Learn About Leadership

Students walking through a sunny farm

Leadership, Engagement and Experiential Development and our partners across campus provide a variety of ways for students to come together, build community, and learn about leadership. HopkinsLEAD and the Leadership Seminars are designed to help students become effective and ethical leaders for tomorrow.


HopkinsLEAD is for incoming students who want to build a community of authentic leaders while at college. Held the week before Orientation, students will learn how to communicate their own values in order to inspire others and create positive social change at Johns Hopkins and in Baltimore City. HopkinsLEAD is held in collaboration with Orientation and First-Year Experience and is one of eight opportunities to begin building community before classes event start.

Last year, HopkinsLEAD students:

  • Built a tight-knit community while staying at the Pearlstone Retreat and Outdoor Education Center.
  • Learned about leadership and service from leaders in local sustainability, art education, and urban redevelopment movement leaders through site visits throughout Baltimore City.
  • Practiced important leadership skills, such as self-reflection and public speaking, with support from returning student mentors.
  • Developed a leadership mission and involvement plan to guide them through their first-year at Hopkins.

Learn more about HopkinsLEAD.

HopkinsLEAD Frequently Asked Questions

Who should apply for HopkinsLEAD?

HopkinsLEAD is designed to jumpstart your student leadership experience. Whether you were the student council president or not very involved in high school, you are encouraged to apply and learn new leadership skills. Past participants have been interested in student government and political organizing, planning and managing large-scale campus events, and helping to run social and identity-based organizations.

What does it cost to participate in HopkinsLEAD?

HopkinsLEAD costs $550 dollars if participants do not ask to be considered for a scholarship. This cost goes toward our housing, food, transportation, and paying our student interns. The cost of our program is slightly higher than other weeklong programs because of the time we spend at the Pearlstone Retreat and Outdoor Education Center and the higher number of site visits we do in the second half of the program.

Is financial aid available for HopkinsLEAD participants?

Yes! There is generous financial aid available. If you apply for financial aid, we will do our best to meet demonstrated need up to the full cost of the program.

Is admission to HopkinsLEAD competitive?

Admission is not necessarily competitive, but we do have a limited number of spots. We will do our best to place all applicants into their pre-orientation program of choice, but later applicants may be asked to consider a different program. If you have your heart set on HopkinsLEAD, make sure to apply early!

When will I find out if I have been accepted to HopkinsLEAD and what happens next?

Students who apply before the priority deadline of June 1st will be notified within the first week of June of their application status. If you apply after June 1st, we will let you know on a rolling basis until the application deadline of July 1st.

After you are placed into a pre-orientation program, that program’s staff will be in regular contact with you throughout the summer as to what to pack, how to prepare, and when you will come to campus.

Leadership Seminars

First- and second-year students interested in developing leadership skills in a classroom setting should consider enrolling in either the Leadership Challenge Freshman Seminar or the Sophomore Exploring Leadership Seminar offered through the Center for Leadership Education. These courses are typically eight-week, one-credit hour courses taught by Student Life staff.