Johns Hopkins Essays – An Introduction

Writing college essays is one of the hardest parts of the college application process. If you’re wondering how to get into Johns Hopkins, you’ll want to start by familiarizing yourself with some Johns Hopkins essays that worked. These will help you approach the Johns Hopkins supplemental essays, one of the main Johns Hopkins requirements.

As you prepare to apply, reading Johns Hopkins essay examples can help you know how to structure your own essays. However, before we examine the Johns Hopkins essay prompts and Johns Hopkins essays that worked, let’s learn a bit more about Johns Hopkins

You might be drawn to JHU because you are impressed by the Johns Hopkins rankings.

According to U.S. News, Johns Hopkins ranks:

  • #7 in National Universities
  • #9 in Best Value Schools
  • #1 in Biomedical Programs
  • #13 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs, just to name a few.

While the Johns Hopkins ranking may put the school on your radar, rankings won’t help you when it comes time to complete your Johns Hopkins application. And, as the Johns Hopkins rankings show, the Johns Hopkins application process is competitive

Before you apply, familiarize yourself with the Johns Hopkins application and Johns Hopkins requirements. This includes the Johns Hopkins supplemental essays. Keep reading to learn more about one of the most important Johns Hopkins requirements: the Johns Hopkins supplemental essays.

To help prepare you to write your Johns Hopkins supplemental essays, we have provided two Johns Hopkins essay prompts and four Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples. By looking at Johns Hopkins essays that worked, you can learn how to approach your own Johns Hopkins essay. 

Does Johns Hopkins have a supplemental essay?

Yes, one of the Johns Hopkins requirements is a supplemental essay.

In fact, the Johns Hopkins essay is one of the most important parts of your Johns Hopkins application. 

You should use your Johns Hopkins essay to highlight who you are as a student, person, and community member. Later in this article, we’ll look at four Johns Hopkins essay examples. These can help inspire you as you draft and edit your own essays.

Keep in mind that Johns Hopkins supplemental essays will look different for different people. However, like our Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples, your Johns Hopkins essay should highlight how you’d contribute to campus life. 

Depending on how strong of a writer you feel you are, writing your Johns Hopkins essay might feel like a challenge—but that’s okay! If tackling your Johns Hopkins essay feels daunting, you’re in the right place. We’ve selected our Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples to help you write an amazing Johns Hopkins essay.

How many essays does Johns Hopkins have?

Below, we will review multiple Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples. We”ll also look at Johns Hopkins essay prompts from past years. However, this year, there is only one supplemental Johns Hopkins essay. Still, remember that you will submit two essays as part of your Johns Hopkins application. These include your Personal Statement and your Johns Hopkins essay.

As you prepare your Johns Hopkins application, give yourself enough time to write both your Personal Statement and Johns Hopkins essay. As you’ll see from our Johns Hopkins essays that worked, writing a compelling essay is no easy feat.

Just like writing your Personal Statement, writing your Johns Hopkins essay takes time, brainstorming, and editing. We hope our Johns Hopkins essays that worked help you learn how to tackle the Johns Hopkins essay prompt.

Now, it’s time to jump into the Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples. Before we break down our Johns Hopkins essays that worked, let’s look at this year’s Johns Hopkins essay prompt.

Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essays

johns hopkins essays that worked

Before you can write a great Johns Hopkins essay, you need to understand your prompt. One of the first things Johns Hopkins admissions will consider when reviewing your essay is whether you addressed the prompt. Our Johns Hopkins essays that worked each show off who the writer is, but always in service of the prompt. Keep this in mind as you begin to write. 

The Johns Hopkins essay prompt has changed over the years. So, make sure you always check the admissions page or the Common App for the current prompt. While our Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples may not reflect this year’s prompt, they can still help you write your college essays.

Here is the current Johns Hopkins essay prompt:

Founded in the 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)

This prompt is extremely open. The main topic of your essay is “something you’d like the admissions committee to know about you.” This could be anything. so feel free to get creative.

Don’t forget about the second part of the prompt: “how it has shaped what you want to get out of your college experience at Hopkins.” The second half of this prompt implies that you should be specific about what you want to do/accomplish/learn at Hopkins. Then, connect your goals at JHU back to what you’ve shared about yourself.

Johns Hopkins Essay Examples

Next, let’s dive into our Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples. To help you get started on your Johns Hopkins application, we’ll take you through four Johns Hopkins essays that worked. 

Reading past essays can help give you an idea of how to approach the Johns Hopkins supplemental essays. Each of our four Johns Hopkins essay examples respond to one of two prompts from past Johns Hopkins applications. 

