Berklee Academic Policies

Academic Year

The academic year at Berklee consists of two 15-week semesters, fall and spring, and one 12-week summer term. Students enrolling in fall and/or spring semesters must attend full-time, but may elect to attend part-time during the summer term. For more information, see Full-Time and Part-Time Attendance on this page.

Catalog Year Policy

All students are assigned to a specific academic-year catalog at matriculation. This catalog provides students with a complete set of academic requirements for graduation that will not change despite any curricular changes that occur during the years of study.

Students may opt to change to a more recent catalog year assignment if they prefer to graduate under a newer set of curricular requirements. Students who leave and return to Berklee after four or more years will automatically be assigned to the new catalog-year that is in effect at the time of their return. Students may not change their catalog year assignment to an earlier catalog. However, students are encouraged to meet with the chair of their major to discuss the applicability of past course work to their existing catalog assignment.

Registration

There are two general registration periods scheduled each year for students to select courses for the following term. These occur toward the end of the fall and spring terms. An online registration manual is published in the fall and spring terms with registration and course schedule informa- tion. It is each student’s responsibility to seek academic advising through the Counseling and Advising Center, departmental advisors, and/or peer advisors before attempting to register for courses. Students with outstanding financial obligations must make prior arrangements with the Office of the Bursar in order to register.

The college may make changes to a student’s registration schedule in situations including but not limited to the following: (1) if a course is cancelled, (2) if the student becomes ineligible to enroll in a course due to failing a requisite course or (3) is no longer in a major that is required for enrollment in the course.

Berklee Definition of Credit Hour

For lecture and discussion courses, students earn one course credit for every 15 class contact hours—one credit for one hour of class meeting time each week for 15 weeks. For lecture and discussion courses at the undergraduate level, there is also the expectation that one hour of class time per week requires two hours of outside of class work each week. For graduate courses, the expectation is that one hour of class time requires at least three hours of out of class study. For ensemble and lab work, where repetition, practice, and iterative learning are key, students earn one hour of credit for every 30 hours of in-class time, or one credit for two contact hours each week for 15 weeks. Private instruction is delivered as a 2-credit, 1-hour per week course, or as a 1-credit, 30-minute per week course for undergraduates. Private instruction is delivered as a 3-credit, 1-hour per week course for graduate students. Private instruction requires significant weekly expectations regarding practice time and study outside of class.

Full-Time and Part-Time Attendance

The college’s resources are designed to serve its full-time enrollment and do not allow for the unrestricted enrollment of part-time students. All students are considered full-time and charged the full-time diploma or degree tuition, unless a student meets certain criteria and is authorized to enroll part-time by the college.

Part-time status is defined as enrollment in fewer than 12 credits with authorization by the college. It is the student’s responsibility to request authorization for part-time status by the posted deadline. Requests for part-time authorization must be received before the Monday of check-in week to be effective for the same semester. Part-time study is charged on a per-credit basis. Students receiving financial aid or scholarship funds who are requesting part-time status must consult with the Office of Financial Aid and/or the Office of Scholarships, to determine how part-time status will affect their awards. The maximum credit load within full-time tuition for each program is:

  • Degree: 16 credits
  • Diploma: 13 credits

Exceeding the maximum credit load will result in an extra credit fee. The fee is based on the number of credits over the maximum ($1,225 per credit).

Note: Part-time status may be granted for domestic students if requested and approved by the posted deadline only under the following special circumstances:

  • A student who has completed at least one full-time semester at Berklee may study part time during the summer semester. (Authorization is required for all students by the Counseling and Advising Center or Vice President for Enrollment.
  • A student who has fewer than 12 credits required for graduation remaining. (Authorization is required for all students by the Counseling and Advising Center or Vice President for Enrollment.)
  • A student who has fewer than 24 credits required for graduation remaining, including sequential courses which require the student to enroll for at least one semester beyond the semester for which part-time status is being requested. (Authorization is required for all students by the Counseling and Advising Center or Vice President for Enrollment.)
  • Students enrolled only in internship courses approved by the college. Internships approved by the Office of Experiential Learning generate academic credit and involve a substantial workload commitment, comparable to full-time study. Internships may or may not include compensation. It is the responsibility of international students to contact an international student advisor to apply for work authorization. Practicums offered through the Music Therapy and Music Education departments are not within the purview of the Office of Experiential Learning. (Authorization is required for all students by the Office of Experiential Learning.)
  • Students enrolled only in Music Education Practice Teaching/Seminar. Practicums supervised by the Music Education Department involve a substantial workload commitment, comparable to full-time study. A minimum of 450-clock hours practice teaching and weekly seminars are required. (Authorization is required for all students by the Music Education Department.)
  • Students enrolled only in the Music Therapy Internship supervised by the Music Therapy Department. This post-course work experience extends through two semes- ters and involves 1,040 hours of full-time music therapy experience at a clinical site approved by the American Music Therapy Association. Students enrolled in the first semester of the internship are considered to be active Berklee students throughout the completion of the internship in the second semester. (Authorization is required for all students by the Music Therapy Department.)
  • A student with a documented physical, learning, or psychiatric disability for which the college determines that part-time enrollment is a reasonable accommodation. In the case of learning disabilities, documentation must be submitted to disability services staff in the Counseling and Advising Center. The definition of disability is outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. (Authorization is required for all students by the Counseling and Advising Center.)
  • Berklee graduates.
  • For all other extenuating circumstances, the Office of Enrollment may consider student appeals.

Part-Time Attendance Policy for F-1 Visa Holders

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) requires schools to electronically report the number of credits that each F-1 students enroll in each semester. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations require students in F-1 nonimmigrant status to attend college on a full-time basis and define full-time as at least 12 required credit hours per semester. Only the following exceptions are allowed:

  • During an annual vacation semester: Students who meet DHS vacation semester guidelines and Berklee’s part-time criteria (see Full-Time and Part-Time Attendance Policy) may enroll in fewer than 12 credits during a DHS-approved vacation semester with authorization from the Counseling and Advising Center.
  • To complete course of study in current term: Students may be permitted to enroll in fewer than 12 credit hours during their final semester of study before graduation if they have fewer than 12 credits and no prerequisite sequences remaining and will satisfy all (credit and non-credit) graduation requirements during that semester.
  • Documented illness or medical condition: A student may be allowed to enroll in fewer than 12 credit hours if sufficient medical documentation from a licensed doctor (defined by DHS as a doctor of osteopathy, doctor of medicine, or licensed clinical psychologist) is submitted to the Counseling and Advising Center. This basis for part- time authorization must be reestablished each semester that part-time is granted. Documentation requirements and more information may be obtained at the Counseling and Advising Center.

