The following reviews are the views of students or alumni at this school and are unrelated to the school data and other editorial content on usnews.com. These reviews neither reflect nor impact a school's position within the Best Colleges rankings.
Hopkins is a perfect size for anyone who likes seeing familiar faces, but doesn't necessarily want to meet everyone in their class during orientation. It's small enough where your adviser will know who you are, but big enough that you're always meeting new people. It's also pretty convenient to get around without needing a car because there are shuttles running all over the city, as well as the MARC train to DC and other places in Baltimore.
You get respect for having attended Hopkins. I chose it because it was a relatively small self-contained liberal arts school with the major city amenities and internship opportunities of Washington DC nearby. The environment promoted an informal and friendly atmosphere among professors and classmates. My most memorable experiences were with the friends I made in my freshman dorm. I remember there were always parties, social events and opportunities do those silly and crazy things that you only really do in college.
The best thing at JHU is that the misfits have a strong community. Those who enjoy docenting at museums, book clubs and vegan food feel persecuted by the polo-wearing majority and by the lack of school funding or support for artistic endeavors. They bond together over that. I would make tuition lower!!! I would also ask for themed housing, like they have at Loyola down the street: German language house, athlete housing, etc. I like the size of the school. I like a small pond. But other people say that it's too small; everyone you hook up with has hooked up with one of your friends...ew. "Are you a doctor?" No. I used to hold court at the Levering coffee shop. People always knew I would be there and would come to find me. But then one of my enemies started showing up there so I relocated. I used to love the Hutzler Reading Room (the Hut) in Gilman Hall, but they are renovating and took out all the books. Now it is just drafty, extremely hot/cold, and there is only one toilet for all 40 people studying in there. I LOVE BALTIMORE SO SO SO SO SO SO MUCH. I NEVER WANT TO LEAVE. It is a great place to be young and strange. Did I mention our bike collective? The strange way that Mount Vernon (monuments, gay people) becomes North Central Arts District (train station, more gentrification) becomes African-hair-braiding/Korean-barbeque becomes Charles Village (lesbian dog walkers and Hopkins) becomes Waverly (Kennedy Fried Chicken, dollar stores, black people) becomes Roland Park (rich rich rich) becomes Hampden (poor white people, awesome shopping and lame touristy shopping)? I love it. The administration is kind of a ***. It took us a year and a half to get funding for our club. But some of the deans are lovely. Hmm...Sig Chi's racist Halloween party...the Carrolton Review published pictures of DSAGA and "outed" them...people are frequently dying... There is mild school pride. A lot of people seem to take pride in saying: "JHU: Where your best hasn't been good enough since 1896" but half the schools in the country claim that motto as their own. People have a lot of pride in how unwashed, awkward, throaty and boring their classmates are. Also we have a lacrosse team. Baltimore is unusual. Dance parties in Gilman 500 (under the belltower). The scent of night-blooming magnolia by the library. The first time I went to a warehouse party... People complain about everything.
JHU is a great school, not too big though at times it can feel pretty claustrophobic depending on your social circle. Most people don't have much to say about JHU when you tell them you go there aside from "Oh? Are you going to become a doctor?" which gets really tiring. Also you have to constantly hear it being called "John Hopkins" or even worse "John Hopkin". Aside from that they also never really know where in the country it is. I, myself fall into the studious type with tendencies to slack. I often find myself spending 12 hours plus on campus for classes and studying and often times pulling all-nighters stalking the halls of the library. Though other times I will skip classes and go out partying on a Wednesday. Baltimore has a large array of clubs and bars so there is usually something for everyone, though getting around town can be a hassle if you don't want to constantly pay for cab fare. As there is a split in the types of students at JHU there is also a split in school pride. Lots of kids avoid school functions and things which some say JHU is well known for (read: Lacrosse) and in general no one really goes around yelling "YEAH HOPKINS!" unless they are in a team or good friends with them. Mostly people at JHU have one thing on their minds, which is graduating unscathed. JHU is competitive and very demanding. The competition is not particularly vicious as rumor has it, but you will work a lot regardless of your major (though some question that, as I would to but I'm not here to point fingers). Though the disparity of work does show up often, as the engineering school students occasionally call the Arts and Sciences students "Arts and Crafts majors". This isn't completely fair as some engineers do almost no work while some neuroscience majors are the most studious people on campus. The most annoying part of JHU is the lack of many things you'd expect on a college campus, its size limits what it has. There is no 24hr cheap good food place on campus, you have to go off campus (though really the walk isn't too far) and even at that the few 24hr places there are in the area get old fast. LIkewise there is only one location to study that is open 24hr. The area around JHU is also not the college friendliest place in the world, there are often many noise complaints and Baltimore has a law that two in a certain period leads to your house being closed so it is a big issue. The school doesn't do a great job of defending students and as we are also not very organized aside from the few committed students nothing gets done about it.
