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How to Write the Johns Hopkins University Supplemental Essays

Johns Hopkins only has one supplemental essay that asks you to share something about your background or interests – then relate this to why you want to go to Johns Hopkins specifically:

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)

Use this essay to dive deeper into something that is important to you while giving the admissions committee more information about your values and goals. The admissions committee at Hopkins is interested in learning more about your background, your passions and interests, or how you work with others and how that informs what you’re looking to accomplish or achieve on campus.

Are you interested in pursuing a career in medicine? When did that start? Will you try to major in biology and conduct research on campus to learn about a particular intersection between anthropology and evolutionary biology? Where did these curiosities and interests come from?

Alternatively, this essay is an excellent place to tell admissions officers a bit about your background. Do you have strong ties to a particular cultural, religious, or gender community? If your background or community experience has affected your career goals (e.g. a member of the LBTQ+ community who’s lived experience makes them want to become a civil rights lawyer) then discussing the impact of your experience will make an excellent essay.

We suggest that you work backwards if you’re having a hard time coming up with a particular story, experience, or community to focus on. Think about what your specific short or long term goals are in college, and then work backwards to find the best way to express what has been most significant in your life in shaping these goals.

Keep in mind that the mission of Hopkins is “To educate its students and cultivate their capacity for lifelong learning, to foster independent and original research, and to bring the benefits of discovery to the world.” In some part of your response, be sure to write about what is important to you and how you hope to use the knowledge you learn at Hopkins to serve the communities around you.

Finally, remember to include how Johns Hopkins specifically will help you achieve your goals. Cite programs, classes, and research opportunities that align with your career pursuits to show that you have looked into the college at more than a surface level. The winning formula for this essay is combining a strong reason for your academic/career interests with specific examples of how Johns Hopkins will help you achieve your goals.