How to Start your College Search


StudyingBeginning your college search is an exciting time, as this process will lead you to one of the biggest decisions of your life so far. However, for some, this excitement may also become overwhelming as you begin scouring university websites and pondering the type of school where you would thrive, grow, and succeed over the next four years.

Have no fear! We’ve come up with some simple tips to help with identifying schools that are the right “fit” for you as you begin your college search:

  • Start thinking about size, location, and campus culture.
    • Do you want to attend a large, small, or mid-sized school?
    • Are you more comfortable in a rural or urban setting?
    • Do you envision yourself in an atmosphere similar to your high school, or are you looking for something completely different?
    • Geographically, how far away from home do you want to be?
    • Do you want to attend a school with one or four seasons?
    • Which activities or athletics are most important to you?
  • Consider the academic experience you want to have. If you’re looking for a broader education, considering a liberal arts school is a great option for you; universities and colleges with liberal arts philosophies offer comprehensive teachings in the arts, history, philosophy, and mathematics (as well as other subjects). National and regional universities generally offer a full range of undergraduate majors and emphasize research and hands-on learning for students. Johns Hopkins, for example, combines the flexibility of a liberal arts experience while also providing a myriad of undergraduate research opportunities.

At this point in your search, the goal is to assemble a list of schools that fulfill YOUR specific wants and needs; a good “fit” should be the driving factor to creating this list. Once you’ve thought a bit about the factors above, you should try to visit as many schools on your list as you can. (Considering Hopkins? Click to see our visit options.) As you continue researching schools and refining your list of potential academic homes, try to keep the excitement flowing.

In the end, you will end up exactly where you need to be.

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Summertime at Hopkins



It’s starting to feel a lot like summertime on the Homewood campus—a time when the majority of Hopkins students go home, travel abroad, and find internships, jobs, and research opportunities all around the globe.

Some undergrads also stay on campus for the summer to do research, pursue an internship, or take classes. And when they’re not hard at work, they take advantage of all there is to do in Baltimore.


Get the inside scoop from them! Here are the ways some of our students spend their summers in Baltimore:

Name: Jackie Roche ’16

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Hometown: Norwell, MA

This summer, Jackie decided to take the opportunity to explore off-campus living, and is excited to be in an apartment just across the street from campus. Jackie is looking forward to expanding her experiences as a Robotics minor, as she will be an intern at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, working on computer vision technology.

“What I’m most excited for is cooking in my own kitchen, going to the Waverly Farmer’s Market regularly for my produce, having a car to explore Baltimore(!), watching outdoor movies around the city, especially Little Italy and Fed Hill. Since spring semester has come to an end, I’ve already gone to Preakness, Hershey Park, and explored Fells Point and Hampden!”

Name: Jon Konel ’14

Major: Psychology

Hometown: Nutley, New Jersey

In summer 2013, Jon stayed on campus to assume the role of summer resident advisor (RA) and volunteer in an on-campus memory research laboratory with Dr. Michael Yassa, studying for the MCAT, and exploring Baltimore.

“Some of my highlights in Baltimore were baseball games at Camden Yards, overeating at Fogo de Chao during restaurant week, and experiencing Matt & Kim’s free concert at Power Plant Live. During the fourth of July, I watched five different fireworks shows from the tallest building in Charles Village. I will be spending summer 2015 in Baltimore, and when I’m not busy preparing my medical school applications, I definitely want to check out Artscape and ‘first Thursdays’ concerts in Canton. I will also be busking (street-singing) with my post-collegiate a cappella group, Boh Re Mi.”

Jon leveraged his research experience and connections in Dr. Yassa’s lab to land a full-time clinical research position after graduation at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in a kidney-transplant lab!

Name: Josh Lewittes ’15

Major: Economics

Hometown: New York City

Josh spent last summer in Baltimore working as a Summer Analyst for Stifel in their Investment Banking division.

“Working in Baltimore was a much unique experience than being a student living on Homewood campus. I explored so many different parts of the city on my days off that I had never really spent time in. My office was also within walking distance of the Inner Harbor, making it really convenient to walk around areas like Fells Point and Fed Hill.”

Josh’s experience at Stifel helped him land a full-time position at Citi in New York City after graduation!


Hopkins students pose in front of a Hampden mural (See below for more on the Hampden neighborhood)

Our current students aren’t the only ones who find summer adventures in and around the city. While in town, we encourage prospective students and their families to explore the nearby neighborhoods! If you’re visiting Hopkins this summer, stick around after your campus visit to explore some of our students’ favorite summer activities in the city:

  • For the movie buffs: In one neighborhood or another, there are free outdoor movies almost every night of the week. On Wednesdays, catch a Film on the Pier in Fell’s Point. On Thursdays in Federal Hill, you can BYOB (Bring Your Own Blanket) and catch a flick on the hill. And on a Friday, head to Little Italy for their live music and open air film fest, Cinema al Fresco.
  • For the music lovers: Free summer concerts are also plentiful throughout the city. Offering free live music at Patterson Park and on the Canton waterfront, the First Thursday concert series is a highlight of the summer for many of our students. Grab a blanket and some dinner from the local food trucks, and have a picnic on the lawn while listening to some great music.
First Thursdays in Canton

First Thursdays in Canton

  • For the outdoorsy: There are many hiking and biking trails within close proximity to the Homewood campus, including the 15-mile long Gwynns Falls Trails. There’s also an event called Baltimore Bike Party, where hundreds of Baltimoreans bike through the city dressed to theme and throw a citywide party, just because.
  • For the explorers: Baltimore is a city of unique neighborhoods, and Hampden is one of our students’ favorites. A 10-minute walk from campus, Hampden is full of thrift and antique shops, restaurants, and other quirky hidden gems. In the summer, students love to attend First Fridays in Hampden, where merchants keep their doors open late and offer special sales.
  • For the artists: The art scene in Baltimore is varied and vibrant, and there are numerous art exhibits and shows during the summer. The Walters Art Museum and Baltimore Museum of Art (right next door to campus) are internationally renowned for their collections and general admission to both museums is free! Artscape, the largest free arts festival in the country, occurs every July, and residents gather to shop for original artwork, take tango lessons, and see exhibits of every art medium including photography, sculpture, painting, woodworking, dance, and music.
Street art around the tango lessons dance floor at ArtScape

Street art around the tango lessons dance floor at ArtScape

  • For the sports lovers: With their professional sports stadiums just a few miles from campus, attending an Orioles or Ravens home game is something a lot of Hopkins students take advantage of. Especially considering students can flash their student ID at the Camden Yards ticket booth to buy tickets to the O’s game for less than $10.
O's game

O’s game

  • For the tree huggers: Every Saturday, only three blocks from the Hopkins Homewood campus, local farms and restaurants set up shop to sell local dairy products, fruits, produce, pastries, flowers, and other goodies at the Waverly Farmers Market. Students snag great deals on groceries while stimulating the local economy and being environmentally conscious—all without walking more than a few steps from their dorm rooms.

Waverly famers market

  • For the foodies: Restaurant week is a hallmark of the Baltimore foodie experience. During the 10-day event, some of the best restaurants in Baltimore offer two- and three-course fixed-price menus ranging from $15 to $30. Restaurant week is a great time for students to explore Baltimore neighborhoods while dining at some of the city’s fanciest restaurants—all while sticking to a budget. The Gathering is another foodie paradise in Baltimore city, where food trucks “gather” to benefit various charities each month. Student favorites include the Gypsy Cone from Gypsy Queen Café and the Lobster Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese from GrrChe.
Hot dog specials at the late night hot dog restaurant, Stuggies, in Fells Point

Hot dog specials at the late night hot dog restaurant, Stuggies, in Fells Point

  • For the history buffs: Fort McHenry is Baltimore’s national park, where you can tour the fort, the barracks, and the 1814 Guard house. Last summer, as part of the bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812, Fort McHenry hosted Fort! Flag! Fire! Baltimore’s Star-Spangled Summer with living history performances and cannon firings.

As you can probably tell, there’s always something to see or do in the summertime in the city of Baltimore. If you’re visiting Hopkins this summer, we look forward to seeing you on campus—and we’d be happy to suggest a local free event, famer’s market, and historic sight to see!

