Degree Candidacy

The Homewood Graduate Board considers candidates for Ph.D. and Master’s degrees three times each year (August, November, and May). Once the Homewood Graduate Board approves candidates, the Registrar’s Office can provide certification of their completion of all requirements for the Ph.D. and Master’s degrees. Candidates who need certification before the Homewood Graduate Board meets should contact their department/program. If a letter from the Graduate Board is required, candidates may request in writing that a letter be sent by the Homewood Graduate Board directly to an institution after all certifications have been submitted.

Establishing Degree Candidacy

Approximately two months before the date of the Homewood Graduate Board meeting, departments send a “tentative degree list” to the Registrar’s Office. Students expecting to complete degree requirements should ask their departments to place their name on this list. Departments will be informed of any problems with a student’s candidacy within one week of all certifications and materials being received by the Graduate Board. Students must be registered during the semester they are considered by the Homewood Graduate Board. Since students on leave of absence cannot be registered or present on campus, they are ineligible to receive a degree during the semester of leave.

Scheduling the Graduate Board Oral Examination

Graduate Board Oral Examinations may be held at any time during the year. The examination committee is approved by the chair of the department/program and forwarded to the Graduate Board Office for approval of the committee and selection of the chair of the committee. Alternates to the five members must be designated before the department chair approves the committee. These alternates may be used in the event one of the five approved members cannot participate in the exam.

The Graduate Board Office must receive the original GBO form a minimum of three weeks before the proposed examination. The student must be registered and all missing/incomplete grades resolved before the exam is approved.

If the department/program wishes to include a member who is not on the Hopkins faculty, a letter from the chair describing the need for a non-Hopkins committee member, a CV, and the examination form must be submitted to the Graduate Board four weeks before the proposed examination.

Grace Period Policy

Homewood graduate students completing a final degree during the first eight weeks of the fall semester or the first four weeks of the spring semester will generate a tuition reimbursement for that semester to whatever entity covered the cost – the student, the department, the advisor, etc. This applies only to students for whom completion of a master’s project, master’s essay, master’s journal submission or doctoral thesis is the sole remaining degree requirement at the start of the final semester. (NOTE: If a student completes a Tuition Deferral Form indicating an expectation to complete the degree within a specific grace period, no payment is required to register for that semester. If the grace period deadline is not met, however, that semester’s tuition charge will be added to the student’s account.)

Dissertation/Thesis Guidelines

The Formatting Guidelines for Dissertations and Theses are available here: Dissertations not conforming to the Johns Hopkins University guidelines will not be accepted in fulfillment of the University requirements. Dissertations must be submitted before the deadlines published in the Graduate Board Calendar. If the department requires a final Graduate Board Oral Examination, the dissertation should be distributed to members of the Graduate Board Oral Committee, two weeks before the exam date. All dissertations must be in the library by the deadline dates on the schedule.

Reader’s Report

A Reader’s Report (sometimes called the Reader’s Letter) must be submitted for all students receiving a Ph.D., or a Masters Degree with essay. Dissertation and thesis readers are selected and appointed by the chair or appropriate faculty of the sponsoring department or committee. Any duly appointed member of a department or committee holding the rank of assistant professor or higher (excluding lecturers) is eligible for selection as a referee without prior approval. The Homewood Graduate Board Office must approve readers from outside the University, or from any non-Ph.D. sponsoring department, laboratory or institute within the University. Such approval will be forthcoming only when such an appointment is justified in writing by the chair of the department or committee making the request. Two readers are required for Ph.D. students and one for Master’s students.

The two principal readers are responsible for submitting a written report recommending acceptance of the dissertation. The report should testify that the work is a significant contribution to knowledge worthy of publication in its present form or with appropriate modifications and that it is worthy of acceptance in partial fulfillment of the University requirements for the Ph.D.. It must contain the student’s full name and the complete final title of the dissertation. The letter must be on letterhead, signed by both readers, and include the readers’ ranks, titles, departments, and schools. The letter must be in the Homewood Graduate Board office one week before final Graduate Board Oral Examinations. If the student’s Graduate Board Oral is of the preliminary nature, the readers’ letter must be submitted by the deadline specified in the Graduate Board Calendar. Reader’s letters must be submitted directly to the Homewood Graduate Board Office.

Language Requirements

The University requirements for the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees vary. The chair or appropriate faculty of each department determines whether it requires a language, what language(s) fulfill the requirement, and the means used to test language proficiency.

When the language requirement has been fulfilled, the chair of the department or committee will file the form Certification of Completion of Language Requirements with the Office of the Registrar. This form must be submitted before the deadline for receipt of all materials established by the Homewood Graduate Board for candidates who are about to receive their degrees. These forms can be obtained from the Registrar’s Office.

Certificate of Completion

The Certificate for an Advanced Degree form must be signed by the chair of the student’s department/program and submitted by the department as soon as all degree requirements are complete. This form provides formal certification to the Graduate Board that the candidate has completed all departmental requirements for the advanced degree. The form should be completed and sent to the Graduate Board Office only after the following materials have been submitted to the designated offices:

* Dissertations or Theses
* Graduate Board Oral Examination signed by the committee and indicating the results of the examination. If conditions were attached, written certification by the chair of the committee that all conditions have been met must accompany this form.
* Certification of Completion of Language Requirements if necessary.
* Reader’s Report -The original should be submitted to the Homewood Graduate Board Office.

If the degree to be awarded is a final Master’s Degree, this should be indicated on the certification form before it is submitted. Graduate students who become eligible for a Master’s Degree should ask the department to submit credentials for consideration at the appropriate Homewood Graduate Board meeting. Should the student waive the Master’s Degree at that time and later decide to obtain one, the date of the degree will be based on the date of Homewood Graduate Board meeting at which it is approved.

Certificates should be submitted directly to the Homewood Graduate Board Office.