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Johns Hopkins University

Founded in 1876, Johns Hopkins University was the first university in the Western Hemisphere to be based on the European research institution, with a mission both to teach and to advance human knowledge through discovery. It was also the first American university to teach through seminars, and the first in the United States to offer an undergraduate major (as opposed to a purely liberal arts curriculum). Today, Johns Hopkins is first among all U.S. universities in receipt of federal research and development funds. The university was named for Baltimore merchant Johns Hopkins, whose $7 million bequest was used to finance its establishment.

official emblem of Johns Hopkins University


Homewood, the main campus of Johns Hopkins, is located in northern Baltimore, Maryland. Covering 140 acres, it was once the estate of Charles Carroll. The Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Whiting School of Engineering, School of Education, and Carey Business School are all located on the Homewood Campus.

part of the Homewood Campus

The schools of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing share a campus in eastern Baltimore with the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The Peabody Institute, a university-operated research institution, is located in downtown Baltimore.

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies is located in the Dupont Circle area of Washington, D.C.

The Applied Physics Laboratory, a division of the university that is co-equal with the schools but which has a non-academic, research-based mission, is located between Baltimore and Washington.

Johns Hopkins University also has a campus near Rockville in Montgomery County, Maryland, as well as academic facilities in Nanjing, China, and Bologna, Italy.


In 1873, Baltimore merchant Johns Hopkins bequeathed $7 million -- mostly in Baltimore & Ohio Railroad stock -- for the purpose of establishing a hospital and institutions of higher learning. The single largest act of private philanthropy in U.S. history to that time, the money was subsequently used to establish the Johns Hopkins Colored Children Orphan Asylum (1875), the Johns Hopkins University (1876), the Johns Hopkins Press (1878), the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (1889), and the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine (1893).

Johns Hopkins

Johns Hopkins opened as America's first research university on February 22, 1876, with Daniel Coit Gilman as its first president, and the first class graduated in June of 1879.

Notable Graduates
name (year of degree) -- achievement

William Foxwell Albright (1916) -- authenticator of Dead Sea Scrolls
Virginia Apgar (1959) -- developed Apgar score to assess health of newborns
Dominic Argento (1950-1954) -- Pulitzer Prize-winning composer
John Astin (1952) -- actor
Russell Baker (1947) -- Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist
Wolf Blitzer (1972) -- journalist, CNN anchor
Michael Bloomberg (1964) -- Mayor of New York City
Leroy Burney (1932) -- U.S. Surgeon General, 1956-1961, the first federal official to publicly identify cigarette smoke as a cause of lung cancer
Rachel Carson (1932) -- biologist, ecologist, author
Denton A. Cooley (1944) -- performed first successful heart transplant in the U.S. and first implantation of total artificial heart in a human
Wes Craven (1964) -- horror film director (Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, etc.)
John Dewey (1884) -- philosopher, social critic and educator
D.A. Henderson (1960) -- led WHO effort that eradicated smallpox
Kweisi Mfume (1984) -- former president of NAACP
Florence Rena Sabin (1900) -- medical researcher
Woodrow Wilson (1886) -- 28th President of the United States

Johns Hopkins's official website is

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The Robinson Library >> Education >> Individual Institutions: United States

This page was last updated on 02/06/2019.