If you want to attend one of the most prestigious medical schools in the United States, try applying to Johns Hopkins Medical School. The university made a name for itself many years ago and holds its reputation with high standards and rigorous requirements. It challenges students and trains them to be leaders in the medical field, which is exactly what many pre-med students want.
If you’re applying to Johns Hopkins Medical School, you’re going to need to be at the very top of your game. In this updated guide, we’re going through every detail we can for you. We’ll include:
- Degree Programs Offered at Johns Hopkins
- Cost of Attendance
- Courses, GPA and MCAT Score Requirements
- Primary and Secondary Applications
- Secondary Essays with Samples
- Interview Details
Let’s dive in to see what this prestigious medical school has to offer.
Medical Programs at Johns Hopkins Medical School
- Doctor of Medicine
- Doctor of Medicine / Master of Business Administration
- Doctor of Medicine / Doctor of Philosophy
- Doctor of Medicine / Master of Science in Health Care Management
Doctor of Medicine
The traditional, four-year MD program is taken to new levels at Johns Hopkins Medical School. Johns Hopkins pioneered the leadership approach that many other medical schools now follow. Their brand-new Genes of Society program takes the medical school program to a whole new level.
Students in the MD program start with an Intersession on Health Care Disparities. Students participate in these intersessions every three months for all four years in the MD program. Not only are these intersessions educational, but they allow students to take a break from regular coursework. The intersessions topics are as follows:
Early on, students take the following Foundational Block courses:
Genes to Society lasts for the first two years of the MD program. Genes to Society covers genetics, biology and physiology. It specifically examines the social and environmental impacts.
The Longitudinal Ambulatory Clerkships (LACs) in Year 1 and Year 2 are all about students working in outpatient and community settings. Here, they have the opportunity to interact with patients. The days of solely studying in the classroom and with simulations are gone.
Students choose their Scholarly Concentration during their first year in the program. Each student has a faculty mentor to help guide them through this process.
Transition to the Wards encompasses the second year of the MD curriculum. Then, students go through intense clinical training.
During the last two years of the MD curriculum, students are engaged in core and elective clerkships. A Translational Intersession will take place between each clerkship.
Finally, students will finish their time in the MD program with TRIPLE (Transition to Residency and Internship/Preparation for Life). TRIPLE covers everything students need to practice medicine—lessons in teamwork, simulations, interpersonal and professional communication, and leadership training. Students also have the opportunity to receive career guidance and discuss their emotional health and financial circumstances.
Here is the breakdown of each year:
Scientific Foundations of Medicine
Clinical Foundations of Medicine
Foundations in Public Health
Genes to Society: Immunology, Microbiology, Infectious Disease
Genes to Society: Nervous System & Special Senses
Genes to Society: Brain, Mind and Behavior
Longitudinal Ambulatory Clerkship (3)
Scholarly Concentration (3)
Genes to Society: Pulmonary, Renal
Genes to Society: Cardiovascular
Genes to Society: Gastrointestinal / Liver
Genes to Society: Endocrine
Genes to Society: Musculoskeletal
Genes to Society: Reproductive
Time: Substance Use Disorders
Time: Patient Safety
Time: Palliative Care
Core Clerkships: Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, OB-GYN, Neurology/Psychiatry
Scholarly Concentrations (4)
Advanced Clerkship (2)
Continued Core Clerkships
Time: Palliative Care
TS: Infectious Disease
TS: Regenerative Medicine
Advanced Clerkship (4)
Emergency Medicine / Elective (4)
Continued Advanced Clerkships
Continued Emergency Medicine / Electives
Continued TIME and TRIPLE Courses
TIME stands for Topics in Interdisciplinary Medicine
TRIPLE stands for Transition to Residency and Internship and Preparation for Life
Doctor of Medicine / Master of Business Administration
This dual-degree option is kept in-house since Johns Hopkins University has an MBA program. So, how do you apply for the dual-degree option?
Submit your application to the medical school. If you’re accepted into the School of Medicine, your application will then be sent from the School of Medicine to the MBA program. The admissions committee that reviews MBA applications will determine whether to admit you. Being admitted will make you a dual-degree student.
If you’re not admitted, you can still complete the four-year MD program.
