Academic Advising – Graduate


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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Whiting School has created an excellent information resource in the Homewood Graduate Student Frequently Asked Questions page, which addresses health and wellness needs, coping with social distancing, academic policy and grading adjustments, research, remote courses, and professional and visa concerns.

 

  • 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 “essay” master’s students must complete an annual graduate student evaluation with their advisors, which are due to the department by June 30.  The advisors will initiate this process with their students starting in March, with completed evaluations due to Kevin Adams by June 30.

    For students with more than one advisor – both advisors should participate in the evaluation process and must sign the evaluation form.

    For students with a primary advisor outside the Department of Mechanical Engineering and have a second advisor who is a full-time tenure-track Mechanical Engineering professor – both professors must participate in the evaluation and sign the evaluation form.

    For master’s students completing an essay who are working on the essay with a professor other than their primary advisor – both professors must participate in the evaluation and sign the evaluation form.

    Incomplete evaluation forms will be returned to the student for completion.

  • 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.
    • All Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) graduate-level courses (.600-level or higher) 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.
    • Audited courses do not count toward the credit load or the degree, but for those who pay tuition, audited courses are charged tuition per credit.

    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
    • EN.530.600/EN.530.820 (for those matriculating Fall 2020 and later) Master’s Graduate Research – 3-10 credits
    • EN.530.602/EN.530.821 (for those matriculating Fall 2020 and later) Master’s Essay – Research and Writing or EN.530.609/EN.530.822 (for those matriculating Fall 2020 and later) 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 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” 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 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/EN.530.821 Master’s Essay – Research and Writing or EN.530.609/EN.530.822 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
    • EN.530.602/EN.530.821 Master’s Essay – Research and Writing or EN.530.609/EN.530.822 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 your credit load, but you will be charged tuition-per-credit.
    • 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.
    • Part-time students enrolled in the University health insurance must pay the full premium, which in 2019-20 is $1103 per semester.

    HOW TO OBTAIN PART-TIME STATUS

    • 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 Load E-form request.
      • Go to iHopkins
      • Click on the blue Login button under “Students/Scholars/Int’l Employees with Active JHED ID.”
      • Login with your JHED ID and password
      • Click on “F-1 Student Services” drop down menu
      • Then click on “F-1 Reduced Course Load Form” and complete it.

    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” 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 are complete. The essay 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 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. 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) / EN.530.804 (Spring) Mechanical Engineering Graduate Seminar
        • Through Spring 2019 – this course is required for all Ph.D. students of all years.
        • NEW! Beginning Fall 2019 – this course is required only for first, second, and third year Ph.D. students. Those beginning their fourth year or later in Fall 2019 are no longer required to take this course.
      • Other seminars as your advisor requests or requires.
    • WSE courses, both undergraduate and graduate – 3 or 4 credits each
    • EN.530.801/EN.530.802 PhD Graduate Research – 3-20 credits (required every semester)
    • 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.
      • 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, please contact Academic Program Manager Mike Bernard.  The Whiting School will consider exceptions to allow this.

    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 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 your credit load, but you will be charged tuition-per-credit.
    • 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.
    • Part-time students enrolled in the University health insurance must pay the full premium, which in 2019-20 is $1103 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

    Ph.D. – NON-RESIDENT STUDY-AWAY
    Sometimes, Ph.D. students will study for an extended period off-campus, usually either because they have an opportunity for a special internship or research experience at a company or laboratory or because their advisor will work for an extended period at another university where it would be best for the students to join the professor at that location. In these cases, Non-Resident Study Away may be an appropriate option.

    • Students must complete all required course work and earn an unconditional pass on their preliminary Graduate Board Oral examination before starting the Non-Resident Study Away status.
    • Tuition costs are reduced to 10% of standard tuition.
    • Salary is still paid at the standard annual graduate student rate.
    • Students may return to campus in a resident status, as determined by the department and advisor.

    RESOURCES

    LEAVE OF ABSENCE
    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. 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. Contact the Registrar’s health insurance staff at ASENInsurance@jhu.edu to discuss your situation and determine what options exist.

    Please complete the 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.

  • 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
    • Title IX and Opioid Epidemic Awareness training courses.
      • Access these courses at MyJHU.edu.
      • Sign in with your JHED ID and password.
      • On the left blue bar, select the “Education” icon, then the “My Learning” icon.
      • Search for the following courses:
        • “Opioid Epidemic Awareness and Education Program”
        • “Title IX Harassment Prevention”
      • Select the “Take Course” icon to take the course.  Each course takes about 1-2 hours to complete.

    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 (xxx.600 or higher, up to two Engineering for Professionals xx5.4xx or higher).
    • No more than four courses may be at the advanced undergraduate level (full-time programs xxx.400 – xxx.499, Engineering for Professionals xx5.3xx).
    • 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.
    • Ineligible Courses: 530.800 Independent Study, EN.530.600/EN.530.820 MSE All-Course – Graduate Research, and other departments’ Graduate Research, Independent Study, and Special Studies are not eligible courses to complete Section A’s requirement.
    • New in Fall 2019: At least 4 of 10 courses, or at least 3 of 8 courses if writing an essay – must be Mechanical Engineering or related courses:
      • EN.530.xxx Mechanical Engineering
      • Any of these courses:
        • EN.580.451/452 (Fall/Spring) – Cell and Tissue Engineering
        • Intro to Linear Systems – any one of EN.530.616, EN.520.601, or EN.580.616.
        • EN.560.772 Nonlinear Finite Element Methods
        • EN.560.773 Finite Element Methods
        • EN.520.773 Advanced Topics in Fabrication and Microengineering
      • Up to two courses from EN.535.xxx Engineering for Professionals’ Mechanical Engineering
      • (The former requirement was half of all courses – 5/10 or 4/8 with essay – must be Mechanical Engineering.)

    No more than two courses may be chosen from the Engineering for Professionals program.

    Section B:  Plus either:

    COURSE OPTION

    • Two additional one-semester graduate-level courses (xx.xxx.6xx or higher, Engineering for Professionals EN.xx5.4xx or higher).
    • EN.530.600/EN.530.820 (for those matriculating in Fall 2020 and later) MSE All-Course – Graduate Research
      • BS/MSE and MSE students only: one of these two courses can be EN.530.600/EN.530.820 MSE All-Course – Graduate Research. Students must also have completed the appropriate Responsible Conduct of Research and Research Laboratory Safety courses.
      • PhD students earning the MSE degree cannot count EN.530.600/EN.530.820 MSE All-Course – Graduate Research.
    • Ineligible Courses: EN.530.800 Independent Study, EN.530.602/EN.530.821 Master’s Essay – Research and Writing, EN.530.609/EN.530.822 Master’s – Co-Op, EN.530.801/802 Ph.D. Graduate Research, and other departments’ Graduate Research, Independent Study, and Special Studies are not eligible courses to complete Section B’s requirement.

    ESSAY OPTION

    • An M.S.E. essay (the official title of master’s theses at Johns Hopkins) acceptable to your advisor and one other eligible reader.
    • There are two options to complete the essay:
    • Both EN.530.602/EN.530.821 and EN.530.609/EN.530.822 are “Pass/Fail” courses that do not count as one of the eight courses required in addition to the essay. The courses are generally the equivalent of six credits and can be taken in one semester or split into three-credit courses over two semesters. If a student needs subsequent semesters to continue essay work, he or she can simply register for the same course each semester.
    • 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). This course is not graded. Visit these sites for information:

    If conducting research, either by taking EN.530.600/EN.530.820 (for those matriculating in Fall 2020 and later) MSE All-Course – Graduate Research, completing an essay, or taking a research course in another department you must also complete:

    • AS.360.624 (online) or AS.360.625 (in person) Responsible Conduct of Research course.
    • Laboratory Safety Assessment online modules and, for some, EN.500.601 Research Laboratory Safety lecture course.
      • The online modules are available on MyJHU.edu.
      • Sign in with your JHED ID and password.
      • On the left blue bar, select the “Education” icon, then the “My Learning” icon.
      • Search for “Laboratory Safety Assessment.”  You will see 8 parts. Take them all. Each will take 30-60 minutes to complete.

    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.

    EN.530.602/EN.530.821 Master’s Essay – Research and Writing or EN.530.609/EN.530.822 Master’s Essay – Co-Op

    Students must enroll in the appropriate “Pass/Fail” course when doing essay research or co-op for each semester where such work is done, typically in the last one or two semesters. While the courses can grant 3-10 credits per semester, most students will register for 3 or 6 credits. Students must check with their faculty advisors to confirm when to register for the appropriate course.

    • Students matriculating as master’s students before Fall 2020 will use the course numbers EN.530.602 and EN.530.609.
    • Students matriculating as master’s students Fall 2020 and later will use the course numbers EN.530.821 and EN.530.822.

    These “Pass/Fail” courses do not count as one of the eight courses required in addition to the essay. Both courses are 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 essay 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 [essay] 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.”

    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:

    NEW!  Use this Checkout Sheet to plan your course work.

    You can also use the MSE Certificate of Completion to plan your courses.

    Your faculty advisor or Academic Program Manager Mike Bernard can help you with planning your coursework.

