General Graduate Student Policies

As of August 2016, The Johns Hopkins University Student Conduct Code applies to all students, including without limitation graduate students and student groups/organizations, whether recognized by the University or not. The Johns Hopkins University Student Conduct Code supersedes any other Whiting School or Engineering and Krieger School of Arts and Sciences nonacademic misconduct policies.

This does not affect WSE and KSAS policies and procedures pertaining to academic ethics and integrity, Responsible Conduct of Research, and research misconduct.

Please note: These policies pertain specifically to KSAS and WSE full-time graduate programs only unless specifically noted in the language of a specific policy.
  • Academic Review Policy

    Once per academic year, all full‐time Homewood graduate programs are required to provide a written review to: (a) all doctoral students, and (b) all master’s students conducting thesis research.

    Departments should include mention of funding continuation, as appropriate; as well as have a space for discussion about the student’s professional development goals and ways to develop strategies to achieve those goals. This review must include the opportunity for the student to offer self‐evaluation. Students who fail to attain a program’s minimum level of performance may be placed on academic probation or dismissed using the procedures outlined in the Homewood Schools Policy for Graduate Student Probation, Dismissal, and Funding Withdrawal. In making these decisions, particularly that of dismissal, the program will take into consideration extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control.

    The Whiting School of Engineering has established a Guide to Effective Annual Reviews to assist both advisors and students make these annual reviews a useful tool in the development of each student.

  • PhD Advisor Policy

    A PhD student conducting research and/or in the writing phase of their degree program will not be able to remain in good standing with their academic and research progress if they do not have a research advisor*. A student who is unable to secure a research/dissertation advisor within 4 months may be placed on probation or terminated from the PhD program. Note that it is typically not the role of a department to find an advisor for a student. Different programs may have specific policies pertaining to the timeline of advisor assignments and grace periods for students switching advisors. Students should consult with their departmental Academic Staff and/or Director of Graduate Studies for guidance.

    This policy applies to both continuing and new students.

    * A research/dissertation advisor is best defined as a departmentally approved faculty member under whose guidance a student is conducting research and, in many cases, in whose lab/group the student is associated and expected to participate.

    Established 2016/Revised 2018 (see also Homewood Academic Catalog)

  • Grade and Registration Change Guidelines

    This policy applies to all grades earned by Homewood graduate students since the Spring 2005 semester. (Revised November 2007)

    Letter Grades (A through F)

    Changing letter grades of “A” through “F” to a “Passing” grade is not permissible at any time.
    All other grade change requests (e.g., “B” to “A”) are acceptable within one year only. Change requests beyond one year can only be changed as a result of clerical error, and must be accompanied by a written explanation/justification from the course instructor.

    Incomplete Grades (I)

    The grade of “Incomplete” (denoted by an “I” on the transcript) is reserved for instances in which it is expected that a course’s work will be completed in one semester, but for reasons beyond the student’s control, the work cannot be completed within that timeframe. Under these circumstances, the student may be assigned a grade of “Incomplete” until a final grade is submitted (or until the “Incomplete” grade becomes permanent).

    Dropping an “Incomplete” grade from the transcript is not permissible at any time.
    Changing an “Incomplete” grade to a final grade (“A” through “F”, “Pass”) may be done by the instructor within one year without Dean’s Office approval.
    After one year, the student must submit an Incomplete Grade Extension Request Form to the cognizant dean (the KSAS Dean for Research and Graduate Education or the WSE Associate Dean for Education) for that grade to be eligible to be changed at a later date. The form may be submitted no later than the last day of the second semester following the one during which the student initially enrolled in the course.
    If the “Incomplete” grade remains after one year and the student does not submit an Incomplete Grade Extension Request Form, the “Incomplete” grade becomes permanent and cannot be changed.
    If the student successfully submits an Incomplete Grade Extension Request Form but then fails to finish the course before the stated extension deadline, the “Incomplete” grade becomes permanent and cannot be changed.
    Under special circumstances, students may submit multiple Incomplete Grade Extension Request Forms for the same course.

    In-Progress Grades (IP)

    The “In-Progress” grade (denoted by an “IP” on the transcript) is reserved for classes in which it is expected that the assigned work will require more that one semester to be completed, but the class itself will meet for only one semester. (These are usually graduate seminar courses for which the final product is amajor paper.)Students work independently to complete course requirements, at which point, a final grade is assigned.

    Dropping an “In-Progress” grade is permissible only with the approval of the instructor and the Dean’s Office.
    An instructor may Change an “In-Progress” grade to a final grade (“A” through “F”, “Pass”) at any time before the student’s departure without Dean’s Office approval by submitting an official Grade Change Form directly to the Office of the Registrar.

    Missing Grades (MR, X)

    All instructors have a certain amount of time following the end of the finals period to assign a final grade for all students. A “Missing” grade (denoted by an “MR” or an “X” on the transcript) appears if the instructor has not submitted a grade within that timeframe.

    An instructor may submit a Grade Change Form directly to the Office of the Registrar to change a “Missing” grade to a final grade.

    Dropping a “Missing” grade from the transcript is not permissible.
    Changing a “Missing” grade to an “Audit” is not permissible at any time.

    Audit (AU)

    When a grad student enrolls in a course with “audit” status, s/he must reach an understanding with the instructor as to what is required to earn the “audit”. If the student does not meet those expectations (e.g., fails to attend class), the instructor must notify the Registrar’s Office in order for the student to be retroactively dropped from the course. The course will not appear on the student’s transcript.

    Changing a course registration from “Audit” [student receives no letter grade] to “Credit” [student receives letter grade], or from “Credit” to “Audit” is permissible during the Office of the Registrar’s official add/drop dates. Registration changes beyond this deadline are not permissible.
    Changing a final grade (“A” through “F”, “Pass”), “Incomplete” grade, “In-Progress” grade or “Missing” grade to “Audit” is not permissible at any time.

    NOTE: No changes can be made to a student’s transcript after he/she graduates or withdraws from an academic program. What appears on the transcript at that time will become the student’s permanent record.

  • Health Insurance Policy

    All full-time, resident, degree-seeking graduate students in Homewood-based programs are required to maintain adequate health insurance coverage to provide protection against unexpected accidents and illnesses. These students are eligible for and are expected to enroll in the Student Accident and Sickness Plan administered by CHP (Consolidated Health Plans).

    Domestic students may waive the CHP plan. To do so, students must provide evidence of a comparable policy (more information can be found at the Office of the Registrar website: http://web.jhu.edu/registrar/students/health). International students are not permitted to waive the CHP plan – they must enroll in it to ensure sufficient local coverage.

    Part-time, degree-seeking (including all Engineering for Professionals (EP)) students and nonresident graduate students are not required to provide proof of health insurance with the exception of international students on J-1 status who must meet U.S. Department of State requirements (provided by the Office of International Students and Scholars Services). Nonresident students are eligible, however, to purchase the CHP plan at their own expense.

  • Course Retake Policy

    At the discretion of the Homewood graduate program, a graduate student may retake a course, but the grade from the initial effort will remain on the transcript. This applies whether the initial effort occurred while the student was an undergraduate student or a graduate student.