Johns Hopkins Medical School is one of the foremost educational institutions in the United States. What does it really take to get accepted into this prestigious school?
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHU SOM) has been a leading medical school for over 125 years. The institution has made significant advancements in biomedicine with breakthrough discoveries and is associated with 16 Nobel Prize laureates. In other words, they’re among the best of the best.
As an ambitious, aspiring medical student, you’re likely wondering how to get into Johns Hopkins Medical School. We’ve created a comprehensive guide on getting accepted to this highly prestigious institution, with everything from admissions statistics, requirements, essay information, and more. Let’s get started!
There are a number of fantastic medical programs offered at JHU SOM, meaning you have plenty of options to fit your goals. Programs offered include:
Beyond these programs, there are other academic pathways offered at Johns Hopkins Medical School, including several other dual-degree programs.
As you may know, admissions at JHU SOM are highly competitive. At a glance, here are the details of how hard it is to get into Johns Hopkins Medical School.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is a highly prestigious institution, so getting accepted into its programs is by no means easy.
On average, the Johns Hopkins Medical School acceptance rate is 7%. For the class of 2024, Johns Hopkins received 5604 applicants, of whom just 664 were given interviews. From the interview, only 284 candidates were accepted, with a final enrollment count of 121.
In other words, the class of 2024 had an acceptance rate of 5.1%, below their typical average. Of those who matriculated, 50% were women, and 50% were men. The student body of 2024 represents three countries, 27 American states, and more than 50 undergraduate institutions.
Being such a well-regarded school, academic expectations are high for students applying to Johns Hopkins’ medical programs. For the class of 2024, the average GPA of successful applicants was 3.93.
This means it’s integral to aim for a GPA of 3.90 at the very least. Landing above the average will improve your odds of getting into JHU SOM even more.
Now you might be wondering what a good MCAT score is for Johns Hopkins. As with your GPA, a higher MCAT score is preferable. The JHU SOM class of 2024 had an average MCAT score of 521, which was in the 99th percentile of all test-takers.
Going to medical school in the United States usually costs a significant amount of money. On top of your tuition, you will also have to account for the cost of your books and housing, among other expenses.
Johns Hopkins Medical School estimates a yearly tuition (not including other fees) of $59,700 per year, which works out to a total of $238,800 for a four-year program. These costs are more or less par for the course for medical school tuition in the United States.
JHU SOM also offers significant financial aid. They administer $40M each year in loans, grants, work, scholarships, and funding, and 85% of students who apply for financial aid receive some assistance for their expenses.
Most medical schools in the United States have fairly stringent requirements for hopeful applicants, and Johns Hopkins Medical School is no exception. Here are the most critical requirements and prerequisites* to have when applying to JHU SOM.
Johns Hopkins Medical School prides itself on academic excellence. This begins with high standards for the foundations of medicine: sciences, mathematics, and humanities. In addition to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), here are the coursework requirements for JHU SOM at a glance:
You’ll need to have completed at least one year (eight semester hours) in a college biology course in a laboratory. The Johns Hopkins Medical School website also recommends some separate supplementary biology courses. This includes a semester on genetics (four semester hours) and courses in mammalian or molecular biology.
JHU SOM requires one year (eight semester hours) of general college chemistry in a laboratory. You’re also required to have one semester (four semester hours) of experience with organic chemistry in a lab and a minimum of three semester hours in biochemistry (no lab required).
From electricity to optics, there are countless aspects of physics that are instrumental in medical research. JHU SOM requires applicants to have eight semester hours, or one year, of general college-level physics coursework (in a laboratory) under their belt.
Johns Hopkins Medical School places great value on a holistic and accepting view of the complexities of humankind. You’re required to have spent at least 24 semester hours, combined, on humanities subjects (e.g., English, History, Philosophy, Arts), social sciences (e.g., Sociology, Political Science), and behavioral sciences (e.g., Psychology, Psychiatry). You’ll also need to include two writing-focused classes in any of the above subjects as part of the JHU SOM communication skills requirements.
Math is vital for medical practitioners, so a strong foundation in the subject is vital for students. The Johns Hopkins Medical School math requirement is a minimum of six semester hours of calculus and/or statistics. The JHU SOM website also strongly recommends applicants take at least one semester of statistics, epidemiology, or both.
*Note that Johns Hopkins Medical School now accepts online prerequisite courses. JHU SOM also accepts AP and IB credits for prerequisites, although these students may have different requirements.
JHU SOM requires applicants to take the MCAT no later than September of the year of their application. You can use an MCAT score for up to four years prior to your expected enrollment date.
Additionally, students who received their undergraduate education in a language other than English will have to complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
You have three options* to fulfill your letter of recommendation requirements for Johns Hopkins Medical School. You can submit one of the three following letter types:
*For students applying to JHU SOM’s M.D.-Ph.D. program, you’ll need two additional letters of reference from faculty with whom you have performed research.
You’ll need to demonstrate key skills to get into Johns Hopkins Medical School. Communication is an example; you’re expected to have a “precise and fluent” command of the English language (spoken and written). Conversational fluency in another language is also recommended.
You should also demonstrate teamwork skills in your application, whether through academic work or extracurricular activities. Generally, JHU SOM is looking for students who are:
You should be prepared for the JHU SOM admissions process to take a holistic look at your application. They will evaluate you not only as a student but as a person and potential doctor.
As with anything else when applying for medical school, going above and beyond these requirements for Johns Hopkins Medical School will significantly improve your odds of admission. So be sure to think of these as minimum requirements and exceed them wherever possible!
Now that you understand the prerequisites and requirements to apply to Johns Hopkins, it’s time to set your expectations for the application process.
