For New PhD Students (2024)

We are so pleased to welcome you as a new member of the Computer Science Department’s community at Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering. This page gives general information, helpful web links, and details on what to do before and after your arrival. Please review the expandable tabs below for a list of action items and how-to instructions. Should you have any questions after reviewing the posted information, please reach out to Kim Franklin, PhD Academic Program Manager or Meagan Wade, PhD & Master’s Senior Academic Program Coordinator. We look forward to meeting you soon!

  • JHED ID:This is your login ID to most Hopkins websites, including the myJH portal, home of the Johns Hopkins Enterprise Directory. It typically includes the first letter of your first name, your last name or part of your last name, and one or more digits. Your JHED ID is a maximum of 8 characters. Shortly after you accepted your admissions offer online, you should have received an email from the Registrar with your JHED ID. Instructions in that email would have directed you to the Registrar’s Getting Started page, where you will find further instructions on to how to create a JHED login and password. Roughly 2 hours after you create your JHED password, you should be able to activate your Hopkins email address. If you haven’t received your JHED ID yet via email, please contact webregistration@jhu.eduor call 410-516-8080.
  • Hopkins ID: This is the six-digit-and-letter ID that the Student Information System (SIS) uses to identify students. Sign in to SIS using your JHED ID and password that you’ve established per the Registrar’s Getting Started page. Hopkins IDs are typically issued in April for students arriving in the fall semester, and if admission is accepted after, within 2 business days after admission is accepted in the Slate graduate application system.
  • Government ID: For American students, this is your Social Security Number (SSN). For international students, this is a temporary Hopkins-assigned (988-XX-XXXX) number to use at JHU in place of an SSN, sent to you by the University. This number will be used to set up your pay. International students receiving a stipend will apply for a SSN after arrival. Please see further direction about SSNs and how to apply for them here.
  • J-Card ID: This is the 16-digit number located above the barcode on your J-Card, which you will receive upon arrival. This number is read automatically when you swipe your J-Card at a reader. The 14-digit number below the J-Card barcode is your library number and can be used on the library page.

I-20 Process

Upon receipt of your admission decision form, our department will submit your admissions package to the Graduate Admissions office, who will process and send it to the JHU Office of International Services (OIS).

You will receive an email with instructions on completing an electronic form that will ask for a copy of your passport identification page, documentation on how you are funding your study (if needed), and, if appropriate, information on any dependents that will accompany you.

Please allow up to 2 weeks for the record transfer and email notification process. This email will also provide instructions on how to arrange for shipment of your I-20. Estimated costs of attendance can be found on the OIS website. Questions on immigration or visa issues should be addressed to OIS at or +1-667-208-7001. Please do not ask Kim or Meagan for the status of the I-20, as they can only refer you back to the OIS.

The completion time of the I-20 process may range from 3 to 6 weeks.

Family Members

If you have a spouse, children, or other dependents coming with you, be sure to apply for the appropriate dependent visas. The OIS F-2 for Family Members page will help you with this process.

Arrive on Time

Regulations from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) influence the deadlines that must be met. It is strongly suggested that newly enrolling fall graduate students arrive at Johns Hopkins University no later than mid-August.

If you are unable to arrive on time, please contact Kim Franklin or Meagan Wade to create a letter to present to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials; this letter will confirm your enrollment at Johns Hopkins University and ask them to allow your entry.

New students starting in the Fall 2023 semester must submit their Pre-Entrance Health Forms by July 15.

All incoming students to Johns Hopkins University are required to meet certain health requirements prior to attending. Failure to comply with these health requirements prior to your arrival on campus will result in a hold that prevents you from registering for classes and may result in a $100 health form completion fee.

JHU medical staff can help you complete missing required vaccines and/or blood tests once you arrive, if needed. They are happy to work with you during move-in to complete your health form requirements for a $100 health form completion fee.

If you attended JHU as an undergraduate or Master’s student in the past year, you do not need to fill out any additional heath forms. Simply email to let them know this so they can remove the alert from your account. They may ask you about any updates from the previous year, including the flu shot and COVID boosters.

Directions for JHU Pre-Entrance Health Forms
Step 1:

Complete the 2023 2024 Pre-Entrance Health Form; have your medical provider sign/stamp and date the form to verify the vaccine dates listed. In lieu of a provider’s signature/stamp, you may attach vaccine history records (in English) to the complete form.

Save the completed Pre-Entrance Health Form (and vaccine history records) to your computer in JPG or PDF format. You will upload this file to your completed online Pre-Entrance Immunization Form via the Health WebPortal.

Step 2:

Log in to the Pyramed Health WebPortal using single sign-on/your JHED credentials and go to the My Forms tab. Complete and submit the forms you see here; skip the Communication Preferences form if you do not yet have a US cell phone number. Attach the completed Pre-Entrance Health Form/vaccine history records to the online Pre-Entrance Immunization Health Form to verify your vaccine administration dates.

