Academic Advising: Graduate

Download the Academic Advising – Graduate Tutorial and Tips document that will answer almost every question about graduate academic advising.

  • Visit the MechE Graduate – Academic Advising page for info and master’s and Ph.D. Advising Manuals.
  • Visit the MechE Master’s Program page for an overview of the master’s degree options: all-course, essay (research and writing), and essay (co-op)
  • Visit the MechE Ph.D. Program page for an overview of the Ph.D. program.
  • To release a student’s advising hold, sign into SIS, select the Advisor tab. You should see a list of your students or can look them up by name. You will see a “Release Hold” button on the right side of that student’s listing. Select that button and the advisor hold will be released. If you want to reverse the release, select the button again (which will be displayed as “Apply Hold.”)

Use this Checkout Sheet to help your master’s students plan their course work. The MSE Certificate of Completion is what the student will submit for graduation.

  • Grade Change form – use this to change grades or to submit new grades after the initial online submission deadline. Forms can be sent directly to the Registrar at grregistration@jhu.edu.
  • Course Registration form –
    • Basic Form – for students who cannot register online before the end of the semester Add/Drop period.
    • Form with Permissions – for students who forgot to register before the end of the semester Add/Drop period and need Whiting School Academic Affairs’ permission. This will need the signature of the Director of Graduate Studies or Director of Undergraduate Studies, as appropriate, and the Whiting School Academic Affairs office before being delivered to the Registrar.

  • MechE Graduate Course Schedules
  • SIS Classes – seek class information – course numbers, titles, meeting days and times, instructors, and descriptions – in all forms for the last five years to the present.

For Graduate Students new to Johns Hopkins
Students must contact their advisors to select courses before registering. They will have had to have submitted your Pre-Admission Health Form, registered for health insurance, and pay any financial obligations. If they are receiving financial aid, the department will have already notified the appropriate administrative offices.

Visit the Course Registration instructions page for information on course registration.

For Concurrent BS/MSE students returning to Johns Hopkins for the Master’s Degree
“Fifth-Year” master’s students may register by paper early while they are seniors! They must contact their advisors to select courses before registering, which can be done during Advising Week in late-March or early-April each year. Students can download and complete this Graduate Course Registration Form, and will ask their advisors to sign it.

Otherwise, visit the Course Registration instructions page for information on course registration.

Important Note: registering for Engineering for Professionals courses
To register for courses offered by the Engineering for Professionals program, courses numbered EN.xx5.xxx, students must register using the Interdivisional Course Registration form. Please visit the Registrar’s Interdivisional Registration page for info and the form.

Ph.D. and “essay-option” master’s students must complete an annual graduate student evaluation with their advisors, which typically are due to the department before the end of the Spring semester.

View the WSE Guide to Effective Annual Reviews for information on conducting an effective evaluation.

Check the Seminars and Events page for the EN.530.803 Mechanical Engineering Graduate Seminar and other seminars of interest.

Visit the University Course Catalog for information on degree programs, academic policies, majors, majors, and faculty.

Graduate Course Registration and Student Status

All Whiting School of Engineering graduate students will register for courses with credits. Some things to know:

  • The Mechanical Engineering degree requirements do not change, even with credits assigned to courses. Degree requirements are still counted by number of courses, not number of credits. Typically, courses that would count are three credits, though some have four.
  • All Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) graduate-level courses (.600-level or higher) now have credits assigned to them.

To maintain full-time status, all WSE graduate students must be enrolled in at least 9 credits, but PhD students must be enrolled in at least 20 credits per semester. The maximum per-semester enrollment limit is 25 credits.

Ph.D. students can achieve at least 20 credits by registering for any combination of courses and seminars, as approved by one’s advisor. SIS is set to select appropriate credits:

  • Seminars – 1 credit
    • EN.530.803 (Fall) Mechanical Engineering Graduate Seminar – required only for first, second, and third year Ph.D. students. Those beginning their fourth year or later are no longer required to take this seminar.
    • Other seminars, such as the robotics, fluids, and mechanics and materials seminars.
  • WSE courses, both undergraduate and graduate – 3 or 4 credits each.
  • EN.530.801 PhD Graduate Research – 3-20 credits (required every semester)
  • NOTE:
    • Audited courses do not count toward a student’s full-time credit load.
    • Krieger School of Arts and Sciences’ graduate-level courses will not have credits listed in SIS, but will be recognized as 3-4 credits toward one’s full-time credit load.
    • When dropping and adding courses, SIS will not allow students to drop courses if the credit load drops below the 9-credit full-time threshold. They can add new courses first, and then drop the courses they wish to drop.
    • If you wish to change to part-time status, visit the “PhD – Part-Time” tab of this section to learn more.
    • If you wish to drop or change courses in SIS but cannot because of the minimum-20-credit requirement, see the “Course Registration – Changing Credits on Research Courses” section of this page to learn how to do this.
    • If there is a need to register for more than 25 credits, students can contact Academic Program Manager Mike Bernard. The Whiting School will consider exceptions to allow this.

Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. students may switch to part-time status after the successful completion of the Graduate Board Oral examination and the Teaching Assistant requirement, with approval of both the research advisor and the Graduate Program Chair, as well as the International Office for international students.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
Visit the Office of International Services’ “Full-Time Study Requirements” page that explains U.S. federal law on maintaining F-1 visas, which requires international students to always maintain full-time status, unless if in the final semester a course load less than full-time is needed to complete the degree requirements.

PART-TIME TUITION
Students are charged tuition per-credit, which in the 2019-20 academic year is $1,845 per-credit. The student’s advisor or the department may choose to cover this charge, but that is not guaranteed.

COURSE REGISTRATION
Part-time students will take three credits of EN.530.801/802 Graduate Research each semester.

Part-time students or their advisors will pay the part-time per-credit tuition.

PART-TIME RESTRICTIONS

  • Audited courses do not count toward a student’s credit load, but they will be charged tuition-per-credit for them.
  • Part-time students are ineligible to work as a student worker, including as a Teaching Assistant, and will not be eligible for graduate student salary. One exception: international students can be paid for hourly positions, including Teaching Assistants.
  • Part-time students enrolled in the University health insurance must pay the full premium, which in 2019-20 is $1,103 per semester.

HOW TO OBTAIN PART-TIME STATUS FOR A STUDENT

  • Students can contact Academic Program Manager Mike Bernard to confirm eligibility to switch.
  • They will obtain approval from both the research advisor and the Graduate Program Chair
  • International students must first obtain approval from the International Office.

Visit the Whiting School Graduate Credit Hours page for information.

Whiting School graduate students are eligible for non-residency status when all degree requirements except the writing of the dissertation are complete. The dissertation research must be finished before the non-resident status can be obtained.

Whiting School graduate students are typically granted only one semester of non-residency with the expectation that the dissertation will be written and prepared for defense in that semester. The dissertation defense can occur during that semester or shortly thereafter. The Whiting School will consider exception requests for an additional semester of non-residency.

NON-RESIDENT TUITION
Non-resident students pay only 10% of the full-time tuition but will still have all the privileges of full-time students such as access to campus services and faculty advising.

NON-RESIDENT RESTRICTIONS
Non-resident students cannot enroll in courses and would lose the Whiting School’s financial support for health insurance. The department could choose to cover health insurance charges, but that is not guaranteed.

Non-resident students are automatically enrolled in health insurance, but can waive the insurance, if eligible for waiver by proof of enrollment in another health insurance plan with similar coverage.

To maintain non-resident status, students will have to register for non-resident status each semester and provide a letter explaining their progress toward the degree’s completion.

HOW TO OBTAIN NON-RESIDENT STATUS

  • Students can contact Academic Program Manager Mike Bernard to confirm eligibility for non-resident status.
  • They will complete the Non-Resident Status for Whiting School form, which Mike will send to the Whiting School Academic Affairs office for review and approval.
  • If the Non-Resident request is denied, a student may be eligible for part-time status.

RESOURCES

  • To maintain full-time status, all WSE graduate students must be enrolled in at least 9 credits.

    Master’s students will be enrolled in at least 9 credits per semester.

    Students can achieve full-time status by registering for any combination of courses and seminars, as approved by one’s advisor. SIS is set to select appropriate credits:

    • Seminars – 1 credit
    • WSE courses, both undergraduate and graduate – 3 or 4 credits each
    • EN.530.600/820* Master’s All Course – Graduate Research – 3-10 credits
    • EN.530.602/821* Master’s Essay – Research and Writing or EN.530.609/822* Master’s Essay – Co-Op – 3-10 credits – enroll for one of these “Pass/Fail” courses when doing essay research and writing, typically in the last one or two semesters. While the course can grant 3-10 credits per semester, most students will register for 3 or 6 credits per semester. Students must check with their faculty advisors to confirm when to register for the course.
    • NOTE:
      • Audited courses do not count toward a full-time credit load.
      • Krieger School of Arts and Sciences’ graduate-level courses will not have credits listed in SIS, but will be recognized as 3-4 credits toward one’s full-time credit load.
      • When dropping and adding courses, SIS will not allow a student to drop courses if the credit load drops below the 9-credit full-time threshold. Students must add new courses first, and then drop the courses they wish to drop.
      • * For students matriculating in Fall 2020 and later, course numbers have changed:
        • EN.530.820 Master’s All-Course – Graduate Research (formerly EN.530.600)
        • EN.530.821 Master’s Essay – Research and Writing (formerly EN.530.602)
        • EN.530.822 Master’s Essay – Co-Op (formerly EN.530.609)

Master’s students of the Department of Mechanical Engineering may become eligible for part-time status.

