Ask CS: Undergraduate Students

Check these “quick reference” pages for help on the Administrative Resources items important to undergrad students.  Links to websites are blue.

What else would you like to see here?  What questions do you and your classmates ask often?

  • You can go to these CS staff members for help!

    Joanne Selinski, Director of Undergraduate Studies
    Undergraduate Inquiries. | 410-516-4117| Malone 225

    • Coordinates undergraduate academics and advising
    • Manages course information and course assistant hiring
    • Advises HopHacks – our biannual hackathon

    Kelly Culotta, Sr. Academic Program Coordinator
    Undergraduate Inquiries.| 410-516-8001 | Malone 160

    • General advising and program requirement questions
    • Declaring a CS major or minor
    • Undergraduate student groups/event support

    Revelie Niles, Academic Program Administrator
    Point of Contact for MSE students. | 410-516-6282 |Malone 160B

    • Applying to the combined bachelors/masters program
    • MSE program – general questions
  • Several resources already exist to keep you on track with respect to your academics:

    Contact your faculty advisor or Director of Undergraduate Studies Joanne Selinski with questions on course selection, degree requirements, other minors and majors, and 4-year degree planning.

    The Engineering School has its own advising office, situated in Shaffer 103.   Each CS 1st major also has an academic advisor assigned from this group.  Go to them for all things school-wide (ie, not departmental), such as: transfer credits, general WSE policies, graduation questions, semester overloads, etc.

    Visit the University Course Catalog for information on academic policies, degree programs, and other departments.  Some policies that students find important:

  • Visit the Registrar’s “Academic Dates” page for the academic calendar, which displays dates for registration deadlines, breaks and vacations, alternate class days (Monday-on-Thursday, for example), and exam periods.
    Visit these pages for course schedules

    • ISIS Classes – seek class information – course numbers, titles, meeting days and times, instructors, and descriptions.
    • For more information about CS courses, click here.
    Visit the JHU Course Catalog’s “Transfer Credits” page for information on how to request approval to take courses elsewhere.

    Visit the Whiting School Academic Affairs office in Shaffer 103 for the form to use to request approval.  Students can take up to 12 credits outside Hopkins toward their degrees (besides AP and IB credits, and those earned by students who transferred from other institutions).

    Obtain the course’s syllabus or detailed course description and submit the request to the Whiting School’s Academic Advising office in Shaffer 103.  They will review and approve the course, with input from relevant departments.

    Students can then take the course and must earn a C or higher.  The school then sends the transcript to Hopkins.  Once received, the credits will be transferred to the transcript, though the grade will not be calculated in the Hopkins GPA.

  • CS undergrads are eligible for accounts on our linux server system and access to the labs in Malone 122 (collaboration room) and G61 (quiet workspace). See the undergrad advising manual and the CS IT support page for details.

    Visit the Johns Hopkins Library page for information about our libraries.

    You have a librarian!  Contact CS Librarian Sue Vazakas via email at She can help you find research resources and show you how to use the library’s resources and services.

    You are welcome to use the computer facilities throughout campus, especially in the Milton S. Eisenhower Library and the Brody Learning Commons.

    Laptops, pads, and software are available at a discount student rate when purchased through Hopkins.

  • Students have all kinds of questions about how to prepare for life after college.

    “Is my major the right one for me?”
    “How can I maximize my summer experience through internships?”
    “What do I want to do after graduation?”
    “Should I go to graduate school?”

    • For more information about internships, click here.  Note that students may complete internships for credit or pay, but not both.
    • For more information about research, click here.
    • For more information about careers, click here.
    • Coming soon, more information about graduate school.
    • Discuss questions about your major and if it’s the right choice for you with your faculty advisor or Director of Undergraduate Studies Joanne Selinski.
    • The Career Center offers career planning and research, networking and why it’s important, resume critiques, interviewing, career fairs, and employer information sessions.
    • Alumni are a rich source of career opportunities. Connect with the Johns Hopkins Society of Engineering Alumni.
    • Watch your e-mail for internship and job opportunities
  • Most undergraduate students are paid by the hour and must record and submit their hours weekly.  You must be eligible for student employment in order to fill any of these positions.

    Hourly Positions
    Undergraduate students primarily work as course assistants or research assistants in CS. Payrates vary between $10-$15 per hour, depending on the position.

    • Course Assistant application – we hire a small army to help with almost every course in the department.  Students must be rehired for each semester they work as a course assistant.
    • Research positions are sometimes advertised via email, but are mostly obtained through direct contact with professors.  See our research page for more details.

    Getting on Payroll

    Students must complete a federal I-9 form in Student Employment the first time they work at JHU and after every lapse in work that is at least one full semester long.  This process must be completed before the student begins work in the department.

    How to Submit Hours

    Coming soon…

    Once hours have been verified through the department, paychecks will be available through student employment according to their scheduled paydates.  See here for details, including setting up direct deposit.

  • Occasionally, students may feel overwhelmed by the rigors of education, especially if coupled with outside stresses like health and family concerns.  Johns Hopkins offers a host of resources where you can ask for and receive help.

    If you need someone to listen, you can talk to your advisor and Director of Undergraduate Studies Joanne Selinski.  Sometimes, venting to someone may be all you need.

    Other times, though, you may want to talk to someone who is trained to help people in distress.  View these pages for information and hours:

  • That big day at the end of a student’s four years at Johns Hopkins culminates in the celebration called graduation and commencement.

    Timeline to Graduation

    • Submit the Application to Graduate when notified by the Whiting School.  Information is available on the Graduation Eligibility and Application page.  Make sure you correctly note BS or BA degree as a CS major.
    • November – seniors send their completed “major worksheet” to Director of Undergraduate Studies Joanne Selinski, who will review (in January) and confirm that they are on track to graduate.
    • March – the department certifies graduation eligibility.
    • April/May – seniors complete Exit Surveys.


    • Obtain your diploma at Johns Hopkins Commencement.
    • Join your family and friends at the CS reception.  Graduates will receive an invitation in mid-Spring.

    Early/Late Graduation

    • Submit the application to graduate the semester before you intend to finish.
    • Review your completed “major worksheet” with Director of Undergraduate Studies Joanne Selinski the semester before you intend to finish.
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