“What I like best in Baltimore is the people, the neighborhoods and what goes on in the neighborhoods. Each has its own stories, own diners, and own quirks. It’s about community. I also like everything Old Bay.” -Barbara Mikulski, the former Senator for Maryland
One of the most renowned schools in the country, Johns Hopkins University, is located in Baltimore, Maryland, with four campuses spread throughout the city. Indeed, U.S. News ranks it 9th in its Best National University rankings.
As such, it is highly competitive each year. But, if you want to know how to get into Johns Hopkins, this article will outline its requirements and deadlines, as well as provide you with expert tips on how to submit a stronger application.
The acceptance rate for Johns Hopkins University is 7%. This means that for every 100 applications, only 7 students are admitted.
Johns Hopkins University has a high yield rate, currently at 54%. This rate indicates that Johns Hopkins is a desirable destination for many top students.
Johns Hopkins University is one of the most selective universities in the United States, with an acceptance rate of around 7%. This means it's extremely difficult to gain admission.
Successful applicants need to demonstrate:
Our personalized Johns Hopkins counseling services can set you up for success.
Take our interactive quiz below to find out how likely you are to get into Johns Hopkins.
Johns Hopkins University does not officially report class ranks. They place a greater emphasis on a student's overall academic profile, including factors such as high GPA and standardized test scores.
Johns Hopkins believes that focusing solely on class rank can create unnecessary competition and may not accurately reflect a student's true potential. They prefer a holistic admissions process that values individual achievements and growth.
To get into Johns Hopkins University, aim for an SAT score of around 1530-1560, an ACT score of around 34-35, and a GPA of 3.9 or higher. While this school is test-optional, competitive SAT/ACT scores, alongside several rigorous AP and IB classes, can boost your academic profile!
Johns Hopkins University has adopted a test-optional policy for the application years spanning from 2025 to 2026. The school stresses that it takes a holistic approach to admissions, which considers your academic and personal circumstances.
However, if you have a test score or English language proficiency exams, and you think it reflects your academic abilities, you can definitely include it with your application.
Helpfully, Johns Hopkins allows you to submit the highest scores you receive in each section to calculate an overall composite score, which you can attach to your application.
The SAT Reasoning Test (SAT) is an entrance exam used by many universities to determine your readiness for college. It assesses you on three core areas:
Most students will take the test during the fall of their senior year or the spring of their junior year. However, it is advisable to sit the exam as early as possible to ensure you have enough time to retake it if you’re not happy with your initial score.
The middle 50 percent composite SAT scores achieved by accepted students in the 2027 class was 1530-1560. While Johns Hopkins has set no minimum requirement, you will want to achieve results at the higher end of this range to be a competitive applicant.
As noted above, Johns Hopkins will consider your highest section scores across all SATs taken, even if you sat the tests on different dates. Thus, each time you retake the SAT, you should upload your new test scores.
Additionally, if you want to demonstrate your academic strengths, you can submit SAT Subject Tests in one or more areas of interest, although this is entirely optional.
The American College Test (ACT) is used by college admissions committees to measure if you have the necessary skills to pursue your studies at the college level. Similar to the SAT, the ACT contains different sections, which each determine your strengths in different areas.
It’s split between four multiple-choice tests and an optional writing test:
The middle 50 percent ACT scores for each section achieved by accepted students was 34-35. Again, while Johns Hopkins sets no minimum score, your chances of acceptance will be higher if you’re at the higher end of the middle 50 percent range.
Since the ACT and SAT are both optional, it’s up to you whether to submit your scores. However, if you want to elevate your application, taking either test is a great way to do it!
Johns Hopkins recommends that you provide evidence of your proficiency in English if your primary language is not English or you have not attended an English language school for the last three years. The accepted tests include:
Unlike the SATs and ACT, Johns Hopkins does note that applicants taking the TOEFL should typically receive a minimum score of 100 total. They also stipulate preferred sub-scores for each section:
Similarly, Hopkins expects applicants to achieve 7.0 or higher on IELTS, a composite score of 120 for the DET, and 185 or higher on the Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency tests.