    Degree Timelines

    Students can generally expect to complete their degrees in these time frames:


    5th Year Masters (Hopkins MechE department alumni only)

    • Junior/Senior Undergraduate Years
      • Double-count two .400-level academic courses from the Bachelor’s Degree.
      • Take two courses that count for the master’s degree but do not count for the Bachelor’s Degree.
    • 5th Year Master’s – Semester 1
      • Complete required introductory courses:  Academic Ethics, Title IX, and Opioid Dangers
      • Take 3 academic courses
      • If taking or planning to take a research course or writing an essay, register for and complete:
        • required Lab Safety online modules and optional EN.500.601 Research Lab Safety course.
        • AS.360.624 online Responsible Conduct of Research course.
        • (Essay only) EN.530.602/EN.530.821 Master’s Essay – Research and Writing or EN.530.609/EN.530.822 Master’s Essay – Co-Op, 3 credits
    • 5th Year Master’s – Semester 2
      • All-Course: Take 3 academic courses and graduate.
      • Essay:
        • Take 1 academic course
        • Register for EN.530.602/EN.530.821 Master’s Essay – Research and Writing or EN.530.609/EN.530.822 Master’s Essay – Co-Op, 3 credits
        • Continue essay research and begin writing the essay.
        • Complete the essay, have readers approve, submit essay to the library, and then graduate.  Note that some students writing an essay may need a third semester to complete the program.

    If students do not take two courses outside the bachelor’s degree in their Undergraduate Years, they may have to return for a third semester.  It is not recommended to take more than 3 courses in a semester.

    Please talk to your advisor first if you want to take more than 3 courses in one semester.


    All-Course

    • Semester 1
      • Complete required introductory courses:  Academic Ethics, Title IX, and Opioid Dangers
      • Take 3 academic courses
      • If taking or planning to take a research course, complete required Lab Safety and Responsible Conduct of Research courses
    • Semester 2 – take 3 courses
    • Semester 3 – take 3 courses
    • Semester 4 – take 1 course and graduate.

    It is not recommended to take more than 3 courses in a semester.  Please talk to your advisor first if you want to take more than 3 courses in one semester.


    Essay

    • Semester 1
      • Complete required introductory courses:  Academic Ethics, Title IX, and Opioid Awareness
      • Take 3 academic courses
    • Semester 2
      • Take 3 academic courses
      • Complete required Lab Safety and Responsible Conduct of Research courses
      • Discuss essay topic with advisor and possibly begin research or arrange for co-op
    • Semester 3
      • Take 2 academic courses, begin or continue research.
      • Begin or continue research or co-op, begin writing the essay.
      • Register for EN.530.602/EN.530.821 Master’s Essay – Research and Writing or EN.530.609/EN.530.822 Master’s Essay – Co-Op (3 credits).
    • Semester 4
      • If needed, complete research or co-op.
      • Register for the appropriate course
        • If Part-Time: EN.530.602/EN.530.821 Master’s Essay – Research and Writing or EN.530.609/EN.530.822 Master’s Essay – Co-Op (3 credits)
        • If Non-Resident:  EN.910.600 Non-Resident Status (3 credits)
      • Complete the essay, have readers approve, submit essay to the library, then graduate.

    Individual experiences may vary.

    Visiting the Whiting School’s “Graduate – Full-Time Academic Policies” page for information on policies that affect students and degree programs.
  • 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
      • Title IX and Opioid Epidemic Awareness training courses.
        • Access these courses at MyJHU.edu.
        • Sign in with your JHED ID and password.
        • On the left blue bar, select the “Education” icon, then the “My Learning” icon.
        • Search for the following courses:
          • “Opioid Epidemic Awareness and Education Program”
          • “Title IX Harassment Prevention”
        • Select the “Take Course” icon to take the course.  Each course takes about 1-2 hours to complete.
      • Laboratory Safety Assessment online modules and, for some, EN.500.601 Research Laboratory Safety lecture course.
        • The online modules are available on MyJHU.edu. Follow the instructions above and search for “Laboratory Safety Assessment.”  You will see 8 parts. Take them all. Each will take 30-60 minutes to complete.
    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. While a student maintains full-time status (that is, not change to non-resident status), each student must register for and pass these courses:
      • EN.530.801 (Fall) and EN.530.802 (Spring) Graduate Research – every semester as a Ph.D. student
      • EN.530.803 (Fall) and EN.530.804 (Spring) Mechanical Engineering Seminar by attending the required number of presentations, which are 12 seminars with at least 8 presented at the MechE seminar.
        • Through Spring 2019 – this course is required for all Ph.D. students of all years.
        • NEW! Beginning Fall 2019 – this course required only for first, second, and third year Ph.D. students. Those beginning their fourth year or later in Fall 2019 are no longer required to take this course.
    4. Earn an appropriate grade for all classes taken, as described in the “Academic Performance Requirements” section of the Ph.D. Graduate Advising manual.