The best thing about JHU is that you can have as much or as little of a presence as you want. It's a small school, so you can make an impact in student life, get your teachers to know who you are, etc - or you can just coast by. For me it's the perfect size, because I know a lot of people but don't know a lot more, yet still don't feel like I'm drowning in anonymity like I would at some 40,000+ university. If I could change one thing it'd be the bureaucracy. It's way too hard to get things done, sometimes, because paperwork, complicated procedures and unhelpful university staff get in the way. When I tell people I go to JHU, most assume I want to be a doctor. I don't spend much time on campus. There's not really a "college town" either, though now there's this row of shops on St. Paul that is kind of a sad attempt at a college town, and at least an improvement on what it used to be. There's 0 school pride, outside sports. Still, no one really came here for school spirit, so it's not something anyone worries about - the biggest complaints are usually the food, the housing, and the administration, instead.
The best thing about JHU is the campus. The beautiful Georgian architecture, brick buildings, cherry blossums, and large grassy quads were some of the many factors in my decision to attend Hopkins. Although, I do not think that JHU has the strongest sense of community, the quads allow people to congregate on "the beach" as they sun themselves and attempt to do homework on the large grassy area outside the library. People play frisbee, soccer, football, and it is really entertaining and community-orientated to sit out on the beach on a sunny spring day. In the wintertime, there is the Lighting of the Quad where all the lamp posts are adorned with Christmas tree lights and the Gilman Hall Clock Tower shines red and green for the holidays. No matter what season, JHU is a beautiful place to be. In terms of Baltimore, the location of Baltimore in the middle of a bunch of East Coast cities is really wonderful. The fact that you can get to Washington DC and Philadelphia in an hour, and New York in two hours makes road trips and weekend visits very conveninent. Batlimore itself is an interesting cultural city with lots of funky and unique neighborhoods. One can take the free shuttle to Hampden and find a wide array of shops from anitque shops to ritzy/expensive clothing boutiques. As a city, Baltimore has a good sense of humor, and you will be suprised with what you find. With great restaurants all over the place, a favorite tradition is Vacarro's on Monday nights in Little Italy for all you can eat desserts. The Inner Harbor, may be the main attraction for most visitors, and as beautiful as it is, the longer you stay in Baltimore the more you may expand your visits to include other historic neighborhoods like Mt. Vernon, Fell's Point, Mt. Washington, and Canton. There are a lot of bars in Baltimore and on Halloween everyone puts on a costume and heads down to Fell's Point for one of the largest Halloween parties ever. The streets are filled with all types of people wearing crazy costumes. For those who want to party on or near campus there are frat parties, off-campus parties, and local bars and clubs which students frequent. Although some people believe the only thing Hopkins students do is study, this is not true. There are quite a few people that go out multiple times per week, if not every night. Overall, Hopkins is a suprising school and Baltimore is a suprising city. The public transportation in Batlimore is sometimes frustrating, and most people take cabs, but the admistration does its best to make students feel safe and allow them to travel about the area. There is a local shuttle system that you can call, as long as you are within a mile radius of campus. There is also a shuttle that stops at the different Hopkins campuses in Baltimore, including the Peabody Conservatory and the Medical School. Conveniently enough, it even stops at the train station. Finally, there is a Collegetown Shuttle that stops at local Baltimore universities and downtown at the Inner Harbor.
Jackie SophomoreReviews provided by: Unigo