Maya St. Clair 6 min read 12th Grade, College Application Tips

The Ultimate Guide to Applying to Johns Hopkins

After the American Civil War, the Maryland philanthropist Johns Hopkins left the city of Baltimore a massive endowment to establish medical colleges. The result, Johns Hopkins University, continues to provide stellar research opportunities and educational experience to students from around the country. Homewood, its main undergraduate campus, is located in Charles Village in Baltimore, Maryland, close to the beautiful Inner Harbor.

 

Johns Hopkins is a global-tier university with a strong reputation. It has a huge research endowment (80-85% of students do research work), and boasts small class sizes, with 75% of its classes having fewer than 20 students.

 

If you’re planning to apply to JHU, here’s everything you need to know about the applications process. We’ll also share our expert tips for improving your chances of acceptance!

 

Schools and Majors at Johns Hopkins

 

Undergraduates attend a variety of constituent schools, depending on their majors and concentration. On the main (Homewood) campus, you can find the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering. The Peabody Conservatory and the Carey Business School are located in other areas in Baltimore.

 

Although Johns Hopkins (known as Hopkins or JHU) is perhaps most famous as a pre-med school, with popular majors including Biology, Neuroscience, and Chemistry; other popular majors also include International Studies and Writing Seminars (creative writing). The School of Engineering is home to the prestigious Biomedical Engineering program (BME). Peabody, located on a separate campus, offers world-renowned music programs. 

 

The Peabody Conservatory and Carey Business School have separate applications and application processes from the Homewood campus schools. Visit their websites to learn more about these applications. 

 

Hopkins students often double-major. With no required core curriculum, Hopkins students have the freedom to explore multiple disciplines (students still need to fill certain “distributions” in areas like the humanities, maths, etc). One student writes, “One of the greatest perks of being a Hopkins student is the flexibility the school gives its students when it comes to their majors and minors. ….I am thankful that I was able to smoothly transition from one major to another with the help of my academic advisers at Hopkins and the overall Hopkins community.” There are various double-major and double-degree programs, such as the Peabody Dual Degree (although it’s legendarily difficult and requires admissions to both Arts & Sciences and Peabody).

 

Hopkins also offers two direct matriculation programs that admit students into a combined bachelor’s/master’s degree program. 

 

  • Students displaying a strong interest in public health may apply for a Master’s in Global Health, and have the opportunity to complete one or two additional years (depending on the specific degree) at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. 
  • Students who are interested in international studies may apply for a Master’s in International Studies and will complete either four undergraduate years at Homewood and an additional two years at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C., or complete their undergraduate programs in three years and complete two additional years at SAIS. 
  • Applications to these dual-degree programs are filled out in the regular app portals, Common App and UCA.

 

Average Statistics of Accepted JHU Students

 

Hopkins is a highly selective school, with an acceptance rate of 11.5% for the class of 2024. Of 29,776 applicants, only 3,417 were accepted last year.

 

Let’s break that down into Early Decision and Regular Decision:

 

  • Early Decision: 29%
  • Regular Decision: 7%

 

So your chances of being admitted to JHU fall by 75% after November 1st. We recommend applying ED at Johns Hopkins to maximize your chances.

 

Percentage of deferred Early Action applicants admitted (during the Regular Decision rounds): unknown, but presumed infrequent

 

Percentage of waitlisted students admitted (following the Regular Decision period): 11%

 

Interestingly, JH admits more female applicants than male applicants (53% to 47%), so keep this in mind. In terms of diversity, Johns Hopkins isn’t very strong: it admits larger numbers of white (43%) and Asian (14%) students compared to other ethnic groups, such as Black (3.5%), Hispanic (8.2%), and Indigenous (0.2%) students.

 

Test Scores, GPA, and Rank 

 

This year (applications for Fall 2021), John Hopkins is test-optional, with the understanding that many students may not be able to take the SAT or ACT. 

 

In regular years, the average test scores for admitted JHU applicants follow this pattern (statistics from our breakdown page):

 

SAT Middle 50%: 1450-1560

 

ACT Middle 50%: 33-35

 

High School GPA

  • Average 3.92/4.0
  • 98% of applicants in the top 10% of graduating high school class

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Johns Hopkins Application Process

 

Application Overview

 

Hopkins accepts the Common Application, the Universal College Application, and the Coalition Application. You must complete the Johns Hopkins supplement along with whichever application you choose to submit.

 

Note that the Peabody Conservatory and the Carey Business School require separate applicants on their websites. 

 

Some tips for your application:

 

  • If you are applying for the BME program, you must indicate it as your first choice. 

 

  • You will also indicate if you are applying to either of the Direct Matriculation programs or the Double Degree program with Peabody. Note that these programs require additional application materials available via the admissions website.

