Much of the material contained in this section gives details pertaining to School-wide (Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and/or Whiting School of Engineering) or University-wide policies. However, there are graduate student issues and policies that are department specific. In those instances, students are referred directly to their department administrator or department handbook for further information.
A Note about PhD Education:
Ph.D. education is fundamental to the University’s teaching and research mission. For an intellectual community of scholars to flourish, it is important to acknowledge the principles that underlie the compact between Ph.D. students, the faculty, and other members of the University community.
It is in this spirit that the Doctor of Philosophy Board, in collaboration with faculty and students from across the University, has articulated a statement of rights and responsibilities for doctoral students at Johns Hopkins. The principles described in this document are to be realized in policies established by the various Schools of the University; the Schools will also develop mechanisms to monitor and enforce such policies. Statement of the Rights and Responsibilities of PhD Students
Student Enrollment Statuses
Graduate students in the full-time ASEN degree programs based at Homewood are initially enrolled as full-time and are given a Resident status. Other registration statuses include: Graduate Study Abroad, Nonresident, Leave of Absence, Part-time and Visiting. Prior to a student changing his or her registration status, approval from the student’s degree program and appropriate office(s) must first be secured.
Credit Hours for WSE Graduate Courses
There is a fulltime credit enrollment requirement for WSE graduate students enrolled in Homewood-based fulltime programs.
• All WSE Graduate Students must be enrolled in at least 9 credits to maintain fulltime status (in fall/spring semesters).
• Typically, fulltime WSE PhD students will be enrolled in a combination of WSE classes and/or research for a total of at least 20 WSE credits per semester (fall/spring).
• Typically, fulltime WSE Masters students will be enrolled in a combination of classes and/or research for a total of at least 9-10 credits a semester (fall/spring).
Visit http://homewoodgrad.jhu.edu/academics/wse-graduate-credit-hours/ for more information and for Frequently Asked Questions.
Degree-Seeking Graduate Students, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
Graduate students who are full-time students are charged full tuition. The office of the deans must approve any exceptions.
Degree-Seeking Graduate Students, Whiting School of Engineering
Most graduate students enrolled in research-oriented degree programs (M.A., M.S., M.S.E., Ph.D. etc.) in Engineering are full-time students. Fulltime is defined as being enrolled in at least 9 credits in a semester. However, part-time study consistent with residency requirements is common in many engineering departments. Students should consult with individual departments to determine the possibilities for part-time study.
Visiting (Not Degree-Seeking) Students
In some cases, graduate students from other institutions may participate in a visitation or residency at the Homewood Campus. These students are designated as “Visiting.” Although not candidates for a Johns Hopkins advanced degree, visiting graduate students (those not candidates for a Johns Hopkins graduate degree) may be enrolled on a full- or part-time basis with the approval of the chair of the department and the dean of their respective school. Visiting graduate students will be limited to two consecutive terms of either full- or part-time study.
There are two subdivisions of non-degree (visiting) graduate students: 1. visiting graduate student (primarily taking courses) and 2. visiting graduate scholar (primarily pursuing research). Both categories must apply through their intended program of study and through the online application: http://grad.jhu.edu/apply/visiting-students/.
All visiting graduate students/visiting graduate scholars (nondegree) must register in every semester that they are here for the visiting student course (AS/EN 990.890 'Graduate Research Practicum'); there is no tuition charge for this course. Failure to register may result in the student's removal from payroll, loss of health insurance, visa compliance issues, and/or lapses in university services/access.
Part-Time Graduate Students (in a fulltime, Homewood-based graduate program)
New Homewood graduate students starting their full-time program in a part-time status are extremely rare, and are only allowed when a chair of a department or director of a degree program makes a qualified request of (in writing) and receives approval from their cognizant Dean's Office of Academic Affairs. Students already matriculating in their degree program who wish to change to a part-time status after completing at least one semester of fulltime study may ask for permission of their program and OIS (when applicable) to change status. Students will generally not be eligible to switch to part-time status if they are working primarily on the Homewood campus or working full-time on research for their degree. Part-time graduate students must still meet their degree residency requirements before they receive an advanced degree (WSE Masters need to have two fulltime, resident semesters, KSAS and WSE PhDs, and KSAS Master's need to have two consecutive fulltime, resident semesters).
Part-time has two major components: 1. a student cannot be part-time without prior approval from OIS (when appropriate) and their departments, and 2. a part-time student cannot take more than 2 classes in a semester, or they will be automatically put back to full-time status (note that for WSE graduate students, part-time is any credit load below 9 credits (not including 9 credits)).
- Part-time tuition charges are by the course in KSAS.
- WSE Graduate students who are part-time in a full-time program are charged a minimum tuition fee up to 3 credits. Any additional credits taken by a WSE Graduate Student who is part-time in a full-time program will be charged by the credit. Student accounts has the most current tuition information on its site.
Health Insurance: Part-time students are eligible to purchase the student health plan, but generally at their own cost.
Payroll: Generally, students who are part-time cannot be on student payroll. There may be exceptions for final semester international students in certain circumstances. Please consult with the Office of Student Employment Services for more information.
International students: Visa-holders (F-1, J-1, etc.) wishing to change their enrollment status to part-time must first meet with OIS to determine eligibility. There are two separate steps to switch an international to part-time status: 1. the student must secure permission from OIS to apply for part-time status (this is a USCIS form, and not an university registration/enrollment form), and then 2. the student needs to make sure their department has contacted the registrar's office on their behalf to make the official switch to part-time status. International students cannot switch to part-time without completing both steps. Something to note: international students cannot be part-time unless they are in their final semester of their degree program.
