How to Get Into Howard Medical School: Requirements & Tips

October 5, 2023
7 min read


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 10/05/23

If you’d like to become a competent and compassionate physician to improve healthcare equity, read on to learn how to get into Howard Medical School!

Howard Medical School is named after Major General Oliver Otis Howard, a colonel in the Civil War, who played a large role in creating The Theological and Normal Institute, which trained black teachers. Over time, more fields of study were offered at this institute, and it was transformed into Howard University.

Today, Howard Medical School is only one part of this large university, and it has a unique mission—to address the special health care needs of medically underserved communities and produce a significant number of the nation's minority physicians.

It is also a large research institute that can offer students limitless opportunities for exploration and discovery. If your values align with Howard’s, this guide will go into further detail about how to get into Howard Medical School, its admission requirements, important deadlines, and more! 

Howard Medical School
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Howard Medical School Programs

From personalized mentorship to hands-on clinical experience, Howard University provides various resources and opportunities to guide students throughout their medical education and career aspirations. To support them throughout the journey, Howard Medical offers several medical programs:

  • MD Program: a typical, four-year Doctor or Medicine program
  • Master’s and PhD Programs: in Anatomy, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Physiology, and Public Health

To ensure its students are ready for their MD, Howard also offers pipeline programs that provide academic orientation to entering freshmen. These programs are designed to help students develop their learning skills, including critical thinking, problem-solving, time management, and exam-taking.

Howard Medical School Acceptance Rate

The Howard Medical School acceptance rate of 1.09% indicates this school is highly competitive.

Howard Medical School Requirements

Howard Medical seeks to admit a diverse group of students who have the most potential to become outstanding physicians and make a positive impact on the healthcare system. 

Here is the complete list of the Howard Medical School requirements:

Course Requirements

You’ll need to complete an undergraduate degree from an accredited university or college to be eligible for admission at Howard University. You’re encouraged to pursue a pre-med major that you’re interested in and pursue useful electives that can widen your knowledge set and make you a more well-rounded applicant.

However, regardless of your major, you’re required to complete the following courses:

  • 8 semester hours of biology with a lab
  • 8 semester hours of inorganic chemistry with a lab
  • 8 semester hours of organic chemistry with a lab
  • 8 semester hours of physics with a lab
  • 6 semester hours of mathematics/statistics
  • 3 semester hours of biochemistry
  • 6 semester hours of English
  • 6 semester hours in humanities courses

While not mandatory, students are also highly recommended to complete the following courses:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Cell biology
  • Developmental biology and embryology 
  • Genetics
  • Neuroscience
  • Microbiology

Along with your coursework, your GPA is a crucial component of your medical school application. 

GPA Requirements

Howard’s admissions committee considers your undergraduate GPA as an indicator of your academic ability and potential to succeed in medical school. Students are required to have a minimum science GPA of 3.25 to be considered for admission.

However, to be considered competitive, students should aim for a GPA of 3.6 or higher.

MCAT Requirements

Howard Medical School considers the MCAT as an important component of the application evaluation process. The MCAT assesses an applicant's knowledge and critical thinking skills in areas such as biology, chemistry, physics, and psychology, and thus helps the committee determine their applicants’ preparation for the medical field.

Howard’s median MCAT score is 504. Students may write the MCAT up till the January of the year they are planning to enroll, or as early as three years before. To ensure you can meet this target score, set up a study schedule you can stick to, prioritize practice, and stay consistent!

A Personal Statement

Since students will be applying to Horward through AMCAS, they will be required to submit a personal statement through this portal. 

The personal statement is an opportunity for applicants to convey their unique qualities, life experiences, and their journey towards medicine. Students must limit their answers to 5,300 characters, including spaces.

Applicants are encouraged to reflect on their personal growth, highlight experiences that have shaped their interest in medicine, and share why they chose to pursue medicine. Ensure you present a compelling narrative to distinguish yourself from other applicants and showcase your most impressive and relevant skills.

Letters of Recommendation 

While there is no limit on the number of letters of recommendation you can include in your application, you must submit at least two. Howard Medical requires one of the following:

  • A health professions committee letter of evaluation (composite letter)
  • A letter packet from your college including at least two letters written by science faculty members who taught you
  • Individual letters, with at least two written by science faculty

If you choose to submit more than two letters of recommendation, ensure these additional letters share unique information about you that cannot already be found in your first two letters!

Secondary Essays

You’ll also need to answer a few Howard-specific essays along with your personal statement.


Students must demonstrate the following eight competencies that are deemed necessary to excel at Howard and in the medical field:

  • Service orientation
  • Social skills
  • Cultural competence
  • Teamwork
  • Ethical responsibility to self and others
  • Resilience and adaptability
  • Reliability and dependability
  • Capacity for environment

Ensure you showcase these competencies throughout your application!

Howard Application Process and Deadlines

There are several steps involved in getting into Howard Medical School University. Students will need to submit their primary application through AMCAS. Once this application has been approved, select applicants will be asked to complete secondary applications, which will involve their supplemental essays and additional information. 

