To be classified as a graduate student in the University, the student must be admitted to the graduate program and registered as a Doctoral Resident or master’s resident student either on a full-time or part-time basis on campus. Residential program students (Homewood-based Doctoral and Master’s) may not be simultaneously enrolled in a degree-seeking program at any another university.


Two-Semester Residency (on-campus) Graduate Student Requirement and Definitions of Full-Time and Part-Time Statuses

Once students begin their graduate course of study toward a degree, they must complete a minimum of two consecutive semesters of registration as a full-time, resident graduate student on campus (if they are PhDs or KSAS Master’s), or two semesters of registration as a full-time, resident graduate student on campus (if they are WSE Master’s).

Definitions of Resident, Full-Time, and Part-Time Statuses

To qualify for resident status, a student is generally working on campus and/or working on their degree fulltime remotely (remote approval is only by program permission and is typically only granted for non-coursework students, or by determination of a special accommodation under ADA through the Student Disabilities Office) with no other obligations and working toward fulfilling the requirements for the degree. ‘Residency’ refers to the exclusivity and singular focus of a student’s time and effort in pursuit of their degree. The Chair of the department/program or appropriate designated faculty determines, for each of its students, what constitutes a program of full-time or part-time study. In order to be registered full-time, a student must engage in a full-time program of courses, seminars and/or research approved by the Chair of the department/program or appropriate designated faculty. While the University does not define full-time in terms of credits, courses, or any other such unit, as of Summer 2016, the Whiting School of Engineering mandates a credit minimum for  graduate full time status:

  • Typically, fulltime WSE PhD students will be enrolled in a combination of WSE classes and/or research for a total of 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).

For KSAS students, full-time students are required to be enrolled in two courses of any level for credit/letter grade, or one course at the 800-level for credit/letter grade.

The Chair of the department/program or appropriate designated faculty certifies each student’s status at the beginning of every semester/quarter.

Time to Degree Limit

It is university policy that all program and university requirements for the Ph.D. must be
completed in 9 years or less from start of the doctoral program. It is expected that typically the WSE PhD will be completed in 7 years. Master’s students have 5 years total to complete their degree regardless of their time status (full or part-time). Any approved leave of absence would not count toward these maximum limits.

Pursuing Multiple JHU Degree Programs and the Combined Bachelor’s/Master’s

Students wishing to pursue more than one Johns Hopkins degree at a time must apply to and be accepted by both departments/divisions. Permission from a student’s primary program of study and/or advisor may be required before enrolling in a secondary degree program. Except in established joint programs, the intention to pursue more than one doctorate program (for example: PhD/DMA/EdD/MD, etc.) degree simultaneously must be approved by the Homewood Graduate Board before the end of a student’s first year (exceptions and adjustments to this timeline requirement will be determined on a case by case basis by the Homewood Graduate Board). All degree requirements for each program/division must be met fully and the student is subject to any divisional policies on double counting and/or transfer credits. There is no option to earn multiple doctoral degrees using the same dissertation or multiple master’s degrees using the same thesis/capstone project/essay.

Students pursuing a combined bachelor’s-master’s program do not have to obtain approval from the Homewood Graduate Board, but they must formally apply to and be accepted and enrolled into combined/concurrent status at least one full semester before either degree completion, the start of their ninth semester, and/or the semester when they must officially change into master’s status. Combined bachelors/master’s student must have approval from both their undergraduate and graduate programs/degrees to apply and enroll in his status; and are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisors to ensure full understanding of the status and divisional policies. Combined students must have their bachelor’s degree conferred before their graduate degree is conferred. 

In rare cases a student may confer with both undergraduate and graduate degrees in the same semester with prior approval from undergraduate advising, graduate academic affairs, and the student’s relevant degree programs.

Dissertation/Research Proprietary Policy

It is the University’s current policy that Hopkins will recognize dissertation research and subsequent dissertation submission for the purposes of a degree from Johns Hopkins alone. It will sign no agreement that supports the concept of a student submitting the same work to different universities to receive two distinct degrees.


Students must register each semester from matriculation through graduation. A student’s departure from the University without an arranged term leave of absence or predoctoral nonresident status will be deemed a permanent withdrawal from the student’s program. While on leave or nonresident status, students are expected to provide the Registrar’s Office and their department with an updated current address and are expected to respond to all communications and mailings within the deadlines specified.

Failure to respond to correspondences in a reasonable amount of time, register for nonresidency in every semester, and/or update their department/Registrar’s Office with contact information despite repeated attempts at contact by the program or registrar’s office will be deemed a withdrawal. Failure to register by the published deadlines of each division may be interpreted as a withdrawal from the program as well.

Students who withdraw from their programs must be formally readmitted, at the discretion of the chair of the department/program or appropriate designated faculty, before they may return to the University. If readmitted, they need not pay a second admission fee but must satisfy the residence requirements for the degree following readmission (even if previously satisfied) and must pay all outstanding fees.

Failure to register by the published deadlines of each division may be interpreted as a withdrawal from the program. Courses required by the department/program and completed by the student should be entered on the official transcript.

Nonresident Status

Students may request a change from Resident status to either Nonresident status or request a Leave of Absence.

Nonresident status is normally reserved for ASEN doctoral and WSE master’s candidates who have completed all requirements for the degree except the dissertation/thesis and have the permission of the chair of the department/program or appropriate designated faculty and the vice dean to continue work away from the University. Arts and Sciences and Engineering students must petition their respective vice dean’s offices for changes of registration status.

