WSE Graduate Credit Hours

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about Graduate Credit Hours for Whiting students.

  • Why have we changed to credits in the Whiting School?
    Credits have been assigned to WSE grad courses in order to (a) increase the harmonization with the WSE Engineering for Professionals program (the extensive part-time graduate school portion of the Whiting School), (b) to help the Whiting School be more in alignment with our peer graduate institutions (credits are typical at most universities), and (c) to facilitate and streamline the process for industry partner employees to complete a degree in the WSE.
  • When does this change take effect?
    Starting in the Summer 2016 term, you will start to see credits in SIS and on your transcripts for any WSE graduate-level courses (600 and above). The credit minimums for fulltime status will start in the Fall 2016 semester and will apply to all Fall and Spring semesters onwards.
  • What are the new requirements for me to remain fulltime if I am a WSE graduate student?
    All WSE Graduate Students must be enrolled in at least 9 credits to maintain fulltime status (in fall/spring semesters).
    Typically, fulltime WSE PhD students will be enrolled in a combination of WSE classes and/or research for a total of at least 20 WSE credits per semester (fall/spring).
    Typically, fulltime WSE Masters students will be enrolled in a combination of classes and/or research for a total of 9-10 credits a semester (fall/spring).
  • I am a KSAS Graduate Student. Will this affect me?
    For the most part, this change won’t affect KSAS graduate students. The only thing to note is that if you are a KSAS graduate student and take a class in the Whiting School, you will see credits for those courses show up on your transcripts.
  • I am a WSE Grad. Do I need to register for 9 credits in the summer/intersessions?
    No.
  • Does this affect any prior semesters? Is there anything I need to do about past semesters?
    No, there’s no effect on prior semesters, and you don’t need to worry about retroactively adjusting any prior semesters.
  • Why is it typical that fulltime WSE PhD students enroll in at least 20 credits?
    PhD students invest a lot of time in research, and the Whiting School wants to have a more tangible and accurate way capture the rigor and time spent being a PhD doing research- both for reporting purposes and for internal acknowledgement. 20 credits reflects a more accurate representation of the typical fulltime PhD workload.
  • Will I see a GPA?
    At this time, the WSE will not be calculating an official GPA.
  • Does this mean that my degree requirements have changed?
    No degree requirements have changed based on the use of credits.
  • Will this affect my international visa status?
    Your immigration status will only be affected if you change from fulltime to part time and vice-versa, or if you change your status in other ways (leave of absence, program extension, etc).
  • Will this affect my student employment?
    Your student employment eligibility will only be affected if you change from fulltime to part time and vice-versa, or if you change your status in other ways (leave of absence, etc.).
  • Will this affect my health insurance?
    Both fulltime and part-time students are eligible for the Student Health Insurance Plan (CHP), so as long as you remain an active and enrolled student, you will still be eligible for the insurance. That said, there are certain departmental/WSE subsidies towards the health insurance premium that are only for fulltime students. It is good to note that there may be changes to your health insurance eligibility if you change your status in other ways (leave of absence, etc.).
  • Will this affect my federal financial aid?
    Your financial aid will only be affected if you change from fulltime to part time and vice-versa or if you change your status in other ways (leave of absence, etc.).
  • How will this affect my transcript?
    Beginning in Summer 2016 you will start to see credits show up on your transcript for any WSE graduate-level (600 and above) courses. This is not retroactive, so you will only see credits for those WSE graduate-level (600 and above) courses you take from the Summer 2016 onwards. KSAS students taking WSE graduate level courses will see the credits on their transcripts as well.
  • What should I do if I need to stay in a fulltime status (either for visa, fellowship purposes, etc.) but the courses in which I am registered don’t total to 9 credits?
    Please speak to your department academic staff and they will work with you to understand your options.
  • I am only in one research course this semester, but I am fulltime. How many credits should I register for with my research course?
    If you are a PhD student, you should select 20 credits for your WSE research course. If you are a master’s student, you should select 10 credits for your WSE research course.
  • Do courses that have 0 credits still count towards my degree?
    If you have prior approval from your faculty academic advisor to count a course with 0 credits towards your degree requirements, then yes- it will count towards your degree even though it won’t show up with any credits on the transcript.
  • I am fulltime, but will be in an internship this semester. How do I maintain my fulltime status?
    Check with your department to see if they have an internship course for your level (this could include Engineering Research Practicum; etc.). You can then register in it for enough credits to be fulltime. Those students applying for CPT through the Office of Academic Affairs will automatically be advised on the proper registration and credits when the application has been approved. If your program doesn’t have an internship course, you can speak with your academic staff to determine the appropriate registration option for you.
  • Why don’t all the courses that I take in KSAS show credits?
    Currently, only KSAS and WSE undergraduate and WSE graduate courses carry credits. You won’t see credits assigned to any KSAS graduate-level courses (600 level and up).
  • I am a WSE graduate student. Do courses that I take in KSAS count towards my total credits?
    KSAS undergraduate courses (500 and below) will count towards your total credits as they have official credits assigned to them in SIS. KSAS Graduate level courses (600 and above) will not count towards your total credits (on a transcript/record, etc.) but they are considered in ascertaining whether or not you are fulltime or part-time.EXAMPLE 1: Student A is a master’s student in WSE, and is taking 2 WSE Grad level courses (for 3 credits each) and 1 KSAS grad level course (600) level.
    The total credits on the transcript= 6
    Student A maintains their fulltime status, because the KSAS course is considered an additional qualifying course by Financial Aid, OIS, and the Registrar
    Student A doesn’t have to do anything additional to maintain their fulltime status.

