How To Get Into Johns Hopkins Medical School

Last Updated on December 28, 2022

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About How To Get Into Johns Hopkins Med School

The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, located in Baltimore, Maryland, is one of the top medical schools in the United States. The M.D. program is a four-year program that combines team-based learning with clinical medical education. Students learn relevant medical skills that will enable them to practice in a variety of clinical settings.

The M.D. Program at Johns Hopkins is exceptionally competitive. According to Johns Hopkins Medical School, 6,332 students applied to the M.D. program last year, and only 282 were accepted.1 These numbers mean that the Johns Hopkins acceptance rate is just under 4.5 percent. For 2018, 108 students enrolled in Johns Hopkins Medical School. Of those, 73 students were male, and 35 were female. Fifteen students were underrepresented minorities.

How to Get Into the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Johns Hopkins Medical School Rankings
According to U.S. News & World Report, Johns Hopkins is ranked #1 in the United States for its Internal Medicine Program for 2018. It is tied with Harvard University for the #1 spot. Johns Hopkins Medical School consistently ranks in the top 10 in many areas of practice. Here are the other Johns Hopkins Medical School Rankings for 2018:2

Research – #2
Radiology – #2
Surgery – #2
Obstetrics and gynecology – #3
Anesthesiology – #3
Psychiatry – #5
Pediatrics – #5
Johns Hopkins Medical School Application Process
Completing the medical school application to Johns Hopkins is a four-step process.

Make sure you meet the admission requirements outlined below.
Submit your Johns Hopkins Medical School application online through the American Medical College Application Service.
Complete the Johns Hopkins Medical School Secondary Application.
Submit letters of recommendation.
The primary application is due no later than October 1st in the year before admission. The deadline for the secondary application is November 1st. Decisions regarding admission are made in December and January. Orientation and the first day of classes begin in mid-August.

Johns Hopkins Minimum Medical School Requirements
To get into Johns Hopkins Medical School, you will need to meet these basic admissions requirements.

The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
Standardized testing is required for acceptance. You must take the MCAT no later than September in the year that you are applying. The average MCAT score for applicants in 2018 was 522.1 A score of 522 is in the 99th percentile.3 This ranking means that just 1 percent of students who take the MCAT score higher than 522.

GPA Scores
A copy of your academic record, including your GPA scores, is required for admissions to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. The average GPA score for applicants in 2018 was 3.91 on a 4.0 scale.1

Academic Prerequisites
Johns Hopkins has a variety of academic prerequisites for admission. The following courses are required for admission.4

Chemistry – One year or 8 semester hours of general college chemistry with laboratory is required. Four semester hours or one semester of organic chemistry is needed, as well.
Biochemistry – One semester or four hours of biochemistry is needed. A lab is not required for biochemistry.
Mathematics – One year of statistics or calculus is required. This equals six to eight semester hours.
Physics – General college physics (one year) is required. The course must have included a laboratory.
Undergraduate Degree
You must have a bachelor of science (B.S.) or a bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree from an accredited academic institution for admission to Johns Hopkins Medical School.3

Additional Requirements for Admission
The following are other requirements for admission to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Excellent Communication Skills
At the minimum, you should have undergraduate coursework that includes two writing-intensive courses in the social sciences or humanities. Highlight the communication skills that you used in extracurricular activities outside of the classroom.

The practice of medicine is highly collaborative. Therefore, applicants should feel comfortable working as part of a team. Johns Hopkins looks for significant teamwork experience when evaluating applications for admissions. So, make sure your application includes plenty of extracurricular activities that involve teamwork. For example, if you volunteered in Honduras over the summer helping people at a rural clinic there, explain how you worked as part of a team to deliver care.

Computer Literacy
You should have a working knowledge of computers since this is a must in medical practice today. Include information about your computer skills and what programs you are comfortable using.

Letters Of Recommendations
Three letters of recommendations from your undergraduate professors are required for admission to Johns Hopkins. Two must be from your science faculty members and one from a non-science faculty member. The recommendation letters are critical. They should be powerful and highlight the qualities that make you stand out among your peers. It is not enough to say that you received As and attended class every day. Your letters should be highly personalized and contain anecdotes that add interest to your application.