Combined Bachelor's/Master's Students
The term 'Combined Bachelor's/Master's Student' can be misleading. This status is reserved only for JHU undergraduate students who have been accepted concurrently into a WSE (mostly) or KSAS (on occasion) Homewood-based fulltime graduate program while still completing their undergraduate requirements. For more information, visit the Combined Bachelor’s/Master’s degree homepage.That said, most Combined Bachelor's/Master's undergraduate students have to switch over to graduate status at some point. In order for a student’s status to change from “undergraduate” to “graduate”, a Change of Classification Form for Combined Students must be completed. For students whose status change is due to completion of eight semesters of full-time undergraduate student at JHU (or the equivalent for transfer students), it is the responsibility of the Academic Staff in the student’s chosen graduate program to sign the form and forward it to the Office of the Registrar (Garland Hall). For students whose status change is due to completion of undergraduate degree requirements prior to the eighth semester of full-time undergraduate study at JHU (or the equivalent for transfer students), it is the responsibility of the Academic Staff in the student’s undergraduate program to sign the form first. It then goes to the student’s graduate program before it is received by the Office of the Registrar.
Postdoctoral Fellow Appointments
Postdoctoral fellows are at the university to undertake a research program in cooperation with a member of the faculty. All appointments are arranged through the individual departments. Proof of successful PhD completion and eligibility for employment will be required before any appointment may begin.
Every full-time WSE Master’s student must register as a full-time Resident graduate student for at least two semesters or satisfy an equivalent requirement approved by the appropriate department. (Combined bachelor’s-master’s degree students are exempt, as are those who enter a WSE master’s degree program after two or fewer semesters following completion of a JHU undergraduate degree.)
Every full-time KSAS Master’s student must register for a minimum of two consecutive semesters as a full-time, Resident graduate student.
Every full-time PhD Student (WSE and KSAS) must register for a minimum of two consecutive semesters as a full-time, Resident graduate student.
Graduate Study Abroad (KSAS only)
The status of Graduate Study Abroad is usually limited to those students in the Humanities Center and the departments of Anthropology, and German & Romance Languages and Literatures, who are required as a part of their regular degree program to complete a semester or more of full-time study at a foreign university. While in the case of the History of Art Department study abroad is not a general requirement, many of its graduate students do go abroad to conduct dissertation research. The category of Graduate Study Abroad is considered a full-time status. The use of this category for situations other than those noted above requires the approval of your department chair of the Homewood Graduate Board. A student on Graduate Study Abroad is required to pay 10% of the full-time tuition rate for each semester abroad. The KSAS Dean's Office will pay the remaining 90% tuition balance.
Students are encouraged to contact the Student Insurance Coordinator in the Registrar’s Office prior to leaving campus to find out details regarding your health insurance coverage while abroad. Graduate Study Abroad students should discuss all plans with their department/advisor in advance. Additionally, international students should always consult with OIS before making any travel plans or status changes.
The Graduate Study Abroad Application is available here.
Graduate Study Away (WSE only)
The Graduate Study Away status applies to degree-seeking WSE master’s and doctoral students engaged in graduate education at a different institution (coursework and/or research) with departmental/advisor approval. This status is considered a subcategory of the nonresident status. As such, WSE study away/abroad students will be required to pay 10 percent of the full-time tuition rate for each semester away/abroad. As this is not a full-time resident status, health insurance benefits are not guaranteed. Graduate Study Away students should discuss this with their department/advisor in advance. Additionally, international students should always consult with OIS before making any travel plans or status changes. The Graduate Study Away/Abroad Application is available here.
Nonresident status is a full-time status typically reserved for students who have completed all required course work (and exams (Internal and GBO), as per degree requirements) and are working on their thesis or dissertation. The nonresident student's advisor/department is not obliged to cover the cost of tuition or of the University issued health insurance for Nonresident students, but nonresident students are eligible for the University-sponsored health insurance plan and may pay the cost themselves if there is no available support from the student's department/advisor.
KSAS graduate students may be eligible for Nonresident Status if they:
- Have completed all coursework and requirements for the graduate degree other than the presentation and defense of the master’s essay or doctoral dissertation
- Have reached the end of their departmental support period or have exhausted support from grants and cannot be fully supported by the department.
- Work 19.9 hours per week or fewer during the academic year if employed by Johns Hopkins University in any capacity (intersession or summer employment can be full-time, however). If working, students must be on salary (not stipend) and paid hourly. NOTE: Research or teaching assistants expected to work more than 19.9 hours per week do not qualify for Nonresident status.
WSE full-time program PhD and Master's Students are only eligible to apply for one of the three WSE PhD/Master's Nonresident Statuses if they have no outstanding coursework or exams (internal and preliminary GBOs for example) to complete:
Note that nonresidency is a full-time status intended for students who are primarily not on campus. None of the categories below allow for on-campus employment (which includes, but is not limited to, TA positions, etc.).
- (1) NR WSE PhD/Master's dissertation/thesis/capstone/project completion: Student is very nearly finished—just has some writing up to do and defend—but needs to leave campus to start work. Expectation is one semester, but two may be allowed. Student pays NR tuition, receives no stipend or health insurance support.
- (2) NR WSE PhD/Master's study away: Student (with or without advisor) has opportunity to be actively engaged in PhD work but at a non-JHU facility. Student remains fully supported by PI/department/host facility (NR tuition, stipend, health insurance provided for student).
- (3) NR WSE PhD/Master's internship/co-op: Student voluntarily takes time to pursue other pursuits that may be only tangentially relevant to their degree. The expectation is that they will return to campus in a residential capacity to complete their degree. Student pays NR tuition, receives no stipend or health insurance support. Time in this status is typically one year, but can be renewed for a second year.
Students on Nonresident status are charged 10% of full-time tuition per semester.
