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Howard University

Howard University Rating: 4.0/5 (36 votes)

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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.

Financial Aid

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.

Payment Plans

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

Ranks 1613th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Dist. of Columbia.


Residential Life

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.


  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field


  • Basketball
  • Bowling
  • Cross country
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball

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.

Information Summary

Ranks 5th in Dist. of Columbia and 304th overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault 7 0.07
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 1 0.01
Rape 3 0.03
Robbery 22 0.21
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 17 0.16
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 6 0.06
Arrest 3 0.03

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 2,949 0.48
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 108 0.02
Forcible Rape 172 0.03
Robbery 3,756 0.61
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 3,849 0.62
Larceny 20,124 3.26
Vehicle theft 4,339 0.70

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Research Universities (high research activity)
UndergraduateProfessions plus arts & sciences, high graduate coexistence
GraduateComprehensive doctoral with medical/veterinary
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, selective, lower transfer-in
EnrollmentMajority undergraduate
Size & SettingMedium four-year, highly residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District1198

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 569th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $21,450 $21,450 $21,450
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $1,333 $1,333 $1,333
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $895 $895 $895
FT Graduate Tuition $30,545 $30,545 $30,545
FT Graduate Required Fees $1,233 $1,233 $1,233
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $1,700 $1,700 $1,700
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $41,643 $41,643 $41,643
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $25,683 $25,683 $25,683
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $25,683 $25,683 $25,683

Student Tuition Costs for Professional Fields

  In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Medical Degree — Tuition $42,864 $42,864
Medical Degree — Required Fees $2,158 $2,158
Dentistry Degree — Tuition $42,631 $42,631
Dentistry Degree — Required Fees $1,511 $1,511
Pharmacology Degree — Tuition $27,977 $27,977
Pharmacology Degree — Required Fees $1,533 $1,533
Law Degree — Tuition $30,241 $30,241
Law Degree — Required Fees $1,383 $1,383

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $20,171 $22,683 $20,171 $22,683 $20,171 $22,683
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $2,509 $2,810
On-Campus – Room & Board $15,341 $13,274
On-Campus – Other Expenses $1,216 $1,362
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board N/A(N/C)

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$45
Graduate Application Fee$45
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 11,687 (3,670 male / 8,017 female)
Admitted 5,762 (1,791 male / 3,971 female)
Admission rate 49%
First-time Enrollment 1,394 (431 male / 963 female)
FT Enrollment 1,376 (424 male / 952 female)
PT Enrollment 18 (7 male / 11 female)
Total Enrollment10,297

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /   / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demo
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
NCAA Basketball Conference Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

ACT Test Admission

487th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 48%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 21 / 27
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 20 / 26
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 21 / 26

SAT Test Admission

513th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 76%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 490 / 590
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 480 / 590
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 970 / 1180

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity4,200
Meals per Week19
Room Fee$6,470
Board Fee$4,140

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 705th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $80,353 ($84,086 male / $73,599 female)
Number of FT Faculty 685 (390 male / 295 female)
Number of PT Faculty 1,224
FT Faculty Ratio 0.6 : 1
Total Benefits $34,116,000

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2400 Sixth St NW
Washington, DC 20059-0001
p. 202-806-6100
w. www.howard.edu

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