School Profile: Make Your Impact on the World at Johns Hopkins University

Benefactor Johns Hopkins willed $7 million to start up the University that now bears his name. It was founded in 1876 on the premise that research and discovery were of equal importance to teaching and learning. Johns Hopkins University’s other ideal is not to limit education to its students, but rather to lift the collective education of society at the same time. With these principles in mind, Johns Hopkins has become a preeminent model for other research universities across the globe, and is #26 on the Veritas Prep Elite Colleges Rankings.

Johns Hopkins reputation for excellence and leadership is built primarily on its health and sciences focus, which includes JHU School of Medicine, Bloomberg School of Public Health, and JHU School of Nursing graduate programs associated with the renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital. The University is also widely recognized as a leader in international studies, and its proximity to Washington, D.C. offers students coveted internships and jobs in the nation’s capital. The graduate program in the School of Advanced International Studies has three campuses – Washington, D.C., Bologna, Italy, and Nanjing, The People’s Republic of China.

The first graduating class of fifteen at JHU School of Medicine was in 1897. One of its first major research contributions came in the 1920s when researchers at the University developed the process of chlorination to purify drinking water, which is universally used by municipalities and industries today. Johns Hopkins boasts twenty-two Nobel laureates affiliated with the University. Countless government officials and public servants including President Woodrow Wilson, Vice President Spiro Agnew, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and others have passed through the University.

Over sixty notable academicians, mathematicians, and scientists have made their marks on the world like NASA’s Michael Griffin, physicist Frank Oppenheimer, and John Dewey, education reformer. The list goes on and on for business, literature, art, and media. Johns Hopkins vision has played out in the world through the work of its faculty and graduates in ways he probably couldn’t have imagined. If you are looking for a place to grow and make your impact on the world, Johns Hopkins University could be the school for you.

Johns Hopkins University is an urban school whose primary Homewood campus lies on a former 140-acre private estate in northern Baltimore, Maryland. It is home to 5,800 undergrads, the Krieger School of Arts & Science and the Whiting School of Engineering grad programs. The Federalist architecture, marked by red brick buildings, is organized into quads with plenty of open green spaces. Freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus, with freshmen living in the older Alumni Memorial Residences (ARMS) on the freshmen quad, or student-athletes living in Wolman located just off campus on the other side of St. Paul Street, which runs parallel to campus. The student housing is the hub of social living and offers regularly scheduled social events.

Many sophomores live in McCoy, a dorm similar to Wolman in age and architecture. Charles Commons is the newest of the dorms, putting its suite-style living with various amenities and the Nolan dining hall, in high demand. Bradford and Homewood offer apartment-style student housing with studios, one, two, three, and four bedroom units. They are less social by design and offer more privacy for upperclassmen. Fraternities also offer housing for their members, and regularly host parties. Greek life for both male and female students is evident on campus, but doesn’t dominate the social scene by any means.

The consensus among students is that Johns Hopkins is not the best college choice for a thriving social scene. Many students complain about the lack of social opportunities on campus and the strain of seriousness that permeates the atmosphere. There are opportunities to socialize through over 100 student clubs and organizations, and resourceful students are able to find plenty of options in the city of Baltimore for fun activities. Some residents of Bradford and Homewood throw house parties, if you happen to make the right relationships. This university has a seriously competitive academic atmosphere that doesn’t leave a lot of room for typical college socializing, so if partying is essential to your college experience, this might not be the school for you.

The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays are an NCAA Division III program in the Centennial Conference. Their water polo team is consistently one of the top D3 teams in the nation, often competing against D1 schools. The men’s and women’s basketball and soccer programs, along with men’s baseball, are also competitive. The pride of JHU sports, however, are the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, which play Division I and have amassed 44 national titles – nine of them Division I. Their primary rival is Duke lacrosse, and home games on Homewood Field draw large crowds of cheering students who sit in The Nest (student section), wearing black or blue.

Traditions at JHU include the men’s lacrosse season home-opener, which generates a lot of enthusiasm, homecoming weekend, fall festival, the lighting of the quads for the holidays, and the popular and heavily attended spring fair. A newer tradition is High Table, where freshmen share a formal dinner with deans and faculty. If you’re looking to make your mark in medicine, research, science, or on the political world stage, JHU is an excellent choice to develop your platform.

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By Colleen Hill

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