AbstractSince the inception of self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS), the production of refractory carbides and borides was one of the main areas of SHS application. SHS provides unique reaction conditions, including extremely high reaction temperature and rapid heating/cooling, and produces materials with novel microstructures and outstanding mechanical properties. SHS is generally characterized by short processing cycle, decreased energy consumption, and reduced cost, and provides an efficient way for the production of refractory and hard materials. In this review, we summarize the recent developments in this field with the two main foci: first, the latest advances in SHS of carbide- and boride-based ceramics, including ultra-high temperature ceramics (UHTCs) and high-entropy ceramics (HECs), and second, the properties and industrial applications of synthesized materials. Most prominent features of SHS ceramics are summarized, and prospective directions for further developments are discussed.