Updated October 31, 2023

Becoming a Visiting Student or Visiting Scholar

We welcome Visiting Students and Scholars – high school, undergraduate, and graduate – for research and academic experiences with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. We offer a stimulating, challenging, and rewarding experience to those appointed to such a position. This page gives general information, helpful web links, and information on what to do upon arrival. All visitors will be expected to follow all safety protocols while the COVID-19 pandemic passes. Information will be provided to incoming visitors.

What’s the difference between Visiting Students and Visiting Scholars?

  • Visiting Students typically take courses while at Johns Hopkins, though they may embark on some research.
  • Visiting Scholars typically embark on research, though they may have the opportunity to take a course.

We will invite undergraduate students, graduate students, and occasionally high school students to join us for a period as a visitor.

Typically, our faculty will invite a visiting student or visiting scholar for a period of a few weeks, a few months, or even up to a year or two to conduct research and gain academic knowledge. If you seek an appointment, also known as an invitation, you are welcome to contact the faculty member in whom you are interested to explore the possibility of working with him or her.

Please do not “spam” the entire faculty with the hope that one will respond. The department takes a dim view of such inquiries and will diminish the chances of your receiving an invitation.

Those who are selective in contacting faculty, demonstrating that you have read their research, and showing a genuine interest in their work have a better chance of receiving an appointment.

Once you receive an appointment / invitation, our academic administrative staff will contact you directly to begin the process. We’re happy to help!


Mike Bernard

Academic Program Manager

223 Latrobe Hall

 John Soos

Sr. Academic Program Coordinator

223 Latrobe Hall

Other contact people will include your faculty supervisor.

The appointment/invitation process will take at least several weeks to be completed. This depends on whether you will need a visa and how long it will take for the visa to be issued.

Be sure to “like” our Facebook page from your own Facebook page to follow along.

DS-2019 Process

For Visiting Graduate Students and Scholars

Upon receipt of a visiting graduate student’s Admission Decision form, the department submits the admissions package to the Graduate Admissions office, who after processing sends them to the JHU Office of International Services (OIS).

For Visiting Undergraduate Students

Upon application approval by the Undergraduate Admissions office, they will notify the JHU Office of International Services (OIS).

For all Visiting Students and Scholars after the initial approval process

You will receive an e-mail from the “iHopkins” system with instructions on completing an electronic form that will allow the DS-2019 to be issued to you, which will then allow you to obtain the J-1 visa.

Please allow up to 2 weeks for the process to occur. This e-mail will also provide instructions on how to arrange for shipment of your DS-2019. Estimated costs of attendance can be found on the OIS website. Questions on immigration or visa issues should be addressed to OIS at ois@jhu.edu or +1-667-208-7001. Please do not ask the academic staff for the status of the DS-2019, as they can only refer you back to the OIS.

Pre-Admission Immunization Requirements

All new visiting students must meet the University’s pre-admission health requirements by providing proof of immunity to certain communicable diseases prior to registration.

Before arriving at Johns Hopkins you must do the following:

  • Download, print and send the Student Health and Wellness Center a paper copy of your immunization information signed by your health care provider.
  • Enter the immunization information into your electronic health record using the “SH&WC Web Portal.”

For detailed information and instructions for completing these requirements, please visit the Student Health & Wellness Center (SH&WC) website.

Submission Deadline

You must submit your Pre-Admission Health form before your appointment date. Please direct your questions regarding these requirements to the Student Health and Wellness Center on their Staff Page.

Health Insurance

International visiting students who have J-1 visas must enroll in the JHU student health insurance plan (CHP) on a monthly basis. The CHP premium is approximately US $207 per month, with coverage calculated from the 15th of every month. You will sign up for health insurance coverage through the Registrar’s Office. Waivers of this requirement are not granted. Visit the Registrar’s health insurance page for more information.

You can purchase health insurance for spouses and family members at your cost. The policy year runs from August 15 to August 14.

Please contact the health insurance office at the Registrar at ASENInsurance@jhu.edu for rate information.

We recommend that you fly into Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), which is about a 30-minute ride from campus.

You can travel from the airport to the Johns Hopkins University’s “Homewood” campus by using a taxi or airport shuttle or the Light Rail or MARC train to Pennsylvania Station, about one mile from campus. Taxis, Uber, Lyft, and free Johns Hopkins shuttles at Penn Station can bring you to the University.

Note that if you travel to one of the Washington, DC area airports, either Dulles International (IAD) or Reagan National (DCA), you will be about 65-115 km / 40-70 miles from Baltimore. Transportation from those airports to Baltimore will be more costly and time consuming compared to travel from BWI, which is only 22 km / 14 miles from campus.

The University’s Off-Campus Housing office can help you find a home, give advice on securing a lease, and connect with potential roommates. Note that while there is no housing on campus for graduate students, there are many homes and apartments available within 3 km / 2 miles of campus.

Off-Campus Housing Listing Database: this normally requires your JHED ID but until that’s issued, you can request access as a “Guest.” Visit the Guest Registration page for instructions to request access.