“ALL-COURSE” MASTER’S STUDENTS
All “all-course” master’s students must register full-time most or all semesters for a minimum of nine credits. If in a student’s final semester, less than nine credits are needed to complete the degree requirements, students can switch to part-time status.

“ESSAY” MASTER’S STUDENTS
After meeting the minimum two-semester “full-time” residency requirement – where a student pays full-time tuition for a minimum of two semesters – Whiting School master’s students who have not yet completed the research to the point where the final and sole activity is essay/thesis writing must maintain their “residency” status, but can register “part-time” by registering for eight credits or less in their final semester.

For each semester where essay research/co-op and writing occurs, students must register for EN.530.602/821 Master’s Essay – Research and Writing or EN.530.609/822 Master’s Essay – Co-Op, typically in the last one or two semesters. While the course can grant 3-10 credits per semester, most students will register for 3 or 6 credits per semester. Students must check with their faculty advisors to confirm when to register for the course.

For International Students

International students completing the degree with an Essay – Co-Op option must also enroll for EN.500.851 Engineering Research Practicum and apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Visit these sites for information:

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
Visit the Office of International Services’ “Full-Time Study Requirements” page that explains U.S. federal law on maintaining F-1 visas, which requires students to maintain full-time status, unless if in the final semester a courseload less than full-time is needed to complete the degree requirements.

PART-TIME TUITION
Students are charged tuition per-credit, which in the 2019-20 academic year is $1,845 per-credit. The student’s advisor or the department may choose to cover this charge, but that is not guaranteed.

PART-TIME HEALTH INSURANCE
While part-time master’s students are eligible to remain on the University’s student health insurance plan, they must pay the full health insurance premium. There is no financial aid for health insurance for part-time students.

COURSE REGISTRATION
The Mechanical Engineering department requires enrollment in courses:

  • Any remaining courses for the degree – 3-4 credits each
  • 530.602/821 Master’s Essay – Research and Writing or EN.530.609/822 Master’s Essay – Co-Op – 3-10 credits – for essay master’s students only – either six credits in one semester or three credits in each of two semesters.

PART-TIME RESTRICTIONS

  • Audited courses do not count toward a student’s credit load, but they will be charged tuition-per-credit for them.
  • Part-time American students are ineligible to work as a student worker, including as a Teaching Assistant; but part-time international students are still eligible to work as a student worker, including as a Teaching Assistant and be paid hourly.
  • Part-time students enrolled in the University health insurance must pay the full premium, which in 2020.21 is $1,207.50 per semester.

HOW A STUDENT CAN OBTAIN PART-TIME STATUS

  • Students can contact Academic Program Manager Mike Bernard to confirm eligibility to switch. He will notify the Registrar upon confirmation of eligibility to switch.
  • International students must obtain approval by completing the Reduced Course Request form. This form will need the advisor’s signature and will be delivered to the Office of International Services.

Visit the Whiting School Graduate Credit Hours page for information.

“ALL-COURSE” MASTER’S STUDENTS
Students taking the “all-course” master’s degree are not eligible for non-residency status.

“ESSAY/THESIS” MASTER’S STUDENTS
Whiting School graduate students are eligible for non-residency status when all degree requirements except the writing of the master’s essay/thesis are complete. The essay/thesis research must be finished before the non-resident status can be requested.

Whiting School graduate students are typically granted only one semester of non-residency with the expectation that the essay/thesis will be written, read, and approved in that semester. The Whiting School will consider exception requests for an additional semester of non-residency.

NON-RESIDENT TUITION
Non-resident students pay only 10% of the full-time tuition but will still have all the privileges of full-time students such as access to campus services and faculty advising.

NON-RESIDENT RESTRICTIONS
Non-resident students cannot enroll in courses and would lose the Whiting School’s financial support for health insurance. The department could choose to cover health insurance charges, but that is not guaranteed.

Non-resident students are automatically enrolled in health insurance, but can waive the insurance, if eligible for waiver by proof of enrollment in another health insurance plan with similar coverage.

To maintain non-resident status, students will have to register for non-resident status each semester and provide a letter explaining their progress toward the degree’s completion.

