Graduate Program

Howard University is the country's top-ranked historically black college or university, and is one of the leading comprehensive research oriented, private universities in the nation. The main campus, located in Washington, DC, has a legacy of extraordinary research, faculty, principal investigators, and students.

Howard University maintains a ranking by the Carnegie Institute as a Doctoral/Research-Extensive institution. It has accredited PhD - granting programs in Atmospheric Sciences, Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, and Mechanical Engineering. At the Howard University NASA University Research Center Beltsville Center for Climate System Observation, we emphasize the PhD degree as well as the Master of Science degree in our graduate research programs. Our focus reflects our interrelated goals of enhancing research and scholarship by producing the nation’s next generation of African American scholars and faculty members.

Our mission is to:

  • Focus our research and graduate training in selected, cutting-edge areas of physical sciences, atmospheric sciences, chemical sciences and electrical engineering, while placing renewed emphasis on research;
  • Support a greater degree of interdisciplinary instruction and research, among other things by forming interdisciplinary research centers and institutes;
  • Reaffirm our nationally and internationally recognized leadership role on issues of overarching human importance, particularly those relating to the African Diaspora and other underserved communities.

Dr. Segayle Walford who received conference of the PhD degree from Howard University President Sidney Ribaeu at the Howard University Commencement Ceremony May 2009 is the NASA URC/BCCSO Program’s first PhD. Dr. Walford serves as an example of graduate student experience through the Howard University NASA University Research Center. While at Howard University, she studied the efficacy of assimilating raman lidar derived water vapor fields in mesoscale model forecasts of convective precipitation. Segayle conducted this work as part of a team of NASA, NOAA and Howard experts in mesoscale modeling, boundary layer meteorology, and raman lidar. Dr. Walford is currently continuing related work at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) as a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow.