Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essays (2023-24) Prompts and Advice

September 3, 2023

johns hopkins supplemental essays

In the most recent admissions cycle, Johns Hopkins University admitted approximately 6% of applicants into the Class of 2027. As a school that rejects thousands of applicants each year with 1500+ SATs and impeccable transcripts, those hoping for a positive result at JHU need to find additional ways to shine in the eyes of the admissions committee. The Johns Hopkins supplemental essay is one such opportunity.

(Want to learn more about How to Get Into Johns Hopkins University? Visit our blog entitled:  How to Get Into Johns Hopkins  for all of the most recent admissions data as well as tips for gaining acceptance.)

Given that 19 of every 20 RD applicants to Johns Hopkins University are ultimately unsuccessful, you need to do everything you can to stand out amidst a sea of uber-qualified teens from around the globe. Through its one mandatory essay prompt, Johns Hopkins University’s supplemental section still affords applicants an opportunity to highlight what makes them uniquely qualified for admission. Below is Johns Hopkins’s supplemental prompt for the 2023-24 admissions cycle. Additionally, you’ll find our tips on how to write a winning composition.

Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay Prompt

Tell us about an aspect of your identity (e.g. race, gender, sexuality, religion, community, etc.) or a life experience that has shaped you as an individual and how that influenced what you’d like to pursue in college at Hopkins. (This can be a future goal or experience that is either academic, extracurricular, or social). (300 word limit)

JHU is inviting you to share more about your background/identity/community through the lens of how that will impact your experience at the university. Take note of the wide-open nature of this prompt. You are essentially invited to talk about any of the following topics:

  • A perspective you hold
  • An experience/challenge you had
  • A community you belong to
  • Your cultural background
  • Your religious background
  • Your family background
  • Your sexual orientation or gender identity

Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essays (Continued)

Although this prompt’s open floor plan may feel daunting, a good tactic is to first consider what has already been communicated within your Common App personal statement and activities list. What important aspect(s) of yourself have not been shared (or sufficiently discussed)? The admissions officer reading your essay is hoping to connect with you through your written words, so—within your essay’s reflection—be open, humble, thoughtful, inquisitive, emotionally honest, mature, and/or insightful about what you learned and how you grew.

You’ll then need to discuss how your background/identity/experiences have influenced your academic, social, or extracurricular college goals. As such, think about what you learned and how it relates to one of the previously mentioned areas. For example, perhaps growing up in Northern California has made you passionate about post-wildfire ecosystem restoration, which you hope to pursue further through Johns Hopkins’ environmental science program. Or, perhaps your experience as a tutor has made you interested in The Tutorial Project , or the discrimination you watched your sibling face after revealing their gender identity has informed your desire to be part of initiatives like the Safe Zone Program .

To that end, be sure you address how you will take advantage of Johns Hopkins’s immense resources. The includes both inside and/or outside of the classroom. You can accomplish this by citing specific academic programs , professors , research opportunities , internship/externship programs , study abroad programs , student-run organizations , etc.

How important are the Johns Hopkins supplemental essays?

Johns Hopkins University considers six factors “very important” in evaluating a candidate. The essays are among them. In addition to the essays, Johns Hopkins gives the greatest consideration to the rigor of one’s school record, GPA, standardized test scores, recommendations, and character/personal qualities.

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Are you interested in working with one of College Transitions’ experienced essay coaches as you craft your Johns Hopkins essays? We encourage you to get a quote  today.

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A Guide to Johns Hopkins University's 2023-2024 Supplemental Essays

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The path to Johns Hopkins University (JHU) winds through a set of carefully curated essay prompts. These prompts enable the admissions team to see beyond your grades and test scores to the unique individual you are. In this blog post, we will guide you through each of this year's prompts, offer strategic advice, and share examples from successful past applications.

Prompt 1: Successful students at Johns Hopkins make the biggest impact by collaborating with others, including peers, mentors, and professors. Talk about a time, in or outside the classroom, when you worked with others and what you learned from the experience. (300-400 words)

This prompt aims to assess your teamwork skills and openness to collaborative learning. An example of a captivating response from a 2022 applicant reads:

"In my sophomore year, I joined our school's robotics club, a newly formed group of students who were passionate but inexperienced. We had one mentor, an alumni with a busy job, leaving us largely to our own devices.

We hit our first roadblock while preparing for a local competition. Our robot's arm would either swing too fast, sending the ball flying, or too slow, failing to launch it at all. No one had a solution, and frustration permeated the group. As the team's self-designated 'Motivator,' I saw an opportunity to help us grow from this challenge.

I proposed a team brainstorming session, hoping that pooling our knowledge would lead to a solution. Everyone brought different skills to the table: Sophie's physics knowledge, Alex's programming skills, and my knack for mechanics, among others. We sketched designs, calculated angles, and wrote codes. It took three iterations and many late nights, but we finally created a robot arm that launched the ball accurately.

From this experience, I learned the value of diverse perspectives in problem-solving. It was through our collaborative effort that we overcame the obstacle. This experience highlighted the power of unity in diversity and cemented my belief in the importance of collaborative learning."

The University of Chicago is eager to know more about your intellectual curiosities, personal experiences, and what unique perspective you bring to their community.

As you approach JHU's supplemental essays, keep your responses authentic and deeply personal. Your unique experiences and perspectives will set you apart.

The admissions committee is eager to learn about you . Let them do that through your essays.

Best of luck with your writing!

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The johns hopkins supplemental essay.

Need some essay inspiration? Get advice from our admissions committee and check out our Essays That Worked for real-life examples.

The essays are an important part of the college application. It’s where we look for you to tell us more about your experiences and how you approach learning.

Applicants to Hopkins are asked to answer our supplemental essay question. Here’s a sneak peek at this year’s question:

Successful students at Johns Hopkins make the biggest impact by collaborating with others, including peers, mentors, and professors. Talk about a time, in or outside the classroom, when you worked with others and what you learned from the experience. (Up to 400 words).



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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 4 tips for writing a johns hopkins essay that works.

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College Essays


Johns Hopkins University is considered one of the top-10 national schools in the United States. As the country's first research university, Johns Hopkins is interested in fostering lifelong learning and research. Although their medical school is perhaps their most famous department, Johns Hopkins has many prestigious programs—and their reputation means that admittance is extremely competitive, with just a 8% acceptance rate .

If you want to join the band of Blue Jays, you'll need to be a stellar student—and you'll need to write a killer Johns Hopkins essay. This guide will walk you through the Johns Hopkins supplement, including best practices for answering the prompt, how to plan your essay, and analyzing essays that got other applicants in.

Feature Image: Matthew Petroff /Wikimedia Commons

What Should You Know About the Johns Hopkins Supplement?

The Johns Hopkins application process is fairly straightforward. You can apply using the Coalition Application or Common Application , which each have their own essay questions to answer.

In addition to whatever essay you choose for your application, Johns Hopkins asks for an additional required essay of up to 400 words. There is just a single prompt, so no struggling to pick which one will best suit your needs here!


What Is the Johns Hopkins Essay Prompt?

Johns Hopkins has just one essay prompt. The 2022-2023 prompt focuses on collaboration and teamwork, asking you to think about your own role in working with others:

Founded in the spirit of exploration and discovery, Johns Hopkins University encourages students to share their perspectives, develop their interests, and pursue new experiences. Use this space to share something you'd like the admissions committee to know about you (your interests, your background, your identity, or your community), and how it has shaped what you want to get out of your college experience at Hopkins. (300-400 words)

This prompt is a bit less structured than Johns Hopkins essays in the past, which can present new challenges to students. It can be hard to figure out what exactly Johns Hopkins wants you to write about with a prompt like this one! But don't worry: we're going to break it down for you.

What This Prompt Is Asking You to Do

First things first: let's take a closer look at the first sentence of the prompt. In this sentence, Johns Hopkins is outlining exactly what kind of student they want to admit. Admissions counselors are looking for students with diverse ideas and experiences who are curious and passionate. They also want to admit students who aren't stuck in their ways: Johns Hopkins wants their students to be brave enough to try new things, pursue new ideas, and push themselves academically and otherwise.

To that end, this prompt is asking you to share one thing about yourself and how it has impacted both you and your future goals at Johns Hopkins.

How to Answer the Prompt

To answer this prompt well , you need to zero in on an aspect of your personality that a) isn't addressed in your other application materials, and b) fits with Johns Hopkins' mission and academic culture. Our secret trick to choosing the right trait to talk about? Make a list.

Sit down with a pen and paper and write down unique and interesting things about you. While it's good to focus on the categories in the prompt (identity, background, etc.), don't be afraid to branch out if it makes sense. For instance, maybe you have an incredibly interesting hobby or skill you want to share. Even though those things aren't explicitly listed in the prompt, it's okay to list those things down, too.

Once you've built your list, go through and start culling down until you have a topic that works. Here's what you should ask yourself as you start crossing off ideas:

  • Do I talk about this in my application already?
  • Is this a common topic that other applicants will write about (like being in band or enjoying the outdoors)?
  • Is this aspect of your personality too broad or vague?
  • Can you tell a story about this part of yourself?

Once you've picked the aspect of your personality that you want to write about, you need to tell a story around it . Don't just say you've hiked the Appalachian trail. Tell a story about your hike. What was it like? What did you experience? Why did you do it in the first place?

And of course, you also have to explain how this aspect of your personality will impact your education at Johns Hopkins. Maybe you decided to hike the Appalachian Trail because you enjoy testing your endurance, and you want to bring that same tenacity to your studies at Hopkins. Make sure you're tying everything back to your education!


There's no wrong way to celebrate a successful essay.

2 Johns Hopkins Essays That Worked

Even with a guide, it can be hard to figure out exactly what Johns Hopkins is looking for in their essays. Thankfully, the college posts successful essays on their website —complete with admissions office comments—giving you the chance to look through Johns Hopkins essays that worked.

These examples are responses to past prompts, so they do some things quite differently. But reading through them can still give you valuable insight into what Johns Hopkins University values in an essay, such as a cohesive look at each applicant and a creative frame for the topic.

#1: "Time to Spin the Wheel"

Add the fact that I was raised in a Bengali household and studied Spanish in high school for four years, and I was able to add other exotic words. Sinfin, zanahoria, katukutu, and churanto soon took their rightful places alongside my English favorites.

And yet, during this time of vocabulary enrichment, I never thought that Honors English and Biology had much in common. Imagine my surprise one night as a freshman as I was nonchalantly flipping through a science textbook. I came upon fascinating new terms: adiabatic, axiom, cotyledon, phalanges … and I couldn't help but wonder why these non-literary, seemingly random words were drawing me in. These words had sharp syllables, were challenging to enunciate, and didn't possess any particularly abstract meaning.

I was flummoxed, but curious … I kept reading.

… and then it hit me. For all my interest in STEM classes, I never fully embraced the beauty of technical language, that words have the power to simultaneously communicate infinite ideas and sensations AND intricate relationships and complex processes.

Perhaps that's why my love of words has led me to a calling in science, an opportunity to better understand the parts that allow the world to function. At day's end, it's language that is perhaps the most important tool in scientific education, enabling us all to communicate new findings in a comprehensible manner, whether it be focused on minute atoms or vast galaxies.

Romila's interest in language is introduced at the very beginning, but the essay takes a surprising turn midway Because she focuses on language, we'd expect that she's interested in pursuing a literature or writing degree; instead, her interest in language helped shape her love for biology.

What works particularly well in this essay is that it demonstrates Romila's unique background as a language-loving biology major of Bengali heritage. She doesn't need to declare her diversity; it's demonstrated through each unique facet of her personality she brings up.

As the admissions committee comments below the essay, Romila also does a wonderful job of showing her interest in interdisciplinary learning . It's not just that she loves linguistics and biology, but that she sees a clear line from one to the other—she loves both of them and the ways that they flow together.

