On November 9th, 1868, Howard University opened their medical school with eight students and five faculty members.
Among the eight students, seven were black and one was white. Out of the five faculty members, just one was black, Dr. Alexander Thomas Augusta — the first black Lieutenant Colonel and first Black surgeon in the U.S. Army.
Classes were conducted in the evenings and a student could earn a degree in medicine or pharmacy. James T. Wormley became the first student to graduate from the school of medicine in 1870.
A high school diploma was not a requirement for admission until 1903. By 1871, the requirements for admission were:
- The applicant must furnish evidence of good moral character.
- He must possess a thorough English education, a knowledge of the elementary treatises of Mathematics, and sufficient acquaintance with the Latin language to understand prescriptions and the medical terms in use.
Today, Howard's medical program is known as the Howard University Health Sciences (HUHS) center and has four colleges: medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, and nursing and allied health sciences.