Students that impress the committee with their secondary application will be invited to interview, and admissions decisions will be made after this stage of the application process. As your learn more about how to get into Howard Medical School, it’s essential you’re aware of the following crucial deadlines:

What’s Due Deadline
AMCAS Applications Open May
Invitations to Complete Secondary Application Sent Out August to January
Interviews Held September to April
First Acceptances Sent Out Mid-October
Primary AMCAS Applications Due Mid-December
Secondary Applications Due Mid-January
Emails Sent to Those Not Considered for Interviews March

Source: Howard Medical School

Since Howard Medical School interviews and accepts students on a rolling basis, it’s in your best interest to submit your application as early as possible!

Howard University Medical School Essays

To maximize your chances of getting into Howard Medical School, it’s imperative you write well! You’ll need to demonstrate your writing skills in your personal statement and supplemental essays. Writing stellar essays takes time and begins with brainstorming. 

To help you brainstorm ideas for your essays, here are the prompts you’ll be asked to answer:

  • Have you lived in communities which are medically underserved, or where the majority of the population is economically and/or educationally disadvantaged? (250 words less)
  • Have you worked (volunteer or paid employment) with medically underserved, economically disadvantaged, and/or educationally disadvantaged populations? (250 words or less)
  • After residency, do you plan to practice medicine in an underserved or disadvantaged community? (250 words or less)

Use concrete examples in your answers and ensure they are clear and concise! You only have a limited amount of space to share your thoughts, so avoid sharing any repetitive, unfocused, or irrelevant information.

Howard University Medical School Interview

The final step to consider as we discuss how to get into Howard Medical School is the interview. Howard Medical only interviews about 300 students each year. These interviews are held over several months and last at least 30-45 minutes.

However, your interview day will last several hours, as it will also involve presentations about Howard’s mission and history, its curriculum, financial aid options, and a campus tour. To prepare for this interview, go over common medical school interview questions and reflect on the experiences you want to highlight.

Go over your application and prepare a few insightful questions to ask your interviewer.

Howard University School Tuition and Fees

Medical education is a significant financial investment, and being aware of the expenses associated with tuition is crucial for planning and making informed decisions. Here’s a rundown of what a typical first-year student at Howard can expect to spend:

Expense Type Cost
Tuition $52,612
Mandatory Fees $2,390
Housing $14,912
Dining $5,896
Books & Supplies $2,400
Transportation & Incidentals $3,168
Total $81,378

Source: Howard Medical School

By understanding how much your MD at Howard will cost, you can assess your financial preparedness, explore the funding options available to you, such as scholarships, grants, and loans, and make a realistic budget for yourself!

Tips for Getting Into Howard Medical School

Here are some tips to enhance your chances of getting into Howard Medical School:

Gain Relevant Experience

Howard University is dedicated to addressing the health care needs of underserved communities. All of their secondary essays involve this topic, which is a good indication they are seeking students that already have experience working with these communities and aspirations to continue doing so.

Gain clinical and non-clinic experience working with underserved communities and indicate your interest to continue serving them as a physician. Talk about the specific issues you hope to address through your practice to prove your values align with Howard’s.

Demonstrate Cultural Competency

As mentioned, Howard University College of Medicine places a strong emphasis on serving diverse and underserved populations. Showcasing your cultural competency, understanding of healthcare disparities, and commitment to diversity and inclusion will strengthen your application.

Craft a Compelling Personal Statement

Your personal statement is the only part of your application that will truly humanize you and showcase your personality. Use it to highlight your passion for medicine, showcase your unique experiences, and illustrate your journey towards becoming a physician. 

Spend time on this application component and refine it until you’re certain it will wow the admissions committee!

FAQs: How to Get Into Howard Medical School

Should you have any lingering inquiries about how to get into Howard Medical School, read on to find the answers to frequently asked questions about this school!

1. What Is the Acceptance Rate for Howard University Medical School?

Howard University Medical School’s acceptance rate is a low 1.09%. 

2. Is Howard University a Good Medical School?

Yes, Howard University College of Medicine is widely regarded as a prestigious and esteemed medical school. It has a strong reputation for producing highly skilled and compassionate healthcare professionals who are dedicated to serving diverse and underserved communities.

It offers strong clinical training, engaging extracurriculars, robust research programs, and a strong alumni network. 

3. What GPA Do You Need to Get Into Howard University Medical School?

You need a science GPA of at least 3.25 to be considered for admission at Howard Medical School. However, you’ll need an overall GPA of around 3.6 to be considered a competitive applicant.

4. Is Howard University College of Medicine Public or Private?

Howard University College of Medicine is a private school.

Final Thoughts

With a low acceptance rate and high admission standards, getting into Howard Medical School will not be easy! It will require careful preparation, dedication, and a strong commitment to service. 

By following the tips in this guide, you can submit a stellar application that will increase your chances of securing a spot at Howard Medical and embarking upon a prosperous and rewarding career in medicine!

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