It's unlikely that you have the same experience as Romila, but keep these things in mind when writing your own essay. How can you use your essay to discuss your educational aspirations? Does the work you've done with others fall into interdisciplinary learning? That can be as unconventional as an edible presentation on nuclear physics or as simple as understanding that your soccer team was made up of people with different skills and positions and how, together, you won the championship.

#2: "And on That Note"

While practicing a concert D-flat scale, I messed up a fingering for a low B-flat, and my instrument produced a strange noise with two notes. My band teacher got very excited and exclaimed, "Hey, you just played a polyphonic note!" I like it when accidents lead to discovering new ideas.

I like this polyphonic sound because it reminds me of myself: many things at once. ... Even though my last name gives them a hint, the Asian students at our school don't believe that I'm half Japanese. Meanwhile the non-Asians are surprised that I'm also part Welsh. I feel comfortable being unique or thinking differently. As a Student Ambassador this enables me to help freshman [sic] and others who are new to our school feel welcome and accepted. I help the new students know that it's okay to be themselves.

There is added value in mixing things together. I realized this when my brother and I won an international Kavli Science Foundation contest where we explained the math behind the Pixar movie "Up." Using stop motion animation we explored the plausibility and science behind lifting a house with helium balloons. I like offering a new view and expanding the way people see things. In many of my videos I combine art with education. I want to continue making films that not only entertain, but also make you think.

Like Romila, Curtis' essay uses an introductory framing device—his experience with playing a polyphonic note—to transition into a discussion of all the ways he is multiple things at once.

Demonstrating his multiple interests is part of why Curtis' essay succeeds so well, but most of these examples aren't just examples of contradictions or subverted expectations. They show other things, too, such as the way other people see him (Asian students don't believe he's half Japanese, non-Asian kids only see him as Asian), how his interest in different fields leads him to create unique projects, and how his experience being different allows him to be welcoming to others.

Curtis' writing is lively without getting lost in the metaphor. The framing device is clear, but it doesn't come up so much that it feels too focused on the idea of a polyphonic note. The essay would work just fine without the metaphor, which means his points are strong and sound.

According to the admissions officers' notes, Curtis' essay stood out in part because of the way it shows his ability to think across disciplines. Creative thinking is a huge asset at a research university such as Johns Hopkins. Like Romila's essay, this interest in interdisciplinary learning proves that he'll be a good fit for Johns Hopkins.


4 Key Tips for Writing Your Johns Hopkins Essay

Because the Johns Hopkins supplement has just one prompt, you'll want to do your absolute best on it. That means getting started early and giving yourself plenty of time to polish and refine your work.

As with all college essays, you should go through multiple drafts and seek feedback from others to make sure your essay is as strong as it can be. The earlier you start, the more time you'll have to whip it into shape!

#1: Brainstorm

Remember all those exercises your high school teachers had you work on, such as mind mapping and free writing? Now's the time to bust them out.

Look at the prompt and write down as many short answers as you can think of, no matter how silly they might sound—you don't have to use them if you don't feel strongly about them! If you spend some time writing down all your ideas, you can choose the one that speaks most strongly to you rather than getting midway through an essay before realizing that it's not what you really want to write about.

#2: Be Specific

Specificity is extremely important. With just 400 words, you need to make sure you're using your space wisely.

Tie your idea directly to Johns Hopkins University rather than speaking in generalities. Look through their course catalog and club offerings, and try to connect some of them to your goals and aspirations. Because the prompt asks about collaboration, try to envision yourself in those spaces, accomplishing your goals thanks to your classmates' support.

#3: Get Feedback

Once you've gone through a draft or two, it's time to turn your precious essay over to someone else for feedback. Find people you trust to give you honest and helpful critique. If they're too harsh, you're not going to want to use their advice. But if they focus too much on praise, you might not end up with anything to change.

Look to teachers or other people who have experience with writing—preferably not parents, as they're a little too close to you to be objective—for good advice.

Let all that feedback sit for a while before you sit down to revise your Johns Hopkins essay. Often, our initial response to feedback is to either implement or reject all of it, neither of which is necessarily the best way to improve an essay.

Consider the feedback you receive and find a middle ground between the recommendations and your voice and goals. It's OK if you don't agree with some of it, but do be sure that you always ask yourself why someone might not have understood your meaning. If clarity is an issue, you can still address that even if you don't agree with someone's suggestion.

What's Next?

A good essay is just one part of a successful Johns Hopkins application. Take some time to make sure your GPA , ACT , and SAT scores are up to par, too!

Need some additional help in writing a great college essay? This guide has all the tips and tricks for turning your ideas into essays !

The college application process can be long and confusing, especially when you're applying to a competitive school like Johns Hopkins. This expert guide to college applications will give you all the tips and information you need to create a truly spectacular application!

does jhu have supplemental essays

Want to write the perfect college application essay? Get professional help from PrepScholar.

Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We'll learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay that you'll proudly submit to your top choice colleges.

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Melissa Brinks graduated from the University of Washington in 2014 with a Bachelor's in English with a creative writing emphasis. She has spent several years tutoring K-12 students in many subjects, including in SAT prep, to help them prepare for their college education.

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How to Respond to the 2023/2024 Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay Prompts

does jhu have supplemental essays

Johns Hopkins University is a private research university located in Baltimore, Maryland. This university is widely known for its emphasis on medicine and science. Johns Hopkins is a highly selective institution that admits only 8% of applicants. Therefore, your application really needs to stand out. One way to do this is by learning how to craft a stellar response to the Johns Hopkins supplemental essays.

The John Hopkins supplemental essay prompt

Supplemental essays are an opportunity to give the admissions office a deeper look into who you are and what you’ll contribute to the university. There is only one JHU essay prompt, but you should make sure that you add a personal touch to stand out. Applying to college isn’t just about academics,– it’s about everything that makes you special!

“Tell us about an aspect of your identity (e.g. race, gender, sexuality, religion, community, etc.) or a life experience that has shaped you as an individual and how that influenced what you’d like to pursue in college at Hopkins. (This can be a future goal or experience that is either academic, extracurricular, or social). (350 word limit.)”

While this prompt may seem daunting and open-ended, this is the perfect opportunity for you to shine. The main focus of your essay should be what makes you unique in comparison to other applicants. 

Get started by asking yourself:

  • Will you be a first-generation college student? 
  • Have you overcome something in your life?
  • How have your interests shaped your identity?
  • Do you have any notable skills? 

Take this opportunity to define yourself outside of academics by telling the admissions office who and what shaped your identity and where and how you spend your time. The prompt is actually quite straightforward in asking you to share “your interests, your background, your identity or your community,” so do just that. In addition to what you share, be sure to answer the second part of the prompt that asks how “ y our interests, your background, your identity or your community” has shaped you

Remember to incorporate Johns Hopkins into your story too; you chose this university for a reason, and want them to choose you as well. Make your essay personal by explaining how attending John Hopkins will help you become your best self. The prompt explicitly mentions that JHU “encourages students to develop their interests and pursue new experiences.” JHU wants to know how you will make the most of the opportunities presented to you while attending their university.  

JHU specific questions to consider

  • Does JHU have a unique curriculum you want to study? 
  • Have you taken trips to the campus before? 
  • Do you hope to improve the community surrounding Johns Hopkins?
  • What do you plan on achieving at Johns Hopkins that you can’t do anywhere else?
  • How does JHU connect to the interest, background, identity, or community element that you’ve chosen to share?

Also see: How to write an essay about yourself

Final thoughts for students

Organize your thoughts with an outline before jumping right into writing your supplemental essay. By doing this, your essay will transition smoothly from one thought to the next and avoid unnecessary changes in direction. While it may not seem like it, 300-400 words goes by quickly, so start with your main points before adding additional details. 

Before you hit that “submit” button, make sure to:

  • Proofread thoroughly to correct grammar mistakes
  • Cut out any run-on sentences
  • Read your essay aloud at least once to catch any small mistakes you might’ve missed

Don’t miss: How to respond to the Common App essay prompts

Additional resources

Once you’ve completed your Johns Hopkins supplemental essays, there is surely more to be done! Organizing for college can be stressful, but Scholarships360 is here to help. Get a jump on preparing for college with some of our resources to make your application process easier. Learn how to complete the FAFSA and how to  compare your financial aid award letters . Throughout your higher education journey, make sure that you are applying for all the scholarships you qualify for!

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Essays That Worked

does jhu have supplemental essays

The essays are a place to show us who you are and who you’ll be in our community.

It’s a chance to add depth to something that is important to you and tell the admissions committee more about your background or goals. Below you’ll find selected examples of essays that “worked,” as nominated by our admissions committee. In each of these essays, students were able to share stories from their everyday lives to reveal something about their character, values, and life that aligned with the culture and values at Hopkins.

Hear from the Class of 2027

These selections represent just a few examples of essays we found impressive and helpful during the past admissions cycle. We hope these essays inspire you as you prepare to compose your own personal statements. The most important thing to remember is to be original as you share your own story, thoughts, and ideas with us.

does jhu have supplemental essays

Ordering the Disorderly

Ellie’s essay skillfully uses the topic of entropy as an extended metaphor. Through it, we see reflections about who they are and who they aspire to be.

does jhu have supplemental essays

Pack Light, But Be Prepared

In Pablo’s essay, the act of packing for a pilgrimage becomes a metaphor for the way humans accumulate experiences in their life’s journey and what we can learn from them. As we join Pablo through the diverse phases of their life, we gain insights into their character and values.

does jhu have supplemental essays

Tikkun Olam

Julieta illustrates how the concept of Tikkun Olam, “a desire to help repair the world,” has shaped their passions and drives them to pursue experiences at Hopkins.

does jhu have supplemental essays

Kashvi’s essay encapsulates a heartfelt journey of self-discovery and the invaluable teachings of Rock, their 10-year-old dog. Through the lens of their companionship, Kashvi walked us through valuable lessons on responsibility, friendship, patience, and unconditional love.

does jhu have supplemental essays

Classical Reflections in Herstory

Maddie’s essay details their intellectual journey using their love of Greek classics. They incorporate details that reveal the roots of their academic interests: storytelling, literary devices, and translation. As their essay progresses, so do Maddie’s intellectual curiosities.

does jhu have supplemental essays

My Spotify Playlist

Alyssa’s essay reflects on special memories through the creative lens of Spotify playlists. They use three examples to highlight their experiences with their tennis team, finding a virtual community during the pandemic, and co-founding a nonprofit to help younger students learn about STEM.

More essays that worked

We share essays from previously admitted students—along with feedback from our admissions committee—so you can understand what made them effective and how to start crafting your own.

does jhu have supplemental essays

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Johns Hopkins University 2021-22 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Regular Decision: 

Johns Hopkins University  2021-2022 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 1 essay of 300-400 words.

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Community

Founded in the spirit of exploration and discovery, Johns Hopkins University encourages students to share their perspectives, develop their interests, and pursue new experiences.

Use this space to share something you’d like the admissions committee to know about you (your interests, your background, your identity, or your community), and how it has shaped what you want to get out of your college experience at hopkins. (300-400 words).

JHU is purposefully leaving this question super open-ended, so that you can write about any facet of your background or community that has been most integral in shaping your identity. Admissions also wants to know how this aspect of your experience has impacted what you want to seek from your time attending Hopkins. So, start by thinking about your identity. You can write down some words that you would use to describe yourself, or work backwards by thinking about what you hope to gain by attending Hopkins, and then consider how that relates to your interests, identity, background, or community.

Maybe you dream of becoming a surgeon, specializing in gender affirming surgery, to marry your interest in science and medicine with your passion for helping members of the trans community. Perhaps you don’t know what you want to major in yet, but you hope to expand your horizons at JHU as a first-generation student, sharing what you absorb with your relatives so that they can learn alongside you. As long as you put aside time to brainstorm freely and edit meticulously, we’re confident you’ll impress admissions with your response!