Additional documentation can be uploaded to the portal via the Additional Supporting Health Form Documentation tab.

If you have any questions or concerns pertaining to the completion of these requirements, please call 410-516-8270 or email

Pre-Entrance Health Requirements

Please visit the JHU Student Health & Wellness Center website for additional information.


  • 2 doses MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine or positive titer test report for each disease. Both vaccines must be administered after the age of 12 months and at least 28 days apart.
  • 1 Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine for adults, administered at age 11 or older (not to be confused with infant doses of DTaP).
  • IGRA blood test to screen for latent tuberculosis if you have ever lived 4 consecutive weeks or longer in one of the high-risk countries listed on Page 3 of the Pre-Entrance Health Form.

Registration for new students will open on Monday, July 22. For guidance on how and what to register for, please review the CS PhD Manual and consult your advisor. Note that you MUST register for:

  1. PhD Research – EN.601.809.(XX). You will need to register for your faculty advisor’s section of PhD Research every semester as a PhD student. If you’re struggling to find your advisor’s section number when registering, scroll to the bottom of the CS Fall 2024 course offerings webpage; you will find a list of faculty section numbers there. If do not see your advisor’s name listed, notify Kim Franklin to request that a new section be created.
  2. Computer Science Seminar – EN.601.801. Every semester, all CS PhD students must attend a fair number of Computer Science Seminars; enrollment in the Student Information System (SIS) is required for first- and second-year students only. Computer Science Seminars are generally held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:45 a.m. No actual coursework is involved and you will always get a “P” grade.
  3. Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) – AS.360.625. This course is in-person, approximately 10 hours total, and offered at multiple points in the year (fall, Intersession, spring, and summer). All JHU WSE PhD students are required to complete this training by no later than the end of their first year. If you were previously a Master’s student at Hopkins, you may have taken RCR AS.360.624; this is not the same course and you must take the PhD version. Read more on the RCR policy here.

CS courses offered during the fall of 2024 can be foundhere. The course area designation list can be foundhere. Note that the minimum credit load to be considered “full-time” is 9 credits, but the WSE Dean’s Office requests that every PhD student register for at least 20 credits total each semester. (This is a more accurate reflection of your overall workload.) This is achieved by utilizing registration for the PhD Research course, which has a variable credit amount of 3–20 credits. The Registrar’s Office caps the enrollment limit at 25 credits per semester, so adjust the variable credit load in SIS for your PhD Research section depending on your full course load; e.g., if you’re taking one standard 3-credit course, make sure you register for at least 16 credits of your PhD Research section plus the 1-credit Computer Science Seminar to give you a total of 20 credits. It is also fine to go over 20 credits.

In order to get you set up on payroll and paid your first paycheck on September 15, please complete and return the Computer Science Personal Information Form for new hires to Kim Franklin by August 15.

For international students:

  • We realize that you may not have a Social Security Number (SSN) yet and that your SSN is being requested on the Computer Science Personal Information Form. You will eventually be prompted to apply for one by the payroll office when you process your I-9 paperwork, but for now, please complete the form using the temporary 9digit identification number assigned to you. The format looks like this: 988-XX-XXXX. If you do not know your identification number, please email Kim Franklin or Meagan Wade to look it up for you in the Student Information System (SIS).
  • Your Work Expiration Date is your I-20 end date.
  • If you aren’t currently in the United States, please use your flight arrival date as your US Entry Date.
Action Item: I-9 Processing

I-9 processing is required for all new hires and rehires working in the United States. The directions below come to you directly from the Human Resources I-9 Compliance Office.

  • Completing the Form I-9: Federal law requires that all newly hired and rehired faculty, staff, and student employees working in the United States complete a Form I-9 within 3 business days of their first day of work for pay—but you should begin the first step of this process now. To begin, you will need to 1) select your employee classification (new, returning, current with an update) and 2) enter yourhire dateand yourhome zip codein the appropriate fields located on the JHU I-9 Compliance Services website. You will then be directed to complete Section 1 of the Form I-9 electronically. Once you have completed Section 1, you can schedule an appointment to have Section 2 of the Form I-9 completed.
  • Foreign national information: If you are a foreign national, you must complete the Foreign National Information Form and email the completed form to the JHU Tax Office. If you do not have a Social Security Number (SSN) or if you have been given a temporary ID number that begins with the numbers 988, leave the SSN field blank on the Form I-9. You must apply for and obtain a Social Security card. Instructions to apply for a card can be found on the Office of International Services (OIS) website. Once obtained, please follow the directions here to complete the I-9 process.
  • What happens if I do not complete my Form I-9 on time? All new hires are placed on I-9 hold until a completed Form I-9 is received and processed. While on I-9 hold, you will not have access to update your tax or direct deposit information in Employee Self Service (ESS). Failure to complete your Form I-9 within 3 business days could jeopardize your continued employment with Johns Hopkins University.
  • If you have additional questions regarding the I-9 process, please email

For information on payroll after your I-9 completion and instructions on how to set up direct deposit, click here.

