Undergraduate Student Handbook
Johns Hopkins University


Registration Policies

Reviewing and Printing the Registration ScheduleFinal Examination Schedule for Fall and Spring SemestersAdding a CourseDropping a Course WithdrawingCredit LimitExceptions to Credit LimitRestrictions on RegistrationLate FeesInstructor's Permission Language Elements CoursesPlacementIndependent Academic WorkProhibitions Summer Courses at JHU Other JHU DivisionsSummer Courses Other Divisions

Undergraduates register for intersession and the spring semester in November, and register for the summer and fall terms in April.

In the School of Arts and Sciences, students meet with their faculty and/or academic advisor well in advance of the registration period. The advisor grants permission to register to an advisee by releasing an electronic hold. Questions about course selection should be discussed with the faculty and academic advisors prior to registration.

Each student in the School of Engineering must schedule an appointment with his/her faculty advisor prior to registration. Engineering Advising Week is set aside in early November and early April for these meetings. Students should come to this appointment prepared to discuss courses required for the major, as well as other academic and career issues. Once the faculty member releases the electronic hold, the student can register online.

It is important that students keep all copies of registration and add/drop forms in case there is any question about which courses they are taking and whether a course is being taken for Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory credit. It is not possible to correct a registration error unless the student or the university has a copy of the relevant form.

Reviewing and Printing the Registration Schedule
Students are responsible for verifying their official schedules by going online to the Registrar’s website to review their course schedules. Students should also print a copy of the schedules for their records. All changes to schedules should be verified by printing a new copy of the amended schedule. As a final precaution, students are advised to check their schedules online prior to the add, drop and withdrawal deadlines. Changes to a student’s schedule will not be approved after these deadlines have passed. Failure to review and print out a registration confirmation will not be considered grounds for approving exceptions to these deadlines.

Final Examination Schedule for Fall and Spring Semesters
The Registrar establishes the final examination schedule. The schedule, available on the Registrar’s website, assures that students will have no more than two final examinations scheduled for the same day, which is official university policy. Instructors may administer final examinations only at the officially scheduled time, not during class time or during the reading period. Take-home final examinations, and other final exercises (such as papers), that are expected to be prepared for and completed after classes have concluded, are due at the end of scheduled in-class final examination time for the course. All other papers can be due at any deadline during the semester set by the professor, including the reading and final examination periods. Students who are concerned that any of these policies are being violated by their instructors should notify their academic advising office.

Adding a Course [Top]
Students are expected to give serious thought to their course selections when registering for courses so that schedules do not require adjustment when the semester begins. However, during the first two weeks of each semester, students may make necessary changes. During this time students may add and drop courses without written approval, unless the course is filled or will cause a credit overload. If the course will cause a credit overload (see page 6), AS students need a signature from the AS Advising Office, while EN students need their faculty advisor’s signature and the approval of the EN Advising Office. An instructor’s signature is required to add a course that is filled. By the end of the second week of classes, students should have the schedule they want to keep.

If the course is a four-week course offered during the fall or spring terms that begins at the beginning of the semester, the course may be added only during the first week of classes.

When adding courses in other divisions or at schools in the cooperative program, Homewood undergraduates must follow the deadlines set by the host school or division..

Dropping a Course [Top]
Courses may be dropped from the student’s record until the end of the sixth week of the semester, provided that the student remains registered for a minimum of 12 credits. The faculty advisor’s approval to drop a course is required only for engineering students dropping after the second week of classes.

If the course is a four-week course, drops may be made during the first week of the course without a record on the transcript. The course may be dropped with a W notation during the second week of classes (with the approval of the faculty advisor).

The rules and procedures of the host school apply when undergraduates drop courses in other divisions of the university or at one of the schools that participate in the academic cooperative program. In the School of Public Health, the drop deadlines are based on the quarter system, not the semester system that is used in other JHU divisions.

Withdrawing from a Course [Top]
After the end of the sixth week and until the end of the eighth week, a student may withdraw from a course with a W on the academic record. Engineering students need the written approval of their faculty advisor. A record of the course will remain on the academic record with a W appearing in the grade column to indicate that the student registered and then withdrew from the course. Students are not allowed to withdraw from a course after the end of the eighth week of the semester.

