3 vs 4 years of language for JHU? Also, math vs bio as stated major?

Hi everyone,
I’d be grateful for your advice on 2 JHU questions.

  1. I’m a white female junior from the northeast looking at JHU for ED, and wondering if skipping a 4th year of French would doom my chances? I’m currently taking French 4 as a junior and don’t want to take AP French senior year. (Would rather double up on math and science next year, instead, so I would have 6 core subjects, just not a language.)

  2. I’m really into both mathematics and biology (molecular/cellular/genetics) and could even see myself double majoring or at least major/minoring, with an eye toward something like bioinformatics or computational molecular bio in grad school. For JHU would it be better to state my intended major as math, for admissions purposes? I’m figuring it might be harder to compete as an applicant with tons of pre-med bio majors, than against the applicant pool of math majors, where there might be fewer females? I have ECs and “evidence” for both subjects, and an especially cool, unique EC for math that I’ve been doing since freshman year.
    My scores are not great --SAT 1450 from first sitting, though I"m hoping to retake in August to get that up, and I have a couple of Bs on my transcript, so I know my chances are not great in the first place. I might be better off not even submitting an SAT score unless I can get it up substantially – but I guess that’s another discussion.
    Thanks for any advice on any of this! I really fell for Hopkins on the tour last year, but it’s a huge reach for me, so trying to stay realistic. The ED rate of about 30% makes me fantasize I may have a tiny chance, though.

JHU is also D21 top choice school and she actually will only have 3yrs of a 2nd Lang with zero option to add nor wants to. Also regarding a couple of B’s on your transcript is OK as their Average GPA is a 3.92 So I’m thinking as long as you are trending upward and your classes are rigorous. And remember, do NOT worry about comparing yourself to students here on CC as your course options may not be the same. Look at your school profile and compare to THAT. That’s what JHU will be comparing you to and not the school in the next town.

Remember that ED rates are inflated by recruited athletes and hooked applicants.

You’ve reached level 4 in French so you’re covered.
What will your senior schedule look like?

You should apply for Math if you’ve got relevant courses and EC’s in that. No need to be the 10,000th bio applicant to JHU when you have another major that interests you.

Thank you to everyone for the feedback!
Senior year I am taking AP Calc BC, AP Stats, AP World Hist, AP Lit, Honors Anatomy and AP Environmental Science. Outside of my high school I also want to take a Linear Algebra class (probably online through CTY but not sure yet, might be able to find a local college with timing that works). I feel like I could handle Calc 3 concurrently with BC, since I self-studied a lot of the “C” curriculum while taking Calc AB junior year, but my school won’t let me do that. Taking Calc AB junior year was boring and a mistake, oh well. I do play a fall varsity sport that will prolly be cancelled next year, so I was looking to take another higher level math, and from what I’ve read linear algebra is doable without having taken multi-variable first. I know that math major applicants to JHU coming in will have crazy-high levels of achievement and lots of college math, and I won’t have that, but I didn’t get a head start or any middle school enrichment from my family. I have done a lot of self-study on my own and just love math and have some creative EC stuff involving math (not just volunteer tutoring). Maybe I should take multi-variable online while doing BC at my school, although I doubt they would let me put it on my transcript. Does it sound like I have any kind of chance applying JHU for math based on all this? I really want to stay realistic and not get my hopes up. Everybody there is probably totally brilliant and I really have to work hard for every single grade.

Yeah…every time I get a little bit hopeful I remember that. I know a recruited athlete from my school who got in for bio this year with way lower level classes than I’m taking, and that’s just life. She worked really hard too, just in a different way. Do you think that higher ED acceptance rate is MOSTLY athletes and kids with a hook? I guess there’s no way to really know.

I asked in our Johns Hopkins incoming freshmen groupchat, and here’s the results so far of our poll:
Out of the 41 that have responded
26 took 4 years of a language (meaning [language] 1 through [language] 4 / AP , some of these people have the credits of 4 years of language but took them all in one year or took some before high school)
10 took 3 years of a language
2 took 2 years of a language
1 took 1 year of a language

I’m a physics and applied math major at Hopkins, and I took Alg 1 thru Calc AB in high school, and the vast majority of my friends had not gone past BC in high school. No need to rush through math in high school, especially if your credits don’t end up transferring to Hopkins (need AP/IB scores or to have taken the class at an accredited college or university to transfer the credit to Hopkins).

Apply to Hopkins as whichever major you’re interested in; it has very very little impact on your admission unless you’re applying for BME, as a ton of students end up declaring majors different from those they applied for. Know that you CANNOT switch to BME if you were accepted for another major due to the limit JHU sets on the number of BME majors per year, so if you are interested at all in BME and think you might want to major in it, I would recommend applying for it.

Thanks. That’s a good point, that they will compare me with kids from my school. I really wish I had taken Calc BC as a junior, so I could do Calc 3 senior year. There will definitely be some kids from my high school with Calc 3 applying to JHU, and they all tend to be male grinders with gaming/CS hobbies and lots of Math Circles and math camp stuff that they got help with through their parents. I didn’t do any math circles stuff, my parents wouldn’t pay for math camp and I didn’t get much help planning out classes from my school, it’s a really big urban school. Maybe by taking linear algebra outside of school senior year that will make u for the lack of Calc 3? I hope it will work out ok. Hopefully in college wherever I go I’ll met some more girls who like math!

Wow, this was really generous of you to do, thank you so much for asking on the group! Makes me feel better to see the responses and to know I"m not necessarily doomed from the language thing, plus to hear that going past BC is not necessarily a huge deal. I guess I’m just comparing myself to the small number of boys at my school who do get past BC, since Calc 3 is offered at school and I worried it would look bad if I didn’t “challenge myself” enough to take it. I defnitely don’t want BME, but appreciate the heads up there. I really appreciate your time and help overall. And for sure I"m not trying to race ahead to place out of anything, I’m not that genius-level kid who is going to do that anyway, will need all the review and repetition I can get. Thank you so much!

@mathgurl02 my D21 LOVES math. She’s a Mathlete, has done AofPS for fun and fell in LOVE with Physics this past school year. So yes, I’m sure you will meet girls who think math is fun! She sure does.

She does want to apply to the BME program but she is also possibly PreMed. We will see. She will find her path.

I have 3 kids who got into Hopkins ED with no hook (we are not alum, no recruited athletes, etc). Only 1 of them did a 4th year of a language. Great grades and testing and what I consider the “normal” amount of sports and ECs. It sounds like you have interesting ECs and a rigorous schedule. I’m not certain how COVID affected the SAT/ACT, but are you considering taking the ACT instead of retaking the SAT? Some people perform better on one than the other (since you said you were concerned about your SAT score).

It should be easier to get in with any major that does not seem premed. If your intention is premed, Hopkins is a difficult place to get GPA. The Applied Math program is great, and oriented towards statistics, OR etc., not engineering math. The theoretical Mathematics Department didn’t really have an undergraduate program when I was there.

When I was there it was definitely harder to get in as premed and they were on the look out for premeds trying to get in with other majors.

I kind of assume that is what you have in mind. If so, it probably won’t work.