    EXAMPLE 2: Student B is a PhD student in WSE, and is taking Dissertation Research and 1 KSAS grad level course (600) level. Since WSE PhDs generally register for 20 credits per semester, and the KSAS course doesn’t show up on the transcript as ‘real credits’, Student B adjusts their credits for Dissertation Research accordingly and registers for 20 credits of Dissertation Research.
    The total credits on the transcript= 20
    Student B doesn’t have to do anything additional to maintain their fulltime status.

  • What do I do if I am taking courses that should total 9 or more credits, but some of the courses don’t show credits (KSAS grad level courses)?
    While KSAS Graduate level courses (600 and above) will not count towards your total credits (show up as credits in SIS or on a transcript/record, etc.) they are considered in ascertaining whether or not you are fulltime or part-time.EXAMPLE 1: Student A is a master’s student in WSE, and is taking 2 WSE Grad level courses (for 3 credits each) and 1 KSAS grad level course (600) level.
    The total credits on the transcript= 6
    Student A doesn’t have to do anything additional to maintain their fulltime status. Student A maintains their fulltime status, because the KSAS course is considered an additional qualifying course by Financial Aid, OIS, and the Registrar

    EXAMPLE 2: Student B is a PhD student in WSE, and is taking Dissertation Research and 1 KSAS grad level course (600) level. Since WSE PhDs generally register for 20 credits per semester, and the KSAS course doesn’t show up on the transcript as ‘real credits’, Student B adjusts their credits for Dissertation Research accordingly and registers for 20 credits of Dissertation Research.
    The total credits on the transcript= 20
    Student B doesn’t have to anything additional to maintain their fulltime status.