Personal Statement
A typed personal statement is required for admission to Johns Hopkins. The statement should include reasons why you want to attend Johns Hopkins and your career objectives. This letter is also critical. It might help to take a creative nonfiction class in college so that you can learn how to illustrate your points using anecdotes and write an original personal essay that the admissions committee will remember.

Curriculum Vitae
A two-page curriculum vitae (CV) is optional for Johns Hopkins Medical School. However, it is highly recommended. Your CV should highlight any relevant research experience that you have had and awards that you have won.

Once applications are reviewed, applicants who are still in the running will be selected for interviews. The medical school interview is crucial. Faculty will gauge your ability to get through the rigorous program at Johns Hopkins.

Medical school is not easy. The faculty wants to make sure that you are prepared to get through the challenges. Your interview should demonstrate that you have the maturity and grit needed for medical school. You should be able to clearly explain why you want to study medicine at Johns Hopkins. Be prepared to tell how your life experiences have prepared you to pursue this calling.

Johns Hopkins Medical School Tuition
Tuition to Johns Hopkins Medical School is $76,739 for the 2018-2019 school year. This amount covers the first year of medical studies at Johns Hopkins. It includes tuition, room, and board, health insurance and books.5

Financial Aid
Financial aid is available for Johns Hopkins Medical School. They offer more than 150 individual scholarship and loan packages. Approximately 85 percent of students who apply receive financial assistance.6

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine is a private medical school that is extremely competitive. Many of the programs are ranked in the top 10 in the United States. Johns Hopkins School of Medicine seeks students who have distinguished themselves both through extracurricular activities and academically. Less than 5 percent of applicants who apply to this elite school are accepted. To be competitive for admission, you should have MCAT scores in the top 1 percent, an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.9 and a powerful application that includes plenty of extracurricular activities and challenging coursework.

Are you ready to apply for medical school? If so, then contact us today at [email protected] to learn how we can help you create a highly unique application that can get the attention of elite medical school admissions’ committees. Visit our website to learn more about our life-changing pre-medical internships abroad and our medical school admissions consulting services.

About IMA
International Medical Aid provides global internship opportunities for students and clinicians who are looking to broaden their horizons and experience healthcare on an international level. These program participants have the unique opportunity to shadow healthcare providers as they treat individuals who live in remote and underserved areas and who don’t have easy access to medical attention. International Medical Aid also provides medical school admissions consulting to individuals applying to medical school and PA school programs. We review primary and secondary applications, offer guidance for personal statements and essays, and conduct mock interviews to prepare you for the admissions committees that will interview you before accepting you into their programs. IMA is here to provide the tools you need to help further your career and expand your opportunities in healthcare.

When you think of top medical schools, Johns Hopkins Medical School is likely one of the first institutions to come to mind. As a bastion of unparalleled research and world-renowned physicians, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has always had a sterling reputation. It’s currently ranked #2 by U.S. News and World Report and has always ranked in the top 3. The Johns Hopkins Hospital was ranked #1 by U.S. News and World Report for 22 straight years and currently sits at #3.

Graduates from Johns Hopkins Medical School go on to serve as leaders in medicine. They develop cutting-edge treatments, conduct life-changing research, and win Nobel Prizes. It should come as no surprise then that JHU’s admissions process has high standards. If you’re a talented premed with excellent test scores and grades, Johns Hopkins might be a real possibility, but you’ll need something more than an impressive MCAT and GPA. You’ll need a qualitative strategy for conveying who you are and standing out from the pack, something that can be accomplished in strong answers to the Johns Hopkins secondary essays. Here, we’ll discuss how to get into Johns Hopkins Medical School, from writing strong Johns Hopkins essays, and acing the Johns Hopkins med school interview.

A number of our students get into Johns Hopkins Medical School each year. Want to learn how?
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Part 2: Johns Hopkins Medical School programs
Johns Hopkins MD programs

There are several paths to the MD at Johns Hopkins:

Four-year MD

MD/Master’s degrees (Public Health, Health Care Management, and many more)


Johns Hopkins Medical School costs

Johns Hopkins’ website lists first-year tuition and fees for 2020-2021 at $62,397. With the addition of room and board, books, travel expenses, and other indirect costs, they estimate a total first-year cost of attendance of $86,647.

While this is steep, Johns Hopkins has over 250 need-based scholarship and loan opportunities and gives 85 percent of its students some kind of financial aid package.

Making the Rounds - JHU Engineering Magazine

Part 3: How hard is it to get into Johns Hopkins Medical School?
Johns Hopkins Medical School acceptance rate
The Johns Hopkins Medical School acceptance rate for the class of 2024 was 5 percent. Of 5,604 applicants, 664 interviewed, 284 were accepted, and 121 matriculated. Men and women were admitted equally, and 17 percent came from underrepresented backgrounds.

Johns Hopkins Medical School requirements
GPA and MCAT scores among the most recently accepted applicants at Johns Hopkins are high:

Average GPA: 3.93

Average MCAT: 521

Applicants must have taken the MCAT within four years of expected matriculation. Applicants with degrees from foreign language institutions must pass a TOEFL examination.

AMCAS applications must be received by October 15. All secondary materials, for either the MD or MD/PhD programs must be received by November 1. However, submitting these materials as early as possible can only be to your advantage due to rolling admissions. If possible, you should have your medical school personal statement and supplemental essays ready by June or July of the year you’re applying, in order to be competitive.

Though Johns Hopkins outlines prerequisites and requirements, including specific coursework, it’s the less tangible qualifications and traits that often set candidates apart.

Top-tier medical schools want to know that you have a story and something to offer their institution beyond just high test scores. They want to know you’ll be a future leader in healthcare, that you’ve faced and overcome challenges, and that you have a history of compassionate service. Furthermore, they want to know that you can articulate these qualitative aspects.

That’s what your Johns Hopkins secondary essays are for, and why they’re such an important part of your application.


Part 4: Johns Hopkins Medical School secondary essay questions and examples
After submitting the AMCAS, you’ll turn to the Johns Hopkins secondary essays. Below, you’ll find examples for each secondary prompt, as well as pointers for how to craft essays that make your application stand out. The examples are based on composites of students we’ve worked with in over 15+ years of advising.

(Suggested reading: Medical School Secondary Essay Prompts)

Question 1: Briefly describe your single most rewarding experience. Feel free to refer to an experience previously described in your AMCAS application. (2500 characters max)

One way to answer this question is to focus on an experience that you’ve found personally rewarding or fulfilling. Many of the essays medical schools receive will speak of “compassion” and “service” and “a desire to help people” as generic virtues. While all three are important, it should be a given that anyone interested in the field of medicine possesses these virtues. By repeating or overusing them, you risk merely regurgitating a medical school’s mission statement.

This prompt forces you to move beyond the generic to the specific. The admissions committee wants to see a particular instance of compassion and service that you found fulfilling.

Here’s an example:

The summer after my sophomore year of college, I decided to take part in the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program. I was home for the summer in Madison, Wisconsin and had wanted to do volunteer work for a long time. My grandmother relied on the Road to Recovery program when she was receiving treatments for breast cancer, and I wanted to contribute to the same admirable cause.

For three months, I drove patients to their chemo and radiation treatments in the same Honda I’ve had since I was sixteen. Some are in remission now. Some have passed away. I learned a lot about their lives. One man told me all about his service in Vietnam. One woman liked listening to the classical station and gave me daily lessons on the composers. Our healthcare system can sometimes reduce complex people to their illnesses, but the Road to Recovery program was rewarding because it gave me a more holistic view of each person. It’s this outlook that I hope to bring to Johns Hopkins.

An experience need not involve service to be rewarding, and you could just as easily describe your participation in debate, athletics, or even a hobby or artform. If the experience involves the gratification that comes from mastering a skill, you can use that here.

An example:

In high school, I won a state-wide quiz bowl competition. My team was from a small school in Akron, Ohio, and we were competing against teams from private and magnet schools in Cincinnati and Cleveland. But we studied hard and worked together and ended up winning the whole thing my junior year.

My broad area of expertise on the team was science, and I spent many long hours studying cell structures, the history of physics, anatomy, and other disciplines. Though I’d always had an interest in science, it was during this time that I first began to consider pursuing a career as a doctor.

Though the stakes seemed high to me at the time, I realize now that the most valuable aspect of my quiz bowl experience was not winning, but rather what I learned about myself. My sense of accomplishment rested not only on our success, but on working together with my teammates and discovering my passion.

