Doctor of Philosophy in Audiology and Speech Sciences (PhD)


For the past 50 years, the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences has endeavoured to advance knowledge of human communication, its disorders, and related areas by actively engaging in research, and by educating individuals to become audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and researchers. In its teaching and research programs, the School emphasizes both the importance of basic science to the understanding of communication disorders and the relevance of clinical data to theories of human communication.

The School offers a program leading to the Ph.D. with professional specialty in one of the following areas: acquired language and cognitive communication disorders, bilingualism, developmental language disorders, developmental phonetics and phonology, discourse analysis, dysphagia, electrophysiologic and otoacoustic emissions diagnosis, hearing science, language acquisition, phonological and phonetic disorders, psycholinguistics, speech perception, and speech understanding in the elderly.

What makes the program unique?

The School of Audiology and Speech Sciences (SASS) in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC is the only Ph.D. program in British Columbia that offers doctoral education in the field of human communication, its disorders, and related areas.

SASS faculty are internationally renowned for their research. In addition to mentoring and training Ph.D. students, faculty members are regularly sought after to provide specific expertise. They often introduce cutting-edge techniques used by clinicians and institutions throughout B.C., across Canada, and around the world.

The School can provide the unique opportunity of completing coursework and clinical training required for certification as an audiologist or speech-language pathologist within the doctoral program of studies. Currently, any prospective student considering this option must first apply to enter the Master of Science in either audiology or speech-language pathology. Applicants must meet all of the MSc admission requirements. Although the MSc application is not a formal application to the PhD program, prospective students interested in continuing into the PhD program should indicate this in their Statement of Interest.

Quick Facts

Doctor of Philosophy
Health and Medicine
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full or Part-time
Audiology and Speech Sciences
Program Components
Faculty of Medicine
School of Audiology and Speech Sciences

Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Research Information

Program Components

Students are required to take courses in research methodology and in major and minor areas of specialization, with the sequence of courses and seminars totaling at least 18 credits beyond the master's degree. All doctoral students are required to successfully complete a comprehensive examination. The major requirement for the Ph.D. is completion of a research dissertation meeting the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requirements.

Application Notes

Eligibility for admission will be decided by the Doctoral Studies Committee. The Committee will consist of the Graduate Advisor and a minimum of three other full members of the graduate faculty who are full-time faculty at the School.


Document Requirements

If you are a non-native English speaker, and you do not have at least four years of continuous post-secondary education in an English-speaking university, you must provide proof of proficiency in English by meeting the following two requirements:
1. Upload a copy of your official test scores from either the TOEFL or IELTS tests, ensuring that you meet the minimum stated individual component scores AND the overall score for admission to our program. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application. Minimum scores must be achieved in a single sitting of the test (i.e., scores across multiple instances of a test may not be used to satisfy minimum component requirements).
2. Provide the School with a five to ten-minute recording of your speech. This speech sample may be on any topic, as long as it is neither read nor recited. An interview may follow. You should submit your recording to the School by e-mail to as an attached electronic audio file (e.g., MP3).

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement


IELTS Overall Score Requirement


Supervisor commitment required prior to application?


Prior degree requirements

An applicant to the doctoral program should have completed a master's degree, typically in audiology and speech sciences, psychology, linguistics, or a related discipline.

Other Requirements

Please indicate in your application if you would like to be considered for full-time or part-time classification for your PhD.

Note: we are unable to change a student status (from part-time study to full-time study and vice versa) once the program has started. A maximum 8-year time period is allowed for completion of the part-time doctoral program (compared to a 6-year time period for full-time students).