Although it is not required, Hopkins also recommends that applicants who score below 30 on both the ACT Reading and English sections or 690 on the Evidence-Based Reading and SAT writing section submit IELTS, DET, TOEFL, or Cambridge English scores. Hopkins encourages applicants to do this as they can then present their language preparation in the best light.
The average GPA achieved by students admitted to the class of 2027 at Johns Hopkins was a near-perfect 3.9, and 99% of admitted students are in the top 10% of their class. This average GPA means that Johns Hopkins is exceptionally selective. But, if you are worried about having a low GPA, having a GPA under 3.0 is not automatic grounds for rejection.
Indeed, Daniel Creasy, the Former Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Johns Hopkins University, notes that “competitive schools could stock themselves with 4.0-GPA robots if they wanted; the fact that they don’t means that they value other qualities beyond brute academic force.”
Your standardized test scores are one part of your application; Hopkins will take your experiences, engagement with the community, and interpersonal qualities into account. However, If you have any extenuating circumstances that have affected your ability to perform academically, you should explain the relevant circumstances in your admissions essay.
Johns Hopkins seeks academically driven students who will thrive in a rigorous, open curriculum with no core requirements. Competitive applicants have a 3.93 GPA, 1530-1560 SAT scores, and 35 ACT scores, and pursue meaningful extracurriculars, research, internships, or service showing initiative and impact.
You can set yourself apart from the statistical data, and, lucky for you, we’ve got some top tips. Read on to learn how.
Among other things, letters of recommendation tell admissions faculties:
Whereas test scores are evaluations of academic performance, letters of recommendation tell admissions committees more about you and provide better evidence of future success. Johns Hopkins places a significant emphasis on these letters, so take the time to acquire referees who will speak highly of you.
Getting to know your teachers is a great way to secure stronger letters of recommendation as they can speak to both your classroom performance and extracurricular pursuits. Johns Hopkins recommends “communicating with your chosen teachers about what you find impactful in their class, what topics resonated with you, and what papers, books, or projects you find enriching.”
Additionally, if you speak to your teachers about your out-of-the-classroom pursuits, that can aid your application. Ask yourself, Does your History teacher know about your personal history blog? Can your English teacher mention your volunteer work at the animal shelter in their recommendation letter?
Essentially, letters of recommendation provide Johns Hopkins with an idea of how you’ll navigate a collegiate academic environment. Thus, if you take the time to illustrate this by getting to know your teachers and working hard, you will submit a stronger application.
Johns Hopkins University considers extracurricular activities as part of its holistic admissions process. While academic achievement is important, the university also values a well-rounded student who is actively engaged in extracurricular activities, such as clubs, sports, community service, and other forms of involvement.
Your extracurricular activities can provide insight into your interests, passions, leadership abilities, and contributions to your community, all of which can positively influence the admissions decision.
It's essential to showcase your involvement and accomplishments outside of the classroom when applying to Johns Hopkins to present a comprehensive picture of your abilities and character.
So, if you’re hoping to go to John Hopkins one day and are, let’s say, looking into extracurriculars in middle school or high school, remember to choose activities that you’ll thoroughly enjoy. This will help you stick with them for the long haul, and hopefully show them off on your college application.
Doing college research and showing how you will fit into Johns Hopkins University will undoubtedly strengthen your application. Classes are an essential part of college, and Tori R., a current student, suggests you browse the course catalog and see if any courses excite you.
Interdisciplinary study and academic exploration are qualities that Johns Hopkins highly values, and Tori suggests exploring the opportunities on offer and mentioning what interests you. For example, Johns Hopkins has more research funding than any other college across the nation, and 80% of students participate in some form of research while at Hopkins.
If you can illustrate your interests or experiences to align with this, you will tailor your application to the school. Tailoring your application is crucial because it provides a clear roadmap on how Johns Hopkins will be a perfect fit for you and why it will be the ideal stepping-stone to pursue your interest and ultimately achieve your ambitions.
Also, you always write a letter to the college admissions office. This will not only help you stand out, but also show that you’re taking an initiative.
When Johns Hopkins reviews an application, it looks to see if they can interpret an applicant’s engagement with three areas:
The last two, in particular, focus on what you do outside of the classroom. Hopkins urges you to ask yourself how you can or have made a difference through innovation, service, or leadership. Highlight the key takeaways from your experiences, ask yourself, What have you learned? How have your experiences shaped you and your perspective on things?
If you want to impress admissions officers, persistence is also an extremely desirable quality; Creasy notes that an applicant who has spent four years tutoring low-income students is more impressive than another who spent a week building orphanages.
Also, you will submit a more robust application if you can illustrate how your abiding interests, whether academic or extracurricular, will “continue and deepen during your time” at JHU. Start by researching the local area or the clubs and societies offered by the university.
“It’s a chance to add depth to something that is important to you and tell the admissions committee more about your background or goals. Test scores only tell part of your story, and we want to know more than just how well you work. We want to see how you actually think.”
Many colleges use supplemental essays to get a sense of your personality beyond your extracurricular activities, test scores, and teacher evaluations.
Unlike the Common Application personal statement, where colleges have no control over what prompts are asked, supplemental essays allow colleges to ask applicants whatever they want. As such, your response is important as it is a golden opportunity for you to speak directly to the admissions committee.
This year, Johns Hopkins asks you to respond to the following prompt:
“Tell us about an aspect of your identity (e.g. race, gender, sexuality, religion, community, etc.) or a life experience that has shaped you as an individual and how that influenced what you’d like to pursue in college at Hopkins. (This can be a future goal or experience that is either academic, extracurricular, or social). (300 word limit)”
Before we look at some tips on how to write the supplemental essay, we should first understand how Johns Hopkins will look at your response. Admissions officers are looking for students who will:
You should aim to cover each of these bases in your responses to increase your chances of admission.
You are the star of this essay, and it should highlight who you are, what you have done, what you have taken away from your experiences, and how this will help you engage with your future college community. To do this authentically, you should choose a topic that has changed your perception of yourself or the world around you.
Savannah Miller, an Admissions Officer with Johns Hopkins, states that you should “choose [to write about] something that is meaningful to you.” Don’t try to write your essay based upon what you think colleges want to hear; write about something that has impacted you and illustrate why this experience has made you want to succeed at Johns Hopkins.
To state the obvious - you need to address the prompt. As simple as this sounds, it is not easy. The prompt outlined above essentially asks you to write two things:
It’s difficult to answer one half of the prompt within 400 words, let alone both parts. However, Stephen Farmer, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions at UNC, notes that “probably the biggest mistake applicants make in supplemental essays is choosing a topic that’s too big.”
Choose a specific topic and drill down into it - be detailed. After doing this, it is important that you touch upon a topic and then show how this has shaped your thoughts, feelings, or actions.
For example, one successful applicant wrote a supplemental essay about synchronized dancing in a group. After dedicating several paragraphs to establishing this context, they wrote:
“I’ve learned a lot from playing mallet percussion across the ensembles offered at my school, but the most important thing I’ve learned is to relax, and allow the hours me and my peers have put into rehearsal take their course. I am a notoriously anxious person, obsessed with precision and perfection. Performing is anything but precise; it’s fluid and expressive. When the drum major counts off, I cannot worry about my stance behind the board, or if how much torque I am applying to the first stroke is the same as the person next to me. I must be unapologetically confident. The faith that I’ve cultivated in my peers in creating this musical tapestry has translated to an increased faith in myself and my own abilities. No longer am I afraid to explore new talents, or take intellectual excursions into fields unbeknownst to me. I am free to teach myself anything, from the entirety of Claude Debussy’s works on piano to the John Cena theme song on recorder. Indeed, contributing to something greater than myself has fundamentally changed who I am for the better.”
This concluding paragraph brilliantly captures how the applicant has gained confidence and is now unafraid of pushing themselves physically and academically.
