Academics are rigorous. There is a lot of work and you will need to put forth a lot of effort to maintain a good GPA. You will have to make a choice about which GPA is acceptable depending on how many other parts of the college experience you want to incorporate.
Starting answering!Hopkins is definitely known for being strong in the natural sciences, but it’s very strong in other areas as well. I am an International Studies, East Asian studies, and Economics triple major, and my experience in humanities and social sciences classes has been very good. The system of distribution requirements in place of core curriculum is also very convenient, as it gives students a great deal of freedom in choosing their courses and makes double, or even triple majoring, very easy. The professors are great, and in most cases very approachable. Professors in my departments are generally committed to the success of their students. One of my professors in particular gives students a lot of help in finding research grants and emails us every time she hears about an internship or research opportunity. Contrary to many rumors about Hopkins, the professors are not solely focused on their graduate students and research, but do care about the success of their undergrads. Classes do expect a lot from their students, but the work load is not too unmanageable. I also feel that the assignments genuinely give me a better understanding of the material in lectures. Still, because of the work load, it is difficult to get through the semester without pulling at least one all-nighter (or many, in my case). Many days students will spend upwards of 6 hours in the library. There are a lot of large lecture classes (100-200 students), but most upper level classes are smaller (around 10 students. I have had good experiences in both kinds of classes. Overall, I feel that while the academics are demanding, most students believe it’s worth coming to Hopkins for.
Academics are rigorous--don't expect grade inflation. Professors and generally available outside of lecture for outside help and enjoy getting to know their students. Since this is a research university, many of the studies you learn about actually came from a lab right here in Baltimore. One of my psych professors showed us a video of a study that she did, with her own child. I really enjoy that there aren't any classes that everyone is required to take--individual majors assign distribution credits. A few fond memories I have are with my fellow Applied Math majors, sitting around a dorm common room, laughing from delirium at 4:00 a.m. trying to figure out how to do homework that's due the next day.
Academics are super important at Johns Hopkins. Students take their studies extremely seriously and study all the time. To prove this, JHU is building an extension to the library rather than a student center which we do not have. Students are super competitive and some will even refuse to help another with something as simple as homework. Everyone tries to get ahead. There are a variety of different types of classes. There are big ones and small ones ranging from 8 students all the way to 400. Because of these different sizes, there are lectures, seminars, sections, labs, etc. Some professors are nicer than others. Some take the time to get to know you and others do not. Class participation is important only in some classes but I always make an effort to say something every class. My favorite class has been the Italian Language classes I've taken since Freshman year. They are really small and concentrated and the professors take the time to really get to know you and your strengths and weaknesses when learning the language. The most unique class I have taken, however, was an Intersession class about photography and Baltimore titled "Charm City Through the Lens." It took students out to Baltimore and had them explore the city and express it through photographs. I'm majoring in International Studies and the department has been super helpful in all of my endeavors. They give their honest opinion without a second thought. Besides the fact that the competitiveness can get to you and stress you out, education at Hopkins is super challenging and takes a certain amount of self motivation and determination but is definitely proving to be worth it when venturing into the outside world.
Hopkins is definitely intense, but in the best way. It's a place for independent learners. The school won't hold your hand, but they trust you to pursue your own interests, self-motivate, take your studies and run with them. Because of this, you can do individual research, internships and projects. You can personalize your degree to a greater extent than I've seen at a similar-caliber school. Students often take graduate-level classes, engage in internships, pursue research, and study abroad to pursue their academic interests. I
Hopkins isn't easy. However, to get used to the college workload, freshmen take all classes pass/fail during their first semester. Also, classes tend to be pretty small - they tend to cap seminars at around 15 people. In my experience the professors are very personable and very willing to help if you take the time to go to their office hours and show that you really care about their class. The school's academic requirements are very flexible - Hopkins has no "core curriculum." Instead, students must take x amount of science classes, x amount of humanities classes, etc. This way, students take a broad range of subjects but can choose only classes that interest them.