Nonresident students are permitted access to campus, faculty advising and JHU services, however, they are not permitted to enroll in any courses, with one exception under certain and specific circumstances, international students who file for Curricular Practical Training F1 (CPT1) through the OIS may register for a course entitled “Research and Teaching Practicum” (KSAS) or “Engineering Research Practicum” (WSE).
The maximum amount of time that a student may retain Nonresident Status is four semesters for KSAS master’s students and ten semesters for KSAS doctoral students, and 1-2 semesters for WSE doctoral and master's students (see WSE-specific nonresident statuses for PhDs and Master's students above). Upon reaching this limit, the student will be required to register for either part-time status (WSE only, as appropriate) or full-time Resident status until degree completion.
Students are required to complete and sign an Application for Nonresident Status indicating that they meet the requirements as stated above. The form should be signed by the department, the OIS (if applicable), and either the WSE Vice Dean for Education (or WSE designee), or the KSAS Vice Dean for Graduate Education (or KSAS designee).
Students should apply for Nonresident status well in advance of the first semester for which it is desired. When requesting a change of status for the current term, such petitions should be submitted no later than the end of the second week of the semester.
Leave of Absence
A Leave of Absence (LOA) is an approved absence from the University during which time students are not charged tuition nor are they required to register. Time spent on an LOA is regarded as an approved break in study and is not counted toward the total time-to-degree. If a student fails to register without obtaining an approved LOA the student will be considered withdrawn from their degree program.
Students are encouraged to contact the Student Insurance Coordinator in the Registrar’s Office prior to applying for an LOA to find out details regarding health insurance coverage while on LOA.
International students must contact OIS before filing for LOA.
All KSAS and WSE full-time and part-time program graduate students are eligible for LOA if one of the following conditions prevents them from continuing with their graduate studies:
- A documented physical or mental medical condition.
- Compulsory military service.
- Personal or immediate family hardship.
- NOTE: Financial difficulty alone is not a valid reason for requesting an LOA.
LOA Tuition and Financial Support
Students on LOA are not charged tuition for the semesters they are granted the leave; the period of leave is simply regarded as an approved interruption of the degree program; however, the University cannot guarantee that financial support will be available when students resume their studies. After taking an LOA, students must re-apply for tuition assistance, research assistantships, fellowships and/or teaching assistantships. Such matters are left to the discretion of the department. Before applying for a LOA, students should consult their department for information regarding funding opportunities upon return from LOA.
Graduate students may apply up to four semesters of LOA (summer terms are not counted) when medical conditions, compulsory military service, or personal or family hardship prevents them from continuing their graduate studies.
Continued approval is based on the reason(s) for the request. Additional information may be requested by the department, or either the WSE Vice Dean for Education (or WSE designee), or the KSAS Vice Dean for Graduate Education, Centers and Programs (or KSAS designee).
Students on LOA are not to use any University student services or facilities (e.g., computing labs, library, labs, athletic facilities, etc.) and may not be enrolled at another University.
Students on LOA who wish to continue working at Johns Hopkins are not eligible to be paid through the Student Payroll Office and must therefore be hired through the appropriate divisional Human Resources Department.
No progress toward degree completion or coursework can be made while on an LOA.
Students on LOA do not have access to the Student Health Insurance Plan. The only exception is for a student on a MLOA (medical leave of absence). Students should consult with their cognizant Dean's Office of Academic Affairs (Renee Eastwood, KSAS; Christine Kavanagh, WSE) for more information.
To be awarded a LOA, students are required to complete and sign an LOA Application form and to provide a letter stating the reason for their application. The form must be signed by the student’s department, the OIS (if applicable), and either the WSE Vice Dean for Education (or WSE designee), or the KSAS Vice Dean for Graduate Education (or KSAS designee).
Students wishing to return from an LOA must complete an Application to Return from LOA form.
The departure of a student from one of the Homewood Schools without prior arrangement of Nonresident status or a Leave of Absence will be deemed a permanent withdrawal from the student’s program. Students who withdraw from their program must be formally readmitted, at the discretion of the department, before they may return to the University. If readmitted, they do not pay a second application fee, but must satisfy the residency requirement for the degree following readmission (even if previously satisfied) and pay all outstanding fees.
Special Note: LOAs and Academic Probation
If a student needs to take an LOA while they are on an Academic Probation, their probation is paused for the duration of the approved LOA period. Upon the student's return from their LOA, their probation is reactivated with the same terms, but the clock for the probation is reset from the date of return to the longer of (1) the minimum time period dictated by the policy for the appropriate category as noted on the student's original probation letter (such as research, coursework, etc.) and (2) the remainder of the student's probationary period as noted in the student's original probation letter.
Homewood Schools Graduate Student Academic Review Policy
This policy applies to all full-time WSE and KSAS doctoral students and master’s students conducting thesis research. Each graduate program is required to publish its own policies and standards with respect to academic standing. At the end of each semester, all full‐time Homewood graduate programs are expected to review the academic records of their graduate students to evaluate academic progress.
Once per academic year, all full‐time Homewood graduate programs are required to provide a written review to: (a) all doctoral students, and (b) all master’s students conducting thesis research.
Departments should include mention of funding continuation, as appropriate; as well as include a substantive discussion about the student’s professional development goals and ways to develop strategies to achieve those goals. This review must include the opportunity for the student to offer self‐evaluation.
The Whiting School of Engineering has established a Guide to Effective Annual Reviews to assist both advisors and students make these annual reviews a useful tool in the development of each student.
Students who fail to attain a program’s minimum level of performance may be placed on academic probation or dismissed using the procedures outlined in the Homewood Schools Policy for Graduate Student Probation, Dismissal, and Funding Withdrawal. In making these decisions, particularly that of dismissal, the program will take into consideration extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control.