Additionally, as outlined above, interdisciplinary study and academic exploration are qualities that Johns Hopkins highly values. The applicant illustrated how they learned from an experience while also tying it into the qualities that JHU values.
“A good essay to me, in general, is one where I learn something about the student that I wouldn’t learn elsewhere in the application.” -Monica Inzer, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Hamilton College in New York
Instead of repeating what you have written in other parts of your application, write something different! This is a golden opportunity for you to share what you want to share with the admissions committee.
Whether you decide to write about your passion for fly fishing or your love of cars, as long as you can show how this has shaped who you are and why you would be a great candidate, Johns Hopkins will accept nearly anything.
However, it is recommended that you avoid sensitive topics and illegal or illicit behavior.
Let’s now take a look at several nominated essay examples provided by Johns Hopkins where students shared stories that gave the admissions committee an insight into their character and values and how they would align with Hopkins’ values and culture:
In this essay, the applicant outlines a quick recipe for making fried rice but then quickly states that “the only true fried rice recipe is no recipe at all.” Despite liking the meticulous and accurate nature of recipes and other things in life, however, they write:
“I understand the beauty of spontaneity and organic creation. There’s something special in realizing that no two recreations of my grandpa’s fried rice will ever be the same, and really, isn’t that what life is? Creation, without recipe?
It’s funny. This may contradict everything I’ve written thus far, but the more I bake, the more I realize perhaps baking is spontaneous too. I don’t always need to weigh my flour beforehand in order to get perfect cookies, nor do I really need to add the copious amounts of sugar the recipe calls for. My signature food is brownies, but I challenged myself to use a different recipe every time. You’d be surprised at how different brownies taste when you add an extra egg, and you’d be especially uncertain about my baking skills if you tried my brownies that had wayyy too much baking soda (trial and error…).
I’m learning to love improvisation. It’s not mutually exclusive with loving precision, and it’s such an integral part of my culture, I’d be missing out otherwise. Coming to terms with and embracing the unknown is scary and definitely a process, but I assure you: One day, I’ll master my own fried rice.”
Why this is a good essay: Reflecting upon this essay, the admissions committee recognizes the writer’s “willingness to experiment, to take risks and find failure, and to learn from the past.” The writer approaches things positively, and the committee notes that it provides insights into different aspects of their personality.
Switching sports is never easy; you’ve got new techniques to learn, new teammates to meet, and new rules to follow. Yet, this essay describes a candidate’s transition from field hockey to soccer after moving schools. After initially struggling to adjust to the new sport, the writer went to a women’s field hockey practice session, and his perspective shifted:
“At the end of practice, I felt a burning glow of joy overtake my body as I caught my breath on the bench. In that moment, I gradually realized how I should not let obstacles, like gender boundaries in field hockey, hold me back from exploring new opportunities.
Realizing the joy I had found in trying the unconventional, I took this experience to the soccer field to take on its new athletic challenges once again. Rather than agonizing over playing time or titles, I simply redirected my focus on the joy and beauty of the sport. Within days, I noticed the same atmosphere of sweat and screams from the turf take hold of the soccer field. Over time, this helped me take in feedback more readily, ask questions about tactics, and try out new skills. With each new improvement I made through this, I slowly began to grasp the value of my new approach to the sport.
As a result, I decided to bring the same open, curious, and risk-taking mindset with me to the other opportunities that boarding school holds. In the classroom, I began asking deeper questions to fully comprehend new material. Back in the dorm, I turned the cultural differences between my peers into opportunities to learn from and contribute back to. From truly grasping nucleophile-electrophile reactions in organic chemistry to sharing Dutch ‘stroopwafels’ with my hall, such moments remind me of why I sacrificed my field hockey gear to go to Deerfield; even as my new mindset gradually led to the grades, friendships, and even athletic achievements I sought before, I realized that I value the exploration, growth and joy behind such successes far more.
Now, before I put on my cleats, walk into the classroom or enter my dorm, I do not worry about the successes I might fail to reach or the obstacles that might hold me back. Rather, I pour my heart into such opportunities and take their experiences with me.”
