The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program prepares students for academic and research careers in speech and hearing sciences. 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 NIH funding.  


The curriculum combines interdisciplinary academic coursework, teaching experiences, and research training, culminating in a dissertation. Each student’s experience is tailored to his or her 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. In the final year, students present and defend their dissertation.

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.