Program Overview

Welcome to the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC.

Manaye K

Our primary objectives are to provide:

  • Resources, unparalleled support, and opportunities that foster excellence in research among faculty, fellows, and students.

  • A superior educational environment and medically relevant interactive sessions to medical, dental, graduate and allied health students.

  • Exemplary service to the medical school, university, and community at large.

  • The primary mission of the department’s educational program is to provide a holistic biomedical training that imparts knowledge of basic and complex physiological concepts that can then be applied to the practice of medicine and/or the conduct of biomedical research.

Our faculty are actively involved in the most cutting edge, innovative and novel approaches to the conduct of research. Areas of scholarly activity in our department include:

  • Neuroscience
  • Cardiovascular physiology
  • Renal physiology
  • Respiratory physiology
  • Endocrine physiology
  • Metabolic disorders.

We are honored to have faculty who are recognized researchers and scholars in their fields; talented and stimulating teachers; and committed to effective intro-and interdepartmental collaboration.

We offer graduate student training for Ph.D. and MD/Ph.D. degrees. We actively participate in mentoring undergraduate students in preparation for future biomedical and preclinical studies. Many of our graduates have acquired a high level of success holding academic appointments at prestigious medical centers and private organizations.

We are happy that you have taken time to visit our website and hope you will explore more about our educational activities and research.


Graduate Program Description

Graduate training in the department embraces the modern view of physiology as an integrative science, utilizing information obtained from several different levels to gain a better understanding of organ system functions.

The Department of Physiology and Biophysics offers a program that leads to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). A Combined Degree Program (M.D./Ph.D.) is also available for those who are accepted into the Howard University College of Medicine. The mission of the Physiology and Biophysics department is to train highly qualified students to become the next generation of our nations research scientists, biomedical leaders, and physiologist. Graduates of our program have been appointed top positions at respective academic institutions. The training received by our students also prepares graduates for positions in industry and government.

The programs consist of academic course work, research, and select teaching experiences.  Students may also take advanced courses to supplement their training thus strengthening their knowledge in specific subject areas. Our dedicated faculty and department work closely with our students to carefully craft a training plan that leads to a holistic and impactful training experience.  Graduate training in the department embraces the modern view of physiology as an integrative science, utilizing information obtained from several different levels to gain a better understanding of organ system functions.

The specific research interests of most of the faculty can be grouped under six principal themes: neuroscience, cardiovascular physiology, renal physiology, respiratory physiology, endocrine physiology and metabolic disorders. The diverse expertise of our faculty ensures that students will have ample exposures to a wide range of disciplines during their pre-doctoral training.

All doctoral (Ph.D.) applicants must submit their applications to the Howard University Graduate School for consideration. Please follow the Graduate Application Link to begin the process. Once a student is accepted into the program, they are required to attend an orientation session that provides information about the curriculum and training experience.

Thank you for visiting our website to learn about the Department of Physiology and Biophysics Graduate program.  If there are additional questions about the program, please do not hesitate to e-mail Dr. Joanne Allard, PhD  (, Director of Graduate Studies.


Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree or the equivalent A minimum of two semesters of college level Organic Chemistry credit with a grade of B or above (U.S. grading system or equivalent) A minimum of one college level Animal Science course, beyond General Biology, with a grade of B or above A minimum of two semesters of college level Math/Statistics beyond college level Algebra One college level Biochemistry course is preferable.

The listed requirements or their equivalents are designed to give the student the proper foundation for advanced study in physiology. Students lacking one or more of these requirements may be given provisional admission and allowed to fulfill those prerequisites during the first year of graduate study.

Physiology and Biophysics Graduates 2014-2020

Where are they now?