Credit Limit [Top]
Credit is an approximate measure of the work required in a course. For undergraduate courses, the number of credits is normally equal to the number of hours that the class meets each week. Some laboratory courses are exceptions to this rule, meeting more hours per week than the credits awarded. Graduate-level courses are generally awarded the same number of credits as an upper-level undergraduate course (3 credits).

For Arts and Sciences students, the average course load is 15 credits per semester for eight semesters. For Engineering students, the standard load is 16-18 credits. AS freshmen are limited to 16.5 credits, while AS upperclassmen are limited to 18.5 credits. EN freshmen are limited to 18 credits (18.5 if including a foreign language), while EN upperclassmen are limited to 19.5 credits. Students must maintain full-time status by registering for at least 12 credits.

Students in the School of Arts and Sciences are encouraged to register for the standard undergraduate load of 15 credits each semester. While upperclass AS students may take up to 18.5 credits if they are in good academic standing, given the very demanding nature of courses at Hopkins in all fields, students are strongly discouraged from taking more than five courses per semester. Even if perfect grades can be maintained, course overloads can contribute significantly to a student’s feelings of stress and anxiety.

Exceptions to These Credit Limits
Arts and Sciences students who wish to take a credit overload must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Double degree students who are taking courses at both Peabody and Homewood
  • Formally declared Public Health majors may take up to an additional six Homewood credits in the second quarter at the School of Public Health
  • Freshmen taking five courses including a foreign language course along with a 1-credit lab (when taken in conjunction with the lecture course)
  • Students taking excess credits due to a required change in foreign language registration.
  • Seniors in their eighth semester
  • Upperclass students with a 3.5 cumulative GPA who have requested and been granted a waiver to take an additional course for other reasons
  • Students who exceed the limit because they are taking a 1 credit music lesson at the Peabody Conservatory

Credit overloads for engineering students are approved on a case-by-case basis. Engineering students who wish to overload need their faculty advisor’s signature, then final approval by the Engineering Advising Office. Usually, the student’s most recent academic performance is a factor in the decision. Freshman are very rarely granted credit overloads, unless the course they want to add is a foreign language class worth more than 3 credit..

Additional Exceptions for Freshman

  • Placement by professor in another course for more credits
  • Peabody lessons (1 or 2 credits)
  • ROTC required classes (1 credit)
  • Biophysics majors taking Calculus (4), Chemistry and Lab (4), Physics and Lab (5), Topics in Biophysics (1), and a humanities/social science elective (3)
  • Taking five classes and two are foreign languages, where at least one is a continuation of previous study

Restrictions on Registration

Holds on Registration
Students who have three or more Incomplete grades from the previous semester may have a hold placed on registration activity. The student must have the approval signature from the advising office of their school to register, add, or drop. Holds may be placed on a student’s registration for many other reasons as well: outstanding financial obligations, or concerns related to international status, insurance and health clearances. A student whose registration has been placed on hold for a non-academic reason must obtain written clearance from the office or offices that placed the hold on the registration and submit the clearance to the Registrar’s Office.

Each student must pay the tuition or make an appropriate financial arrangement to do so with the Office of Student Accounts. Transcripts may not be released for students with unpaid balances. A student will not be permitted to register if the financial account is in arrears from a previous semester because of unpaid tuition, room and board charges, library or parking fines, or other university bills.

Late Registration Fees
A student who registers for a semester after the prescribed registration period will be charged a late fee of $100 to $300, depending on when registration is completed. See the Important Notices/Instructions for Undergraduates at the Registrar’s Office website http://www.jhu.edu/registrar/notices_undergrad.html for the relevant dates. Registration in the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering is not permitted after the end of the second week of the semester. Students must register on time, even when they lack sufficient funds. The university provides many financing alternatives that permit students to register in most financial situations.