  • Do courses that I take in School of Medicine or School of Public Health count towards my total credits?
    As long as the credits show up on your transcript and in ISIS, credits from any other JHU division that has credits will count towards your total credits. That said, typically WSE PhDs are registered in 20 credits that come solely from WSE courses and/or WSE research, and any courses taken in other divisions will simply be additional credits.
  • Do courses that I take from other divisions still count towards my degree, even if they don’t have credits?
    If you have prior approval from your faculty academic advisor to count a course from another division/program towards your degree requirements, then yes- regardless of how many credits the course carries (or not), it will count towards your degree even though it may not show up with any credits on your transcript.
  • Will I be able to drop/withdraw classes if it will put me below 9 credits?
    Not on your own-SIS will block you from dropping below 9 credits.
    There are three basic scenarios for add/drops/withdraws:
    Scenario 1: If you are adding and dropping two courses of equivalent credits, always do the ADD first, then do the DROP. You can do this on your own in SIS online (if within the add/drop period).
    Scenario 2: If you are dropping a course without adding another, (or the added course doesn’t carry the same or more credits than the course you are dropping) AND the result will be that you will drop below 9 credits, SIS will block you from completing the transaction on your own. You will then have to complete a Graduate Course Change Form, secure your department’s signature, and then submit to the WSE Office of Academic Affairs (Shaffer 103 or ckav@jhu.edu).
    Scenario 3: If you actually are dropping with the intent to change to part-time status, you won’t be able to complete the transaction in SIS on your own. Consult with your departmental academic staff, and OIS as well if you are international. Once permission has been granted by your department (both domestic and international students) and OIS (international), your department (not you!) will notify the registrar’s office of your status change, and you will be able to complete a Graduate Course Change Form, secure your department’s signature, and then submit to the WSE Office of Academic Affairs (Shaffer 103 or ckav@jhu.edu).
  • What do I do if I need to switch to part-time status?
    Consult with your departmental academic staff, and OIS as well if you are international. Once permission has been granted by your department (both domestic and international students) and OIS (international), your department (not you!) will notify the registrar’s office of your status change.
  • I am a full-time WSE PhD student. I know that I need to enroll in at least 20 credits each semester, but how do I do it?
    You can register for a course with a range of available credits, such as ‘Dissertation Research’ or ‘Graduate Research’ (ask your department academic staff which courses would work for you in your specific program). You may elect to register for as many as 20 credits in these types of courses. If you register for 20 credits of research and then later add a course with credits, it is ok for you to have more than 20 credits- you don’t have readjust your research credit hours.
  • If I drop below 9 credits, am I automatically switched to part-time status?
    No, because SIS will not allow you to drop below 9 credits on your own.
    There are three basic scenarios for add/drops/withdraws:
    Scenario 1: If you are adding and dropping two courses of equivalent credits, always do the ADD first, then do the DROP. You can do this on your own in ISIS online (if within the add/drop period).
    Scenario 2: If you are dropping a course without adding another, (or the added course doesn’t carry the same or more credits than the course you are dropping) AND the result will be that you will drop below 9 credits, SIS will block you from completing the transaction on your own. You will then have to complete a Graduate Course Change Form, secure your department’s signature, and then submit to the WSE Office of Academic Affairs (Shaffer 103 or ckav@jhu.edu).
    Scenario 3: If you actually are dropping with the intent to change to part-time status, you won’t be able to complete the transaction in SIS on your own. Consult with your departmental academic staff, and OIS as well if you are international. Once permission has been granted by your department (both domestic and international students) and OIS (international), your department (not you!) will notify the registrar’s office of your status change, and you will be able to complete a Graduate Course Change Form, secure your department’s signature, and then submit to the WSE Office of Academic Affairs (Shaffer 103 or ckav@jhu.edu).
  • Do audits count toward my total credit hours?
    No, audits are not considered in either your total credit hour count or the determination of your fulltime or part-time status, but note that you  will still be charged tuition for an audited class.
  • Will switching a course from grade to audit affect my fulltime status?
    As audits are not considered in either your total credit hour count or the determination of your fulltime or part-time status: yes- it is possible that switching a graded course to audit may affect your fulltime status. If this could be an issue for you, please consult with your department academic staff/academic advising for guidance. Also note that you will still be charged tuition for an audited class.
  • If I switch to part-time status (with prior approval from my department and OIS (if international)), how am I charged tuition?
    Part-time tuition for KSAS/WSE graduate-level courses will be charged on a per-credit basis. Note that even though KSAS graduate-level courses (600 and above) do not carry official credits (as on a transcript/record, etc.), they have a standardized conversion of ‘3 credit hours’ in the system (for all KSAS grad courses) for the purposes of billing.
  • Who can help me if I have questions?
    You have several resources: (1) your departmental academic staff, (2) your academic advisor, (3) the Office of Academic Affairs (ckav@jhu.edu).