Academic Advising – Graduate


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  • The Academic Advising Manuals provide detailed information about the degree requirements for the MSE and PhD programs, as well as information about department administrative procedures and student life.

  • All Ph.D. students and “thesis-option” master’s students must complete an annual graduate student evaluation with their advisors, which are due to the department before the first day of classes in the Spring semester.  The advisors will initiate the process with their students.

    • In 2017, the initiation process will begin in late-January, with completed evaluations due on March 1.
    • In 2018 and beyond, we expect to revert to the initiation process in December, with completed evaluations due by the first day of classes in the Spring semester.
  • Effective Fall 2016, 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 for the number or types of courses.
    • All Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) graduate-level courses (.600-level or higher) now have credits assigned to them.
    • Visit the Whiting School’s “Graduate Credit Hours” page for more information, including what to do if registering for a course that lists no credits.
    • Effective Fall 2017, the maximum per-semester enrollment limit is 25 credits. If there is a need to register for more than 25 credits, please contact Academic Program Manager Mike Bernard.  The Whiting School will consider exceptions.

    MASTER’S – FULL-TIME
    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
    • 530.600 Master’s Graduate Research – 3-10 credits
    • NEW! 530.602 Master’s Thesis Research and Writing – 3-10 credits – enroll for this “Pass/Fail” course when doing thesis 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 credits per semester. Students must check with their advisors to confirm when to register for the course.
    • NOTE:
      • Audited courses do not count toward your 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 you to drop courses if the credit load drops below the 9-credit full-time threshold.  Add new courses first, and then drop the courses you wish to drop.
      • If you wish to change to part-time status, visit the “Master’s – Part-Time” tab of this section to learn more.

    MASTER’S – PART-TIME
    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/THESIS” 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/thesis research and writing occurs, students must register for three credits of 530.602 Master’s Thesis Research and Writing, typically in the last one or two semesters. Students must check with their advisors to confirm when to register for the course.

    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 2017-18 academic year is $1,740 per-credit. The student’s advisor or the department may choose to cover this charge, but that is not guaranteed.

    COURSE REGISTRATION
    The Mechanical Engineering department requires enrollment in courses:

    • Any remaining courses for the degree – 3-4 credits each
    • 530.602 Master’s Thesis Research and Writing – 3-10 credits – for essay/thesis master’s students only.

    PART-TIME RESTRICTIONS

    • Audited courses do not count toward your credit load, but you will be charged tuition-per-credit.
    • Part-time students are ineligible to work as a student worker, including as a Teaching Assistant.
    • Part-time students enrolled in the University health insurance must pay the full premium, which in 2017-18 is $940 per semester.

    HOW TO OBTAIN PART-TIME STATUS

    • Contact Academic Program Manager Mike Bernard to confirm eligibility to switch.
    • International students must obtain approval from the International Office.

    Visit the Whiting School Graduate Credit Hours page for information.

    MASTER’S – NON-RESIDENCY
    “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 TO OBTAIN NON-RESIDENT STATUS

    • Contact Academic Program Manager Mike Bernard to confirm eligibility for non-resident status.
    • 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

    Ph.D. – FULL-TIME
    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.

    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
    • WSE courses, both undergraduate and graduate – 3 or 4 credits each
    • 530.801/530.802 PhD Graduate Research – 3-20 credits
    • NOTE:
      • Audited courses do not count toward your 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 you to drop courses if the credit load drops below the 9-credit full-time threshold.  Add new courses first, and then drop the courses you wish to drop.
      • If you wish to change to part-time status, visit the “PhD – Part-Time” tab of this section to learn more.

    Ph.D. – PART-TIME
    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 2017-18 academic year is $1,740 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 530.801/802 Graduate Research each semester and some may continue to take the one-credit 530.803/804 Mechanical Engineering Graduate Seminar.

    Once a student is on part-time status, the research advisor may excuse the student from the 530.803/804 Mechanical Engineering Graduate Seminar requirement. Part-time students or their advisors will pay the part-time per-credit tuition.

    PART-TIME RESTRICTIONS

    • Audited courses do not count toward your credit load, but you will be charged tuition-per-credit.
    • 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.
    • Part-time students enrolled in the University health insurance must pay the full premium, which in 2017-18 is $940 per semester.

    HOW TO OBTAIN PART-TIME STATUS

    • Contact Academic Program Manager Mike Bernard to confirm eligibility to switch.
    • 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.

    Ph.D. – NON-RESIDENCY
    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

    • Contact Academic Program Manager Mike Bernard to confirm eligibility for non-resident status.
    • 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

  • Credits on research courses can vary, generally from 3-10 credits for master’s research and 3-20 credits for Ph.D. research courses. Occasionally, the number of credits may have to be changed during the semester either to maintain a required full-time status when another course is to be dropped or changed.  Also, credits may be changed to reflect the true amount of work being performed in a current research course.