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Visiting Hopkins this Summer



Summer is a great time to explore your college options.

This summer, prospective Hopkins students can meet us on campus or on the road to learn more about what it’s like to be a student here. We’re excited to tell you more about the academic freedom our students enjoy, our energetic campus community, and the entrepreneurial spirit embraced by our undergrads. We’ll also talk about the college application process, including what we look for in an application.

(You can hear about those things from current students here:

Here are some ways to get to know us better this summer:

On-Campus Programs

Hopkins Previews: July 11, 18, and 25

The Hopkins Preview summer program is a great chance to hear from current students, ask questions, and get a feel for campus life. Visits include an information session, current student panel, and a campus tour. Space is limited, so RSVP today at—just find the calendar and click on one of the dates noted above.

Daily Information Sessions and Campus Tours

We’ll also continue to offer information sessions and tours on most weekdays and selected Saturdays throughout the summer. See to plan your visit.

Off-Campus Programs

Explore Hopkins: Summer 2015

We’ll be traveling around the country this summer to host Explore Hopkins presentations, where we’ll share details about what it’s like to be a Hopkins student and discuss the best way to prepare for your college applications.

Click here to see the full list of event locations and dates and to RSVP.

StudentLife_HomewoodWe hope you’ll take advantage of all the ways to get a closer look at Hopkins this summer, whether here on the Homewood campus or in one of our summer program destinations (or both!).

In the meantime, learn more about Johns Hopkins right now by exploring our website,, and following us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also hear directly from current students at, where you’ll find student blogs, photos, videos, and more.

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An Update on Transfer Decision Release


university.shield.small.blueIn addition to first-year students, we also welcome transfer students each year. (Want to learn more about transferring to Johns Hopkins? Click here to learn more about applying or here to hear from a current transfer student.) For our current transfer applicants, see below for an update on the upcoming admissions decision release process:

  • Transfer applicant notifications will be released by Friday, May 15, 2015.
  • You will access your Johns Hopkins admissions decision through a decision release website. All applicants should have received an email with instructions for setting up their accounts. If you didn’t receive the account creation email, try these things before calling us:
    • Check all email accounts, including your parents’ and any others you might’ve used throughout your college application process. We’ll send all official communications to the email you supplied on your application.
    • Check your spam/junk folders. Sometimes (rarely, but sometimes) our emails get caught up in spam filters.
    • If you still don’t have the email, call (410) 516-8171 or email and we’ll get it figured out.
  • We’ll send an email when your admissions decision is available. That email will contain a link to the admissions decision site. Once you get there, use your email address and password (which you set up in the second bullet above) to log in.
  • If admitted, you will be able to view your preliminary credit assessment and find your adviser on your admissions decision site. If you applied for financial aid, your award information can also be found by clicking on “Financial Aid” after you log in.

In the meantime, visit Hopkins Interactive to read current student blogs, see pictures, watch videos, and even ask students questions.

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Dorm Life



One of the most exciting things about leaving the high school days behind and becoming a college student is the chance to experience living on your own. This means being responsible for your own personal space, belongings, schedule…and laundry.

From group lunches on picnic tables outside AMR I (see picture below) to movie night in the common room of Wolman Hall, Hopkins students take full advantage of dorm living. On-campus community-style residence halls offer a chance to bond with other students and make life-long friends. There’s a strong sense of community here for many reasons, and dorm life is certainly one.

“Most of my memories from freshman year are set in my dorm’s (Wolman!) common room. From homework to fort-building, deep conversations to comedic Youtube videos, to eating dinner from FFC to-go boxes while watching Jeopardy, the common room was the center of my community freshman year, and many of my best friends to this day are from my floor. Your floor becomes your Hopkins family.”—Jackie R., Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2016

Read Jackie’s blog on!

Whether students are in a traditional residence hall or a suite-style dorm at Hopkins, they enjoy a variety of amenities, including lounges, community kitchens, game rooms, and exercise rooms. Learn more about housing at Hopkins here or watch this awesome stop-motion video created by freshman Amy D. about the freshman room selection process.