 

  • You also have the opportunity to indicate if you are applying for a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, a research scholarship that provides $10,000 to selected students to design and research their own course of study over four years.

 

Finally, we recommend signing up for the Hopkins Admissions mailing list to get updates and tips on 2020-2021 applications. Other resources include the Hopkins Insider and Hopkin’s option to email a current student.

 

Early Decision and Regular Decision Deadlines

 

Early Decision

 

The Early Decision application deadline is November 2nd, and applicants will be notified of admissions decisions in December. This plan is blinding, meaning students who are admitted must withdraw their applications from other schools and attend Hopkins. 

 

If admitted, ED applicants also need to submit a mid-year grade report by February 15th.

 

Financial aid forms are due November 15th for Early Decision. The admissions website offers more information on applying for financial aid.

 

Students who apply to the BME program and are offered admission to Hopkins, but not to the BME program, may be released from their Early Decision contracts. These students have until January 15th to decide to commit to Hopkins or to withdraw their applications. 

 

Applicants who are not admitted in the Early Decision phase may be deferred, meaning the admissions committee will re-review their applications with the Regular Decision candidates. 

 

Regular Decision

 

The Regular Decision application deadline is January 4th, and applicants will receive admissions decisions by April. Applicants should also submit a mid-year grade report by February 15th. If admitted, Regular Decision students must secure their spots with a deposit by May 2nd. Financial aid forms are due February 1st for Regular Decision. 

 

Application Components

 

REQUIRED

 

  • Common App, UCA, or Coalition App
  • Johns Hopkins Supplement to App
  • Two teacher recommendation letters
  • One guidance counselor recommendation letter
  • Application fee or fee waiver

 

 

OPTIONAL

 

  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Hopkins recommends that you submit scores from two SAT subject tests to demonstrate aptitude in specific subjects, but these are not required. You are also required to send two teacher recommendations and one guidance counselor recommendation. 
  • You have the option of participating in a Zoom interview or an off-campus alumni interview in your region. We recommend you contact Hopkins to set this up safely. 
  • Supplementary materials (art, links to website, video) if they genuinely contribute to your application.

 

Writing Supplement

 

This year, Johns Hopkins has one question in its writing supplement. 

 

Founded in the spirit of exploration and discovery, Johns Hopkins University encourages students to share their perspectives, develop their interests, and pursue new experiences.

 

Use this space to share something you’d like the admissions committee to know about you (your interests, your background, your identity, or your community), and how it has shaped what you want to get out of your college experience at Hopkins. (300-400 words)

 

This prompt asks you 1) identify an aspect of your own personality, 2) demonstrate that you share the Hopkins values, and 3) match your interests with specific programs at Hopkins. For inspiration, check out our breakdown of the John Hopkins supplement, article on the “Why This College” essay, and look at Hopkins’ compilation of Essays That Work.

 

You should be sure to explicate specific interests and experiences and explain how Hopkins will help you pursue and build upon them. Mention specific programs, teachers, or activities available at Hopkins. This will require some extensive research, and we recommend spending about 45-60 minutes looking up specific things to mention.

 

JHU Financial Aid

 

This year (2020-2021), tuition costs for Hopkins have been decreased by 10% to reflect remote learning conditions. Also, keep in mind that these are sticker-price costs before financial aid. 

 

  • Tuition: $54,160 ($50,950 for Peabody Conservatory). This is normally about $60,000.
  • Campus Housing: $16,800
  • Off-Campus Housing: $12,820
  • Other fees and expenses: ~$400

 

You can use the Net Price Calculator available on JHU’s admissions site to estimate your individual costs. It’s worth noting that JHU is need-blind and promises to meet 100% of demonstrated need, so it’s one of the more generous schools out there. The school states that 88% of families earning under $200k receive some form of financial aid.

 

Hopkins offers merit scholarships to some students, as well as financial aid. 

 

 

Financial aid forms are due November 15th for Early Decision and January 15th for Regular Decision. The admissions website offers more information on applying for financial aid.

 

What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?

 

If you’re curious about your chances of acceptance to Johns Hopkins, our free chancing engine predicts your odds of acceptance by analyzing your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data. We’ll let you know how you stack up against other applicants, and how you can improve your profile at over 500 U.S. colleges. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

 

If you want to learn more about JHU, our Johns Hopkins school profile page has more info, including how long your application should take, and your estimated costs based on family income.

Best of luck with your application!

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Maya St. Clair
Writer at CollegeVine
Short bio
Maya St. Clair is a freelance writer and Renaissance historian from Illinois. She loves "writing about writing" and helping others achieve the best results with their own prose. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis.