How to Get Into Johns Hopkins University: The SAT and ACT, GPA, and More

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Johns Hopkins University may be a bit of a mouthful to say, but it’s one of the best colleges in the nation. In fact, it’s America’s very first research institute!

Johns Hopkins boasts over 260 prestigious programs across nine academic divisions (including one of the nation’s best pre-med programs) plus the Applied Physics Laboratory. Founded in 1876, it’s located in Baltimore, Maryland, and is ranked #9 in national universities. Not surprisingly, it’s highly selective.

So what does it take to become a Johns Hopkins Blue Jay? Some serious academic chops. Let’s take a quick look at Johns Hopkins’ admissions statistics, and then a more thorough look at exactly how to get into Johns Hopkins University.

Quick Johns Hopkins Admissions Statistics

Johns Hopkins SAT scores (average composite)1505 out of 1600
Johns Hopkins ACT scores (average composite)
34 out of 36
Johns Hopkins GPA (average of admitted students)3.9 out of 4.0
Johns Hopkins acceptance Rate4.9% for the class of 2025

So as you can see, it’s not easy to get into Johns Hopkins, but it’s certainly not impossible!

More About Johns Hopkins SAT Scores

NOTE: For the class of 2025, Johns Hopkins will be test-optional.

This is a great overview of Johns Hopkins’ standardized test score requirements, including changes in light of Covid-19, but if you plan to take and submit SAT scores, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You are required to submit SAT or ACT scores, but of course can submit both if you’d like.
  • Standardized test scores are self-reported to Johns Hopkins, and are only officially submitted once you’ve been accepted and chosen to attend. This means you can take the SAT as many times as necessary to get a competitive score.
  • Johns Hopkins superscores the SAT and the ACT, meaning that they take your highest scores from each section across all testing dates.
  • The essay portion of the SAT is optional.
  • SAT subject tests are optional, and can be provided to demonstrate your ability in a particular subject, depending on which program you’re applying to. For example, if you’re applying as an Engineering major, Johns Hopkins recommends submitting scores for the Mathematics Level 2 test as well as scores for a Science test of your choice.

Okay, so what do you actually need to score to have a good chance of getting accepted?

The average composite SAT score of accepted students is 1505.

For a better idea of your actual chances of getting accepted based on your SAT scores:

  • The 25th percentile for Johns Hopkins SAT scores is 1450.
  • The 75th percentile for Johns Hopkins SAT scores is 1560.

What do these figures actually mean? They mean that a score of 1450 or lower places you below average compared to the other students admitted to Johns Hopkins. A score of 1560 or higher will place you above average.

So in short, you want to aim for a 1560 or above. That’s pretty close to perfection, so check out our post on how to score the perfect SAT score for how to get started.

You may find yourself looking to improve on a particular section of the SAT and wondering what to aim for. The percentiles for the different sections of the SAT are as follows:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Composite 150514501560

More About Johns Hopkins ACT Scores

A quick word on taking and submitting ACT scores to Johns Hopkins:

  • The Writing test is optional.
  • Your highest combined score will be considered. The admissions committee will “find the maximum value of each official section score submitted, then recalculate the composite score.” This means you can take the ACT multiple times in order to improve in each section as necessary.

So what should you aim for on your ACT? The average composite ACT score of those accepted to Johns Hopkins is a 34 out of 36.

As far as percentiles:

  • The 25th percentile for Johns Hopkins ACT scores is 33.
  • The 75th percentile for Johns Hopkins ACT scores is 35.

In other words, a 33 or lower will put you below average compared to other candidates while a 35 or higher will put you above average.

Here’s how the percentiles for the subject tests shake out:

Section25th Percentile75th Percentile
English 3335

So you’ll want to aim for a composite score of 34 or higher if you want your application to really shine. If you plan on aiming for ACT perfection, you don’t want to miss out on how these 10 start students got the perfect ACT score!

More About Johns Hopkins GPA

The average high school GPA of students admitted to Johns Hopkins is 3.9 out of 4.0. This means you’ll have to be at the top of your class to be considered. We’re talking straight-As all the way.

One way you can ensure a sky-high GPA is to take and get A’s in honors, IB, and/or AP classes. Depending on how your high school calculates GPA, these courses are often weighted more heavily, which can even send your GPA over the 4.0 mark.

In fact, it’s a good idea to take as many advanced courses as possible. Success in challenging classes indicates to Johns Hopkins that you are capable of rising to the intensity and rigor of college coursework.

As far as the chances of getting into Johns Hopkins with various GPAs:

Students Accepted
3.50 to 3.75
3.25 to 3.50
3.00 to 3.25
2.75 to 3.00
2.50 to 2.75

Note that even with a high GPA, your chances are far from guaranteed!

Plus, keep in mind that it’s very hard to change your GPA significantly once you’ve entered your junior year. That means if your heart is set on Johns Hopkins (or another highly selective college), you’ll need to get awesome grades starting early on.

More About Johns Hopkins Acceptance Rate

Like the majority of the most elite, selective universities in the country, Johns Hopkins is becoming harder to get into. Larger application pools are creating more competition, and as a result, less students are being accepted yearly.

For the class of 2024, there were 27,256 regular decision applicants and 1,922 were admitted, making the acceptance rate 7.7%. That’s highly competitive!

So the takeaway? Yes, you’ll absolutely have to be a highly impressive candidate if you want to call yourself a Blue Jay!

Johns Hopkins Freshman Profile

This is the most recent freshman profile for the class of 2024, but here are some of the key stats:

  • 29 countries are represented
  • 99% of students were in the top 10% of their class
  • 16% are first generation college students
  • 32% are Asian
  • 17% are Hispanic/Latinx
  • 14% are African American
  • 13% are international students
  • 2% are American Indian/Alaska Native
  • 1% are of unknown ethnicity
  • You can read a bit more about the class of 2024 here.

    Other Johns Hopkins Admissions Requirements and Info

    So what will you need to apply to Johns Hopkins? Here’s a super comprehensive overview of the application process at Johns Hopkins, but here’s a to-the-point checklist:

    • A formal application through the Coalition Application, Common Application, or Universal College Application
    • Answers to supplemental school questions (found in any of the above applications)
    • A high school report that contains: a high school profile, your complete transcripts, and a recommendation from your school counselor
    • Two teacher evaluations (more on this shortly)
    • SAT or ACT scores
    • A mid-year report with grades through February of your senior year

    Johns Hopkins FAQs

    Here is a thorough list of admissions FAQs that address pretty much everything about the admissions process.

    Additionally, some prospective students have asked:

    Does Johns Hopkins interview?

    Johns Hopkins offers a limited number of off-campus interviews to applicants. You can request an interview with a Johns Hopkins alumni, but interviews aren’t guaranteed. Your chances of acceptance will not be affected if you don’t interview.

    Is Johns Hopkins need-blind?

    Yes. This means your financial situation will not be taken into consideration. You can also read more about applying for financial aid and completing a FAFSA application.

    Can I transfer to Johns Hopkins?

    Yes. Johns Hopkins accepts transfer students during the fall semester of their sophomore or junior year.

    How to Get Into Johns Hopkins

    Here’s the deal: Johns Hopkins firmly stresses that there is no one “magic formula” for getting accepted. You’re encouraged to paint a vivid picture of yourself as a candidate and to eloquently articulate why you want to attend Johns Hopkins and what you have to offer the community.

    According to the Johns Hopkins admissions department:

      “The required pieces of your application only tell us part of the story. The admissions committee conducts a well-rounded review of every applicant based on his or her accomplishments, goals, and potential impact within our community. We’re looking for students who can think beyond their limits, who don’t see ‘impossible’ as a roadblock, and who will not only elevate themselves, but also those around them.”

    So, beyond getting good grades and test scores, what do we advise you do to make yourself stand out as a candidate Johns Hopkins simply can’t refuse?


    Lead With Your Writing

    Make sure your application essay and supplemental question responses are unique, compelling, and representative of who you truly are as a person. And of course, make sure they are polished, easily readable, and grammatically pristine before submitting them. It’s a good idea to revise them multiple times, and to have someone like a teacher you trust overlook them for you.

    So that you don’t rush the process, start drafting early! If you choose to use the Common App, here’s a great guide to writing a common app essay that will wow any admissions committee. Plus, Ashley C. from Transizion has some concrete advice for tailoring your essays specifically to wow Johns Hopkins’ adcom:

    johns hopkins admissions

    “At Johns Hopkins, the admissions team values academic character, impact and initiative, and personal contributions…As you begin to fill out your application, consider the following:

    • How do you demonstrate your academic passions? What matters to you?
    • How can you make a difference at JHU through service, leadership, and innovation?
    • How do you engage with your academic, personal, and social communities?

    Keep in mind that there’s no “right” answer to these questions. It’s best to honestly tell your unique story without focusing on impressing the admissions team.

    By brainstorming the answers to these questions, you’ll discover how you can demonstrate academic character, impact and initiative, and personal contributions in your application. Weave this information throughout the application, particularly in your activity summary and essays.

    Combine these elements with solid grades/test scores and a genuine enthusiasm for Johns Hopkins, and you’ll increase your chances of landing an acceptance. ”

    Participate in Extracurricular Activities

    The more, the better, especially in leadership roles. It’s great when you can show a wide range of interests and investment in various, diverse communities. For example, do you play varsity tennis as well as co-lead the debate team? Excellent. That will help your chances of getting in.

    Don’t Be Afraid to Brag

    Are you a part of National Honors Society? Have you won an award or published something? Make sure to include these recognitions in your application.

    Get the Best Letters of Recommendation Possible

    This one’s big. A stand-out letter of recommendation can be the tipping point in your favor for an admissions committee. Here’s a really important overview of just exactly how to ask for a letter of recommendation for college, but most importantly, ask teachers that can really speak to your academic ability, growth, potential, and character.

    And make sure to ask well in advance! This will give your teachers plenty of time to craft thoughtful, thorough reflections about you that will help give your application an edge.

    And of course, when it comes to test-taking, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible, so start studying early. Check out this great, 1-week SAT free trial and 1-week ACT free trial to get you started!

    Happy studying and best of luck to you!!

    Improve your SAT or ACT score, guaranteed. Start your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh SAT Prep or your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh ACT Prep today!

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    • Nadyja Von Ebers

      Nadyja von Ebers is one of Magoosh’s Content Creators. Nadyja holds an MA in English from DePaul University and has taught English and at the high school and college levels for twelve years. She has a decade of experience teaching preparation for the AP exams, the SAT, and the ACT, among other tests. Additionally, Nadyja has worked as an academic advisor at college level and considers herself an expert in all things related to college-prep. She’s applied her college expertise to posts such as UCLA Admissions: The SAT Scores, ACT Scores, and GPA You Need to Get in and A Family Guide to College Admissions. Nadyja loves helping students reach their maximum potential and thrives in both literal and virtual classrooms. When she's not teaching, she enjoys reading and writing for pleasure and loves spending time in or near the ocean. You can connect with her on LinkedIn!

    By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!