Wondering what our living quarters look like? Luckily, current students produced “Hopkins Cribs” videos to show prospective students around their rooms! Watch them here.


Learn more about dorm life from current Hopkins students!

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Spring Fair!


Spring time at Hopkins brings blooming flowers, warm weather, lacrosse, Homecoming, alumni weekend, and many more exciting traditions—read all about them here. One of our favorite Hopkins traditions, Spring Fair, is just a week away!

The Nest

The Nest, the student seating section of Homewood Field

Click here to read more about and see more pictures from last year’s Spring Fair. There’s even a student-produced video!

A student-run fair hosted on the Homewood campus and open to the nearby neighborhood communities, Spring Fair is a three-day event full of food, carnival rides, live concerts, shopping, art, and more. This year, Spring Fair will be held Friday, April 24 through Sunday, April 26. What’s this year’s theme? Check out the Spring Fair website to find out and learn more about the event.

Ian McLane, current Hopkins senior and Spring Fair staff member, says:

“Spring Fair planning starts in September, so it’s been a long year of planning but we’re thrilled to keep the tradition going—with a few new, exciting changes. There’s going to be new nighttime events, daytime games and contests, and even an Adopt-A-Dog station on Keyser Quad.”

Spring Fair

Lots of delicious food at Spring Fair: Deep fried Oreos, chicken on a stick, wood-fired pizza, and much more!

Spring Fair carnival rides!

Old fashioned soda stand at Spring Fair

Check out what other Hopkins students have to say about Spring Fair on Hopkins Interactive:

And be on the lookout for this year’s video!

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Why We Chose Hopkins


Students of Hopkins Interactive at SOHOP 2015!

The students of Hopkins Interactive at SOHOP 2015!

Choosing where to go to college may be one of the biggest decisions you’ve ever had to make so far. You’ll spend the next four years of your life at this place and it will impact you in ways you have yet to imagine—as a scholar, a person, and a member of society.

So if you’re a high school senior recently admitted to Johns Hopkins, you may be wondering why Hopkins is the right place for you. Throughout your college search, you’ve heard a lot from our admissions counselors on this topic. But, it’s our students who can relate to being in your same position and offer their perspectives on why they chose Hopkins (and why it was the right choice for them):

Freshman Molly Y.:

“I knew that, in a Hopkins classroom, I was getting an education that surpassed most and, more importantly, that I was actually working towards something. I stretched myself as a writer, advancing in both creative (Fiction/Poetry Writing I) and analytical (Expository Writing: Visions of War) spheres. In addition, I learned from both my professors and my peers in collaborative discussion-based settings that spurred deeper intellectual thought and new appreciation for my position as a Hopkins student.”

Senior Joseph S.:

“Hopkins is—put simply—an incredible, life-changing place and, now on the cusp of graduation in little under two months, I know that I made the best choice possible.”

Sophomore Hayley S.:

“It’s no secret that I love this place. You can read here about how my friends make Hopkins a home, here about the amazing opportunities this school has presented to me, or even here about how I chose this school because of a waffle machine (sort of).”

Junior Caleb B.:

“It’s impressive how involved Hopkins has been (in a variety of capacities) in the development, growth, and improvement of the city; the university has done amazing things for the Baltimore community, and in more ways than one, the city has given back to the school.”

Freshman Quan B.:

“It might have been the city of Baltimore, or the research opportunities, or the outstanding creative writing and biomedical engineering departments – and as a seventeen or eighteen year old, these are real, tangible, checkmarks on your list. But they don’t come close to really describing, why Hopkins.

Keep exploring Hopkins Interactive to find more blogs, photos, and videos that our students have posted to answer the most common question they get: “Why did you choose Hopkins?”

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Tips for Making the Most of College Fairs


It’s finally starting to feel like spring here in Baltimore—which means college fairs are right around the corner! Spring is the perfect time to jump-start your college search, and attending a fair is a great way to connect with admissions professionals and a variety of colleges and universities from across the country (oftentimes without leaving your hometown!). However, walking into a college fair can be overwhelming if you’re not prepared to make the most of it.