Why this is a good essay: The admissions committee comments that, in switching sports, it is clear that the writer was open-minded in his approach, took risks, and sought out advice from his coaches. He demonstrates how this event has changed how he handles situations and shows he understands the larger significance of his experience.
This essay is very personal; it follows the writer’s changing relationship with their Filipino identity while growing up in a predominantly white town. The candidate outlines how cultural differences and the jokes and stereotypes they overheard made them begin to make them ashamed of their heritage.
At one point, they note that they “started to believe that assimilation was the only pathway to acceptance, along with the only way I could feel less alone within my community.” However, once they entered high school, her perspective shifted:
“It was not until I entered high school that I realized how wrong I was. Although I did not encounter an increase in diversity in terms of ethnicity, I saw an increase in the spectrum of perspectives around me. Through electives, clubs, and activities, the student body I was met with since my freshman year was open-minded, as well as politically and culturally active and engaged, and I immediately joined in. At speech and debate tournaments, I talked with students from across the globe, while at discussions between the High School Democrats Club and Young Conservatives Club at my school, I enjoyed listening and being exposed to different viewpoints. Suddenly, I was no longer willing to feel defeated and instead began to feel confident in displaying my Filipino pride. I introduced my friends to an array of Filipino dishes from lumpia to toron, I asked my social studies teachers questions about the history and current state of the Philippines, and I no longer saw myself and my background as what differentiated me from others and caused my feelings of aloneness, but as something that I should embrace.
I changed my narrative from “alone” to “unique,” and I strive to spread the message that being different can and should be the norm to my peers. I would not be who I am without my Filipino background, and although the community I live in is what previously made me feel alone, it is also what gave me the potential to learn, grow, and broadened my appreciation for what made me unique.”
Why this is a good essay: Reflecting on this, the admissions committee notes that without this essay, they would not have understood how significant this experience was for the writer.
It illustrates how you should always choose to write about something that isn’t highlighted anywhere else in your application. The committee concludes that they can see the writer thriving at Hopkins as it is clear they embrace diverse viewpoints and identities and seek new opportunities.
Johns Hopkins accepts applications through the Common Application or Coalition Application. Here's what you'll need:
The application process at Johns Hopkins can be chosen from three decision plans each with a specific deadline:
In terms of tuition fees, Johns Hopkins costs $62,840 for undergraduate first years. However, there are other costs involved:
Source: Johns Hopkins University
Students planning on living at home can expect their total cost of attendance to be lower, at $73,591.
Johns Hopkins University offers a variety of financial aid and scholarship opportunities to help students cover the cost of their education. Here is an overview of some of the key financial aid and scholarship programs available at Johns Hopkins.
To make higher education accessible and affordable, Johns Hopkins University offers a range of need-based scholarships tailored to support students who demonstrate financial need.
These scholarships are awarded based on demonstrated financial need. The grant amount varies and can be renewed each year according to your level of need.
This program offers scholarships to Baltimore City and Washington, DC public school graduates who demonstrate financial need. The program has two tiers of funding based on family income.
This need-based scholarship is renewable for up to three additional years and offers specialized academic programs and service opportunities.
Graduates from any UWC school who choose to matriculate at Johns Hopkins University can become Davis UWC Scholars, and those who qualify for need-based financial aid are eligible for additional support.
Awarded annually to first-year students with demonstrated financial need, this scholarship also provides opportunities for involvement in a distinctive community.
Offered to incoming international students who demonstrate both need and merit, this scholarship is renewable for up to eight semesters.
This is a federal grant awarded based on the completion of the FAFSA and is need-based.
Provides financial aid to students with exceptional need, with priority given to Federal Pell Grant recipients.
Eligibility for state aid depends on the decisions of state scholarship agencies, and some states may require a separate scholarship application. Maryland residents may also be eligible for specific state grants.
Johns Hopkins University provides a selection of merit-based scholarships to support students who have demonstrated outstanding achievements and leadership.
These scholarships are offered based on academic and personal achievement, leadership, and are automatically renewed yearly, provided the recipient maintains a 3.0 GPA.