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Question 2: Are there any areas of medicine that are of particular interest to you? If so, please comment. (2500 characters max)

Because “area of medicine” is a general designation, you can treat it as narrowly or as broadly as you wish in your answer. You may, for instance, be broadly interested in family medicine, and you can talk about what motivates this interest. On the other hand, you may be planning to pursue an MD/MPH, and you may be interested specifically in family medicine as it relates to underserved populations.

Another way of framing the question might be: What will you do to advance your chosen field and what in your experience prepares you to do so? Remember that Johns Hopkins is looking for future leaders.

An answer might look like this:

I pursued a PNP (Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology) degree at Washington University because I’m interested in the Mind-Body Problem and the ways in which human consciousness eludes our understanding. My little brother is autistic, so aside from my own fascination with consciousness, I’ve always had a personal investment in what makes his brain operate differently. It’s for this reason that I hope to specialize in neurology. I also hope to achieve a Master’s of Science in public health.

Most of my studies and thesis work have been on the relationship between language and consciousness. This is of particular importance to me since my little brother never learned to speak. There’s not nearly enough research on the differences between children with autism who learn to speak and those who don’t. I hope that in my career, I can address this gap, looking specifically at environmental factors that may contribute to one outcome or the other. At Johns Hopkins, I would contribute to research at the Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, especially the SEED program (Study to Explore Early Development).

What if you’re not sure which field of medicine you’d like to enter? Luckily, the language of the prompt allows for more than one area. If you’re drawn to both dermatology and internal medicine, you can discuss both. The admissions committee doesn’t necessarily expect you to have all the answers at the time you apply. They simply want to know that you have an active interest in something beyond medicine in general, and that your intellectual curiosity and passion will motivate your pursuit of the MD.

Question 3: Briefly describe a situation where you had to overcome adversity; include lessons learned and how you think it will affect your career as a future physician. (2500 characters max)

This is the standard “adversity” or “challenge” essay. You can find comprehensive advice on how to answer the adversity prompt in our guide to secondary essays. It’s a common medical school essay prompt because admissions committees want to see that you’ve responded well to difficult situations, which will surely be required once you get your white coat.

If possible, you should illustrate why the challenges you’ve overcome make you uniquely suited for Johns Hopkins Medical School, as opposed to medical school generally. For instance, if you have had the challenging experience of a serious injury, you could tie this experience to an interest in the Johns Hopkins Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation program. Everyone has experienced adversity of some kind, but if you can draw a direct line between the adversity you’ve overcome and your current interest in pursuing medicine at Johns Hopkins, it can only be to your advantage.

Question 4: Briefly describe a situation where you were not in the majority. What did you learn from the experience? (2500 characters max)

If you come from a minority background, one obvious way to answer this question is to discuss that experience. In this way, the prompt is similar in some respects to the standard diversity prompt. Medical schools want students from unique backgrounds that will contribute to a diverse student body and this essay is an opportunity to present that.

However, the prompt is broad enough to include any minority experience, not just those of students from ethnic or socioeconomic minorities. What’s important is that the admissions committee sees you handled the situation with grace and that you learned something from it. Whatever kind of experience you choose, it should be a formative experience.

Here’s one example:

Growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, there weren’t a lot of people going to college. But I always knew I wanted to go. My parents encouraged me, giving me microscope and chemistry sets for my birthdays. I got into a small private college and discovered that I was one of only eight Native people in the freshmen class, and one of about 50 in the entire university. Of these 50, none were Lakota or members of any other tribes in South Dakota. I went from living someplace where everyone was like me to living someplace where almost no one was like me.

Throughout my time in college, I’ve learned to explain myself, something I never had to do before. Though it can be exhausting at times telling my non-Native peers about a history they should already know, it’s a skill I’m glad to have learned. Likewise, students from backgrounds with which I’m unfamiliar have explained themselves to me. I’ve encountered histories and ways of living that I never would have glimpsed had I stayed in Pine Ridge.

After achieving my MD, I plan to practice family medicine on the land where I grew up. But when I return, I’ll be a different person, someone who knows how to tell her own story, and how to learn from the stories of others.

Disover How to get into Johns Hopkins Medical School | MedEdits

Here’s why this is a good response:

It illustrates growth. The applicant learned something from her experience of being in the minority and these lessons will inform her future career as a physician.

