PhD in Speech and Hearing Sciences

The PhD in Speech and Hearing Sciences prepares students for academic and research careers, with students generally focusing on one of three areas: hearing science and audiology, language and education, or auditory neuroscience. Established in 1947, the program operates in collaboration with the Department of Otolaryngology, with its investigations covering the full spectrum of research endeavors, including basic science, applied and clinical science, and clinical outcomes research. The department is among the largest and most heavily funded otolaryngology research groups in the country, consistently ranking among the top nationally in National Institutes of Health funding.  


The curriculum combines interdisciplinary academic course work, teaching experiences, and research training, culminating in a dissertation. Each student’s experience is tailored to their individual interests.

Teaching Experiences

Teaching experiences prepare students to become effective teachers and communicators of their discipline and their own research. All PhD students receive training in pedagogy and complete teaching experiences at the introductory and advanced levels under the guidance of a faculty mentor.


Students immerse themselves in the world-class research environment of Washington University. As they conduct their own original work, they participate in colloquia, Grand Rounds, brown bag seminars, research seminars, journal clubs, and similar opportunities. The program fosters opportunities to publish and participate in professional conferences. During the final year of the program, students present and defend their dissertations.

Affiliated Research

Affiliated research labs include those focusing on applied, basic, and clinical sciences within otolaryngology. The department also operates one of the nation’s largest research programs specifically focusing on hearing and deafness. 

Visit the Program in Audiology & Communication Sciences website for more information.

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