Previous Communications Regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The following list details all official communications regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on the Berklee community during the spring 2020 semester. For all future updates, please refer to Back to Berklee.
Video from President Roger H. Brown
Watch a video message from President Brown about how we're preparing to resume activities in the fall.
Fall Planning Update for Berklee Valencia
We want to update you on the current situation in Spain as it relates to the management of the COVID-19 situation. Spain and Valencia are currently taking steps toward bringing a sense of normalcy to their citizens. On April 29, the Spanish government presented a de-escalation plan for a transition to a "new normal" that will last for a minimum of six–eight weeks (until at least the end of June). This plan is divided into four phases, and Valencia is currently in phase one. This new scenario has significantly eased many of the restrictions that were set at the beginning of the outbreak. Please visit the Public Alerts Page for updated, detailed information. In addition, on May 20 a new extension of the current State of Alarm (until June 7) was approved by Congress. On Monday, May 25, the Spanish government announced that Spain will lift the two-week COVID-19 quarantine for overseas arrivals from July 1.
As of today, and in accordance with the Spanish government's rules regarding educational institutions for the de-escalation plan, the campus remains closed with restricted access for disinfection, campus setup, and administrative and investigative purposes.
Berklee Valencia is currently working in alignment with both regional and national health authorities, and together with the Berklee Valencia medical team and our Mapfre health insurance partner, to consider reopening plans for our campus in the fall. To this end, the Valencia Core Reopening Team is currently working on the following:
- Planning for adapting campus facilities
- Determining policies and procedures to ensure the safety of our current and future community
- Designing academic, enrollment, and resources and operations plans for the fall semester
Though returning to campus is clearly a challenge, we are focused primarily on the following actions:
- The establishment of social-distancing procedures and policies to reduce the likelihood of additional infections
- The availability of a reliable, robust contact-tracing system for alerting those who might have been exposed so that they can quarantine to prevent further spread
- The availability of health and wellness support for students, faculty, and staff
- A careful review of appropriate on-campus staffing levels
- The development of sustainable, rigorous cleaning procedures to reduce risk of further infection
- The development of a culture of shared responsibility on our campus to support our collective health and safety
We are confident in our community’s ability to come together to accomplish what we set out to do, and right now, our focus is sharply on safely returning to our campus as soon as we possibly can. We value your input and welcome any questions, comments, and suggestions you may have as we move forward together. We will continue to keep you updated as things progress.
Dear members of the Berklee community,
While the past eight weeks have presented many challenges for all of us, we hope that you feel a profound sense of satisfaction in completing your spring semester studies. We deeply appreciate your hard work, dedication, resilience, and creative energy. Today, we’d like to take a moment to discuss our fall semester planning, which is now our primary focus.
First and foremost, we are strongly committed to providing a safe campus environment, one in which the health and wellbeing of our community members is fully considered. Our firm intention is to reopen our campus in time for the fall, but of course, we must adhere to state and federal guidelines, and our own requirements for reopening safely.
As we consider reopening plans, we are engaging in a deliberate process in alignment with those state and federal agency guidelines, in close communication with the City of Boston, and with the support of our partners at Tufts Medical Center and others in Boston’s health care system. No matter what, we suspect the conditions will be different from the ways we occupied campus before the pandemic; we will adapt the physical space, adjust the resources we have on-hand, and craft policies and procedures to support the safety of our community. In particular, social distancing requirements will likely demand very different behavior from all of us, such as flexible use of classrooms and other spaces, and perhaps varied schedules.
On Monday, May 18, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced additional details for his four-phase plan to reopen the state. This plan includes specific guidelines for institutions of higher education:
- Protect the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and people in surrounding communities.
- Enable students to make meaningful progress towards their educational goals.
- Contribute to research and innovation.
- Minimize adverse economic impact on families, employees, and the Massachusetts economy.