Though the experience was difficult, the essay doesn’t dwell on the difficulty. The point of the question isn’t necessarily for applicants to give a detailed account of how hard it was, but rather to express how that hardship contributed to their moral compass and sense of self. Did the experience make you a more empathetic or compassionate person, a person with a greater sense of ethics or a more generous outlook? This is the subtext of “what did you learn from the experience?”

Here’s one final example:

When I was a freshman, I enrolled in a Women and Gender Studies seminar. I arrived in the room to find that I was the only man who’d signed up. And now, here I was, in the minority for the first time.

The course was strange for me sometimes, because I had the sense that it wasn’t for me—which is probably what kept the other guys away. There were confessional poetry writing assignments designed around the premise that the class wouldn’t include cisgender men. Together, the teacher and I decided that I would interview some of the women in my family about their experiences and highlight them in a short film. It was an exercise in stepping back and in finding a way to acknowledge others’ experiences.

As a straight white man, I may never again have to be in a space where it’s my duty to step aside for someone else. But I hope that what I learned growing up in my near-utopian community and what I learned I that seminar have stayed with me so that I know to make space for others whether it’s an assignment or not.

This applicant knows he’s not a minority, and he doesn’t try to fudge by choosing some tiny, wonky way in which he’s different. Instead, he thinks about the only time he wasn’t in the majority and what he learned from that experience.

Question 5: Wonder encapsulates a feeling of rapt attention … it draws the observer in. Tell us about a time in recent years that you experienced wonder in your everyday life. Although experiences related to your clinical or research work may be the first to come to mind, we encourage you to think of an experience that is unrelated to medicine or science. What did you learn from that experience? (2500 characters max)

You should treat this prompt as a valuable opportunity to discuss something important to you that is unrelated to medicine or science. In other words, it’s a chance to paint a fuller portrait of who you are as a person.

To brainstorm suitable essay topics, consider what experiences or activities in your life have led to moments of surprise, inspiration, and growth, whether they are routine hobbies or happenstance encounters. For instance, you might describe what you learned from an inspiring interview you read with a favorite artist, or you might talk about what it was like to grow your own food for the first time. Whatever you choose, your essay should ultimately focus on conveying what you learned from the experience.


Growing up in New York City, my idea of spending time in nature was a nice afternoon in the park. While I appreciated nature on an aesthetic level—I was not immune to a beautiful meadow or stunning vista captured in a painting or photograph—I never really got the enjoyment people found in hiking, camping, or country life. When we’d visit my grandparents in my mom’s hometown upstate, I felt unsettled at how quiet it was and would be unable to sleep. I’d grown up associating quiet with danger because it meant nobody else was around.

At the end of high school, I found myself choosing between Dartmouth, which I had applied to primarily because my older sister was already attending, and a less prestigious college that would have allowed me to stay in New York. Though it was nearly impossible to imagine myself living in a rural area, in the end even I had to admit that it would be foolish to pass up a Dartmouth education.

My first semester was full of adjustments. I found that many of my new friends were outdoors enthusiasts who liked to hike, ski, and canoe—for fun. And to welcome me, my sister and her friends took me to hike nearby Mount Tom. Though I felt that this was more of a prank than a welcome on my sister’s part, I tried my best to be open-minded.

The next semester, I enrolled in an environmental science class that forced me to spend time in the campus woods observing the development of tree buds as spring encroached. Though I didn’t particularly like the idea of venturing into the woods by myself to fill out my log book, as the weeks passed, I eventually started to feel a startling sense of peace when I was out there. What was strangest was that, as I adjusted to my new surroundings, the woods no longer sounded quiet. Instead, the chirps of birds and rustling of squirrels were louder than ever—how had I not noticed this before? To my surprise, I started to look forward to each outing as a chance to be truly present and attentive to the world around me.

Even though I didn’t take another environmental science class after that semester, spending time alone in the woods became a part of my life that stuck. It’s my go-to now for dealing with times of stress and reveling in times of happiness. Not only did the woods teach me that they contain much more boisterous life than I could have imagined, they’ve also helped me feel independent and confident in being by myself.