Our department does not endorse any specific living space, but we encourage you to explore all options within your price range.

Get a jump on getting connected at Hopkins!

We’re excited that you have arrived and can’t wait to meet you! Before we meet, there are things to do. When you arrive, do these items in this order:

1. Visit the J-Card Office and the Registrar

  • J-Card Office – Levering Hall, South: get your J-card.
  • Registrarthe Registrar’s Student Service Center on the first floor of Levering Hall, near the Glass Pavilion.
    • Confirm your health insurance enrollment.
    • Register for the appropriate Visiting Student course.
      • Use this form for Visiting Graduate Students. Once the form is completed, submit the form to the Student Enrollment and Account Management (SEAM) system > Add/drop inquiry. Complete the info on the request and upload your form to the request and submit. You will get a confirmation e-mail with your case number. The Registrar will then register you.
      • For Visiting Undergraduate Students, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions will contact you to visit them to complete the appropriate form to register.

2. Check in with the Office of International Services. They must know that you have arrived on campus.

3. If you are receiving an hourly payment, the academic staff will have already contacted you separately to complete hiring documents.  If you have not yet provided those documents to us, please do so we can arrange your pay.

4. Introduce yourself to us!  The Mechanical Engineering Administrative Office is under renovations and is closed until late-February 2024.  The staff, including John and Mike, will be working remotely for most of that period.  There is a temporary administrative office in Latrobe Hall, Room 117 that is open for limited hours Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. where staff will be available to provide room keys and answer questions. If you have a desire to meet John or Mike in person, contact us at me-academic@jhu.edu to arrange an in-person meeting.  John and Mike are also available to meet remotely most days on Zoom or Microsoft Teams.


This is your login ID to most Hopkins Web sites, including the “myJH” portal, home of the Johns Hopkins Enterprise Directory. It typically includes the first letter of your first name, your last name or part of your last name, and one or more digits. Your JHED ID is a maximum of 8 characters.

Hopkins ID

This is the six-digit-and-letter ID that SIS (the Student Information System) uses to identify students.

Government ID

For American students, this is the Social Security Number. For international students, this is a temporary Hopkins-assigned (988-xx-xxxx) number to use at JHU in place of a social security number. For those receiving a salary or stipend, this number is used in the process to set up your pay. International students receiving a salary will apply for a Social Security Number after arrival.

J-Card ID

This is the 16-digit number located above the barcode on one’s J-Card, which you will receive upon arrival. This number is read automatically when you swipe your J-Card at a reader. The 14-digit number below the J-Card barcode is your library number and can be used on the library page.

How to Register

You are required to register as a student each semester during which you are participating as a visiting student. While you are not charged tuition for this course, the tuition value of three credits is included as a University subsidy on your DS-2019 form.

Upon arrival, contact the Registrar and ask to register for one of these courses using the Shared Student Case Management System. Sign in with your JHED ID and password, then select “Records and Registration” and then select “Add, drop, audit or withdrawal from a course.”

  • Visiting Graduate Students: EN 990.890 Graduate Research Practicum – complete the Visiting Graduate Student form with your name and Hopkins ID. You can attach the completed form to your request to “add” the course.
  • Visiting Undergraduate Students: EN.990.977 Undergraduate Research Practicum. The Registrar will provide instructions on how to register for this course.

These are not courses where you 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 you 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.

Research Supervisors

All visiting students have a research supervisor who is a Mechanical Engineering faculty member. Please contact your supervisor upon arrival for information on your research work.

Contact info for our faculty is located on the Faculty page.

Access to various buildings and offices will be granted in one of two ways:

  • Using one’s J-Card for electronic access.
  • Using keys.

Students will receive access to buildings and offices as needed.

  • Latrobe Hall is open during business hours Monday through Friday and most evenings and weekends. Please contact us at me-academic@jhu.edu and we will be happy to arrange to get you your keys with our on-campus staff.
  • The third floor of Latrobe Hall will be accessible with J-card access for all students Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Students with offices on this floor will have daily 24-hour access with J-cards.
  • Other halls will be open during business hours Monday through Friday and limited access will be available at other times.

Desk space may be provided to visiting students depending on availability. Please ask your research supervisor where you will be seated.

  • Visiting students who will work in Hackerman Hall (robotics) or Clark Hall (biomechanics) – contact your research supervisor for information.
  • Visiting students who will work in Malone Hall (HEMI, some mechanics of materials) – contact your research supervisor or administrative coordinator Bess Bieluczyk at bess@jhu.edu for information.
  • Visiting students who will work in Latrobe Hall (fluids, some biomechanics, some mechanics of materials) – contact your research supervisor for information.
    • Once your research supervisor determines your desk location, you will receive keys to the Latrobe Hall building, your office space, and your desk . Note that there is a $5 refundable deposit charged per key.
    • If your research supervisor is unsure where to place you, he or she can contact the academic staff to find out what desks are available.