SEVIS reporting requirements necessitate that international students enroll in at least 12 credit hours every semester. Students in their first or second semester of study in the United States may be permitted to complete fewer than 12 credits if they are having initial difficulties with the English language or reading requirements, or unfamiliarity with American teaching methods. Students must receive a recommendation from their teacher(s) and authorization from their international advisor prior to falling below 12 credits and must resume full-time attendance at the next available semester. When a student has fewer than 12 required credits remaining but cannot complete their program in the current semester due to prerequisites, he/she must enroll in classes not required for their program in order to maintain F-1 status. Students are responsible for their academic decisions. Therefore, Berklee strongly encourages students to plan their course work with an academic and international student advisor each semester to develop an immediate and a long-term study plan that will maximize their meeting DHS enrollment requirements during their course of study at Berklee.

Students must obtain authorization from the Counseling and Advising Center prior to enrolling in fewer than 12 credit hours. If students fall below 12 credits without prior approval, under SEVIS requirements this is considered a “reportable event,” and the college is required to report it to the DHS within 21 days. If the reason for less than full-time attendance is not among those listed above, the college is required to report the student’s F-1 status as “terminated.”

Any international student with fewer than 12 credits must see an international student advisor in the Counseling and Advising Center. Failure to maintain full-time status has serious implications, such as inability to have an I-20 signed, loss of work permission, and/or being required to leave the U.S. It is the student’s responsibility to maintain status.

Students authorized for part-time status by the published deadline will be charged on a per-credit basis.

Summer Use of Resources

The college allows students who are registered for the upcoming fall semester to use “open” resources during the summer. These include the Stan Getz Media Center and Library, the Learning Support Services, Office of Experiential Learning, and the Career Development Center.

Facilities Only

Berklee provides a facilities-only option for student use of practice rooms, ensemble rooms, and lockers during the summer term without being enrolled at the college. Students using the facilities-only option are charged a facilities fee.

Late fees and the comprehensive fee are not applicable. Students who opt not to check in after registering for facilities-only status will have their fees dropped. Students enrolled in the facilities-only program are not considered officially enrolled in the college.

Eligibility for the facilities-only option during specific semes- ters is determined by the following guidelines:

Summer Term

  1. Any student who is registered as a full-time or part-time student for the following fall term.
  2. Any student who graduated at the end of the previous spring term.
  3. Any student qualifying for fall or spring facilities-only use.

Fall or Spring Term

Any student who is completing outstanding graduation requirements that do not require enrollment in any courses, such as:

  1. instrumental proficiency exams
  2. final projects
  3. recitals
  4. credits that do not require class attendance
    a. make-up on incomplete grades
    b. grade changes
    c. credit by exam
    d. transfer credit

Students using the facilities-only program for completion of outstanding graduation requirements will be authorized for one term only.

International students cannot use facilities-only status to count as an enrolled semester for purposes of F-1 status for SEVIS regulations.

Schedule Adjustments (Add/Drop)

After registering for courses for a given term, students may make adjustments to their course schedule under certain conditions. Adding or dropping classes is done by using the college portal (inside.berklee.edu).

The add/drop period at the beginning of each term is the first five days of the semester. After the initial five days of classes, students are not allowed to drop a course from their schedule. For semesters that begin on a Tuesday, the add/drop period extends through the following Monday.

There is a brief period of 2-3 days before the start of the check-in period when the add/drop option is not available due to the upgrade of the student records system.

Students are advised to check their schedule and charges on my.berklee.net after adding or dropping courses. Questions about registration, check-in, or schedule adjustments may be directed to the appropriate course chair or the Office of the Registrar.

Class Attendance

Attendance is required in all classes, private instruction, instrumental labs, and ensembles, beginning with the first scheduled meeting. Absences must be addressed directly with the course instructor to determine impact on student progress and/or overall grade. The faculty member may also provide more specific information on attendance policies. Classes, labs, and ensembles are scheduled to start promptly on the hour and to end ten minutes before the hour. Late arrival is both disruptive and unprofessional.

Absence From Class or the College

Students are expected to notify each of their faculty members directly via voicemail or email of absence from class prior to the class in all but the most extreme situations. It is the student’s responsibility to contact their instructors in advance of the classes. Each faculty member determines whether or not the absence is excused for that particular class.

Please note that for absences of a short duration (less than two weeks), students do not need to contact the Counseling and Advising Center. For absences of two or more weeks due to an extended illness, see the information below in the section, Absence Due to Extended Illness.

Missed Course Material

Students who are absent from any class meeting are responsible for making up the missed material and course work themselves. The instructor is not required to repeat material that a student has missed.

Ensembles

Students are expected to attend all meetings of their ensembles. Instructors must be notified in advance if an unavoidable absence is foreseen. In addition, the student must arrange for a suitable replacement to fill his/her role in the ensemble. Failure to send a substitute player will result in a grade of “F” for the ensemble, and can result in the loss of the seat in the ensemble. The grade of “F” will stand as a final grade except in cases of extraordinary circumstance as determined by the department chair.

Private Lesson Instruction

As with ensembles, every effort must be made to notify private lesson instructors of absence prior to the scheduled lesson time. Failure to do so may result in the loss of scheduled time for the remainder of the term and/or a grade of “F.”

College-Organized Performing Groups

If a student is asked to participate in a Berklee-sponsored event at the college or outside the college or extra rehearsals of college-organized ensembles, the student must first obtain permission from the instructor of any conflicting classes, ensembles, or private lessons in advance of the event. In such instances, provisions under Attendance shall prevail.

Outside Activities

Berklee recognizes that its students will be presented with professional opportunities, such as job interviews, auditions for professional positions or graduate school, and exceptional performance opportunities (including those sponsored by Berklee). Students hoping to take advantage of such opportunities are not excused from course assignments or deadlines. Such students are required to discuss with their course instructors, in advance, the ramifications of any related absences.

Absence Due to Religious Beliefs

Students who are unable, because of their religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examinations, studies, or work requirements on a particular day shall be excused from such and shall be provided with a reasonable opportunity to make up examinations, study, or work requirements which they may have missed. No fees of any kind shall be charged. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result with any student who avails himself or herself of this policy.

