Academic Advising – Undergraduate

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University and the Whiting School have created an information resources in these pages:

These links address health and wellness needs, coping with social distancing, academic policy and grading adjustments, research, remote courses, future course registration, and visa concerns.

Our students use these resources to ensure that they not only complete the requirements for their bachelor’s degrees but also to enhance and enjoy their educational experience.

For additional information, students are encouraged to contact their faculty advisors or Mike Bernard, Academic Program Manager.

  • This advising manual can be used only by the Class of 2024.
    This advising manual can be used only by the Classes of 2022 and 2023.
    This advising manual can be used only by the Class of 2022, though the 2019-20 edition is more up to date.
    This advising manual will be used only by the Class of 2021.

  • These are the “checkout sheets” of the degree requirements, also known as “degree plans” or “4-year Plans.”

    These checkout sheets can be supplemented with a variety of minors and some second majors. Please contact Mike Bernard, Academic Program Manager to arrange a degree planning meeting to discuss your minor and major interests. He will help you update your checkout sheet.

  • These are visual guides to courses and their prerequisite and co-requisite relationships.

    Engineering Mechanics

    Mechanical Engineering

  • The Johns Hopkins E-Catalog section on Program Requirements describes Course Areas, which categorize undergraduate courses into five main areas:

    • E = Engineering
    • N = Natural Science
    • Q = Quantitative (math and programming)
    • H = Humanities
    • S = Social Sciences

    Courses can have up to two course areas.

    If a course carries no course area, then it will not count for the sections of the degree that require a course area.


    Math courses must have a Q course area but must be a math course.  Courses numbered (Mathematics), and or (Applied Mathematics) will have the “Q” course area. Please ask your advisor about Q courses with any other course number before counting and taking them.

    humanities and social sciences

    Humanities and Social Sciences courses have to have either H or S as one of the course areas.  They could have both (HS) or be paired with another course area (e.g., HN or QS or other combination).

    Please read Section 5.3 of the Academic Advising Manual about where Humanities and Social Science courses can be taught. Only one can be taught in the Whiting School, which will have courses numbered  Some and courses have an H or S course area, but many don’t. Please confirm your desired course has an H or S course area.  Many students have been tripped-up by this requirement. Don’t be one of them!


    Mechanical Engineering electives must have an E course area and be numbered EN.530.3xx or higher.

    Technical Electives must have either an E, N, or Q course area and must be numbered or higher (upper-undergraduate level). They, too, could be paired with another qualifying course area (e.g. EN, EQ, NQ) or with another course area (e.g. HN or QS or other combination).

    no double-counting in multiple sections of the same degree

    Courses with unusual combinations like HN or QS can count for only one course in your degree program.  For example, a course with a QS course area cannot simultaneously count for both a Technical Elective and a Humanities/Social Science elective. It can be counted for one elective or the other, but not both.

  • Elective Definitions
    There are specific definitions of Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Mechanics, and Technical electives, which are explained in Sections 6.4.2 (Mechanical Engineering) and 7.5 (Engineering Mechanics) of the MechE Undergraduate Advising Manual. Please be familiar with these definitions while making course choices.

    The University allows departments to “cross-list” their courses in SIS so that they appear in multiple departments’ SIS course listings. Departments do this to encourage students in majors other than the department’s own to easily see their offerings and register for their courses.

    Choose Carefully
    Courses that are cross-listed in SIS in other departments may not meet the elective definitions, so choose carefully.  Please contact your faculty advisor or Academic Program Manager Mike Bernard with your questions on whether a course counts for your degree.

  • Use the Course Exception Waiver Form 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.

    The form must include these items:

    • The policy or requirement for which an exception will be requested.
    • The exception request itself.
    • The academic rationale explaining the request and how it will cover, change, or enhance the affected policy or requirement.

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

    After you and your advisor sign the form, it will be routed to one of the following for review to approve the request:

    • For requests affecting engineering, science, or math courses: the department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies, Prof. Steven Marra or his designated staff/faculty member.
    • For humanities and social science courses (in most cases): the Whiting School Academic Advising office.