While our Johns Hopkins essay examples respond to prompts from past years, they are still helpful. Additionally, this year’s prompt is quite open-ended. So, you can still apply tips from our Johns Hopkins essays that worked to your Johns Hopkins essay.

Johns Hopkins Essay Examples: Prompt #1

Let’s look at our first Johns Hopkins essay prompt. Note that this prompt is quite similar to the current prompt, so our Johns Hopkins essay examples will likely have a lot in common with successful essays for this coming year. However, this year’s Johns Hopkins essay prompt is more open-ended, asking students to share anything about them they’d like to share with Johns Hopkins admissions. As a previous iteration of this same prompt, this Johns Hopkins essay prompt asks students to specifically discuss their interests.

Our first two Johns Hopkins essays that worked respond to the following prompt:

Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1876 on a spirit of exploration and discovery. As a result, students can pursue a multidimensional undergraduate experience both in and outside of the classroom. Given the opportunities at Hopkins, please discuss your current interests (academic, extracurricular, personal passions, summer experiences, etc.) and how you will build upon them here.

The second part of each Johns Hopkins essay prompt is also a slight variation on the other. This prompt asks you to describe how you will continue to pursue and develop your interests should you be admitted to Johns Hopkins.

Now that we’ve discussed some of the nuances of this prompt and how it might impact our Johns Hopkins essays that worked, let’s look at the first of our Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples.

Johns Hopkins Essays that Worked #1

Since childhood, mathematics and science had some special magic for me. The mathematical numbers and formulas and the scientific experiments always fascinated me. This interest turned into my passion when I started doing hands-on projects for Science Olympiad in middle and high school and also engineering projects in high school. My quest for engineering is based on the creative application of mathematics and science which can be applied with judgment, rigor and creativity to develop and design new or better ways to utilize materials, technologies and the forces of nature for the benefit of our society.

I am particularly interested in Environmental Engineering discipline. Presently earth’s environment is being put under constant pressure for improvement. I have made many trips to India with my parents and found out how the natural resources are still immensely underutilized and how these natural resources, along with the engineering principles and design, can be leveraged in order to improve the quality of lives of common people all around the globe. My goal in life is to transform knowledge, experience and resources that I can gain through an engineering program at a leading institution like Johns Hopkins University into technologies that can be incorporated into products and services which in turn can fulfill these necessities. During my trips to rural India, one of the sights that particularly drew my attention was the state of the waste-water and how its quality can be improved with the help of water treatment technologies. Instilled with this idea, I have read many research articles in the journal called “Environmental Science & Technology”. I found few research articles that were emphasizing how to prevent nitrogen related impairment of waste-water quality. Researchers are honing in on the specific bacterial genes that are responsible for nitrous and nitric oxide formation in the waste-water. Their goal is to “engineer” this process so that these genes can not be properly expressed, thereby preventing the nitrogen related impairment of the waste-water quality. 

Recently I have also gone through some research work of one professor from Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences. His research focuses on environmental microbiology and engineering with an emphasis on the fate and transport of pathogenic microorganisms in water, food, and environment. This work includes extensive laboratory based research designed to develop and evaluate molecular detection methods which can be applied to field-based investigations. This type of research work always fascinates me. In future, as an engineer, my passion will be to carry out further research work in a field like this which can fulfill the necessities of the vast majority of people in this universe.

Why This Essay Worked

This is one of our Johns Hopkins essays that worked because it discusses a unified current interest—environmental engineering—through a variety of lenses. This writer showcases their passion through their extracurricular activities, their experiences traveling with their family, and the ideas they’ve explored outside the classroom. Then, they detail specifics about Johns Hopkins that relate to their interests. This includes the work of a professor they admire.

The first of our Johns Hopkins essay examples includes a lot of detail. In reading it, you get a clear sense of who the writer is, what they care about, and how they’d engage with JHU. They also cite a specific professor’s work, whose name has been removed in order to preserve anonymity in this article.

While the writer spends a lot of time discussing scientific concepts, their engagement with these concepts highlights their intellectual curiosity. In doing so, the first of our Johns Hopkins essay examples makes a strong case for the writer’s admission.  

The essay is organized chronologically. It begins in childhood, then moves through middle and high school. It then addresses the writer’s personal experiences connecting to the larger world. Finally, it extends to what this student hopes to do at Johns Hopkins and in their future post-graduation. 

As you’ll see in our other Johns Hopkins essay examples, there are different ways to approach organization. However, make sure your essay has a strong beginning and a conclusion that builds to a clear final point.

Let’s take a look at the second of our Johns Hopkins essay examples for this prompt.

More Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay Examples

Johns Hopkins Essays that Worked #2

Essay Title: Statements of Justice

“She’s a mulatto, right?”

Why did he use that word to describe me? Is that all he sees? I am so much more than that.

“Can any men in the classroom help me carry this?”

Am I weak because I am a woman? Does designing and building a staircase and ramp not qualify me to carry boxes down the stairs? My strength is not directly derived by your perception of women, thank you very much.

“You don’t talk black.”

What does that even mean?

Statements. Underhanded questions and observations that I’ve heard my entire life. They made me question who I truly am. Then Trayvon Martin was killed. It was the first national event in my memory that exposed the injustices in our justice system, and the shadow of racism I naively thought no longer existed. I began coming to terms with the harsh reality that these comments were merely a reflection of the continuous legacy of discrimination in this country.

I struggled, over many long days and sleep deprived nights, thinking about who I am and where I fit in this seemingly endless fight towards equality. I wanted and needed to find a way to heal the injustices in our system. Such atrocities include the corrupt criminal justice system, the de facto segregation, the inequitable educational opportunities, the 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. And I want to be a part of the movement that changes it all.

I began working to alleviate some of these issues in both Greensboro and Dallas. In peace and conflict, I began working towards making positive statements. I attended a rally that supported equal access to education and ending voter discrimination through unfair laws. I became involved in advocating for Planned Parenthood. I participated in volunteer work to beautify my city and encourage people to pursue their education and future careers. My favorite was teaching reading and math to children in low income communities.

John’s Hopkins is located in Baltimore, a city that has grappled with the frustrations of racism. I want to continue pursuing my passion for equality and justice with Hopkins at my side. I want to practice justice by participating in the on campus Black Lives Matter protests and peaceful protests throughout Baltimore. I want to love mercy by being a part of Hopkins organizations such as the Tutorial Project. I want to walk humbly as an example of a strong, biracial woman. A woman that kids across Baltimore, and one day even across the country can look up to and say “I want to be like her one day.” John’s Hopkins is the place where I can promote equality and justice while also exploring my passion for science, math and engineering. It is the place where I will continue practicing my resolve to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly. Hopkins is the place where I want to help end the injurious comments and begin a legacy of statements that emulate justice.

Why This Essay Worked

We chose to include this as one of our Johns Hopkins essay examples because of how powerful this student’s vulnerability is. This essay does a great job of connecting the pursuit of knowledge to how we build community and fight injustice in the world. In reading the second of our Johns Hopkins essay examples, you get a clear idea of what the writer cares about. You also can imagine how they would use their education for the greater good. 

This essay has a particularly strong beginning and end. It opens with an attention-grabbing series of revealing questions and answers that tie into this writer’s final word on what they hope to accomplish at JHU. Without feeling like a list, this writer also touches on their many extracurricular and volunteer work. They also discuss the organizations they hope to join on campus.

If you want to read more Johns Hopkins essay examples, you’re in luck. Keep reading for another Johns Hopkins prompt and more Johns Hopkins essays that worked.

More Johns Hopkins Essay Examples

Next, let’s move on to our second batch of Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples. These Johns Hopkins essay examples respond to another past Johns Hopkins essay prompt.

While these Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples may seem like our previous Johns Hopkins essay examples, it’s important to note the differences between this prompt and the current Johns Hopkins essay prompt.

The next set of Johns Hopkins essays that worked respond to the following prompt: 

Successful students at Johns Hopkins make the biggest impact by collaborating with others, including peers, mentors, and professors. Talk about a time, in or outside the classroom, when you worked with others and what you learned from the experience.

From this prompt, you can expect the next two Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples to touch on specific instances of teamwork and collaboration with others. This prompt is much more specific than the current prompt. However, thinking about a question like this can give you insights as to how you like to work with others and how you might do so at Hopkins.

Johns Hopkins Essays that Worked #1

There are two kinds of group work. The first is your proficiency group work where there is a task to be done and a leader simply divides the work among the group and it gets done in a fraction of the time it would take an individual. The second is work without a defined end goal. This means that work can’t simply be divided; it has to be first created by the group members and then their finished products have to be joined together by the group.

In my aerospace engineering major, there is a project that we did at the end of freshman and sophomore year. It was a high altitude balloon launch. This project took us about three weeks to plan out and follow through on each year. The first time, it was a basic launch, and we had to create a payload with temperature and altitude sensors as well as a Geiger counter, a GoPro, and a GPS tracking signal. Everything except the GPS and camera was created through an Arduino. We all worked well together, but it was a very rigidly drawn out project. We were given exactly what to do and we just did what we were told in a collective fashion by dividing the world up randomly and following instructions.

