Since it opened in 1867, Howard University’s name has been synonymous with quality. The university got its start shortly after the end of the Civil War as a theological seminary specifically for African American students. Two years later, the seminary became a full-fledged university, its name deriving from Civil War hero General Oliver O. Howard. Howard, one of the founders of the university, also held the post of Commissioner of the Freedmen’s Bureau.
Throughout its history, Howard has been host to elite guests, from President Franklin Roosevelt to President Barack Obama. The university also claims a long list of famous names as alumni, including dancer and actress Debbie Allen, NFL player Antoine Bethea, Maryland Delegate Aisha N. Braveboy, NASA astrophysicist Beth A. Brown, civil rights advocate Walter Percival Carter, and David Dinkins, New York City’s first African-American mayor. In fact, many of Howard’s graduates have gone on to become the first African Americans in their respective fields.
In addition to its top-rate academics, Howard students are supported by the resources necessary to their academic success. Nearly the entire campus offers wireless Internet access; the mobile device center assists students and faculty with problems and configuration of mobile devices and laptops; and a university-wide system of world class library facilities is available to all students.
When not on campus, students have Washington DC and all it has to offer at their doorstep: The Smithsonian Museums, The National Mall, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, and The Lincoln Memorial are all nearby and are all free. Baltimore is a little under an hour away by car or train, and Virginia Beach and Ocean City, Maryland, are all a half a day’s drive away.
Accredited by The Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, Howard attracts the best and brightest students in the United States and from around the world.
The university awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the departments and colleges of arts and sciences, business, communications, dentistry, divinity, education, engineering, law, medicine, pharmacy, nursing, allied health, and social work.
Students can major in traditional subjects like history, English, art, biology, math, and music, or they can opt for cutting-edge majors such as trauma, 3-D reality in the art department, administration of justice, or information systems & business decisions.
The School of Communication features world-class undergraduate and graduate programs in such diverse topics as legal communications and communications sciences and disorders in addition to traditional majors like journalism, advertising, and public relations.
Students are encouraged to broaden their educational and personal horizons by participating in a study abroad program. Programs are available in the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Germany, South Africa, Kenya, Jamaica, and at the Vatican.
Howard, like many of its institutional peers, also offers online and distance learning programs. Nursing students can opt for the Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree or a Bachelor’s of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Howard is a selective institution, with just more than half of applicants gaining admission each year. Students can apply for admission using the school’s online application or by downloading a PDF application then mailing the completed application directly to the university.
In addition to completing the application for admission, prospective students should submit high school and, if applicable, college transcripts; SAT or ACT scores; and two recommendation letters, one from a high school teacher and one from a counselor. Applicants may submit a resume, although one is not required.
Applicants to a Howard University graduate program must complete an online or paper application in addition to the following:
- All college transcripts sent directly from the institution itself
- GRE scores sent directly from the testing facility (only those test scores less than five years old will be accepted)
- Academic and research interest statement
- Personal biography
- Three recommendation letters
Applicants should contact the college or department to which they are applying to determine if there are additional application requirements.
Attending a prestigious university like Howard often comes with a high price tag. The financial aid office at the university, however, is dedicated to helping students find the necessary financing for their studies.
Grants and Scholarships
Grants and scholarships provide students, based on financial need or academic merit, with money to pay for college tuition and other expenses. While Howard does not offer specific grants for students, the federal government does. Students who demonstrate financial need may be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant and/or the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.
Howard does offer numerous academic scholarships, including the Freshmen Scholarships, Trustee Scholarships, ROTC Scholarships, and Transfer Scholarships. The Mordecai Wyatt Johnson Scholars Program is open to full-time students with U.S. citizenship who maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5. Applicants for the scholarships, which are awarded by the Dean of Students, must submit an essay describing their career goals.
Loans and Work-Study
Students may also need to supplement any grants and scholarships with loans. Both the federal government and private entities provide loans for undergraduate and graduate students. The Federal Perkins Loan and the Parent PLUS Loan are two of the most popular federally funded loan programs.
Medical students and students in health-related programs may be eligible for the Health Professions Student Loan, the Primary Care Loan, or the Nursing Student Loan.
Howard also offers Emergency Student Loans, which feature low interest rates, for students who need cash quickly. Recipients of the short-term emergency student loan must repay the loan by the end of the semester in which it was received, and the long-term emergency student loan can be repaid after the student has graduated. Both loans require the student to complete an entrance interview and an exit interview.
The Federal Work-Study program is another popular way to supplement loans and other funding.
Howard University also accepts several payment plans. The Deferred Payment Plan allows students to pay their tuition in two equal payments; students make interest-free payments throughout the academic year with the Ten Payment Plan option.
Student Financial Aid Details
With the nation’s capitol as its backdrop, Howard offers the ideal educational setting. Students who choose to live off-campus will find housing readily available in the city itself and in the surrounding suburbs of Northern Virginia and Maryland. DC’s metro and bus system make commuting throughout the area much easier, making it feasible to live off-campus without a car.
Students who opt to live on campus will live in one of the university’s 10 residential halls, all of which feature such amenities as cable outlets, Internet access, phone outlets, laundry facilities, a mailroom, and common areas. The Howard Plaza Towers East and West both offer what is described as luxurious co-ed apartment living, complete with an alarm system, underground parking, and computer labs in the buildings themselves. The Mary M. Bethune Annex provides apartment living for female students, while the George W. Carver Hall caters to male students. Both feature such amenities as air conditioning, cable TV access, high speed Internet access, and common areas.
Students have plenty of options for recreational activities at Howard. The university’s recreational center features video games, table tennis, chess, dominoes, bowling, and checkers. Students can play for fun against friends or join in the scheduled games. Events calendars are posted online on the university’s official website.
Art enthusiasts can visit the Blackburn Art Gallery on campus where students can view and show their own artwork.
Howard also features plenty of student organizations that welcome new members. Future pharmacists can join the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists or the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists; those interested in Japanese culture can join the club of the same name; and politically minded students might opt for the NAACP, the Howard University Students for Progressive Action, or the Political Science Society.
The university also places an emphasis on community service, which gained one student national attention when she began collecting backpacks for underprivileged students. Her project has become so popular students on other campuses in America are initiating similar efforts.
In addition to the Hilltop Newspaper, the campus newspaper, students can join The Bison Yearbook or The Student H-Book.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
Members of the NCAA’s Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference, The Bison represent Howard, wearing the university’s official colors of blue and white.
Despite its lack of national titles, the Bison have graduated numerous athletes who have gone on to the pros, including St. Louis Rams running back Ronald Bartell, NFL defensive end Marques Douglas, pro soccer player Nigel Henry, baseball star Milt Thompson, and NFL linebacker Tracy White.
- Cross country
- Swimming and Diving
- Track and Field
- Cross country
- Swimming and Diving
- Track and Field
Students not involved in intercollegiate sports may opt to play for one of the competitive intramural teams, including flag football, basketball, baseball, badminton, and golf. The most popular fall intramural sports are generally volleyball, soccer, and flag football, while basketball, baseball, and indoor soccer typically come out on top in the spring. Intramural baseball is particularly popular since the university no longer fields a competitive intercollegiate baseball team.