Hopkins is a hard school and I wouldn't suggest coming here if you don't like to work. However, if you want to go to a school that challenges you and makes you learn more everyday than you learn in a week in high school, then Hopkins is a good school for you. I like that Hopkins doesn't have a core curriculum; I love humanities (so it's not that I don't want to take classes outside of my major), but I especially love french. I wouldn't be able to get a french minor at any school that has a core curriculum. Students are competitive, but cooperative. Students are driven (and all nerds at heart), so it's not uncommon to have conversations about politics, current events, or other intellectual subjects. Professors are brilliant (and for the most part, pretty good) although there are some bad ones. All of them are approachable and some of them are better in a smaller setting. The school is more focused for grad school/med school in the sciences. Although I want to get a job, I enjoy getting a theoretical background.
The academics really challenge you and you have to be committed to what you're doing, but it has proven to be rewarding again and again.
Classes are tough, and there's no grade inflation. Students study a lot, and learn a ton. The workload is more than at other schools. It's normal to take 5 classes a semester. Professors care about their work and want you to go to office hours. No core curriculum, which is awesome.
Academics are challenging for sure, but everything is within reason. If you put the effort into it you'll get good grades. Whether or not a professor knows your name depends on a lot, such as the size of the class and how active you are in it. Students study a lot, and often work in groups to better understand a topic. Many out of class discussions are intellectually themed, and many are inspired by in class discussions. No core curriculum is very nice, as it is one less thing to worry about completing before graduation.
Academics at Johns Hopkins University are incredibly rigorous. The course work is heavy, and teachers expect you to not only keep up with assignments and attend every lecture, but also expand your knowledge through readings and other recommended activities. Students tend to study a lot at Hopkins, and the library is always full. Because of Hopkins' reputation as such a prestigious university, and because of the difficulty level of the classes, students are very competitive. Many are willing to do whatever necessary to get ahead and stand out from their peers, even if it sometimes requires questionable activities. The classes I have taken thus far have been mainly large lectures, so participation is limited, but other professors make participation a big part of the overall class experience. Despite the difficulty, Hopkins students generally feel a sense of pride with their schoolwork, and take it very seriously. It is not uncommon to hear a conversation about quantum physics or macroeconomics taking place in the cafeteria. It is this passion for learning that makes Hopkins stand out from other universities, and why students at this school tend to be better prepared for life outside of college.
The best thing about academics is that there are no core classes. I hate history, and I never have to take it again! I also really like how open the professors are. Due to the amount of office hours they hold, I know my professors personally. They teach me how to learn for the sake of knowledge, not for the sake of getting a grade.
This is where many of the stereotypes are right on. Academics are hard here, but that's what people should expect from any top 20 school. Fortunately, first semester freshmen have covered grades meaning as long as one gets a C- she receives a Satisfactory on her transcript. When employers or graduate schools look at the transcript, all that will appear is whether the student passed or not. This is a nice way to transition incoming freshmen into a more difficult learning environment. There is also no lack of learning aids -- we have the Writing Center, the Learning Den, and countless TA sessions.
Your personal academic experience at Hopkins really depends on what you study. I started out at Hopkins focusing on pre-medical studies (like many young undergrads at Hopkins), and I found all of my classes to be very large (200-300+). The quality of the professor also ranged from the cliche "focused on research and couldn't care less about students", to "truly dedicated and helpful professors that will do anything to assist you". In general however, I have found many students share a similar sentiment that it feels like most Hopkins professors do everything in their power to give you the lowest grade possible and make your academic success as difficult to achieve as possible. Students must assert themselves in order to develop a relationship with the professor and to make themselves known so that the professor might give them an easier time.
Other departments have much smaller class sizes, and therefore more intimate (bad word choice?) relationships with their professors. For example, an extremely popular among freshman writing credit course offers a maximum class size of around 15 or so even though hundreds take the course each semester. Therefore class size also depends on what department the course is in.
