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Rules and Regulations

An outline of Admissions, Grades, Requirements and Appeals

ARTICLE I. - ADMISSIONS

Section 1. Admission to the Graduate School

Any graduate with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0, an undergraduate baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, or any international student with equivalent qualifications is eligible to apply for admission to the Graduate School.

Graduate work is under the jurisdiction of the Graduate Faculty of various departments. A student is expected to have adequate undergraduate training in the field in which the individual plans to do graduate work. If a student's training is found to be inadequate, the individual will be required to take such additional courses as the department may prescribe.

Admission to the Graduate School does not automatically admit a student to candidacy for an advanced degree.

Applications for admission can be obtained from the Office of Admissions of the Graduate School, Howard University, Washington, D.C. 20059 or via the Graduate School website at www.gs.howard.edu. No application will be considered complete until official transcripts, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, a resume, a statement of interest and/ or goals, and three letters of recommendation are received by the Graduate School Office of Admissions. International students are also required to provide the Graduate School with Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam scores. The minimum TOEFL score for admission is 550 on the paper scale (213 on the computer scale) † . Individual departments and schools may require additional submissions from the applicant. Please contact the departments for any additional application requirements

Section 2. Admission to a Department

The department in which the student plans to study shall determine whether or not the student meets the qualifications for admission to graduate study in that particular department. In addition to other requested materials, the applicant shall provide the Graduate School Office of Admissions with a complete transcript of academic performance of work done at Howard and/or other institutions of higher education that the applicant has attended. Upon receipt of the completed application, the Office of Admissions shall determine whether the student meets the general Graduate School admission requirements. The Office of Admissions shall notify the department and shall request that the department evaluate the student's credentials. The department shall communicate its decision to the Graduate School Office of Admissions, which will then communicate with the student.

 If an applicant is seeking admission into an M.D. / Ph.D. program, the individual must be accepted into both the College of Medicine and the Graduate School. The applicant must meet all criteria for acceptance into the College of Medicine and the Graduate school. Similarly, if an applicant is seeking admission into an interdisciplinary program or a graduate certificate program, the rules of admission for the Graduate School and participating units will apply.

In those cases where a graduate student wishes to transfer from one graduate program in the Graduate School to another, he/she must submit an appropriate application to the Office of Graduate Admissions, and receive approval of the department in which he/she wishes to enroll. Unless approved by the Board of Trustees, a student may not matriculate simultaneously in two graduate programs.

Section 3. Departmental Admissions Committee

Each department shall have a Departmental Admissions Committee composed of Graduate Faculty members. This committee and other interested departmental faculty members shall scrutinize the credentials of applicants and make recommendations concerning admissions decisions. Departmental admission decisions are then submitted to the Graduate School. The Dean or the Dean’s designee will notify the applicant concerning the status of the application.

Section 4. Committee on Graduate Studies

Each department shall have a Committee on Graduate Studies consisting only of current Graduate Faculty members. The chair of this committee must be a member of the Graduate Faculty. Among the responsibilities of this committee are the following: (a) the performance of an annual review of the academic progress of each graduate student in the department; the names of those students who have been found to be in academic jeopardy shall be reported to the Graduate School (see also: Article V, Section 4 and Article VI, Section 3); and (b) the recommendation to the Dean of external examiners on oral defense committees whose status is comparable to that of members of the Graduate Faculty who also serve on such committees (see also: Article V, Section and Article VI, Section 8).

Section 5. Categories of Admission

A. Degree- Regular Student Applicants who meet the stated requirements for admission to a graduate program in the Graduate School shall be accepted as regular students. Students with a minimum cumulative grade point average greater to or equal to 3.0 and a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, (including any international student with equivalent qualifications,) are eligible to apply for admission to the Graduate School as a regular student.

B. Degree-Provisional Student Applicants who have deficiencies in preparation or scholarship but are judged by the department to be capable of completing a graduate degree program may be accepted on a provisional basis. The student in this category will be allowed to take a maximum of ten (10) credit hours per semester for a maximum of two semesters and shall also satisfy all special requirements set by the department before the student may qualify for admission as a regular 7 degree student. Upon review of the conditions established at the time of admission, the Committee on Graduate Studies may recommend to the Dean that the status of the provisional student be changed to that of a regular student. Failure to meet requirements of the provisional admission within two semesters will result in dismissal from the graduate program.

C. Unclassified Student (Non-Degree Student) An unclassified status is an elected category for the student who wishes to pursue “course work only.” The applicant must meet all general admission requirements and any additional requirements prescribed by the department. A non-degree student, upon approval and recommendation of the department, may qualify for another category of admission in the Graduate School. Departments will determine the number of non-degree students they can accept on a yearly basis. Students may transfer no more than two (2) courses earned as a non-degree student to a degree program. 

Section 6. Academic Advisement

Each department shall provide faculty advisement for students in the Graduate School. Departments will assign each incoming student an academic advisor who will assist in academic planning throughout matriculation and development of a Program of Study. The student shall also be given a copy of the departmental handbook of course requirements, rules and regulations. The name of each student’s academic advisor must be reported, by the departmental Director of Graduate Studies ‡ (or Graduate Program Director if there are multiple programs in the department) to the Graduate School, within one semester following the initial registration for graduate study. 

Section 7Readmission to the Graduate School

Any student dismissed for reasons other than the second failure of the comprehensive examination or the oral defense of the thesis/the dissertation may seek readmission to the Graduate School. First, the student must complete an application to the Graduate School Office of Admissions and include a complete record of prior academic performance at Howard University. Second, the student must submit a written request for readmission to the Dean of the Graduate School. Third, the student must receive approval for readmission from the Dean of the Graduate School and from the department in which the student wishes to enroll. Reinstatement requires fulfillment of conditions formulated by the department in which the student is a degree candidate and approved by the Dean. Following approval, the Dean will notify the student of these conditions.

A period of at least one semester must elapse between the students’ dismissal and his/her re-admittance. It is important to note that re-admittance is not guaranteed.

A student who fails the comprehensive examination or the final oral examination in defense of the thesis or dissertation a second time will be dropped from the Graduate School, and is ineligible for readmission. (see: Article VII: Appeal of Academic Decisions).

Returning students who were absent from, or not registered at, the University for one entire semester (summer session not included) are required to apply for readmission. It is important to note that re-admittance is not guaranteed.


Section 8. Pursuit of Advanced Degrees by Graduate Faculty Members

An individual who holds a current special appointment as a member of the Graduate Faculty is ineligible to pursue an advanced degree from the Graduate School. Faculty members may enroll in courses for credit, but such work may not be applied towards fulfillment of requirements for a graduate degree at Howard University.