The second time we did our project it was slightly more complicated. We had all of the previous items: camera, GPS, etc… But, we were allowed some freedom in the set up this time. We added a 3D printed camera frame so that we could generate a 3D video by having one go pro face each direction.  I added music too; I used a greeting card music speaker and attached a string to the trigger which we pulled on launch. Overall the project became more detailed and more complex, but still successful. In part, this was due to our experience. But, the most of the improvement was because we were able to express our individualism. We combined our own personalities to create a greater teamwork than just dividing up the work.

No one really knows the answer to everything. So, when you have the possibility to incorporate multiple perspectives in a group instead of focusing on one dominant perspective it increases the likelihood of success. Overall, it increases the enjoyment in the work because everyone can express themselves and their ideas are heard. 

Why This Essay Worked

Like other Johns Hopkins essay examples, this essay focuses on a specific personal experience. This is one of our Johns Hopkins essays that worked because it translates an experience into a nuanced narrative.

The important thing to note in this essay is how the writer’s perspective comes through. The writer stresses that collaboration without a defined end goal leads to expressions of individualism. They also discuss how different perspectives increase the likelihood of success—a perspective that aligns with Johns Hopkins’ values.

Remember, our Johns Hopkins essay examples are not models you should copy your essay off of. Instead, think of them as blueprints designed to show you how to approach the prompt. Feel free to explore different ways to respond to the prompt and make your essay your own.

Johns Hopkins Essays that Worked #2

Back in middle school, there was nothing greater than the battle of the sexes. The competition seemed to transcend the classroom and appear in all environments. One of the most prominent instances is during a school-provided game show: boys vs. girls.

The game show was set up in two sets. In the first one it was the 8th graders (my grade) vs the 7th graders, and the second was an 8th grade battle of the sexes. This competition would be the first chance that we could actually quantify which sex was “better”, so the competition was taken very seriously. Since it was middle school, everyone was eager to participate, but in order to win we needed to strategize. Trying to settle down the group wasn’t easy, but after a couple of minutes I got all of the girls to be quiet and listen to my plan. My plan was to only send those skilled in each category to participate. At first some people didn’t want to agree, but then they realized that was the only way to win. For the academic categories, the girls who took honors classes went up. For sports categories, the athletic girls went up. For the teamwork categories, a group of cohesive close friends went up. For the artistic games, all the music and arts girls went up. The boys caught on to our strategy, but it was too late in the game for them to catch up. We overwhelmingly beat the boys and never let them live it down.

Before this game show, although the girls were always fighting with the boys, we were actually really divided amongst ourselves. Since there was no unity, it was easier for the boys to attack us and wear us down. However, our victory in the game show changed everything. We realized that teamwork was the only way for us to be strong and truly be “better” than the boys. From that point on, us girls remained united and used teamwork to defeat the boys in every opportunity we had. Anytime I have a great task to handle, I remember this instance in order to battle through the differences in the group and work together with others. Unity and teamwork are values that I adore dearly and I know they will be significant on my pathway to success.

Why This Essay Worked

This is the last of our Johns Hopkins essays that worked, and it takes a different approach than some of our other Johns Hopkins essay examples. This essay rounds out our Johns Hopkins essay examples because it demonstrates multiple facets of the writer’s identity. However, it still centers around the prompt’s topic of collaboration.

The writer highlights a moment of leadership where they took charge of their group. They describe how they created a game plan and got everyone on their side. Then, they show how this experience built community, uniting the girls despite their differences. Finally, they reflect on their personal growth. In doing so, they highlight how they plan to carry this lesson with them into the future.

These Johns Hopkins essay examples may have a narrower focus than what you might write for this year’s prompt. However, they still show how important specificity is to storytelling. By including specific details, you keep your reader engaged and excited about what you have to say.

Does Johns Hopkins care about essays?

Yes, your Johns Hopkins supplemental essays are extremely important to your application. As they review your application, Johns Hopkins admissions wants to understand who you are and what you will bring to campus.

Your Johns Hopkins supplemental essays are a terrific opportunity for you to demonstrate your academic passions through three facets, including your:

  • Academic character
  • Impact and initiative
  • Personal contributions

Check out the Johns Hopkins Application Information page to read more about how the admissions team will review your application. This can also help you learn how to demonstrate your academic passions in your Johns Hopkins application.

