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Johns Hopkins vs UNC-Chapel Hill: Which University is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

A student looking happy while reading something in her laptop.

Johns Hopkins vs UNC-Chapel Hill: Which University is Right for You?

Choosing a university to attend is a big decision with many factors to consider. If you’re trying to decide between Johns Hopkins University vs UNC-Chapel Hill, this guide will help you weigh the pros and cons of each school. From location to faculty quality to campus life, we cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

Location and Campus Features: Johns Hopkins vs UNC-Chapel Hill

Johns Hopkins University is located in Baltimore, Maryland. The university’s main Homewood campus features Gothic-style architecture and is set in a residential area near the city’s downtown. The campus is relatively small, covering about 140 acres, but it has a dense layout with buildings situated close together. Students at Johns Hopkins can easily walk or bike to nearby shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions.

UNC-Chapel Hill, on the other hand, is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and is part of a larger community that includes Durham and Raleigh. The campus spans over 700 acres and features a mix of modern and historic buildings. It’s located in a college town and has a distinct college atmosphere. Although there are various transportation options available, getting around campus may require a bike or car.

Academic Programs: Johns Hopkins vs UNC-Chapel Hill

Both Johns Hopkins University and UNC Chapel Hill are highly respected universities known for their academic programs. Johns Hopkins is widely recognized for its medical, engineering, and science programs, but the university offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in many other fields. Some of the most popular majors at Johns Hopkins include economics, international studies, and political science.

UNC-Chapel Hill, which is a part of the larger University of North Carolina System, offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and 100 graduate programs. Some of the university’s most highly-ranked academic programs include its journalism, law, and business programs. UNC-Chapel Hill also has a renowned medical school and is a leading center for cancer research.

a female student standing in the middle of a hallway

Johns Hopkins University is also known for its strong research programs, with many opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to participate in cutting-edge research projects. The university has several research centers and institutes, including the Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences and the Applied Physics Laboratory.

UNC-Chapel Hill, on the other hand, has a strong focus on public service and community engagement. The university offers several service-learning courses and programs, allowing students to apply their academic knowledge to real-world problems and make a positive impact in their communities.

Cost of Attendance: Johns Hopkins vs UNC-Chapel Hill

Attending either Johns Hopkins University or UNC Chapel Hill can be expensive, but the cost of attendance varies significantly between the two universities. The average cost of attendance at Johns Hopkins is $60,480, while the average cost at UNC Chapel Hill is $8,998 for in-state and $37,558 for out-of-state students.

That being said, both universities offer various forms of financial aid to students. At Johns Hopkins, about 44% of students receive need-based financial aid, while at UNC-Chapel Hill, about 50% of students receive need-based aid.

It’s important to note that the cost of attendance includes not only tuition and fees, but also room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses. At Johns Hopkins, the average cost of room and board alone is $17,486, while at UNC-Chapel Hill, it’s $11,218 for in-state students and $11,918 for out-of-state students. It’s crucial for students and their families to carefully consider all of these expenses when making a decision about which university to attend.

Student Life: Johns Hopkins vs UNC-Chapel Hill

Both Johns Hopkins University and UNC Chapel Hill are diverse and vibrant universities with much to offer students in terms of extracurricular activities, clubs, and organizations. At Johns Hopkins, there are over 400 registered student organizations, including a student-run newspaper, film club, and salsa dancing group. UNC-Chapel Hill has over 800 registered student organizations, including a student-run radio station, an outdoor adventure club, and a student-run fashion magazine.

In terms of social life, UNC Chapel Hill has a more traditional college atmosphere and is known for its lively Greek life scene. There are over 60 fraternities and sororities on campus. Johns Hopkins has a more laid-back social scene, and while there are some fraternities and sororities on campus, they are not as central to student life as they are at UNC Chapel Hill.

Happy young people doing group study in library.

Both universities also offer a wide range of sports and fitness opportunities for students. At Johns Hopkins, students can participate in varsity sports such as lacrosse, soccer, and swimming, as well as club sports like ultimate frisbee and rugby. UNC-Chapel Hill has a strong athletic program, with varsity teams in sports such as basketball, football, and soccer. The university also has a state-of-the-art fitness center that is open to all students.

Additionally, both universities have a strong commitment to community service and offer numerous opportunities for students to get involved in volunteer work. At Johns Hopkins, students can participate in service projects through the Center for Social Concern, which partners with local organizations to address issues such as poverty, education, and healthcare. UNC-Chapel Hill has a similar program called the Carolina Center for Public Service, which offers a variety of service opportunities both locally and globally.

