Applicant Roadmap

Apply to Become a Karsh STEM Scholar

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How to Apply

  • You must first complete an application for admission to Howard University using the Common Application.

  • In addition, you must complete the Karsh STEM Scholars Program (KSSP) Application. The Application can be found here. Application period opens November 1, 2023. The application period will close on January 30th, 2024 at 11:59pm EST. In order to view/complete the application, you must sign up for a Submittable account.

  • You must also complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • You will also need to submit, as an uploaded attachment to the application, a copy of your high school transcript. SAT and/or ACT test scores are optional when applying for the 2023-24 admissions cycle (Cohort 8). Students who were able to take the SAT/ACT and would like to submit their scores may choose to do so.

  • You will also need one recommendation letter from a STEM educator. Before submitting the recommendation, please refer to the following guidelines:

    • The STEM recommendation letter must come from a STEM teacher who has taught the student in a high school or college course. This letter must focus on the student's academic performance and academic habits, while also addressing the student's character, resilience, and fortitude with illustrative examples.

    • The recommender should save their recommendation letter as "StudentLastName_StudentFirstName_RecSTEM". 

  • You must have your letter submitted through the Submittable portal. Recommenders are strongly encouraged to get their letters in by January 30.

  • You must complete and submit your scholarship essays. Guidelines for the essays are found in the application. 

  • There are several ways to gain consideration for the Karsh STEM Scholars Program. Students who are aware of the program (from social media, college counselors, high school teachers, family, etc.) can apply online, or, applicants who apply for Early Action and who meet the KSSP criteria will be invited to apply.  While all applicants are encouraged to take advantage of the Early Action deadline of November 1, no matter how they apply, all prospects are given equal consideration if they meet the minimum criteria and present a complete application before the January deadline. 

Eligibility Criteria

  • An overall high school GPA of 3.30 or higher, with at least “B” grades in high school STEM-related courses.

  • Committed to pursuing a PhD in a STEM discipline or a combined MD/PhD; participants cannot choose to pursue an MD alone.

  • Documented previous community service experience.

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

  • Be a high school student in the graduating class of 2024

  • Additional consideration given to applicants with documented leadership experience.

  • Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Howard University has made the submission of SAT/ACT test scores optional for the 2023-24 admissions cycle. This means SAT/ACT test scores will not be required to complete your application for admission, nor will SAT/ACT test scores be required for application/consideration for the Karsh STEM Scholars Program’s 8th cohort. Students who were able to take the SAT/ACT and would like to submit their scores may choose to do so.

STEM Majors

Applicants applying to Karsh STEM Scholars Program are permitted to major in the following STEM disciplines at Howard University:

  • Biology
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics

Applicants interested in the Karsh STEM Scholars Program should be interested in research, or research and clinical practice. Applicants are encouraged to research the combined MD/PhD and the PhD as it applies to their STEM interest and seek counsel with trusted members of their community before completing the application.

Applicants for the Karsh STEM Scholars Program (KSSP) cannot apply to Howard University's Humanities & Social Sciences Scholars Program (H3SP). You may ONLY apply to ONE of the two programs (either KSSP or H3SP).

The BS/MD Program at Howard is an excellent program, but it is separate from the Karsh STEM Scholars Program. Those interested in the BS/MD Program are typically interested in medical/clinical practice. For more information on the BS/MD program at Howard please visit: Dual Degree Programs

Karsh STEM Scholar T.R.A.C.K.S. (Talent Recruitment and Choosing Karsh STEM Scholars) Weekend

After all application packets have been reviewed, the top applicants will be invited to participate in a selection process. We expect that the T.R.A.C.K.S. Weekend Program will be in person and will include among other activities, a panel interview and a Q & A session with current scholars.
After T.R.A.C.K.S. Weekend has concluded, information gleaned from the T.R.A.C.K.S. Weekend experience will be assessed. Offers will be made to selected finalists to build a cohort of approximately 30 students at minimum. Responses to offers must be received by May 1st. To matriculate in the Fall as a Karsh STEM Scholar, students must participate in and successfully complete the Summer Bridge Program. 

Recruitment Calendar


Application opens November 1st, 2023

Application closes January 30, 2024 at 11:59 pm ET

Virtual/Online Placement Testing

March 1, 2, or 3, 2024

T.R.A.C.K.S. (Talent Recruitment and Choosing Karsh Scholars) Weekend

March 15 & 16, 2024

Offer Notifications

April 1, 2024

Decision Day

May 1, 2024

Summer Bridge Program Move-in*

June 15, 2024

Summer Classes Begin

June 24, 2024

Summer Classes End

July 26, 2024

Leave for Educational Experience Abroad

July 27, 2024

International Experience

July 28 – August 11, 2024