One of my majors is a new major offered by Hopkins, and one that I believe to be a relatively unique course of study. The Global Environmental Change & Sustainability (GECS) major is a multidisciplinary major that incorporates courses in political science, economics, living and non-living earth sciences and environmental science with a 'green' approach, preparing graduates for a generation that will surely revolve around ideas of sustainability and energy conservation. Matched with my other major, Economics, I hope to have a broad knowledge base to enter the world of commerce prepared to deal with the new sustainable and green business ventures that are sure to dominate the 21st century.
The simple answer is that it is Hopkins. The academics are, of course, going to be excellent. Apart from that, even from first semester freshman year you have access to your professors and can take small classes. I had three classes of less than 20 people my first semester here, while friends going to other colleges seem to have nothing but large introductory lectures where the professors don't even know your name. Even in my larger classes, our TA sections are capped at 25 people each, so you really get to know the people teaching you.
Academics are, of course, very rigorous, and professors definitely expect students to come to class prepared. That being said, there are still a wide variety of classes that include some introductory levels that are not as demanding. Students do study quite often; the general guideline is to spend at least 1 hour studying for every hour of lecture.
Yet, this is really an aspect of the school that is as much as you make of it. Professors are always willing to make the time to meet with you to discuss anything, ranging from class material to your future plans. However, it's up to you to take the initiative to contact your professors.
My major, chemical and biomolecular engineering, is regarded as one of the tougher, if not toughest, major. The average graduating GPA is very low (although I don't know if this is the major GPA, or overall GPA). The coursework for this major is, as expected, challenging. However, I think the training that you get, the problem-solving mindset that is instilled, is definitely worth the work you put in.
The workload, depending on your major, is definitely intense. However, it is very manageable and professors are more than willing to help you out!
Johns Hopkins has arguably some of the smartest professors in the country. We are the number one research institution, meaning our school gives more money to students to perform research than any other school in the country. Over half of the undergraduate students here are involved in some form of research before they graduate.
Classes here are great, and are very interactive. Only 5% of classes are over 100 students, which is very rare for a college! 60% of classes are under 20 students, which gives students a real chance to participate and engage in classes.
My favorite class so far was Introduction to Social Psychology with Professor Drigotas. Not only is he funny as ever, but he really makes psychology easy to learn and understand through his personal stories that really helped me remember difficult psychology terms. Classes like Social Psych really make me love my classes here!
Definitely challenging, but definitely worth it. Since I'm a humanities major, my workload consists more of readings and papers than problem sets or lab reports. There have been a couple of "hell weeks," not just for me but for pretty much everyone, where the work just piles up and seems next to impossible. But I find that my classes are so interesting and overlap in so many unexpected ways that the stress is worth it. The professors definitely know what they're talking about, and even go out of their way to hold extra review sessions or meet outside of class, even in lower level courses.
Academics are difficult. But it really depends on what major and classes you decide to take. You should really talk to upperclassmen or look at reviews of classes before you take them because there are many lower and upper level distribution requirements that are amazing and you can do well in you just need to find the right ones. The science classes are challenging, so if you are coming here for pre-med it's not going to be easy. People are very competitive in those specific majors. For the humanities majors it seems like the professors are there because they love their subject matter which is really awesome. Whereas for the science and math majors it seems like the professors are more there to do research and many of them are hard to understand because English is not their first language. When people say Hopkins is a research university, they weren't kidding. There are soooo many opportunities to do world-class research here so if that's what you're interested in, don't go anywhere else. My favorite class has been Baltimore and the Wire: a focus on major urban issues. It's a class that focuses on the urban issues present in Baltimore and how we can solve them and connects it back to the TV show - the wire. I'm a Sociology Major and I really love it, the department is well organized and esteemed. The teachers are passionate and helpful and the classes are interested and flexible!