Prohibition on Registering for Courses that Meet at the Same Time
Registering for two classes that meet at the same time or overlapping times is not permitted except as a temporary measure during the first weeks of the semester when students are still deciding on which classes to take. By the end of the first two weeks of classes, students must eliminate time conflicts from their schedules.

Restrictions on Equivalent Courses and Courses Taken Out of Sequence
Courses that are sequential in nature, e.g., elementary, intermediate, and advanced language courses, or the Calculus sequence, must be taken in their proper order. One exception to this policy is that 210.301-302 may be taken in reverse order with permission of the department.

Credit will be awarded only once for equivalent courses covering the same material. Examples of equivalent courses are Intermediate French and Higher Intermediate French, AP Chemistry and Introductory I and II, Chemistry, AP Calc AB and Calculus I. This restriction does not apply to the Expository Writing course which may be taken twice. Be aware that departments may change course numbering or titles without changing the course content. Students who believe that they have registered for an equivalent course should consult with their academic advising office.

The following restrictions apply to overlapping and the sequencing of courses in the Mathematics and Applied Mathematics and Statistics Departments:

  • Students who earn credit for 110.201 Linear Algebra cannot receive credit for the combined course 550.291 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations or for the course 110.212 Honors Linear Algebra.
  • Students who earn credit for 110.302 Differential Equations cannot receive credit for 550.291 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations.
  • Students who earn credit for 110.202 Calculus III cannot receive credit for 110.211 Honors Calculus III.
  • A student who earns credit in 550.291 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations may receive credit for further study of linear algebra or differential equations by enrolling for independent study while attending (but not officially enrolling in) the appropriate course. Normally students will earn 2 credits for such an independent study, but the number of credits may vary and is to be decided by the faculty sponsor. These students may not earn credit for 110.302, 110.201, or 110.212.
  • Students who earn credit for 550.310 Probability and Statistics for the Physical Sciences and Engineering cannot receive credit for 550.311 Probability and Statistics for the Biological and Medical Sciences.
  • Students who earn credit for 550.426 Introduction to Stochastic Processes cannot receive credit for 550.427 Stochastic Processes in Finance.
  • Students cannot earn credit for 550.111 Statistical Analysis I after receiving credit for 550.310 Probability and Statistics for the Physical Sciences and Engineering, 550.311 Probability and Statistics for the Biological and Medical Sciences, or 550.420 Introduction to Probability.
  • Students cannot earn credit for 550.310 Probability and Statistics for the Physical Sciences and Engineering or 550.311 Probability and Statistics for the Biological and Medical Sciences after receiving credit for 550.420 Introduction to Probability or 550.430 Introduction to Statistics.

Instructor’s Permission
Graduate (600-level) courses in the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering, courses offered in the graduate divisions of the university and some advanced undergraduate courses require the instructor’s approval signature on a registration form. Engineering students also need their faculty advisor’s approval. The Registrar’s Office will not enroll a student in such a course without the instructor’s signature. Therefore, students cannot add these courses online, but must use a paper registration or add/drop form. English, Writing Seminars, and Film and Media Studies hold preregistration hours for majors in the weeks before registration begins. Contact the department for information about how to preregister for a class.

Registering for Independent Academic Work
“Independent academic work” is the collective term used to encompass independent study, research, and academic internships. Independent study means a program of study and reading under the tutelage of a faculty member. Academic credit for independent study is based on work equivalent to class-based courses. Research involves planning and conducting experiments, collection and analysis of data, and the reporting of results. Academic internships are practical work experiences which have an academic component as certified by a member of the faculty.

All forms of independent academic work require early planning with a faculty sponsor. To receive academic credit, the independent academic work must include some activity, exercise or product that can be evaluated by a regular member of the AS/EN faculty whose field of expertise is closely enough related to the work for the faculty sponsor to evaluate the work competently and certify that it merits academic credit.

Academic credit for independent academic work must be sponsored by a full-time member of the Homewood faculty. This is the case whether the work is done on campus or not. The work supervisor and the faculty sponsor may be the same individual. If the faculty sponsor is not the work supervisor, the work supervisor must provide the faculty sponsor with a report on the student’s achievements while doing the independent project and the faculty member must certify how much academic credit the project merits.

