Graduate Program




General requirements

Required documents

Financial support for graduate students

Graduate Bulletin (pdf file)

Our graduate students

Contact us


The History Department's graduate program reflects the department's concurrent commitment to (1) an accurate reconstruction and interpretation of the collective experiences of the world's people and (2) a special emphasis on African America, Africa, and the African Diaspora. These concordant concerns are in keeping with Howard University's unique character and role as a major American university with a predominantly Black constituency.

The program is designed to allow for both diversity and specialization and is sufficiently flexible to permit the student to have a significant role in fashioning his/her specific degree requirements. While students may major or minor in African, Latin American/Caribbean, and United States history, they may minor in European, and they may choose one of their minors from another discipline. They may also create a program, which is a combination of courses and research projects that will enable them to specialize in African American, African Diaspora, Public, comparative, and women's history. The excellent research and educational facilities in the Washington, D. C. area –including the Library of Congress, the National Archives and the Smithsonian Institution – provide an added dimension to the program's value and make its high objectives more readily attainable.


The Department of History offers a graduate program leading to the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy, with specialization in the history of the United States, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Several combinations of course clusters within the designated fields of specialization may be used to concentrate on certain areas of interest, such as Afro-American, Comparative or Public history. The student is also given the opportunity to sample courses in other departments and schools of the University, while the Consortium allows the student to benefit from courses offered at other universities in the Washington area.*

* The Consortium of Universities includes: American University, Catholic University of America, Gallaudet University, George Mason University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, University of District of Columbia, University of Maryland, Marymount University, Mount Vernon College and Trinity College.


All applicants must complete application forms and submit to the Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions copies of their transcripts with three letters of recommendation, Graduate Record Examinations scores, and a statement of purpose indicating their reasons for desiring to pursue graduate study at Howard University. The graduate faculty of the Department is charged with reviewing applications and deciding on admissions.

Applicants who have earned a bachelor's degree or its equivalent will be considered for admission to the Master of Arts program if they have completed their major with a grade of B or better and have a cumulative average of 3.0 or better. Non-history undergraduate majors are advised that they will be competing on an equal basis with students who have had preparation in the discipline of history and that it may be necessary for them to make up deficiencies.

General requirements

As prescribed by the Graduate School, 30 hours of graduate credit are required for the Master's degree. Additional credit hours for a total of 72 are required for the doctorate. Various factors may make it necessary for the candidate to go beyond the minimum credit requirements. All courses numbered above 200 yield graduate credit. Courses numbered 170 to 199 also yield graduate credit, but only a maximum of 9 hours earned in courses below 200 will be counted toward the degree. Credit hours earned more than five years prior to the term in which the student presents himself for the final oral examination will not be accepted in fulfillment of degree requirements. This time limit may be waived upon the written recommendation of the Chairman of the Department, based upon special examination of the candidate. Students are expected to complete the requirements in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Graduate School and the Department of History (i.e., for the Master's degree within two to three years and the Ph.D. degree within five to seven years from the date of initial registration in the respective program). Those who have not graduated within the time frame established will be discontinued and no longer eligible for degrees in the Department of History at Howard University. In order to become degree candidates, students must first demonstrate proficiency in the English language by passing an Expository Writing Examination course. The importance of this requirement can not be over-emphasized. It is recommended that the course or the examination be taken as soon as possible after the student enters the graduate program. Information concerning this requirement may be obtained with the Director of Graduate Studies in the History Department or via the Graduate School website

Financial support for graduate students

The Frederick Douglass Doctoral Scholars Fellowship is awarded to new Ph.D. students who are also new to the Graduate School. It is designed to recruit academically talented students with an interest in college or university teaching to pursue Ph.D. studies from all disciplines to Howard University. The award includes tuition and an $18,000 stipend per year of eligibility. The award is offered for up to five years to new students matriculating from a baccalaureate degree and up to three if enrolling from a master’s program. All applicants must obtain a letter of recommendation from the academic chair of the department to which they are applying. Domestic and International Students are eligible. Deadline is early January. For more information click here

The Department of history offers financial support to its graduate students on a merit basis. The awards allow graduate students to present papers in national and international conferences, to conduct research during the summer. Some support is also offered at critical stages of dissertation writing. In addition, some positions of teaching associates can be offered each semester. To know more details about these awards, eligibility criteria and deadlines, click here (pdf file). To download the application form, click here (pdf file)

Students should consult the Director of Student Relations and Enrollment Management in the Graduate School for current information concerning other sources and types of financial assistance. Some awards are open for application only upon admission for students entering the Graduate School for the first time.

To know more about funding opportunities, visit:

Graduate School website

Funding opportunities for the graduate students of the Department of History

Required documents

Check list

___ Application form pdf file or online application

___ The non-refundable $45 application fee

___ a statement of academic and research interest reflecting the applicant's reasons for pursing an advanced degree in History and designate a specific area of concentration.

___ Sealed transcripts from undergraduate and/or graduate institutions.(NB: Minimum 3.0 GPA overall from undergraduate or graduate programs) (sent directly to the address below)

___ GRE scores (in sealed envelope sent directly to the address below)

___ Three letters of recommendation from faculty members who have taught the student, preferably in History or related Social Sciences courses (in sealed envelopes sent directly from the referee to the address below)

___ Writing sample (i.e., revised seminar paper, senior thesis or master thesis)

___ Autobiographical Sketch (Personal biography)

___ Resume

For more details see also documents required by the Graduate School.

The Graduate programs of the Department of History accept admissions only for the Fall semester of each year.

The deadline to apply for admission is January 15.


For further information or specific requirements for international students see instructions on the Graduate School website.

Contact us

© COAS Howard University. All rights reserved. | 2441 Sixth Street NW, Washington, DC 20059 | (202) 806-6815 | Contact Us | WWW Disclaimer
Howard University College of Arts and Sciences Department of History