College Intel

Johns Hopkins University Admissions

A lawn is featured in front of a brick building with white columns at Johns Hopkins University.

Johns Hopkins University has forged a legacy of academic excellence in the fields of medicine, engineering, public health, and international relations. With over $3 billion in annual research and development expenditures, the university has had the highest levels of federal funding for any American university since 1979, as evaluated by the National Science Foundation. Roughly 5,300 undergraduates and 25,000 postgraduates are enrolled primarily at campuses in Baltimore, Maryland, but also at auxiliary campuses in Washington, DC, China, and Italy. Johns Hopkins is widely considered one of the most prestigious universities in the world and a leader in the advancement of global medical, scientific, and geopolitical knowledge.

JHU was an early pioneer of continuing education, and has eight graduate schools to show for it, including what are widely considered to be the world’s best public health, nursing, and biomedical engineering programs. Graduate and undergraduate student research is supported by a library system that has more than 3.6 million volumes, and nearly $100 million in R&D funding from NASA alone. Undergraduate enrollment is split between the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering. There is no core curriculum, so students are encouraged to “explore and combine” academic interests when choosing between 52 available majors and 50 minors.

In addition to the mysterious presence of several secret societies on campus, JHU student life is full of opportunities to grow pre-professionally and socially through a strong Greek Life scene that draws participation from one in every four students, some of the oldest student-run publications in the United States, a variety of professional and honors societies, and several student-run businesses that are supported by a prevailing culture of entrepreneurship on campus. JHU’s athletic teams are called Blue Jays, and the most famous of these is the men’s lacrosse team, who have won a record-breaking 44 national titles. Their famous winning streak was adapted into the 1992 film The Hopkins Lacrosse Story.

JHU was established in 1876 from a donation by a deceased benefactor named Johns Hopkins (imagine that!), a Quaker entrepreneur. The university was modeled after the German-Humboldtian higher education structure which emphasized research and scientific discovery, and was therefore the first modern research university in the United States. Daniel Coit Gilman was appointed as the university’s first president, and while his faith in the importance of faculty research in addition to teaching was initially controversial, he forged ahead with the model that would become the blueprint for most elite universities in the 20th century. In 1878, the Johns Hopkins University Press, the oldest continuously operating university press in America, was founded with this vision in mind.

The 20th century saw a continuation of this vision with the establishment of a variety of graduate schools, including the nation’s oldest public health school (1916). This legacy has continued to this day, and it should come as no surprise that JHU was one of the first organizations to compile and disseminate COVID-19 information at the beginning of the pandemic. Today, the Coronavirus Research Center is one of the world’s leading authorities on the disease.

In order to join the ranks of alumni such as billionaire politician Michael Bloomberg and President Woodrow Wilson, to be taught by the many Nobel-Prize winning faculty, or to catch a glimpse of Real Housewives of Potomac cast member and Assistant Professor of Education Wendy Osefo, students must make it through a highly competitive admissions process. For admission to the Class of 2027, JHU received roughly 38,000 applications, but admitted only 2,411, for an acceptance rate of 6.5%. Under the “What We Consider” section of the Admissions website, they list “Academic Character,” “Impact & Initiative,” and “Overall Match” as the crucial aspects of a strong application. Strong grades, extracurricular involvement, and compelling writing must be demonstrated on the application to stand a chance — but fear not! Ivy Coach will help you make sure that these components are powerfully communicated.


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