What is Johns Hopkins Known For? Is Johns Hopkins a Good School?

Johns Hopkins University opened to the public in 1876, following the inauguration of its first president Daniel Coit Gilman. 

The university’s namesake was a Maryland philanthropist committed to improving public health and education.

A pioneer in medicine, for sure, Johns Hopkins is also a trailblazer in increasing equity to historically marginalized populations. 

In the last 19th century, the school became the first to admit women to medical school on equal terms with men. 

Since 1979, Johns Hopkins has maintained high federal research funding. While the cost of attending such a prestigious university is quite high, Johns Hopkins is able to offer need-based financial assistance to any admitted student who requires it. 

Most recently, the university enrolled over 5,300 undergraduates representing all 50 states. 

Many of these students will go on to improve public health and education outcomes for citizens of Baltimore, the United States, and the global community, like so many of their predecessors.

In the sections that follow, we’ll divulge details on the most popular academic programs at Johns Hopkins, information about Johns Hopkins Hospital, and ways to get involved on campus before ending with why Johns Hopkins is such an excellent choice for creative, driven students.

What Majors & Academics Are Johns Hopkins Known For?

Johns Hopkins University
Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

The top three majors at Johns Hopkins are public health, neuroscience, and biomedical engineering – one out of every three Johns Hopkins undergraduates focus their studies in one of these programs. 

Johns Hopkins operates the largest school of public health in the world! The Bloomberg School of Public Health faculty and alumni have been on the frontlines of the efforts to eliminate diseases like smallpox, contain the spread of HIV, improve water sanitation, and uncover the risks of smoking tobacco.

In addition to attending interdisciplinary classes offered through the Public Health Studies Program, undergraduates have frequent opportunities to enroll in higher-level courses at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

Many of these students are committed to tackling the five critical 21st-century issues that challenge health in the U.S., as outlined by the Bloomberg American Health Initiative: addiction and overdose, adolescent health, environmental challenges, obesity and the food system, and violence.

Neuroscience is another popular degree program at Johns Hopkins, and undergraduates can focus on one of four concentrations: cognitive, computational, systems, or cellular/molecular. 

In the cognitive neuroscience concentration, for example, students will use a variety of skills and techniques to explore highly functioning and impaired brains.

Biomedical engineering is another exciting program at Johns Hopkins. The BME 2.0 curriculum allows students to earn a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in four years. 

In year one, students focus on building their foundational knowledge in science, mathematics, and certain principles of experimentation and design. 

Next, they undergo an “engineering boot camp,” where they apply different analytical styles to engineer organ and cellular systems. 

The residency takes place in year three, while the students apply their knowledge and experience into practice through various projects and research endeavors in the fourth and final year.

Is Johns Hopkins a Good School?

Johns Hopkins consistently ranks as one of the best schools in the United States. 

For the second consecutive year, the school attained the #9 position on U.S. News’ list of the best colleges in the country. 

In fact, Johns Hopkins has held a position within the top ten schools on this list six times in the past seven years.

When it comes to research, Johns Hopkins is the place to be. The university is a great location for students to turn their startups and ideas into reality. 

FastForward U is a campus entrepreneurship hub that supports such ventures. The 10,000 sq. ft. space is equipped with meeting rooms, labs, and a Makerspace for designing prototypes. 

Student creators are also eligible for grants and prize funds totaling up to $30,000! Most recently, the organization plans on awarding over $365,000 to students. Exciting events are held year-round, including mini-courses taught by experts on subjects like how to make a pitch to investors.

In addition to the innovative spaces, mentors, and programs available at Johns Hopkins, the school is also commended for its increasingly diverse population. 64% of the most recent first-year class is made up of historically underrepresented minorities, and 15% of the admitted class come from countries outside of the United States.

Johns Hopkins is also committed to making an elite education more accessible to students from all backgrounds and experiences. 

Thanks in part to the generosity of several donors, the school can meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for admitted students. An additional $100 million in Johns Hopkins University grants are donated annually.

Johns Hopkins is more than a good school, a good hospital, and a good research institution. Its greatness lies in its ability to bridge the opportunity gap so that the brightest minds can work with the best tools in order to create solutions that will benefit the human race.

Johns Hopkins Traditions

There are several annual events that draw large crowds of enthusiastic Johns Hopkins students, with the first being Blue Jay Opening Day. This day marks the launch of the new academic year and athletic season. 

Students tailgate all over campus, and a variety of student organizations set up booths to recruit new members. Carnival rides, games, freebies, and photo booth opportunities abound!

