Program Overview

Highlights of SHBT

  • Over 60 exceptional faculty members
  • Academic homes in 19 departments and laboratories within Harvard, MIT, BU, and other Boston-area institutions
  • Flexible curriculum
  • Graduates have a profound impact on basic science, translational research, and the generation of new technologies
  • Many have faculty positions in basic science, engineering, and clinical departments in the US and abroad

Harvard SHBT is an innovative, interdisciplinary doctoral program that trains researchers in basic science, translational medicine, and engineering approaches to the field of human communication.


SHBT faculty and students pursue research questions related to auditory neuroscience, signal processing, perception and cognition, and speech-language pathology, combining rigorous training in a range of rigorous scientific disciplines with valuable exposure to clinical practice.


Our graduates take on leadership roles in academia and industry, where they work at the forefront of scientific discovery and develop novel biomedical devices and remediation strategies for those affected by disorders of hearing, voice, speech, language, and balance. Some combine research careers with clinical practice in otology, laryngology, audiology, or speech-language pathology.


We seek applicants to the program with diverse undergraduate backgrounds in physics, engineering, computer science, biology, neuroscience, cognitive science, linguistics, audiology, vestibular science, and speech-language pathology.


The program is dedicated to recruiting and mentoring a diverse student body, especially from under-represented ethnic, cultural, and hearing-impaired backgrounds.


Come join our community!



The SHBT program is funded in part by a training grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


The SHBT program is administered by the Division of Medical Sciences at the Harvard Medical School and leads to a PhD degree awarded by the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Program Overview

  • Our philosophy emphasizes interdisciplinary breadth without sacrificing depth.
  • The basic premise of the program is that today’s speech and hearing scientists must be fluent in a variety of physical, biological, clinical, and cognitive science disciplines to achieve the multidisciplinary advances that drive cutting-edge innovation.
  • Our program keystone is a rigorous core curriculum introducing trainees to the diverse aspects of speech and hearing research.

© 2017 President and Fellows
of Harvard College