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Johns Hopkins University

© The Johns Hopkins University

Motto: Veritas vos liberabit – "The truth shall make you free"
Founded 1876
School type Private
President Dr. William R. Brody
Location Baltimore, Maryland
Enrollment 4,081 Undergraduate; 1,375 Graduate
Campus surroundings Urban
Campus size 140 acres (570,000 m&sup2)
Sports team Blue Jays
Colors Columbia blue & Black (athletic) / Sable & Gold (academic)

image:gilman.bmp Gilman Hall

The Johns Hopkins University is a prestigious private institution of higher learning located in Baltimore, Maryland. Hopkins holds many "firsts" in American education: it was the first university in the United States to put an emphasis on research, founded on the German university model. As such, it was the first American university to teach through seminars, instead of just lectures. The University was the first in America to offer an undergraduate major (as opposed to a purely liberal arts curriculum) and the first American university to grant doctoral degrees. Its model was later used to set the grounds of later universities, particularly The University of Chicago.


General Information

The University is named for Johns Hopkins, who left US$7,000,000 in his 1867 will for the foundation of the University and Johns Hopkins Hospital, the equivalent of approximately US$86,542,022 in the year 2003. The University opened February 22, 1876, with the stated goal of "The encouragement of research ... and the advancement of individual scholars, who by their excellence will advance the sciences they pursue, and the society where they dwell". The University's first president was visionary educator Daniel Coit Gilman, and its motto in Latin is Veritas vos liberabit – "The truth shall make you free". The undergraduate student population at Hopkins was all male until 1970, though many graduate programs were integrated earlier.

The University was designed from the start to marry scholarship and research, and graduate education has always been of key importance. All students at Johns Hopkins are encouraged to pursue original research at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and nearly 80% of Johns Hopkins undergradates produce research by the time of graduation. Johns Hopkins receives more federal research grants than any other university in the United States, which is vital considering its smaller endownment size relative to its peer institutions. The University is affiliated with 30 Nobel laureates. It boasts a wide spectrum in terms of its academic strength covering various fields from international relations and art to humanities and social and natural sciences.

Undergraduate Education

Johns Hopkins offers undergraduate programs based at the Homewood Campus in Baltimore: The Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts & Sciences and the G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering, which contribute to Johns Hopkins' reputation of excellence. Among the many strong departments at Johns Hopkins are art history, astronomy, biology, biomedical engineering, biophysics, creative writing (Writing Seminars), economics, English, film and media studies, German, history, international studies, Near Eastern studies, political science, and Romance languages. The Biomedical Engineering Department is widely recognized as one of the best in the nation. The French Department is also recognized as a "center of excellence" in the study of French culture and language by the government of France, one of only four in the United States.

Graduate Education

In addition to graduate education at the schools of Arts & Sciences and Engineering, Johns Hopkins also has several respected graduate professional schools. The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has an exceptional reputation, and the Bloomberg School of Public Health is renowned for contributions worldwide to preventive medicine and the health of large populations. The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (simply referred to as "SAIS"), based in Washington, D.C., is one of the country's leading graduate schools devoted to the study of international relations and is recognized as a world leader in international affairs, economics, diplomacy, and policy research and education. SAIS has international campuses in Bologna, Italy and Nanjing, China. The celebrated Peabody Conservatory of Music, located in Baltimore, became a division of the University in 1977. The Conservatory retains its own student body and grants its own degrees in musicology, though both Hopkins and Peabody students may take courses at both institutions.

The University offers education abroad through centers in Germany, Singapore, and Italy. The University operates the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, which specializes in research for the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA and other Government agencies. The Space Telescope Science Institute is located on the Hopkins campus and controls, analyzes, and collects data from the Hubble Space Telescope.


The park-like main campus of Johns Hopkins, Homewood, is set on 140 acres (570,000 m&sup2) in the northern part of Baltimore. Much of the beautiful architecture dates from the nineteenth century, and is designed in the Georgian style. Most newer buildings resemble the Georgian style, being built of red brick with white marble trim, but lack the details. The campus was originally the estate of the Carroll family, whose residence was used for administrative offices but now is preserved as a museum. In addition, the renowned Baltimore Museum of Art is situated just next to the University's campus, and admission is free to students.


Entry to the university is highly competitive, with about 1,000 places annually for over 10,000 applicants. Undergraduate students matriculate from all 50 states and over 40 countries. Within six years of graduation 85% of Hopkins students earn graduate degrees, the highest percentage in the nation.

Student Publications

Hopkins has three entirely student-run publications: The Johns Hopkins News-Letter, The Black & Blue Jay, and Zeniada. The News-Letter is the oldest continuously-published college newspaper in the nation, founded in 1896, and is published weekly. The Black & Blue Jay is among the nation's oldest humor magazines, founded in 1921, and is the inspiration for the University's mascot. Zeniada is the university literary magazine.

Library System

The Milton S. Eisenhower Library (called "MSE" by students), located on the Homewood Campus, houses over 2.6 million volumes and 21,000 journal subscriptions. The Eisenhower Library is a member of the University's Sheridan Libraries encompassing collections at the Albert D. Hutzler Reading Room in Gilman Hall, the John Work Garrett Library at Evergreen House, and the George Peabody Library at Mount Vernon Place. Together these collections provide the major research library resources for the University, serving Johns Hopkins academic programs worldwide.

Since tradition (and a little campus lore) dictates that no structure on campus can be taller than Gilman Hall, only two of the six stories of the library are above ground; the rest are beneath. (In truth, there is no rule regarding building height; the library's design was chosen for architectural and aesthetic reasons when it was finally built in the 1960's. Prior "master plans" for campus design over the previous decades had included massive imposing buildings to house the library collections.)


The school's sports teams are named the Blue Jays. Hopkins has separate sets of colors: columbia blue and black for athletic uniforms, and sable and gold for academic robes, and it is the only university in the United States to celebrate Homecoming in the spring. Hopkins participates in the NCAA's Division III and the Centennial Conference. The school's most prominent sports team is its Division I lacrosse team, which has won 42 national titles. Hopkins' collegiate sports rivals are Princeton University and intrastate rivals the University of Maryland and the United States Naval Academy. The National Lacrosse Hall of Fame is adjacent to the University.

Presidents of Johns Hopkins

  • Daniel Coit Gilman, May 1875 - August 1901
  • Ira Remsen, September 1901 - January 1913
  • Frank Goodnow , October 1914 - June 1929
  • Joseph Sweetman Ames , July 1929 - June 1935
  • Isaiah Bowman , July 1935 - December 1948
  • Detlev Bronk, January 1949 - August 1953
  • Lowell Reed , September 1953 - June 1956
  • Milton S. Eisenhower, July 1956 - June 1967 & March 1971 - January 1972
  • Lincoln Gordon , July 1967 - March 1971
  • Steven Muller , February 1972 - June 1990
  • William C. Richardson , July 1990 - July 1995
  • Daniel Nathans, June 1995 - August 1996
  • William R. Brody , August 1996 - present

Some well-known alumni

Nobel laureates

Government and public service

Academia, science, and technology

Literature, arts, and media



Some well-known faculty

External links

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45