Howard University: Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

Howard University

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Howard University is a private, federally-chartered university with an acceptance rate of 36%. Located in Washington D.C., Howard University's rich history began shortly after the Civil War when the First Congregational Society of Washington established a university for the education of African Americans. To this day, Howard remains a national leader in fulfilling that mission. The 256-acre main campus has an impressive 8-to-1 student/faculty ratio, and its strengths in the liberal arts earned it a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. In athletics, the Howard Bison compete in the NCAA Division I Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) with other historically black colleges. Popular sports include basketball, football, soccer, tennis, track and field, and cross country.

Considering applying to Howard University? Here are the admissions statistics you should know, including average SAT/ACT scores and GPAs of admitted students.

Acceptance Rate

During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, Howard University had an acceptance rate of 36%. This means that for every 100 students who applied, 36 were admitted, making Howard's admissions process competitive.

Admitted Students (2018-19)
Number of Applicants 21,009
Percent Admitted 36%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled (Yield) 25%

SAT Scores and Requirements

Howard University requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 75% of admitted students submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 590 650
Math 550 635
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

This admissions data tells us that most of Howard's admitted students fall within the top 35% nationally on the SAT. For the evidence-based reading and writing section, 50% of students admitted to Howard University scored between 590 and 650, while 25% scored below 590 and 25% scored above 650. On the math section, 50% of admitted students scored between 550 and 635, while 25% scored below 550 and 25% scored above 635. Applicants with a composite SAT score of 1285 or higher will have particularly competitive chances at Howard University.


Howard University does not require the SAT writing section. Note that Howard participates in the scorechoice program, which means that the admissions office will consider your highest score from each individual section across all SAT test dates.

ACT Scores and Requirements

Howard University requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 42% of applicants submitted ACT scores.

ACT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 22 28
Math 20 26
Composite 22 27

This admissions data tells us that most of Howard University's admitted students fall within the top 37% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of students admitted to Howard received a composite ACT score between 22 and 27, while 25% scored above 27 and 25% scored below 22.


Note that Howard University does not supescore ACT results, your highest composite ACT score will be considered. Howard does no require the ACT writing section.


In 2019, the average high school GPA for incoming Howard University's freshmen class was 3.6. This data suggests that most successful applicants to Howard University have primarily A and high B grades.

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

Howard University Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph.
Howard University Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph. Data courtesy of Cappex.

The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to Howard University. GPAs are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and calculate your chances of getting in with a free Cappex account.

Admissions Chances

One of the country's top HBCU's, Howard University has a competitive admissions pool with a low acceptance rate and high average SAT/ACT scores. However, Howard University, like nearly all selective colleges and universities, has a holistic admissions process involving other factors beyond your grades and test scores. A strong application essay, optional resume, and glowing letters of recommendation can strengthen your application, as can participation in meaningful extracurricular activities and a rigorous course schedule. Howard wants to see applicants complete a core curriculum that includes four years of English, three years of math, and two years of social science, science (including lab), and foreign language. Applicants to the Division of Fine Arts have additional admission requirements including auditions and portfolios. Students with particularly compelling stories or achievements can still receive serious consideration even if their test scores are outside of Howard University's average range.

In the graph above, the blue and green dots represent accepted students. Most admitted students had a high school GPA of "B-" or higher, an SAT score of 1000 or higher (ERW+M), and an ACT composite score of 20 or higher. Many applicants had scores and test scores well above this lower range.

Note that there are a few red dots (rejected students) and yellow dots (waitlisted students) hidden behind the green and blue in the center of the graph. Howard is selective, and some students with grades and test scores that were on target for admission did not get in. Note also that a few students were accepted with test scores and grades a bit below the norm.