Our Open House Ask-a-Student-Table

Here are a few tips for navigating a college fair:

  • Keep an open mind. Before you walk in the door, think about what you want out of your college experience (size, location, special programs you’re interested in, etc.) Most events will provide a list of participating schools, so plan to seek out the schools you know offer those features, but also branch out along the way by visiting some schools you don’t know much about.
  • Ask questions. We are here to help! Admissions professionals love interacting with prospective students and sharing details about our institutions with a wider audience. Be intentional with what you’re trying to find out by asking insightful questions that can’t be easily answered by a google search. Creating a list of questions you can ask every admissions representative you interact with may be helpful as you compare schools after the fair is over.
  • Be professional. This is your chance to make a good first impression so think carefully about what you wear and how you conduct yourself while at the college fair.

Now that you’re armed with the tools to successfully navigate a college fair, get out there and take control of your college options and opportunities (and if you see Johns Hopkins at your fair make sure to stop by and say hi)! We hope to meet you on the road.

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This Friday: RD Decision Release


The wait for Regular Decision applicants is almost over. Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming decision release process:

  • Regular Decision notifications will be released at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on Friday, March 27, 2015.
  • You will access your Johns Hopkins admissions decision through a decision release website. All applicants should have received an email with instructions for setting up their accounts. If you didn’t receive the account creation email, try these things before calling us:
    • Check all email accounts, including your parents’ and any others you might’ve used throughout your college application process. We’ll send all official communications to the email you supplied on your application.
    • Check your spam/junk folders. Sometimes (rarely, but sometimes) our emails get caught up in spam filters.
    • If you still don’t have the email, call (410) 516-8171 or email and we’ll get it figured out.
  • Admissions decisions will be available at 3:00 p.m. on March 27, but we’ll send an email to remind you. That email will contain a link to the admissions decision site. Once you get there, use your email address and password (which you set up in the second bullet above) to log in.
  • On March 27, our office will be open until 5:00 p.m. Eastern to answer phone calls and emails from students who are having problems accessing their admissions decisions. Any other questions will be addressed during normal business hours the following week.

About the Peabody Double Degree Program and Woodrow Wilson Research Fellowship:

  • Admitted Regular Decision and Early Decision students who applied for the Peabody Double Degree Program will be notified of their status at this time as well via the admissions decision site.
  • Admitted Regular Decision and Early Decision students who applied for the Woodrow Wilson Research Fellowship will be notified on their admissions decision site if they have been chosen as a fellow.

Students who are not selected for the fellowship are encouraged to explore other funded research opportunities like the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Awards (PURA) and the Dean’s Undergraduate Research Awards (DURA). Also, current Hopkins students can apply for the Wilson Fellowship as a rising sophomore—even if they’ve applied before.

A note for Early Decision admits:

  • On Friday afternoon, students admitted Early Decision to Hopkins will be invited via email to access their updated admissions site, which will include links to register for admitted student events.

A few notes for transfer applicants:

  • Transfer applicants will receive an email with instructions for setting up their accounts for the admissions decision site starting in early April.
  • Transfer admissions decisions will be released by May 15. Applicants will receive an email when their admissions decision is available.

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JHU Visits You!


Starting in April, our admissions counselors will pack their bags and travel to locations around the country to host Explore Hopkins programs. Our goal is to share more about what it’s like to be a Hopkins student so we’ll touch on everything from campus life and academics to the application process.

What do we look for in an application? What defines the undergraduate experience at Johns Hopkins? What’s it like to learn and live in Baltimore?

Attend an Explore Hopkins event to hear the answers to these questions, plus get more details about what we look for in an application (HINT: It’s not all about test scores and GPA).

Click here to see where we’re headed this spring and to register.

campus circle_small

In addition to the Explore Hopkins programs currently listed on our site, several Johns Hopkins admissions counselors will be taking their recruitment efforts overseas this spring. We will be travelling throughout Southeast Asia, the Middle East, China, India, and Latin America to conduct school visits and group presentations (alongside other colleges and universities). Check back on the “Hopkins Visits You” page throughout the spring to find out exactly where we’ll be headed and when.

In the meantime, you can explore Hopkins virtually at Hopkins Interactive, where you’ll find student blogs, photos, videos, and more.

We hope to see you on the road!

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