How to Get Into Johns Hopkins: Admissions Stats + Tips
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- How Hard is it to Get Into Hopkins?
- Academic Profile of Accepted JHU Students
- What is Hopkins Looking for?
- How to Improve Your Chances
- How to Apply to JHU
Founded in 1876, Johns Hopkins University is a renowned institution that prides itself on being the first research university in the United States. Today, it remains a leader in research and education. Admission is extremely competitive — thousands of students apply each year, and only a small fraction are accepted.
What does it really take to get into Hopkins? Let’s take a look.
How Hard Is It to Get Into Hopkins?
While final data for the class of 2025 is not yet available, The Johns Hopkins News-Letter reported that 1,652 students were admitted Regular Decision from a pool of 33,236 applicants. That indicates an RD acceptance rate of slightly lower than 5%. From the early decision I and II pools, 824 students were admitted, although information about the number of applicants is unavailable as of now.
Previously, the total acceptance rate, including both RD and ED, was 10%, with an RD admissions rate of around 7%.
By any measure, JHU’s acceptance rate is extraordinarily low. However, your personal chances of admission depend on your unique profile. To better predict your chances of success, try CollegeVine’s free admissions calculator. This personalized tool will use your grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, and other information to estimate your odds of success. We’ll also give you advice on how to improve your profile!
Average Academic Profile of Accepted JHU Students
What kind of students get into Hopkins? Here are the stats of accepted students.
The average GPA of admitted students is 3.9 on a 4.0 scale.
The middle 50% SAT and ACT composite scores are 1500–1550 and 34-35 respectively. Hopkins remains test-optional for the class of 2026 due to testing limitations during the pandemic. (Learn more.)
Ninety-nine percent of admitted students were in the top 10% of their high school class.
What is Hopkins Looking for?
Hopkins performs a holistic review of every applicant based on “accomplishments, goals, and potential impact within our community.” Specifically, the admissions committee examines:
- Academic Character
- Impact and Initiative
- Personal Contributions
Hopkins wants to see your academic passions and how you exemplify them, not only through your grades and test scores but also through your recommendations.
Impact and Initiative
Through your descriptions of your extracurricular activities, the admissions committee will look at how you make a genuine difference through service, leadership, and innovation.
This refers to fit and character. “How do you engage with your community—academic, personal, and social?” Hopkins asks. “What personal qualities do you possess that would make you a good fit for our campus? We’re looking for students who are eager to follow their interests at the college level and are enthusiastic about joining the campus community.”
Other qualities you should demonstrate through your application include:
Hopkins has no core curriculum; students must only fulfill distribution requirements across different subjects, giving them the freedom to explore their academic interests. This is because the university prides itself on having curious students who seek to discover. As the first research university, it wants students who are looking to dive deep into their passions and perhaps find new ones.
Hopkins values a diversity of thought and perspective. Consider the supplemental essay prompt:
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.
You can even view a collection of essays that worked to find out more about what Hopkins values.
Remember, too, that despite the fact that Hopkins has a reputation as a premier school for pre-med students, the university has much more to offer. Programs in international studies and creative writing are also famous, for example, and if you have qualifications to show in these and other areas, you’re more likely to stand out.
The university seeks a diverse student body, from first-generation students to military veterans. Race, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, religion, and other factors contribute to the full picture of who you are as a student and candidate.
How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into JHU
1. Achieve at least a 3.9 while taking the most challenging classes available.
Students should aim for at least the average GPA of accepted students at Hopkins — 3.9. Additionally, if your high school ranks, you should be in the top 10% of your graduation class.
Selective colleges like Hopkins use the Academic Index to filter out candidates. This metric combines your academic statistics, like GPA and standardized test scores. So, it’s critical for your grades to be high in order to be considered as a candidate. But you shouldn’t just aim for straight A’s — you should also be taking the most challenging curriculum available to you. No, you don’t have to take every single AP course, but you should at least complete the AP courses that are consistent with your profile.
If your GPA is lower, and you’re earlier on in your high school career, check out our tips for increasing your GPA. If you’re a junior or senior, it will be harder to increase your GPA, so the easiest way to increase your Academic Index is to get a higher test score.
