Kim Franklin, Academic Program Manager
410-516-7451 | Malone 160

  • PhD program admissions
  • PhD student questions and support

Revelie Niles, Academic Program Manager

  • Master’s program admissions
  • General questions and student support for both the MSE and MSSI programs
  • Schedule an advising slot

Joanne Selinski, Associate Chair for Education for Computer Science
410-516-4117 | Malone 225

  • Manages course information and instruction
  • Coordinates teaching assistant assignments and course assistant hiring
  • Advises HopHacks, the annual hackathon

View the code here.

MSE Research Project/Essay/Thesis

Master’s students in the Department of Computer Science have the option to complete their MSE degree requirements with 10 courses OR 8 courses and a research project/essay/thesis. The project is a fantastic opportunity for students to contribute to a body of knowledge while gaining meaningful collaborative research experience. On average, a project will take 1–2 semesters to complete. All of the details of a project are determined by and discussed between the student and their individual project advisor. The department requires that the Master’s Qualifying Project Agreement Form is completed and on file BEFORE the research begins.

A commonly asked question is “What is the difference between the project, essay, and thesis?” Quite frankly, not much in most cases. Project/essay/thesis language is used interchangeably, but if there is a differentiating factor, it would be that a thesis is filed through the Electronic Theses & Dissertations process via the Sheridan Libraries. (Please contact Library Services directly for details.) While this is rarely done with master’s “projects,” it remains an option. The final deliverable will be determined by an individual’s project advisor.

Below are the steps for MSE students completing a project:

  1. Consider your own interests.
  2. Seek out a faculty/project advisor with similar interests who has a primary or secondary/joint appointment in the Department of Computer Science. Projects may not be completed with a faculty member just because they teach at JHU.
  3. Determine the specifics of the project with your faculty/project advisor.
  4. Complete the Master’s Qualifying Project Agreement Form and follow its instructions to send the form to the department before the project commences.
  5. When the project is finalized per the stipulations of the agreement form, send the signed and completed Qualifying Project Form (different than the agreement form) to the department’s Master’s Academic Program Administrator and Sr. Administrative Coordinator.

To assist in this process, one of our very own CS professors wrote an extensive guide titled “How to Do Research with a Professor.” It will provide you with the tools you need to understand the full relationships for all parties involved in a collaborative research effort.

For best results, start this process early in your graduate journey to responsibly manage your coursework and project demands.

Academic Calendar – via Office of the Registrar, which details registration deadlines, breaks, class dates, exam periods, etc.

Course Schedules – via the Student Information System.

Course Information – via the CS Department.

See CS IT Support for departmental computing information, including information about student accounts and labs. Contact support@cs.jhu.edu for help with any departmental computing services.

Homewood Campus Computing Resources
In addition to the department’s computing resources, there are additional computing resources on the Homewood campus, including in the Milton S. Eisenhower Library and the Brody Learning Commons.

  • Homewood Student Affairs Information Technology Services is the best source for information about computing labs, printing, software, and more on campus.
  • Contact Johns Hopkins IT Services to report campus computing issues, to purchase software, and for general help.
  • Search for software available to students here.
  • Visit the Technology Store to purchase computers and more—with a student discount!

Visit the Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries page for general information.

Questions? Contact Sue Vazakas, our academic liaison at the Sheridan Libraries.

Johns Hopkins’ Life Design Lab provides a breadth of career-related programs, including résumé writing and interview preparation workshops, discipline-focused career fairs, internship and full-time employment listings, and more.

PHutures is the university’s professional development and career connections office, serving all doctoral students and postdocs—but especially those at the Whiting School of Engineering and the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.

Johns Hopkins offers a host of resources where students can ask for and receive help on a variety of topics. View these pages for information and hours:

When approaching the completion of the master’s program, please note that the date of conferral and graduation (attending commencement) are two separate events.

Degree Conferral

Conferring a degree is a process managed by the CS Department to ensure that all MSE program requirements have been met by a specified conferral date for graduating students. Each semester, detailed instructions are sent out to students to provide documentation for review by the department and then submitted to the WSE Dean’s Office for final approval.

Commencement and Celebrations

Although degrees are conferred in the fall and spring, there is only one Johns Hopkins Commencement ceremony, which is held in the spring. Please review the commencement website for details, contact information, and FAQs.

The CS Department hosts a separate reception for its graduates and their family and friends. Invitations are sent out mid-spring.

PhD students should coordinate with their dissertation committee to schedule their defense. Once scheduled, email the PhD Academic Program Administrator with a high-resolution photo and the following information:

  • Date & Time of Defense:
  • Advisor(s):
  • Dissertation Title:
  • Abstract:
  • Biography:
  • Professional Plans:
  • Personal Website:
  • Dissertation Zoom Link:

After you pass your defense and finalize your dissertation edits, your advisor(s) will prepare your Reader’s Letter, signed by all committee members. You shouldn’t submit your dissertation to the library until the Academic Program Manager has this letter.

Once the Academic Program Manager has your Reader’s Letter, you may submit your dissertation to the library. Please see submission details here. There is a $60 ETD submission fee that the CS Department will cover. When you are ready to submit, please contact the Academic Program Manager to arrange a funds transfer.

You will receive an email confirmation from etd-support@jhu.edu indicating that your dissertation was approved by the library. Forward that approval email to the Academic Program Manager for conferral processing.

Please complete this checklist in order to graduate:

  • Apply to graduate in SIS. Go to your SIS Self-Service drop-down menu and choose Registration, Program of Study, and Apply to Graduate. Then complete all required fields and click SUBMIT. (Lots of students forget this part!) See additional graduate application details here.
  • Confirm that the Academic Program Manager has your Reader’s Letter and your ETD approval.
  • Inform the Academic Program Manager of your last day on payroll as soon as possible. Overpayments often occur if this information isn’t provided two weeks prior to your last day. Settling up with the university can be a challenge, so it’s best to avoid it if you can.
  • Reach out to Revelie Niles if you haven’t yet—but still wish to—pick up your MSE degree. She will provide you with further instructions.
  • International students must be in touch with the Office of International Students to apply for OPT. The application and approval process can take some time, so start the process as soon as possible.
  • Check your transcript make sure you don’t have any missing grades. If you do, work together with the Academic Program Manager to resolve any issues. No changes can be made after graduation.
  • Obtain your diploma at the Johns Hopkins Commencement Ceremony.