qualified teachers (not to mention placement sites for internships/externships). Here's an article from ASHA discussing this and related questions:


It's a great field, whatever degree you're interested in.  Grad school is extremely competitive, but once you get through school, jobs are everywhere.  Best of luck!

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