Whenever it is determined that a graduate student has failed to meet minimum academic, research, and/or TA requirements, that student may be placed on academic probation. This change in status requires a formal letter and a meeting between the student and either his/her faculty advisor, chair, and/or departmental director of graduate studies. The letter should clearly outline the student’s academic shortcomings, indicate the corrective measures necessary to remain in the program and state the length of the student’s probationary period. Any funding ramifications for the student should be included as well. Following the conclusion of the stated probationary period, the program must inform the student of his/her status based upon whether the student has met the requirements as stated in the probation letter.
Typical probation outcomes include:
- removal of the student from probation
- extension of the probationary period, or
- dismissal of the student.
While on probation, students maintain their active, enrolled student status and are expected to continue in their obligations, courses, and research, as appropriate. Whatever funding support in place at the start of probation (if any) remains in place during the probation period.
Please see the full policy for more information on process, appeals, etc.
Dismissal After Probation
This must be done with a formal letter citing the reason for dismissal and requires a meeting between the student and his/her faculty advisor or the departmental director of graduate studies. Academic dismissal will be noted on the student’s transcript at the request of the program and with the approval of the cognizant Dean. A student may appeal this decision.
Dismissal Without Probation
A student may be dismissed without a formal probation period under three circumstances:
- if he/she meets the conditions for dismissal based on coursework as stated by the academic program in its department handbook or on its website;
- if he/she fails an oral or written examination for which successful completion is necessary to continue in the program (as stated in the program’s degree requirements), or if he/she fails to meet any condition resulting from a qualifying or GBO exam; or
- if he/she is found to have committed academic or research misconduct and expulsion is the outcome of the deliberations as outlined in the Homewood Procedures for Handling Allegations of Misconduct by Full-Time and Part-Time Graduate Students, the KSAS Policy on Integrity in Research or the WSE Procedures for Dealing with Issues of Research Misconduct. Under these circumstances, programs are expected to follow the same procedures for Dismissal After Probation. In addition, students are also subject to immediate dismissal on non-academic grounds in accordance with the Homewood Procedures for Handling Allegations of Misconduct by Full-Time and Part-Time Graduate Students as well as all applicable policies at the university policies page.
Academic Dismissal Consequences
When a student is dismissed from the University, several consequences follow:
- The Office of the Registrar cancels the student’s registration for the next semester and authorizes a refund of tuition paid for that semester. Note: this doesn't necessarily mean that the student receives a refund. For example, if the student has been funded by the department, the department would be eligible for the refunded funds. Also, any refund amount is subject to the refund schedule published by Student Accounts.
- Notation of dismissal may be placed on the student’s transcript at the request of the program and with the approval of the cognizant Dean.
- The Office of Student Financial Services suspends financial aid to the student and work-study aid.
- The Office of International Services performs duties as required by U.S. federal regulations regarding persons not eligible to study at the University.
- The Student loses access to university services, property, and nonpublic spaces.
Readmission Following Dismissal
The terms for readmitting a student who has been dismissed for academic reasons are established by individual departments. The readmission process should be described in the dismissal letter, if deemed appropriate. Students who have been dismissed should discuss the readmission process with their advisor. Procedural instructions for this policy can be found at http://homewoodgrad.jhu.edu/academics/policies/. The terms for readmitting a student who has been dismissed for reasons other than academic/research/TA performance are decided by the student's cognizant Dean's Office of Academic Affairs.
Students wishing to withdraw from the University must file written notice with their Department. A Termination/Withdrawal Form must be generated by the departmental academic staff. Graduate students are encouraged to consult the chair of their department prior to submitting their written notice. Students who withdraw from their program must be formally readmitted, at the discretion of the department, before they may return to the university. If readmitted, they do not pay a second application fee, but must satisfy the residency requirement for the degree following readmission (even if previously satisfied) and pay all outstanding fees. Once a student withdraws from the University, their student transcript is closed – changes to their academic record will not be permitted. International students must consult with OIS to ascertain their visa obligations before withdrawing from the university. The same ramifications as listed under 'Academic Dismissal Consequences' apply.
Withdrawal by Lack of Registration
Students who are not registered by the end of the sixth week of a given semester and do not respond to any correspondences by either their department, advisor, Office of Academic Affairs, and/or Homewood Registrar's Office will have been deemed to have withdrawn themselves from the university and will be processed as Withdrawals. It is important to note that paying tuition is not the same as registering for classes.
Any outstanding fees will be followed up with the student/their department by the Office of Student Accounts. Students who withdraw from their program must be formally readmitted, at the discretion of the department, before they may return to the university. If readmitted, they do not pay a second application fee, but must satisfy the residency requirement for the degree following readmission (even if previously satisfied) and pay all outstanding fees. Once a student withdraws from the University, their student transcript is closed – changes to their academic record will not be permitted. International students must consult with OIS to ascertain their visa obligations before withdrawing from the university. The same ramifications as listed under 'Academic Dismissal Consequences' apply.
All students must complete registration at the beginning of each term in accordance with instruction issued by the registrar before they can attend classes or use university facilities. Detailed instructions about registration will be provided to all students before the registration period each term. If the student has not been notified at least two weeks before the start of classes for any fall or spring term, the Registrar’s Office should be contacted immediately.
Students who for any reason do not complete their registration until after the prescribed registration period are required to pay a late registration service fee. The late registration fee schedule is posted every semester on the registrar's website. https://studentaffairs.jhu.edu/registrar/students/graduate-registration/ (see Term Dates & Deadlines). Graduate students must obtain permission from the chair of their department to register after the second week of classes.
Students will not be allowed to register if there are unpaid bills from a previous term. The student is required to pay tuition or make financial arrangements with the Student Accounts Office before registering for a given term.