Students have two pathways they can take to complete their MD/MBA program in five years. The first pathway allows you to complete the MBA portion of your degree first. The second pathway allows you to complete the MBA curriculum after Year 2 in the School of Medicine.
To learn more about the MBA curriculum, go here.
Doctor of Medicine / Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Scientist Training Program)
The Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Johns Hopkins University teaches students to become physician-scientists by practicing medicine through lab work and clinical treatment.
Students have the opportunity to study any of the following:
- Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology (BCMB)
- Biological Chemistry
- Biomedical Engineering (BME)
- Human Genetics and Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Medicine (CMM)
- Molecular Biophysics
- Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences
- Cellular and Molecular Physiology
- Functional Anatomy and Evolution
- History of Science, Medicine and Technology
Johns Hopkins University allows students to complete the MD/PhD dual degree in approximately six years. You can read all about the MD/PhD program here.
Doctor of Medicine / Master of Science in Health Care Management
The MD/MS in Health Care Management is for pre-med students who want leadership positions throughout their medical careers. This dual degree will prepare you for just that.
Check out the sample curriculum:
- Health Care Overview Bootcamp (non-credit online)
- Business Communication (2 credits)
- Business Leadership and Human Values (2 credits)
- Accounting for Decision Making in Health Care
- Frameworks for Analyzing Health Care Markets
- Fundamentals of Health Care Operations
- Health Care Law and Regulation
- Health Care Organization and Management
- Health Innovation and Evaluation
- Health Marketing and Access
- Providers and Payers
- The U.S. Health Care System: Past, Present, and Future
- Applied and Behavioral Economics in Health Care
- Pharmaceutical Strategy
- Discovery to Market I and II
- Emerging Frontiers in Health Technologies and Strategies
- Fundamentals of Health Care Systems
- Health Care Financing and Financial Management
- Medical Devices and Diagnostics
- Negotiation in Health Care Settings
- Research and Policy Seminars in Health
- The Wire: Business Solutions for Community Health Improvement
- Health Policy Design and Implementation I and II
- Health Care Strategy Consulting Practicum I and II
- Health Services Improvement Project I and II
- Commercializing Biomedical Innovations I and II
Cost of Attendance
So, how much does it cost to attend Johns Hopkins School of Medicine? Your out-of-pocket cost will depend on financial aid, including scholarships and grants. You’ll be responsible to pay for the rest of your expenses. Student loans can come in handy here.
Here’s the breakdown of what each year in the program will cost you. Each year is different because there are different costs for different things. For example, you’ll have a $740 matriculation fee to pay your first year. And during your second and third years, you’ll pay $645 for USMLE test fees.
Your tuition each year is $58,000. This amount solely covers your tuition. It doesn’t cover university fees or living expenses. An additional $5,400 is required for healthcare, including medical, dental and vision insurance coverage. Finally, you’ll have matriculation and imaging fees to pay during different years of your education.
After paying these fees, you’ll need to look at student housing and living costs. You’ll pay $15,000-$20,000 per year for housing. You’ll want a few thousand set aside for your personal expenses and $1,000 for your books.
Year 1: $89,522
Year 2: $94,261
Year 3: $94,061
Year 4: $85,076
Total Cost of Attendance: $362,920
While this isn’t cheap, it’s not the most expensive school out there. And with financial aid, attending Johns Hopkins Medical School could be a realistic part of your future.
Required Prerequisite Coursework
– 8 credit hours (6 lecture, 2 lab) of general college chemistry
– 4 credits (3 lecture, 1 lab) of organic chemistry
– 4 credits of biochemistry. Lab is optional.
– 6-8 credit hours of Statistics or Calculus
– 8 credit hours (6 lecture, 2 lab) of general college physics
Due to COVID-19, Johns Hopkins Medical School changed some of its protocols. Before, there were strict guidelines regarding which classes could be taken online vs. in a classroom setting. Now, the school allows students to fulfill prerequisite requirements via online classes.
Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses may satisfy the Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Calculus/Statistics requirements. They may also count for one-half of the Humanities/Social and Behavioral Sciences. These courses will only count if they are listed on your official transcript with the appropriate course number and grade that was earned.
MCAT Scores and GPA Requirements
It’s not hard to imagine that applicants to Johns Hopkins Medical School will be highly competitive. Indeed, on the 4.0 scale, the average applicant has a 3.91 GPA. A 3.91/4.0 GPA indicates most grades being 90 or above. For non-weighted GPAs, an applicant could get away with a couple of grades in the 80s, but not very many.
If your GPA isn’t at least a 3.9, you’ll likely have a difficult time getting in.
As far as MCAT scores go, Johns Hopkins Medical School will only accept a score from the past four years. The average MCAT score is 522, which is just about the highest score you can achieve on the exam.
So, why are scores so high? Because the students who attend Johns Hopkins are at the very top of their game. And Johns Hopkins is at the top of its game. Check out these rankings, as reported by U.S. News & World Report:
- Internal Medicine – #1, tied with Harvard University
- Research – #2
- Radiology – #2
- Surgery – #2
- OB/GYN – #3
- Anesthesiology – #3
- Psychiatry – #5
- Pediatrics – #5
Johns Hopkins Medical School is a highly competitive school. If you want to apply, make sure you’re at the top of your game to be considered for a spot. Good luck! We know you can do it!
Primary and Secondary Applications
You’ve seen the degree programs and pathways that Johns Hopkins Medical School offers. You know what the required coursework is, and you’ve likely recovered from how shockingly high GPA and MCAT scores are. If you’re ready to apply to Johns Hopkins Medical School, these are the steps you’ll need to take.
- Fill out your primary application via the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS).
- Complete your secondary application from Johns Hopkins Medical School. You should receive an email with a link once Johns Hopkins has received your AMCAS application. The admissions committee does not selectively send out secondaries. Every applicant will have the opportunity to fill one out.
- If you’re given the waiver to not pay the fee for processing your AMCAS application, then Johns Hopkins Medical School will also waive the fee. But without the AMCAS waiver, you must pay both fees.
- Letters of recommendation are required. Johns Hopkins Medical School expects that all students submit their letters through the AMCAS Letter Service. A packet from your school’s committee or three individual letters of recommendation are required for the M.D. program and most of the dual-degree programs. An additional two letters of recommendation are required for the MD/PhD program.
- Cross your fingers and wait for an invitation to interview.
The difference between primary and secondary applications can be confusing for students who are just beginning to consider medicine as a career. We’ve written a comprehensive article explaining the differences. We’ve also discussed the American Medical College Application Service, as well as ways to strengthen your application.
Now that we’ve looked at application requirements, let’s look at the secondary essays that you must write to be considered for admission into Johns Hopkins Medical School.
With the Johns Hopkins Medical School acceptance rate being so low, you’ll need killer essays to get in. Thankfully, that’s what pre-med advising and medical school admissions consulting are for. If you have trouble writing your essays, IMA is here to help. Click here to get started.
“Briefly describe your single, most rewarding experience. Feel free to refer to an experience previously described in your AMCAS application.” (2500 character limit)
This question is as straightforward as it seems. What feels most rewarding to you, out of everything? Talk about that. Here’s an example:
My single, most rewarding experience has nothing to do with medicine itself, but it impacted my desire to become a doctor. I was leaving the grocery store when I saw a little, old lady trying to load her groceries into her car. I don’t know why the person who bagged her groceries didn’t offer to take her groceries to her car. She clearly needed the help. The wind was blowing at gusts of 10 MPH, so her car door kept closing on her as she was trying to load her groceries in.
I hurried over to her, pushing my own cart as I went. I had purchased two weeks’ worth of groceries, so my cart was full. I wedged my cart between her car and the cart return that she had parked next to. I told her my name was Vanessa and that I wanted to load her groceries into her car for her. I opened her driver’s side door for her and watched her get in. She seemed a little uncertain, but she got in her car.
I quickly unloaded her groceries into her trunk and returned the cart. Then, I went around her car to the driver’s side to let her know that I was done. What I saw deeply touched my heart. She was in tears as she rolled down her window and told me that she was newly widowed. Her husband used to load the groceries into the car while she waited in the passenger seat. She was 85 and didn’t have much strength left in her arms. That day, she hadn’t been able to find anyone to take her to the store. She was out of food, so she said a prayer that everything would be okay. I was the answer to her prayers.