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Johns Hopkins University Essays that Worked

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Johns Hopkins Essays – An Introduction

Writing college essays is one of the hardest parts of the college application process. If you’re wondering how to get into Johns Hopkins, you’ll want to start by familiarizing yourself with some Johns Hopkins essays that worked. These will help you approach the Johns Hopkins supplemental essays, one of the main Johns Hopkins requirements.

As you prepare to apply, reading Johns Hopkins essay examples can help you know how to structure your own essays. However, before we examine the Johns Hopkins essay prompts and Johns Hopkins essays that worked, let’s learn a bit more about Johns Hopkins . 

You might be drawn to JHU because you are impressed by the Johns Hopkins rankings.

According to U.S. News , Johns Hopkins ranks:

  • #7 in National Universities
  • #9 in Best Value Schools
  • #1 in Biomedical Programs
  • #13 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs, just to name a few.

While the Johns Hopkins ranking may put the school on your radar, rankings won’t help you when it comes time to complete your Johns Hopkins application. And, as the Johns Hopkins rankings show, the Johns Hopkins application process is competitive . 

Before you apply, familiarize yourself with the Johns Hopkins application and Johns Hopkins requirements. This includes the Johns Hopkins supplemental essays. Keep reading to learn more about one of the most important Johns Hopkins requirements: the Johns Hopkins supplemental essays.

To help prepare you to write your Johns Hopkins supplemental essays, we have provided two Johns Hopkins essay prompts and four Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples . By looking at Johns Hopkins essays that worked, you can learn how to approach your own Johns Hopkins essay. 

Does Johns Hopkins have a supplemental essay?

Yes, one of the Johns Hopkins requirements is a supplemental essay.

In fact, the Johns Hopkins essay is one of the most important parts of your Johns Hopkins application. 

You should use your Johns Hopkins essay to highlight who you are as a student, person, and community member. Later in this article, we’ll look at four Johns Hopkins essay examples. These can help inspire you as you draft and edit your own essays.

Keep in mind that Johns Hopkins supplemental essays will look different for different people. However, like our Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples, your Johns Hopkins essay should highlight how you’d contribute to campus life. 

Depending on how strong of a writer you feel you are, writing your Johns Hopkins essay might feel like a challenge—but that’s okay! If tackling your Johns Hopkins essay feels daunting, you’re in the right place. We’ve selected our Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples to help you write an amazing Johns Hopkins essay.

How many essays does Johns Hopkins have?

Below, we will review multiple Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples. We”ll also look at Johns Hopkins essay prompts from past years. However, this year, there is only one supplemental Johns Hopkins essay . Still, remember that you will submit two essays as part of your Johns Hopkins application. These include your Personal Statement and your Johns Hopkins essay.

As you prepare your Johns Hopkins application, give yourself enough time to write both your Personal Statement and Johns Hopkins essay. As you’ll see from our Johns Hopkins essays that worked, writing a compelling essay is no easy feat.

Just like writing your Personal Statement, writing your Johns Hopkins essay takes time, brainstorming, and editing. We hope our Johns Hopkins essays that worked help you learn how to tackle the Johns Hopkins essay prompt.

Now, it’s time to jump into the Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples. Before we break down our Johns Hopkins essays that worked, let’s look at this year’s Johns Hopkins essay prompt.

Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essays

johns hopkins essays that worked

Before you can write a great Johns Hopkins essay, you need to understand your prompt. One of the first things Johns Hopkins admissions will consider when reviewing your essay is whether you addressed the prompt. Our Johns Hopkins essays that worked each show off who the writer is, but always in service of the prompt. Keep this in mind as you begin to write. 

The Johns Hopkins essay prompt has changed over the years. So, make sure you always check the admissions page or the Common App for the current prompt. While our Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples may not reflect this year’s prompt, they can still help you write your college essays.

Here is the current Johns Hopkins essay prompt:

Founded in the spirit of exploration and discovery, Johns Hopkins University encourages students to share their perspectives, develop their interests, and pursue new experiences. Use this space to share something you’d like the admissions committee to know about you (your interests, your background, your identity, or your community), and how it has shaped what you want to get out of your college experience at Hopkins. (300-400 words)

This prompt is extremely open. The main topic of your essay is “something you’d like the admissions committee to know about you.” This could be anything. so feel free to get creative.

Don’t forget about the second part of the prompt: “how it has shaped what you want to get out of your college experience at Hopkins.” The second half of this prompt implies that you should be specific about what you want to do/accomplish/learn at Hopkins. Then, connect your goals at JHU back to what you’ve shared about yourself .

Johns Hopkins Essay Examples

Next, let’s dive into our Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples. To help you get started on your Johns Hopkins application, we’ll take you through four Johns Hopkins essays that worked. 

Reading past essays can help give you an idea of how to approach the Johns Hopkins supplemental essays. Each of our four Johns Hopkins essay examples respond to one of two prompts from past Johns Hopkins applications. 

While our Johns Hopkins essay examples respond to prompts from past years, they are still helpful. Additionally, this year’s prompt is quite open-ended. So, you can still apply tips from our Johns Hopkins essays that worked to your Johns Hopkins essay.

Johns Hopkins Essay Examples: Prompt #1

Let’s look at our first Johns Hopkins essay prompt. Note that this prompt is quite similar to the current prompt, so our Johns Hopkins essay examples will likely have a lot in common with successful essays for this coming year. However, this year’s Johns Hopkins essay prompt is more open-ended, asking students to share anything about them they’d like to share with Johns Hopkins admissions. As a previous iteration of this same prompt, this Johns Hopkins essay prompt asks students to specifically discuss their interests.

Our first two Johns Hopkins essays that worked respond to the following prompt:

Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1876 on a spirit of exploration and discovery. As a result, students can pursue a multidimensional undergraduate experience both in and outside of the classroom. Given the opportunities at Hopkins, please discuss your current interests (academic, extracurricular, personal passions, summer experiences, etc.) and how you will build upon them here.

The second part of each Johns Hopkins essay prompt is also a slight variation on the other. This prompt asks you to describe how you will continue to pursue and develop your interests should you be admitted to Johns Hopkins.

Now that we’ve discussed some of the nuances of this prompt and how it might impact our Johns Hopkins essays that worked, let’s look at the first of our Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples.

Johns Hopkins Essays that Worked #1

Since childhood, mathematics and science had some special magic for me. The mathematical numbers and formulas and the scientific experiments always fascinated me. This interest turned into my passion when I started doing hands-on projects for Science Olympiad in middle and high school and also engineering projects in high school. My quest for engineering is based on the creative application of mathematics and science which can be applied with judgment, rigor and creativity to develop and design new or better ways to utilize materials, technologies and the forces of nature for the benefit of our society.

I am particularly interested in Environmental Engineering discipline. Presently earth’s environment is being put under constant pressure for improvement. I have made many trips to India with my parents and found out how the natural resources are still immensely underutilized and how these natural resources, along with the engineering principles and design, can be leveraged in order to improve the quality of lives of common people all around the globe. My goal in life is to transform knowledge, experience and resources that I can gain through an engineering program at a leading institution like Johns Hopkins University into technologies that can be incorporated into products and services which in turn can fulfill these necessities. During my trips to rural India, one of the sights that particularly drew my attention was the state of the waste-water and how its quality can be improved with the help of water treatment technologies. Instilled with this idea, I have read many research articles in the journal called “Environmental Science & Technology”. I found few research articles that were emphasizing how to prevent nitrogen related impairment of waste-water quality. Researchers are honing in on the specific bacterial genes that are responsible for nitrous and nitric oxide formation in the waste-water. Their goal is to “engineer” this process so that these genes can not be properly expressed, thereby preventing the nitrogen related impairment of the waste-water quality. 

Recently I have also gone through some research work of one professor from Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences. His research focuses on environmental microbiology and engineering with an emphasis on the fate and transport of pathogenic microorganisms in water, food, and environment. This work includes extensive laboratory based research designed to develop and evaluate molecular detection methods which can be applied to field-based investigations. This type of research work always fascinates me. In future, as an engineer, my passion will be to carry out further research work in a field like this which can fulfill the necessities of the vast majority of people in this universe.

Why This Essay Worked

This is one of our Johns Hopkins essays that worked because it discusses a unified current interest—environmental engineering—through a variety of lenses. This writer showcases their passion through their extracurricular activities , their experiences traveling with their family, and the ideas they’ve explored outside the classroom. Then, they detail specifics about Johns Hopkins that relate to their interests. This includes the work of a professor they admire.

The first of our Johns Hopkins essay examples includes a lot of detail. In reading it, you get a clear sense of who the writer is, what they care about, and how they’d engage with JHU. They also cite a specific professor’s work, whose name has been removed in order to preserve anonymity in this article.

While the writer spends a lot of time discussing scientific concepts, their engagement with these concepts highlights their intellectual curiosity. In doing so, the first of our Johns Hopkins essay examples makes a strong case for the writer’s admission.  

The essay is organized chronologically. It begins in childhood, then moves through middle and high school. It then addresses the writer’s personal experiences connecting to the larger world. Finally, it extends to what this student hopes to do at Johns Hopkins and in their future post-graduation. 

As you’ll see in our other Johns Hopkins essay examples, there are different ways to approach organization. However, make sure your essay has a strong beginning and a conclusion that builds to a clear final point.

Let’s take a look at the second of our Johns Hopkins essay examples for this prompt.

More Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay Examples

Johns hopkins essays that worked #2.

Essay Title: Statements of Justice

“She’s a mulatto, right?”

Why did he use that word to describe me? Is that all he sees? I am so much more than that.

“Can any men in the classroom help me carry this?”

Am I weak because I am a woman? Does designing and building a staircase and ramp not qualify me to carry boxes down the stairs? My strength is not directly derived by your perception of women, thank you very much.

“You don’t talk black.”

What does that even mean?

Statements. Underhanded questions and observations that I’ve heard my entire life. They made me question who I truly am. Then Trayvon Martin was killed. It was the first national event in my memory that exposed the injustices in our justice system, and the shadow of racism I naively thought no longer existed. I began coming to terms with the harsh reality that these comments were merely a reflection of the continuous legacy of discrimination in this country.

I struggled, over many long days and sleep deprived nights, thinking about who I am and where I fit in this seemingly endless fight towards equality. I wanted and needed to find a way to heal the injustices in our system. Such atrocities include the corrupt criminal justice system, the de facto segregation, the inequitable educational opportunities, the 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. And I want to be a part of the movement that changes it all.

I began working to alleviate some of these issues in both Greensboro and Dallas. In peace and conflict, I began working towards making positive statements. I attended a rally that supported equal access to education and ending voter discrimination through unfair laws. I became involved in advocating for Planned Parenthood. I participated in volunteer work to beautify my city and encourage people to pursue their education and future careers. My favorite was teaching reading and math to children in low income communities.

John’s Hopkins is located in Baltimore, a city that has grappled with the frustrations of racism. I want to continue pursuing my passion for equality and justice with Hopkins at my side. I want to practice justice by participating in the on campus Black Lives Matter protests and peaceful protests throughout Baltimore. I want to love mercy by being a part of Hopkins organizations such as the Tutorial Project. I want to walk humbly as an example of a strong, biracial woman. A woman that kids across Baltimore, and one day even across the country can look up to and say “I want to be like her one day.” John’s Hopkins is the place where I can promote equality and justice while also exploring my passion for science, math and engineering. It is the place where I will continue practicing my resolve to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly. Hopkins is the place where I want to help end the injurious comments and begin a legacy of statements that emulate justice.

