Note: this blog post has been updated for the 2015-2016 application cycle. To view the most recent version, click here.
Situated in Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins University is consistently ranked as one of the Top 20 schools in the nation. Due to its many reputable majors (the Education, Biological Sciences, and Pre-med programs come to mind), JHU is a popular choice for busy seniors creating their college lists. Although its acceptance rate of 17% is higher than that of other Top 20 schools, you will still want to write as strong of an essay as possible to increase their chances of hanging with the Blue Jays.
Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1876 on a spirit of exploration and discovery. As a result, students can pursue a multi-dimensional undergraduate experience both in and outside of the classroom. Given the opportunities at Hopkins, please discuss your current interests—academic or extracurricular pursuits, personal passions, summer experiences, etc.—and how you will build upon them here. (300-500 word limit)
While its inclusion of Hopkins-specific details make it seem unique, at its core this prompt is ultimately still asking for a basic “Why X School?” essay. Therefore, be sure to explain what your interests are and how you fit into JHU. There are many ways to do this. One strategy is to write about a single topic (academic or extracurricular) that you are particularly passionate about in great detail. Then, after explaining its profound effect on you, you could dive into how you can nurture your passion at Johns Hopkins, especially through X program, Y club, and/or Z professor’s work. Regardless of what style of essay you write, the most important thing in answering this prompt is to make sure that you can draw parallels between your participation in high school and the opportunities available at Johns Hopkins. JHU is eager to see students who are already motivated and driven to take advantage of the resources at their new school. Thus, make sure to spend some time researching JHU so that you can be specific in your examples of ways that you can benefit from the school or—bonus points—ways that JHU can benefit from you.
One final piece of advice—please, please realize that the school is called Johns Hopkins University, not John Hopkins University. It would be rather unfortunate for you to realize immediately after sending your application that you have been overlooking a letter in the name of your “dream school.” The admissions office at JHU gets this misspelling all the time, and they’re probably tired of it. Trust us, the partners here at Admission Hero —I mean, Admissions Hero—can sympathize.
Zack was an economics major at Harvard before going on indefinite leave to pursue CollegeVine full-time as a founder. In his spare time, he enjoys closely following politics and binge-watching horror movies. To see Zack's full bio, visit the Team page.
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Johns Hopkins Application Essay Prompt
Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1876 on a spirit of exploration and discovery. As a result, students can pursue a multi-dimensional undergraduate experience both in and outside of the classroom. Given the opportunities at Hopkins, please discuss your current interests — academic or extracurricular pursuits, personal passions, summer experiences, etc. — and how you will build upon them here.
This supplement is a unique take on the “Why this school?” prompt. The prompt itself first informs the reader of some of Hopkins’s key values in exploration and discovery and how the university emphasizes a multi-dimensional undergraduate experience. In keeping with the idea of a multi-dimensional experience, it’s important to convey yourself as a multi-dimensional applicant, which means highlighting more than just your academics or your activities through your application.
You have the opportunity to touch on a little of everything that makes you who you are, and piece together your overall application to communicate who you are as a person. Even though Johns Hopkins is known for its medicine and biological sciences, the school takes a liberal arts approach when accepting students, so don’t stress if your current interests aren’t entirely oriented towards biology.
Feel free to address specific subjects, activities, and extracurricular activities you like, interests of yours that you may not have mentioned elsewhere in your application, and how you will pursue these interests specifically at Hopkins.
Avoid generic college statements, i.e., “The campus is nice and the academics are good.” This prompt is very much about showing what specific aspects of JHU you are interested in, what you are passionate about, and how you will further your passions at Hopkins.
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