Withdrawal by Lack of Registration
Students who are not registered by the end of the sixth week of a given semester and do not respond to any correspondences by either their department, advisor, Office of Academic Affairs, and/or Homewood Registrar's Office will have been deemed to have withdrawn themselves from the university and will be processed as Withdrawals. It is important to note that paying tuition is not the same as registering for classes. For more information, please see the Student Enrollment Statuses tab under Academic Policies.
Grading basis for graduate courses deliberately includes both letter grades and P/F grades. Instructors should have the widest discretion possible in grading graduate students’ work; therefore both grading bases are available in SIS to the instructor for any course at the graduate level. While policies in most departments vary, most graduate students receive letter grades or Pass/Fail grades for their coursework. Students should consult their department chairs and instructors to determine their grading requirements.
Registrar deadlines and policies concerning grade changes are as follows:
Letter Grades (A through F)
Changing letter grades of “A” through “F” to a “Passing” grade is not permissible at any time.
All other grade change requests (e.g., “B” to “A”) are acceptable within one year only. Change requests beyond one year can only be changed as a result of clerical error, and must be accompanied by a written explanation/justification from the course instructor.
Incomplete Grades (I)
The grade of “Incomplete” (denoted by an “I” on the transcript) is reserved for instances in which it is expected that a course’s work will be completed in one semester, but for reasons beyond the student’s control, the work cannot be completed within that timeframe.
Dropping an “Incomplete” grade from the transcript is not permissible at any time.
Changing an “Incomplete” grade to a final grade (“A” through “F”, “Pass”) may be done by the instructor within one year without Dean’s Office approval. After one year, grade change requests must be sent via a grade change form to the student's cognizant Dean's Office of Graduate Academic Affairs (Renee Eastwood, KSAS/Christine Kavanagh, WSE) for review and approval.
In-Progress Grades (IP)
Reserved for classes in which it is expected that the assigned work will require more that one semester to be completed, but the class itself will meet for only one semester, such as graduate seminar courses.
Dropping an “In-Progress” grade is permissable only with the approval of the instructor and the Dean’s Office.
Changing an “In-Progress” grade to a final grade (“A” through “F”, “Pass”) is acceptable at any time before the student’s departure with the instructor’s approval.
Missing Grades (MR, X)
A “Missing” grade (denoted by an “MR” or an “X” on the transcript) appears if the instructor has not submitted a grade within the defined grading period for the semester.
An instructor may submit a Grade Change form directly to the Office of the Registrar to change a “Missing” grade to a final grade.
Dropping a “Missing” grade from the transcript is not permissible, nor is changing it to an “Audit.”
When a graduate student enrolls in a course with “audit” status, he/she must reach an understanding with the instructor as to what is required to earn the “Audit.” If the student does not meet those expectations (e.g., fails to attend class), the instructor must notify the Registrar’s Office in order for the student to be retroactively dropped from the course. The course will not appear on the student’s transcript.
Changing a course registration from “Audit” (student receives no letter grade) to “Credit” (student receives letter grade), or from “Credit” to “Audit” is permissible during the Office of the Registrar’s official deadlines for each semester. Registration changes beyond this deadline are not permissible.
Changing a final grade (“A” through “F”, “Pass”), “Incomplete” grade, “In-Progress” grade or “Missing” grade to “Audit” is not permissible at any time.
The following ASEN Graduate Courses cannot be taken for AU (Audit):
These courses can only be taken as P/F or a letter grade, at the instructor’s purview.
Prior to the beginning of classes: Returning graduate students may make changes to their registration in-person or online through the SIS system. The SIS system is available for use up to ten weeks prior to the first day of classes.
First six weeks of classes: Graduate students may add or drop classes online (as long as the electronic Advisor Hold has been released) or in-person at the Office of the Registrar. All in-person adds and drops must have a signature from the faculty advisor or department chair. Any drops within the first six weeks of classes will not be noted on the transcript.
Note: the instructor’s signature must be included on any course add form submitted past the 6 week drop/add deadline. Detailed instructions for how to add or drop classes online are available on the Registrar’s website. A calendar with specific dates for adding/dropping courses is also available on their website.
After the 6th week of classes, graduate students have until the end of the 11th week of classes to withdraw from a course with the signatures of the instructor, department chair, and the student’s respective Dean’s Office personnel (either the Assistant Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Academic Affairs for Whiting School of Engineering or the Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Academic Affairs in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences). All withdrawals will be noted with a “W” on the student’s transcript.
A registration hold will be placed for students who have not obtained clearance from the Office of International Services (OIS), Student Accounts, Student Health Insurance or Student Health and Wellness Offices. Students should meet with the office that placed the hold so that the hold can be removed. Students who have an advisor’s hold on their registration must get their advisor’s signature on their registration form and then submit that form to the Registrar’s Office in person in order for the hold to be lifted.
Whiting School of Engineering Master’s degrees (M.A., M.S., M.S.E) and PhDs
For WSE graduate students who earned an undergraduate degree outside of the Whiting School of Engineering or the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, no coursework completed before the undergraduate degree was conferred can be applied to a WSE graduate degree, regardless of whether that course was applied to the undergraduate degree.
WSE graduate students may transfer in up to two graduate-level courses from another institution which were completed after the undergraduate degree was conferred. The student must obtain approval from the WSE master’s/PhD program faculty advisor to do so, and a transcript from any relevant academic institution must be included with conferral completion paperwork submitted to the Academic Affairs office. EXCEPTION: WSE master’s students in a department‐approved study abroad program can transfer in additional coursework (i.e., beyond two courses), but in total, at least half of the courses/credits applied to the WSE master’s degree must be taken/earned at Johns Hopkins. Individual graduate programs reserve the right to enforce stricter policies.