Students who wish to pursue independent academic work must begin by discussing their ideas with an appropriate faculty sponsor. That discussion must focus on what type of project the student envisions and what possibilities for academic credit the faculty member envisions. If the student and faculty member agree on the type of project and its academic value, then the student should find a suitable research or work environment for the project.

No more than three credits may be earned for independent study or research in one semester or summer; only one credit may be earned for an academic internship during one semester or summer. Additionally, no more than 6 credits of any type of “independent work” may be earned in one academic year. The academic year begins in June with the first summer session and ends in May at the conclusion of the spring semester. Independent work done for academic credit must be unpaid. Credits for research and independent study may vary from 1-3 credits and may be graded with either letters grades (A, B, etc.) or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. Credit for an internship is limited to 1 credit, and the grading method is Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory only.

As with other academic courses, students must register for independent work by the end of the second week of the semester. Students must also observe the registration and add/drop deadlines in January Intersession and JHU Summer School.

Although academic credit is awarded for independent academic work, area designations are not assigned and the credit may not be used to satisfy the distribution requirement. The use of credit for independent academic work to satisfy the requirements of a major or minor is subject to prior written approval by the appropriate department or program. .

Registering for Summer Courses at JHU
The Office of Summer Programs at Johns Hopkins offers a wide range of undergraduate KSAS and WSE credit courses over two five-week terms each summer. The majority of the courses are at Homewood, but Hopkins offers summer study abroad courses and summer on-line courses, too. Both grades and credits for JHU summer courses taken after matriculating at JHU are entered on the student’s academic record. Only one course per summer may be taken for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory credit.

A course listing is published at http://www.jhu.edu/summer. Students may register online or in person beginning with the spring registration up to the summer session deadlines, which are published on the web site above.

Summer courses in other divisions must be taken for a grade. Credit is not given for mini or weekend courses in the Carey Business School and the School of Education.

Registering for Courses in Other JHU Divisions During the Fall and Spring Semesters
Qualified undergraduates may take courses at other divisions of the university by registering in person with the Homewood Registrar. In addition to the registration or add/drop form, students must submit a Supplemental Registration Form for Interdivisional Registration. Forms are available in the Homewood Registrar’s Office in 75 Garland and in the Office of Academic Advising, Garland, Suite 3A, or the Office of Engineering Advising, 103 Shaffer. Courses taken at other JHU divisions must be taken for a letter grade, not S/U, unless the course at the host division is offered on an S/U basis only.

Peabody Conservatory
Performance courses at the Peabody Conservatory may either be as part of a grade and credit, or may be audited. Graded performance courses will receive 1 credit per semester unless taken for a double degree program. With the approval of a student’s teacher, performances that are audited may appear on a student’s academic record.

Homewood undergraduates who are not enrolled in a music major, minor, or degree program may take only one nonperformance course per semester at the Conservatory or Preparatory. These students may also take one performance course concurrently with the approval of the student’s academic advising office. Students taking lessons for the first time at Peabody must also complete an Extension Application form which is available in the same locations as the Supplemental Registration Form.

Students may take private lessons at Peabody Conservatory with an instructor who is a Conservatory faculty member or a Preparatory faculty member approved by the Deans of the Preparatory and Conservatory. Acceptance is on a space available basis following an audition to demonstrate intermediate or advanced skills. Auditions for Conservatory lessons are held in September. Students will be notified of their audition time by letter from the Conservatory Registrar’s Office. Space in lessons is limited and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a $175 fee per semester for one half-hour non-voice lesson per week and $180 for one half-hour voice lesson per week. Students who wish to take additional lessons will be charged for them.

The Peabody schedule and deadlines can differ from those at Homewood. Students taking courses and lessons at the Conservatory must check these dates in the Peabody Master Schedule of Courses.

Students who wish to take beginning level music lessons may enroll through the Preparatory on a non-credit basis.

