Students carry flags representing Peabody, Nursing, and Arts and Sciences schools
Our Story

A tradition of expedition

We authenticated one of the most important ancient texts ever to exist. We made a discovery that birthed the entirely new field of genetic engineering. And we sailed the black seas of space so far that it led to a re-examination of the theory of galactic evolution. What seem like monumental projects become everyday triumphs at Hopkins.

We were founded in 1876 as the nation’s first research university. Since our beginning, we’ve made extraordinary discoveries, advanced innovative solutions, and created a place where all students can see their big ideas brought to life. Supported by peers and faculty who are among the most passionate, dedicated, and talented people in the world, our students are motivated each day by this culture of fearless enthusiasm and pursuit of knowledge.

Academic culture at Hopkins

Intellectual Freedom

Our students build their own academic paths and, with the help of academic advising resources, combine programs of study in ways that are meaningful to them and their goals. Hopkins students are encouraged to explore their interests, going beyond what they want to learn to think about how they learn and make connections between topics.

Meaningful Investigation

Abundant facilities and support dedicated to undergraduate research are hallmarks of a Hopkins education. Our students are active participants in enterprises of their own design, making discoveries that shape the way they, and we, see the world.

Embracing the Liberal Arts 

Hopkins students across all majors learn how to think critically, analyze problems from different angles, and view the world from a wider lens. This sets them up for a lifetime of learning in any subject they pursue, and encourages them to make new connections across disciplines.

Engaged Campus

As leaders, creators, performers, or in ways we haven’t yet imagined, Hopkins students are engaged members of campus. Hopkins becomes more than a university; it’s a place they call home for four years.

Collaboration and Innovation

Collaboration—with peers, mentors, and professors—is at the heart of innovation, and our campus is designed to foster work across academic boundaries. From physical spaces to meetings of the minds, our students thrive in an interdisciplinary culture.

Support and Guidance

Advisors, faculty mentors, and peer groups create a supportive network to help students explore and design the college experience that’s right for them.

Sunlit study room in the library featuring the Cabinet of Curiosities
About Hopkins

America's first research university

“Our simple aim is to make scholars, strong, bright, useful, and true.”—Daniel Coit Gilman, first President of Hopkins.

Our university’s namesake was an American entrepreneur and philanthropist. His gift of $7 million helped bring his vision of a research-driven university—modeled after Germany’s Heidelberg University—into practice for the first time in the United States. Previously adopted accounts portray Johns Hopkins as an early abolitionist, however the university is amidst an investigation of the life and legacy Johns Hopkins. Learn more.

Still today, Hopkins continues to lead the nation in research funding, and the academic culture stays true to its basis in the liberal arts.

Read the entire inaugural address
Did you know?

What's up with the "s" at the end of Johns? Johns is the surname of our founder’s great-grandmother.

Portrait of Hopkins student Rahul
Rahul N.
Class of 2019
“I've never met a group of students more interested in and enthusiastic about the work that they do. At Hopkins, I have had the pleasure of meeting seniors who are developing their own startup companies, juniors who are accepting job offers at Fortune 500 companies, sophomores who are already presidents of clubs, and freshmen who are already involved in research with their professors."
Follow Rahul on Hopkins Insider

In the news

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