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, 2020.

  • 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 2020-21 admissions cycle (Cohort 5)

  • You will also need two recommendations: at least one from a STEM teacher and one from another teacher/research mentor/guidance counselor/administrator who is familiar with your work, and your scholarship essays. These recommendations may not be the same that are submitted for admission to the university. The email address for submitting recommendations is: Students are also encouraged to email the KSSP team to follow-up after recommendations have been requested from school faculty.

  • There are several ways to gain consideration for the Karsh STEM Scholars Program.  Prospects can be nominated by their high school principal, guidance/career counselor, or STEM teacher, they can apply on their own, 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 packet. 

Eligibility Criteria

  • An overall high school GPA of 3.0 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.

  • Additional consideration given to applicants with documented leadership experience.

  • Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Howard University has made the submission of SAT/ACT test scores optional for the 2020-21 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 5th cohort.

Karsh STEM Scholar Selection Weekend

After all application packets have been reviewed, the top applicants will be invited to participate in a selection process. This is likely to be a virtual process. However, pending 2021 updates, this may be an overnight in-person experience and, if so, finalists and their parents will be responsible for travel expenses. Those with demonstrated financial need should contact the KSSP Office in advance. The Selection Weekend Program will include among other activities, a panel interview.
After Selection Weekend has concluded, information gleaned from the Selection 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


Last day to receive: October 30th 


November 1st  – January 30th

Selection Weekend

March 19th  – March 20th

Offer Notifications

April 1st 

Decision Day

May 1st

Summer Bridge Program Move-in*

June 12th *move-in pending COVID-19 updates

Summer Classes Begin

June 21st

Summer Classes End

July 22nd

Leave for Germany*

July 24th *Pending COVID-19 updates

Germany Trip Dates

July 24th – August 7th