That situation is easily my most rewarding experience because of how simple yet profound it was. It didn’t take very much effort on my part, but it meant everything to her. That moment has influenced other times when I’ve helped someone who looked like they needed it. It also influences the kind of doctor I want to be.
“Are there any areas of medicine that are of particular interest to you? If so, please comment.” (2500 character limit)
There’s no right or wrong answer here. Johns Hopkins Medical School ranks highly among all the different fields of medicine. The Admissions Committee wants to know what you’re interested in studying as they consider your place at the university.
If you’re not sure what you want to study, write about what interests you. Also, don’t worry about changing your mind later on. Many medical students change their minds or choose a different path in medicine during medical school. This is just to let the Admission Committee get to know you better.
“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 character limit)
This essay prompt doesn’t specify whether the adversity was related to medicine, so you can write about anything. But be sure to follow the directions. Discuss what you learned from the adversity and how it will affect you once you’re a doctor.
Here’s an example:
I was a straight-A student until I took high school Spanish. Four years of a foreign language were required at the private school I attended. That year, only Spanish was available because they hadn’t been able to hire a French or German teacher. So, I took Spanish, but I was terrible at it.
Learning the words to speak wasn’t the difficult part. It was learning how to conjugate the verbs. No matter how hard I tried, I never seemed to be able to get it right. While I had never struggled with a class before, I now needed tutoring just to pass a class.
Tutoring definitely helped me. I very slowly improved my conjugating skills, but I only earned a B- in the class. While this probably doesn’t seem that bad, my school only allowed As and Bs. I would have been put on academic probation if I had earned a C.
My grades from those four years of Spanish showed progressive improvement. But I was never able to get the coveted A that I earned with some effort and moderate studying in my other classes. The B+ I earned during my senior year felt like a silver medal to me. I had worked so hard for it, but I still wasn’t able to achieve what I ultimately wanted.
Struggling through Spanish taught me a lot about hard work and determination. I learned that not everything comes easily. Some things must be fought for. How hard you fight depends on how much you want it. For me, I wanted to earn the grades that would get me into a four-year institution. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study or where I wanted to attend college, but I knew I didn’t want to take the junior college route. Earning straight As would greatly improve my chances of getting into a good school.
I graduated with a 3.9/4.0 GPA and was accepted into most of the schools to which I applied. I learned from my experience that road blocks will get in my way. It’s ultimately up to me to decide how much I want something and to determine whether I go for it.
This affects my decision to become a doctor, which I want more than anything. If I struggle in any of my classes, I know I can use the university’s tutoring system and any other available resources to help me learn the materials I need to become a successful doctor.
“Briefly describe a situation where you were not in the majority. What did you learn from the experience?”(2500 character limit)
Not being in the majority is another way of saying you’re in the minority. For this essay prompt, you’ll want to describe a situation where you were among the very few in your position. Now, it’s not necessary to go back in time and calculate what percentage you were in. Just pick a time when your stance was not popular.
Here’s an example:
When I was in high school, I attended a Wednesday night youth group that met across town. We had a fun time together, learning about Jesus from the New Testament and singing contemporary Christian music as a form of worship to God. I attended the youth group faithfully from the time I found it during my freshman year until midway through my junior year.
It was during my junior year when the youth group came out with an initiative called “I Pledge.” Every youth in the youth group was expected to make this pledge, but I didn’t feel right about it. In the New Testament, it says to “let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no.” You’re not supposed to swear by anything because the heavens are God’s throne and the earth is his footstool.
I struggled for weeks over whether to take the pledge. Finally, I was the only one in my youth group who hadn’t taken the pledge, so I decided to talk to my youth pastor about it. Instead of respecting how I felt, she gave me a list of scriptures from the Old Testament that showed that pledges were okay. But this didn’t make sense to me because, in the Pentecostal faith, the New Testament overrode the Old Testament.
I ultimately went to the head pastor of the church. He signed my youth pastor’s paycheck, so it was a big deal for me to go to him. I didn’t know if my youth pastor might lose his job, but I also knew I couldn’t take the pledge. My yes was my yes, and my no was my no.
