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Princeton vs. Johns Hopkins: What Sets Them Apart?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a student thinking while looking out at the window.

Princeton vs. Johns Hopkins: What Sets Them Apart?

In the quest for superior higher education, the decision between the esteemed Princeton vs. Johns Hopkins becomes a compelling comparison. Both institutions have a reputation for academic excellence, but what sets them apart?

In this article, we’ll explore the history, academics, campus life, and more to help prospective students make informed decisions.

Understanding the History and Reputation of Princeton and Johns Hopkins

Founded in 1746, Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. Its notable alumni include two US Presidents, numerous Supreme Court Justices, Nobel Prize winners, and high-ranking officials in various fields.

On the other hand, Johns Hopkins University, founded in 1876, is a private research university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is known for its strong emphasis on research, particularly in the fields of science and medicine. Its alumni include 36 Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and renowned medical doctors.

Both Princeton and Johns Hopkins have a rich history of academic excellence and innovation. Princeton was originally founded as the College of New Jersey and was renamed Princeton University in 1896. It has a strong liberal arts program and is known for its undergraduate program in engineering.

Johns Hopkins, on the other hand, was founded by philanthropist Johns Hopkins with the goal of creating a research university that would advance knowledge and improve society. Today, it is a world-renowned institution with top-ranked programs in medicine, public health, and international studies.

Princeton vs. Johns Hopkins: Admissions Process

Princeton and Johns Hopkins have different admission requirements. Princeton is need-blind and claims to meet full demonstrated need for all admitted students. The university also practices a holistic approach to admissions, which means that it considers applicants based on their academic achievements, extracurricular activities, leadership potential, and personal qualities.

Students answering a tests on a table.

Meanwhile, Johns Hopkins also claims to meet full demonstrated need, but it is not need-blind. Hopkins focuses more on academic achievements, test scores, and research experience. Its admissions process is also more competitive than Princeton’s.

Another difference between Princeton and Johns Hopkins is their approach to standardized testing. While both universities require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores, Princeton has adopted a test-optional policy for the 2020-2021 application cycle due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In contrast, Johns Hopkins still requires standardized test scores, but it allows applicants to submit self-reported scores instead of official scores.

Furthermore, Princeton and Johns Hopkins have different acceptance rates and yield rates. According to the latest data, Princeton’s acceptance rate for the class of 2024 was 5.55%, while Johns Hopkins’ acceptance rate was 9.2%. However, Johns Hopkins’ yield rate, which measures the percentage of admitted students who choose to enroll, was higher than Princeton’s.

This suggests that while Princeton is more selective in its admissions process, Johns Hopkins is more successful in convincing admitted students to attend.

Academics: Curriculum Comparison Between Princeton and Johns Hopkins

Both Princeton and Johns Hopkins offer a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. Princeton is known for its strong liberal arts curriculum, which requires students to explore different academic disciplines before declaring a major. In contrast, Johns Hopkins has a more specialized approach to education, with students declaring their majors early on and focusing on their fields of interest.

Both universities offer strong academic resources, including research facilities, libraries, and tutoring services.

However, there are some notable differences in the academic programs offered by these two universities. Princeton has a strong emphasis on undergraduate teaching, with small class sizes and a focus on discussion-based learning. On the other hand, Johns Hopkins is known for its research-intensive programs, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

This focus on research is reflected in the university’s extensive funding for research projects and its partnerships with leading research institutions around the world.

Faculty: Quality of Teaching Staff in Princeton vs. Johns Hopkins

Both universities have a reputation for having world-class faculty members. Princeton boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 5:1, meaning that students receive personalized attention from their professors. Hopkins also has a low student-to-faculty ratio, currently at 7:1. Both universities have faculty members who are experts in their fields and are committed to providing an excellent education to their students.

However, there are some differences in the teaching styles and approaches of the faculty members at these two universities. Princeton’s faculty members are known for their emphasis on theoretical and abstract concepts, while Hopkins’ faculty members tend to focus more on practical applications of knowledge.

This means that students at Princeton may have a more theoretical understanding of their subject matter, while students at Hopkins may have more hands-on experience.

Additionally, both universities have a diverse faculty, with members from different backgrounds and cultures. However, Princeton has been criticized for its lack of diversity in recent years, with some students and faculty members calling for more representation of underrepresented groups.

a professor mentoring her students

Hopkins, on the other hand, has made efforts to increase diversity among its faculty, with a focus on recruiting and retaining faculty members from diverse backgrounds.