Double Counting Courses
Whiting School of Engineering Master’s degrees (M.A., M.S., M.S.E) and PhDs
The Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) has established the following policies on double-counting coursework for all students in the full-time (Homewood) programs and the part-time Engineering for Professionals (EP) programs. If an individual program adopts double-counting policies more strict than these, the program’s policies override the school-wide policies. Students are encouraged to refer to individual program policies.
Bachelor’s Master’s Double Counting
Coursework applied to a bachelor’s degree:
Students either in a WSE combined (bachelor’s/master’s) program or seeking a WSE master’s degree after having earned a WSE or Krieger School of Arts and Sciences bachelor’s degree may double-count two courses (400-level or higher) to both programs with the permission of the master’s faculty advisor. WSE master’s degree candidates may not double-count courses applied to a bachelor’s degree earned at a different institution. Individual graduate programs reserve the right to enforce stricter policies.
Coursework not applied to a bachelor’s degree:
For students who are either in a WSE combined bachelor’s/master’s degree program or have already earned a Whiting School of Engineering or Krieger School of Arts and Sciences bachelor’s degree and are seeking a WSE master’s degree, any graduate-level coursework (as defined by the WSE graduate program) not applied to the undergraduate degree may be applied to the graduate degree, regardless of when that course was taken (i.e., before or after the undergraduate degree has been conferred) with the permission of the master’s faculty advisor.
For students who earned an undergraduate degree outside of the Whiting School of Engineering or the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, no coursework completed before the undergraduate degree was conferred can be applied to a WSE master’s degree, regardless of whether that course was applied to the undergraduate degree.
Master’s-Master’s Double Counting
Coursework applied to a master’s degree:
Students pursuing (1) a WSE master’s and a master’s from any JHU school simultaneously, (2) a WSE master’s after having earned a master’s from any JHU school, or (3) a WSE master’s degree after having earned a master’s degree from another institution, may double-count either two semester-length courses or three quarter-length courses across two master’s programs, as long as the courses are equivalent to the 400-level or higher in WSE full-time graduate programs. The student must receive approval from both master’s degree program faculty advisors if both sets of degree requirements will be completed at the same time. For a student to double-count coursework from two master’s degrees whose requirements are met at different times, the student must obtain only the approval of the faculty advisor in the program to be finished second. Individual graduate programs reserve the right to enforce stricter policies.
Timing and Ramifications for Current Students:
This policy will be applied to all students entering a WSE master’s program in Fall 2007 and beyond. Any student who has entered a WSE master’s program before then will be exempt from this policy and should follow the course arrangement made with his/her advisor, provided it is in compliance with departmental, school and university requirements.
Declaration of Double-Counted Course:
WSE master’s students wishing to double-count courses must submit these courses to the WSE master’s program for approval. If it is learned that a student has double-counted a course for the WSE master’s degree without permission of the WSE master’s program, this program reserves the right to revoke the degree.
Double‐Counting Across Three or More Programs
With bachelor’s‐master’s and master’s‐master’s double‐counting, across any number of degree programs, a student can reduce the number of master’s courses required by up to two (with approval of the programs involved). Beyond that, the remaining courses must be unique to the degree program. With a ten‐course master’s degree program, for example, eight of those courses must be unique to the program and not applied to a different degree at any level. A student can double‐count any number of undergraduate courses to the various master’s degrees (but at most, two to each master’s program) and he/she can double‐count the same course across any number of degrees pursued (again, with the approval of the programs involved).
Research and Scientific Writing Courses
Through the Center for Leadership Education graduate students may enroll in writing courses designed to assist with dissertation and grant writing. Students may enroll for this course at no additional charge. The course is offered in the fall and spring semesters however, space is limited. For additional information go to web.jhu.edu/Leadership.
Transcripts may be requested from the Registrar’s Office. A request for one copy is normally processed within two to three working days of receipt of the request. Requests for multiple transcripts require additional time. Standard delivery of transcripts is made by U.S. Mail first-class. Transcripts may also be requested online at iwantmytranscript.com/. Partial transcripts of a student’s record will not be issued.
Summer and Intersession Courses
Summer Courses: While most summer courses offered at the Homewood Campus are undergraduate level courses, graduate students may enroll in these courses with permission from their department chair and the course instructor. No financial assistance is available for graduate students who wish to take summer courses. In special cases, graduate students may also take courses at the Peabody Conservatory. In such cases, students should contact the Registrar’s Office for registration instructions.
Graduate students may register for the course Summer Independent Research (990.892) with the approval of their department chair. There is no charge for this course as independent research projects conducted during the summer are not graded and carry no academic weight. An NG (“no grade given”) will appear on the student’s transcript.
Intersession Courses: Graduate students are also eligible to enroll in Intersession. Grades are generally given on an P/F scale. Some students use this period to participate in research, independent study or internships. A list of Intersession offerings is published in late November or early December. A special form, available in the Registrar’s Office, is used for Intersession registration. Students should register before winter break. Students who register for research, independent study, or an internship during Intersession must have the approval signature of their faculty sponsor and academic advising office. This opportunity is offered tuition-free.
Course Re-Take Policy
At the discretion of the Homewood graduate program, a graduate student may retake a course, but the grade from the initial effort will remain on the transcript. This applies whether the initial effort occurred while the student was an undergraduate student or a graduate student.
Transcripts are normally issued only at the request of the student or with his/her consent. The only exception to this policy is the issuance of transcripts to offices and departments within the university.
Official transcripts of work at other institutions that the student has presented for admission or evaluation of credit become the property of the university and cannot be copied or reissued. If a transcript of this work is needed, the student must get it directly from the issuing institution.