Students who have a musical background, or who wish to study music-related academic subjects to satisfy the distribution requirement, may take the following courses at the Peabody Conservatory that have H or S designations:

Distribution Requirement Designators for Peabody courses
H 530.411 Keyboard Literature I
H 530.412 Keyboard Literature II
H 530.413 Keyboard Literature III
H 530.414 Keyboard Literature IV
H —.211–212 Foreign Language (second year of study)
H 610.311 History of Music
H 610.312 History of Music II
H 610.313 History of Music III
H 610.314 History of Music IV
H 610.421 Popular Music Since the 1950’s
H 610.555 Music and Culture
H 530.476 English and American Song
H 530.470 Italian Song
H 530.480 French Melodie
H 530.481 German Lieder
H 310.515-516 Music Now
H 530.537 Poetry in English
H 530.538 Poetry in Italian
H 530.539 Poetry in German
H 530.540 Poetry in French
S 290.111 Introduction to Psychology
H 530.441–442 Baroque Ornamentation and Style
H 530.535.536 Opera Styles and Traditions
H 530.473–474 Opera Literature
H 530.554 Choral Repertoire
H 530.670 Operas of Strauss
H 530.671 Operas of Mozart
H 530.672 Verdi
H 530.673 Wagner’s Ring
H 610.555 Musical Culture
H 610.421 Popular Music since the 1950’s

The Carey Business School and The School of Education
Students may register for approved courses in these two schools on a case-by-case basis. Students are limited to no more than 12 credits in the Carey Business School or 12 credits in the School of Education. In order to register in the Carey Business School or the School of Education, students in Arts and Sciences and Engineering programs should use the Interdivisional Registration Form, available from the Homewood Registrar’s Office, which requires permission of their academic advisor and the appropriate school program director or advisor. Note that the Carey Business School and the School of Education students have priority in registering for these schools’ courses.

School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health
Except for Public Health Studies majors taking course at the School of Public Health who require only the faculty advisor’s approval signature, undergraduates may register for courses in these schools with the approval of the faculty advisor, the course instructor, and the student’s academic advising office. Students must have an adequate background for the courses, and courses must be taken for a grade.

Registering for Courses at Other JHU Divisions During the Summer
Degree-seeking students are permitted to enroll in other JHU divisions through the interdivisional registration process during the summer terms. Students should register and pay for the course at their home division. The course, along with credits and grade, will appear of the student’s home division transcript. Approval is required from both the home and host divisions to ensure that the interdivisional enrollment is appropriate for the student’s degree.

Registering for Courses at Cooperative Schools
Undergraduates may take one course per semester at one of the several area colleges and universities that comprise the academic cooperative program. The cooperative program includes the following colleges in the Baltimore area: Coppin State University, Goucher College, Loyola College, Morgan State University, College of Notre Dame, Towson University, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Villa Julie College. Similar arrangements on a limited basis are in place with the Maryland Institute College of Art and the Baltimore Hebrew College. Freshmen are not allowed to participate in the Academic Co-op Program.

Students (including freshmen) who have received Air Force ROTC scholarships will register for the required ROTC courses at the University of Maryland, College Park using the cooperative institution registration process described in this section.

Courses that are equivalent to those offered at the Homewood campus may not be taken through the cooperative program. Students register in person with the Homewood Registrar. Students must submit a registration or add/drop form along with a supplemental registration form for cooperative program courses. The form is available from the Registrar’s Office, 75 Garland or from the student’s academic advising office. The faculty advisor’s approval signature is required for all cooperative school courses. An academic advisor from the student’s advising office must also sign the form. Submit completed registration materials to the Homewood Registrar’s Office.

Immediately before classes begin at the host school, visiting students should report to the host school’s registrar. Visiting students are not required to complete registration forms at the host school, and no academic record is established at the host institution. There is no additional fee or tuition charge for courses taken through the cooperative education program, except when the host school charges a laboratory or materials fee. In that event, the student pays the fee directly to the host institution.

Courses at cooperative schools must be taken for letter grades. Both grades and credits appear on the Hopkins academic record along with an indication of where the courses were taken. The grades are included in calculations of the grade point average.