    Once a student registers for a research course, the selected number of credits cannot be changed directly in SIS, but it can be changed by either of these options:

    • Either… E-mail the Homewood Registrar’s Graduate Records office to request the change, and copy your advisor on the request. Provide your full name, six-digit Hopkins ID number, the course number and title, and the updated number of credits.
    • Or… Complete the Course Registration Form. Indicate the change in credits in the “Remarks” section.  Have your advisor sign the form, then deliver it to the Registrar in the basement of Garland Hall.

    If the change in credits will result in enrollment below full-time status (at least nine credits), students must first obtain permission to switch to part-time status.  Visit the “Course Registration – Credits, Full-Time, Part-Time, Residency” bar on this page for eligibility and information on how to make the request.

  • Visit the Schedule and Catalog pages for course information.
    Course Registration Form – use this form when unable to register or drop courses on SIS.
    Use the Course Exception Waiver Form (Graduate) anytime that you are taking and counting a class outside of the usual requirements for the degree. These substitutions must be preapproved by your academic advisor and may also need the department’s and/or the Whiting School’s approval.

    You and your advisor must complete and sign the form, and then deliver it to Mike Bernard, Academic Program Manager.

  • The M.S.E. degree may be a final degree or it may be earned en route to the Ph.D. Either way, the requirements remain the same, and the advisor’s approval is required. Students who complete the M.S.E. degree are not automatically admitted to the Ph.D. program.

    To fulfill, the University-wide requirements, you must complete:

    • A minimum of two consecutive semesters as a full-time resident graduate student.
    • Course registration every semester.
    • EN.500.603 Academic Ethics

    If conducting research, you must also complete:

    • AS.360.624 (online) or AS.360.625 (in person) Responsible Conduct of Research course.
    • Research Laboratory Safety online modules and possibly the EN.500.601 Research Laboratory Safety lecture course.

    For more information, visit the Whiting School of Engineering’s Homewood-based Graduate Programs policies page, which lists all policies which graduate students must follow.

    The department requirements for an M.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering are described in Sections “A” and “B,” where both sections must be met:

    Section A:  Satisfactorily complete eight one-semester advanced courses approved by your advisor:

    • At least four courses must be at the graduate level (full-time programs xxx.600 or higher, Engineering for Professionals xx5.4xx or higher).
    • No more than four courses may be at the intermediate/advanced undergraduate level (full-time programs xxx.300 – xxx.499, Engineering for Professionals xx5.3xx). (Note: for students matriculating in Spring 2018 or later only advanced undergraduate courses xxx.400-499 will be accepted)
    • At least two courses should be in applied mathematics, numerical analysis, or computational methods. (This requirement can be waived in writing by your advisor, if sufficient prior preparation in these areas can be demonstrated).
    • Independent Study, 530.600 MSE Graduate Research, Graduate Research, or Special Studies are not eligible courses to help complete Section A’s requirement.

    Section B:  Plus either:

    • Two additional one-semester graduate-level courses (xxx.600–xxx.799) approved by your advisor (for BS/MSE and MSE students only, one can be 530.600 MSE Graduate Student Research), or…
    • …an M.S.E. Thesis acceptable to your advisor and one other reader. The course 530.602 MSE Thesis Research and Writing must be taken for a total of six credits, generally in one or two semesters. 530.600 is not accepted when writing a thesis.

    At least half of all courses counted toward the master’s degree must be 530.xxx Mechanical Engineering or 535.xxx Engineering for Professionals’ Mechanical Engineering but no more than two courses may be chosen from the Engineering for Professionals program.


    MSE Course Plan

    You can use the MSE Certificate of Completion as a Course Plan.


    Double-Counting Courses

    There may be opportunities to double-count up to two courses taken for previous degrees, but only with the permission of the master’s faculty advisor.

    For information, visit the Whiting School’s “Graduate – Full-Time Academic Policies” page and select the “Policy on Double-Counting Courses” bar.


    NEW! 530.602 Master’s Thesis Research and Writing – 3-10 credits – students must enroll in this “Pass/Fail” course when doing thesis research and writing for each semester where thesis work is done, typically in the last one or two semesters. While the course can grant 3-10 credits per semester, most students will register for 3 credits per semester. Students must check with their advisors to confirm when to register for the course.

    This “Pass/Fail” course does not count as one of the eight courses required in addition to the thesis.  The course is generally the equivalent of six credits and can be taken in one semester or split into three-credit courses taken over two semesters. If a student needs subsequent semesters to continue thesis work, he or she can simply register for the same course each semester.

    According to the Graduate Board’s Procedures for Administration of Approved Policies for the Award of Advanced Degrees, “Thesis readers are selected and appointed by the chair or appropriate faculty of the sponsoring department or committee. Any duly appointed member of a department or committee holding the rank of assistant professor or higher (excluding lecturers) is eligible for selection as a referee without prior approval. The Graduate Board Office must approve readers from outside the University, or from any non-Ph.D. sponsoring department, laboratory or institute within the University.”