Available to children of Beneficial Corporation employees who worked for two or more years before June 30, 1998.
Renewable annually for up to four years, this scholarship is for students in the GWC Whiting School of Engineering who maintain a 3.0 GPA or better.
Offers opportunities for academic training or experiential learning funded by nationally competitive fellowships.
Offered through on-campus Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC programs, these scholarships provide tuition assistance, book allowances, and monthly stipends in exchange for military service upon graduation.
In addition to the scholarships noted above, John Hopkins connects candidates with private scholarships, and scholarships through particular schools at the university.
For example, there are several Johns Hopkins scholarships for medical students. These scholarships are provided by the Direct Loan William D. Ford Unsubsidized student loan program, the Federal Direct Grad Plus Program, and the Federal Work-study Program. In addition to these, Johns Hopkins offers a range of other scholarships.
Keep in mind that while some scholarships may primarily be need-based or merit-based, eligibility criteria and specific requirements can vary.
To understand how to access financial assistance from Johns Hopkins University, students should review the details of each scholarship program and the university's financial aid application process for comprehensive information on how to apply and qualify for these scholarships.
Johns Hopkins University does not require interviews for the general undergraduate admissions process. They use a holistic review, and while alumni interviews may be offered, they are optional and informational.
If you decide to apply for Early Decision, you have two options:
Both Early Decision options allow you to apply to Hopkins before the Regular Decision deadline and receive your admission decision early. However, if you are admitted at either stage, you must attend the college.
Johns Hopkins University has an early acceptance rate of 44.4%, making it a competitive but attainable option for prospective students.
Prospective students should be prepared for a challenging application process and ensure their application demonstrates their academic excellence and overall fit with the university's values and mission.
Consider applying to Johns Hopkins if you:
Things to Keep in Mind:
If the above points resonate with you, then Johns Hopkins University could be a fantastic choice!
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about getting into Johns Hopkins.
To submit a stronger Johns Hopkins application, go beyond simply showcasing high grades and test scores. Research the university deeply to pinpoint how its specific programs, research opportunities, and overall values connect with your goals and passions.
An Early Decision (ED) Binding Agreement is a formal contract you sign as part of your college application. By signing the agreement, you pledge that if you are accepted to the university through Early Decision, you will absolutely attend that school.
Johns Hopkins also accepts supplemental application information such as artwork, research abstracts, or other documentation. You should make sure that these items will contribute to your application.
Yes, admissions officers will be evaluating the quality of your writing and your application, so it is worth taking the time to proofread and re-proof your writing.
If you are struggling, you can always ask a family member or peer to look at your essay. However, your voice and writing style must shine through any edits made.
If you are struggling with writing your admissions essays, seek the help of an admissions expert who can guide you through the process.
Maximize your essay by staying within the word count, but that doesn't mean simply filling space. Improve the impact of your supplemental essay by:
Important: Word count shouldn't be the sole focus. Quality and substance ultimately matter more than length.
If you apply Early Decision to Johns Hopkins and are not admitted, you might be deferred, meaning your application will be reconsidered alongside the Regular Decision pool. This gives you another shot at gaining admission.
Johns Hopkins University is renowned for its excellence in multiple fields. It holds a particularly strong reputation in medicine and biomedical research, with the School of Medicine consistently ranking among the best globally.
Hopefully, you now know how to get into Johns Hopkins and that it is no walk in the park; it attracts exceptionally gifted students who often achieve exceptional test scores. However, as outlined above, the admissions committee looks at more than just your grades.
Your letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, and admissions essays all have an impact on your chances of acceptance. By choosing teachers with whom you are familiar, you can submit stronger letters of recommendation that provide the committee with more information about you and indicate your future success.
Your essays are also equally important as they allow Hopkins to get a feel for your personality beyond your test scores and teacher evaluations.
By focusing your writing on specific experiences and illustrating how the lessons you have learned from them will make you great for Hopkins’ community, you will undoubtedly increase your chances of admission. Good luck with your application!