How To Enter Johns Hopkins Medical School

Question 6: (Optional) The Admissions Committee values hearing about each candidate for admission, including what qualities the candidate might bring to the School of Medicine if admitted. If you feel there is information not already addressed in the application that will enable the Committee to know more about you and this has influenced your desire to be a physician, feel free to write a brief statement in the space below. You may address any subject you wish, such as being a first generation college student, or being a part of a minority group (whether because of your sexual orientation, religion, economic status, gender identity, ethnicity) or being the child of undocumented immigrants or being undocumented yourself, etc. Please note that this question is optional and that you will not be penalized should you choose not to answer it. (2500 characters max)

Your answer here could be anything you feel is relevant that you haven’t had a chance to mention elsewhere in your application. The list of examples provided, however, should give you some sense of what the admissions committee is looking for here.

JHU Medical School wants an incoming class where diverse voices and outlooks are represented. If you choose to answer this question, you should make sure that whatever aspect of your identity or background you write about has influenced in some way your decision to pursue a degree in medicine. You should also try to illustrate why this makes you well suited for Johns Hopkins in particular.

Part 5: Johns Hopkins Medical School interview
Let’s say you submit all your materials and Johns Hopkins invites you to come in for an interview. How should you prepare?

First of all, know that If you’ve been invited to interview, it means that the admissions committee liked what they saw in your application. You’ve made it through a significant hurdle in the process.

Johns Hopkins uses a traditional medical school interview format so they can see if they like you as much one-on-one as they do on paper. All invited applicants will have two interviews, one with a faculty member and one with a fourth-year medical student. In the 2020–2021 application cycle, all interviews will be held virtually.

Above all, remember to do your research and prepare responses that are consistent with what you discussed in your application and secondary essays. Be sure to read through “Interview Feedback” for Johns Hopkins on their Student Doctor Network (SDN) page to see what kinds of questions have been asked recently.

Jobs at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine - Academic Positions

If you were enthusiastic about a particular program or branch of research in your essays, make sure that enthusiasm carries over into your interviews. You should consider when you write your essays and mention certain fields or areas of research whether you would be able to talk about them at length in an interview setting. In other words, pick things that actually interest you so that your answers come across as genuine.

Finally, if you have some personal connection to Johns Hopkins, you can elaborate during your interview or the downtime and small talk surrounding your interview. The constraints of the secondary prompts prevent in-depth discussion. Maybe you mentioned this personal connection in one of your essays but didn’t really get a chance to explain it fully. The interview process gives you that chance.

Final thoughts
Applying to medical school can be daunting, and applying to the Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine, one of the top medical institutions in the world, can seem even more so. Though their expectations are stringent, earning your white coat from Johns Hopkins can be a life-changing experience, one that opens doors and pays lifelong dividends. More importantly, it can give you the opportunity to further the field of medicine, as it has for many other renowned alumni. By emphasizing the qualities that make you a future leader in your essays, you can stand out from the pool of applicants and improve your odds of getting a Johns Hopkins Medical School acceptance.

About the Author
Dr. Shirag Shemmassian is the Founder of Shemmassian Academic Consulting and one of the world’s foremost experts on medical school admissions. Over the past 15 years, he and his team have helped thousands of students get into medical school using his exclusive approach.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Medicine has changed the policy regarding prerequisite courses taken online. We will now accept online prerequisite courses completed at an accredited college or university, whether these were taken prior to the pandemic or any time afterwards.

Medical school studies build on a strong foundation in the sciences and mathematics at the premedical level. Beyond the successful fulfillment of these basic prerequisites, the Committee on Admission considers the overall quality and scope of an applicant’s undergraduate educational experience. The field of concentration for undergraduate studies and the selection of additional science and mathematics courses are the student’s personal choice and will not affect the admission process.

In addition to the academic requirements detailed below, we seek candidates who evidence the following characteristics:

Academic Excellence
Service, compassion and humanism
Ability to work in a team (or as part of a team)
Requirements for Admission
State Authorization Disclosure Regarding Educational Prerequisites (PDF)

The following general requirements must be met by all applicants:

I. Standardized testing.
The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is required for acceptance. The MCAT must be taken no later than September in the year the application is submitted. The oldest MCAT considered will be four years prior to date of expected matriculation. For students entering in Fall 2022, the oldest acceptable MCAT is 2018.

Note for graduates of foreign institutions: Successful passage of the TOEFL examination is additionally required for all students whose undergraduate instruction was conducted primarily in a language other than English.

II. Required academic work from an accredited institution.
(As listed on “Accredited Institutions of Postsecondary Education,’’ authorized and published by the American Council on Education, One DuPont Circle NW, Washington, D.C. 20036.)