Students must obtain the signature of their department/program chair, and the signature of the director of the Office of International Services (OIS) if he or she is an international student before submitting their application for the change in status to the appropriate vice dean’s office. A letter of explanation must accompany the application as well. Students should petition for a change in status well in advance of the semester for which it is desired. When requesting a change of status for the current term, such petitions must be submitted no later than the end of the second week of the semester.

KSAS PhD graduate students may be granted up to five years of nonresident status (10 semesters), WSE Phd and Master’s students are typically granted only one semester of nonresident status, with possibility for exceptions by petition. KSAS Master’s graduate students may be granted up to two years of nonresident status (4 semesters).

Each student on nonresident status will be required to pay a fee of 10% of the full-time tuition rate.

There are no restrictions on access to campus facilities, faculty advising, or JHU services, with the exception that nonresident students are not permitted to enroll for courses. International students will need to apply for CPT before taking a paying position outside of the university while on nonresident status. If approved, nonresidents will be responsible for securing their own health insurance; and are eligible to purchase the student health plan at their own cost.  Eligible nonresident students approved to be employed on campus (via the Student Employment Office),  may only work up to 19.9 hours per week. Nonresident students working for the University must be paid at an hourly rate on a semi-monthly basis and therefore cannot be categorized as salaried employees for student payroll purposes.

WSE graduate students should consult the WSE Nonresident Policy for eligibility and categories.

In summary, KSAS graduate students will be eligible for nonresident status if they:

  • Have no courses remaining in which to enroll. Students may have the following to complete: (1) the master’s essay* or doctoral thesis; (2) coursework in which an “Incomplete” grade was assigned; or (3) non-coursework requirements such as a language or computing requirement.
  • Have successfully completed all exams (when applicable to the degree program). This includes any departmental qualifying exam (internal) as well as any non-final Graduate Board Oral Exam (when the GBOE is not part of the defense).
  • Have reached the end of their departmental support period or have exhausted support from grants and cannot be fully supported by the department;
  • Are working 19.9 hours per week or fewer during the academic year if employed by Johns Hopkins University in any capacity (intersession or summer employment can be full-time, however). If working, students cannot be on salary (or stipend) but must be paid hourly on a semi-monthly basis. NOTE: Research or teaching assistants expected to work more than 19.9 hours per week do not qualify for Nonresident Status

Leave of Absence

Graduate students may apply for up to four semesters of leave of absence (not including the summer term) when medical conditions, compulsory military service, or personal or family hardship prevents them from continuing their graduate studies. Financial difficulty alone does not warrant a leave. To be approved for a leave of absence, graduate students must complete the LOA application and provide the proper documentation for their given situation, as indicated below:

  • Medical Condition: a letter from a physician (this may be a letter from a doctor at the Student Health and Wellness Center), the Counseling Center or the Office of Student Disability Services
  • Military Duty: a letter or verification from the Armed Forces
  • Personal or Family Hardship: a letter from the applicant explaining the hardship. A leave of absence will be granted for a specific period of time, not to exceed a total of two years.

When approved for a term leave of absence, the office of the vice dean will notify the student. During the leave period, a student may not be enrolled at another university. Before applying students should consult their department for information regarding funding for when they return from their LOA. Prior to requesting the LOA, it is also highly recommended that the student contact the health insurance coordinator in the Registrar’s Office for information on how the LOA will affect their health insurance coverage. When on an approved LOA there is no tuition charge; the period of leave is simply regarded as an interruption of the degree program.

A student on a leave of absence is not to make use of any University services or facilities (e.g., counseling center, health center, library, athletic facilities, etc.). A student on a leave of absence that wishes to continue working at the University is not eligible to be paid through the Student Payroll Office. Therefore he or she must be hired through the Human Resources division of the department employing them. No exceptions can be made. Degree requirements may not be completed by students while on a leave of absence, including work done on their dissertation or the submission of the dissertation to the library.

Taking a leave of absence may affect a graduate student’s Johns Hopkins student health insurance. It is recommended that students interested in applying for a leave contact the Registrar’s Office to find out how their coverage will be affected should they be approved for a leave of absence. For federal aid purposes, a student on a leave of absence is considered to be withdrawn from Johns Hopkins University and will go into repayment on education loans once the grace period is exhausted. For more information, look at our financial aid information.

When returning from leave of absence, a graduate student must complete and submit the Application to Return from Leave of Absence before registering for classes. The form must be accompanied by a letter (from one of the sources below) for their given situation that explains what progress has taken place in the student’s absence that would enable him/her to be successful upon return.

  • Medical Condition: a letter from a physician (including the Student Health and Wellness Center), the Counseling Center or Office of Student Disability Services
  • Military Duty: a letter or verification from the Armed Forces
  • Personal or Family Hardship: a personal letter

Any additional letters of support (e.g. from an adviser, department chair, etc.) are welcome.

When approved for a returning from a leave of absence, the Office of Vice Dean (for the student’s particular division) will notify the student.

Visiting Graduate Student Eligibility

Visiting Student status is awarded to graduate-level students who are not candidates for a Johns Hopkins advanced degree and such students are limited to two consecutive terms of either full or part-time status. People interested in applying for Visiting Student status should contact the department in which they wish to study for application details.