San Diego State University

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PhD Admissions

Save the Date!  October 30, 2015 – Open House for Prospective MA and PhD Students!

Admission Requirements

The SDSU/UCSD joint doctoral program in Language and Communicative Disorders, being interdisciplinary, draws from a variety of disciplines including communicative sciences and disorders, psychology, cognitive science, linguistics, engineering, or other related sciences. Students should have adequate preparation in mathematics, statistics and biological sciences. A background in neurosciences and/or language sciences, or language disorders is helpful, but not required for admission.

  • Students must meet the general admission requirements for both universities. Generally, these include: (a) a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university; (b) a GPA of at least 3.25 (4.0 scale) in the last 60 semester (or 90 quarter) credits of upper division and/or graduate courses; (c) good standing in the last institution attended; (d) suitable scores in the quantitative and verbal sections of the Graduate Record Examination, general test; and (e) submission of appropriate application forms and supporting materials as outlined below.
  • The policy of the program concerning students with advanced degrees (M.A., M.S.) is that they enter the program at the same level as all other students. Any student has the right to attempt to waive a specific class requirement. Such waivers must have the consent of the instructor and approval of the Program Directors.
  • Students applying to the Joint Doctoral Program must be admitted by both SDSU and UCSD. Do not send any application materials to UCSD. If admitted to the program, UCSD will send additional materials to be completed. Payment of a UCSD application fee will be required at that time.

Fall 2016 Application Guidelines

Students are admitted only in the Fall.

Graduate admissions is a 2-step process. Firstly, you must apply generally to the University via the CSUMentor application by December 15.  You will follow the status of this application, as well as receipt of your transcripts and GRE scores, via WebPortal.  Secondly, you must apply to the individual department via the SDSU Division of Graduate Affairs Online Supplemental Application by January 12.  You will follow the status of this application via Decision Desk.  Processing of the 2 steps is simultaneous but separate.  You will be sent instructions for WebPortal and Decision Desk after submitting your applications.

The CSUMentor online application is open October 1 – December 15. The SDSU Division of Graduate Affairs Online Supplemental application is open October 1 – January 12.  Deadline for submission of all application materials, including the supplemental department online application, letters of recommendation, transcripts, GRE scores, and TOEFL scores  is January 12.  The first step in the application process is to submit the University CSUMentor application by December 15.

Begin the process early to assure consideration of your application. Admission decisions are made in March. Email notifications of admission decisions are sent by April 1.

JDP Program and Application Booklet 2015 (pdf, updated 7/30/2015).   Consult the booklet for application details and checklist.

1.  Submit the California State University (CSUMentor) On-line Application *by December 15th*

NOTE: The CSUMentor application must be completed first. Upon completion, SDSU will e-mail you a Student Red ID # in 10-15 business days and directions on how to set up your WebPortal account.  Via WebPortal, you will be able to follow the processing of your application by Enrollment Services. Enrollment Services will send e-mail updates every 2 weeks to students with incomplete files.

You will need to put this Red ID # on your SDSU Division of Graduate Affairs Supplemental Application.


NOTE: As you will be submitting a Statement to the department, you do not need to complete the Statement of Purpose on the CSUMentor application. Simply write “Statement will be submitted directly to department” in this section.

2.  Submit One Set of Official Transcripts, hard copy or electronic,  From All Institutions Attended *Must be received by Enrollment Services by January 12th*

  • Mail hard copy to:
    Enrollment Services
    Graduate Admission Document Processing Unit
    San Diego State University
    5500 Campanile Drive
    San Diego, CA 92182-7416
  • OR send Electronic Copy:   If your school offers this option when requesting transcripts, choose SDSU from the pulldown menu.  If SDSU is not an option on the pulldown menu, ask your school to send to:  Electronic transcripts MUST come directly from your school.  Electronic transcripts sent by students will not be accepted.

NOTE: Do not submit transcripts to Enrollment Services prior to submitting the CSUMentor On-line application and receiving your Red ID.

NOTE: Submit transcripts for those courses completed and graded.  Do not wait until Fall grades are posted to request transcripts if doing so will cause you to miss the Jan 12 deadline.  Documents submitted after Jan 12 will not be processed.  If admitted, you will be required to submit your final transcript during your first semester at SDSU.

NOTE: Students who received their undergraduate degree from SDSU do not need to submit an SDSU transcript as Enrollment Services can access those transcripts electronically. If you attended any other universities or junior colleges and these grades appear on your SDSU transcript, then you do not need to submit transcripts for those schools. For all other students, you must submit transcripts from all schools attended even if the grades appear on your degree transcript.

NOTE: INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTS–If you have international coursework, you must have your school send SDSU Graduate Admissions one official original-language copy of all records of academic coursework and proof of degree.  For each document you must also send a certified literal English translation, which can come directly from the school itself or from a professional, certified translator. The translation must contain all information shown on the original language documents. Country-specific guidelines can be found on the SDSU Graduate Admissions website:

CHINESE INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTS:  Degrees from China must also be verified by the China Academic Degrees & Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC).

3.  Submit the SDSU Division of Graduate Affairs Supplemental ApplicationDue January 12

  • You will be required to upload your professional statement, transcripts, resume, and any additional supplemental documents to the SDSU Division of Graduate Affairs Supplemental Application.
  • Once you submit your supplemental application, requests for Letters of Recommendation will be automatically sent to your 3 recommenders via the email addresses you provide.  Three letters are required, and no more than 3 will be accepted.
  • You will be able to track the status of your supplemental application through Decision Desk.  You will receive an email instructing you on how to do this after you submit your application.
  • If you encounter any problems with the application or the emails sent to your recommenders, please email:


Please provide a statement that describes your academic preparation, scholarly/research interests, and professional goals. Within your statement, please address the following issues:

a)      What would you like to study/research in your graduate program?

b)      Please specify any emphases or specializations if the program to which you are applying offers or requires applicants to select one of these.

c)      Where would you ideally like to be professionally in 10 to 15 years?

d)     Please indicate your fit with and potential to succeed in the doctoral program to which you are applying. What sets you apart as a prospective graduate student and potential contributor to the profession?

e)      Include name(s) of any faculty members you have contacted or would like to work with.

In addressing these issues, please have in mind that this is your professional statement rather than a creative writing or personal reflection exercise; hence, make it as focused and concise as possible.

Doctoral program applicants may also apply to our NIH-funded training grant:  Neurocognitive Approaches to Communication Disorders.

4. Submit GRE Scores
*Must be received electronically by Enrollment Services by January 12th*

  • Contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and request that your GRE scores be sent to San Diego State University electronically. Institution Code: 4682
  • TOEFL scores are required, if applicable. Contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and request that your TOEFL scores be sent to San Diego State University electronically. Institution Code: 4682. TOEFL is the Test of English as a Foreign Language.  This is only required for international students whose schooling thus far has been in a language other than English.
  • Allow 1 month for GRE and/or TOEFL scores to be sent electronically from ETS to SDSU.
  • ETS purges electronic test scores after 5 years.  If you took the GRE more than 5 years ago, you will need to re-take the GRE.
  • TOEFL scores expire after 2 years.


GPA Calculator

For assistance in calculating your GPA, please use this calculator (xlsx).

Documents in .xlsx format require Microsoft Excel. Download Excel Viewer.



Questions and/or Comments?

See the PhD Contact page.




last updated: 7/16/2015