The School of Medicine accepts prerequisites completed at the community college level. In order to be competitive in the selection process, we encourage prospective applicants with community college prerequisites to supplement these courses by taking advanced courses in related subjects at their four year institution. A holistic review process is used to select applicants to interview at Hopkins and many factors are considered in this review. These factors include the rigor of the applicant’s course of studies, grades, MCAT scores, clinical and research exposure, letters of recommendation, personal statement and the applicant’s understanding of medicine. In addition, we consider the path the applicants have taken which led to their desire to apply to medical school and become a physician.

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate credits acceptable to the student’s undergraduate college may be used to satisfy the prerequisites in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Calculus/Statistics and up to one-half of the Humanities/Social, Behavioral Sciences. AP and IB credits must be documented on an official transcript. Please note the additional requirements for Biology and Chemistry listed below.

Please note:

Extension or evening courses taken in fulfillment of premedical course requirements are not acceptable unless they are identical to courses offered in the college’s regular academic program
Preparation in foreign universities must be supplemented by a year or more of work at an approved university in the United States
Prerequisites do not need to be completed to apply but must be completed by August 1, just prior to matriculating at Johns Hopkins. Until successful completion of the requirements, acceptance is considered conditional
All coursework submitted in fulfillment of admission requirements must be evaluated on the basis of a traditional grading system. Such a system must employ a range of numbers or letters to indicate the comparative level of performance
CLEP credits may not be substituted for any course requirement
Specific premedical course requirements are:

College biology with laboratory, one year (8 semester hours).

A separate course devoted to the principles of genetics (4 sem. hours) is recommended. Individuals who have not completed their studies in biology within the past four (4) years are strongly encouraged to take an additional course in mammalian or molecular biology. If using AP or IB credit, an additional semester in advanced biology, such as cell biology, genetics, physiology, molecular biology, etc., is required.

i. General college chemistry with laboratory, one year (8 semester hours).

If using AP or IB credit, an additional semester in advanced chemistry is required. Acceptable advanced chemistry courses include the following: a second semester of organic chemistry; a second semester of biochemistry; analytical chemistry (quantitative or qualitative); physical chemistry, applied chemical equilibrium and reactivity, etc.

ii. Organic chemistry with laboratory, one semester (4 semester hours) are required.

iii. Biochemistry. Minimum of 3 semester hours. Lab is not required.

The student should have knowledge of chemical equilibrium and thermodynamics, acid/base chemistry, the nature of ions in solution and redox reactions, the structure of molecules with special emphasis on bio-organic compounds, reaction rates, binding coefficients, reaction mechanisms involved in enzyme kinetics and other applications to the understanding of living systems. Also important is a basic understanding of the structure of nucleic acids, including how they store and transfer information.

How Hard Is It To Get Into Johns Hopkins Medical School

The study of the humanities and social and behavioral sciences is an essential foundation for the study and practice of medicine. These disciplines foster a broad understanding of humankind and the increasingly diverse cultural and social environment of our world. A minimum of 24 semester hours is required in areas of humanities (English, History, Classics, Foreign Language, Philosophy, Arts, etc), social science (Sociology, Economics, Political Science, Anthropology, etc.) and behavioral science (Psychology, etc.). Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English. Required course work will include at least two writing-intensive courses which can be in the humanities or the social/behavioral sciences and may be counted as part of the twenty-four (24) semester hour requirement for the humanities/social sciences. AP or IB credit acceptable to the student’s undergraduate college is allowed for a maximum of twelve (12) credits. Please see Communication Skills under Additional Requirements below.

Calculus and/or statistics Minimum of 6 semester hours.

Mathematics courses should enable the student to develop equations, to interpret graphical representations of function and to evaluate probability involved in testing hypotheses in the study of natural phenomena. AP or IB credit for calculus, if acceptable to the student’s undergraduate college, may be used in the fulfillment of the math requirement. Regardless of such credit, it is strongly recommended that applicants take at least one semester of statistics or epidemiology.

General college physics with laboratory, one year (8 semester hours).

The student should have an understanding of the constants and units of physical measurement, Newtonian mechanics, the physical properties of various states of matter, such as liquids, solids and gasses, and the basic aspects of electricity, magnetism and optics, and their applications to living systems. AP or IB credit for physics, if acceptable to the student’s undergraduate college, may be used in fulfillment of the physics requirement.

