Johns Hopkins vs Northwestern: Which University is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

College students walking together outdoors. Group of young people in college campus.

Johns Hopkins vs Northwestern: Which University is Right for You?

Choosing the right university can be daunting, especially when faced with many excellent options. Two universities that often come up in conversations about the best American universities are Johns Hopkins and Northwestern. Which one is right for you? This article will compare Johns Hopkins vs Northwestern to help you make an informed decision.

Location and Campus Facilities

Location plays an important role in choosing a university. Johns Hopkins is located in Baltimore, Maryland, while Northwestern is in Evanston, Illinois. Both cities have vibrant cultures and provide access to big city amenities. However, Baltimore is known for its thriving music and arts scene, while Evanston offers proximity to Chicago, which is known for its food, arts, and sports.

Both universities boast impressive campus infrastructures. Johns Hopkins has a beautiful, landscaped campus and a new student center equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. Northwestern has a lakefront campus and a range of facilities, including world-renowned scientific research facilities.

Additionally, both universities offer a variety of extracurricular activities for students to get involved in. Johns Hopkins has over 450 student organizations, including a student-run newspaper and radio station.

Northwestern has over 500 student organizations, including a student-run theater group and a competitive debate team. These activities provide students with opportunities to explore their interests and develop leadership skills outside of the classroom.

Academic Programs Offered

Both universities offer a wide range of academic programs. Johns Hopkins is known for its strong programs in medicine, public health, and engineering. Its medical program is the first research-based medical program in the United States.

Northwestern also has strong programs in medicine, as well as social sciences, journalism, and engineering. Both universities also have robust liberal arts programs, with highly-ranked English and humanities departments.

Female students smiling at the camera.

In addition to the programs mentioned above, both universities also offer unique and specialized programs. Johns Hopkins has a highly-regarded program in international studies, as well as a top-ranked program in environmental science and policy.

Northwestern offers a program in music theatre that is consistently ranked as one of the best in the country, as well as a program in radio, television, and film that has produced many successful alumni in the entertainment industry.

Johns Hopkins vs Northwestern: Admission Process and Requirements

The admissions process at both universities is highly selective. Johns Hopkins accepts only 6.5% of its applicants, while Northwestern has a slightly higher acceptance rate of around 7%. Both universities require standardized test scores, high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, and essays. However, Johns Hopkins allows applicants to submit a creative piece instead of an essay, providing a unique opportunity for applicants to showcase their skills and creativity.

In addition to the standard requirements, both universities also consider extracurricular activities and community involvement when evaluating applicants. Johns Hopkins values leadership and service, while Northwestern looks for students who have demonstrated a passion for their interests and have made a positive impact in their communities.

Female students holding her books while walking.

It is important to note that both universities offer need-blind admissions, meaning that an applicant’s financial situation is not taken into consideration during the admissions process. However, both universities have generous financial aid programs to ensure that admitted students can afford to attend.

Faculty and Class Size

The faculty at both universities are world-class researchers and educators. Johns Hopkins has produced 37 Nobel laureates, while Northwestern has produced 19. Class sizes at both universities are typically small, with student-to-faculty ratios of 7:1 at Hopkins and 6:1 at Northwestern. This enables students to get personalized attention and allows for close connections between students and faculty members.

Additionally, both universities have implemented innovative teaching methods to enhance the learning experience for students. At Johns Hopkins, professors use a flipped classroom approach, where students watch lectures online before coming to class to engage in discussions and activities.

a professor in front of his class

Northwestern, on the other hand, has a strong emphasis on experiential learning, with opportunities for students to participate in research projects and internships in their field of study.

Johns Hopkins vs Northwestern: Campus Life and Extracurricular Activities

Both universities offer thriving campus communities with a wide range of extracurricular activities. Johns Hopkins has over 450 student organizations, including the highly-regarded Hopkins Baja team, which designs and constructs competitive off-road vehicles. Northwestern also has over 500 student organizations, including a thriving performing arts community and a strong emphasis on community service. Both universities also have active Greek life and numerous social events throughout the year.

Additionally, both universities have state-of-the-art athletic facilities, including fitness centers, swimming pools, and sports fields. Johns Hopkins has a strong tradition in lacrosse, with both the men’s and women’s teams consistently ranked among the top in the country. Northwestern is known for its successful women’s lacrosse team, which has won seven national championships.

