Pre-med at Johns Hopkins, Duke, or UCLA?

Hello everyone!

I’m having a pretty difficult time picking between Johns Hopkins, Duke, and UCLA (regents) on a premed track.

-I was admitted BME.
-I absolutely love the school and it’s strong academic environment, but I am concerned about the supposed lack of a social atmosphere. I consider myself a quite social person, and I do not necessarily want to go to a school if there is not much of a social life.
-I also like that JHU is close to major east coast cities like DC and NYC (3 hour drive).

-I applied for neuroscience here.
-I have heard that the social life is better here than at Hopkins.
-Duke is the most expensive of the three

-I was admitted for neuroscience with Regents.
-I am concerned about the larger school atmosphere, as I like the smaller environments that Duke and JHU have.

Do any of you have any opinions or advice for the factors to consider when making a decision between these three considering the academic and social environments? I’m pretty torn between the three and do not know what to pick.


Costs significantly different?

Premeds need to consider saving money or avoiding debt because medical school is very expensive.

Cost should be the primary factor if money is any kind of a concern here. These are all great schools, you will have plenty of opportunities and achieve whatever goals you have at any of them. That being said, here are some links that address the common concerns and opportunities at Hopkins. Just to outright tell you: Hopkins is not cutthroat, people have social lives and Baltimore is not a war zone. These are the same three things people ask again and again and they simply aren’t true. Make sure you ultimately base this important decision on real information with real students and not just hearsay from a friend of a friend. Look over these threads where there is more discussion on these common misconceptions:


Hopkins Program Benefits and general JHU questions (these are for neuroscience, but as a BME on a premed track many of these will apply to you):

Hopkins as a Premed “Pressure Cooker”:

Just so you know, nearly a third (or more) of Hopkins BME each year are going the premed route. It is a hard route to take because you learn a lot of information that in not necessary for the MCAT, there is difficult coursework, etc. The good news though is that if it does become too hard (or you just realize it’s unnecessary for a premed track), it is very easy to switch out of BME. Students manage to complete other science majors (like Neuroscience, Molecular and Cellular Biology, etc) due to overlapping basic science and GE requirements even when switching majors at the end of sophomore year. Always good to have a Plan B.

@ucbalumnus Cost is definitely a factor, and we are currently working with the financial aid office at JHU to try and reduce the cost!

@NixonDenier Thank you for all of the information! That is all super helpful, and I will take a look at these links!