The laboratory portion of this requirement is expected to equip the student with practical understanding of the process of scientific inquiry and to gain insight into how scientific knowledge is discovered and validated.

III. A Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree from an accredited institution.

Additional Requirements
I. Communication skills.
Required course work will include at least two writing-intensive courses, which can be in the humanities or the social/behavioral sciences and may be counted as part of the 24-semester hour requirement for the humanities and social sciences. It is expected that the student will have demonstrated precise and fluent communication in spoken and written English. It is strongly recommended that the student achieve basic conversational skills in a foreign language.

II. Teamwork skills.
Medicine is a strongly collaborative endeavor. The applicant must demonstrate the ability to work successfully with others toward a common goal. A significant experience requiring teamwork is therefore expected in the course of the applicant’s academic and/or extracurricular activities and should be documented in the application.

III. Conditions of admission.
Students admitted to the School of Medicine on a conditional basis (i.e., requirement(s) yet to be completed) must fulfill those conditions prior to matriculation in the School of Medicine.

IV. Letters of recommendation:
Committee letter (required if your college/university has an officially designated committee or advisor). Authored by a pre-health committee or advisor and intended to represent your institution’s evaluation of you. A committee letter may or may not include additional letters written in support of your application; – OR –
Letter packet: A packet or set of letters assembled and distributed by your institution, often by the institution’s career center. – OR –
Two (2) letters from faculty members in science departments who taught you are required if the college/university you have attended does not have a Committee/Advisor AND one (1) letter from a non-science faculty member who has taught you. In addition to the letters, applicants with advanced degrees or significant postgraduate work experience of one year or more, are required to send recommendations from each component of their education and major work experience.
In addition to those letters required for application to the MD Program, two additional letters of recommendation are required for all MD-PhD applicants. These letters are typically from faculty with whom the applicant has done research.

V. Non-U.S. citizen applicants.
Official transcripts are required from all colleges attended outside the United States and Canada for matriculating students.

VI. Application Review.
Following receipt of all required credentials, the Committee on Admission will review applications and make interview decisions. Applicants selected for interview will be notified by the committee. Virtual interviews will be considered on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by the Assistant Dean for Admissions. Notification of acceptances are made between late fall and mid spring.

Visiting Students
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has limited availability for students at other medical schools to participate in rotations.

Transfer Students
Due to the intensity and integration of our four-year curriculum, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine is unable to accept transfer students.

Admitted students may request to defer their matriculation by April 15. The Deferral Committee will consider requests individually and will typically grant deferrals for research, academic programs (graduate studies, scholarship) or service programs. Deferrals are usually allowed for one or two years.

GPA and MCAT scores among the most recently accepted applicants at Johns Hopkins are high: Average GPA: 3.93. Average MCAT: 521.

Founded in 1876, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is located in Baltimore, Maryland, sharing its campus with Johns Hopkins Hospital, which was established in 1889. It is part of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions (JHMI) Campus, which also includes the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the School of Nursing. Johns Hopkins was the first medical school to require its students to have an undergraduate degree and the first to admit women. A historically standout institution, the school has always ranked in the top 3 according to U.S. News and World Report in the number of competitive research grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

With 482 full-time students and 2300 full-time faculty on staff, the school has an exceptional 4.8:1 faculty-student ratio. Faculty attention is at the forefront of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine education. At the start of their med school careers, students are divided into four colleges, each named for a Hopkins faculty member who has had a lasting impact on the field of medicine: Florence Sabin, Vivien Thomas, Daniel Nathans, and Helen Taussig. According to the school, these colleges were founded to “foster camaraderie, networking, advising, mentoring, professionalism, clinical skills, and scholarship.” A fifth of each class, or about 30 students, are assigned to each college, and are then further subdivided into six “molecules” of five students each. A faculty member not only advises each “molecule,” but also teaches these students in their Clinical Foundations of Medicine course. This faculty member remains the students’ primary advisor for all four years of medical school, and it is not uncommon for advisors to host their “molecules” in their homes. School-wide, the colleges compete in an annual “College Olympics,” which has events in sports, art, and dance.

Students primarily train at the school’s main teaching hospital, Johns Hopkins Hospital. Additionally, the school is affiliated with Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, the Howard County General Hospital, Suburban Hospital, Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., and the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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