Like all M.D. programs in the United States, JHU SOM uses the AMCAS as its primary application. This means that for the first segment of the application process, you’ll need to fill out some forms outlining your information. Because it’s standardized, there are some general AMCAS best practices.
Here’s the timeline you can expect for your Johns Hopkins Medical School application:
*The AMCAS application functions on a first-come-first-served basis. Submit your primary application as soon as possible to improve your odds of admission.
Once you’ve completed your AMCAS primary application, it’s time to start work on your secondary application. This part of the process – five essay-format questions with an optional sixth question – is unique to JHU SOM. Here are the questions you’ll answer:
“Describe your single most rewarding experience. Feel free to refer to an experience previously described in your AMCAS application. (2500 characters)”
For this question, it’s essential to be honest and highly specific. JHU SOM is looking for clear, tangible examples of rewarding experiences, whether they were in a medical context or not. Don’t tell a subpar story simply because it involved your studies in medicine; feel free to talk about rewarding moments in your other activities too!
“Are there any areas of medicine that are of particular interest to you? If so, please comment. (2500 characters)”
The wording of this question might make it seem optional, but you should absolutely answer it as thoroughly as you can. Notice that the language used is ‘areas,’ meaning you don’t have to choose just one aspect of medicine.
By asking this question, Johns Hopkins Medical School is asking about your specific interests and passions beyond the field of medicine. It’s a great chance to show off your personal goals and ambitions and prove that you’ll be a motivated student.
“Briefly describe a situation where you had to overcome adversity; include lessons learned and how you think it will affect your career as a future physician. (2500 characters)”
Like many other institutions, JHU SOM uses this question to gauge your perseverance, problem-solving skills, and overall tenacity. Being a doctor is often a challenging role, so the admissions council wants to be sure you can handle that adversity, both at Johns Hopkins and beyond.
Consider linking the adversity you’ve faced to your interest at JHU SOM. The more you can connect your personal story to the school, the easier it will be for the admissions committee to imagine you as part of the cohort.
“Briefly describe a situation where you were not in the majority. What did you learn from the experience? (2500 characters).”
This is your chance to talk about an important learning experience that you’ve had in your life. It’s a great time to talk about the challenges you’ve faced as a minority (e.g., ethnic, socioeconomic), but it’s not the only way to answer!
Being in the minority could be a time when your opinion on something differed from those around you. It could also be an example of a unique challenge you had to overcome. The most important thing is to tell a story about a time when you were pushed to adapt, grow, and learn – all traits that JHU SOM is looking for.
“Tell us about a time in recent years that you experienced wonder in your everyday life. Although experiences related to your clinical or research work may be the first to come to mind, we encourage you to think of an experience that is unrelated to medicine or science. What did you learn from that experience? (2500 characters max)”
While it’s easy to get hung up on appearing professional and capable when applying to get into Johns Hopkins Medical School, it’s also important to remember that it’s a learning experience!
As a doctor, your curiosity and drive are vital assets. JHU SOM is looking for examples of natural curiosity that are unrelated to medicine. This is your chance to frame your passion and ambition in a holistic way – it will help you demonstrate how well-rounded a candidate you are!
“If you feel there is information not already addressed in the application that will enable the Committee to know more about you and this has influenced your desire to be a physician, feel free to write a brief statement in the space below.* (2500 characters) (*Optional – No penalty for not answering).”
Johns Hopkins Medical School values a diverse range of voices and perspectives in its programs. So if there’s something about your background that can paint a complete picture of yourself as an applicant, this is your chance to tell that story!
Here are some examples of information you might wish to share:
Remember that the secondary application is your best chance to show off your individuality and set yourself apart from other applicants. Understanding how to make an impact with your secondary essays will be a huge help in getting into Johns Hopkins Medical School!
Now that you’ve submitted your primary AMCAS application and all the necessary materials for your secondary application, what’s next? If you make it this far, give yourself a pat on the back – you’re almost there! Now that you’re on the last stretch, it’s time to begin preparing for your interview.
JHU SOM applicants will do two interviews, one with a member of the JHU medical faculty and another with a fourth-year medical student. The interview gives the committee more insight into you as an applicant, student, and potential doctor.
Expanding on your essay topics is a good way to prepare for your interviews. Be sure that your passion and ambition carry over in this interview – JHU SOM is looking for highly motivated individuals, so make your enthusiasm clear! This is also a great time to explore why you want to attend Johns Hopkins.
As you can see, a lot goes into understanding how to get into Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. If you still have some unanswered questions, we’ve got you covered.
While a higher GPA is naturally better, you should shoot to land at a GPA of at least 3.93, which is the average GPA of students admitted into the JHU SOM class of 2024.
There’s no single tip that will help you get into Johns Hopkins Medical School, but there are some key things that will improve your chances! These include nailing your primary AMCAS application, writing strong essays for your secondary application, and preparing answers for common interview questions.
Admissions for Johns Hopkins Medical School are quite competitive. With that said, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine prides itself on a non-competitive atmosphere for its students, focusing instead on collaboration and celebration of each student’s accomplishments.
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine acceptance rate is 7% on average, although this can change from year-to-year. The class of 2024 had an acceptance rate of just 5.1%. Of the 284 students accepted, just 121 matriculated for the following year.
Each year, Johns Hopkins Medical School searches for exceptional candidates for their medical education programs. If you’re an ambitious, driven individual who not only excels in their academics but also offers holistic skills in teamwork and leadership, it could be the institution for you!
Inspira Advantage can help you get into the school of your dreams, even highly competitive ones such as JHU SOM. With the support of Inspira, you can polish your application, stand out from the crowd, and make your dreams come true!