Howard University College of Medicine


This is the oldest and largest African-American medical school in the country. It began in 1868 as the university’s medical department, with the goal of training physicians in medically underserved areas. Its students come from all over the world and its alumni make up a significant segment of the nation’s minority physicians.


4-year modern. Program is flexible in order to produce the physician-scientist. First year: Core concept presentation of introductory basic sciences and interdisciplinary courses, plus optional electives. Second year: Continued core concept presentation of advanced basic sciences plus interdisciplinary courses in pathophysiology of organ systems, infectious diseases, and physical diagnosis. Elective courses are offered. Third year: A series of clerkships through the major clinical specialties. Possibility for involvement in community health care is also provided. Fourth year: A 9-monthprogramsimilartojunioryear,exceptthatperiods of specialization are increased by allotment of 24 weeks of elective time (4 of which can be used for vacation). A 5-year curriculum is offered to students who demonstrate academic difficulty during the first semester. This curriculum does not require taking additional courses, but it extends the standard one over a 5-year period.

Unique Programs

Minority admissions: The college is dedicated to training minority applicants and has a strong recruitment program that includes early admission and academic reinforcement for admitted students. Other degree programs: A dual-degree program is available for the MD-PhD in most of the basic sciences; a BS-MD program is also offered. Both degrees may be obtained in a 6-year period. Continuing education is available for graduates.


Requirements include a minimum of 62 credits (2 years) of undergraduate work, plus minimum premedical science courses and 1 year of English and college mathematics. There are no residence restrictions; 70% of the students are African-American; about 50% are women. Selection is based not only on academic achievements and personal qualities, but also on the likelihood of practice in communities or facilities needing physician services. Transfer and advanced standing: Placement is infrequent, and usually at the end of the second year. Foreign transfers are not accepted.


System used is the Honors/Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. Students must take Step 1 of the USMLE and obtain a passing total score for promotion to the third year. To graduate, students must record a passing total score on Step 2. Teaching: The college is part of Howard University Center for the Health Sciences. It is housed in a modern building and is the site for teaching basic medical sciences. Clinical teaching is at the 300-bed Howard University Hospital. Several other hospitals in the District area provide additional training facilities. Other: Research is carried out in several buildings, including a Cancer Center. Library: The Health Sciences Library contains more than 265,000 volumes, and 1750 periodicals. National Institutes of Health and National Library of Medicine are available to students. Housing: Professional students are not usually allocated accommodations on campus, but a university-owned apartment complex is nearby.

This website and its associated pages are not affiliated with, endorsed by, or sponsored by this school. has no official or unofficial affiliation with Howard University College of Medicine.