In 1916, she entered Howard University. In 1921, she took her first science course, under Ernest Everett Just, Black biologist and head of the Zoology department at Howard. Although her grades were poor, Professor Just started mentoring Young until she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1923.
In June 1937, Young went to the University of Pennsylvania to begin a doctorate under L. V. Heilbrunn, earning her PhD in 1940. Young was the first Black woman to receive a doctorate in Zoology.
Zoology is the biological discipline which involves the study of animals.