Graduate Degree General Requirements
Doctor of Philosophy (KSAS and WSE)
- A minimum of two consecutive semesters as a full-time, resident graduate student.
- Completion of registration in the semester during which degree requirements are met (note: students completing in a Summer term generally should have been registered for the summer graduate research course, but it is allowable if the last official semester of registration is the prior adjacent Spring semester).
- Certification by a department or program committee that all school, departmental, program, and/or committee requirements have been fulfilled.
- A dissertation approved by at least two referees appointed by the department or program committee and submitted to the Commercial Binding Office.
- Successful completion of a Graduate Board Oral examination. As determined by the department or program committee, this is classified as either a preliminary or a final examination.
- Though time-to-degree is determined by the department and may not exceed 12 years, continuation in the program will be based/contingent upon satisfactory academic progress after eight years of enrollment.
Note that a PhD student in the research/writing phase of their degree program will not be able to remain in good standing with their academic and research progress if they do not have an advisor. A student who is unable to secure a research advisor within 4 months may be placed on probation or terminated from the PhD program. Students should consult with their departmental Academic Staff and/or Director of Graduate Studies for guidance.
Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Master’s Degrees (M.A., M.F.A., M.S.)
- A minimum of two consecutive semesters as a full-time, resident graduate student.
- Completion of registration in the semester during which requirements are met.
- Certification by a department or program committee that all requirements have been fulfilled.
- A thesis approved by at least one referee and submitted to the Commercial Binding Office when the department requires a thesis.
- Meets the requirements of the school’s time-to-degree policy.
Whiting School of Engineering Master’s Degrees (M.A., M.S., M.S.E., M.S.E.M.)
- Every student must register as a full-time graduate student for at least two semesters or satisfy an equivalent requirement approved by the appropriate department. (Combined bachelor’s-master’s degree students are exempt, as are those who enter a WSE master’s degree program after two or fewer semesters following completion of a JHU undergraduate degree.)
- Every student must be registered in the semester during which degree requirements are met; this includes students who have no courses remaining in which to enroll but must resolve coursework for which an “Incomplete” grade was assigned.
- Every student must provide certification by a department or program committee that all departmental or committee requirements have been fulfilled.
If the student is submitting a formal essay to the MSE Library to help complete master’s degree requirements, the essay must be approved by at least one reader. (See the Homewood Academic Council Faculty Status table, under “Thesis Supervision of Graduate Students,” to determine who may serve as the reader/advisor. Additional readers, if required by program, need only program approval.)
All courses applied to the master’s degree must be at the 300-level or higher. At their discretion, individual graduate programs may institute a higher course level as the minimum for their own students.
Every student must earn the master’s degree within five consecutive academic years (10 semesters). Only semesters during which a student has a university-approved leave of absence are exempt from the 10-semester limit; otherwise, all semesters from the beginning of the student’s graduate studies—whether the student is resident or not—count toward the 10-semester limit.
Every student must complete training on academic ethics.
Every student must complete training on the responsible and ethical conduct of research, if applicable. (Please see the WSE Policy on the Responsible Conduct of Research.)
Time to Degree (TTD)
The time-to-degree (TTD) limit for degree candidates is typically determined by a specific program. However, Johns Hopkins University’s general policy requires that TTD not exceed twelve years for Ph.D. candidates, and five years for Whiting School and Krieger School terminal master’s candidates. TTD count begins with the first semester of registration as a matriculated student. Time spent on an approved Leave of Absence will not be counted toward the graduate student’s TTD. Students unable to complete degree requirements within the required time limit are required to withdraw from the University. Full TTD policies for the Krieger and Whiting Schools can be found at grad.jhu.edu/student-life/policies.
Co-tuttelle de Thèse
It is the University’s current policy that Johns Hopkins will recognize dissertation research and subsequent dissertation submission for the purposes of a degree from Johns Hopkins alone. It will sign no agreement that supports the concept of a student submitting the same work to different universities to receive two distinct degrees.
The University, however, wants to promote international exchange and in this spirit the Graduate Board has agreed to accommodate students with a desire to include faculty from a foreign university to participate in their research and defense process. Upon submission and review of a current curriculum vitae, the Graduate Board will allow one advisor to be a faculty member of the foreign university and in certain cases will allow the committee to be expanded to include other faculty from the foreign university as long as the majority represent Johns Hopkins. The university will provide no funds to cover expenses. Funding for travel would be up to the department or the foreign university.
All proposed co-tutelle agreements are to be submitted to the Graduate Board for review.
Commencement and Degree Conferral
The University Commencement Ceremony is held once per academic year, traditionally in May. Students who have not satisfied all graduation requirements by the deadlines determined by the Graduate Board or the WSE Office of Academic Affairs are not eligible to participate in the graduation ceremony. Students who complete the degree requirements prior to the ceremony in May can request an official statement of completion from the Office of the Registrar or the Homewood Graduate Board Office.
There are three official conferral dates for the University (December, May, August), but only one formal commencement ceremony each year.
The conferral date is printed on diplomas.
Application for Graduation
All graduate students must complete an Application to Graduate in order to generate degree conferral and receive a diploma. The application is distributed by the Office of the Registrar. Students should consult with their Graduate Coordinator, the Homewood Graduate Board’s website and the WSE Office of Academic Affairs' website respectively to find out about the current deadlines. The dates of these deadlines change each academic year.
In addition to submitting the general application to graduate, engineering students preparing to graduate from a master’s or doctoral program must complete paperwork indicating the courses they intend to apply to their degree. This paperwork is distributed by each department's Graduate Coordinator and once completed should be returned to them.