You can't expect to do well at a school like this, and not study. But you never have to study alone. Professors and TAs encourage group work and study sessions, and more so, they hope you speak with them during office hours. I have created close relationships with some of my professors; I even text some of them! Professors here want you to succeed, and will be more than happy to mentor you while you figure out how to succeed. The classroom setting, coupled with the one-on-one sessions that students take advantage of with their professors, teach you critical thinking skills, public speaking skills, as well as how to solve a problem, many times in an interdisciplinary field or from a multidimensional perspective. Hopkins prepares you on how to make the best of your educational opportunities, and how to enjoy working late because you sculpt your major, your courses, and your responsibilities according to your interests.
The academics are strong and professors definitely want to get to know you. Despite the fact that one of my introductory classes is 300 people, the professor knows my name and enjoys (sometimes to my dismay) calling on me in class.
Students here study hard and the classes are often very challenging, but it is definitely worth the time. I really enjoy going to the office hours my professors hold; it allows me to have 1-on-1 time with my professors and really get to know them as people.
The lack of a core curriculum is one of the best things about this school because it allows you to explore fields outside of your own, and really opens your eyes to the world around you. Whether you want to graduate and get a job or go to graduate/medical/law school, Hopkins will prepare you well.
Lastly, students are not as competitive as they are stereotyped to be. People are friendly and willing to help you out if you are struggling in a class.
It really depends on the classes you take, whether you start right off taking something like Organic Chemistry or intro classes. I would say that all of the classes are challenging to some extent, depending on the material and your strengths. In the past, I've found that some classes have been difficult. However, there is so much support to find at Hopkins - the TAs are extremely helpful (sometimes more than the professors) and there's a Learning Den (individual and group tutoring) and the Writing Center (to get help on papers). But the most help I've gotten from have been my classmates and friends.
Classes are amazing. There is no core, and the requirements really aren't bad. Besides for major/minor requirements, you have to take 12 credits of science-y stuff and 12 credits of W (writing intensive) classes.
My favorite class so far has been History of Africa from 1800 to Present. Dr. Sara Berry is amazing. In general, I've found that in the humanities, people are taking classes for the sake of learning, not for the career, which I definitely agree with.
Some of my favorite classes were in international politics and taught by SAIS professors visiting the undergrad campus. The level of energy and impressive caliber of the international relations department as well as its recognition around the world were major factors in my choosing it as a major in my junior year. Education at JHU is geared towards finding what interests you. For the students who really want to find that passion, the opportunities are there.
The professors do not know your name, I am sure you can try to get them to remember it but I have a difficult name so it is not too likely. I think a great thing about our campus are the numerous intellectual conversations we have outside of the classroom. I feel like more thought occurs outside of the classroom then in it...at least amongst my friends. I believe that Africana studies and Public Health are the two most interesting departments because you get to step outside of what you have learned in high school, most likely, and actually think as opposed to regurgitating information. I think the pre-med track is insane and definitely does it's job at trying to weed people out.
The academics are tough, and you really have to manage your time. If you're the type of student who never had to study in high school, start studying right from the get-go. You can't BS your way through school here and still do well on the exams. Also, a lot of kids have intellectual conversations outside of classes and on the weekends, and there are a lot of kids who really enjoy taking things apart and putting them back together just for the fun of it. If you're not into that stuff, though, there are plenty of other things to do. Not everyone is a nerd, and people do go out on the weekends. You make it what you want.
