Residence & Registration

To be classified as a graduate student in the University, the student must be admitted to the graduate program and registered as a Predoctoral Resident student either on a full-time or part-time basis on campus. Students may not be simultaneously enrolled at another university.

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.

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. To qualify as a resident student, the student must be present on campus and working toward fulfilling the requirements for the 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. The University does not define full-time in terms of credits, courses, or any other such unit. The Chair of the department/program or appropriate designated faculty certifies each student’s status at the beginning of every semester/quarter. The time-to-degree from matriculation for degree candidates is determined by the department/program/division, but may not exceed 12 years. Any approved leave of absence would not count toward the 12 years.

Students wishing to pursue a degree involving more than one department or division must apply to and be accepted by both departments/divisions. Except in approved joint programs, the intention to pursue more than one degree simultaneously must be approved by the Homewood Graduate Board before the end of a student’s first year. 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 pursuing a combined bachelors-masters program must formally apply to and be accepted at the time the program is initiated.


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 (e.g. the Annual Report Form) within the deadlines specified. Failure to return these forms will be deemed a withdrawal. 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.

Change in Registration 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 doctoral candidates who have completed all requirements for the degree except the dissertation and have the permission of the Chair of the department/program or appropriate designated faculty and the Graduate Board to continue work away from the University. Arts & Sciences and Engineering students must petition the Homewood Graduate Board 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 Student and Scholar Services (OISSS) if he or she is an international student before submitting their application for the change in status to the Homewood Graduate Board. A letter of explanation must accompany the application as well. Students should petition the Graduate Board 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.

Leave of Absence (LOA)

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 Chair of the Homewood Graduate Board 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 Binding Office.

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, visit or contact a financial aid advisor at

Returning from Leave of Absence

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 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 advisor, department chair, etc.) are welcome.

When approved for a returing from a leave of absence, the Chair of the Homewood Graduate Board will notify the student.

Predoctoral Nonresident Status

Graduate students may be granted up to five years of nonresident status. This status is normally reserved for doctoral candidates who have completed all requirements for the degree except the dissertation. You must have the support of your department for this status change. When approved for nonresident status, the Chair of the Homewood Graduate Board will notify the student. Each student on nonresident status will be required to pay a fee of 10% of the full-time tuition rate. Nonresident registration materials are mailed to the student by the Registrar prior to each semester they have been granted the status and must be returned to the Registrar’s Office each semester.

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 who file for CPT1 and must show enrollment in a course should contact the Homewood Graduate Board or Registrar’s Offices for information. If approved, you will be responsible for securing your own health insurance. Nonresident students may be employed on campus (through the Student Employment Office only), but 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.

In summary, 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 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.

* in the Whiting School, this may also include the master’s project and journal submission.