Degree Completion Deadlines and Information
The Graduate Board and the WSE Office of Academic Affairs (for WSE master’s students) issues deadlines for submission of theses and essays in the spring semester for the following academic year. These deadlines must be met for a student to be listed as a degree candidate. Students can access the calendar of deadlines on the Homewood Graduate Board’s website (for PhDs), the website of the WSE Office of Academic Affairs (for WSE Masters), or by contacting their department administrator.
- Students who complete their master’s essay or doctoral dissertation after the end of a semester but before the first day of class of the next semester do not have to register for that next semester. (They will have to file for graduation in that semester, however, and will not be eligible for student payroll once they are not a registered student).
- Graduate students completing a final degree during the first eight weeks of the fall semester or the first four weeks of the spring semester will generate a tuition reimbursement for that semester to whatever entity covered the cost - the student, the department, the advisor, etc. This applies only to students for whom completion of a master’s project, master’s essay, master’s journal submission or doctoral thesis is the sole remaining degree requirement at the start of the final semester.
- If a student completes a Tuition Deferral Form indicating an expectation to complete the degree within a specific grace period, no payment is required to register for that semester. If the grace period deadline is not met, however, that semester’s tuition charge will be added to the student’s account.
- Note that students who complete in the Grace Period for either the fall or spring semesters (or finish in the summer term), and are registered in the semester/term in which they completed are eligible to stay on student payroll until the degree conferral date.
Grades towards Degree Completion
Grades for courses that are required for graduation must be turned in by the grade submission deadline. Graduating students who are taking courses at cooperative schools or other divisions of the University must make arrangements with their instructors on the first day of class to have final grades submitted to the host school’s Registrar and then to the Homewood Registrar by the Homewood grade-submission deadline. If such an arrangement cannot be made, students should withdraw from the course.
Graduation Closes the Graduate Record
Upon graduation, the graduate’s record is closed. No changes thereafter can be made to the graduate’s transcript.
Completing Graduation Requirements
Departmental graduation requirements vary; therefore, students are encouraged to speak with their departmental administrator to learn details of their requirements
The Homewood Graduate Board is responsible for the administration of policies and procedures for the award Doctor of Philosophy, Ph.D. of the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering, and for Masters degrees in the School of Arts and Sciences.
The Graduate Board oversees:
- Graduate Board Oral Exams for ASEN Ph.D. students: with the approval of the department chair, a Graduate Board oral examination may be scheduled at any time during the academic year. Requests for a Graduate Board oral examination must be submitted to the Graduate Board a minimum of three weeks before the examination is to take place.
- Dissertation/Thesis Instructions: The student is responsible for obtaining and observing the detailed instructions concerning submission of their dissertation/thesis from their departmental office, the Homewood Graduate Board Office (grad.jhu.edu/academics/gradboard/policies/candidacy/).
Initial Ph.D. Degree confirmation
- Dissertation submissions
- Recommendations for conferral to the Doctor of Philosophy Board
- Dissertation and Degree Completion Deadlines for the Graduate Board can be found here.
Doctor of Philosophy Board
The Doctor of Philosophy Board advises the Provost about University-wide issues pertaining to the Ph.D. It approves new degree programs and sets guidelines and policies that affect all Ph.D. students. The Board respects the strong tradition of local autonomy of the Schools and seeks to enhance the visibility and prominence of Ph.D. education across the University.
The Homewood Graduate Board submits its list of approved KSAS and WSE PhD conferrals to the Doctor of Philosophy Board for final university approval. No PhD degree is officially conferred until after the Doctor of Philosophy has approved and recommended conferral to the President of the University, and the President approves.
WSE Master’s Degree Completion
All Whiting School of Engineering master's students must complete the following steps for the degree to be conferred and to generate a diploma:
- An Application to Graduate must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar (Garland Hall) either online or on paper, depending upon status;
- Department-specific certification forms must be submitted to and approved by the department graduate coordinator, and then those forms must then be submitted to the WSE Office of Academic Affairs by the deadlines listed below;
- If a formal master's essay is used to complete degree requirements, the student must submit a properly-formatted essay to the MSE Library Electronic Theses and Dissertations system by 4:00 p.m. on the date listed on the WSE website; the emailed submission receipt (generated by the library) must be included in paperwork forward to the WSE Office of Academic Affairs.
Visit: http://engineering.jhu.edu/graduate-studies/academic-policies-procedures-graduate/ for deadlines and additional policies.
Dissertation and Thesis/Essay Submission
ETD (Electronic Theses and Dissertations)
An electronic thesis or dissertation (ETD) is digital version of a dissertation that is available to the public via the Internet. Universities and colleges in the United States and abroad have been moving toward this type of publication for the past decade. In the Fall 2013, Johns Hopkins launched its own ETD portal and process.
All thesis and dissertation submissions must be through the ETD process and portal. See the ETD page for more information, deadlines, and instructions.
The student is responsible for obtaining and observing the detailed instructions concerning submission of their dissertation/thesis from their departmental office, the Homewood Graduate Board Office and ETD guidelines of the Johns Hopkins Libraries and Museums. Students may also contact the ETD coordinator at email@example.com.
After submitting their dissertation to the ETD Submittal Tool, the library will check the dissertation for proper formatting and either approve it or contact the student to make required changes. After the ETD is approved the student will receive an approval confirmation from the system. Students are required to forward this approval email to their departmental academic staff and cc either the Assistant Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Academic Affairs in WSE (Christine Kavanagh) or the Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Academic Affairs in KSAS (Renee Eastwood) as appropriate, with the following items:
- The title of their dissertation typed in the body of the email in title case format with correct spelling and punctuation.
- The degree type and program/department
- A single PDF of the dissertation title page and abstract
The degree requirements are not complete unless the final ETD is submitted to the library by the published deadline and the above information and attachments are provided by the student to the Graduate Board Office via the email to the department and the cognizant Assistant Dean or Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Academic Affairs.