If you have not already done so, please follow the instructions that were sent in the official admission notification sent by the Graduate Admissions office.

Official transcripts must be sent Remember, the university requires official copies to be sent directly from the institution (not a student copy) showing your degree conferral.

Students who have earned an undergraduate or graduate degree at Johns Hopkins University are not required to submit an official transcript. Whiting School Graduate Admissions will verify degree conferral with the Office of the Registrar.

Please visit the Whiting School Graduate Admissions Newly Admitted Students page for information on how to send your final transcripts (also called “final documents”), which are required as part of your admissions package. You do not have to send your final transcripts until your final semester is complete and your final grades are added to your transcripts.

You will automatically be enrolled in the student health, dental, and vision insurance plans. Your premiums are fully funded by the department. Plans will become effective Aug. 15. More information on the plans can be foundhere.

We recommend that you fly in to Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), which is about 30 minutes from campus.

You can travel from the airport to the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus via taxi, Uber, Lyft, or airport shuttle. You can additionally take the Light Rail or MARC train to Pennsylvania (Penn) Station, which is about 2 km/1 mile from campus; free Johns Hopkins shuttles at Penn Station can then bring you to the University.

Note that if you travel to one of the Washington, D.C.-area airports, Dulles International (IAD)or Reagan National (DCA), you will land about 65–115 km/40–70 miles from Baltimore. Transportation from these airports to Baltimore is more costly and time-consuming compared to travel from BWI, which is only 22 km/14 miles from campus.

There is no on-campus housing available for graduate students; only first- and some second-year undergraduates live on campus.

The University’sOff-Campus Housing Office provides valuable information to members of the JHU community on how to find housing in the area. The Off-Campus Housing Search is a good place to start when weighing your options or seeking potential roommates.

The Off-Campus Housing Searching for Housing page may also be helpful in seeking a home.

View these documents from the Off-Campus Housing Office for more useful information:

Consider watching these CS PhD student-made videos for additional insight:

The department does not endorse any specific living spaces, but we encourage you to explore all options within your price range.

OnFriday, August 16from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be a welcome event/picnic on campus for all new Whiting School of Engineering graduate students. Additional information about this event will be sent to you directly from Graduate Admissions.

OnMonday, August 19from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will be a PhD orientation for all new Whiting School of Engineering graduate students. Additional information about this event will be sent to you directly from Graduate Admissions.

OnThursday, August 22, beginning with breakfast at 9:30 a.m. in Hackerman Hall B-17, there will be a PhD student orientation hosted by the Department of Computer Science. In the afternoon, our current CS PhD students will conduct the second portion of the orientation. Schedules will be emailed to you in early August. Attendance is required.

You can review current CS graduate student policies, resources, forms, and services here.

Please review the Policy on Mentoring Commitments for PhD Students and Faculty Advisors. It is suggested that you connectwith your assigned advisor(s) this summer—particularly as you consider your fall course registration.

All email communication will be sent to the address you listed in your application through the end of June unless you request otherwise. Email correspondence will begin to be sent to your JHU email account beginning in July. At that time, you will also be added to the PhD listserv and you willbegin receiving notifications sent to the entire CS PhD student body.

CS has its own PhD Student Council; you will meet with a few of the members at orientation. In addition to communicating with PhD students through the PhD listserv, the council also hosts an active Slack channel. You can request to join the channel by emailing

Can I transfer in graduate courses taken at another university to count toward CS PhD coursework requirements?

Yes, but only if the courses haven’t been counted toward an undergraduate degree and/or weren’t taken as an undergraduate at another institution. They must be of comparable rigor and appropriate for the CS PhD requirements in question, as attested by a syllabus, problem sets, or other course materials.

You may apply up to 2 appropriate non-JHU graduate courses toward PhD course requirements solely with your advisor’s approval. Your advisor must notify the department’s academic program staff to document their approval and ultimately add their signature to your PhD Coursework Worksheet when all of your coursework requirements are complete.

If you are willing to forego JHU’s Master of Science in Engineering in Computer Science (MSE) degree (typically because a student already has earned a CS Master’s degree elsewhere), then you may apply more than 2 appropriate non-JHU graduate courses toward PhD coursework requirements with the approval of Dr. Scott Smith, the director of graduate studies for the department. To proceed with obtaining Dr. Smith’s approval, please complete a Transfer Request Form and send it, along with a PDF of your transcript, to, copying your advisor. You may wish to reference the PhD Coursework Worksheet and CS course area designation list prior to submitting your request.

For New PhD Students (2024)
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