Absence Due to Extended Illness

If a student has a serious illness and needs to be out for an extended period of time (longer than two weeks), the student or a family member should also contact the Counseling and Advising Center or the Associate Dean of Students at the following numbers:

  • Counseling and Advising Center 617 747-2310
  • Dean of Students Office 617 747-2231

Return to the College after Absence

A student who is hospitalized for psychological reasons during the course of the semester or during any school break must provide to the director of counseling services in the Counseling and Advising Center a copy of the hospital discharge summary and a letter from a treating licensed medical or mental health care provider stating that the student is psychologically stable and ready to return to the residence halls, classrooms, and common areas on campus. In some cases, a similar letter may also be required of students who medically withdraw from the college but are not hospi- talized or who are suspended from the college for serious behavioral incidents. All such letters should verify that the student requesting readmittance poses no direct threat to himself or herself or to others and that the student is other- wise qualified to return to school. The readmittance review team (RRT) will review the student’s request for readmit- tance and make a recommendation to the Office for the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students regarding the student’s ability to function safely within the residence halls, classrooms, and common areas on campus. The RRT’s primary goal is to ensure the student’s safe and successful return to the residential and academic programs at Berklee College of Music. To that end, the RRT seeks to support students upon their reinstatement and gladly offers assis- tance in identifying a treatment plan for the student, if one is needed and if one is not already in place.

The Office for the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students has the authority to grant or deny the student’s request for reinstatement. All such decisions are final and are not subject to appeal. The Office for the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students may condition a student’s reinstatement upon a showing that (1) the student is not a direct threat to himself or herself or to others and (2) the student is otherwise qualified to return to school. Failure to make such a showing will result in the denial of the student’s request for readmittance.

Withdrawal from Classes

Students may withdraw from classes through the ninth week of classes in the fall or spring semester and through the eighth week in the summer term by submitting a Student Initiated Withdrawal from a Class form at the Office of the Registrar. Withdrawing from a class is the responsibility of the student. The instructor will not withdraw a student from the class for any reason (including absence) or submit the form for the student.
A grade of “W” will be issued for any particular class from which a student has withdrawn. Once the withdrawal dead- line has passed, all registered students will receive a course grade based on the stated grading criteria. Students continue to be financially responsible for that class and are not eligible for a tuition refund or replacement course. Students should note that withdrawing from a class may affect students’ eligi- bility to receive scholarship, financial aid, veterans’ benefits and international student visa status. Students are strongly advised to consult with their instructor, department chair, counselor or academic advisor, or the Office of the Registrar, prior to withdrawing from a class.

The withdrawal form must be completed before the end of the week following midterm week. The student then receives a grade of “W” for the classes from which he/she withdraws. The student may not withdraw from a class and initiate a grade of “W” after the ninth week of classes in the fall or spring semester and after the eighth week in the summer term.

Withdrawal from Summer Programs

Summer, short-term programs, such as ESL, Guitar Sessions, etc., have separate withdrawal policies that are articulated in the application and registration materials for each program. Please contact the Office of Summer Programs for more information at 617 747-2245 or summer@berklee.edu.

Withdrawal from the College

Students who wish to withdraw from the college for any nonmedical reason must complete a Withdrawal from the College form, which they can obtain at the Office of the Registrar. Students withdrawing before the end of the fourth week of either the fall or spring semester are entitled to a credit of part of their tuition. After the fourth week, no credit will be made. Students withdrawing by the end of the third week of classes in the summer semester are entitled to a credit of their tuition on the basis of assessing 25 percent of the semester’s tuition per week of attendance. After the third week, no credit will be made. No deduction is made for temporary absence, nor is any credit granted if students are suspended, dismissed, or leave the college without formally withdrawing. In some instances, financial aid awards may be prorated upon withdrawal from the college. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

Students should schedule an appointment with the Counseling and Advising Center to initiate a withdrawal for medical reasons.

International students in F-1 status should consult their international advisor in the Counseling and Advising Center prior to submitting a Withdrawal from the College form as it will affect immigration status.

Withdrawal from the College and Financial Aid

Students who receive Title IV federal financial aid and who fully withdraw from Berklee on or before the 60 percent point in the term (in calendar days) are entitled to keep only the portion of Title IV federal student aid that he or she has earned to that point. If a student who is receiving federal financial aid withdraws after the 60 percent point of the term, he or she is considered to have earned all of their federal student aid for that semester.

Federal law requires that a student must earn his or her federal student aid or the funds must be returned to the federal financial aid programs. If any federal aid was disbursed directly to the student, the student is responsible for returning unearned funds to the federal financial aid programs in a timely manner. Failure to do so may result in the student being ineligible for future federal student aid.

Title IV federal financial aid includes Federal Pell Grants, Federal SEOG, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Direct Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized), and Federal Direct PLUS Loans. Federal Work-Study is excluded.

For those who officially withdraw from the college, the withdrawal date is the date the student completed the college’s withdrawal process. If the student does not officially withdraw, the date is either the midpoint of the semester or a date determined by documented academically related activity.

Students not receiving any federal financial aid who withdraw before the end of the fourth week of either the fall or spring semester or the end of the third week of the 12-week summer semester are entitled to a partial credit of tuition and residence hall/board charges under the college’s standard refund policy. Refunds are made on the basis of assessing 20 percent of the semester’s tuition per week (or portion thereof) of attendance for fall/spring, and 25 percent for summer. After the fourth week of the fall or spring semester, and after the third week of the summer semester, no refund of tuition or fees will be made.

Additional information about the return of Title IV federal student aid and withdrawal is available from the Office of Financial Aid.

State funds have their own eligibility criteria for when students withdraw. State regulations vary, and we recommend students check with their state or with the Office of Financial Aid to determine eligibility for any state funds when withdrawing.

Veterans benefits, too, have their own eligibility criteria for when students withdraw. We encourage any student receiving Veterans benefits to meet with the Veterans Coordinator in the Office of Financial Aid before withdrawing from the college.

Refunds to the student and/or to the federal financial aid programs by the student or the college will be made within 30 days of the date that the college determines the student has withdrawn.

The chart on this page will help explain how refunds are calculated. Refer to the column that applies to a student’s withdrawal/federal student-aid status at Berklee. The college will calculate a student’s tuition charges and aid eligibility under the policy, which applies to a student’s status and withdrawal.

Note that when a student fully withdraws, any adjusted Berklee charges that have not been paid are still owed to the college.

Institutional funds from Berklee, including grants and scholarships, will be prorated on the same basis as tuition charges. For example, if a student withdrew during the second week of classes, they would be charged 40 percent of tuition. Berklee will allow the student to keep 40 percent of their institutional funds to be used towards those charges.

In some cases, institutional funding may exceed the total charges. When that occurs, the Institutional funds will be decreased to equal the amount of charges the student will incur.

