Is Johns Hopkins Ivy League? Ranking, Acceptance Rate, and More

True or false: Johns Hopkins University was the very first research university to be established in the United States of America?

It’s true! Johns Hopkins University’s founding dates back to 1876; today, over 140 years since the school first threw open its doors to students, Johns Hopkins continues to uphold its reputation as a collegiate destination of choice for some of the most distinguished scholars in the nation.

Being a research university means that at Johns Hopkins, the school’s primary focus is on research conducted by professors and graduate students. For students, attending a research university like Johns Hopkins typically offers an exciting variety of majors and minors to choose from, the possibility to collaborate or intern with experts who share a student’s own academic interests, and the chance to interact on a day-to-day basis with professors who are deeply engaged in their field and can bring their up-to-date, cutting-edge knowledge into the classroom.

With countless accolades and well-known alumni plus myriad opportunities for students to learn and thrive under the tutelage of a supportive team of expert faculty, it’s natural to assume that Johns Hopkins must be a member of one of the most prominent collegiate networks in the country.

In other words: Is Johns Hopkins Ivy League?

Is Johns Hopkins an Ivy League School?

Is Johns Hopkins Ivy League?
Iracaz, View from Levering Plaza, CC BY-SA 3.0

Johns Hopkins is not an Ivy League school. However, it is one of the best universities in the United States. Indeed, many would say that Johns Hopkins is one of the best universities in the world.

Many students first come across the name Johns Hopkins in the context of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, which is known for being a top choice amongst students interested in practicing medicine or exploring the biomedical sciences. The School of Medicine is particularly renowned for being a place where research and teaching are closely intertwined, providing students with a hands-on academic environment where scientific education and patient care go hand in hand.

In addition to being a preeminent academic institution for science and medicine, Johns Hopkins is home to a total of nine schools – each one preparing different kinds of students to excel in today’s world. 

There’s the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences offering over 60 undergraduate majors and minors like Cognitive Science and Africana Studies; the Carey Business School where students can gain specialized knowledge and skills in the business of health, supply chain management and more; and the Bloomberg School of Health which has been ranked a top Public Health School in the nation.

Ivy League institutions are notorious for breeding successful alumni, and Johns Hopkins is no different. A few of the well-known figures who call Johns Hopkins their alma mater include Oscar winners and Grammy winners, Pulitzer Prize-winning authors and historians, and even a former president of the United States. 

It is telling that the most recognizable names amongst the university’s alumni are extremely diverse in their background and pursuits: from Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie whose novel Half a Yellow Sun was recently voted the best Women’s Prize for Fiction winner of the past 25 years; to ecologist and biologist Rachel Carson who shocked the world with her detailed account of how pesticides affect people and the environment; to 28th U.S. president Woodrow Wilson. 

With alumni like these, it’s no wonder Johns Hopkins has such a strong reputation for inspiring all kinds of students to get curious about the world around them and forge their own unique path. 

Why Johns Hopkins Is Often Confused As an Ivy League School

There are plenty of reasons that people may think Johns Hopkins is an Ivy League school. 

Like the eight institutions in the Ivy League, Johns Hopkins has over a century of heritage as a leading educational institution in the United States. Indeed, Johns Hopkins was already in operation for a full 11 years by the time the Ivy League’s youngest school, Cornell, was founded. There’s even a rumor that Johns Hopkins was asked to join the Ivy League but turned down the invitation – but school administrators have said this is just a myth.

In reality, the reasons for Johns Hopkins not being a part of the Ivy League come down to a question of athletics in the early- to mid-20th century. The eight members of the Ivy League are known as such because the schools used to compete against one another in several sports like swimming, wrestling, and basketball, and eventually formalized a football league in the 1950s. The sports teams at Johns Hopkins didn’t compete in the same division as schools like Princetown, Brown, and Cornell, hence Johns Hopkins didn’t join in with the Ivy League.

Of course nowadays the Ivy League is a signifier for much more than sports. Schools that belong to the Ivy League offer outstanding faculty, groundbreaking research opportunities, and a rigorous environment that’s both challenging and supportive – but as we know, these characteristics are hardly limited to schools in the Ivy League. Johns Hopkins certainly proves that a university doesn’t need to be classified as Ivy League to provide an educational experience that’s top of the class. 

Johns Hopkins: Ranking, Acceptance Rate, and More

When students and the public need a ranking system to understand how different colleges stack up against each other, they often turn to U.S. News & World Report. In its most recent ranking of colleges in the United States, U.S. News & World Report puts Johns Hopkins University at #9 in the nation.

Receiving a place amongst the top 10 universities in the United States is no small feat. Prospective students may be interested to learn that coming in at #9 in the U.S. News & World Report listing, Johns Hopkins ranks higher than some of the Ivy League schools, including Dartmouth College at #13 and Brown University at #14.

Of course, rankings aren’t everything. What’s more important is what different universities can uniquely offer to students based on their learning style, academic interests, and eventual professional goals. Many prospective students will already be aware that a key draw of Johns Hopkins is the school’s medical programs: from medicine and nursing, to healthcare policy and administration, to the business of healthcare across the industry. 

Indeed, U.S. News & World Report ranks Johns Hopkins as the #1 school in the nation for biomedical studies and the #1 school for public health: a distinction Johns Hopkins has held since 1994.

The acceptance rate at Johns Hopkins is about what students would expect from such a prestigious institution. Approximately 11% of students who apply are admitted to the university, most of whom are coming into their undergraduate students with an SAT score of 1460-1560 and ACT scores of 33-35. As for the average GPA of incoming students, it’s more or less straight As: most students have a GPA of 3.92.

How to Get Into Johns Hopkins

Despite the unquestionably competitive nature of gaining admission to an esteemed school like Johns Hopkins, prospective students should not be discouraged from pursuing their dream of a world-class education at this exceptional institution. With over 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students across nine academic divisions and four college campuses, there are myriad opportunities for all kinds of students to find their place at Johns Hopkins.

Students who want to get into Johns Hopkins need to show the admissions committee that they are excited rather than deterred by challenges, with a strong capacity to think beyond their limits. As teamwork and collaboration are important aspects of the collegiate education at Johns Hopkins, students should also consider how they can demonstrate a spirit of mutual success: elevating not only themselves, but the people around them.

First-generation college students – in other words, those who don’t have a parent or guardian who has completed a four-year education – can take advantage of a variety of resources from Johns Hopkins to support their application process. This includes virtual events and workshops about applying for admission, links to national first-generation networks, and contact details for admissions counselors and current students. 

Recap: Johns Hopkins Is Not an Ivy League School. However, It Is One of the Best Universities in the World

All in all, Johns Hopkins is a formidable contender for providing one of the world’s best academic experiences. America’s first research university, JHU has only become more and more distinguished in the more than 140 years since it was first established. Nowadays, Johns Hopkins is the site of not only distinguished professors and top-class facilities, but also a diverse community of students all striving to expand their knowledge, to discover new possibilities, and ultimately to make the world a better place.

The powerful work of Johns Hopkins faculty, students, and graduates speaks for itself. The school is continually engaged in making a global impact, addressing healthcare challenges like malaria, polio, and HIV/AIDS. A team of Johns Hopkins undergraduates recently made it to the finals of a global mask design challenge. And, 28 Nobel laureates have ties to Johns Hopkins, including four current faculty members. These are just a few examples amongst a sea of instances that illustrate the educational excellence emerging from Johns Hopkins; so while the school is not Ivy League, it’s easy to understand why some people say that Johns Hopkins is in a league of its own.