Princeton vs. Johns Hopkins: Research Opportunities

As research-intensive universities, both Princeton and Johns Hopkins offer plenty of research opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students. Princeton is home to numerous research centers and institutes in various fields, including the Princeton Environmental Institute and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute.

Meanwhile, Johns Hopkins is known for its strong research in science and medicine, particularly in the areas of infectious diseases, cancer research, and public health

Additionally, both universities have partnerships with various research institutions and organizations, providing students with even more opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research.

Princeton has partnerships with institutions such as the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Institute for Advanced Study, while Johns Hopkins has partnerships with organizations such as the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Campus Life: Social Scene, Clubs, Sports, and Extracurriculars at Princeton vs. Johns Hopkins

Both universities have active campus life and offer plenty of extracurricular activities for students to get involved in. Princeton has a vibrant social scene with numerous clubs and organizations, including a year-round outdoor activities program and a student-run theater group.

Hopkins also has a vibrant social scene and offers a variety of clubs and organizations, including its famous a cappella groups and student-run newspapers. Both universities have a Division I athletics program, with Princeton having a strong tradition in football and Hopkins excelling in lacrosse.

However, there are some differences in the types of extracurricular activities offered at each university. Princeton has a strong focus on community service and offers many opportunities for students to get involved in volunteer work both on and off campus.

On the other hand, Hopkins has a strong emphasis on research and offers many opportunities for students to work with faculty members on research projects in various fields. Additionally, Hopkins has a renowned pre-med program and offers many opportunities for students to gain experience in the medical field through internships and research.

Princeton vs. Johns Hopkins: Campus Facilities

Both universities have excellent campus facilities, including libraries, laboratories, and state-of-the-art research facilities. Princeton is known for its beautiful Gothic-style architecture and spacious campus. It also has a dedicated art museum, a performing arts center, and numerous sports facilities, including the Jadwin Gymnasium and the 50-meter DeNunzio Pool.

Johns Hopkins has modern research facilities and high-tech equipment, including a state-of-the-art medical center and a cutting-edge Applied Physics Lab. The campus is also aesthetically pleasing, with a mix of historic and modern buildings.

View of Johns Hopkins University

Princeton University’s campus is not only beautiful, but it is also environmentally friendly. The university has implemented sustainable practices, such as using geothermal energy to heat and cool buildings, and using rainwater for irrigation. Additionally, the campus has several green spaces, including a 27-acre arboretum and a community garden.

Johns Hopkins University has a strong focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. The university has several resources to support students and faculty in starting their own businesses, including a technology transfer office and an innovation hub. The campus also has a makerspace, where students can access tools and equipment to create prototypes and develop their ideas.

Student Experience: Comparing the Quality of Life at Princeton and Johns Hopkins

Both universities offer a high-quality student experience, with supportive faculty members, excellent academic resources, and vibrant campus life. Princeton is known for its close-knit community and peaceful campus environment, while Johns Hopkins offers a more urban experience with easy access to Baltimore’s cultural attractions and vibrant nightlife.

However, there are some notable differences in the student experience at these two universities. Princeton has a strong emphasis on undergraduate education, with small class sizes and a focus on personalized attention from faculty members. In contrast, Johns Hopkins is a research powerhouse, with a large number of graduate students and a strong emphasis on cutting-edge research in a variety of fields.

Cost of Attendance: A Detailed Comparison of Tuition, Fees, Scholarships, and Financial Aid

The cost of attendance at Princeton and Johns Hopkins varies depending on various factors such as residential status, program of study, and scholarships. Both universities are committed to making education affordable and offer need-based aid to their students.

Princeton’s undergraduate tuition for the 2021-2022 academic year is $53,890, while Johns Hopkins’ undergraduate tuition is $55,350. However, Princeton has a no-loan policy for undergraduate financial aid, which means that its students do not have to take out loans to pay for their education.

In addition to need-based aid, both universities also offer merit-based scholarships to their students. Princeton offers a range of scholarships, including the prestigious Robertson Scholarship, which covers full tuition, room, and board for four years.

Johns Hopkins offers merit-based scholarships to a select number of students, including the Hodson Trust Scholarship, which covers full tuition and room and board for four years. These scholarships can significantly reduce the cost of attendance for students who qualify.

Alumni Network: Which University Offers Better Career Opportunities?

Both universities have distinguished alumni networks and offer excellent career opportunities to their graduates. Princeton alumni are known for their success in various fields, including politics, business, and the arts. They also have access to a robust career services program, which includes job search resources, networking opportunities, and alumni mentoring.

