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The Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, offers the degree of Doctor of Philosophy through the Graduate School . Any graduate with a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited institution is eligible for admissions consideration.
Degree Requirements  
General Admission Requirements

A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is preferred and a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in major course work is required. Each graduate department may have additional "special admission requirements" which are noted on this page.

  • Completed on-line application and signature page or
  • Download the paper application (HTML) | (Acrobat)
  • The non-refundable $45 application fee (Waivers accepted for FAMU Feeder Program and McNair Scholars)
  • Official transcripts must be submitted directly from the Registrar’s Office from ALL colleges and universities attended
  • GRE Scores (Only official score reports are accepted within 5 years of the test date)
  • Statement of Academic and Research Interest
  • Autobiographical Sketch (Personal biography)
  • Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation Word

For International Applicants

In addition to the requirements listed above you must meet the following:

  • Official transcripts, certificates and/or mark/grade sheets must be sent directly from the college or university to the Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions, and must show proof of degree(s) earned, courses taken and marks/grades received. Also, ALL transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services ( or AACRAO ( and be forwarded to Graduate Recruitment and Admissions.
  • TOEFL Scores (Minimum computer-based score of 213 is required and only official score reports are accepted within 2 years of the test date)
Special Admissions Requirements

A maximum of six hours of credit for French or Spanish courses in a graduate program of other accredited universities may be transferred in accordance with the rules of the Graduate School. Applicants with the bachelor's or masters degree from a foreign university who do not meet all of the requirements for admission may be admitted provisionally for one semester. if such admission is recommended by the Graduate Advisory Council of the department To be considered. an applicant must have strong letters of recommendation from former teachers and other evidence of unusual potential.

Master of Arts

To be considered for admission, applicants must:

  • File a completed Application for Admission Form in the Admissions Office
  • Have a copy of the official transcript for each undergraduate school attended sent to the Graduate Admissions Office. The transcript must certify completion of the Bachelor of Arts degree. Normally a GPA of 3.0 is required with no grade below B in the major field of French or Spanish.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation, including two from faculty under whom the applicant has studied.
  • Send with the application:
    1. a letter of interest, indicating reasons for applying and areas of interest in the pursuit of a foreign language degree and
    2. a two-to-three-page essay in French or Spanish which gives evidence of ability in the language.

Applicants with a bachelors degree from a nationally accredited institution, or foreign applicants with equivalent qualifications, are eligible for admission. Applicants must have majored or minored in French or Spanish in their undergraduate degree program.

The Department of Microbiology accepts applications for the Fall semester only.

Applicants who seek admission to the Department of Microbiology must satisfy the following requirements two years of chemistry (General and Organic), one year of physics, one year of mathematics (unspecified), one year of biology and one year of English. Furthermore, the applicant is expected to have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 out of 4.0.

Degree Requirements

Students admitted to the Department of Microbiology with the above credentials must complete at least 72 hours beyond the baccalaureate degree, with a minimum of 31 hours of course work. The remaining hours must be spent on research related courses. Up to 24 credit hours from the master's degree from an accredited institution may be transferred to the Ph.D. program. Each student in consultation with the advisory committee and/or the thesis advisor, will arrange a program of study compatible with the student's interest with the intent to produce a well-trained microbiologist with expertise in both research and teaching.

The required courses are as follows: Microbiology 231-302, 231-304, 231-307, 231-413, 231-417, and 231-418; Biochemistry 222-101 and 222-203; Biostatistics. In lieu of demonstration proficiency in a foreign language (not native language) students may substitute a computer science elective. Each student is required to obtain teaching experience. The successful completion of a comprehensive examination and oral defense of a dissertation are also required.


The College of Medicine and the Graduate School jointly offer an integrated program that leads to both the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees without compromise in the customary substance of each of these degrees individually. Additionally, the curricular emphasis develops in the trainee the unique professional role perspective of the clinician/scientist/scholar. It also develops a particular appreciation for the urgent and unsolved health problems that are present in the population served by the Howard University Hospital and its affiliated clinical programs.

Application Process

Graduate departments that currently invite applications for Ph.D. study in this program are: Anatomy, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Genetics and Human Genetics, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Physiology and Biophysics.

The steps in the application process are as follows:

  • Complete all aspects of the application for medical school.
  • Submit a brief letter of interest in applying for the M.D. Ph.D. programs to the program director.
  • The M.D./Ph.D. program committee will review the application to medical school. If a candidate meets the minimum eligibility criteria, he/she will receive a supplemental application for the combined program.
  • The program committee may invite a candidate for a visit to the campus for an interview.
  • Concurrent with the visit, a candidate will also be invited to apply to the graduate department of his/her choice through the Graduate School.

The application for the M.D./Ph.D. program should be returned to:
Verle Headings, M.D., Ph.D.
Director M.D./Ph.D. Program
Howard University College of Medicine
520 W Street, NW
Washington, DC 20059
(202) 806-6381

4th and College Streets,  NW,  
Washington DC 20059   
Voice: 202-806-7469
Fax: 202-806-4664
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