We chose to include this as one of our Johns Hopkins essay examples because of how powerful this student’s vulnerability is. This essay does a great job of connecting the pursuit of knowledge to how we build community and fight injustice in the world. In reading the second of our Johns Hopkins essay examples, you get a clear idea of what the writer cares about. You also can imagine how they would use their education for the greater good. 

This essay has a particularly strong beginning and end. It opens with an attention-grabbing series of revealing questions and answers that tie into this writer’s final word on what they hope to accomplish at JHU. Without feeling like a list, this writer also touches on their many extracurricular and volunteer work . They also discuss the organizations they hope to join on campus .

If you want to read more Johns Hopkins essay examples, you’re in luck. Keep reading for another Johns Hopkins prompt and more Johns Hopkins essays that worked.

More Johns Hopkins Essay Examples

Next, let’s move on to our second batch of Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples. These Johns Hopkins essay examples respond to another past Johns Hopkins essay prompt.

While these Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples may seem like our previous Johns Hopkins essay examples, it’s important to note the differences between this prompt and the current Johns Hopkins essay prompt.

The next set of Johns Hopkins essays that worked respond to the following prompt: 

Successful students at Johns Hopkins make the biggest impact by collaborating with others, including peers, mentors, and professors. Talk about a time, in or outside the classroom, when you worked with others and what you learned from the experience.

From this prompt, you can expect the next two Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples to touch on specific instances of teamwork and collaboration with others. This prompt is much more specific than the current prompt. However, thinking about a question like this can give you insights as to how you like to work with others and how you might do so at Hopkins.

There are two kinds of group work. The first is your proficiency group work where there is a task to be done and a leader simply divides the work among the group and it gets done in a fraction of the time it would take an individual. The second is work without a defined end goal. This means that work can’t simply be divided; it has to be first created by the group members and then their finished products have to be joined together by the group.

In my aerospace engineering major, there is a project that we did at the end of freshman and sophomore year. It was a high altitude balloon launch. This project took us about three weeks to plan out and follow through on each year. The first time, it was a basic launch, and we had to create a payload with temperature and altitude sensors as well as a Geiger counter, a GoPro, and a GPS tracking signal. Everything except the GPS and camera was created through an Arduino. We all worked well together, but it was a very rigidly drawn out project. We were given exactly what to do and we just did what we were told in a collective fashion by dividing the world up randomly and following instructions.

The second time we did our project it was slightly more complicated. We had all of the previous items: camera, GPS, etc… But, we were allowed some freedom in the set up this time. We added a 3D printed camera frame so that we could generate a 3D video by having one go pro face each direction.  I added music too; I used a greeting card music speaker and attached a string to the trigger which we pulled on launch. Overall the project became more detailed and more complex, but still successful. In part, this was due to our experience. But, the most of the improvement was because we were able to express our individualism. We combined our own personalities to create a greater teamwork than just dividing up the work.

No one really knows the answer to everything. So, when you have the possibility to incorporate multiple perspectives in a group instead of focusing on one dominant perspective it increases the likelihood of success. Overall, it increases the enjoyment in the work because everyone can express themselves and their ideas are heard. 

Like other Johns Hopkins essay examples, this essay focuses on a specific personal experience. This is one of our Johns Hopkins essays that worked because it translates an experience into a nuanced narrative.

The important thing to note in this essay is how the writer’s perspective comes through. The writer stresses that collaboration without a defined end goal leads to expressions of individualism. They also discuss how different perspectives increase the likelihood of success—a perspective that aligns with Johns Hopkins’ values.

Remember, our Johns Hopkins essay examples are not models you should copy your essay off of. Instead, think of them as blueprints designed to show you how to approach the prompt. Feel free to explore different ways to respond to the prompt and make your essay your own.

Back in middle school, there was nothing greater than the battle of the sexes. The competition seemed to transcend the classroom and appear in all environments. One of the most prominent instances is during a school-provided game show: boys vs. girls.

The game show was set up in two sets. In the first one it was the 8th graders (my grade) vs the 7th graders, and the second was an 8th grade battle of the sexes. This competition would be the first chance that we could actually quantify which sex was “better”, so the competition was taken very seriously. Since it was middle school, everyone was eager to participate, but in order to win we needed to strategize. Trying to settle down the group wasn’t easy, but after a couple of minutes I got all of the girls to be quiet and listen to my plan. My plan was to only send those skilled in each category to participate. At first some people didn’t want to agree, but then they realized that was the only way to win. For the academic categories, the girls who took honors classes went up. For sports categories, the athletic girls went up. For the teamwork categories, a group of cohesive close friends went up. For the artistic games, all the music and arts girls went up. The boys caught on to our strategy, but it was too late in the game for them to catch up. We overwhelmingly beat the boys and never let them live it down.

Before this game show, although the girls were always fighting with the boys, we were actually really divided amongst ourselves. Since there was no unity, it was easier for the boys to attack us and wear us down. However, our victory in the game show changed everything. We realized that teamwork was the only way for us to be strong and truly be “better” than the boys. From that point on, us girls remained united and used teamwork to defeat the boys in every opportunity we had. Anytime I have a great task to handle, I remember this instance in order to battle through the differences in the group and work together with others. Unity and teamwork are values that I adore dearly and I know they will be significant on my pathway to success.

This is the last of our Johns Hopkins essays that worked, and it takes a different approach than some of our other Johns Hopkins essay examples. This essay rounds out our Johns Hopkins essay examples because it demonstrates multiple facets of the writer’s identity. However, it still centers around the prompt’s topic of collaboration.

The writer highlights a moment of leadership where they took charge of their group. They describe how they created a game plan and got everyone on their side. Then, they show how this experience built community, uniting the girls despite their differences. Finally, they reflect on their personal growth. In doing so, they highlight how they plan to carry this lesson with them into the future.

These Johns Hopkins essay examples may have a narrower focus than what you might write for this year’s prompt. However, they still show how important specificity is to storytelling. By including specific details, you keep your reader engaged and excited about what you have to say.

Does Johns Hopkins care about essays?

johns hopkins essays that worked

Yes, your Johns Hopkins supplemental essays are extremely important to your application. As they review your application, Johns Hopkins admissions wants to understand who you are and what you will bring to campus.

Your Johns Hopkins supplemental essays are a terrific opportunity for you to demonstrate your academic passions through three facets, including your:

  • Academic character
  • Impact and initiative
  • Personal contributions

Check out the Johns Hopkins Application Information page to read more about how the admissions team will review your application. This can also help you learn how to demonstrate your academic passions in your Johns Hopkins application.

However, keep in mind that your Johns Hopkins essay isn’t the only part of the Johns Hopkins application. Johns Hopkins reviews all applications holistically, meaning all of the Johns Hopkins requirements impact your admissions decision. While our Johns Hopkins essay examples are strong in their own right, you can also expect that they complemented an otherwise strong Johns Hopkins application. 

Along with your supplemental essay, the Johns Hopkins requirements include:

  • A completed application (either the CommonApp or the Apply Coalition on Scoir)
  • Secondary school report
  • Two teacher evaluations
  • Mid-year report

Due to the continued impact of Covid-19, Johns Hopkins admissions has decided test scores will remain optional . So, the Johns Hopkins requirements do not include SAT or ACT scores. If you are planning to submit test scores, remember that they are no replacement for your Johns Hopkins essay. 

How do you write a Johns Hopkins essay?

All strong Johns Hopkins essays start with research. Like the writers of our Johns Hopkins essay examples, you should decide what you hope to get out of JHU. So, don’t fixate on statistics like Johns Hopkins rankings. Instead, learn about what Johns Hopkins values in both their students and community.

Then, give yourself a complete writing process. Set aside time to brainstorm , work through different topics/ideas, and get your first draft down on paper. Once you have a draft, it’s time to edit , rewrite, and finally proofread. If possible, try to get your “final” draft complete a week ahead of the deadline. That way, you’ll have time to set it aside for a few days before you make your final edits. 

Highlight your personal narrative

You’ve seen some great narratives shine through in our Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples. So, as you can tell, there are many ways to approach the Johns Hopkins essay prompt. Remember that your Johns Hopkins essay isn’t the only essay JHU will receive—the Johns Hopkins requirements also include your Personal Statement. So, think about how your Personal Statement and Johns Hopkins essay will play off one another. As you draft, consider how they both feed into your personal narrative.

Your Personal Narrative is the overall story your application tells to an admissions officer. When crafting your application, think about the overarching themes in your application. Then, look at how they connect to who you are and what you hope to bring to Johns Hopkins’ community. 

Fit your essay with your narrative

If you’ve already chosen a topic for your Personal Statement, think about how your Johns Hopkins essay fits into that narrative. Each of your essays should reveal something compelling and complex about you. As we look at each of our Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples, we’ll take note of what we can learn about the writers of each essay and what Johns Hopkins admissions would have appreciated about it.

Our Johns Hopkins essay examples weren’t written overnight, so don’t plan on writing yours last minute. If you’re here reading through our Johns Hopkins essay examples, you’re likely already in a good place to start crafting your own.

Other Resources on Johns Hopkins University

There’s no secret formula on how to get into Johns Hopkins or how to write an essay like our Johns Hopkins essays that worked. So, make sure you do some research. Get a feel for the school and learn more about what they offer. This can be more helpful than you realize when it comes to writing your Johns Hopkins supplemental essays.

In addition to our Johns Hopkins essay examples, has tons of great resources to help students learn more about Johns Hopkins. Check out our Johns Hopkins college page for an overview of the school, our how to get into Johns Hopkins guide , and our Johns Hopkins University panel .

For more resources on how to make your essays as strong as our Johns Hopkins essays that worked, check out our masterclass on editing your essays and advice from an admissions officer on making your essays shine . 

Johns Hopkins University Panel

Johns Hopkins Essays that Worked direct from Johns Hopkins Admissions

If you want to read more Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples, make sure you check out Undergraduate Admissions Johns Hopkins essays that worked. This year, they have six Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples written by students from the class of 2025, so there’s no shortage of Johns Hopkins essay examples for you to review.

These Johns Hopkins essay examples can be a great supplement to those provided above. The admissions committee nominated each Johns Hopkins essay to be made available to future applicants as Johns Hopkins essays that worked. In each essay, applicants reveal something important about their experience and how it has shaped their character and values. In turn, they show how their values align with the values and culture at Johns Hopkins.

For even more Johns Hopkins essay examples, check out the 2023 Johns Hopkins essays that worked and the 2022 Johns Hopkins essays that worked.

Johns Hopkins Essays that Worked – Final Thoughts

We hope our collection of Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples has given you a better idea of what to expect when it comes time to write your own! Remember, these Johns Hopkins essays that worked are meant to inspire you. Your own essays don’t need to look just like our Johns Hopkins essay examples—in fact, what matters most is that you tell your own story. 

Once you’ve read through our Johns Hopkins essay examples, be sure to check out all of the resources available through Johns Hopkins and Happy writing!

johns hopkins essays that worked

This article was written by Stefanie Tedards. Looking for more admissions support? Click  here  to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how  can support you in the college application process.

does jhu have supplemental essays

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does jhu have supplemental essays

Approaching the Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay 2021-2022

Padya Paramita

September 20, 2021

does jhu have supplemental essays

Johns Hopkins University has consistently been ranked among the top 10 schools in the country, and with good reason. Boasting one of the best medical reputations, this Baltimore institution attracts talented STEM and pre-med students from all over the world. If you’re more of a humanities or arts person, Johns Hopkins also provides over 50 majors to choose from, and is also known for its strength in creative writing.As the college highly values collaboration, you should use the Johns Hopkins supplemental essay 2021-2022 to exemplify how you work with a team and would contribute meaningfully to the Johns Hopkins community.