Cheerful old friends having fun by taking selfie and drinking draft beer in pub

Johns Hopkins graduates, on the other hand, have a strong presence in the medical field, with many of them working in prestigious hospitals and medical research organizations. The university also offers career services and mentoring programs to help its alumni achieve their career goals.

However, there are some differences between the two universities’ alumni networks. Princeton’s alumni network is more extensive and has a larger number of influential individuals in various industries. This can be beneficial for graduates who are looking to make connections and advance their careers in a wide range of fields.

On the other hand, Johns Hopkins’ alumni network is more focused on the medical field, which can be advantageous for graduates who are interested in pursuing careers in healthcare.

It’s also worth noting that both universities have strong internship programs that provide students with valuable work experience and networking opportunities. Princeton’s internship program is particularly well-regarded, with many students securing internships at top companies and organizations.

Johns Hopkins’ internship program is also highly competitive, with many students landing internships at leading medical institutions and research organizations.

Location Matters: Pros and Cons of Studying in New Jersey vs. Maryland

Deciding where to study can depend on factors such as location, climate, and cultural attractions. Princeton is located in a quiet, upscale neighborhood in New Jersey, with easy access to New York City and Philadelphia. The campus is peaceful and provides a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Meanwhile, Johns Hopkins is located in Baltimore, a vibrant city with a rich cultural history and plenty of opportunities for entertainment, dining, and sightseeing. However, Baltimore has a higher crime rate than Princeton.

Another factor to consider when deciding between studying in New Jersey or Maryland is the climate. New Jersey experiences all four seasons, with hot summers and cold winters. Maryland, on the other hand, has a milder climate with less extreme temperatures. This may be a deciding factor for students who prefer a certain type of weather.

Additionally, New Jersey is known for its beaches and boardwalks, while Maryland is home to the Chesapeake Bay and numerous state parks, providing outdoor recreational opportunities for students.

Graduate Programs: How do the Graduate Programs of Princeton and Johns Hopkins Compare?

Both universities have excellent graduate programs that are highly respected in their fields. Princeton offers graduate programs in fields such as engineering, social sciences, and the humanities. Its graduate students have access to state-of-the-art research facilities and world-class faculty members.

Johns Hopkins is renowned for its graduate programs in medicine, public health, and engineering. Its graduate students have the opportunity to work alongside leading researchers and to conduct groundbreaking research.

However, there are some notable differences between the graduate programs of Princeton and Johns Hopkins. Princeton’s graduate programs tend to be more theoretical and research-focused, while Johns Hopkins places a greater emphasis on practical, hands-on experience.

a group of students studying together

Additionally, Princeton’s graduate programs are generally smaller in size, allowing for more individualized attention and mentorship from faculty members. On the other hand, Johns Hopkins has a larger and more diverse student body, providing opportunities for collaboration and networking with peers from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines.

Rankings and Reputation: Who Comes Out on Top?

Both universities have an excellent reputation and are highly ranked by various publications. Princeton is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the world, with US News & World Report ranking it as the #1 national university in 2021. Johns Hopkins is also highly ranked, with US News & World Report ranking it as the #9 university in the nation.

However, rankings should not be the only factor to consider when choosing a university.

Another important factor to consider when choosing a university is the location. Princeton is located in a small town in New Jersey, which offers a tight-knit community and a quieter lifestyle. On the other hand, Johns Hopkins is located in the heart of Baltimore, Maryland, which offers a bustling city atmosphere with plenty of opportunities for internships and networking.

Additionally, both universities have unique academic programs and research opportunities. Princeton is known for its strong programs in the humanities and social sciences, while Johns Hopkins is renowned for its programs in the natural sciences and engineering. Students should consider their academic interests and career goals when choosing between these two universities.

Prospective Students’ Guide to Choosing Between Princeton and Johns Hopkins

Ultimately, the choice between Princeton and Johns Hopkins depends on individual needs and preferences. Prospective students should consider factors such as academic interests, location, campus culture, and financial aid opportunities when making their decision.

Both universities offer a high-quality education and excellent career prospects, so it is up to the individual to decide which university would be the best fit for them.

One factor that prospective students may want to consider is the size of the student body. Princeton has a smaller student body, with around 5,400 undergraduate students, while Johns Hopkins has a larger student body, with around 6,000 undergraduate students. This may impact the sense of community and the opportunities for networking and making connections on campus.

Another factor to consider is the availability of research opportunities. Both universities are known for their research programs, but Johns Hopkins is particularly renowned for its medical research. Prospective students interested in pursuing research may want to consider the specific opportunities available in their field of study at each university.

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