Research Opportunities: Johns Hopkins vs UNC-Chapel Hill

Both Johns Hopkins and UNC Chapel Hill are renowned research universities with many opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to engage in research projects. At Johns Hopkins, research is a vital component of the university’s academic mission, and students have access to world-class research facilities and resources. The university has a rich research history and is home to several research centers, including the Applied Physics Laboratory and the Center for Talented Youth.

UNC-Chapel Hill is also a leading center for research, and students have access to numerous research opportunities. In particular, the university is known for its research in social sciences, public health, and medicine. UNC-Chapel Hill is home to numerous research institutes and centers, including the Carolina Population Center and the Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility.

Additionally, both universities offer research opportunities beyond their respective campuses. Johns Hopkins has partnerships with several research institutions, including the National Institutes of Health and the Space Telescope Science Institute. UNC-Chapel Hill has collaborations with other universities and research organizations, such as Duke University and the Research Triangle Institute. These partnerships provide students with even more opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research projects and gain valuable experience in their fields of study.

Graduate Outcomes: Johns Hopkins vs UNC-Chapel Hill

Graduates of both Johns Hopkins University and UNC Chapel Hill enjoy strong job prospects and are highly sought after by employers. According to data from PayScale, the average salary for a graduate of Johns Hopkins is $89,900, while the average salary for a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill is $65,100. However, it’s important to note that many factors can influence job prospects, including the specific major and career path pursued.

Additionally, both universities have strong career services departments that provide resources and support to help graduates navigate the job market. At Johns Hopkins, the Career Center offers career counseling, job and internship search assistance, and networking opportunities. UNC-Chapel Hill’s University Career Services provides similar resources, as well as career fairs and employer information sessions. These services can be invaluable in helping graduates secure employment and launch successful careers.

Athletics and Extracurricular Activities: Johns Hopkins vs UNC-Chapel Hill

Both Johns Hopkins University and UNC Chapel Hill have competitive athletics programs and offer a range of sports for students to participate in. Johns Hopkins is a Division III school and has competitive varsity teams in sports such as lacrosse, swimming, and cross-country running, among others. UNC-Chapel Hill is a Division I school and has a storied athletics history, particularly in basketball. The university offers varsity teams in over 25 sports.

teacher in blue holding a clipboard

Both universities also offer a range of extracurricular activities beyond athletics. Johns Hopkins is known for its emphasis on community service and offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for students. UNC-Chapel Hill offers numerous student-run organizations, including a beekeeping club, a vegetable garden club, and a video game design club.

Admission Requirements: Johns Hopkins vs UNC-Chapel Hill

Both Johns Hopkins University and UNC Chapel Hill are highly selective universities, and the admissions process can be competitive. At Johns Hopkins, the acceptance rate is 8%, and the SAT score range for admitted students is 1510 – 1570. At UNC-Chapel Hill, the acceptance rate is 19%, and the middle 50% of admitted students had an SAT score between 1320 – 1510.

Both universities also consider factors beyond test scores, such as extracurricular activities, leadership experience, and essays. It’s important to research each university’s specific admissions requirements and deadlines before applying.

In addition to the standard admissions requirements, both universities offer early decision and early action options for applicants. Early decision is a binding agreement, meaning that if accepted, the student must attend the university. Early action is non-binding, allowing the student to apply to multiple universities and make a decision later. However, early decision and early action deadlines are typically earlier than regular decision deadlines, so it’s important to plan accordingly.

Furthermore, both universities offer need-based financial aid and merit-based scholarships to help make college more affordable. It’s important to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and any additional financial aid forms required by the universities to be considered for financial assistance. Additionally, some scholarships may require separate applications or essays, so be sure to check each university’s website for more information.

Campus Diversity: Johns Hopkins vs UNC-Chapel Hill

Diversity and inclusion are essential values at both Johns Hopkins University and UNC-Chapel Hill. At Johns Hopkins, the student body is diverse, with students from all 50 states and over 120 countries. The university has several initiatives in place to foster a diverse and inclusive campus community, including the Office of Institutional Equity and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

Similarly, UNC Chapel Hill is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion, and the university has numerous initiatives and programs in place to support underrepresented students. The university’s Diversity and Inclusion office collaborates with students, faculty, and staff to ensure that campus policies and practices are inclusive and equitable.

One of the initiatives at UNC Chapel Hill is the Carolina Firsts program, which supports first-generation college students. The program provides academic and social support, as well as mentorship opportunities, to help these students succeed in college. Additionally, UNC Chapel Hill has a strong commitment to diversity in its faculty and staff, to increase the representation of underrepresented groups in these positions.

