Chair Statement

Welcome to the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Howard University!

Department Chair, Dr. Quinton Williams

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Howard University. The department offers B.S. and Ph.D. degrees, with specializations in Condensed Matter Physics, Atmospheric Physics, Laser Spectroscopy & Optics, and Elementary Particle and High Energy Physics. Additionally, the M.S. degree in Medical Physics was established in 2021.


The Department of Physics & Astronomy is the oldest Historically Black College & University (HBCU) Physics program in the United States to offer a B.S. (degree conferred in 1920), M.S. (program initiated in1934) and Ph.D. (program started in 1958) degree in Physics.

Central Role

The department plays a central role in producing physics majors and in supporting many other majors at Howard University (i.e. biology, chemistry,engineering, pre-pharmacy and allied health) through an extensive array of service courses. In addition, our General Astronomy course offering is invariably over-subscribed as it attracts students from many Colleges at Howard University.

Research Funding

Over the past two decades, the department has received research grants totaling more than $40 million dollars, which have supported several research programs and Centers of Excellence with significant funding from NASA, NOAA and the Department of Energy. The department has a cadre of accomplished and distinguished faculty who are committed to providing excellent mentoring and training to both undergraduate physics majors and graduate students. This provides the opportunity for students to either pursue advanced studies or be gainfully employed in the private and public sectors.


Excellence in Truth & Service,

Dr. Quinton L. Williams
Department Chair & Professor of Physics