However, keep in mind that your Johns Hopkins essay isn’t the only part of the Johns Hopkins application. Johns Hopkins reviews all applications holistically, meaning all of the Johns Hopkins requirements impact your admissions decision. While our Johns Hopkins essay examples are strong in their own right, you can also expect that they complemented an otherwise strong Johns Hopkins application. 

Along with your supplemental essay, the Johns Hopkins requirements include:

  • A completed application (either the CommonApp or the Apply Coalition on Scoir)
  • Secondary school report
  • Two teacher evaluations
  • Mid-year report

Due to the continued impact of Covid-19, Johns Hopkins admissions has decided test scores will remain optional. So, the Johns Hopkins requirements do not include SAT or ACT scores. If you are planning to submit test scores, remember that they are no replacement for your Johns Hopkins essay. 

How do you write a Johns Hopkins essay?

All strong Johns Hopkins essays start with research. Like the writers of our Johns Hopkins essay examples, you should decide what you hope to get out of JHU. So, don’t fixate on statistics like Johns Hopkins rankings. Instead, learn about what Johns Hopkins values in both their students and community.

Then, give yourself a complete writing process. Set aside time to brainstorm, work through different topics/ideas, and get your first draft down on paper. Once you have a draft, it’s time to edit, rewrite, and finally proofread. If possible, try to get your “final” draft complete a week ahead of the deadline. That way, you’ll have time to set it aside for a few days before you make your final edits. 

Highlight your personal narrative

You’ve seen some great narratives shine through in our Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples. So, as you can tell, there are many ways to approach the Johns Hopkins essay prompt. Remember that your Johns Hopkins essay isn’t the only essay JHU will receive—the Johns Hopkins requirements also include your Personal Statement. So, think about how your Personal Statement and Johns Hopkins essay will play off one another. As you draft, consider how they both feed into your personal narrative.

Your Personal Narrative is the overall story your application tells to an admissions officer. When crafting your application, think about the overarching themes in your application. Then, look at how they connect to who you are and what you hope to bring to Johns Hopkins’ community. 

Fit your essay with your narrative

If you’ve already chosen a topic for your Personal Statement, think about how your Johns Hopkins essay fits into that narrative. Each of your essays should reveal something compelling and complex about you. As we look at each of our Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples, we’ll take note of what we can learn about the writers of each essay and what Johns Hopkins admissions would have appreciated about it.

Our Johns Hopkins essay examples weren’t written overnight, so don’t plan on writing yours last minute. If you’re here reading through our Johns Hopkins essay examples, you’re likely already in a good place to start crafting your own.

Other Resources on Johns Hopkins University

There’s no secret formula on how to get into Johns Hopkins or how to write an essay like our Johns Hopkins essays that worked. So, make sure you do some research. Get a feel for the school and learn more about what they offer. This can be more helpful than you realize when it comes to writing your Johns Hopkins supplemental essays.

In addition to our Johns Hopkins essay examples, CollegeAdvisor.com has tons of great resources to help students learn more about Johns Hopkins. Check out our Johns Hopkins college page for an overview of the school, our how to get into Johns Hopkins guide, and our Johns Hopkins University panel.

For more resources on how to make your essays as strong as our Johns Hopkins essays that worked, check out our masterclass on editing your essays and advice from an admissions officer on making your essays shine

Johns Hopkins Essays that Worked direct from Johns Hopkins Admissions

If you want to read more Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples, make sure you check out Undergraduate Admissions Johns Hopkins essays that worked. This year, they have six Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples written by students from the class of 2025, so there’s no shortage of Johns Hopkins essay examples for you to review.

These Johns Hopkins essay examples can be a great supplement to those provided above. The admissions committee nominated each Johns Hopkins essay to be made available to future applicants as Johns Hopkins essays that worked. In each essay, applicants reveal something important about their experience and how it has shaped their character and values. In turn, they show how their values align with the values and culture at Johns Hopkins.

For even more Johns Hopkins essay examples, check out the 2023 Johns Hopkins essays that worked and the 2022 Johns Hopkins essays that worked.

Johns Hopkins Essays that Worked – Final Thoughts

We hope our collection of Johns Hopkins supplemental essay examples has given you a better idea of what to expect when it comes time to write your own! Remember, these Johns Hopkins essays that worked are meant to inspire you. Your own essays don’t need to look just like our Johns Hopkins essay examples—in fact, what matters most is that you tell your own story. 

Once you’ve read through our Johns Hopkins essay examples, be sure to check out all of the resources available through Johns Hopkins and CollegeAdvisor.com. Happy writing!


johns hopkins essays that worked

This article was written by Stefanie Tedards. Looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how CollegeAdvisor.com can support you in the college application process.