Faculty and Staff Quality: Johns Hopkins vs UNC-Chapel Hill

Both Johns Hopkins University and UNC Chapel Hill have world-class faculty and staff members who are leaders in their respective fields. At Johns Hopkins, there are over 4,000 full-time faculty members, including Nobel laureates, MacArthur fellows, and Pulitzer Prize winners. The university has a student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1, which means that students have ample opportunities to engage with professors one-on-one.

professor teaching in class

UNC-Chapel Hill’s faculty is similarly distinguished, and the university has a student-to-faculty ratio of 4:1. The university’s faculty members include recipients of prestigious awards such as the Nobel Prize and the MacArthur Fellowship. UNC-Chapel Hill is also known for its excellent teaching, and the university has won numerous teaching awards and accolades.

Despite the similarities in faculty and staff quality, there are some notable differences between Johns Hopkins and UNC Chapel Hill. For example, Johns Hopkins is known for its strong emphasis on research, and many of its faculty members are actively engaged in cutting-edge research projects. In contrast, UNC Chapel Hill places a greater emphasis on teaching, and many of its faculty members are known for their exceptional teaching skills.

Another difference between the two universities is their approach to interdisciplinary studies. Johns Hopkins has a strong tradition of interdisciplinary collaboration, and many of its faculty members work across multiple departments and disciplines. UNC-Chapel Hill, on the other hand, has a more traditional approach to academic departments and disciplines, with less emphasis on interdisciplinary studies.

Alumni Network: Johns Hopkins vs UNC-Chapel Hill

Both Johns Hopkins University and UNC Chapel Hill have extensive alumni networks that can be useful for career networking and finding job opportunities. Johns Hopkins has over 200,000 alumni worldwide, many of whom are leaders in their fields. The university’s Office of Alumni Relations offers a variety of programs and events to connect alumni with students and support alumni in their professional endeavors.

UNC-Chapel Hill’s alumni network is similarly robust, with over 325,000 alumni worldwide and an alumni association that offers various resources and services to support alumni throughout their careers. Whether you’re looking to connect with alumni in your field or attend networking events, both universities offer many opportunities to engage with alumni and build your professional network.

One of the key benefits of leveraging alumni networks is the potential for mentorship opportunities. Many alumni are willing to offer guidance and advice to current students and recent graduates, sharing their own experiences and insights to help others navigate their career paths. Both Johns Hopkins and UNC-Chapel Hill have mentorship programs that connect students with alumni mentors, providing valuable opportunities for career development and networking.

Campus Safety Measures: Johns Hopkins vs UNC-Chapel Hill

Campus safety is a top priority at both Johns Hopkins University and UNC-Chapel Hill. Both universities have dedicated campus police departments that work to ensure the safety and security of students and staff.

At Johns Hopkins, there are several resources available to students to promote safety, including the Blue Jay Shuttle, a free shuttle service that operates throughout the Homewood campus and surrounding areas. The university also has a LiveSafe app that allows students to report safety concerns and receive alerts about potential safety risks.

UNC-Chapel Hill has a campus police department that provides 24/7 patrol services, as well as various safety and security resources for students, including the Carolina Guardian safety app and the SAFEride program, which provides transportation for students during the evening and early morning hours.

In addition to these resources, both universities have implemented various safety measures to prevent and respond to emergencies. At Johns Hopkins, the university has an emergency notification system that sends alerts to students and staff in the event of a crisis. The university also conducts regular safety drills and provides training to students and staff on how to respond to emergencies.

Similarly, UNC Chapel Hill has an emergency alert system that sends notifications to students and staff in the event of a crisis. The university also has an Emergency Management team that works to prepare for and respond to emergencies on campus.

Future Prospects for Students After Graduation: Johns Hopkins vs UNC-Chapel Hill

After graduation, students from both Johns Hopkins University and UNC Chapel Hill have many opportunities for success. Graduates of Johns Hopkins are highly sought after by employers in industries ranging from finance to healthcare to technology. Typical careers for graduates include management consulting, software engineering, and investment banking. UNC-Chapel Hill graduates also pursue a variety of career paths, including teaching, healthcare administration, and marketing.

Both universities have strong alumni networks, and graduates often report feeling well-prepared for their careers. According to a survey by PayScale, both Johns Hopkins and UNC Chapel Hill are in the top 3% of schools for return on investment, indicating that graduates from both universities experience strong financial outcomes after graduation.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between Johns Hopkins University and UNC Chapel Hill is not an easy decision. Both universities are highly respected and offer many opportunities for success. Ultimately, the right choice depends on your individual needs and goals. Consider factors such as location, academic programs, campus life, and cost of attendance when making your decision. Regardless of which university you choose, you will be embarking on an exciting and challenging academic journey that will prepare you for success in whatever you choose to pursue.

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