We are America’s first research university, founded on the principle that by pursuing big ideas and sharing what we learn, we can make the world a better place. For more than 140 years, our faculty and students have worked side by side in pursuit of discoveries that improve lives.
What kinds of discoveries? We made water purification possible, launched the field of genetic engineering, and authenticated the Dead Sea Scrolls. We invented saccharine, CPR, and the supersonic ramjet engine. Our efforts have resulted in child safety restraint laws; the creation of Dramamine, Mercurochrome, and rubber surgical gloves; and the development of a revolutionary surgical procedure to correct heart defects in infants.
The research opportunities here are just endless. That’s really what I was looking for, a place where it’s very easy to do research.
Researchers at our nine academic divisions and at the university’s Applied Physics Laboratory have made us the nation’s leader in federal research and development funding each year since 1979. Those same researchers mentor our inquisitive students—about two-thirds of our undergrads engage in some form of research during their time here.
Research isn’t just something we do—it’s who we are. Every day, our faculty and students work side by side in a tireless pursuit of discovery, continuing our founding mission to bring knowledge to the world.
Johns Hopkins University opened in 1876 with the inauguration of our first president, Daniel Coit Gilman. He guided the opening of the university and other institutions, including the university press, the hospital, and the schools of nursing and medicine. The original academic building on the Homewood campus, Gilman Hall, is named in his honor.
“Our simple aim is to make scholars, strong, bright, useful, and true,” Gilman said in his inaugural address.
In the speech, he defined the model of the American research university, now emulated around the globe. The mission he described then remains the university’s mission today:
To educate its students and cultivate their capacity for lifelong learning, to foster independent and original research, and to bring the benefits of discovery to the world.
Or, summed up in a simple but powerful restatement of Gilman’s own words: “Knowledge for the world.”