Johns Hopkins asks only one supplemental essay question, but it’s a crucial one. Your essay is a valuable opportunity to convey that you’re a team player, and connect experiences highlighting your collaboration skills in relation to your academic interests and prospective Johns Hopkins major. To guide you through the essay question in detail, I’ve outlined the prompt, the dos and don’ts for answering it, and more tips to get you started on the Johns Hopkins supplemental essay 2021-2022 . 

Prompt for the Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay 2021-2022

Founded in the spirit of exploration and discovery, Johns Hopkins University encourages students to share their perspectives, develop their interests, and pursue new experiences. Use this space to share something you’d like the admissions committee to know about you (your interests, your background, your identity, or your community), and how it has shaped what you want to get out of your college experience at Hopkins. (300-400 words)

If you’ve worked on other applications, you know that many schools throw multiple prompts at you. While this might be a welcome change from the number of essays you’ve had to write, having only one prompt also makes it more challenging to make a lasting impact. As your only school-specific question, it’s a chance to seal the deal on why you’ve chosen Hopkins and how you would be a valuable addition to the campus. Here, you have a relatively generous amount of space to elaborate on who you are and what makes you tick. 

Note that Hopkins refers to this part of you as “something” and “it.” They are looking for that one special aspect of you, so avoid sharing multiple sides of you. Think depth rather than breadth. Admissions officers want to know about what’s important to you. In writing your essay, make sure to answer the following questions: 

  • What is the one thing that makes you most unique?
  • How has this shaped your experiences and perspectives?
  • How has this shaped your goals?
  • What do you want to accomplish at Johns Hopkins and how will you do it?

Johns Hopkins wants “students who are eager to follow their interests at the college level and are enthusiastic about joining the campus community.” In order to have a personal, individualized response, think about an anecdote that ties your background or interest to your intellectual pursuits. Have you led any initiatives to help your school or local community? Have you started a club or organization within your field which engages others? Did a part of your family background heavily influence what you’ve decided to pursue academically? Admissions officers make it clear that it can be any side of you. As long as you haven’t already mentioned this aspect of your identity in your Common Application personal statement, you can write about anything.

The question asks how this side of you has impacted why you’ve chosen Hopkins . Admissions officers don’t just want to understand what makes you different from other applicants, they want to know what you’ll bring to their specific school . They want to know what you value in a community or classroom, and evaluate how you would get along with your peers at Johns Hopkins. Johns Hopkins highly values leadership and community, sure you choose an example that best showcases your collaborative nature, and use the space you’ve been given to transport the admissions officers to the scene of a particular anecdote. 

However, don’t spend too much time talking about what happened;  instead, portray how you have made an impact, show how the incident has shaped your perspective and goals, and articulate how Hopkins is the place to pursue your interests. Upon reading your essay, admissions officers should understand the impact you have made. They should also take away what your biggest interests are and be able to envision how you might contribute to the Johns Hopkins campus if accepted.

Additional Tips for the Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay 2021-2022

  • Read the Website! - You may not have been asked the traditional “Why Hopkins” question for your Johns Hopkins supplemental essay 2021-2022 , but it’s still crucial that you conduct thorough research on the school. In your search you might find that the Johns Hopkins website has a page on “ Essays that Worked. ” This page provides you with some useful examples that can help you get a clearer picture of what the admissions officers are looking for. Reading these responses might just end up being what inspires your own essay, so don’t underestimate the power of research.
  • Dedicate Significant Time to Brainstorming - Since there’s only one prompt for the Johns Hopkins supplemental essay 2021-2022 , a lot of students might take it lightly. However, Johns Hopkins states that the essay can be “ one of the most important components of your application. ” Don’t just come up with the exact same topic as your personal statement. At the same time, think about a part of you that really shaped you. Choose an instance that allows you to be as specific as possible. Ensuring that your essay topic has a cohesive connection to the rest of your application can go a long way toward convincing admissions officers that you’re a strong candidate who has spent time specializing in your field.
  • Check Out Our Blog from a Former Admissions Officer - For further reading, you might be interested in the “ How to Get into Johns Hopkins ” blog by our Former Admissions Officer Zak Harris, who served as the Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Hopkins. In the article, he provides insights into how to frame your application, and what makes up the ideal candidate for the school. Regarding the supplemental essay component, Zak adds, “Some students take this essay for granted and don’t spend nearly as much time on it as they should. Or, they use an underdeveloped idea or a rather generic topic that doesn’t come across as very impressive. My advice is to spend significant time thinking about how you work with others and provide concrete anecdotes exemplifying your collaboration skills.” 

Since thousands of students apply to Johns Hopkins, you need to find ways to stand out from the rest of the pack. And framing your Johns Hopkins supplemental essay 2021-2022 as uniquely as possible is the perfect way to do so. This response can help the school understand the depth of your interest and intellectual engagement, as well as how you would contribute to the campus community. Use your essay to distinguish yourself from the competition and convince Johns Hopkins why you would be a perfect fit for this collaborative community. 

Tags : How to Get into Johns Hopkins , johns hopkins university , johns hopkins supplemental essay , johns hopkins supplemental essay 2021-2022 , applying to johns hopkins

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does jhu have supplemental essays

How to Write the Johns Hopkins University Supplemental Essay 2019-2020

does jhu have supplemental essays

Johns Hopkins University is the oldest research university in the United States. Located in Baltimore, Maryland, it is home to just over 6,000 undergraduate students and more than 19,000 graduate students. Although renowned for its School of Medicine, its undergraduate campus is also highly prestigious.

Undergraduate education at Johns Hopkins University is largely research-based. Nearly 80% of undergraduates perform some kind of independent research throughout their college careers. Johns Hopkins University is also home to the oldest continuously running university press in the United States .

In the 2018-2019 cycle, Johns Hopkins University admitted 9.2% of all applicants. While this this low acceptance rate might be intimidating, there are still ways to improve your odds of acceptance. One of the best ways to stand out is through the essay. Johns Hopkins only requires one supplemental essay for all applicants, so it’s important that you do this one justice. In this post, we’ll break down this essay prompt, as well as the specialized program prompts.

Want to learn what Johns Hopkins University will actually cost you based on your income? And how long your application to the school should take? Here’s what every student considering Johns Hopkins University needs to know.

Make sure to check out How to Write the Common Application Essays 2019-2020 .

For ALL Applicants: Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay Prompt

In addition to submitting the Common Application, Coalition Application, or Universal College Application, Johns Hopkins University requires applicants to write a supplementary essay. The writing supplement consists of just one essay with a required length of 300-400 words. The prompt included below asks you to recount a time when you collaborated with others and to share your thoughts on the experience. Want to know your chances at Johns Hopkins? Calculate your chances for free right now.

Write a brief essay (300-400 words) in which you respond to the following question: Successful students at Johns Hopkins make the biggest impact by collaborating with others, including peers, mentors, and professors. Talk about a time, in or outside the classroom, when you worked with others and what you learned from the experience.

Although this prompt is fairly straightforward, you should tackle it from a personalized and insightful angle. Choose a moment that you feel really enhanced your teamwork skills.

For example, maybe you worked at a local non-profit and discovered through collaborating with your co-workers that people have different working styles. Or maybe you planned and implemented your senior class project with a group of peers that were less than respectful. Whatever you decide, make sure that it is a story in which you have plenty to say in order to deepen your response.

An Effective, Step-By-Step Approach to Your Essay Response

Note that there are many ways to draft a successful response to this prompt; this guide merely presents one potential way to answer the question.


Start your essay response by introducing the moment you are going to reflect on. To hook the reader in a compelling way, you could start with dialogue from you or another person involved. Alternatively, you can choose to begin the essay with a short, impactful sentence.

Regardless, use action words and vivid language to really encapsulate the experience. The goal is to make the admissions committee feel as if they were really there with you. For example:

Four and one, two, three, cha cha cha… four and one, two, three.

My first ballroom competition went by in a blur. Amid the pulsing beat, all I could really remember were flashes. The twirl of my red dress. The tilt of my neck. However, I can recall the countless hours I spent practicing the dance routines with my partner perfectly.

does jhu have supplemental essays

As you continue your essay, develop the feelings and thoughts you experienced as a result of working with others. Further, discuss how you usually dealt with collaboration in the past and if this specific time was more or less challenging for you — show how this specific moment was different.

Before getting involved with ballroom dance, I had never thought of it as a sport. Only after my first practice did I realize how physically and mentally exhausting it is. Even though my dance partner was — and still is — patient with me, it was frustrating to keep making mistakes. To dance properly, there are so many things you have to pay attention to: the tempo, the position of your feet, your posture, and especially your partner’s cues. It was difficult learning to follow his movements.

Lastly, explain why this moment stood out to you, and then reflect on what you think it means. How did the moment change you? Are you a better team player now? Did you learn something about yourself in the process? Really focus on how this moment led to your development; it is important to make the connection clear. Instead of simply starting a new paragraph stating that you are a completely different person, show it through an explicit link.

I am grateful to have joined ballroom dance club for so many reasons. Being a dancer has taught me poise, grace, and strength. But perhaps most importantly, it has challenged me by making me vulnerable to others — especially my dance partner. Not only did I have to become comfortable with being physically close to him, but I had to learn to mirror his movements in a way that looks natural. Even though no words are spoken as part of a dance, it is still an art that requires constant communication.

If possible, also connect your newfound wisdom to your success at college. Show how what you learned during your collaborative experience will help you be a better student. Maybe you’ll work more efficiently on homework because you are able to ask others for advice.

Whatever the case, make it clear that what you learned will stay with you in the future, and especially at Johns Hopkins . The admissions committee wants to know what about the university in particular draws you to it and how it will help you succeed, so don’t be afraid to include specific opportunities that align with your topic.

Through ballroom dance, I have learned to see things from a different perspective. I am better aware of interactions, better able to read other people and better at putting myself out there. I feel more confident now than ever before.

Remember that you only have 400 words for this prompt. Even though it is important to be detailed and descriptive, it is also necessary to stay within the word limit. In order to be succinct while also using rich language, try cutting out unnecessary adjectives and opting for a more varied word choice instead.

Final Reminders

On their website, Johns Hopkins University writes that essays can be one of “ the most important components of your application .” The university stresses the importance of being able to really show the admissions committee what is important to you and to share more about your background. Thus, it is crucial that you include something that really sets you apart in your supplemental essay. Imagine that you were able to meet the admissions committee in person: What would you most want to tell them? Use this hypothetical conversation to inspire a topic for your essay.

If you’d like more inspiration for your Johns Hopkins University writing supplement, you can view previous “essays that worked” on their website . The topics of these essays range from ambidexterity to music to a piece of furniture in a coffee shop. However, they all are able to give insight into the respective author’s character.

Specialized Program Prompts

Woodrow wilson program prompt.

No prompt available yet.

Masters in Global Health Studies Prompt

Identify a global health issue and outline a solution to a key underlying problem. (300 words).

The Global Health Studies Masters program allows “qualified students displaying a strong interest in public health” to pursue a combined Bachelor’s/Master’s with the Bloomberg School of Public Health. If not admitted as a high school senior, you will have the option to reapply to the program as a junior at Johns Hopkins, provided that you declare a major in public health.  

Global health is a broad umbrella that can cover diverse issues such as climate change, infectious disease outbreaks, childhood mortality in developing countries, access to contraception, and HIV/AIDS among others. The first step in tackling this prompt is to select a global health issue that you have some familiarity with. You will note that the prompt asks you to propose a solution to the problem of your choice, so it is important that you pick a topic that you’ve had some exposure to. 

If you’ve previously worked on a big research project in school or helped to conduct summer research at a lab or university, use that subject as your jumping off point. For example, say you wrote a social science paper about abortion access in the underprivileged areas of your city. You could compare your local findings to international data on abortion access and learn about the ways in which nongovernmental organizations and governments enable or thwart that access. Or, you could use your biology project about the spread of Ebola to figure out what various nations have done to contain major Ebola outbreaks in recent years. 

