These are exciting times for researchers and students in the biomedical and life sciences. Members of our Graduate Program contribute to this excitement through cutting-edge research in a wide range of disciplines of the Anatomical Sciences.

Our use of new experimental technology and modern scientific approaches allows us to make Howard University a leading research institution located in the nation’s capital. The major focus of our research is in Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, Neuroscience, Evolutionary & Organismal Biology.

The Graduate Program in Anatomy is committed to making a significant contribution to science and education. Therefore, our aim is to excel in research and to deliver high quality education to our students. The Department currently admits students into the Ph.D. degree program and trains students of Medicine, Dentistry and undergraduates in the College of Pharmacy, Nursing and the Allied Health Sciences.

Modern Research Opportunities at Howard University and Washington, DC Laboratories

The Graduate Program in Anatomy is housed in the College of Medicine and offers a Ph.D. degree. A combined M.D./Ph.D. Program also is available for students admitted to both the College of Medicine and the Graduate Program in Anatomy. All degree programs are offered as full-time, in-person graduate programs at our Washington, D.C. campus.

The Graduate Program in Anatomy prepares students for careers in research and teaching in the anatomical and life sciences, with emphasis on an integrative understanding of biological systems at levels ranging from the molecular to the organismal. The goal is to generate anatomists who will be competitive in the academic, industrial, and/or government job markets of the coming decades.

In keeping with the diverse nature of current approaches included within the realm of Anatomy, the Graduate Program of Anatomy transcends traditional departmental boundaries. Students in the program complete a series of core Anatomy courses and other requirements, and pursue research in the laboratory of one of the department's Graduate Faculty members. In addition, opportunities are available for collaboration with scientists in other departments at Howard University and at other universities in the local area as well as with scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Naval Medical Center, the Smithsonian Institution, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the United States Department of Agriculture.

The philosophy of the Graduate Program in Anatomy is to provide students with ample opportunities: to explore a broad range of topics within anatomy; to develop creative and critical thinking skills; to acquire technical expertise in the latest anatomical technologies; and to learn to become articulate communicators. Students have the flexibility to design programs that address individual strengths and weaknesses as they take advantage of these opportunities. They participate in teaching, in graduate seminars, and in the departmental colloquium series.

Financial aid, in the form of graduate traineeships and fellowships, is available for many of our students.
The Graduate Program in Anatomy is part of the Howard University Graduate School 's rich tradition of academic excellence.  Washington, DC, one of the world's most powerful and dynamic cities, provides an added dimension to graduate education at Howard University.

Program Concentrations

  1. Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology
  2. Neuroscience
  3. Evolutionary & Organismal Biology
  4. Epigenetics and Aging
  5. Evolutionary Developmental Biology
  6. Paleobiology

Anatomy Information


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Admission Requirements

Admission and residency in the graduate program in Anatomy and Histology are guided by the General Admission Requirement and Rules and Regulations for the Pursuit of Academic Degrees in the Graduate School. Students are strongly encouraged to consult and familiarize themselves with these rules and regulations.

Applications to the Department of Anatomy and Histology are evaluated on the following considerations:

  1. The applicant’s official transcripts.
  2. Applicants with a B.A. or B.Sc. from an accredited university and a minimum average of 3.0 are eligible for admission into the graduate program.
  3. Three letters of recommendation, preferably from members of the academic community familiar with the applicant’s academic performance.
  4. An autobiographical sketch and statement of purpose indicating his/her desire to join the Graduate Program of Anatomy. The Department concentrates in the following three areas (1) Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, (2) Neuroscience (3) Evolutionary & Organismal Biology.
  5. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score.

Categories of Admission

  1. Degree Student-Regular: Student who holds the required University degree(s) and who meets the department’s admission criteria.
  2. Degree Student-Provisional: A student who does not meet the requirements for regular student, but, who, on other grounds, the Committee concludes, is capable of completing a graduate program, may be accepted on a provisional basis. The student shall be limited to take 6 credits. It is recommended that most credits be taken from the core courses of the program. After completing these courses, the Graduate Studies Committee shall review the student’s academic performance. The student will be notified of the final decision within four weeks. If a student is admitted as a regular student, the 6 credit hours will be applied to the student’s course requirements.
Degree Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy 
A minimum of 72 graduate credits (34 graduate credits of coursework) and a minimum of six semesters of study beyond the Bachelor of Science degree are required. Students are also required to complete all the appropriate courses of the core program and to demonstrate proficiency in basic computer literacy (statistics).

Enrolled students are required to take two mandatory Howard University seminars. The first is the English Language Proficiency and Expository Writing Program, which is an examination of writing skills. Students who pass the initial examination are not required to take the seminar. However, students who fail the exam are required to participate in further workshops. Additionally, each student must attend the Responsible Conduct of Research Workshop and submit the Certificate of Attendance in order to complete the graduate program..

Transfer of Credit
The Department of Anatomy may approve transfer of credits for graduate courses earned in other graduate programs, where the grade is B or better. However, it must be the considered judgment of the Department of Anatomy that the work is relevant and meets the objectives of comparable courses. In no case may transfer credit hours exceed the limit specified in Article V., Section 5 (Master’s degree) and Article VI, Section 5 (doctoral degrees) of the Graduate School’s regulations. Such transfer may not be used to satisfy the residency requirement specified in Article V, Section 1A and Article VI, Section 1A and must be approved by the Graduate School.

Caution to Prospective Students

The Board of Trustees of Howard University on September 24, 1983, adopted the following policy statement regarding applications for admission: "Applicants seeking admission to Howard University are required to submit accurate and complete credentials and accurate and complete information requested by the University. Applicants who fail to do so shall be denied admission. Enrolled students who as applicants failed to submit accurate and complete credentials or accurate and complete information on their application for admission shall be subject to dismissal when the same is made known, regardless of classification."

All credentials must be sent to:

Howard University Graduate School 
Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions
2400 Sixth Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20059

Related Resources

Byron Ford

Chair for the Department of Anatomy


Dr. Sulman Rahmat

Assistant Professor, Director for the Graduate Program in Anatomy


Dr. Janine Ziermann

Assistant Professor, Graduate Director for the Graduate Program in Anatomy


Lynette Thompson

Administrative Coordinator