Hopkins students are generally pleased with academics. If you ask JHU students what the deciding factor was for choosing Hopkins, the school’s strong academic reputation tops the list. The medical school is regarded as the best in the world, and other majors—such as engineering, economics, and international relations—are nationally recognized. Some students are cutthroat, but for the most part, JHU students are willing to lend a helping hand. Humanities/social science students have more control over their schedules, and their classes focus less on memorization and more on critical thinking. Engineering/science students complain that their classes are tougher, but this is definitely up for debate. The only universal complaint Hopkins students have about academics is that some teachers are unapproachable and are only interested in their personal research. Courses with teaching assistants are great because TAs are often more accessible than professors. The general belief is that teaching assistants have more interest in helping students learn than professors.
Academics at Hopkins would be stronger if there were greater camaraderie and individual attention in lower-level lecture courses. Students who need or want a lot of individual attention have to make the effort to meet the professor or teaching assistant outside of class. This is less true in small, upper-level seminar courses. Students also complain about the lack of grade inflation at Hopkins, which puts them at a disadvantage when compared with students who attend other top universities. This disadvantage is overpowered by the fact that Hopkins students have access to some of the best professors and researchers in the world. Hopkins provides ample opportunities for students to design independent studies and research. Overall, Hopkins is the perfect fit for hardworking individuals who have a thirst for knowledge.