    Degree Timelines

    Students can generally expect the degree program experience to unfold in these time frames:

    Year 1 

    • Discuss program plan with advisor to determine academic courses, research topics, and research plan
    • Take required introductory courses: Academic Ethics, Title IX, and Opioid Dangers
    • Take academic courses
    • Take required Graduate Research and MechE Graduate Seminar courses
    • Begin preliminary research work as determined by your advisor
    • Work with advisor to create annual evaluation
    • Prepare for Departmental Qualifier Exam (students matriculating Fall 2018 and later)

    Year 2

    • Take academic courses
    • Take required in-person course: 360.625 Responsible Conduct of Research
    • Take required Graduate Research and MechE Graduate Seminar courses
    • Act as a Teaching Assistant for one of two required courses
    • Prepare for Departmental Qualifier Exam (students matriculating Spring 2018 and earlier)
    • Take Departmental Qualifier Exam
      • Mid-September (students matriculating Fall 2018 and later)
      • Mid-January (students matriculating Spring 2018 and earlier)
    • Continue research work, start discussion on dissertation topic
    • Work with advisor to create annual evaluation.

    Year 3

    • Take academic courses, as needed
    • Take required Graduate Research and MechE Graduate Seminar courses
    • Continue research work, continue discussion and decide on dissertation topic
    • Act as a Teaching Assistant for the second of two required courses
    • Prepare for and take (preliminary) Graduate Board Oral exam
    • Work with advisor to create annual evaluation

    Year 4

    • Take required Graduate Research course
    • Work with advisor to create annual evaluation
    • Continue research work and hone dissertation topic. Perhaps begin writing it.

    Year 5

    • Take required Graduate Research course
    • Work with advisor to create annual evaluation
    • Write dissertation
    • Prepare for and complete the Dissertation Defense.  The University also sometimes calls this the “Final Graduate Board Oral exam.”
    • Prepare completed dissertation for submission to the JHU Library for publication
    • Graduate!

    Individual experiences may vary.

  • Visit the Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. Graduate Student manual for information.

    Section 3.3 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.
    • Sr. Academic Program Coordinator Kevin Adams will arrange DQE schedules beginning in summer, and will contact students and professors directly.  Professors will complete the DQE Scheduling Request Form as part of the scheduling process.
    • The DQEs usually take place in September, with occasional exceptions.
    • Students usually take the DQE after the completion of the second semester.
    • Please contact Kevin to explain unusual circumstances or otherwise request to take the DQE at a different time.

    Section 3.4 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 two professors from other departments, plus one from either Mechanical Engineering or another Department. One of the outside professors, who will serve as the examination chair must be tenured.
    • One more MechE professor and one more professor from another department must be available as alternate examiners.  All seven examiners/alternate examiners must be available at the same day and time.
    • Advisors (not students) will select the examiners and alternates, with the Department Chair’s approval.
    • To schedule a GBO, please ask your advisor to complete the GBO Exam Request form and send it to Sr. Academic Program Coordinator Kevin Adams, who will arrange the schedule.

    Section 3.5 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.
  • If you are struggling with any course homework or exams, having trouble attending lectures, or experiencing any academic difficulties, don’t wait!  Ask for help early.  It’s okay and welcomed!  We can help you surmount your troubles and succeed!

    Here are some resources where to turn:

    • First, talk to your Professor, Faculty Advisor, or Teaching Assistant.
    • In addition, you can also talk to these folks:
      • Your Mechanical Engineering Academic Staff – Mike Bernard or Kevin Adams
      • Allison Leventhal, Student Life Administrator
        410-516-2328 or aleventhal@jhu.edu
      • Christine Kavanagh, Assistant Dean of Graduate Affairs
        410-516-5938 or ckav@jhu.edu
      • Prof. Sri Sarma, Vice Dean for Graduate Education – 410-516-3481 or ssarma2@jhu.edu.
  • “Research Laboratory safety”

    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 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, but for some students it may be required

    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.
    “rESPONSIBLE CONDUCT OF RESEARCH” course required for all students conducting research

    The Research Laboratory Safety course work is a separate activity from the Responsible Conduct of Research, which is also required for anyone conducting research, whether it is for PhD research or master’s degree research for either the course EN.530.600 MSE All-Course Graduate Research or for the master’s essay.

    • Most master’s students will take the course online.
    • Master’s Students whose research is funded by the NIH and all PhD students, no matter the research funding course will take the course in-person.

    Section 2.3 of both the Master’s and PhD Academic Advising manuals linked in the “Advising Manuals” section of this page provides details.

  • 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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