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, 2021. The application period will close on February 23, 2022 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 2021-22 admissions cycle (Cohort 6). 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 three recommendation letters. Before submitting recommendations, please refer to the following recommendation guidelines: The first letter must focus on the student's academics and the student's academic habits - must come from a STEM teacher who taught the student in a high school or college course. The second letter must focus on character with examples to demonstrate the student's character - can be a teacher, coach, club advisor, guidance counselor, school administrator. The third letter must focus on resilience/fortitude with examples to demonstrate the student's resilience and fortitude - can be a teacher, coach, school administrator, guidance counselor, pastor, community leader; it must be someone that knows the student well (no relatives or someone who is just a family friend). Have each recommender save your letter as "LastName_FirstName_RecSTEM" or "LastName_FirstName_RecCharacter" or "LastName_FirstName_RecResilience". 

  • You must have your letters submitted through the Submittable portal. Your recommenders are strongly encouraged to get their letters in by February 23, 2022, but they will be accepted up to a week after (March 2, 2022).

  • 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.  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 3.30 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.

  • 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 2021-22 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 6th 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:

  • Architecture (Consideration for applicants with this major is on a case-by-case basis)
  • Biology
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Nursing & Allied Health (Consideration for applicants with this major is on a case-by-case basis)
  • Physics

Applicants interested in the Karsh STEM Scholars Program should be interested in research, or research and clinical practice.

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 Selection Weekend

After all application packets have been reviewed, the top applicants will be invited to participate in a selection process. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this will be a virtual process for Cohort 6. 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 


The application deadline has been extended until February 23rd 2022!!

*Submit your application BEFORE 11:59pm EST on February 23rd. After 11:59pm on February 23rd, the application will automatically close*

Placement Testing

March 12th & 13th

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

March 18th & 19th

Offer Notifications

April 1st 

Decision Day

May 1st

Summer Bridge Program Move-in*

June 18th *move-in pending COVID-19 updates

Summer Classes Begin

June 27th

Summer Classes End

July 28th

Leave for Germany*

July 30th *Pending COVID-19 updates

Germany Trip Dates

July 30th – August 13th