    Assuming the review generates an approval, the form will receive one last signature and be filed.

  • All students taking courses with experimental labs must take 990.100 Laboratory Safety for Undergraduates before registering for your courses. This two-hour online course should be completed 24 hours before your registration period begins so the SIS registration system will acknowledge the course’s completion.

    Taking the course just one time will cover all of these courses:

    • 530.115 (Fall) / 530.116 (Spring) MechE Freshman Lab
    • 560.201 Statics and Mechanics of Materials
    • 530.212 Mechanical Engineering Dynamics Lab (new in Spring 2018)
    • 530.216 Mechanics Based Design Lab
    • 530.232 Thermodynamics Lab
    • 530.241 Electronics and Instrumentation
    • 530.329 Intro to Fluid Mechanics Lab
    • 530.335 Heat Transfer Lab
    • 530.344 Design and Analysis of Dynamic Systems Lab
    • 530.352 Materials Selection
    • 530.354 Manufacturing Engineering
    • 530.381 Engineering Design Process
    • 530.403 (Fall) / 530.404 (Spring) Senior Design

    To take the course:

    1. Open the myJH Portal
    2. Select the Education sidebar tab
    3. Select the MyLearning option
    4. Enter Laboratory Safety Introductory Course in the search area
    5. Select the course title, then Add to Dev Plan
    6. Click Next, then click Done to begin the course.
    7. If you need help, contact

    Please note that the course EN.990.100 will NOT be visible on your transcript even after you successfully complete it. It is administratively recorded in SIS, and will be read by SIS when pre-requisite checking your  selected courses.

  • Students may request to “overload” credits in a given semester beyond the University’s credit limit. Visit the Advising Questions page and then the “Registration” section for details on the process.

    Students can take up to 12 credits outside Hopkins toward their degrees (besides AP and IB credits, and those earned by students who transferred from other institutions). Some students like to take courses during the summer or other times to make room for courses during the academic year, especially if someone wants to earn a minor or repeat a course to absolve a low grade.

    There is a pre-approval process that students should complete in order to see if the intended course will be transferrable. Please visit Blackboard > WSE Academic Advising > Academic Information > Quick Links: Forms > “Permission to Transfer External Courses Form (current students ONLY).”

    Download the PDF, read and follow the directions thoroughly, then submit the form for final vetting to Given the anticipated volume the Whiting School academic advisors are likely to receive with such requests and the time it takes to thoroughly vet the courses, please allow up to 10 business days (two work weeks) to receive a response.

    Visit the Advising Questions page and then the “Transferring College Credit” section for details.

    Students can then take the course and must earn a C or higher.  The school then sends the transcript to Hopkins.  Once received, the credits will be transferred to the transcript, though the grade will not be calculated in the Hopkins GPA.

  • You can concentrate your electives into one of two specialized fields.  Check out the Aerospace and Biomechanics Tracks.

    Note that students must declare a minor, not just simply take the classes that will help meet the minor requirements.  Students taking minors will be assigned an advisor in the department offering the minor.  Visit the Advising Questions page > Majors, Minors, Second Majors… section for instructions on how to declare a minor.

    Students can earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in just 5 years!  Visit the Mechanical Engineering – “5-year” Combined Bachelor’s/Masters Degree program page for information.

    Are you curious about other programs?  Check out the Fields of Study at the Whiting School of Engineering

  • Check out the Scholarships and Fellowships that are typically obtained by engineering students.  Be aware of application deadlines!
  • Check out the Competition opportunities available to students.  Be aware of application deadlines!
  • Senior Exit Interviews are conducted by a combination of an online survey and an in-person interview.  The survey questions and result summaries are available upon request.
  • Follow this link for information about the FE / EIT examinations in Maryland. This exam can be taken up to six months before graduation. These are offered twice a year, in October and April. Application deadlines are approximately six months before the exam date.
Back to top