2. Aim for a 1550 SAT or 35 ACT.
On that note, your test scores should be within JHU’s middle 50% range: SAT 1500–1550 and ACT 34-35. While it’s better to be at the upper end of this range, anything within it is acceptable. Hopkins superscores, meaning they will consider only the best sections from each test iteration. That means you can take the SAT or ACT 2-3 times to improve your scores.
In light of COVID-19 test-optional policies, we recommend taking the test if you can safely (students who submit scores are accepted at higher rates than those without). We generally recommend submitting your score if it’s the 25th percentile or above for accepted students at that school (this means a 1500 SAT and 34 ACT at Hopkins). Students can get recommendations on whether or not they should apply test-optional using our free Chancing Engine.
Looking to improve your score? These free resources will help:
- How to Get a Perfect 1600 Score on the SAT
- How to Get a Perfect 36 Score on the ACT
- More SAT Info and Tips
- More ACT Info and Tips
3. Cultivate at least one or two Tier 1-2 extracurriculars (find your “spike”).
Adcoms at highly selective schools like Hopkins typically use a tier system to evaluate extracurricular activities:
- Tier 1: Highly specialized, unique activities that demonstrate superior leadership, initiative, or intellect (e.g. conducting award-winning, independent research at the national level)
- Tier 2: Specialized, exceptional activities that might be a bit more common than Tier 1 activities (e.g. winning a state competition in music or athletics or holding a significant leadership position in a school club)
- Tier 3: More common activities that demonstrate modest achievements (e.g. minor leadership positions in school activities)
- Tier 4: Fairly common activities that admissions committees frequently encounter on applications (e.g. participation in a school activity or volunteering)
Competitive applicants typically have at least a couple Tier 1-2 activities, along with a handful of Tier 3-4 activities. Bear in mind that it’s much better to have 1-2 well-developed interests, with activities relating to these passions, than disparate activities across many different areas (also known as a “spike”).
Here are more tips about extracurricular activities for Johns Hopkins:
- The university values research, as a leader in the field. Having independent projects or research with a well-respected professional or institution on your resume will likely offer a boost, especially if you’re applying for a particularly competitive or specialized program, like Biomedical Engineering.
- Remember that Hopkins is far more than a “pre-med school.” If you have talents in areas like writing, music, or something else, be sure to play them up, especially if you’re applying for a program in one of these areas. (Note: The Peabody Institute, the famed conservatory at Hopkins, requires a separate admissions process, as does the Hopkins/Peabody Double Degree program.)
- Hopkins is an NCAA Division III school, except for lacrosse, which plays in Division I. That’s not to say athletics won’t bolster your application somewhat, but it won’t play as big a role as it might at some more athletically-focused schools.
4. Write engaging essays.
Your essays contribute to the full picture of who you are. While grades, test scores, and extracurriculars demonstrate your academic prowess and passions, essays, along with recommendations, give the admissions officers insight into your personality. Make sure to spend ample time crafting your Common Application or Coalition Application essay along with the JHU supplement.
Hopkins’ supplemental essay prompt is a spin on the classic “why this college” prompt, asking you to describe your fit with the school. This is an opportunity to show who you are, not just how you perform in the classroom.
5. Apply Early Decision.
Applying ED at Hopkins does give you a bit of an advantage over candidates who apply RD. The university wants to accept students who are likely to attend, and this is a guarantee with ED.
Still, bear in mind that there are some drawbacks to applying under this plan. For one, it’s binding, meaning that you’ll be required to matriculate at Hopkins if you’re admitted (except in the case of rare circumstances). Therefore, you should only apply ED if Hopkins is truly your first choice. Moreover, you won’t have the opportunity to leverage and compare financial aid offers, as you would be if you applied to several schools RD.
Bear in mind that Hopkins has ED I and II plans, so if you’re unable to complete your application by the first deadline or apply to another school ED or Restrictive Early Action, you can still apply by the second.
How to Apply to JHU
Early Decision I
November 1, 2021
Early Decision II
January 3, 2022
January 3, 2022
Hopkins accepts both the Coalition Application and the Common Application, with a supplement. Additionally, you should submit:
- Secondary school report
- Two teacher evaluations
- SAT or ACT (optional in the 2021–22 admissions cycle)
- Mid-year report
Learn more about Hopkins
Looking for more information about Hopkins? Trying to decide if it’s the right school for you? Check out these additional resources: