Howard University
2400 6th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20059
(202) 806-2752 or 2755
Web Site:

"Howard is a place where students can find role models: economists, scientists, mathematicians, professors of language, and history and philosophy scholars of all kinds. That can be an eye-opening experience!"
     -Faculty member, College of Arts and Sciences


College Rank:

In years past, Howard University was often referred to as the "Black Harvard." This eminent, multi-
faceted historically Black college was our undisputed best, and we could point to legacies like former Supreme Count Justice Thurgood Marshall and a virtual army of graduates (doctors, lawyers, businessmen, entertainers and other role models) to prove it. Toni Morrison, the novelist, is an alum. And Debbie Allen, the actress and dancer. Andrew Young, a former U.S. Ambassador and major. Jessye Norman, the opera star. Douglas Wilder, former governor of Virginia. Ralph Bunche, the first African-American Nobel laureate. Vernon Jordon, the former head of the NAACP. You get the idea.

Today, some people think this grand old school (the largest among historically Black colleges), has lost some of its luster. The younger kids seem to be talking more about Spelman, Morehouse, Florida A&M  and Hampton. But Howard still is a formidable force, and the ratings are not forever etched in stone. H.
Patrick Swygert, Howard's goal-oriented and energetic president, has our "ancient gem" once again flexing its muscles.

In 1995 Money magazine named Howard University one of the "three best" educational values among U.S. colleges. In the Black Enterprise rankings of the "top 50 Colleges for African Americans," Howard sits in 5th position.

The Campus:

Howard University's "universe" covers over 41 acres  at four college campuses. There's a Divinity School, the Howard Law Center near Rock Creek in northeast Washington, and the Beltville campus in Maryland.
The main undergraduate campus, however, is located in central Washington, DC, and includes 89 acres. At this urban location you'll find the Blackburn
Student Center, classrooms, dorms, administrative offices and the Founders Library with its 2.2 million volumes. The library is also the home of the
Howard University Museum, where art is exhibited and artifacts interpreted. And if you take a stroll on campus, you'll see (on display) the creations of many of our artistic masters, including work by Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett and Jacob Lawrence.

At Howard you can settle down in a dormitory, but there are also lots of renovations taking place. There's some housing restructuring going on, to be sure. The freshman residence hall for women is Tubman Quadrangle, which houses five dorms. Three are called Baldwin, Frazier and Wheatley, after our heroes. The Crandell and Truth residences are undergoing redesign.

At Tubman, you've got a ResNet computer lab and a courtyard for relaxing.

The men have Drew Hall, and a coed residence is the Howard Plaza Towers. To many, Cook Hall, a soph-
omore's dorm, is generally described as the "best." There's air-conditioning, lounges, a weight room and a super-sized television. Frankly, Howard's housing can only accommodate about half of its students. There are satellite dormitories like Carver Hall (men) and Meridian Hill Hall (coed) that all are within 10 blocks of the campus and utilize shuttle buses. Note that the general area around Howard has been generally described as a "poor neighborhood," with the usual inner city problems.

Getting In:

In a recent year, 4,850 students applied to all the undergraduate divisions, and 2,802 were accepted.

Generally, Howard appears to be accepting those capable students who have been taking college preparatory courses and doing well. The acceptance rate for applying students is about 58%. The mean SAT composite is 1,019. Do note, however, that the admissions requirements vary among the 10 under-
graduate schools. For example, students hoping to enter the Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Education or Art schools (a portfolio is necessary there) will all be looked at differently. About a quarter of the students actually score below 820 on their SATs. If you're looking at an engineering run, obviously that kind of SAT won't open the door. The total picture is important. Your high school record, recommen-
dations, leadership qualities, school and community service, potential and alumni relationships are pivotal.

Howard's admissions numbers say it's a "melting pot." Nearly 80% of the students are from out of state, including foreign students from over 100

Academic Reality:

Howard will take you on whatever journey you want to travel. Carla Joy Peterman*, who picked Howard over Rutgers and Yale, was named a 1999 Rhodes Scholar. She participated in Howard's exchange program and studied for a semester at Duke. Other students we have talked to have gotten their degrees while on "cruise control." Still, it's interesting to note that graduates in general go on to enter graduate and professional schools--law, medicine, dental and business--at very impressive rates.

Sitting in classes with motivated, career-minded students will inspire you to get the job done. Prepare, however, for some of those classrooms to contain between 150 and 200 students, at least in the introductory classes. At upper-division levels  the numbers decrease considerably, and you might have only 20 students in a class.

You will be challenged. Core requirements include courses in math, English, speech, the physical sciences as well as African-American history. Popular majors include journalism, accounting, nursing, psychology, biology, radio/television and management (marketing). All this in a setting where professors are considered "friendly" and very  helpful.

Philosopher Alain Locke, who taught at Howard for over 40 years, was the first African-American Rhodes Scholar.

Besides Duke, Howard has exchange programs with Harvard, Smith, Stanford, Tufts, U. California at Berkeley and several other schools.

Campus Life:

It's often said that Howard is a "party school," a "fashion show," and that there's a lot happening. One student calls the environment, "a social and
cultural heaven." You will always have something to do. And yes, it's true, the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority was founded at Howard in 1908. Now they're all there: Delta Sigma Theta, Alpha Phi Alpha, Sigma Gamma Rho, Phi Beta Sigma and others. You may see them "stepping" in The Yard, situated in the middle of the campus, on a sunny day. There is plenty of  socializing, to put it mildly.

On campus, there are over 150 student clubs and organizations. You can write for the student newspaper, The Hilltop. Or work at the school's radio or television station. A show called "Spotlight," was an Emmy-nominated TV effort. Big campus events are Opening Convocation, Charter Day, Spring Festival and Homecoming, where the marching band, The Thunderdome, always rallies the crowd. In sports, the Howard Bisons (basketball, football)
are always a major sports and social attraction.

There's a Gospel choir, African Cultural Ensemble, Pan-African association, chess club and intramural sports (bowling, tennis, touch football, handball)
to keep you occupied. Off-campus you'll have access to the Capitol, Georgetown and Adams Morgan communities. You'll find malls, concerts, museums, restaurants, clubs, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, even the Library of Congress. For older students, the popular nightspots are The Mirage, Ritz and Chapter Three.

The area is a cultural and entertainment Mecca. And it's all just a car or bus ride away.

Financial Aid Deadline: April 4th. Submit FAFSA as soon after January 1st as possible.

Application deadline: February 2nd for the fall semester.

Early Decision: November 1st.

*Carla Joy Peterman
Degree: Howard University: B.A., History, 1999
Career Goals: Environmental policy and urban planning in
developing countries
Oxford Course: M.Phil., Development Studies
Elected to Phi Beta Kappa her junior year, Carla Peterman has
complemented her history degree with a double minor in Biology
and Environmental Science. She co-founded the Howard University
Environmental Society and holds the university’s Excellence in
Ecology Award. She is currently co-authoring a paper concerning
the scope and nature of environmental programs at historically
black colleges and universities. Carla maintains a perfect 4.0
GPA in her major and is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the
International History fraternity.

When not in the library, Carla helped to found the Howard University Varsity Women’s Lacrosse team, on which she also serves as a 1998 team captain. She is the first U.S. Rhodes
Scholar to be elected from Howard. Carla enjoys writing, “outdoor activities such as hiking and camping as well as dancing salsa,
merengue and samba.”