Tuition and Aid Percentage Chart for Students Withdrawing

Fall and Spring Semesters

  Tuition
Charged
Institutional
Aid Earned
Federal Aid
Earned*
Before classes begin 0% 0% 0%
Week 1 20% 20% 4%
Week 2 40% 40% 11%
Week 3 60% 60% 18%
Week 4 80% 80% 25%
Week 5 100% 100% 32%
Week 6 100% 100% 37%
Week 7 100% 100% 45%
Week 8 100% 100% 52%
Week 9 100% 100% 57%
Week 10-15 100% 100% 100%

Summer Semester

  Tuition
Charged
Institutional
Aid Earned
Federal Aid
Earned*
Before classes begin 0% 0% 0%
Week 1 25% 25% 4%
Week 2 50% 50% 12%
Week 3 75% 75% 20%
Week 4 100% 100% 31%
Week 5 100% 100% 39%
Week 6 100% 100% 48%
Week 7 100% 100% 56%
Week 8 100% 100% 100%

* These percentages are weekly guidelines; actual refunds are based on calendar days. This represents the amount of student aid that is unearned at the point of withdrawal and may be returned to the federal student aid programs. Final eligibility will be determined by the Office of Financial Aid within 30 days of the student withdrawing from classes.

Semester Level by Earned Credit

Student semester levels are determined by the program of study (degree or diploma) and the total number of credits a student has earned. It is not determined by the number of semesters a student has been enrolled. See the chart below detailing semester levels with credits earned.

Semester Level Diploma Degree
1 0-13 0-15
2 13-24 16-30
3 25-36 31-45
4 37-48 46-60
5 49-60 61-75
6 61-72 76-90
7 73-84 91-105
8 85-96+ 106-120+
9 (Five-Year Dual Program Only) 97-108 121-135
10 (Five-Year Dual Program Only) 109-120+ 136-150+

Program Credit Limit

The most efficient way to graduate in the earliest possible time period is to register each term for the maximum credits allowed in the diploma program (13) or degree program (16). Students registering for and passing at least 12 credits per term (diploma) and 15 credits per term (degree) will still reach the minimum credits required for graduation (96 for diploma and 120 for degree) in eight semesters (see Graduation Requirements).

Maximum Extra Credits per Term

Students may register for up to four 4 extra credits each term and will be charged per credit for each extra credit. Diploma students may register for 17 credits and degree students may register for 20 credits.

First-semester entering students and transfer students generally may not exceed the registration credit limit of their programs. Students wishing to register for more than four extra credits who have demonstrated high academic achieve- ment and/or high musical proficiency should seek approval from the academic advising coordinator in the Counseling and Advising Center.

Declaration of Degree or Diploma Program

Students enter the college having declared their degree or diploma program. Following their initial enrollment at Berklee, students wishing to change their program must follow the procedures described below.

Students wishing to change from the diploma to the degree program must meet with an academic advisor and must be in good academic standing after completing at least one semester at Berklee. Applications for change of program (degree or diploma) must be received by the Friday before the first week of classes in order for the change, if approved, to be effective for that semester. Applications received after this date will be effective, if approved, for the following semester. International students in F1 visa status must be issued a new Form I-20 with the updated program. In most instances, new financial documentation will be required prior to Form I-20 and Change of Program being processed by the Counseling and Advising Center. For more information, contact the Counseling and Advising Center.

Declaration of Major

All students must declare a major field of study by their third semester-credit standing. However, students may select a major to take effect for their second semester of attendance. Generally, students need to have completed at least 24 credits to declare a major; therefore, most students declare their major as they are entering their third semester. Transfer students may be eligible to do so earlier.

With the help of academic advisors and departmental advisors, students have the opportunity to examine their musical and educational objectives and to select career majors from a curriculum designed to meet the varied challenges of today’s dynamic music professions. Study sequences are designed to produce graduates whose professional skills are commensurate with the goals of the programs and the majors.

Before selecting a major, be sure to understand the requirements of the major, including the final project. Certain majors have additional application requirements, which are described below. Information and assistance in choosing a major are available from the appropriate departmental advisor or the departmental chair.

It is recommended that a major be declared prior to the course registration period for the next semester in order to facilitate enrollment in the appropriate major’s courses. The declaration of major application must be received by the Office of the Registrar on or before the Friday before the first week of classes in order for the change, if approved, to be effective for that semester. Applications received after this date will be effective, if approved, for the following semester.

Students may not graduate without declaring a major.

Majors—Additional Information

Electronic Production and Design and Music Production and Engineering Majors

In order to ensure the proper amount of hands-on experience, the electronic production and design (EPD) and music production and engineering (MP&E) majors currently limit enrollment. Students interested in EPD and MP&E must apply for admission to the majors’ departments before final approval of the declaration of major can be given. Special deadlines for applying for admission into EPD and MP&E will be posted. Information regarding this process can be obtained from the EPD and MP&E departments.

Music Education and Music Therapy Majors

Admission to the music education and music therapy majors is restricted to degree candidates and requires departmental approval.
Students interested in the music therapy major must apply for admission to the major at the Music Therapy Department before final approval of the declaration of major can be given. An application and instructions for the music therapy interview and audition can be obtained from the Music Therapy Department or online at berklee.edu/majors/music_therapy.html.

Students interested in the music education major should visit the Music Education Department to obtain information about admission to the major. Please note: Students who declare Music Education as a major must also complete the CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) form for all courses and internships in which they interact with minors. This back- ground check will identify any person who may not be eligible to work/interact with minors due to a criminal offense.

Music Business/Management Major

Diploma enrollment in music business/management requires departmental approval.

Performance Major

Students may declare the performance major by their third semester of credit standing, but it is highly recommended that they do so during their second semester of study. Students who intend to declare the performance major must visit their instrumental/voice department chair and request an Intent to Declare Performance Major form. It is strongly recommended that students planning to declare the performance major have grades of B or higher in private instruction, ear training, and ensemble/lab.

Professional Music Major

Admission to the professional music major requires a departmental advising meeting and a contract of agreed- upon course work to be outlined by the department chair or designee.

Declaration of Minor Program of Study

Currently enrolled students are able to complete a minor program of study in addition to their declared major. The purpose of a minor course of study is to provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to gain a breadth and depth of understanding in a focused area of study outside of the declared major.

Declaration of a minor is initiated with the stated department chair of that minor. The application for declaring a minor is the same application as declaring a major, which must be approved by the chair of the minor.

The application must be received in the Office of the Registrar by the Friday before the first week of classes in order for the change, if approved, to be effective for that semester. Applications received after this date will be effective, if approved, for the following semester.

Five-Year Dual Major

Students may apply for a dual major involving two of most of the single majors. Dual majors with music education and music therapy are available to degree students only. Diploma enrollment in music business/management requires depart- mental approval.

Changing Academic Program, Major, or Minor

Effective Fall 2012, changes in academic program (degree, diploma, artist’s diploma), adding or dropping a major (including a second major), and adding or dropping a minor must be completed by the Friday before the first week of classes in order for the change, if approved, to be effective for that semester. Changes received after this date will be effective, if approved, for the following semester.

In order to change academic program, major, or minor, a student must be officially enrolled at Berklee. A student is considered officially enrolled if taking at least one on-campus course or at least one on-campus credited online course.

The above changes can be made only once per semester. Changes to academic program, major, or minor cannot be made for a semester previously attended.

A student who is not enrolled cannot make changes to academic program, major, or minor.

Students wishing to change from the diploma to the degree program must meet with an academic advisor and must be in good academic standing after completing at least one semester at Berklee. International students in F1 visa status must be issued a new Form I-20 with the updated program. In most instances, new financial documentation will be required prior to Form I-20 and the Change of Program Form being processed by the Counseling and Advising Center. For more information, contact the Counseling and Advising Center.

Declaration of the artist’s diploma program follows a different process and contains additional requirements, including the approval of the dean of the appropriate division.

Dual-Major Exception to Changing Academic Program, Major, or Minor

A student who is a dual major and has completed all graduation requirements for one of the two majors, but plans not to enroll again to complete his/her second major, may opt to change to a single major and graduate in the single major in which all requirements are satisfactorily completed. The official graduation date will be the end of the semester in which the change to the single major was completed.

Berklee Laptop Purchase Program

The Berklee Laptop Purchase Program (BLPP) includes an Apple laptop computer, peripherals, and licensing to essential software applications in use at Berklee. Please visit berklee.edu/computers for more information.

Student Computer Support Center

The Student Computer Support Center (SCSC) at Berklee provides technology support to students. Please visit berklee.net/sc for more information.
Principal Instrument and Change of Principal Instrument Policy

The college requires all students to declare a principal instrument upon application to the college. In order to graduate, students must meet the graduation requirements on a single principal instrument.

Students should be aware that changing from one instru- mental department to another may jeopardize scholarship status, extend progress toward graduation, and significantly affect future semester changes; it will also incur additional fees for private instruction. Scholarship recipients must consult with the Office of Scholarships and Student Employment before changing their principal instrument, as it may affect future scholarship eligibility.

A student may request a change of principal instrument(s) by completing a Change of Principal Instrument request form and being granted approval by the chair of the new instrumental department. Forms can be found at the individual instrument departments or the Performance Division office, both of which can also provide information and advising on the possible implications of such a change.

Applications for change of principal instrument must be received in the Office of the Registrar by the Friday before the first week of classes in order for the change, if approved, to be effective for that semester. Applications received after this date will be effective, if approved, for the following semester.

The best time for a student to change instruments is prior to registration. Questions pertaining to this change should be directed to the instrumental departments involved.

Secondary Instruments in the Performance Major

Performance majors who are proficient in more than one instrument may declare a secondary instrument. The minimum private instruction residency on a secondary instrument is two semesters of study. Students may declare only one secondary instrument. Students who wish to declare a secondary instrument need to see the department chair of that instrument to schedule an audition. Department chairs will schedule private lessons on secondary instruments and lessons outside their department.

RPXXs on the secondary instrument support the Recital Preparation Program. Preferential registration for PIXX and RPXX courses is provided for performance majors: principal instruments, first choice; and secondary instruments, second choice. To participate in ensembles on a secondary instrument, contact the Ensemble Department for an audition.

Private Instrumental Instruction (Lessons)

Instrumental instruction courses are technique and profi- ciency lessons that prepare students to satisfy the requirements of their instrumental department. Enrollment in private instruction is controlled in the following manner: Students can enroll in one private instruction course per term within full-time tuition, up through the maximum private instruction requirements of their major. Courses in which non-passing grades are earned (“W,” “F,” “IF”) count toward the maximum allowed within tuition. Students will be charged for any additional PI taken above the maximum number of semesters required for their major on a per-credit basis. Private instruction taken when students are enrolled on a part-time basis is charged on a per-credit basis and does not count toward the maximum lessons allowed within full-time tuition.

The following majors have the following graduation requirements for private instruction:

  • All majors: four semesters of instrumental instruction on a single principal instrument
  • Professional music and music education: six semesters
  • Performance: eight semesters
  • Songwriting: may choose to take two additional private instructions (six total) If these are taken on a student’s principal instrument, the private instructions are counted as private instruction levels five and six. Students have the choice to take these additional private instructions on the following secondary instruments: guitar, piano, and voice. When these private instructions are taken on a secondary instrument, they will be counted as unleveled private instructions. Up to two private instructions (a primary and a secondary) can be taken concurrently without incurring extra charges until six cumulative private instructions have been reached.

Recital Preparation Program

Beginning in the third semester, performance majors are required to take one private instruction (PIXX) and one recital preparation (RPXX) lesson each semester. Recital preparation courses are performance major–specific private lessons that focus on building performances leading to the senior recital.

Students may choose from the following options for recital preparation courses:

  • Principal instrument with faculty member in your department
  • Principal instrument with faculty member outside your department
  • Secondary instrument

Students may take their private instruction and recital preparation courses in the following arrangements:

  • Two 30-minute lessons on your principal instrument with one faculty member combining your PIXX and RPXX lessons into one hour.
  • Two 30-minute lessons (PIXX and RPXX) on your principal instrument with two different faculty members from your principal instrumental department.
  • One 30-minute PIXX lesson on your principal instrument with a faculty member from your principal instrumental department, and one 30-minute RPXX lesson with a faculty member from another instrumental department.
  • One 30-minute PIXX lesson on your principal instrument and one 30-minute RPXX lesson on a secondary instrument.

Grading System and Academic Standing

Academic standing and eligibility for a degree or diploma are determined by the quality of course work. To determine academic standing, the college uses a point system, each qualitative grade having an equivalent numerical value.

Grading System

Letter Grade Equivalent Percentage Numerical Value
A (excellent) 93-100 4.00
A- 90-92 3.70
B+ 87-89 3.30
B (good) 83-86 3.00
B- 80-82 2.70
C+ 77-79 2.30
C (satisfactory) 73-76 2.00
C- 70-72 1.70
D (poor) 60-69 1.00
F (failing) 0-59 0.00
W Withdrew 0.00
NA Not averaged 0.00
P Passed 0.00
I or Inc Course requirements not complete 0.00
NG No grade submitted as of indicated date 0.00
IF Incomplete/Failure 0.00

Note: The college does not rank its students.

Calculating the Grade Point Average

Quality points are computed by multiplying the course credit by the numerical value of a qualitative grade assigned. A grade point average for any semester is obtained by dividing the number of quality points earned in that semester by the number of credits attempted and graded in that semester. The cumulative grade point average (GPA) is obtained by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of credits attempted and graded.

For students who repeat courses, with the exception of ensembles and labs (and private lessons taken before the 1992 fall semester), the lower grade/credit will not be calcu- lated into the cumulative grade point average. However, it’s important to note that all courses and all grades will remain a part of the student’s permanent record and will continue to appear on transcripts.

Grade Reports

Grades are withheld from students owing money to the college. Students needing a printed copy of their grades can print an unofficial copy from their my.berklee.net accounts or request official transcripts to be sent by the Office of the Registrar.

Questions regarding grades received should be directed to the individual instructor.

Grade Changes and Other Changes to a Student’s Transcript

The student transcript is the college’s official record of the courses that each student takes and the course grades received while at Berklee. To ensure accuracy, students and alumni have online access to view their transcripts.

All grades, except for the grades of “I” or “NA,” filed with the Office of the Registrar are regarded as final. See the policy for changing the grade of Incomplete (“I”) below. Students who disagree with a given grade should take the matter up immediately with the course instructor. Effective with the start of the Fall 2012 semester, the final grade of “W” cannot be changed.

Students who disagree with a final grade must first discuss the grade with the instructor of the course.

Students have one calendar year from the date that the course, course section, and/or course grade appears on the transcript to dispute any discrepancy involving the course, section of a course, or course grade information on the transcript by submitting a written request to the Office of the Registrar. This includes any course, course section, and/or course grade information that may not have appeared on the transcript but that the student believes should have been included on the transcript. Students must provide supporting reasoning as to why the transcript may appear to be incorrect.

Courses, course sections, and/or grades become permanent and cannot be disputed or changed one year after the appearance on the transcript. Students are strongly advised to check their transcripts closely after each grading period to ensure the accuracy of the information on the transcript. The online transcript can be found at the college portal (inside.berklee.edu).

Grade of Incomplete (“I”)

Under limited circumstances, students may request a grade of Incomplete (“I”) from course instructors in the final two weeks of the semester. To be considered for an Incomplete, students must be passing the course at the time of the request in addition to having satisfactory attendance.

The decision to grant the request rests entirely with the instructor of the course. The instructor of the course reserves the right to require an agreement with the student who seeks the Incomplete for the particular course that specifies the work to be completed and the deadline for completion. The instructor of the course additionally retains the right to change the student’s final grade from “I” to the grade that the student had earned at the completion of the semester at any time after the completion of the semester, including during the period prior to the submission of the remaining work for the course by the student.

A grade of Incomplete is not available for ensemble courses. Students who cannot complete an ensemble during the final weeks of the semester for a valid reason, such as health conditions, family or personal emergencies, or similar compelling situations, must notify the instructor of the ensemble to discuss and work out a solution. The decision regarding the solution rests entirely with the instructor of the course.

Berklee recognizes that students may be presented with certain opportunities, such as job interviews, auditions or other activities for professional positions or graduate school, and performance events (including those sponsored by Berklee). These situations do not qualify a student to receive a grade of Incomplete.

It is strongly recommended that the necessary coursework be completed and submitted to the instructor as soon as possible after the completion of the semester, but it must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. of the last day of the sixth week of classes of the immediately following semester, whether or not the student is enrolled in that semester.

A grade of Incomplete that is not resolved by 5:00 p.m. of the last day of the sixth week of classes automatically changes to a grade of Incomplete Failure (“IF”). The “IF” is averaged into all grade point averages as an “F.” Effective with the start of the Fall 2012 semester, the grade of “IF” becomes permanent one calendar year after appearing in the student’s record and cannot be changed.

Grades of “I” are not calculated into the GPA. Students do not receive credit for courses with a grade of “I,” nor does any course with a grade of “I” count as a prerequisite for another course until the “I” is changed to a passing grade.

Criteria for receiving dean’s list honors specify that a student cannot have a grade of Incomplete for the term in question. Dean’s list honorees are determined in the third week of classes of the following term. Any grade of Incomplete must be changed to a grade of “B” or better by the second week of classes to be eligible for dean’s list consideration.

Repeat Course Policy

Students may enroll in a course for a second or subsequent time. Only the highest grade will be computed into the cumulative grade point average (CumGPA) and the concen- trate cumulative grade point average (CGPA). For more information, see Calculating the Grade Point Average. The repetition of a course will not eliminate the previous grade from the student’s record, nor may additional credit toward graduation be earned by repeating a course. Please note that ensembles and certain instrumental labs may be repeated for credit towards graduation up to the maximum allowed in each major. No music technology course can be repeated without department approval. Contact the appropriate instrumental department for further clarification.

Credit by Exam

Students seeking to obtain Credit by Exam (CBX) for a course should apply to the course chair who is the final source of determination. The following limitations and stipulations apply:

  1. CBX is not available for courses in which both proficiency and participation are the criteria for credit.
  2. Courses passed by CBX are not counted as part of a semester’s course load.
  3. A minimum grade of “B” must be earned in exam and/or project assignments for CBX to be awarded.
  4. Courses for which a student received a grade of “F,” “I,” or “IF” are not eligible for CBX; in these cases, the poli- cies governing Grade Change apply.
  5. All current schedule changes (including those involving CBX) must be completed by the published add/drop deadline.
  6. In order to graduate, a combination of enrollment and participation in a minimum of 60 credits in the degree program or 48 credits in the diploma program are required.

Review of Academic Records

At the end of each term the Office of the Registrar conducts a review of student records to determine each student’s acad- emic standing, including graduation honors, dean’s list, satisfactory progress, academic probation, academic suspen- sion, and academic dismissal. The following policies governing academic standing are applicable as stated to all students.

Dean’s List

Students averaging honor grades for any given semester are placed on the dean’s list. Specific criteria for inclusion on the list are as follows:

  1. Credit-load requirements:
    A. Students must earn at least 12 credits in the semester in question and achieve a grade point average of 3.50 or above; or
    B. Students granted permission for part-time study must earn 8–11 credits and achieve a grade point average of 3.50; or
    C. Students with documented special needs must achieve a grade point average of 3.50 and earn 8 or more credits.
  2. No grade in the semester in question may be lower than “B,” and no grades of Incomplete (“I”) or Withdrawal (“W”) are permitted.
  3. The dean’s list is calculated based on a deadline of all grades received by the end of the second week of classes in the following semester. Students should be aware that any work intended to satisfy a grade change for the purposes of making the dean’s list must be submitted to their instructors for review well in advance of the deadline for the dean’s list.

Review of Academic Records

At the end of each term the Office of the Registrar conducts a review of student records to determine each student’s academic standing, including graduation honors, dean’s list, satisfactory progress, academic probation, academic suspension, and academic dismissal. The following policies governing academic standing are applicable as stated to all students. Unless specifically indicated, the following policies apply to all semesters of enrollment.

Academic Success and Progress Policy for Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 Semesters

The definition of satisfactory academic success and progress includes minimum standards for cumulative grade point average (GPA) and a calculation of completion rate (credit hours completed divided by credit hours attempted). Students who have a cumulative GPA below 2.00 at the completion of a semester or who fall below the minimum credits to be earned according to the chart below will be placed on academic probation for the following semester.

In order to be removed from probation, a minimum GPA of 2.00 must be earned by the end of the next semester of enrollment and the required number of credits needs to be attained, as outlined in the chart below. Students on probation are expected to meet with an academic advisor in the Counseling and Advising Center to discuss their academic status and strategies for improvement. Students receiving financial aid and/or a scholarship may lose their eligibility if placed on probation.

Students who fail to progress satisfactorily after being placed on probation may be suspended for one semester (not including the summer semester). Following academic suspension, the student will remain on probation until the requisite GPA of 2.00 has been earned.

Failure to satisfy the terms of probation after readmission following academic suspension may result in permanent dismissal from the college.
If a student is placed on academic probation for a given semester and subsequent grade changes that improve the student’s GPA and/or concentrate GPA (CGPA) are received by the Office of the Registrar by the end of the second week of the following semester, the student will be removed from probation status. Grade changes submitted after the second week of classes in the subsequent semester do not change a student’s probation status.

The chart on this page shows the minimum number of credits to be earned for the number of semesters attended. (Students who have approved part-time status due to accommodation for a documented disability will still be required to make satisfactory academic progress, but the required number of credits to be earned by the end of each semester will be set by the college at the time of the approval for part-time status.) Falling below these minimums, regardless of GPA, is unsatisfactory progress.

Academic Success and Progress Policy Effective Summer 2013

All Berklee College of Music students are required to make satisfactory academic progress. Beginning with the Summer 2013 semester, all students must meet or exceed the following three standards at the end of each semester of enrollment to meet Berklee’s Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements:

  1. A cumulative grade point average (CumGPA) of 2.00.
  2. A cumulative credit completion percentage (CumCCP) of 70 percent, calculated by cumulative credit hours completed divided by cumulative credit hours attempted.
  3. The ability to complete their degree or diploma requirements for graduation within 150 percent of the normal credits allotted for degree or diploma completion. Example: A student enrolled in a 120 credit degree program has a maximum of 180 attempted credits to complete the degree.

Failure to satisfy any one of these standards will result in a student being placed on satisfactory academic progress warning. Students placed on satisfactory academic progress warning will have one additional semester of enrollment to meet the standards for satisfactory academic progress. Students still failing to make satisfactory academic progress after their warning period will face academic suspension from the college.

Students on academic suspension are prohibited from participating in any Berklee or Berklee-sponsored class, ensemble, program, or event and are ineligible to use Berklee facilities while suspended. Students on academic suspension are ineligible to enroll in Berklee for a period of no less than one fall or spring semester, excluding summer. For sxample a student who is academically suspended after the spring semester is ineligible for enrollment until the following spring semester. Students on academic suspension may file for reinstatement after one semester of suspension, provided they have followed the action steps specified on their suspension notice.

Students who have been placed on academic suspension may appeal the decision to Berklee’s Office of Enrollment. Any appeal must be based on extenuating circumstances and contain written verification of those circumstances. All appeals are adjudicated by the Office of Enrollment.

If an appeal is granted, a student will be placed into academic suspension probation status and must sign and agree to the terms of an academic suspension probation contract in order to be given access to register for and begin their next semester of enrollment.

At the end of the probation period consider the following:

  • If a student has made satisfactory academic progress and fulfilled all conditions of their Academic Suspension Probation Contract, that student’s enrollment eligibility will be conditionally restored.
  • If a student has not made satisfactory academic progress but has fulfilled all conditions of their academic suspension Probation Contract, the student may appeal for one additional semester of academic suspension probation.
  • If a student has not made satisfactory academic progress nor fulfilled all conditions of their Academic Suspension Probation Contract, the student will have their enrollment eligibility permanently revoked, resulting in academic dismissal from Berklee College of Music. Students placed on academic dismissal are ineligible for future semesters of enrollment at the college.

Entering Student Core Progress

In addition to demonstrating satisfactory academic progress, all entering students are required to show progress toward completing Berklee’s core curriculum (arranging, ear training, harmony). Entering students who do not successfully complete their first semester core curriculum (indicated by grades of “W,” “I,” or “F” in any core course) are required to meet with the Office of Student Success and may be required to participate in a specialized tutoring program known as the Second Semester Success Program as a condition of continued enrollment at the college.

A student who has been identified as needing this program may appeal the decision to Berklee’s Office of Enrollment. Any appeal must be based on extenuating circumstances and contain written verification of those circumstances. All appeals are adjudicated at the discretion of the Office
of Enrollment.

Financial Aid and Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 Semesters Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress in their chosen program of study in order to be awarded and continue to receive scholarships, grants, and loans, and to maintain their student employment through Berklee College of Music. For federal funds and Berklee grant funds, a student’s CumGPA must be at least 2.00 on a 4.00 scale; for Berklee scholarships, the CumGPA must be at least 2.50.

A student who receives financial aid or a scholarship and fails to make satisfactory academic progress will be notified of that fact by the Office of Financial Aid and/or the Office of Scholarships and Student Employment after grades have been posted at the end of the semester. The first notice is considered a warning notice. If the student fails to improve his or her standing as required by the end of the next academic term, the student’s awards will be cancelled. In the case of extenuating circumstances, the student may appeal the denial of aid to the Office of Enrollment.

Financial Aid and Satisfactory Academic Progress Effective Summer 2013 Semester

Beginning with the Summer 2013 semester, all students’ financial aid eligibility will be determined at the time of their initial application and after each semester of enrollment.

To receive Federal/Title IV financial aid, a student must meet or exceed the following three standards at the end of each assessment period:

  1. A cumulative grade point average (CumGPA) of 2.00
  2. A cumulative credit completion percentage (CumCCP) of 70 percent, calculated by cumulative credit hours completed divided by cumulative credit hours attempted
  3. The ability to complete their degree or diploma requirements for graduation within 150 percent of the published length of the degree or diploma program.

Failure to satisfy any one of the three requirements will result in a financial aid warning. Students placed on financial aid warning will have one additional semester of eligibility to meet the standards for satisfactory academic progress. Students failing to make satisfactory academic progress after their warning period will lose financial aid eligibility.

Students who have lost their financial aid eligibility may appeal the decision to the Office of Enrollment. Any appeal must be based on extenuating circumstances and contain written verification of those circumstances. All appeals are adjudicated at the discretion of the Office of Enrollment.
If an appeal is granted, a student will be placed on financial aid probation and is required meet with a designated Berklee representative to sign a reinstatement contract before the aid is applied to his or her student account.

If at the end of the probation period a student has made satisfactory academic progress, that student’s financial aid eligibility will be restored. Students failing to meet satisfactory academic progress standards after their probation period will lose financial aid eligibility.

Financial Aid and Part-Time Enrollment

Financial aid is available on a prorated basis to students who are approved for part-time enrollment at Berklee through the Counseling and Advising Center. The amount of aid for which students are eligible is impacted by the number of credits for which a student enrolls. Students are required to complete four full-time semesters at Berklee before they are eligible to receive institutional funds on a per-credit, prorated basis. All part-time students must continue to make satisfactory academic progress to be considered for financial aid funding. Not all students are eligible to enroll for fewer than 12 credits. Failure to seek the approval of the Counseling and Advising Center will result in students being billed for full-time enrollment no matter what the student’s credit load is. Most federal grants and loans require students to be enrolled in 6 or more credits in order to continue receiving prorated funding. Students enrolled in fewer than six credits are likely to enter their grace period and/or begin loan repayment. The guidelines for prorating Berklee grants and/or scholarships for qualified students (degree and diploma) are as follows: the semester’s grant/scholarship amount divided by 13 and multiplied by the number of part-time credits for the semester equals the grant/ scholarship amount for the semester.

Example: John receives a $5,000 Berklee grant for the fall semester and plans to enroll in six credits for the fall. ($5,000/13) x 6 = $2,307, rounded up to the nearest $100 equals $2,400. Based on six credits, John receives a $2,400 Berklee grant for the semester.

International Student F-1 Visa Status and Satisfactory Academic Progress

International students must maintain a 2.0 CumGPA and full-time enrollment for two semesters each year to maintain F-1 nonimmigrant status. Students must register for and complete a minimum of 12 required credits for two semesters before being eligible for a vacation semester (except for spring entering students). Please see page 28 for more information on part-time attendance.

Major and Minor Fields Academic Review

Students are required to maintain a CGPA of at least 2.70 in the concentrate courses within their chosen major and optional minor field. If the CGPA falls below 2.70, the student will be placed on academic probation for the major and must meet with a departmental advisor to discuss his or her academic status and strategies for improvement. Two consecutive semesters of earning a CGPA below 2.70 will result in students being removed from their major and/or minor concentrate courses.

The CGPA is derived from the grades earned in the concentrate requirements and approved concentrate electives of a declared major or minor field. If more approved specified electives than the prescribed number are taken, the CGPA uses the approved specified electives with the highest earned grades. Those approved specified electives that are in excess of the prescribed number are instead counted as general electives and therefore are not calculated in the CGPA.

Graduation Requirements

Ordinarily, at least four semesters of full-time study must be spent at Berklee to qualify for the diploma or degree. Furthermore, all candidates seeking to graduate in a specific major field must attain at least a 2.70 CGPA in that major and must complete a required project in the chosen area of concentration, as described and approved by the department chair. In addition, an overall GPA of 2.00 must be attained
to graduate.

In addition to successful completion of all required courses, proficiencies, projects, recitals, etc., students must complete a minimum number of credits to qualify for graduation.

Program Minimum Number of Credits
 
Diploma 96
Degree 120
Music Education 128*
Music Therapy 122
Dual Majors  
Diploma 126
Degree 150
Dual degree including Music Education 158*
Dual degree including Music Therapy 152

* with new requirement for state certification

Graduation requirement sheets for each major are available on the college website or college portal (inside.berklee.edu). Assistance in educational planning is available at the Counseling and Advising Center and from departmental advisors.

Residency Requirements

All students, including candidates transferring from another school, are normally required to complete four semesters of full-time attendance and a minimum of 60 credits for the degree and 48 credits for the diploma at Berklee in order to graduate from the college. Credit by exam, advanced placement credit, CLEP credit, and transfer credit do not count toward the residency requirement, even if earned while attending Berklee.

Applying to Graduate

To start the graduation process, a student must first apply to graduate. Students who are nearing the completion of their degree or diploma requirements (semester level 6 or above/level 8 or above for dual majors) must submit an Application for Graduation form to the Office of the Registrar indicating the term in which they intend to graduate. Note: your anticipated graduation term (the term in which you plan to complete all requirements for your academic program and major(s), including proficiencies, final projects, internships, etc.) may be different from the Commencement ceremony term.

Berklee has only one commencement ceremony per year, which is held in May. Students planning to complete their degree requirements by the August or December before the May ceremony, or the August or December after the May ceremony, may participate in one ceremony of their choice. Keep in mind, however, that participating in the commencement ceremony is not the same thing as completing the degree requirements.

Failure to submit the Application for Graduation form by the posted deadline will delay processing of the students’ academic records and diploma orders, and their names will not be listed in the ceremony program.

Filling out the Application for Graduation form is the only way to notify Berklee of graduation plans. For additional information on how to check graduation requirements, visit the graduation website on the college portal my.berklee.net and under Student Services, Graduation, Applying to Graduate.

For any questions regarding the graduation process, contact the graduation and curriculum coordinator in the Office of the Registrar, 921 Boylston Street, Suite 120, 617 747-2470. The Counseling and Advising Center and departmental advisors are also available to assist with graduation plans. While Berklee will do everything to help with the process, the final responsibility for meeting graduation requirements rests solely with each student.

Honor Graduates

Students who at the time of graduation have attained the following GPAs at the time of graduation earn honor status and will have their diplomas and records inscribed with the appropriate honors.

Honor CumGPA
Summa Cum Laude 3.80-4.00
Magna Cum Laude 3.60-3.79
Cum Laude 3.40-3.59

Effective September 2013, the GPAs earning honor status will change to the following:

Honor CumGPA
Summa Cum Laude 3.85-4.00
Magna Cum Laude 3.70-3.84
Cum Laude 3.50-3.69

Title II of the Higher Education Act (HEA)—Music Educator Recruitment, Preparation, Support, and Licensing In October 1998, Congress enacted

Title II of the Higher Education Act (HEA). Title II authorizes new federal grant programs that support the efforts of states, institutions of higher education, and their school district partners to improve the recruitment, preparation, and support of new teachers. Title II also includes new accountability measures in the form of reporting requirements for institutions and states on teacher preparation and licensing. Section 207 of Title II requires the annual preparation and submission of three reports on teacher preparation and licensing: one from institutions to states, one from states to the United States Secretary of Education, and one from the Secretary of Congress to the public.

The college received an aggregate pass rate of 94 percent for the 2005–2006 academic year. The Berklee Music Education program requires passing scores on both the MTEL Communications Skills and Music examinations as admission to the teaching practicum experience. Therefore, no student may complete the program without having achieved passing scores. The report also contains information on Berklee’s teacher preparation program for the Music Initial Teaching License, including the number of students in the program, the number of students who participated in teaching practicum, and student-to-teacher ratios for supervision in practicums.

The administration and faculty at Berklee College of Music are committed to preparing exemplary classroom music teachers. While a student’s success on the MTEL is only one part of becoming a classroom teacher, it is an important part, and the college supports students in every way possible to help them be successful.