Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology (SHBT) is an area of study within the Division of Medical Sciences, an administrative unit based at Harvard Medical School that coordinates biomedical PhD activities at the Longwood Medical Area. Students who study in SHBT receive a PhD in medical sciences. Prospective students apply through GSAS; in the online application, select  “Division of Medical Sciences” as your program choice and select "Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology" in the Area of Study menu.

SHBT​ is one of the programs in the Harvard Integrated Life Sciences, which facilitates collaboration and cross-disciplinary research. Visit HILS for additional application instructions.

Unlike other programs that focus on biomedical or biotechnology, the Harvard Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology program covers all aspects of the field. The wide variety of course offerings enables you to choose and research the path that most interests you. You will gain knowledge and skills from many different disciplines, including acoustics, engineering, computer science, cellular and molecular neuroscience, psychophysics, cognitive science, linguistics, and clinical practice.

Examples of the many student projects being worked on include developing computational models capable of human-like speech recognition, exploring the structure and activity circuits within the auditory cortex, studying variability in cochlear implant performance, and investigating CRISPR-based technologies and construct-improvement to increase the efficiency of gene therapy in congenital hearing impairments.

The program has a long list of successful alumni with some securing faculty positions at Stanford University, MIT, and Boston University, while others have begun careers at companies like Novartis, Genentech, Boston Scientific, and Bose and non-profits such as The Possible Zone, MakerWala Learners Trust, and MGH Licensing.


Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology Faculty