Tuition Fees and Financial Aid Options

Both universities have high tuition fees, with full tuition at Johns Hopkins being around $60,400, and at Northwestern around $64,887. However, both universities offer extensive financial aid options to students based on need, including scholarships, grants, and work-study programs.

It is important to note that while the tuition fees may seem high, both universities have a strong commitment to making education accessible to all students, regardless of their financial background.

In addition to need-based financial aid, both universities also offer merit-based scholarships and other forms of financial assistance to help offset the cost of tuition. It is recommended that students explore all available options and speak with a financial aid advisor to determine the best course of action for their individual situation.

Student Success and Career Opportunities

Both universities have a strong record of student success and provide opportunities for students to build their careers. Johns Hopkins has a strong alumni network of over 227,000 members, many of whom hold leadership positions in various industries.

Young woman smiling at the camera.

Northwestern also has a large alumni network of over 250,000 members. Both universities also offer extensive career services and have active internship programs to help students build connections and get hands-on experience.

Research Opportunities and Resources

Both universities are known for their research focus and have extensive opportunities for students to engage in research activities. Johns Hopkins has over 40 research centers and institutes, and its faculty members receive millions of dollars in research funding annually. Northwestern also has over 90 research centers and institutes and is home to the prestigious Kellogg School of Management.

At Johns Hopkins, students have the opportunity to work alongside renowned researchers in fields such as medicine, public health, and engineering. The university also offers a number of research programs specifically designed for undergraduate students, including the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Awards and the Summer Internship Program.

Similarly, Northwestern provides students with a wide range of research opportunities across various disciplines, including the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

The university’s Office of Undergraduate Research offers funding and support for students interested in pursuing independent research projects, and the school’s Global Engagement Studies Institute provides students with the chance to conduct research abroad.

Johns Hopkins vs Northwestern: Alumni Network and Support Services

Both universities have strong alumni networks and provide support services to alumni after they graduate. Johns Hopkins offers career support, networking opportunities, and access to online resources. Northwestern also offers a range of alumni services, including personal and professional development programs and access to continuing education courses.

Additionally, both universities have active alumni associations that organize events and activities for alumni to stay connected with their alma mater and fellow graduates.

These associations also provide opportunities for alumni to give back to their respective universities through volunteering, mentoring, and fundraising initiatives. Furthermore, both universities have dedicated alumni relations teams that work to strengthen the relationship between the university and its alumni community.

Student Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

Both universities have made significant efforts to promote diversity and inclusion on campus. Johns Hopkins has a multicultural center and a range of diversity initiatives, including programs that provide support for students from diverse backgrounds and promote cross-cultural engagement.

Northwestern has a strong focus on diversity and provides a range of programs and initiatives to help students from all backgrounds feel included and supported on campus.

One of the initiatives at Johns Hopkins is the Diversity Leadership Council, which is made up of students, faculty, and staff who work together to promote diversity and inclusion on campus. The council organizes events and programs that celebrate diversity and encourage dialogue about important issues related to diversity and inclusion.

At Northwestern, one of the programs aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion is the Multicultural Student Affairs office. This office provides resources and support for students from diverse backgrounds, including academic support, mentorship programs, and cultural events. The office also works to create a welcoming and inclusive campus environment for all students.

Campus Safety Measures and Policies

Both universities have comprehensive safety measures and policies in place to ensure the safety of students, staff, and faculty. Johns Hopkins has a campus security force with over 100 officers, while Northwestern has a full-service police department with over 50 sworn officers. Both universities also have emergency response plans and provide extensive training for students and staff members.

In addition to the security forces and emergency response plans, both universities have implemented various safety measures to prevent and respond to incidents on campus. For example, Johns Hopkins has installed a network of security cameras throughout the campus, and Northwestern has a system of emergency blue light phones located throughout the campus that connect directly to the police department.

Students walking in the school campus while wearing their school bag.

Both universities also have programs in place to promote awareness and prevention of sexual assault and harassment, including training for students and staff on bystander intervention and reporting procedures.