The Spring Fair is a student-run celebration featuring contests, food, and beverages from local restaurants, and significant live music acts like the Chainsmokers and Meek Mill. There is also an Arts Market Place, which hosts vendors from Baltimore and nearby cities. 

This is not your typical spring fair – Johns Hopkins’ Spring Fair originated in 1972 and is known today as the largest student-run festival in the United States!

Other Johns Hopkins traditions revolve around the changing of the seasons. Students close the winter semester by illuminating the campus with thousands of lights in the “Lighting of the Quad” ceremony, which includes a fireworks display, arts and crafts activities, and winter treats.

Hoptoberfest marks the start of the fall semester. Students can celebrate by competing in a fun run, making fall-themed arts and crafts, watching horror movies, or frolicking through a pumpkin patch.

Prominent Clubs & Extracurricular Activities at Johns Hopkins

There are over 350 clubs for Johns Hopkins students to explore. It is no surprise that on a campus so focused on equity and public health, many students are involved in some kind of tutoring or mentor group.

The Jail Tutorial Project brings increased educational opportunities to incarcerated persons in Baltimore prisons and detention centers. Students provide academic support in subjects like math and foreign languages to help the incarcerated reach their aspirations.

Thread is another group that invests in students at risk of not graduating from high school. Over 250 Johns Hopkins students in the group seek to share guidance on a range of activities and connect students to community resources. 

92% of local students who have been in Thread for five years have achieved their high school diploma, and 90% were accepted to college.

In addition to philanthropic groups, there are many performing arts clubs to consider. Combining both community service and music are The Notes of Ranvier – a student a cappella group on campus. 

More active students can choose from approximately 40 club sports, including water polo, cricket, and Brazilian jiu jitsu. 

Those longing to escape the city for the great outdoors can join the JHOC – Johns Hopkins Outdoor Club – a group that regularly embarks upon hiking, caving, mountain biking, and climbing excursions! 

Other options to develop friendships and have fun on campus emerge through Greek life, participating in the Model United Nations, and serving on the committees for some of the school’s annual festivals.

What Is Johns Hopkins Hospital Known For?

Johns Hopkins Hospital
Lizardraley99, Johns Hopkins Hospital, CC BY-SA 3.0

Johns Hopkins Hospital is a titan in the medical world, considered to be one of the founding institutions of American medicine.

 It is here where now-regular facets of medicine – such as rounds and residency programs – were borne. 

Numerous medical breakthroughs have taken place at the hospital, including the first male-to-female sex reassignment surgery, the discovery of restriction enzymes (which paved the way for genetic engineering), and the discovery of the human brain’s natural opiates.

Out of over 4,500 hospitals, the U.S. News & World Report ranked Johns Hopkins Hospital #4 in the nation. 

While the many departments within the hospital are all exceptions when it comes to service and innovation, the psychiatry and rheumatology departments are each considered the best the nation has to offer within their respective disciplines. 

Doctors in the psychiatry department are currently conducting research on the biology behind mental illness that develops either during or immediately after pregnancy in women. 

Another team is running various clinic studies on Huntington’s disease with the hopes of finding a cure. 

At any given time, a group of highly skilled and passionate researchers is furthering the investigation of brain injuries, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research is one of the most exciting additions to the Johns Hopkins research docket. Researchers are using $17 million of funding to test psilocybin-based treatments for a wide range of psychiatric and behavioral disorders. 

Unsurprisingly, over half of Nobel Prize winners with connections to Johns Hopkins received their prize in medicine. Most recently, the 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded jointly to William G. Kaelin and Gregg L. Semenza for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.

Why Johns Hopkins University?

Schools like Johns Hopkins University are rare in their ability and commitment to offer exceptional learning opportunities to students of all socioeconomic backgrounds. 

It is thrilling to attend school in an environment where, every day, students and faculty celebrate the small discoveries that lead to greater solutions for the public. 

The resources, networking opportunities, and opportunities for mentorship are seemingly boundless at Johns Hopkins, and there may be no better institution to try out a creative idea with the least amount of restrictions or obstacles.

Why should a student choose Johns Hopkins University? The more difficult question might be, “Why shouldn’t they?” It might be best to paint a profile of the student who may stand to benefit the most from a Johns Hopkins education.

Naturally, students interested in public health, biomedical engineering, and neuroscience will have extensive opportunities to conduct research. 

Caring students who want to invest in their community will thrive within a range of organizations devoted to that cause. Entrepreneurs with a growing list of ideas to develop have all the tools at their disposal to create and test prototypes.

Johns Hopkins is for the innovative, the dedicated, and those who dream big. If that sounds like you, it may be a wise idea to start completing an application.

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