Humanities & Social Sciences Scholars Program


About the Program

The Humanities & Social Sciences Scholars program partners with brings together scholars from Howard University's College of Arts and Sciences, the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts, the Cathy Hughes School of Communications, and the School of Business in order to support them holistically and aid them in the study of their humanities and social science disciplines at Howard.


The Humanities & Social Sciences Scholars Program will initiate a formalized undergraduate-to-graduate school pipeline that focuses on the identification of intellectually curious and academically well-prepared students who are committed to pursuing a PhD in a humanities or social science discipline.

The Complete Package

Tuition Scholarship (either 75% or 100%)
Room + Board
Books + Supplies Stipend
Mandatory Summer Bridge Program (incoming freshmen)
Internships (required during summers)
Study Abroad
In-program Advising
Large & Small Study Groups
Cultural Activities

Addressing the Need for Underrepresented Humanities & Social Sciences Scholars

There's a crisis in the humanities and social sciences with regard to the underrepresentation of African Americans and other minorities.  The need for more Underrepresented Minorities (URMs) to earn PhDs to possibly join the professoriate, conduct needed research, participate in policy development and/or become leaders in related governmental and private organizations is critical. HBCUs are the only large class of schools where undergraduate humanities enrollment has held steady since 2008, as well as the only institutional class where a majority of students continue to report that "developing a meaningful philosophy of life" should be a major priority for college education. As a premiere HBCU, Howard University is uniquely positioned to tackle the decline in humanities majors and to produce underrepresented professors in the humanities.

How to Apply to the Humanities & Social Sciences Scholars Program (H3SP)


  • You must first complete an application for admission to Howard University using the Common Application.
  • In addition, you must complete the Humanities & Social Sciences Scholars Program application. The application is open to those who will be graduating high school in 2023, this is the incoming Howard class of HU27. The Application can be found here. Application period opens December 12, 2022. The application period will close on February 15, 2023 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 2022-23 admissions cycle (Cohort 1). 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 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 family friends). Have each recommender save your letter as "LastName_FirstName_RecAcademic" or "LastName_FirstName_RecCharacter" or "LastName_FirstName_RecResilience". 
  • You must have your letters submitted through the Submittable portal. Letters are due no later than February 15th,  2023 at 11:59pm ET.
  • You must complete and submit your scholarship essays. Guidelines for the essays are found in the application. 

Eligibility Criteria

  • An overall high school GPA of 3.30 or higher
  • Committed to pursuing a PhD in a humanities or social science discipline
  • 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 ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Howard University has made the submission of SAT/ACT test scores optional for the 2022-23 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 H3SP’s 1st cohort. Students who were able to take the SAT/ACT and would like to submit their scores may choose to do so.

Humanities & Social Sciences Scholars Program's Recruitment Calendar

After all application packets have been reviewed, the top applicants will be invited to participate in a selection process. We expect that the Selection Weekend Program will be in person and will include among other activities, a panel interview and a Q & A session with current scholars. 

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 15 students. Responses to offers must be received by May 1st. To matriculate in the Fall as a H3SP Scholar, students must participate in and successfully complete the Summer Bridge Program. 

Humanities & Social Sciences Scholars Program's Recruitment Calendar
Application Opens December 12, 2022
Application Closes February 15, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET
Selection Weekend March 24 and 25, 2023
Offer Notifications April 10, 2023
Decision Day May 1, 2023
Summer Bridge Program Move-In* June 17, 2023 *move-in pending COVID-19 updates
Summer Classes Begin June 26, 2023
Summer Classes End July 27, 2023
Leave for Educational Experience Abroad* July 29, 2023 *pending COVID-19 updates
International Experience July 29 - August 12, 2023

More Information

Eligible Degree Programs

Applicants must be interested in pursuing a career that corresponds with one or more of the program’s six Academic Pillars, and must commit to majoring in one of the humanities and social science bachelor’s degree programs offered at Howard:

  • Accounting
  • African Studies
  • Afro-American Studies
  • Economics
  • English
  • History
  • Interdisciplinary Humanities: Ancient and Modern Philosophy
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • World Languages and Cultures
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology & Criminology
  • Art
  • Music
  • Theatre Arts
  • Media, Journalism, and Film
  • Strategic, Legal, and Management Communication

The Six Academic Pillars of the Program

Activities will be developed around the program’s six Academic Pillars, which represent broad areas of knowledge in which students will pursue expertise:

  1. Academic exploration: Provides traditional preparation for advanced academic study in the humanities and social sciences with a focus on research, scholarship, and pedagogy.
  2. Public exploration: Prepares scholars for the work of extending engagement beyond the classroom by developing public content and programming for diverse audiences. Public exploration may be conducted at cultural and heritage sites such as museums, archives, and libraries and often involve public-facing professions such as writing/journalism, community relations, and arts administration.
  3. Digital exploration: Prepares scholars to apply digital tools, methods, and resources to inquiry and analysis while simultaneously interrogating and critiquing the human impacts of technology use and digital culture.
  4. Legal exploration: Explores relationships between jurisprudence (legal theory) and law (legal practice) and human experience and interaction. The inquiry recognizes the reflexive interaction between the law and the social world and the influence of the law on foundational social institutions.
  5. Medical and health exploration: Explores experiences of health, disease, and illness in their broader social, cultural, historical, and ethical contexts with the goal of developing insights that inform humane medical and healthcare policy and practice.
  6. Workforce exploration: Explores experiences of workers in a variety of corporate, professional, industrial, and entrepreneurial settings with the goal of using inquiry to gain insight into 21st century labor relations.

Program Model

Recruitment & Selection

Offers will be made to selected finalists to build a cohort of scholars for each academic year.

The selection committee will send offer letters for the program in April, and candidates will be required to confirm participation by May 1. To matriculate in the fall as a H3SP scholar, students must successfully complete the Mandatory Summer Bridge Program.

1. Summer Bridge Program

Incoming Humanities and Social Science Program Scholars will be required to participate in a 6-week Summer Bridge Program, which will begin in late June. As a critical component of the program, the Summer Bridge Program will prepare incoming scholars to pursue study at the university-level and introduce the skills and competencies necessary to pursue advanced inquiry. College Success Seminar will focus on time management, study skills, critical and creative thinking, and effective written and oral communication, and will introduce students to the program’s Academic Pillars. The Summer Bridge Program will also incorporate courses for six academic credits, including instruction in writing and Afro-American Studies. Scholars will be engaged in a full schedule each week, which will include learning in a traditional classroom environment and off-campus enrichment activities. The Summer Bridge Program will increase college-readiness, enhance scholars’ knowledge, develop their career interests before beginning the first formal semester of matriculation at Howard University.

2. Educational Experience Abroad

The Summer Bridge Program will conclude with a 10-day trip to an international location. The Humanities and Social Science Scholars program will determine a location that is ideal for helping students develop a global perspective of humanistic study. Scholars will gain facility in cross-cultural communication and an understanding of the global heritage and worldview.

3. Summer Internships

Scholars will be required to engage in internships every summer after their freshman year. Summer internships will provide Scholars with preparation for their PhD studies and provide experiences that are directly related to or correspond to one of the program's Academic Pillars. With assistance for the program, scholars will be responsible for finding and applying for internships with local, regional, or national organizations.