What Is John Hopkins’ Acceptance Rate & Admissions Requirements?

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Johns Hopkins University recently made headlines when alum Michael Bloomberg donated a record $1.8 billion to the research university. The gift was designated for financial aid, making the school fully need-blind and eliminating loans from financial aid packages.


In light of this news, we are likely to see the pool of applicants grow. The composition of the freshman class may also change this year, since more qualified students who have less financial means will be able to attend the university.


So, how do you get into Johns Hopkins? What will give you an edge in the admissions process? Read on to find out.


Applying to Johns Hopkins: A Quick Review


Hopkins accepts the Common Application, Coalition Application, or Universal College Application. The deadline for Early Decision is November 1, and for Regular Decision, you have until January 2.


Additionally, you must submit your:


  • Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay
  • Secondary school report: school counselor recommendation and transcript
  • SAT or ACT (writing optional; note that scores are self-reported, and you must submit an official report only if you are accepted and enroll)
  • Two teacher evaluations
  • Mid-year report


SAT Subject Tests are recommended, which means you should submit score for a competitive application. Select exams that best correlate to your strengths and desired program of study.

John Hopkins Acceptance Rate: How Difficult Is It to Get in?


With an acceptance rate of 12.8%, admission to Hopkins is extremely competitive. Students must have strong academic profiles: 96% of admitted students were in the top 10 percent of their class.


Other statistics include:


Average high school GPA: 3.93 (likely unweighted)

Test scores (middle 50th percentile):

  • SAT Composite: 1480-1550
  • ACT: 33-35


So, How Do You Get Into Johns Hopkins?


As the first American research university, Hopkins values qualities such as innovation, intellectual curiosity, and dedication. While a strong academic record with a stellar GPA and test scores is essential, Hopkins looks for involvement beyond academics.


Hopkins performs a holistic review of each applicant. The university notes that extracurricular activities play a strong role, so you should demonstrate that you’ve developed your interests over time and committed to specific passions. For example, if you’re a creative writer, you might have participated in writing workshops and programs, worked your way up to editor of your school newspaper, and tutored younger students in English.


Emphasize your personal strengths and demonstrate that you explore different curiosities and passions. Having unique interests will make you a more desirable candidate.


Discover your chances at hundreds of schools

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How to Make Your Application Stand Out


  • Know your strengths


Many people associate JHU strictly with hard sciences and its pre-med track (“pre-med” is not a major). In reality, the university celebrates diverse interests and has strong programs in multiple non-science areas. For example, it’s famous for its five-year combined BA/MA International Studies program, in which students spend three years at Homewood Campus in Baltimore and an additional two years at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in DC.


Emphasizing your strengths will help you gain admission, even if your interests aren’t “typical” of a John Hopkins prospect.


  • Demonstrate intellectual curiosity


As the first research university, JHU seeks students who are innovative and academically engaged. You should show the admissions committee that you are intellectually creative. For example, in your activities section, you might describe how you undertook an independent writing project over a summer.


  • Emphasize collaboration


JHU’s essay prompt states the following:


“Write a brief essay (300-400 words) in which you respond to the following question: Successful students at Johns Hopkins make the biggest impact by collaborating with others, including peers, mentors, and professors. Talk about a time, in or outside the classroom, when you worked with others and what you learned from the experience.”


Johns Hopkins favors students who are able to build community, even in an academically-rigorous and competitive environment. In college and life, you will need to collaborate with other people, even when you might believe you could do something better on your own. Emphasize this quality in the non-essay components of your application as well. In the activities section, for example, you could list: serving on student government, playing on a sports team, working in a department store, and so on.


What if You Get Rejected?


Being denied admission to any college, particularly one of your top choices, is disappointing. Still, it’s important to take a step back and regroup. If you get rejected from Johns Hopkins, here’s what you can do:


  • Take a gap year or transfer in.


If you had your heart set on Johns Hopkins or received bad news from the other colleges on your list, one option is to take a gap year and reapply next admissions cycle. If you do decide to go this route, make sure you have a productive plan for the year. You might undertake a research project, volunteer, study to improve your SAT scores, or take classes at a local college. Do know, however, that this path is risky, as taking a gap year won’t ensure your acceptance the second time around.


You could also begin your studies at another institution with the hopes of transferring, but the transfer acceptance rate has been around 10% over the last few years. Long story short, your chances won’t be any better as a transfer than as an entering freshman.


  • Keep it in perspective.


Even if Hopkins was your top choice, chances are, you’ll find a way to make a college that did accept you work. College really is what you make of it, and if you put effort into adjusting to another school by joining clubs, working hard in your classes, and cultivating a social life, you’ll likely find that you can make a fulfilling college experience for yourself, even if you end up at a college that wasn’t your top choice.


If you want to learn more about being a competitive applicant, read these posts:


How to Write the Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay 2018-2019

How Can I Make My College Applicants Stand Out?

What Type of Student Do Colleges Want?


Curious about your chances of acceptance to John Hopkins? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.