Why Choose Howard?

Why Students Choose Howard

Since 1934, graduate students from across the country and the globe have chosen Howard – a leading research-intensive, historically Black private university – for its reputation of academic excellence and distinction in STEM, research prominence, and distinct location in the global capital of the world, Washington, D.C.

The Howard University Graduate School commits itself to producing leaders for America and the international community. Students like you, across over 40 Howard doctoral, master’s, certificate, and M.D./Ph.D. degrees and over 100 specializations, turn their graduate education and research passions into a relentless pursuit of ideas to solve some of the globe’s toughest challenges and make an impact on the world. Our institutional motto, Veritas et Utilitas (Truth and Service), is woven throughout our research, and our faculty and students are driven by a deep-rooted sense of purpose and inquiry.

Howard University building near tree

Top-Ranked Academics 

Consistently ranked among the best, the Howard University Graduate School has earned national recognition for the quality of its graduate programs, a number of which are ranked in the top 20 in the country by U.S. News & World Report, such as graduate programs in African American History, African American Literature, and Social Work. Ranked 30th among the nation’s most innovative schools, Howard has been a global leader in innovation for more than a century, with its high-quality graduate programs, internationally recognized faculty, and commitment to impactful research. In fact, 98% of incoming students cite the outstanding reputation of their graduate program as important in their decision to enroll at Howard, and our academic offerings are constantly evolving to meet global workforce needs. At Howard’s Graduate School, you can choose from over 40 degrees and over 100 specializations that deeply immerse you in your chosen discipline, while encouraging you to synthesize knowledge across diverse fields of study. 

Cutting edge lab research

On the Leading Edge of Research

As a leading private research university, Howard is at the forefront of research, innovation, and global thought leadership. The University has a distinctive legacy of research excellence across its programs, centers, and research facilities. You can participate in National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and National Science Foundation (NSF) funded research focused on tackling issues at the state, national, and global levels–from developing novel pathways for disease prevention and treatment and securing our national cyber systems to building models for climate resilience. Extensive investments in research, like the recently announced multi-million dollar funded Center for Applied Data Science and Analytics, provide unparalleled research opportunities for our students. Our research impact is wide, informing public policy, promoting environmental stewardship, strengthening democratic institutions, and powering economic growth.

Learn more about Howard's research month »

Collaborative research in lab

A Highly Collaborative Research Culture

Our highly collaborative research culture is a hallmark of Howard's Graduate School. Alongside faculty, our students pursue research funded by agencies such as the NIH, the NSF, NASA, and the U.S. Department of Energy. In addition, our research centers and initiatives provide opportunities to work on pressing issues at the intersection of multiple disciplines — like pursuing breakthroughs in cancer treatment that change patients’ lives at the HU Cancer Center, investigating the health impacts of environmental changes through the NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences, examining disparities in housing, wealth and economic well-being through the Center on Race and Wealth, and fortifying our cyber systems against attack at the Data Science and Cybersecurity Center. Our faculty highly value their role as mentors and the role graduate students like you play in Howard’s success. As a Howard alum, you’ll be prepared to conduct collaborative research in academia, government, and industry.

Explore our research centers & institutes »


Professor teaching in class

Nationally Recognized Faculty

You'll work closely with faculty who are committed to innovative teaching at every level, inspired by your ideas, and invested in your personal development and professional success. Howard faculty bring years of experience into the classroom as leading practitioners, industry experts, policymakers, foreign diplomats, public health officials, economists, and research scientists. Their access to global research networks and connections in their industries also means you'll have access to a strong network of research mentors and real-world clients. Over the years, the research of our faculty has garnered the highest honors, including membership in prominent organizations like the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, and more. Our faculty have included some 40 National Science Foundation CAREER award recipients; winners of the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring; MacArthur and Robert Wood Johnson Fellows, and over 70 Fulbright scholars.

Chinatown, Washington, D.C.

Living & Learning in Washington, D.C.

You'll have the unparalleled advantage of studying, working, living in the nation's capital, and accessing all D.C. has to offer. Our location in the global capital city of Washington, D.C., places our students at the center of policymaking and the most salient and timely dialogues in every field of study. Consistently named one of the best cities in the U.S. for young professionals, the D.C. area offers unmatched networking opportunities and access to a robust entrepreneurial community, federal agencies, think tanks, professional associations, and the nation's top employers. Howard's campus is a global convener of diplomats, Capitol Hill policymakers, award-winning authors, and business executives who spend time on our campus as guest lecturers. You can check out the Library of Congress or walk through the African American museum or one of the many nearby museums. The city's attractive mix of global diversity, vibrant cultural and arts scene, family-friendly recreation, and wealth of enrichment opportunities make it an ideal place to pursue your graduate studies.

 Explore Washington, D.C. »

Graduating students walking outside in regalia

A Globally Diverse & Inclusive Community

The global diversity of our Graduate School community is evident the moment you set foot on campus and widely reflects the globe’s community of scholars. Graduate students enroll at Howard each year from over 50 countries and represent nearly every continent of the world and state across the U.S. We respect the profound ways this rich blend of cultures, customs, and languages enriches our teaching and scholarship. Apart from the breakthroughs in STEM they help to discover, the impact they make in communities, or the work they do to advance research within their respective fields, our students are making a name for themselves; they are National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellows, Ford Foundation Fellows, Fulbright Scholars, industry executives, and company founders. We are committed to fostering a supportive and inclusive educational environment for all members of our university community and educating a generation of globally-connected leaders. 

Howard alumni

A Supportive Alumni Network

As a graduate of Howard, you have the strength of the Bison network behind you. The Howard University Graduate Alumni Network offers several opportunities to enhance your community, research, and professional network opportunities. Alums of our master’s and doctoral programs include founders of startup ventures and social impact initiatives, senior-level policy consultants, research fellows and experts, business CEOS, health sector executives and consultants, higher education executives, and faculty at universities and colleges across the U.S.  You can connect with them at professional and networking events offered through the Graduate School or our various academic departments. We regularly invite our graduate alums back to campus to meet with current graduate students and provide their advice and mentorship. Our graduate alums periodically seek ways to give back to the student experience. So you'll have access to graduate alums interested in your professional and personal success.

Advising session with student

Holistic Support for Graduate Students

The Graduate School's extensive professional development programming and workshops help our graduate students develop the transferable skills they need to succeed in their programs and careers. Our Graduate Student Life programming addresses student well-being through parental support and wellness initiatives like our Week of Wellness and events that help you build connections across the campus community. Our family-friendly policies make our graduate experience attainable for all enrolled students. Our Office of the Chapel Dean nurtures fellowship across diverse faith traditions. The Graduate School also hosts workshops that provide pedagogically-rich instructional and research support to graduate teaching and research assistants. To further prepare students for academic positions at research universities and colleges, we offer a Certificate in College Faculty Preparation. There are several Support Services available to our graduate students.