Academic Regulations

Acceptance of Admission

Students indicate acceptance of the offer of admission by enrolling in appropriate courses. Failure to enroll within one year of the date of admission is interpreted as a change of plans on the student’s part and necessitates reapplication if later enrollment is desired. Starting from the first course counted toward fulfillment of the master’s degree program, the student has five years to complete all coursework. (See time limitations below.)

Residency Requirement for Some Online Courses

Many online courses and programs are offered in the Advanced Academic Programs. Several of these programs are fully online (Biotechnology, Bioinformatics and Regulatory Science as well as a certificate in non-profit management). Other programs are considered “mostly” online with a one OR two course on-site residency requirement depending on the program (Museum Studies and Environmental Studies). All students planning to take online courses should consult with their program advisor to review the details of the on-site requirements (if applicable) for their desired degree. To see which programs are offering courses online in any given term, check the current Course Schedule.

Academic Standing

The university reserves the right to exclude at any time a student whose academic standing or general conduct is deemed unsatisfactory.

Transfer Credits

Graduate courses taken at any institution other than The Johns Hopkins University are not accepted and cannot count toward graduate degree requirements in the Advanced Academic Programs.

Time Limitation

Students must complete all course work in a master’s degree program within five years, calculated from the start of the first course that counts toward the degree. This time limit includes any courses taken at another Hopkins division which have been approved to count toward the degree, whether or not such courses were taken during a student’s studies in the Part-time Graduate Programs.

Students who have not completed degree requirements at the end of five years may not be able to count courses older than five years toward their degree. Instead, they may be required to take additional program courses to complete the required number within five years.

If more than a year lapses between a student’s courses, the student is considered to have withdrawn from the program. Such students must reapply, and they are subject to the admission and program requirements in force at the time of their new application. Acceptance is not guaranteed even for students previously admitted, and courses taken prior to the interruption of studies might not count toward degree requirements depending on the admissions committee’s decision.

International Student Visas

Because they offer only part-time study, the Advanced Academic Programs generally are not appropriate for students who need a student visa (which is only available to full-time students). However, occasionally, an international student, already residing in the United States and planning to take courses in the Advanced Academic Programs equivalent to full time enrollment, may request certification for an F1 visa. To be eligible for this certification, a student must be admitted as a degree candidate and must attend on a full time basis, i.e., the student must enroll in at least three courses per semester. Students for whom this may be a possibility should include a statement expressing their need for an F1 visa with their application. An Advanced Academic Programs administrator will then assist in the certification process the student must complete with the International Student and Scholar Services. The International Student and Scholar Services is available to answer questions at 410-516-1013.


At times, students experiencing extenuating circumstances may obtain an extension from their program committee. An extension request should be submitted in writing to the Advanced Academic Programs Administrative Office in Baltimore (see Committees and Student Special Requests above). If an extension is granted, it will be communicated in a formal letter, and the five-year limit is increased by the time of the extension. All other criteria hold. An extension may be of a semester to a full year, and in rare circumstances two years.

Leave of Absence

Students who anticipate that they will not enroll in classes for a period of one year or more, but believe that they will complete their studies, must request a leave of absence for a specified period of time (see Committees and Student Special Requests above). The appropriate program committee will consider the request and will inform the student in writing of the decision. Students who are granted a leave of absence must resume their studies at the end of the allotted leave time. If granted a leave of absence, students automatically receive an extension for the same period of time (see Extension above). All other criteria listed in the Time Limitation section above remain in place. Leaves of absence are granted for one or at most for two years. Longer leave times are thought detrimental to a student’s academic work and are not permitted.

Completion of Degree Requirements

The Johns Hopkins University confers degrees and awards diplomas once a year to all students who completed requirements during the preceding spring, fall, or summer terms. Graduation ceremonies take place once a year in May.

Because students who complete degree requirements at the end of the summer term or fall semester will have to wait until May for the formal conferring of their degree, a letter verifying completion of requirements will be mailed to summer graduates in October, and to fall graduates in March. At those times, notice of completion of degree requirements will be posted on the students’ transcript.