It was a very nerve-wracking experience for me as a high school junior. Looking back on it now, it doesn’t feel like a big deal anymore. I could have simply said no and left the youth group if I wasn’t welcome back. But at 16, it felt like one of the biggest decisions of my life. I was ultimately allowed to stay in the youth group without ever taking the pledge. The experience taught me to stand for my convictions, even when it might not be popular.
“Wonder encapsulates a feeling of rapt attention … it draws the observer in.” Share with the admissions committee about a time when you “experienced wonder in your everyday life.” While a medical story is a suitable response, we would like to see an example come from a non-medical related setting. Share with us what you learned from your experience. (2500 character limit)
Our sample essays for #3 and #4 aren’t directly related to medicine. It’s very possible to answer this question the way the Admissions Committee is asking you to. You can draw on any life experience that has left you with a sense of wonder, and tell a story with it. We recommend having fun with it.
This is your opportunity to share with the Admissions Committee anything else you’d like us to know. You can describe what qualifies you to be accepted into Johns Hopkins Medical School. You can address any issues that might arise from your application. You can share something that will help us get to know you better.
The following topics are suitable:
- First-generation college student
- Being a minority (sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, etc.)
- Raised by undocumented immigrants
- Being an undocumented immigrant
Please note that, while we encourage you to answer this question and share information with us, this is an optional essay question. You may leave it blank. There will be no penalty for not answering it.
These essays can feel like a Catch-22. You want to be a strong student and demonstrate how much you want to get into Johns Hopkins Medical School. But at the same time, you don’t want to share information that feels too personal. For example, maybe you’re transgender, but you’re not ready to broadcast that to a university. It’s okay to keep details about your life to yourself.
The university’s purpose in asking this question is to give you the opportunity to share anything that’s on your mind. It’s meant as extra space, not as a required box to trigger your anxiety.
If you struggle to write these kinds of essays, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We offer pre-med advising and medical school admissions consulting for that very reason. Let us know what you need help with, and we’ll get the ball rolling.
Interviewing at Johns Hopkins Medical School
Whether you’re anxiously awaiting your invitation to interview, or you have your spot secured, an interview with Johns Hopkins Medical School is a big deal. The invitation to interview means that your essays impressed the Admissions Committee enough to want to interview you. They want to get to know you better before deciding whether to admit you. It’s a lot of pressure, for sure, but if you’re prepared, you’ll be fine!
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all interviews are taking place virtually. This spares you from making travel plans and finding the right room for your interview. Instead, you’ll need a stable internet connection and a good background. We understand if you’re disappointed that you won’t get to visit the campus and interview in person. Try focusing on how excited you’ll be when you get to matriculate in person. That will be even more exciting.
Johns Hopkins Medical School uses the traditional interview format. This means you’ll have two interviews that each last for 30 minutes. The first interview will be with a member of the Admissions Committee. The second interview will be with a fourth-year medical student. We’ve written a comprehensive article on the traditional interview format. Be sure to read that if you have more questions.
Do you need help preparing for your interview? IMA is here to help. Our medical school admissions consulting includes mock interview prep. We’ll go over some of the questions that Johns Hopkins Medical School is likely to ask you. We’ll help you craft your responses so that you’re prepared for the real deal. With the Johns Hopkins Medical School acceptance rate as low as it is, it’s important to be at the top of your game.
As exciting as it is to apply to the school of your dreams, remember how low the Johns Hopkins Medical School acceptance rate is. Because of this, you should apply to multiple schools. If you already know where you want to apply, then you’re set. But if you’re not sure where to get started, check out the other medical schools we’ve covered. Remember, we’re here to help if you need it!
- McGovern Medical School at UT Health
- The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine
- UNT Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
- University of Houston College of Medicine
- Texas A&M College of Medicine
- Johns Hopkins Medical School
- Baylor College of Medicine
- George Washington University School of Medicine
- Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
- St. George’s University School of Medicine
- Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (in Pennsylvania)
- Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
- Wake Forest University School of Medicine
- Western University of Health Sciences (in California)
- Drexel University College of Medicine
- Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago
- Georgetown University School of Medicine
- Yale School of Medicine
- Perelman School of Medicine
- UCLA Medical School
- NYU Medical School
- Washington University School of Medicine
- Brown Medical School