Funding Sources

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Career Outcomes

7 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 7 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):

RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher Education
University of British Columbia (3)
Universite de Saint-Boniface
University of Alberta
Kuwait University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
BC Family Hearing Resource Society
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Executive Director
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on
These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Career Options

There is a shortage of academic personnel throughout North America. A PhD in Audiology or Speech-Language Pathology can open many doors, both inside and outside of academia. The School’s Ph.D. graduates have been successful at obtaining positions at academic institutions, as well as leadership positions in the professional community. PhD training provides the skills to carry out one’s own research, as well as to participate in research teams. Faculty positions at universities allow one to teach tomorrow’s rising stars, while conducting research that informs knowledge and practice. University faculty positions are highly flexible, often provide sabbatical leaves, and can provide the security of tenure. Salaries for faculty show substantial growth, with far less of a “ceiling” than other jobs. Positions for those with doctorates are also widely available outside of universities. The skills attained with a PhD are required for many high-level jobs in universities, hospitals, clinics, private industries, and public organizations.

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$104.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,665.26$2,925.58
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$930.14 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,884.10 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

Applications616 1
Offers1 3 1
New registrations1 2 1
Total enrolment65555
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 22 March 2019]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots.

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Ciocca, Valter (Auditory System, Perception and Representation, Recognition of Speech, Speech and Language Development Disorders, Auditory grouping of speech and non-speech sounds, also known as "auditory scene analysis", perception and production of normal and disordered speech)
  • Colozzo, Paola (Developmental language disorders; language and cognition; discourse, assessment and intervention for children with diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds)
  • Herdman, Anthony (Auditory System, Visual System, Audiovisual, Visual, Audio and Written Communications, Electrophysiology, Language and Cognitive Processes, Neuroimaging Methods (EEG/MEG), Central auditory processing, Auditory and visual perecptions related to reading acquisition (1st and 2nd languages), Brain computer interface)
  • Howe, Tami (Acquired language disorders, aphasia)
  • Jenstad, Lorienne (Hearing Disorders, Aging Process, Quality of Life and Aging, Recognition of Speech, Auditory System, hearing aids, aging, audiology, hearing health, amplification)
  • Marinova-Todd, Stefka (bilingualism, second language acquisition, language development, literacy, ESL children, children at risk of language difficulties, language disorders in bilingual children and adults, Second language acquisition; language development and language learning difficulties of bilingual children)
  • Shahnaz, Navid (Hearing, noise, audiology, ears,  effect of personal listening devices (iPods) on hearing, hearing in infants and adults,   high frequency thresholds, Diagnostic audiology, including multifrequency tympanometry and acoustic reflex studies in adults and newborns)
  • Small, Susan (Pediatric audiology)
  • Small, Jeff (Acquired language and cognitive communication disorders, including dementia and aphasia; adult language processing/psycholinguistics)

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Foong Yen Chong
    "Background noise is one of the biggest challenges for people with hearing loss. Dr. Chong examined the effects of hearing aid noise reduction on Mandarin speech sounds. She found that noise reduction did not impede novel speech sound identification. Her findings have implications for the widespread use of noise reduction systems in hearing aids." (November 2016)
  • Dr. Glenda Mason
    "Dr. Mason studied school-aged children's speech in long words, that may impact learning to read. Her results indicated that children with a history of speech therapy had difficulty with multi-syllabic words even though they were able to pronounce short words. Her work also contributed a clinical measure for assessing speech in long words." (May 2016)
  • Dr. Daniel Lucien Bérubé
    "Dr. Bérubé compared the language and reading skills, in both English and French, of Anglophone and ESL students in French immersion programs. He found that by Grade 6, all students had developed equally strong skills. This confirms that French immersion programs are viable for all students in promoting bilingualism in the official languages in Canada." (November 2013)
  • Dr. Monique Joanne Charest
    "Dr. Charest's doctoral research investigated the ways in which children of different ages plan and produce sentences. Her research examined how the time needed to call up words from the lexicon affects the grammatical planning of young children.. This is one of few existing studies to explore these processes in very young speakers." (November 2012)
  • Dr. Hadeel Salama Ayyad
    "Dr. Hadeel Ayyad analysed the development of the speech skills of typically developing Kuwaiti Arabic-speaking preschool children, documenting types of word structures and speech sounds acquired by age 4. Her research project set some of the groundwork for the development of a phonological assessment tool for Kuwaiti Arabic." (November 2011)

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