Now recruiting for the AAC Doctoral Program at Penn State

We are now looking for interested applicants for the AAC Doctoral Program at Penn State University. 

What is the AAC Doctoral Program?

A doctoral program in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) designed to develop high-quality researchers, teachers, scholars, and future leaders in the field of AAC.   As part of the program, Ph.D. students participate in a comprehensive curriculum addressing issues related to AAC:

  • Core courses dedicated to AAC, including advanced topics in AAC, interdisciplinary approaches to evidence-based practice, and diversity and global issues in AAC; Related coursework in statistics, methodology, and elective areas of language, neurology, grant writing, etc.;
  • Completion of at least three mentored research projects, structured to result in conference presentations and publications;
  • Hands-on lab experiences with state of the art AAC assistive technologies;
  • Direct experience with teaching, including classroom teaching and mentorship of research and/or clinical experiences of pre-service students.
Photo of Jessica Gormley at ISAAC

Why Penn State?

  • The program at Penn State is recognized nationally and internationally as one of the top research programs focused on the needs of children who require AAC;
  • The core academic and clinical faculty have more than 60 externally funded grants, over 300 publications in peer-reviewed journals, over 500 conference presentations, and extensive experience in evidence based practice in AAC.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the program?

  • The program is designed to be completed during an intensive 4-year period.

Is distance or part-time education possible?

  • No, all doctoral students must be full-time students at Penn State, University Park Campus.

Is financial support available for students?

  • Yes, financial support is available for students and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

For more information, please email Dr. Janice Light (

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