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Get Admitted to Your Dream University – Johns Hopkins

Established in 1876 Johns Hopkins University (Johns Hopkins, Hopkins or JHU) is a private research university in Baltimore, Maryland. Johns Hopkins University admission process is most selective with an acceptance rate of 8%. The most popular majors at Johns Hopkins University include: Cell/Cellular and Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, Computer and Information Sciences, Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering, Public Health, International Relations and Affairs, Economics, Chemical Engineering, Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering.

Johns Hopkins Mission

To educate its students and cultivate their capacity for lifelong learning, to foster independent and original research, and to bring the benefits of discovery to the world.

How to Improve your Chances of Getting into Johns Hopkins

1. How to improve your GPA while taking the most challenging classes available

It’s extremely important for Johns Hopkins applicants to not only possess outstanding grades but for those grades to come in challenging courses. Students accepted to a top 10 school like Johns Hopkins typically complete between 5 to 8 advanced courses in high school.

Another reason why  applicants need great grades is that selective schools use a tool called the ‘Academic Index’ to filter out their enormous number of applicants. At its most basic, the Academic Index is a distillation of a student’s academic performance (grades and test scores) into a single number. This is a single score that represents the strength of your GPA, test scores, and class rank (if your school ranks). Highly selective universities use this (or a similar) metric to filter out students that don’t meet their academic standards.

2. Aim for a 1570 SAT or a 35+ ACT

The middle 50% of Johns Hopkins class of 2025 earned SAT scores of 1510-1570 and ACT scores of 34-35+. Any score in the middle 50% is good, however, the higher in the range you score, the better your odds of admission are.

3. Explore your favorite subjects via Research Papers:

One common factor that we have noted in the resumes of students admitted to the Ivy Leagues and other top colleges is the prevalence of research work while still in high school. In this article we explain how and why exposure to research helps students and the key steps in planning and writing high quality research papers.

There are three main reasons, as to why Research Papers help students stand out. A high-quality research paper shows that you have the energy and the initiative to go beyond what is taught in the class and apply it to real life problems. It shows that your interest in the subject extends beyond the questions provided at the end of the chapter. Secondly, you learn the discipline of not rushing intuitively to the likely answer, instead using a deliberate process in which you are guided by the data. Lastly, in working with a skilled professor or mentor you learn how to organize your thoughts better, ask the right questions and try to answer those questions in the best way possible subject to the constraints. A good work product provides an insight into your mind, thought process and way of working.

4. Cultivate at least one or two Tier 1-2 extracurriculars (find your “niche”)

For selective institutions like Johns Hopkins extracurricular activities can play a larger role in admission decisions. Up to 25% of an admissions decision can be determined by a student’s activities outside of the classroom. While it’s true that there is no such thing as a bad extracurricular activity, some extracurricular activities are more impressive than others.

Admissions officers evaluate extracurriculars with one being the most exceptional and four being the most common. For example:

  • Tier 1 may include nationally ranked student-athletes or individuals who attended a top (merit-based) summer program.
  • Tier 2, the second-most prestigious group, includes activities that showcase students’ larger achievements, such as being elected student body president or making it to the state tennis tournament.
  • Tier 3 activities include smaller achievements, such as being editor of the school paper or treasurer of the history club.
  • Tier 4 activities include general membership in student clubs and sports teams, as well as other casual hobbies.

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5. Write engaging essays

Essays are the best way to distinguish yourself from other applicants. Johns Hopkins requires all applicants to submit one essay and one question prompt as part of its application. The required question prompt is given below:

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

Research the university and the faculty of the department you are planning to join. Explain in your essay how your values tie with the expectations of the university and how you expect to utilize the knowledge to make the world a better place.

Also research the extra-curricular activities and the clubs at John Hopkins and how you will spend your time outside the classroom. Some of the popular clubs here are:

  • Chess Club: Provide a chess club for undergraduate students to grow as chess players, create a community of intellectual pursuit, and provide a platform for Hopkins students to compete in tournaments.
  • J Magazine: You have the opportunity to submit articles to the on-campus publication known as J.Magazine. Outside of the classroom, this will give you some experience that is relevant to the profession.
  • Marksmanship Club:This club is perfect for you if you enjoy firing firearms in a controlled environment.
  • Club Swimming: Participating in the school’s swimming club is an excellent way to keep in shape on campus. You won’t have to conform to the standards set by the NCAA in order to compete at a high level in swimming; you’ll be able to do so anyway.

6. Recommendation Letters

Letters of recommendation (LoR) help paint a complete picture of who you are in front of the admission officers. Like any good painter, you want to be in control of your whole application. It is important to ensure that you are approaching teachers, mentors etc. that know you well. The LoR provide an insight into your personality, behaviors and work ethic and are crucial to your application. Johns Hopkins requires you to send recommendations from

  • Teacher – Required 2
  • High School Counsellor – Required

You should approach your high school teachers several months in advance. Requesting a letter of recommendation from a teacher is a big ask—they’re busy and don’t get paid to write recommendations. Make it easy for your recommenders by giving them plenty of time, providing them with as much relevant information as possible.

7. Apply Early Action/Early Decision

The Early Decision agreement is binding, so you may not apply to any other school under an early decision plan. (You may still apply to other schools under a nonbinding early action plan.) You, your parents, and your secondary school counselor will be required to sign an agreement stating that you will enroll at Johns Hopkins if admitted and withdraw any regular decision or early action applications to other schools.

The primary criterion for admission to Johns Hopkins is academic excellence. Johns Hopkins wants students who are committed, dedicated, passionate, have potential to succeed and those students with a genuine interest in expanding their intellectual horizon. Following the guidelines above will help you present your best self to Johns Hopkins University and maximize your admission chances.


About the Author: 

Shubhi Joshi is an Editor at Scholarly. She has a B.A. in English and a M.A. from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai in Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology. She has an interest in history and current affairs. An avid blogger, Shubhi loves to write about higher education and self-improvement.

Scholarly helps ambitious international students locate the right universities and courses to pursue their education. We provide college credit courses and research papers to students that want to learn more and differentiate themselves. We help students develop and present their best version to their dream university. Our recommendations are based on the student’s field of interest, academic performance, financial resources and career plans. We provide test preparation classes from the best teachers to help improve scores and thus the prospects for admission. We also assist students with their visa and loan applications to reduce the anxiety associated with international education.

For additional questions about international education, choice of majors, university selection or admission strategies please visit the Questions section of our website.

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