Athletics Programs and Facilities

Both universities have highly-regarded athletics programs and facilities. Johns Hopkins has strong lacrosse and fencing programs, while Northwestern has won multiple national championships in women’s lacrosse and boasts a world-class swimming facility. Both universities also have state-of-the-art gym facilities and offer a wide range of intramural sports and fitness classes.

In addition to the traditional sports programs, both universities also offer unique athletic opportunities. Johns Hopkins has a competitive quidditch team, which has placed in national tournaments.

Northwestern has a highly-ranked synchronized skating team, which has won multiple national championships. These programs provide students with the chance to participate in non-traditional sports and showcase their skills on a national level.

Internship Opportunities and Industry Partnerships

Both universities have extensive industry partnerships and provide opportunities for students to engage in internships and other hands-on experiences.

Johns Hopkins has partnerships with major organizations such as NASA and the National Institutes of Health, while Northwestern has partnerships with major companies such as IBM and Google. Both universities also have strong entrepreneurship programs and provide resources for students to start their own companies.

Additionally, both universities offer a wide range of internship opportunities for students in various fields. These internships provide students with practical experience and exposure to real-world situations, which can be invaluable when entering the job market.

Students can also network with professionals in their field and gain valuable references for future job applications. Furthermore, both universities have career centers that offer guidance and support to students seeking internships and employment opportunities.

Community Engagement Projects and Partnerships

Both universities are committed to community engagement and have a range of initiatives and partnerships to help students make a positive impact in their communities. Johns Hopkins has a community service center and offers a range of service opportunities, including a program that provides health services to low-income communities. Northwestern also has a strong focus on community engagement, with programs that provide educational and social services to underserved communities.

In addition to these initiatives, both universities have established partnerships with local organizations to further their community engagement efforts.

Johns Hopkins partners with several non-profit organizations in Baltimore, including the United Way and the Baltimore City Public Schools, to provide volunteer opportunities and support community development projects.

Northwestern has partnerships with organizations such as the Chicago Public Schools and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, where students can participate in tutoring and mentoring programs.

Housing Options for Students

Both universities provide a range of housing options for students, including dormitories and apartments. Johns Hopkins has a range of on-campus housing options, including traditional dormitory-style rooms and apartment-style units. Northwestern also has a range of housing options, including residential colleges that provide an immersive learning experience for students.

Additionally, both universities offer off-campus housing resources for students who prefer to live independently. Johns Hopkins has a database of off-campus housing options, including apartments and houses for rent, while Northwestern has a partnership with a local real estate company to assist students in finding off-campus housing.

It is important to note that housing options may vary depending on the campus location and availability. Students are encouraged to research and apply for housing options early to secure their preferred choice.

Faculty Research Interests and Publications

The faculty at both universities are engaged in cutting-edge research and have published numerous influential books and articles. Johns Hopkins has faculty members who have made significant contributions to fields such as public health, engineering, and physics.

Northwestern has faculty members who have made significant contributions to fields such as economics, sociology, and political science. Both universities provide extensive opportunities for students to engage with faculty members and participate in research activities.

In conclusion, both Johns Hopkins and Northwestern are world-class universities with a range of academic programs, excellent faculty members, and extensive opportunities for students to engage in research, extracurricular activities, and career development.

When making a decision about which university is right for you, it is important to consider your personal and academic goals, as well as the culture and community of the university. Both universities have much to offer, and with careful consideration, you can find the one that is the best fit for you.

At Johns Hopkins, faculty members are actively involved in research related to healthcare policy, infectious diseases, and neuroscience. They have published groundbreaking research on topics such as the opioid epidemic, cancer treatment, and mental health.

Northwestern faculty members are also engaged in cutting-edge research, with a focus on areas such as artificial intelligence, environmental sustainability, and social inequality. They have published influential works on topics such as the impact of technology on society, the role of race in politics, and the effects of climate change on global economies.

Both universities offer students the opportunity to work closely with faculty members on research projects. At Johns Hopkins, students can participate in research through programs such as the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Awards and the Summer Internship Program. Northwestern offers similar opportunities through programs such as the Undergraduate Research Grant and the Summer Research Opportunity Program. These programs allow students to gain valuable research experience and work alongside faculty members who are leaders in their fields.


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