While it helps to have had some prior experience studying a global health problem, it is by no means a prerequisite. Channel your curiosity and seek out books or documentaries about a topic that fascinates you and draw your inspiration for this essay there. 

The crucial thing to remember is that you will need to brush up on your global health problem of choice before giving your recommendations. Browse scientific and public policy articles that have been written about your chosen subject matter and figure out which solutions have already been proposed. You’re by no means expected to reinvent the wheel or come up with an ingenious policy solution that will shock the global health community as a high school student. In fact, showing that you’ve done your research and that you’re already familiar with the existing literature on the subject matter will only highlight your dedication to the study of global health. 

Keep in mind that you only have 300 words to work with. Use the first 100-150 to outline the problem at hand, and be sure to explain why it matters, why the world should care about it, and why you care about it. Then, provide a brief suggestion on how this problem could be remedied. Don’t list off ten different ways to cure Ebola. Instead, focus on ONE specific strategy and give some detail to explain how it can be adopted. Given the brevity of the response, depth is always better than breadth. 

Masters in International Studies Prompt

 pick a global leader and discuss how he/she has shaped how you view the world. (300 words).

The Masters in International Studies allows students to pursue a combined Bachelor’s/Master’s degree in international studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC. If not accepted as a high school student, you will also have the option to apply again as a Johns Hopkins sophomore. 

When choosing the global leader you’re going to discuss, be sure not to select someone well-known purely for their name recognition. Remember, you likely won’t be the only one to think of Angela Merkel and point to her handling of the European immigration crisis as an example of good (or bad) policymaking. Try to select someone whose actions you actively draw inspiration from, and who have had a tangible effect on your choice of academic interests, extracurriculars, or future career path. 

Remember, “global leader” does not have to mean head-of-state. Aung San Suu Kyi, prior to her rise to power in Myanmar, spent most of her life under house arrest, but she was undoubtedly recognized worldwide as the leader of Myanmar’s–and perhaps the region’s–pro-democracy movement. Malala Yousafzai, barely out of her teens, is the face of the global fight for a girl’s right to an education under radical Islamist rule. Jack Dorsey is the CEO of one of the most influential social media conglomerates in the world, and he’s never been elected to any public office. If you’re struggling to think beyond the head-of-state box, you can browse places like TIME’s list of the 100 most influential people of 2019 for inspiration.

Once you’ve picked your leader and briefly explain their significance (in about 100-150 words), you need to tell the reader how the person in question influenced you specifically. For example, if you’re talking about Malala, you could explain that her advocacy has inspired you to join a community service group in your town that offers free tutoring to young girls in underprivileged communities. If Jack Dorsey is your pick, you can write about how his insights prompted you to start your own small social media marketing business designed to promote small businesses in your area and enable them to compete against large companies. You need to articulate what it is about your leader’s philosophy, way of life, or professional accomplishments that inspires you. Make sure to also look ahead and elaborate upon how this leader inspires you in your own future career. 

For a competitive five-year program, the admissions committee is looking for someone who can demonstrate their critical thinking skills and an ability to think beyond the surface-level idea of leadership. They want applicants to really reflect on individuals that have had a profound impact on the world in recent years. Who you choose to write about matters, but what matters even more is whether you can articulate why the reader should find them important, too.

Peabody Institute Prompt (OPTIONAL)

We would like to hear about any personal or academic issues which might come into play as we process your application..

This prompt is similar to the additional comments section of the Common Application: it gives you the space to account for any discrepancies in your academic record or other particularities that may give the admissions committee pause when reviewing your application. 

For instance, if you experienced a serious health issue that prevented you from practicing or performing your music for an extended period of time, you should take this opportunity to elaborate on that experience. Any drastic change in academic performance (for example, going from an A to a B- average in one semester) should also be explained here. There are any number of extenuating circumstances that may have affected your grades⁠—death in the family, major drop in family income or homelessness, moving to a different country, suspension. 

Don’t be afraid to provide the context that the admissions officer needs to best understand your circumstances. You are of course under no obligation to share any intimate details of your life that you don’t feel comfortable sharing. Keep in mind, however, that it is always better to preemptively address the questions that may arise than to hope an issue will pass unnoticed. 

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Command Education Guide

How to write the johns hopkins university supplemental essay, updated for 2023-2024, essay prompt:.

Tell us about an aspect of your identity (e.g. race, gender, sexuality, religion, community, etc.) or a life experience that has shaped you as an individual and how that influenced what you’d like to pursue in college at Hopkins.  (This can be a future goal or experience that is either academic, extracurricular, or social).

300 word limit.


This supplemental question may seem confusing or pointed to many, but in reality it’s asking a rather simple question:

What is something about you/your background that influenced your decision to study XYZ, and why do you want to study it at Johns Hopkins specifically?

Whether you choose to tell a dramatic story about a life-changing trauma or a lighthearted story about the first time you found your favorite hobby, the most important part of this prompt isn’t the impetus of your academic pursuit as much as it is your ability to tie the two together. How did growing up in a culturally diverse household make you want to study music? Why and how did your prized coin collection turn into an interest in studying economics at JHU?

Again, the reason is only one part of the full story.

Aside from connecting your identity/past to your major, the other important part of this prompt draws on how you’ve cultivated more experience/interest in preparing for your academic pursuits.

If you are a computer science major, for example, this would be the perfect opportunity to mention that app you built after being inspired by your love for coding. If you are a creative writing and political science double major, let your experience writing political speeches shine!

Although you won’t have all too much space to talk about the activities themselves (that’s what your activities list is for!), this essay gives you a chance to use relevant experience/activities to bridge your intended major or majors with your identity/background/interests of choice!

Lastly, if there’s a class, club, professor, alumni, or any specific reason(s) why Johns Hopkins is the place where you’d like to foster this passion, you better mention it!

Below is an example of what such an essay might look like for a student (let’s call him Timmy) who is interested in becoming a double major in film and psychology at Johns Hopkins. Timmy first became interested in bridging these two academic fields as a result of his love of horror movies, specifically those of Wes Craven (who happens to be a Johns Hopkins alumni), and has further developed his interests by conducting research with his local college’s psychology department and creating a short film that he recently entered into a community film festival.

The day my father showed me his favorite horror movie changed the trajectory of my life. Despite being quite young, I can vividly remember gripping his hand as I was overcome by an adrenaline-filled combination of terror and intrigue. What I remember more than the twisted plot, suspenseful score, and the film’s monster that can only be described as the personification of nightmares was my own bewilderment and obsession regarding how the film made me feel.

As inconsequential as it might seem, this viewing ignited what has turned into an academic passion for psychology that serves as the perfect supplement to my lifelong obsession with filmmaking. Experiencing the horror genre for the first time broadened my horizons regarding the emotional responses that media and art could elicit in a viewer. This experience was the catalyst for my interest in behavioral psychology and experience conducting research on cognition-emotion interactions at the University of Cincinnati’s Laboratory for Cognitive and Affective Neuropsychology.

In furthering my studies as both a social scientist and as an aspiring filmmaker and screenwriter, I am certain that Johns Hopkins is the perfect setting to provide me with a world class interdisciplinary approach to my academic interests. Aside from their film and media studies degree—which offers students the opportunity to specialize in screenwriting and showcase their work at the Maryland Film Festival—the psychology department’s courses such as “Primate Minds” will provide valuable lessons on behavioral and emotional responses. Lastly, alumni such as film director Wes Craven have demonstrated that Johns Hopkins fosters an environment that encourages students to truly master their interests and pursue their passions at the highest possible level, and it is my hope that I too will leave my mark on JHU’s campus and beyond.

does jhu have supplemental essays

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The Admissions Strategist

How to write the johns hopkins supplemental essay 2020-2021 (with examples): the outstanding guide.

Johns Hopkins University has an acceptance rate of 12% and is a world-renowned school that sits prominently on the “dream list” for many high school seniors and college transfer students.

The university takes advantage of the Common App as one way to apply for admissions.

In addition to the regular application on the Common App, Johns Hopkins asks students to provide one writing supplement.

According to their page called, “ Essays That Worked ,” the university believes that “Test scores only tell part of your story. [They] want to know more than just how well you work. [They] want to see how you actually think.”

In fact, the admissions officers believe that the essay is one of the most important parts of your application.

Follow these tips to write a strong Johns Hopkins supplemental essay.

The Johns Hopkins University Writing Supplement:

Write a brief essay (300-400 words) in which you respond to the following question.

Founded in the spirit of exploration and discovery, Johns Hopkins University encourages students to share their perspectives, develop their interests, and pursue new experiences.  Use this essay to share something you’d like the admissions committee to know about you (your interests, your background, your identity, or your community), and how it has shaped what you want to get out of your college experience at Hopkins.

Once again, we get a glimpse at the university’s desire to know more about you than your academic achievements. They want to understand what has influenced your desire to attend Johns Hopkins and what you hope to achieve while there.

Here are some ideas to reflect on:

  • How is Johns Hopkins different from other schools? 
  • Is there a particular club, major, or opportunity at Johns Hopkins that makes it attractive to you?
  • When you were looking at schools, why did you decide to put Johns Hopkins on your list?
  • Is there a particular interest of yours that has led you to apply to Johns Hopkins?
  • When you think about going to college, is there a particular experience you hope to get out of it? Why?
  • What about your past experiences makes you think that Johns Hopkins is the perfect fit for you? Why?

Once you have either a quality about Johns Hopkins or an aspect of yourself to talk about, it’s time to brainstorm an answer to the other half of the question. If you have an element of Johns Hopkins to talk about, then ask yourself the following:

Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay: How to Write It!

Click above to watch a video on Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essays.

  • How is your relationship with that aspect of Johns Hopkins unique?
  • Why do you relate to that particular opportunity?
  • Is there a story about yourself that will make the connection obvious?

If you have a facet of yourself already selected, it’s time to take a closer look at Johns Hopkins:

  • How will Johns Hopkins affect the trait that you’ve selected?
  • What about Johns Hopkins makes it a place where you think you will grow and mature?
  • What are your goals for university and how will John Hopkins fulfill them?

You and Johns Hopkins: Brainstorming a Connection

When preparing to write the supplemental essay for Johns Hopkins, you have a few choices to make.

First, you need to brainstorm which commonality between you and Johns Hopkins you would like to discuss. The prompt is open to anything from your past experiences , so the goal is to find something meaningful to you that relates to Johns Hopkins.

Even if an idea immediately jumps out to you, consider brainstorming a couple of alternatives. The reason for this is that writing down a list of ideas may help you remember an example that is even stronger than your original choice. You can use the questions provided above to help.

When you are looking at your list, use the following questions to narrow down your choice:

Which of these experiences…

  • …could I write the most about?
  • …had the greatest impact on my life?
  • …is most relevant to my passions and/or personality?
  • …is unique?
  • …most relates to something Johns Hopkins specializes in?
  • …best explains what you’re hoping to receive from a Johns Hopkins education?

After answering these questions, you might still be torn between two different experiences. If this is true, start by outlining or drafting each experience. As you get started, you’ll likely discover that one is easier to write, which usually results in a better essay.

Keep in mind that even if one experience may have had a better outcome, another experience may relate better to Johns Hopkins and what you hope to gain by attending their school. In other words, Johns Hopkins wants to know which experience made the biggest impact on your choice to apply, not had the best outcome. You want to impress the admissions counselor with how you think , not another set of statistics about you. 

If you have two drafts of the essay but are still stuck between ideas, show both to a friend or family member. Outside opinions are the key to success in life, and college essays are no exception.

Describing What You Hope to Learn From Johns Hopkins

While this essay is about you, remember that it is also focused on what you want to get from attending Johns Hopkins.