I've really enjoyed my classes at hopkins, but I feel sometimes you have to be a little selective with the courses you take. I've taken some great lectures (particularly some psychology and entrepreneurship and management classes), but I tend to prefer the smaller seminars that are often more advanced. Professors definitely know your name if you take these seminars. My favorite class was a History class about Slavery in the Americas that was actually taught by a graduate student. He was so enthusiastic about the topic and his knowledge was so extensive because it related to his dissertation. I would definitely recommend these classes, which are normally labeled "Dean's Teaching Fellowship Courses." Students, I would say, study alot, because you have to in order to get good grades, but I wouldn't say it takes over their life. Class participation is pretty common, but that depends mostly on the dynamic of a particular class. Students do have intellectual conversations outside of class, mostly about politics. I'm a double major in International Studies and German. I love the IR major because it allows me to take classes in a wide variety of areas, but also to choose a concentration that interests me. I think that Hopkins' academic requirements are good because they give the students a true liberal arts education, which I think is important.
Very difficult. Yikes.
profs know the people who make an effort to be known. i'm a sophomore, favorite classes are rare this year. people study a lot depending on their majors. distribution requirements don't put much strain on you, which is nice. students aren't really competitive with each other, just hard on themselves.
I really enjoy the many opportunities available to me as a Hopkins student. My professors are very worldly and I enjoy going to their offices to talk not only about class material but about their experiences in the field. I like that Hopkins offers symposiums by national and international intellectuals on many different subjects. Between the ambitious student body and the professors Hopkins offers its members constant intellectual stimulation.
i've loved classes here, i've had really great professors, and i absolutely believe that, at least in the non pre-med world, students can have as much or as little interaction with profs as they want - it's their choice to benefit from the great minds teaching here.
Hopkins academics can certainly be challenging...and there is no grade inflation. However, many students work together and professors and teaching assistants have office hours where they are happy to help you with problems you may have. Most classes are reasonably sized (~20-30) with the exception of intro level math and science classes which can be as large as ~300 students.
The physics department is pretty unique in that the teacher to student (majoring students) is much higher than most other departments. In fact, the ratio is probably pretty close to 1 faculty member to each majoring undergraduate student. This means that there are many research opportunities without there being much competition from your peers. Additionally, because there aren't many students majoring in physics, the physics-track courses are small (~25).
Classes seem to be either really huge or really small but nothing in between. Almost all of the language or upperlevel humanities classes are small and the professors are really involved in the class, but most of the introductory classes and science classes are huge, graded by TA's, and the professors will never know your name. It seems that most Hopkins students use their degrees to get into grad school.
Some professors know my name, and if you're a teacher's pet in a big lecture class, everyone will know your name because they'll all be annoyed with you. My favorite class here I took first semester as a freshman. It was Intro to Human Physiology and the professor was amazing and the class was non-stop interesting and fun. Competitive doesn't come close to describing how studious some of the kids are here. I'm a bio major, though I would have preferred to be a French major. The education at Hopkins is geared towards learning for its own sake. If you want to just get by, don't come here.
The pre-med classes are gigantic, but that's just the way it has to be. To compensate, much individual and group help is offered that students often do not utilize to its biggest potential (like free drop in tutoring), but is always available.
The teachers are extremely willing to chat with you about class or even just life in general. Professors encourage you to come stop by so they can get to know you. My favorite class so far was a history seminar where everybody regularly participated. At the end of the semester the professor invited us over to his house to hangout and consume lasagna.
The academic requirements are extremely flexible so you are not bogged down by needless core classes.
I talk an extraordinary intersession class called Concept of Mind which blended both a neuroscience and an anthropology view of the mind and what constitutes it.
Depends on your major, if you take Civil Engineering courses then you will know your professors very well they will know you and there will be great interactions between student and professor. If you take econ, not so much. The larger the major the less likely you are to get to know any of the professors.
I've heard some tough comments about TAs not speaking fluent English, but I've never had trouble understanding international TAs, and if I did, I was always able to go to them after classes to discuss things until both of us came to term. Maybe I'm a little biased because my native language is not English and I've had experiences with many accents. But then ppl should utilize ppl like me more.
