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To Alums, Why Johns Hopkins?

qwertylpqwertylp Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
edited September 2012 in Johns Hopkins University
To Alums, Why Johns Hopkins?
Hi, I realize on these forums you commonly see posts "Will I get into ____" or "What are my chances for ____". I have a completely different question.

Why did you go to Johns Hopkins? When you got there what stood out to you? (pros and cons)

And lastly what differentiates JH from other top universities?

Thanks, and fyi I am a good student, just trying to decide which school I will be applying to.
Post edited by qwertylp on

Replies to: To Alums, Why Johns Hopkins?

  • zorritazorrita Registered User Posts: 34 Junior Member
    Why did I go to Hopkins? I knew I wanted to study public health, and it's the best public health school in the world. You get an opportunity to take classes at Bloomberg as an undergrad, and work with the professors there (if you choose). Not only that, their public health program had more variety than, in my opinion, all of the other schools I looked at -- they do have the only Mental Health department in a school of public health in the country, and perhaps the world.
    I was interested in meeting a variety of people from different areas of the country and world who were interested in different things -- which I did.
    I did not get the "elitist" feel from Hopkins that I did from the Ivies and some of the other top schools to which I applied.
    Also, unlike many schools in cities, Hopkins undergrad has a self-contained campus, and a beautiful one at that.
    As an undergrad, I was offered opportunities to really participate in research. Not like the, "Hey, undergrad, can you get my coffee and pipette for 124398 hours" variety that's common, I participated in my lab and was even published as an undergrad.
    The Hopkins name is well-known and commands respect worldwide. While of course this is true for other top schools, I have found it to be particularly salient in my field (Public Health). My degree from Bloomberg (I have an undergrad and a grad degree from Hopkins) simply means more to people I interact with than a degree from another school of public health.
    There are some AWESOME people here. I took classes from the pediatrician who literally invented the WIC program. I had dinner at Sol Snyder's house. I corresponded over email with Peter Pronovost -- and all of these people have been super down to earth and willing, even eager, to teach peons like me ;)

    What stood out when I got here?
    - How different it was from what I was told. I thought that everyone would want to be a doctor and it would be super competitive between students. While there certainly are competitive people, particularly in certain subjects/specialities, I always found professors and TAs to be accessible and eager to help, and always got help from other students when I asked. Also, only MOST people want to be doctors, haha!
    - EVERY BUILDING ON CAMPUS LOOKS THE SAME. So it was hard for me to find my way around at first. But Homewood campus is beautiful, especially in the fall!
    - There is some intense jostling for study space in the library, especially around finals, but they built Brody Learning Commons recently, so that should be alleviated a little.
    - It was very, very hard for me to find a group of friends that was in between the extremes of a) near-alcoholic "partying" and b) staying in your room playing StarCraft alone. I DID, and you CAN, you just need to get out there and meet a lot of people. Of course, if you enjoy partying, do so, and if you enjoy StarCraft, do so.
    - people are still open to making friends through all 4 years, at least in my experience. I met some of my best friends junior and senior year. This was not the experience of some of my friends from high school who went to different colleges, where it seemed peer groups were formed freshman year and were much more "sticky."
    - Some of the departments aren't as good as the others. The language departments, in particular, can be really, really weak. French is good, to my knowledge, but Spanish, which I took through the professional level, is TERRIBLE. I don't think I had a single good Spanish professor, in fact, I had one who would actually leave and go to Canada when he wasn't in class, so he was inaccessible, and one who would make fun of students and call them stupid. But that was NOT the norm. I would say 85+% of my professors at Hopkins were good.
    - I had classes with four kids (literally!) and classes with almost a hundred. Many of the larger classes have a main "lecture" taught by the prof and then "sections" taught by TAs, who vary in quality, but most are good. The profs AND TAs all run office hours, and even the "highest and mightiest" of profs will answer the smallest question from a freshman. I missed two weeks of classes my freshman year because of illness (like, I went home), and had a TA sit down with me for four hours and personally teach me the material I had missed from Calc 1. I also had the professor of a 100+ person Intro Politics class make time outside of his regular office hours to answer a relatively minor question I had.
    - Lots of reading! Some you have to do, some you don't.
    - The different campuses are closely aligned, and you can take classes at them all, which is cool. I took classes at the med school, public health school, SAIS, and even Peabody as an undergrad. I don't think that happens at many schools.
    - I met my husband at Hopkins!

    That's... probably more information than you wanted, but you should apply to Hopkins.
  • Blah2009Blah2009 Registered User Posts: 1,337 Senior Member
    Try to visit and come up with your own unique answers.My advice is to not be like the countless kids I interview who have nothing insightful to say and can merely point to rankings.
This discussion has been closed.