Thus, it’s important to keep your essay focused. It’s only 300-400 words long, so there isn’t space to try and explain everything about you that relates to something at Johns Hopkins. However, try not to overdo the other side either. Pick one, or at the most two, goals you hope Johns Hopkins will help you achieve. Keeping these two in balance can be tricky, but here are a few tips:

  • Tell a single story about yourself. As stated in the prompt, it can be about anything from your past, but don’t let the open-ended question fool you. One clear, concise story about yourself is better than a jumble of thoughts.
  • Similarly, having done research on Johns Hopkins before deciding to apply, you may have what feels like hundreds of reasons for wanting to attend. Which one matches best to the story you’re trying to tell? Concentrate on that one.
  • At the end of the day, you’re not going to be able to say everything that you want to, either about yourself or Johns Hopkins. That’s okay: neither is anyone else. Your aim should be to pick the best concept to talk about, for both you and Johns Hopkins. The word count for everyone is 300-400 words, and it is important to make the most of it.

Let’s break each of these points down further. When thinking about your story, consider everything that happened during that experience.

  • Go through each sense individually.  What are you seeing? Smelling? Tasting? Hearing? Feeling, both on your skin and emotionally?  These types of details are what helps bring a story to life.
  • Who else was with you? Is a friend or family member a key element of the story?
  • Why were you there? Was it your idea, or someone else’s?
  • Did something go wrong? Why? If everything went according to plan, who planned it?

Next, think about how this ties into your future, specifically your future at Johns Hopkins:

  • What is the take-away point from the story?  How does it relate to your dreams?
  • How will Johns Hopkins help you succeed in those goals?
  • hat effect will being at Johns Hopkins have compared to other schools?

As you look over what you have written, it’s time to look at the clarity.

  • Have you ensured that the details of your story all point to the same goal or trait?
  • Have you clearly delineated why Johns Hopkins could be a key stepping stone to your life?
  • Have you tried to squish too many ideas into the essay?

Whatever past experience you’ve written about, your essay needs to be clear on the connection to the opportunities available at Johns Hopkins. 

Examining the Word Count

When you’re happy with the content of the essay, it’s time to address the word limit. Obviously, the essay needs to be between 300-400 words. But is 301 words too short? Is 399 words too long? Both are acceptable based on the instructions, but aiming for the middle is always a safe bet. In this case, somewhere between 330-360 words is probably a happy medium. 

Whether your essay is too long or too short, one of the best things you can do is get someone else to look at it. If you essay is too long, ask your friend or family member the following types of questions:

  • Is there any essay content that makes it more confusing?
  • What do you think the point of the essay is? 
  • Is there anything you find distracting?

If your essay is too short, consider asking questions similar to these:

  • Which areas need to be clearer?
  • Are there any sentences or ideas that could be further explained?
  • Do the descriptions in the essay put you in my shoes?
  • What kind of details do you think would make this feel more alive?

Pitfalls to Avoid

There are many common mistakes people make in this kind of essay.  Here are a few suggestions to help you avoid them:

  • Don’t write something just because you think that’s what the admissions officer will want to read. Talk about an experience that is meaningful to you .
  • The story about your past does not need to be positive. In fact, talking about elements that were challenging makes you appear more mature as mistakes are a natural part of learning and growth.
  • If you decide to talk about a moment in time where everything went well, be careful with how you present it. It’s tempting to brag, but it’s much better to present successful experiences in light of what you’ve learned.
  • Context and language are important. Don’t just compliment Johns Hopkins. Explain why those qualities or opportunities are important and valuable to your education.
  • Regularly review the prompt. This will help you maintain focus, stay on topic, and make every word relevant.

Even if you are beyond excited to be applying to Johns Hopkins, this is not the place to write about it. You want to be able to show the university that you are clear, focused, and specific in your writing.

According to Johns Hopkins: Essays That Worked

One of the richest resources for writing your Johns Hopkins supplement comes from the university itself.

Within their admissions information section, the “ Essays That Worked ” page has numerous examples of essays written by the Class of 2023 that captured the admissions committee’s attention.

  • Do yourself a favor and read these essays.
  • Not only does the university provide these powerful essays, but if you click the “+” underneath each essay, you will be able to read admissions committee comments that describe exactly what about the essay resonated with them.

While the students’ essays are not related to the prompt you will be writing, reading them is still important. You can analyze the tone, style, and structure of these essays and apply your knowledge to your own writing.

In reading the admissions committee comments, you will notice that the main repeated theme is how the essay enables them to envision the student and how they behave on campus. These are clues to how the admissions committee is reading your essay. Other points to consider include:

  • Johns Hopkins clearly values creative and inventive structures in an essay. If you feel comfortable writing in that style, it may be the right avenue to take. As stated above, be sure to include your personality and to highlight your passions in your essay.
  • Many of the essays address diversity. Be it a multicultural heritage, broad interests, or being non-judgemental, this is obviously a theme Johns Hopkins is looking for in students.

If you don’t feel comfortable with advanced structures or lack a story about diversity, that’s okay. A simple, well-told story is more effective than a convoluted, badly paced one with a theme stuck on top.

The Gritty Details: Check Your Work

As with any essay, it’s very important that you have meticulously edited your work.

The spell-check tool is a staple, but other tools, like Grammarly , are great resources too. This website has a grammar check feature that can help you to catch common mistakes, like overused words and subject-verb tense. However, as with any tool, you should use your judgment and not blindly accept suggestions unless you understand the reasons behind them.

Many times, students focus on line-item grammar and spelling errors without thinking about their writing holistically. Have a friend or family member read your work for clarity and structure. Ask them:

  • Have I represented myself and my interest in Johns Hopkins well?
  • Do my thoughts transition smoothly or do my ideas bounce around?
  • Am I clear about how my past connects with a future at Johns Hopkins?
  • Can you hear my voice through my writing?

This last question sounds tricky, but it is simply asking whether your reader gets a sense of your personality and outlook on life through your writing. Your work should never read like a monotonous robot providing the answers you think Johns Hopkins wants to hear.

Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay Examples From Previous Years!

In my experience, High School Musical and Mean Girls are spot-on when it comes to teen conversations; during my first three years of high school, most of the discussions my friends and I had revolved around who was dating whom, criticism of the atrocious basketball coach, and spoilers of the latest Stranger Things season. While I still enjoyed these chats, as my entrepreneurial fervor grew, I found myself feeling disjointed from my peers and looking for a community that would nurture my startup fever. When she noticed my budding interest, the head of a local incubator invited me to apply for their accelerator program. I initially felt unsure, but I gave it a shot, and as time went on, I felt as if I were transported to Ancient Athens during every Monday session. As a program meant to help individuals jumpstart and accelerate their businesses, the incubator prompted participants to think Socratically. We questioned and debated every preconceived notion regarding startups: how to conduct proper market research, when and why to shut down, and even whether a humanitarian venture could also be a profitable one. Our oratories were not dull, 10-minute long PowerPoints followed by the occasional golf clap; they were action-packed, 60-second elevator pitches accompanied by a barrage of inquiries and suggestions about statistical logos and story-telling pathos. Through numerous congregations within the polis, I gave a fellow participant the conviction to pursue his business of educating students on the college recruiting process, emphasizing how all of my friends loved athletics and wanted to go D1.  In return, he helped me see that the biggest problem with teens wasn’t always finding opportunities; it was being ready and professional enough to capture it. Despite channeling Alexander the Great’s cutthroat competitiveness at the beginning, our group personified Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates in the end, as we considered each other’s ventures and employed our own ethos to help one another. We didn’t all have to be our own Homers — our Iliad and Odyssey were the cumulative success of all of our companies, forged by the collaborative intertwining of our stories.
Our tenth-grade chemistry teacher decided that the best way for us to learn the chemical bonding unit was through student-led lessons and projects. There were many positions in the structured lessons; I signed up to be leader. As the leader, it was my job to make sure others completed their work, understood the concepts, sought out help if they didn’t, and that we progressed on schedule, altering it as necessary.  My first obstacle and lesson was getting the students, specifically the boys, to listen to me. At that time it was only my second year at my new school and I hadn’t developed closer relationships with many of my peers yet who had known each other since middle school. The boys in the class were the main problem since they did not like being told what to do by a girl, especially one they did not know very well. The only way I could fix that was by being calm in the face of their stubbornness and continuing to direct them politely but firmly. It was an enlightening experience and gave me insight into how women are perceived in the real world. Due to poor circumstances, there were two traveling trips occurring at the same time; athletics and Model United Nations. Athletics only took away two people from our class, and while it was important to make sure they were on track, it was a relatively smooth process. On the other hand, MUN took away at least half the class. That was very difficult because it was a logistical nightmare to keep track of so many people in another country and make sure they were still finishing with their work. Furthermore, because they were very busy as MUN members and didn’t want to worry about chemistry. This obstacle required me to be very organized with many people out of the country, including reorganizing our classwide schedule to accommodate the missing people. Language difference was the third obstacle. As we progressed through the unit and got closer to our final test and project, the language proficiency difference grew more challenging. Many of my classmates were Korean and their first language was not English. As the concepts became more advanced, it was apparent that they needed help with language translation. Even more, some were not able to talk well to others in English due to not having an English-speaking background. I was overwhelmed facing all these unexpected challenges, but I knew it was important that I give my classmates my patience and support. In the end, we did well. All of us passed the test and successfully created and carried out an experiment to determine our mysterious substance. Getting there, though, was a challenge, but not one that I regret. I can proudly say that I grew from that experience, whether it was dealing with students who didn’t pull their weight, being organized so I can work with sudden changes, or learning what’s it like to lead obstinate classmates. Now in twelfth grade, I feel significantly more comfortable taking charge and speaking in front of larger groups of people. It’s even carried over to my clubs and activities where I can confidently put forth my ideas and lead meetings.

Conclusion: The Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay

As with any college essay, allow your passion and enthusiasm to show through your writing.

You want Johns Hopkins to know that you value the opportunities present on campus, and that they line up with your goals for university. Your essay should reveal that you are thoughtful and reflective about going to college and haven’t selected Johns Hopkins simply because it is a top school. (Though that’s definitely a good reason to consider applying!)

Finally, ask yourself, “Does my essay reveal that I am a student who is aligned with the values of Johns Hopkins?

If the answer is “yes,” you are ready to send your writing supplement on its way. Good luck!

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Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay Examples

Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay Examples

Looking at Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples can be very helpful for students getting ready to write their own  college supplemental essays . Whether you are planning on applying to Hopkins- one of the most competitive schools in the United States, or a different highly ranked institution like  Brown University , for example, you will benefit from looking at a variety of other essays.

If you want to get into a top college, being at the top of your class and having the right extracurricular activities on your  high school resume  is no longer enough. College admissions have gotten more competitive, and the admissions process has become more holistic. In other words, if you want to stand out, you need to submit compelling essays that show the admissions committee why you deserve a spot in their next class. 

Reviewing different  college essay examples  can help you do that. So, without much further ado, let's look at these five Johns Hopkins supplementary essay examples. 

>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here . <<

Article Contents 10 min read

Prompt: Founded on a spirit of exploration and discovery, Johns Hopkins University encourages students to share their perspectives, develop their interests and pursue new experiences. Use this space to share something you’d like the admissions committee to know about you (your interests, your background, your identity, or your community) and how it has shaped what you want to get out of your college experience at Hopkins. (300-400 words)

Johns Hopkins supplemental essay example #1

I always have a book in my purse. Technically, I always have several because I carry a physical copy of a book and my Kindle, which gives me access to thousands of books. I don't remember when I started doing this, but I remember every single time that I found myself outside with nothing to do, and a book was there for me to escape into. 

As you probably guess, I am an avid reader. I read an average of four novels every week, and then I talk about it with the community that I have built through my blog online. I enjoy telling others about the books I am reading, what I liked about them, the tools the writer used to drive their point home, and what they could have done better. 