I like how you can be as active as you wish in class. Some professors will know your name and sincerely help you out if you contribute positively to class. That's how I got the Lab Manager job at Language Acquisition Lab - I volunteered to be a foreign language consultant in one of Dr. Geraldine Legendre's classes, and eventually she was impressed with both my work there and my grades. When I decided to take a year off to apply to med schools after graduation, I was looking for something academic but not too stressful to do. She spent a night thinking and decided to create the position especially for me. She & her husband Dr. Smolensky, also in the Cog Sci dept, even invited me & a visiting scholar to their Thanksgiving dinner b/c they knew we were far apart from our families. We cooked everything together and had a hearty evening. Too bad the couple's leaving for sabbatical next year.
Class participation in the humanities is encouraged and I've found professors to be approachable as well as brilliant. We could do with a few more forward thinking folks but for the most part professors are outstanding. I think there is a great deal of intellectual discussion outside of class -- since everyone carries around the nerd stereotype no one feels "uncool" flexing their intellectual muscle.
Some professors know my name and some don't. You really have to make an effort to get to know your professors in big science classes. I love that there are no required classes to take here and that a lot of my major classes overlap with my outside interests like psychology. (I am a Biology major)
My major (Anthropology) is misunderstood, even at a prestigious university like Johns Hopkins. So it has become my impromptu crusade to educate everyone I meet that while Archaeology IS a BRANCH of Anthropology, it does not cover the entire field of Anthropology. But other than that I love my major. The department's requirements are really flexible, which allows me to take almost all the quirky, off-topic classes which interest me.
Yes, every single one of my professors has known my name.
I love almost all of my classes. That is because I take mostly Writing and English classes. Right now I am obsessed with this tiny 3-person seminar. I love every single one of my writing workshop classes; my teachers are so wise.
Yes, it is pretty commong.
I only try to be friends with people who can, on occasion, have intellectual conversations. Not all the time, (because frequently we talk about food, or sex, or complain) but lots of times when we're drunk we discuss Deleuze, Abstract Expressionism and Henry James. Also the scientists love to battle the Near Eastern Studies kids.
Some are, yes. When it's LSAT time, I want to hide, and avoid all future lawyers like the plague. But it's bad form among more normal people to EVER discuss GPAs and to some degree board scores.
I love the Writing Seminars department. My teachers are AMAZING critics of my work and everyone else's work. Dave Smith has a Pulitzer, Alice McDermott is superfamous, Jessica Anya Blau is getting her first rave-review novel out this May...they are so fantastic. My classmates are mostly dumb. There are about 3-4 good writers per year. The 100 other people are just blobbing around, trying to "express" themselves and write about New York, teen pregnancy scares, and successful media personalities going through complicated divorces.
Um, yes. I used to spend too much time with them, to the point that I spend time more reliably with professors whose classes I wasn't even taking than with my "friends." We have coffee, that's pretty much it.
I really like them. No core, take some science classes, some b.s. social science classes, then the rest as you please.
JHU seems to think that after graduation, Arts& Sciences kids are only capable of becoming a) Consultants b) Finance workers. There is, like, one class geared to either of these occupations. No one ever says, "You'll need to know this for a job" in class (well, except in really practical classes, like Social Statistics or Computer Fluency). I want to become a social worker and the school has nooooooo resources for that. I don't blame them, though. With writers especially, learning is for its own sake.
Most of my classes are small so all of my professors know my name.
I have a lot of favorite classes, one of them was Feminist Epistemology taught by one of my favorite professors Maura Tumulty, it is one of the only classes where I was always disappointed when class ended. We had interesting readings, stimulating discussions and Maura was accessible for any questions and helped explain the difficult readings we sometimes had.
My least favorite class was Micro Economics. It was a huge lecture at 9am mtw=awful.
Students study a LOT. Be prepared to work hard if you go to Hopkins, it is just a fact.
Students are competitive, but mostly only for themselves.
Yes students have intellectual conversations outside of class; it just happens when you throw a lot of smart students with different interests into the same environment.
Its all about reaching out to professors. They are there --and most want to help.
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