WSE and KSAS Graduate Credit Hours

Updated November 2022

Both KSAS (effective Spring 2023) and WSE (Summer 2016) graduate courses utilize credit hours.

WSE implemented credit hours in the Summer 2016 term, and the KSAS implementation will be in Spring 2023. Starting in Spring 2023, you will see credits in SIS and on your transcripts for any KSAS/WSE graduate-level courses (600 and above).

2022 FAQ

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. WSE graduate students are encouraged to read the below prior guidance regarding how to address any KSAS graduate courses they’ve taken with no credits assigned prior to Spring 2023.

What are the new requirements for me to remain a fulltime graduate student?

All KSAS and WSE Graduate Students must be enrolled in at least 9 credits to maintain fulltime status (in fall/spring semesters), but note that there are specific PhD credit requirements for WSE and KSAS graduate students beyond the 9 credits. Please see you section below for more information.

Special Notes for KSAS students:

KSAS does not have part-time Status in our PhD or full-time master’s degree programs (non-AAP).

KSAS PhD students typically enroll in a combination of classes and/or research for a total of 20 credits per semester. However, students who are in their initial years of a classwork- heavy program, may not yet be required to register for research. As coursework enrollments lessen for more senior PhDs, research credits should be increased (to a maximum of 20 total credits) to reflect the effort solely dedicated to research.

Study Abroad and Nonresident status are automatically assigned 9 credits.

Enrollment in more than 20 credits requires sign off from your department and Renee Eastwood, Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Affairs for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows.

Special Notes for WSE students:

Fulltime WSE PhD students should be enrolled in a combination of WSE classes and/or research for a total of at least 20 WSE credits per semester
(fall/spring).

Example:  A first year PhD is enrolled in 3 classes and seminar for a total of 16 credits. They should enroll in 4 credits of research as well for a total of 20 credits. As the coursework enrollments lessen for more senior PhDs, their research credits should be increased.
Fulltime WSE Masters students are typically enrolled in a combination of classes and/or research for a total of 9-10 credits a semester (fall/spring).

What do I do if I need to switch to part-time status in WSE?

Part-time status approval on a case by case basis is possible but not guaranteed for WSE graduate students. Students will generally not be eligible to switch to part-time status if they are working primarily on the Homewood campus or working full-time on research for their degree. Part-time graduate students must still meet their degree residency requirements before they receive an advanced degree. Master’s students may be able to switch to part-time status in their final semester, after securing department/program and OIS approval (if 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. Please see the academic catalog for more information.

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 (which is typical for a fulltime, resident PhD student) 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 hour unless you will be going over 25 credits. If that happens, you will need to adjust your research hours. Please see below for more information.

Notes for all KSAS and WSE Graduate Students

Why is it typical that full-time PhD students enroll in 20 credits?

PhD students invest a lot of time in research, and KSAS/WSE divisions want to have a more tangible 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, neither KSAS or WSE will be calculating an official GPA or listing it on the transcript.

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.).

Do I need to enroll in the summer term?

Students receiving funding over the summer who are conducting research full time should enroll for at least 9 credits in the summer term to maintain their accurate student status in terms of certain payroll withholding (FICA) and to best reflect their summer activities and capture their progress working towards their degree. Each program has a specific summer graduate research course, please be sure to select your advisor’s section for proper assessment and grading. There is no tuition fee for PhD research in the summer term.

Will this affect my health insurance?

Both fulltime and part-time students are eligible for the Student Health Insurance Plan (Wellfleet), 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.).

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 plan to register 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 KSAS/ WSE research course. If you are a master’s student, you should select 9 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.

Do courses that I audit count towards my credit count or my degree?

If you have prior approval from your faculty academic advisor to count an audited course towards your degree requirements, then yes-the course will count towards your degree, but it will not reflect any credits on the transcript. Audits are not considered in either your total credit hour count or the determination of your fulltime or part-time status, but note that tuition is still assessed 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.

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/program director 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.

Do courses that I take at other JHU divisions count towards my total credits?

As long as the credits show up on your transcript and in SIS, credits from any other JHU division that has credits will count towards your total credits.

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 the KSAS/ 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. WSE Graduate Students, please visit the WSE Graduate Policy Page for more instructions on applying for CPT.

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 your divisional academic affairs office:   KSAS Office of Academic and Student Affairs (Renee Eastwood rseitz5@jhu.edu) WSE Office of Graduate Education and Lifelong Learning(Christine Kavanagh or ckav@jhu.edu).
  • Scenario 3 (for WSE only): 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. Part-time status approval on a case by case basis is possible but not guaranteed for WSE graduate students. Students will generally not be eligible to switch to part-time status if they are working primarily on the Homewood campus or working full-time on research for their degree. Part-time graduate students must still meet their degree residency requirements before they receive an advanced degree. Master’s students may be able to switch to part-time status in their final semester, after securing department/program and OIS approval (if 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. Please see the academic catalog for more information.

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 your divisional academic affairs office:   KSAS Office of Academic and Student Affairs (Renee Eastwood rseitz5@jhu.edu) WSE Office of Gradaute Education and Lifelong Learning (Christine Kavanagh or ckav@jhu.edu).
  • Scenario 3 (WSE only): 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. Part-time status approval on a case by case basis is possible but not guaranteed for WSE graduate students. Students will generally not be eligible to switch to part-time status if they are working primarily on the Homewood campus or working full-time on research for their degree. Part-time graduate students must still meet their degree residency requirements before they receive an advanced degree. Master’s students may be able to switch to part-time status in their final semester, after securing department/program and OIS approval (if 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. Please see the academic catalog for more information.

If I switch to part-time status (with prior approval from my department and OIS (if international)), how am I charged tuition?

KSAS does not offer part-time enrollment in full-time graduate programs (non AAP).

WSE: For students enrolled in a residential fulltime program who are approved for part-time status, each semester there is a minimum tuition for up to 3 credits; then courses are charged per credit after the minimum tuition is met in that semester. Please see the student accounts site for current tuition rates.

Who can help me if I have questions?

You have several resources: (1) your departmental academic staff, (2) your academic advisor or Director of Graduate Studies, (3) the KSAS Office of Academic Affairs or WSE Office of Graduate Education and Lifelong Learning

2016 FAQ archive

Where noted, this information below is superseded by the updated sections above, otherwise, the information below may be helpful as additional context to WSE graduate 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).
Fulltime WSE PhD students should be enrolled in a combination of WSE classes and/or research for a total of at least 20 WSE credits per semester (fall/spring). Example:  A first year PhD is enrolled in 3 classes and seminar for a total of 16 credits. They should enroll in 4 credits of research as well for a total of 20 credits. As the coursework enrollments lessen for more senior PhDs, their research credits should be increased.
Fulltime WSE Masters students are typically enrolled in a combination of classes and/or research for a total of 9-10 credits a semester (fall/spring).

SUPERSEDED in SP23, SEE UPDATED GUIDANCE: 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.

SUPERSEDED in SP23, SEE ABOVE GUIDANCE: 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 (updated: Wellfleet)), 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.

SUPERSEDED in SPRING 2023, See Above Guidance: 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).

SUPERSEDED in SPRING 2023, See Above Guidance: 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.

SUPERSEDED in SP23, See Above Guidance: 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.

SUPERSEDED in SP23, SEE ABOVE GUIDANCE: 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 WSE Office of Academic Affairs (ckav@jhu.edu).