HOW A STUDENT CAN OBTAIN NON-RESIDENT STATUS

  • Students can contact Academic Program Manager Mike Bernard to confirm eligibility for non-resident status.
  • They will complete the Non-Resident Status form and deliver it to Mike, who will send it to the Whiting School Academic Affairs office for review and approval.
  • If the Non-Resident request is denied, a student may be eligible for part-time status.

RESOURCES

Occasionally, extenuating circumstances may require graduate students to take a leave of absence from their studies.

Graduate students may apply for up to four semesters of leave of absence when medical conditions, compulsory military service, or personal or family hardship prevents them from continuing their graduate studies.

Visit the Homewood Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs page for Enrollment Change forms. Students will select the appropriate form to either request, extend, or return from a Leave of Absence.

The forms will explain that student privileges, degree progress, and access to health insurance may be affected. Students can contact the Registrar’s health insurance staff at ASENInsurance@jhu.edu to discuss their situations and determine what options exist.

Students must complete the appropriate form, obtain the appropriate signatures, and obtain the required documentation as noted on the form, and send or deliver the completed form and supporting documentation to Academic Program Manager Mike Bernard in Latrobe 230 or at me-academic@jhu.edu. He will submit the request to the Whiting School’s Assistant Dean for Graduate Affairs, Christine Kavanagh for review and approval. Students will be notified upon approval.

Academic Advising - Undergraduate

These resources are available for advising undergraduate students.

A variety of help options exists to help students who are experiencing academic troubles. Whether students are not showing up for class, not submitting homework, or not doing well in assignments, the earlier we can spot problems, the better we can help our students.

Academic Support and Campus Resources
Visit the Whiting School Undergraduate Advising Academic Support and Campus Resources for links to various support services, including the Learning Den, PILOT, and Study Consulting.

Starfish
Starfish is a portal to note your students’ academic performance or other concerns that will interfere with their well-being and success. It is accessible through your course’s BlackBoard page. Information entered in Starfish will be shared with the Whiting School Academic Advising office as they can initiate and coordinate any remedial actions to help students in trouble.

It is important to provide this information as you see it happening. Don’t wait! Starfish collects data from every instructor and alerts the Academic Advising office of patterns of concerns that students may have. Even if you have a small class or do not find it important, it actually is very important to share your concerns through Starfish.

Visit the Starfish page for instructions and help info.

Checkout Sheets – document completion of degree requirements (also known as “4-year plans” or “Degree Plans.”).

Course Dependency Maps are a visual guide through the degree requirements.

Mike can help you help your students with their checkout sheets, especially if they want to explore minors or 2nd majors. Please have them contact Mike directly to arrange a meeting.

Where to Find Them…

  • Grade Change form – use this to change grades or to submit new grades after the initial online submission deadline. Forms can be sent directly to the Registrar at ugregistration@jhu.edu.
  • Course Registrations – if a student cannot register online through SIS, they must use an Add/Drop form, which is available from the Registrar or through Mike Bernard, Academic Program Manager.

The Course Exception Waiver Form is required to document approved deviations from the standard degree requirements. Be sure to note the exception, the section affected in the Undergraduate Advising Manual (if applicable), and the academic rationale or reason why the exception is being made and how the student’s educational experience will be affected.

Both the student and the advisor will sign the form. Please e-mail or deliver the form to Mike Bernard.

Visit the University Course Catalog for information on degree programs, academic policies, majors, majors, and faculty.

Some policies that students find important:

Visit the Registrar’s Student Privacy FERPA page on how to protect a student’s privacy – from personal information to protecting student grade info.

Visit the Tracks page for info on these tracks, formerly called “concentrations.”

Visit our Careers and Life page to help your students with career exploration, networking, and internships and jobs!

Academic Advising - Visiting Students

Very little academic advising is necessary for visiting students, as they rarely take a course during their visit. For administrative and visa purposes, visiting students must register every semester that they are here – even if they are with us just one day of the semester as part of their appointment period – for one of these courses:

  • Visiting Graduate Students – EN 990.890 Graduate Research Practicum
  • Visiting Undergraduate Students – EN.990.997 Undergraduate Research Practicum

These are not courses where they attend class, do homework, take exams, and the like. These help the University comply with registration requirements for visitors. These “courses” do not have credits nor are they graded, as they simply show in our University systems that they are present with us.

Newly arrived visiting students must complete their registration immediately upon arrival and no later than five days after the “program start date” on their DS-2019. Students whose visit continues into another semester must complete registration no later than five days from the start of the new term.

  • Visiting Undergraduate Student – is currently a paper form. The Registrar will have the form available.
  • Visiting Graduate Student