Howard University Graduate School
Office of Educational Affairs
Graduate Programs
Physiology and Biophysics
The graduate program in physiology and biophysics which is designed primarily to lead to the Doctor of Philosophy degree , requires a minimum of three and a maximum of five years of study.
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 Admission Requirement
Applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation, a statement of interest, official transcript(s) delivered and/or mailed in a sealed envelope by the Registrar of the college/university attended, and the most recent Graduate Record Examination scores. Applicants with a bachelor's degree or the equivalent are eligible for admission to the program. Applicants should have successfully completed the following prerequisite courses: Organic Chemistry, General Biology, Calculus, and Physics. Letters of inquiry may be addressed to the department. Completed applications are submitted to the Graduate School.
Special Residence Requirements

All required courses for the degree must be taken at Howard University

Special Degree Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate, 12 of which shall be pursued after being admitted to candidacy. Students must also participate yearly in

Departmental teaching and must be engaged in research each semester. Before graduation from the program, each student must have published one scientific research paper. All required courses must be passed at the level of B or better. Student progress is evaluated annually by the department. As part of the evaluation each student is required to submit a progress report.

During the first two years, students must take the following required courses: 217-200; 217-202; 217-206; 217-262; 217-170; 217-204; 217-172. A course in statistics must be taken before completing the program.

A major adviser and major area of research interest must be selected at the beginning of the second year. With the guidance of the adviser, the student is expected to take additional departmental courses in order to develop a broad and profound knowledge of physiology. A minimum of two extra departmental electives must be selected from among the following: pharmacology, biochemistry, anatomy, computer sciences and bioengineering.

After completion of the required courses, the student must schedule a qualifying examination which must be taken no later than the end of the third year. The qualifying examination consists of a written and an oral part which are administered by the department. As required by the Graduate School, students must submit an approved research proposal and pass the qualifying examination for admission to candidacy.

Following admission to candidacy, the major efforts are then directed toward the dissertation research. Each candidate must register for 217-300 while writing the dissertation. This course terminates with the development of an acceptable thesis.

M.D./Ph.D .

The M.D./Ph.D. degree is jointly offered by the Graduate School and College of Medicine.

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. See Anatomy for admission requirements.

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