Berklee will follow these guidelines as we, too, take a flexible approach to reopening, which is currently being developed by teams established from across the institution. Three continuity planning groups (CPG) are working on fall plans: academic, enrollment, and resources and operations. A CPG executive steering committee is charged with institutional coordination and providing recommendations to the president and the executive team for decision-making.
Though returning to campus is clearly a complicated, multifaceted undertaking, we are focused primarily on eight main action items that will precede our return:
- the availability of rapid testing to quickly diagnose individuals with the virus;
- the establishment of social-distancing procedures and policies to reduce the likelihood of additional infections;
- the availability of a reliable, robust contact-tracing system for alerting those who might have been exposed so that they can quarantine to prevent further spread;
- the capacity for quarantining and isolating exposed or diagnosed students on campus;
- the availability of health and wellness support for students, faculty, and staff;
- a careful review of appropriate on-campus staffing levels;
- the development of sustainable, rigorous cleaning procedures to reduce risk of further infection; and
- the development of a culture of shared responsibility on our campus to support our collective health and safety.
We have a great deal of work ahead of us as we continue to face these unprecedented challenges. But we are confident in our community’s ability to come together to accomplish what we set out to do, and right now, our focus is on safely returning to our campus as soon as we possibly can. We value your input, and welcome any questions, comments, and suggestions you may have as we move forward together. We will continue to keep you updated as things progress.
Senior Vice President for Student Enrollment and Engagement
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost
Senior Vice President and Executive Director
Boston Conservatory at Berklee
Senior Vice President of Administration and Finance/CFO/CIO
Planning for Fall 2020
Like other institutions of higher education across the country, we face uncertainty around convening on campus for the fall semester. It is our clear desire to reopen our campus for the fall, and we are exploring many potential options as we partner with the Massachusetts Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that we follow their guidelines to safely reopen. We want to keep you all informed by sharing our planning process with you.
In order to begin planning for the fall, we developed institutional goals and priorities; chief among them is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff. Berklee President Roger H. Brown has been working closely with other college and university presidents in the area, and many of our senior leaders are part of collaborative groups sharing information and plans. In addition, we are being ably assisted by our Tufts Health Plan medical advisor and infectious disease specialist Dr. Laura Kogelman. Similar to our initial COVID-19 response efforts, we have identified teams from across the institution to develop models for how and when we can reopen the campus. We are examining various scenarios for that opening, as well as preparing academic, enrollment, financial, and staffing plans to support these scenarios. We will use this framework for our Boston and Valencia campuses, as well as our centers in New York City and Abu Dhabi.
Here in the state of Massachusetts, we are fortunate to be home to an unparalleled wealth of institutions of higher education. Many have agreed to share knowledge and plans, and mutually determine a plan for fall around June 15. While each of the schools involved will of course make their own decisions for their communities, we are confident that the shared expertise among our educational partners and Boston’s exceptional health care system will prove invaluable as we prepare for the next phase of response to the pandemic. We are committed to communicating our plans with you as they solidify.
Student Employment for Summer 2020
Given our narrowed institutional priorities, we will have roughly 150 student employment positions this summer, many of which are highly specialized roles that support the successful delivery of our remote summer semester experience. We expect to return to the full contingent of student employment in the fall, assuming we can be back on campus with the typical levels of enrollment.
All supervisors and students will be notified over the next few days about the approval of summer positions. Until then, feel free to reach out to Nicole Mlynczak in the Career Center if you have other questions.
For those who need assistance, we want to emphasize and be sure you are aware of a number of resources available to our community.
Faculty and Staff
Members of the faculty and staff who face serious COVID-19-related financial hardships may apply for faculty and staff emergency funds (login required). Funded by Berklee and administered by Human Resources, the program also accepts voluntary donations. Learn more (login required) about eligibility and the application process.