I first started reading when my family and I moved to the United States from Brazil. I spoke fluent Portuguese and very little English, so my ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher suggested I start reading English books to improve my vocabulary. 

I will admit that the first few months were challenging. I was grateful for the kindle feature that allows you to check the definition of a word by double-clicking on it because I needed to look up so many words. I started setting challenges for myself. I would reward myself with a matcha latte if I could read three chapters without having to look up a single word, or I would get to watch telenovelas instead of reading if I managed to read a book within a certain amount of time. 

Eventually, not only did my English improve significantly, but I started looking forward to reading. I had fallen in love with fictional worlds and the complex characters that inhabit those worlds. I have often found myself finding refuge in books, and I believe that there are so many others who could benefit from them. 

My goal is to teach others about the wonderful world of literature and introduce others to books as my teacher did for me. Johns Hopkins not only offers an entire course on one of my favorite authors - Virginia Wolf-, but it also provides a rigorous English major that would allow me to strengthen my foundational understanding of formal literary criticism while also increasing my knowledge of modern literature. 

I can't imagine exploring my love for literature anywhere else. 

“Are clouds heavy? They don’t look heavy, but they have to be because you said that’s where rain comes from. Right?”

That is one of the many questions that I asked as a child. I have always had what my mother calls a curious spirit. I was that annoying child who preferred asking a million odd questions instead of playing games. So, to keep me busy, my mother would let me play games like Trivia and 20Q on her iPad. I developed a particular interest in 20Q when I realized that it would guess what I was thinking. I wanted to know why, and that is how my fascination with technology began.

Initially, I set out to understand how the game was guessing correctly, but my research led me to the fantastic world of Artificial Intelligence. I had more than twenty questions about how they work and what they can be used for, and as usual, I made sure to ask everyone around me. It was, therefore, not surprising when I signed up for a computer programming class as soon as I could in middle school. I was so excited to finally learn from a teacher who could answer some of my questions.

In middle school, I learned about artificial neural networks and how they use algorithms to recognize hidden patterns and correlations in raw data, how these networks can cluster and classify that data, and – over time – continuously learn and improve. I applied these same principles to my work as a student. Even though I was passionate about the topic and understood the principles behind computer programming, coding did not come naturally to me. I would stay behind after class to get some help from my teacher and other students. I would also spend my free periods practicing and watching tutorials. 

“you’ll need to do some more living, first, and learn about things outside of literature.”

That’s what my grandmother told me when I first told her that I wanted to become a writer. At first, her words didn’t make much sense to me. I felt that to become a better writer; I have to study writers and the art of writing, nothing more. That said, my grandmother is one of the wisest people I know, and she is usually right, so I kept an open mind and thought about what she said often. 

It first started making sense to me when I learned that Agatha Christie was a nurse and that Mark Twain was a steamboat pilot. It helped me realize that the best writers were not only capable of writing beautifully, but they also combined their knowledge of literature with outside information and personal experiences to create masterpieces that we are still learning from today. As an aspiring journalist and novelist, learning this made me wonder about my own interests outside of literature. 

I have spent most of my free time in middle and high school focusing on improving my writing and research abilities through the school newspaper which I write for, the debate club that I am a part of as a researcher, and the book club that I meet with every other Saturday. My grandmother’s words and my recent discovery propelled me into action. I decided to “do some more living,” as my grandmother had called it. I joined the dance team, where I learned to push myself and confirmed that practice makes perfect. I also joined the social committee, which taught me how many people work behind the scenes of even the most minor events and how important the details are. I recently signed up for a cooking class as well, and I am confident that my experience with cooking will also teach me a valuable lesson. 

Although I am on the path to becoming a journalist, I am excited to continue exploring different interests through the many programs Johns Hopkins offers. No other school would give me the option of attending writing seminars while also learning about various topics like earth & planetary sciences or robotics. I believe these experiences will only make me a better writer and allow me to contribute to my community more significantly.  (392 words)

The night before my last debate, I slept for four hours. I know this was not the brightest idea, but I couldn't help it. I wanted to review my points again and ensure that I felt prepared. I remember laughing with my mother that night when she came in to remind me that I needed to sleep if I wanted to win. We laughed at the fact that once upon a time, I hated the idea of the debate club, and now, I was staying up late because I cared about the debate's outcome.   

It is true that when my English teacher firsts suggested I join the debate club at school, I thought the idea of it seemed nonsensical. But after a few weeks of research and preparation and one debate tournament, I was hooked. 

In order to debate, I often have to research complicated topics such as foreign diplomatic agendas, international relations, critical theory, and many others. I then have to synthesize that information into coherent debate evidence and translate knowledge into actual debate argumentation. It is the most challenging and rewarding experience that I have had, and it has helped me develop the ability to critically analyze information, make sense of it and express it creatively in written and oral form. 

I have come to enjoy this aspect of debate prep, and I have come to love the competition as well. Over the past three years, my partner and I have won four debate tournaments, and I have won six regional speaker awards. This has not only boosted my confidence in my abilities, but has also increased my credibility in the debate league. We even got invited to a national conference where our public debate helped raise awareness about the impact of gentrification and what the local government can do about it. 

Most importantly, debating has taught me the importance of being prepared and thorough. I have learned to pay attention to details and actively listen to other people's perspectives. Not only do I now know how to look at the bigger picture, but I also know how to pick the right place to zoom in to so I can achieve my goal. All abilities I know will serve me well as I go through the rigorous political studies program at Johns Hopkins.  (385 words)

Watch this video for college essay writing tips that will help you stand out: " css-class="video youtube " title="YouTube video">

There is an ancient power in storytelling, and journalism modernizes it. The stories I read in newspapers and blogs are all filled with imperfect characters and intricate conflicts in which the journalist is the narrator. My dream has always been to be that narrator, and I have been working toward that goal with the kind of singular focus I believe the best journalists have. 

I started dreaming about it before I understood what it was. One of my first memories of this is from a vacation we took when I was about twelve years old. My family and I had spent a few days at the Rocky Mountain Amusement Park Resort, and I took it upon myself to write a detailed account of our trip. I remember being bored most of the trip and having to find ways to entertain myself because I was too short to go on many of the rides, so I essentially wrote an article that proclaimed that the Rocky Mountain Amusement Park was boring. 

However, during the drive home, my brother read my article and told me I was wrong. That was the first time I thought about different perspectives and how they affect our individual experiences. That experience taught me to consider all points of view, regardless of my personal perspective.  

As the editor-in-chief for my school newspaper, I always make it a point to remind my team to do the same. We aim to share the uncensored perspectives of as many students as possible, and I’ve found that the best way to do so is to talk and listen to different groups, especially those who have a different perspective than our own. This is why whenever one of the journalists proposes a story, I ask them to find out why the event happened, where it will lead and who it will affect. 

This attitude has helped me expand my perspective beyond my little bubble and explore. In an effort to learn more about people’s experiences, I started reading diverse books and looking for stories that give me a chance to learn. I have gotten better at writing about polarizing-opposite opinions through an unbiased lens. I know that I still have a lot to learn, and I am eager and ready to do so.  (380 words)

Johns Hopkins is one of the most competitive schools in the US, with an average acceptance rate of 11%. Applicants need to submit an outstanding supplemental essay if they want to get an offer of admission. This is especially true if you are trying to  get into college with a low GPA . We recommend taking the time to review various essay examples from other schools that are equally prestigious and selective. For example, you may want to review Brown or even  Columbia supplemental essay examples.  Furthermore, the school has a section called "essays that worked" on their website that you should check out. When you are ready to put pen to paper, you should keep in mind that there are  college essay review services  that can help you edit your essay and ensure that it is as compelling as possible. 

Last year, only 11% of the students who applied to Stanford were offered admission. This makes it one of the most selective schools in the country. You will need an outstanding application to get in.

Many assume that it is, but it is actually not. It is, however, one of the most prestigious universities in the United States and the world. 

Every year, Johns Hopkins receives applications from thousands of students with high GPAs and impressive extracurriculars. Your essays give the school a chance to find out what else you bring to the table, and they give you a chance to set yourself apart as a candidate. In other words, you should not underestimate the importance of your college essays.

You will need to write one Johns Hopkins-specific essay in addition to the Common App essay.

Hopkins is one of the best schools in the US, and they only admit students with a high GPA. You will need at least 3.90 to be competitive.

You can improve the quality of your essays and make them stand out by having a strong opening, using specific examples, showing instead of telling, and ensuring that your essay is grammar and spelling error-free. If you're not sure how to do this, reach out to a  college essay advisor  for some assistance. 

Your essay should begin with a "hook". We recommend starting with something catchy like an anecdote, an interesting or funny fun fact about you so that you can grab the reader's attention from the very beginning. 

Johns Hopkins requires one supplemental essay that is at least 300 words long. Applicants can write 300-400 words.

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does jhu have supplemental essays


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  1. Don't Sweat the Supp Stuff: Advice for Crafting Your Supplemental Essay

    The supplemental essay portion of the application is specific to each school. Each institution has intentionally crafted a question (or multiple) to help determine whether a student might be a good match. We look for individuals who share Hopkins' institutional values but will also bring unique experiences and perspectives to the community.

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  5. 2023-24 Johns Hopkins University Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

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  6. Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essays 2023-24

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  10. First-Year Applicants

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  11. 4 Tips for Writing a Johns Hopkins Essay That Works

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  12. How to Respond to the 2023/2024 Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay

    Supplemental essays are an opportunity to give the admissions office a deeper look into who you are and what you'll contribute to the university. There is only one JHU essay prompt, but you should make sure that you add a personal touch to stand out. Applying to college isn't just about academics,- it's about everything that makes you special!

  13. Essays That Worked

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    Supplemental Essay Type (s): Community Founded in the spirit of exploration and discovery, Johns Hopkins University encourages students to share their perspectives, develop their interests, and pursue new experiences.

  17. Johns Hopkins University Essays Guide: 2021-2022

    Does Johns Hopkins require supplemental essays? Yes—in addition to the main essay prompts on the Common App or Coalition App, you must complete one Johns Hopkins-specific essay. For a complete list of application requirements and access to the Johns Hopkins application essay, visit the Johns Hopkins admissions website.

  18. Johns Hopkins Essays that Worked

    Yes, one of the Johns Hopkins requirements is a supplemental essay. In fact, the Johns Hopkins essay is one of the most important parts of your Johns Hopkins application. You should use your Johns Hopkins essay to highlight who you are as a student, person, and community member.

  19. Approaching the Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay 2021-2022

    Dedicate Significant Time to Brainstorming - Since there's only one prompt for the Johns Hopkins supplemental essay 2021-2022, a lot of students might take it lightly. However, Johns Hopkins states that the essay can be "one of the most important components of your application.". Don't just come up with the exact same topic as your ...

  20. How to Write the Johns Hopkins University Supplemental Essay 2019-2020

    Johns Hopkins only requires one supplemental essay for all applicants, so it's important that you do this one justice. In this post, we'll break down this essay prompt, as well as the specialized program prompts. Want to learn what Johns Hopkins University will actually cost you based on your income?

  21. How to Write the Johns Hopkins University Supplemental Essay

    Updated for 2023-2024. Johns Hopkins asks applicants to submit just one supplemental essay. The prompt asks students to reflect on an aspect of their identity as it relates to their collegiate goals at Hopkins. With a 300 word maximum, students do not have much room to expand on both parts of the prompts, so they should be concise in their writing!

  22. How to Write the Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay 2020 ...

    In addition to the regular application on the Common App, Johns Hopkins asks students to provide one writing supplement. According to their page called, "Essays That Worked," the university believes that "Test scores only tell part of your story. [They] want to know more than just how well you work. [They] want to see how you actually think."

  23. Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples

    Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay Examples Updated: Nov 23, 2023 Looking at Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples can be very helpful for students getting ready to write their own college supplemental essays.