Skip to main content

Academic Requests


The Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering offers its undergraduates opportunities for intellectual exploration, personal growth, and the acquisition of valuable skills.

It is the student’s responsibility to seek the help of the faculty and other professionals as they use the resources provided to achieve their goals and meet the requirements of their academic program. Each student should meet with an academic advisor at least once a semester to discuss their progress.

Students are also responsible for ensuring that they will complete their degree requirements. Academic and administrative requirements are set by the major and outlined in the Academic Catalog. Students should be familiar with the information contained in the Academic Catalog. Failure to read it will not excuse any student from responsibility for abiding by the rules and procedures.

Personal difficulties, illness, or advice contradicting the rules and procedures in the Academic Catalog do not constitute automatic grounds for exemption from these rules or procedures. Any waivers to the rules and procedures must be reviewed and approved in advance and are effective only when accepted by the Office of Academic Advising (Arts & Sciences students) or the Office of Engineering Advising (Engineering students).

The university reserves the right to make changes to the rules, procedures, and other information in the Academic Catalog as it deems appropriate. Students are urged to consult the Office of Academic Advising or the Office of Engineering Advising and their department about any questions they may have concerning academic programs, especially when the student’s program deviates in any way from the rules and procedures in this manual. The Academic Catalog is not to be regarded as a contract.

Leaves of Absence

Leaves of absence are granted for specific periods, generally up to one year, and such leaves are regarded as approved interruptions of a student’s program. No tuition or fees are charged while on leave. If applicable, students should consult with the Office of Financial Aid prior to request a leave of absence. Students may not be eligible for health benefits if enrolled through JHU’s Student Health Benefits. See the Student Health Benefits website and the Financial Aid website for more information.

Leave of Absence Types

Standard Leave of Absence

Students may be granted a standard leave of absence with the approval of the academic advising office for the student’s school. Examples of reasons for a standard leave of absence include: military service (foreign or domestic), full-time internships preventing enrollment in courses, or missionary work. The deadline to request a standard leave of absence is the last day to drop classes. KSAS students should complete the Personal Leave of Absence Request Form to request a standard leave. WSE students need to contact the Whiting Advising Office for instructions.

Emergency Leave of Absence

Students may be granted an emergency leave of absence for the purpose of dealing with a personal situation that impacts a student’s ability to remain on campus and complete the semester. Examples of situations that might necessitate an emergency leave of absence include: the death of a family member, the need to serve as a caregiver for a family member, or other family emergencies. Students experiencing their own physical or mental health issues should refer to the medical leave of absence option.

Medical Leave of Absence (Physical or Mental Health)

Students may be granted a medical leave of absence to address their own physical or mental health concerns with the approval of Student Outreach & Support in the Office of the Dean of Student Life. No tuition or fees are charged while on leave. Students on a medical leave of absence may request permission to take up to two courses totaling 8 credits or less at another institution while on leave.

Exception to Academic Policy

Exceptions to academic policies are granted only when circumstances exceed a student’s control. Ignorance or forgetting details of policy do not warrant an exception or waiver of policy.

Academic policies are documented in the Academic Catalog.

To request an exception to academic policy, email your request to Dean Jessie Martin using the following format:

  1. Subject Field: “Request for Exception”
  2. Full name
  3. Hopkins ID (assigned by JHU, not your Social Security number)
  4. JHED ID (your first initial, last name, and a number)
  5. Year of study (freshman, etc.)
  6. Cell phone number
  7. Major(s)/minor(s)
  8. The relevant policy (e.g. add deadline, withdrawal deadline, change to S/U grading, etc.)
  9. Course number(s) and class instructor(s), if relevant
  10. Semester and year request pertains to, not the date of your request
  11. Explanation of events or conditions prompting this request

You must fully explain why this exception is deserved. Provide a detailed narrative of events, a description of a serious medical condition (including documentation), or an explanation of other conditions which prevented compliance with academic policy.

Dean Martin will review your request and consider whether granting your petition would set an equitable and reasonable precedent for other students. She will contact you and/or faculty members for additional information if necessary and then inform you by email of her decision.