  • The Ph.D. degree certifies that the holder has demonstrated the ability to conduct independent research and develop new knowledge. The requirements for a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering are as follows:

    Fulfill the University-wide requirements by:

    1. Completing a minimum of two consecutive semesters as a full-time resident graduate student,
    2. Register for courses every semester,
    3. Completing the following courses:
      • EN.500.603 Academic Ethics
      • AS.360.625 Responsible Conduct of Research
      • Research Laboratory Safety online modules and, for some, EN.500.601 Research Laboratory Safety lecture course.
    4. Passing the Graduate Board Oral examination (GBO), and…
    5. Submitting and defending a dissertation approved by at least three referees appointed by the Mechanical Engineering Department faculty.

    For more information, visit the Whiting School of Engineering’s Homewood-based Graduate Programs policies page, which lists all policies which graduate students must follow.

    In addition to the University-wide requirements, students must:

    1. Pass the Departmental Qualifying Examination (DQE) before the start of the fifth semester as a doctoral candidate. This examination is preliminary to the GBO and its primary purpose is to evaluate the candidate’s suitability for continuing study.
    2. Act as Teaching Assistant to at least two Mechanical Engineering courses.
    3. For each and every semester that a student maintains full-time status (that is, not change to non-resident status), each student must register for and pass two courses:
      • 530.801 (Fall) and 530.802 (Spring) Graduate Research.
      • 530.803 (Fall) and 530.804 (Spring) Mechanical Engineering Seminar by attending the required number of presentations.
    4. Earn an appropriate grade for all classes taken, as described in the “Academic Performance Requirements” section of the Ph.D. Graduate Advising manual.
  • The University offers research laboratory safety training, which is now a requirement for all Mechanical Engineering graduate students.

    The training is offered in the following modes:

    • A series of eight online learning modules
      • Introduction in ethics, hazards, and risk evaluation
      • Physical hazards
      • Chemical hazards
      • Biological
      • Radiation
      • Hazard analysis
      • Design for safety
      • Writing protocols and procedures
    • EN.500.601 Research Laboratory Safety – a six-week lecture course. Completion of the online learning modules is a prerequisite.
    Online Learning Modules required for all graduate students
    • All current students matriculating in Fall 2017 or earlier should complete the online learning modules before the beginning of the Spring 2018 semester, or by January 29, 2018.
    • All new Mechanical Engineering graduate students should complete the online learning modules within the first two weeks of their first enrolled semester.

    The online modules are currently available at My.JHU.edu -> My Learning.  Search for “Laboratory Safety Assessment Part 1…,” “Laboratory Safety Assessment Part 2…,” and so on.

    Once all eight courses are completed, an internal SIS acknowledgment with a “course number” EN.990.600 will be entered on students’ records, which will allow students to enroll in EN.500.601 (but EN.990.600 will not appear on a student’s transcript nor on a student’s course registration in SIS).

    Lecture encouraged or required for some graduate students

    Advisors may encourage or require Mechanical Engineering graduate students to take EN.500.601 Research Laboratory Safety.

    • The course is offered in the last six weeks of a semester
    • Students must complete the online modules before registering for the course.
  • Visit the Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. Graduate Student manual for information.

    Section 4.1 describes Departmental Qualifying Examinations (DQEs)

    • Please read this section with your advisor early in your time here to become familiar with suggested courses to prepare for the exam.
    • Academic Program Coordinator Kevin Adams will arrange DQE schedules beginning usually in November, and will contact students and professors directly.  The DQEs usually take place the third week in January, with occasional exceptions.
    • Students usually take the DQE after the completion of the third semester.
    • Please contact Kevin to explain unusual circumstances or otherwise request to take the DQE at a different time.

    Section 4.2 describes Graduate Board Oral examinations (GBOs)

    • Students usually take the GBO about one year after taking the DQE, usually around the sixth semester.  The GBO is a two-hour oral exam.
    • Examiners include two Mechanical Engineering professors and three professors from other departments, plus one more MechE professor and one more professor from another departent who will be available as alternate examiners.  All seven examiners/alternate examiners must be available
    • Advisors (not students) will select the examiners and alternates, with the Department Chair’s approval.
    • To schedule a GBO, your advisor must complete the GBO Exam Request form and deliver it to Academic Program Coordinator Kevin Adams.

    Section 4.3 describes Dissertation Defenses

    • Your advisor will determine when you are ready for your dissertation defense.
    • Visit the “PhD – Before the Defense” and “PhD – After the Defense” tabs of the “Preparing for Graduation” page for information on arranging and announcing the dissertation defense, as well as administrative actions necessary to complete all degree requirements and graduate.
  • Visit the “Preparing for Graduation” page to prepare for graduation for a master’s or Ph.D. degree!

  • Check out the Scholarships and Fellowships that are typically obtained by engineering students.  Be aware of application deadlines!
  • Check out these pages!

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