Degree Programs

The Department of Pharmacology offers programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The primary objective of these programs is to prepare candidates for research and accademic careers.

The first few semesters are devoted primarily to core course work designed to give the student a broad background in the fundamental theories and techniques of pharmacology. During this time, the student gains exposure to methods for the solution of research problems by rotating the laboratories of various faculty members culminating in a selection of a thesis advisor.

Candidacy for the Ph.D. requires, in part, demonstrated proficiency in expository writing, the satisfactory completion of course work and preliminary written and oral examinations. Emphasis is placed on giving candidates rigorous standards of scholarship and critical attitudes toward the solution of research problems.

A broad range of research interests exists within the department. An active seminar program conducted by visiting scientists gives students and faculty opportunities to broaden their outlook on current scientific problems.

Candidates for the M.S. degree must obtain 30 semester hours of credit with a grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better, must demonstrate proficiency in expository writing, complete and defend a thesis. Candidates for the Ph.D. degree must obtain the equivalent of 45 semester hours of credit beyond the M.S. degree with a grade point average of 3.0 or better, pass qualifying examinations, and complete and defend a dissertation. The dissertation must advance knowledge in its research area and must be of publishable quality.

Research Facilities

The department has spacious laboratories equipped with modern instruments that are used by both faculty and students in such research areas as biochemical, molecular, cardiovascular, autonomic, clinical, and neuropharmacology, drug metabolism, cancer research and toxicology

Financial Aid

The department has a limited number of teaching assistantships and fellowships. These are awarded to the best-qualified applicants.


The Department of Pharmacology, located in the College of Medicine, is in the middle of our nation's capital, Washington, DC. Many government facilities, such as Walter Reed Army Hospital, the National Institutes of Health, the Library of Congress, and the National Library of Medicine, are within a few minutes drive. The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Folger Library with its Shakespeare collection, and the many museums, art galleries, and exhibitions give the District of Columbia a distinct cultural advantage over other cities.


Since assistantships and fellowships are limited, all applications and other necessary documents should be submitted before March 1. Students must present at least a 3.3 cumulative average and should have taken the GRE in order to be considered for financial aid. The general requirement for admission to the graduate program is a Bachelor of Science (or Arts) degree, preferably in Chemistry, Biology, Pharmacy or Psychology. Basic requirements should include undergraduate credits in: Biology: Zoology, Physiology, Anatomy (1 year); General inorganic chemistry (1 year); Organic chemistry (1 year) Physics: Mechanics, heat, electricity and magnetism (1 year).

For additional information:

Director of the Graduate Program
Department of Pharmacology
Howard University College of Medicine
Washington, DC 20059
Telephone: (202) 806-6311
FAX (202) 806-4453

For application forms:  Apply yourself