This is the fourth in a series of articles highlighting Johns Hopkins University's goals articulated in the Ten by Twenty vision plan, 10 goals to be reached by the year 2020.
Undergraduate students infuse energy into the entire university, using their time at Johns Hopkins not only to learn but to experiment, to challenge, and to push past established boundaries in a wide range of endeavors. The university's job is to help these enterprising minds build stronger and deeper connections with each other, with their faculty, with the neighborhoods around JHU's campuses, and with the rest of the university.
Johns Hopkins' commitment to the undergraduate experience both in and out of the classroom was one of the key goals established by the Ten by Twenty, which has ushered in a myriad of new investments in the undergraduate program. Since the first progress report, Hopkins has introduced more robust mental health resources, simplified student services, made class sizes smaller, and worked to create more opportunities for frank dialogue on campus. JHU continues to expand its wide range of initiatives that are designed specifically to build the undergraduate experience and connect students to one another, on campus and off.
Academically, undergraduates now have more opportunities to engage with their professors, thanks to smaller classes—nearly three-quarters of undergraduate classes have fewer than 20 students—and more engagement with world-class interdisciplinary scholars. This engagement spills out into research labs, too: Nearly two-thirds of Hopkins undergraduates now partner with faculty to conduct hands-on research in a variety of disciplines, often with funding support.
These actions—all of which align with Goal No. 4 of the Ten by Twenty, to build Johns Hopkins' undergraduate experience so it stands among the top 10 in the nation—have been recognized by an array of external metrics. In U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings of the nation's best colleges and universities, Johns Hopkins has risen from No. 12 in 2013 to No. 10 in the 2017 rankings, released in September 2016. The university has also been recognized as a top U.S. undergraduate destination in global university rankings, and has been highlighted for its focus on research and overall academic excellence. This progress is strong, but Johns Hopkins aims higher still and will continue to strengthen undergraduate academics and student life.