Physiology (Ph.D.)

Physiology (Ph.D.) | Graduate

Physiologists are at the forefront of advancements in biomedical research and translational science, using evidence-based research to advance clinical breakthroughs that improve patient care. Our Ph.D. program in Physiology prepares students for careers in applied and integrative physiology, neuroscience, and the biomedical sciences.

The Ph.D. in Physiology at Howard’s Graduate School prepares students for successful careers in applied and integrative physiology, neuroscience, and the biomedical sciences. Our graduates shape scientific research and education in universities, government, and industry. Recent program graduates have also landed postdoctoral fellowships and residencies at organizations like the Children’s National Medical Center, the D.C. Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology. As a doctoral student in Physiology, you’ll be involved in applied research related to the regulation, function, and interrelationships of physiological systems and translate that knowledge into novel therapeutic approaches. You’ll also gain practical training in molecular, cellular, and systems-level physiological and biophysical techniques. You may choose from six distinct fields of specialization: neurophysiology, cardiovascular physiology, renal physiology, respiratory physiology, endocrine physiology, and gastrointestinal physiology. You'll join a highly collegial and friendly environment in the Howard Department of Physiology. You'll also benefit from numerous opportunities to collaborate with faculty on grant-funded lab research at Howard University’s School of Medicine and Cancer Center. Our Physiology faculty is committed to translating research to improve the human condition and has wide-ranging research interests in muscle-cardiovascular-renal pathophysiology, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, and aging research, among other areas. Students may pursue a dual M.D./Ph.D. degree.   

Program Snapshot

      ❱  72 credit hours 

      ❱  Full-time

      ❱  On-campus format

      ❱  Degree: Ph.D.

      ❱  Dual degree: M.D./Ph.D.

Application Deadlines

Spring 2024 entry: 

      ❱  No spring entry

Fall 2024 entry: 

      ❱  Dec. 1, 2023 (early deadline)

      ❱  Feb. 15, 2024 (priority deadline)

      ❱  Apr. 15, 2024 (final deadline)

Applicants should submit their applications as early as possible for earlier consideration of departmental funding opportunities. Applicants have until the final deadline to apply. However, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the admissions cycle. 

Transfer credits accepted (reviewed by program director)


Dr. Joanne Allard

Director of Graduate Studies

Dr. Kebreten Manaye

Department Chair

Luisa Pisigan Gales

Program Coordinator

Program Details

  • Degree Classification: Graduate
  • Related Degrees: M.D. / Ph.D., Ph.D.

Admission Requirements

Application for Admission

  • Online GradCAS application
  • Statement of purpose/ Statement of academic interest (500-1,000 words)
  • GRE scores not required
  • Official transcripts sent to GradCAS
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university or the international equivalent
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Autobiographical statement (500-750 words)

GRE Required?

  • No

GRE Preferred Minimums

  • GRE Verbal Reasoning: N/A
  • GRE Quantitative Reasoning: N/A
  • GRE Analytical Writing: N/A

GPA Required Minimums

  • Overall GPA minimum: 3.0
  • Undergrad GPA minimum: N/A

Prerequisite Courses

The following course prerequisites are required. Applicants are required to have at least a B average in these prerequisites. No expiration date for recommended prerequisites.

  • Biochemistry (college-level lecture, lab preferred, 4 semester credit hrs)
  • Organic Chemistry (college-level lectures and labs, 8 semester credit hrs)
  • Physics (college-level lectures and labs, 8 semester credit hrs)
  • Statistics or Mathematics (course lectures beyond college-level Algebra, 6 semester credit hrs)
  • Human or Animal Biology (course lectures beyond General Biology, 9 semester credit hrs)

Reference Requirements

Evaluator type accepted:

  • Professor (Required)
  • Supervisor/Manager

Evaluator type not accepted:

  • Coworker
  • Friend
  • Family Member
  • Clergy
  • Other