Johns Hopkins: We’ll take you down
A school in a medium-sized metropolis, well known for its medical school but strong in other areas as well in the top 20 in the US News rankings, but struggling to get into the top 10. Obviously, that applies to Wash. U. But you, the perceptive reader, know I’m getting at something else also. Those same facts are also true for Johns Hopkins. So why aren’t we rivals with them?
The similarities between Wash. U. and Johns Hopkins are almost eerie. The respective locations of the schools, St. Louis and Baltimore, have a lot in common. According to Office of Management and Budget, St. Louis is the 18th largest metropolitan area in the country, with over 2.7 million people. Right behind St. Louis is Baltimore, with over 2.6 million people in the Baltimore-Towson metropolitan area. Take that, Hopkins. St. Louis and Baltimore have also been the sites of famous race riots, with St. Louis’ taking place in 1917 and Baltimore in 1968. That’s not something to be proud of, but with our Baltimorean brethren, we can commiserate about our cities’ speckled histories.
Wash. U. and Johns Hopkins, as universities, are also known for the same thing: elite medical schools. In their 2007 rankings, the US News placed Johns Hopkins’ medical school at #2, while we’re stuck at #4 (cue fist shaking). Both schools have also employed Nobel laureates in economics as professors. While we currently have Douglass North, who won the prize in 1993, Hopkins had Robert Fogel as a professor there from 1958-1959, who won the prize in..1993. We may have the current edge since our laureate still teaches here, but the 1990 winner, Merton Miller, received his Ph.D. in economics from Hopkins in 1952 and Simon Kuznets, who won in 1971, also taught at Hopkins.
Furthermore, both schools have impressive political science departments that deserve recognition alongside the medical schools. Francis Fukuyama, the famous political scientist, is currently on the faculty at Johns Hopkins, but our political science department was ranked #1 by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Edge: yeah, I think we’ve got that one.
Finally, the all-important undergrad rankings by US News. Both Wash. U. and Johns Hopkins are in that “not-quite Ivy but hey, we’re elite too” range. Wash. U. was most recently ranked #12, but Johns Hopkins, those washed-up elites, are at #16. They may not be as bad as Emory, but they can’t touch us either. Well, except that whole med school ranking. But that doesn’t count.
Wash. U. may just be the Midwestern Johns Hopkins. Or Johns Hopkins has now become the East coast Wash. U. Either way, if we want an archnemesis, all we have to do is look east and see the school that wishes they were us. They are a natural rival for us. We might not be Harvard, but at least we’re not Johns Hopkins. Your move, Blue Jays.
Daniel is a junior in Arts & Sciences and senior Forum editor. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]
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