Complete Hiring Documents
  • Complete a New Hire Information Sheet. Leave the Administrative Actions section blank. Do not complete the Social Security Number (SSN). We have access to your SSN internally. Send the form to me-academic@jhu.edu.
  • TIP: Avoid identify theft! Never e-mail a document with your SSN on it, just in case an e-mail is intercepted or hacked.
  • Please complete the online I-9 Form. During the I-9 process, international students will be asked to complete a Foreign National Information Form.
  • For International Students:
  • Sign up for Direct Deposit, where your stipend will be deposited right into your bank account on payday. Visit ESS, or “Employee Self-Service” to set up Direct Deposit or change accounts anytime.
    • Please have your bank account’s “routing number” and “account number” handy before signing in.
    • Go to my.jhu.edu and sign in with your JHED ID and password.
    • Select the “HR” tab and then the “ESS” tab.
    • Sign in again with your JHED ID and password.
    • Select the “Payroll Info” tab and you will see the option to set up or edit Direct Deposit. Follow the instructions to set up or update the account.
Payday! How you will receive your salary…

Some visiting undergraduate students (and rarely, visiting high school students) are paid hourly and record their time with time cards.

Hourly Pay
Undergraduate Assistant or Graduate Assistant in Mechanical Engineering

  • Undergraduate Students – $16
  • Graduate Students – $17

Note that some positions pay differently than these rates, depending on the salary stipulations of the grant or project.

Time Cards
Time Cards must be used to record hours worked. Until February 19, 2023, please use either:

Note that beginning February 20, 2023, all hourly-paid employees must use the TimesheetX system to submit their hours.

How to Submit Hours on the Time (until February 19, 2023)

  1. Complete all sections of the time card.
    • Name: the employee’s full name
    • “Pernr”: the SAP personnel number
    • Principal Investigator for Grant/CC: supervisor name
    • Cost Center/Internal Order: the account number to charge salary
    • Signature: employee signature and date. Both can be typed.
    • PI/Supervisor Signature: supervisor’s signature and date. Both can be typed.
    • Hours Submitted by…: leave blank, as the MechE staff will complete this.
  2. Have the Principal Investigator (PI) or authorized supervisor sign the card to confirm and authorize your hours worked.
  3. Your PI or supervisor will send the card by e-mail to me-academic@jhu.edu.
    • Subject line must read: “Time Card”
    • Attach the completed time card.
  4. Designated staff will record the time in the CATS system in SAP and file the submitted time cards.

Time cards must be submitted by e-mail to meet the submission deadline of 2:00 p.m. one week before payday.

Visit the Hourly Payroll Submission Deadline Schedule for the deadline in the “Time Entry Cutoff 2:00 p.m.” column.

Hours submitted after the deadline will be paid at the next available pay period.


In case of emergency:

Safety and Security

The Johns Hopkins Safety and Security office offers many services to keep you and those around you safe. View the page for information on those services and other tips for your personal safety.


Check out the Student Wellness page, which offers support and services in seven key areas of wellness: emotional and mental health, physical health, finances, professional life, spiritual health, sexual health, and social well-being.

Getting Personal Help

Occasionally, students may feel overwhelmed by the rigors of education, especially if coupled with outside stresses like health and family concerns. Johns Hopkins offers a host of resources where you can ask for and receive help.

If you need someone to listen, you can talk to your advisor, Academic Program Manager Mike Bernard or Senior Academic Program Coordinator John Soos. Sometimes, venting to someone may be all you need.

Sometimes, though, you may want to talk to someone who is trained to help people in distress. View these pages for information and hours:

Postal Address

You can have items mailed to you at this postal address:

Johns Hopkins University, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Attention: (you)
3910 Keswick Road, Latrobe 217
Baltimore, Maryland 21211-2226 USA

You may have educational and personal items sent to you, but please keep the volume of personal items sent at a reasonable level.


Every student receives a J-card, which is your university identification card. It gets you in to the Library, computer labs, certain buildings, events, and the Recreation Center.


If you need to park a car on campus, check out the Parking Office website, which has this section: parking for students.

Campus Map

Visit the JHU Maps and Directions page for campus maps and directions.

Income Tax Info

If you are receiving hourly pay, income taxes are usually withheld. Tax laws and rules vary depending on your citizenship. Some information on taxes is available at the Tax Office website.

Contact the JHU Tax Office for assistance:

Tax Office
Suite D200 – Eastern High Campus
1101 East 33rd Street
tax “at” jhu.edu

Salary Pay Statement

You will be able to view your pay statement at your “My JHU” portal. Select the “HR” icon, then the “ESS” icon. Visit “ESS,” or “Employee Self-Service” to view your pay statement, or pay “stub” as they were called when paper paychecks were the only option before Direct Deposit started.

  • Go to my.jhu.edu and sign in with your JHED ID and password.
  • Select the “HR” tab and then the “ESS” tab.
  • Sign in again with your JHED ID and password.
  • Select the “Payroll Info” tab and you will see the pay statement.