An emergency fund for students is also available, thanks to the generosity of current parents and families, the Board of Trustees, Advisory Councils, Berklee leadership, and other members of the Berklee community. Students may request funds for an emergency situation or for unanticipated and compelling circumstances that make it difficult to continue their courses. Learn more about eligibility, the application process, and policies for the distribution of funds. We are acutely aware of how this crisis impacts members of our community differently. The inequities of the world are amplified at times like these, and we are committed to trying to help those whose life circumstances are under the greatest stress at the moment. We have already distributed over $70 thousand to qualified students from this fund.
Students may also be eligible to receive money from a number of funds external to Berklee. The CARES Act established and funded the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which allocated $14 billion to colleges and universities to assist with the economic impact of COVID-19. Berklee was allocated a total of $3.57 million, with $1.78 million designated to be distributed directly to students to cover student expenses associated with the disruption of campus activities due to COVID-19. Undergraduate and graduate students at the College, Conservatory, and some Valencia programs who completed a 2019–2020 FAFSA, meet eligibility requirements for Title IV federal student aid, and were enrolled in campus-based classes for spring 2020 are eligible. Over 2,000 students are qualified for these funds and will each directly receive approximately $700 by June 1. Learn more about this program and other valuable resources potentially available to students at this time.
Looking Ahead: Continued Communication
We will continue to keep everyone updated as there is new information to share. Our internal community newsletters—Student News and Faculty/Staff News—will remain the vehicles for official communications for the Boston campus and will be sent most Tuesday mornings. Please make sure you read these official newsletters for important information. We will also continue to update this website throughout the summer. During these challenging times, one of the most difficult issues many of us face is a lack of clarity around what will come next. We are committed to communicating as quickly and clearly as we can.
Berklee COVID-19 Creative Arts Archiving Project
The Berklee Archives has launched the Berklee COVID-19 Creative Arts Archiving Project to preserve and make accessible the Berklee community’s artistic experience of and responses to the global pandemic. We are collecting examples of compositions, performances, creative writing, images, and other artistic output by Berklee students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as personal reflections during this unprecedented time.
Not only is such grassroots primary source documentation essential to supporting the future understanding of COVID-19’s impact, we also hope it will serve as a cathartic outlet for those of us moved to create. Contributions will ultimately form a digital collection hosted on the archives website. By contributing creative works and personal perspectives, contributors can help Berklee remember how the COVID-19 pandemic has uprooted our community and transformed our work and lives.
Required Books for the 12-Week Summer Semester
You can view all required textbooks and workbooks here for each summer semester class that requires a book. Workbooks are indicated in red.
You will need to buy the required books and workbooks in advance so you receive them in time for the first day of classes. All books and workbooks can be purchased online through the Berklee Bookstore. Most textbooks (but not workbooks) are also available through other online bookstores such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Workbooks can only be purchased through the Berklee Bookstore website.
The cost of each Berklee workbook has been temporarily reduced to $16.50.
You can choose from two options:
Hard Copy and Digital Viewing: A hard copy of the workbook will be mailed to your street address. The hard copy package will contain a sheet with an access code that allows the workbook to be digitally viewed (on a laptop, tablet, or other device).
Print Option and Digital Viewing: Two separate access codes will be emailed to you. One access code allows you to print the workbook one time at home. Note that once the code is submitted and the workbook opened, it must be printed immediately. The second access code allows the workbook to be digitally viewed (on a laptop, tablet, or other device).
If you have any questions about the required books and workbooks for your summer semester course, please contact your professor.
Watch a video message from President Roger H. Brown.
Watch a video message from the Conservatory's Executive Director Cathy Young.
Pass/No Credit Grading Policy: Course Exceptions Now Posted
As you heard several weeks ago, you will have the option to change your letter grade to pass/no credit (P/NC) for any or all of your spring 2020 courses. This is a temporary grading policy for the spring 2020 semester. Please note that a small number of courses are not eligible for P/NC and must be taken for a letter grade due to certification, licensure, or program requirements. Learn more and view the courses that are not available for P/NC.
Withdrawal Deadline Extended to May 1 at 5:00 p.m. EDT
The deadline to withdraw from a spring 2020 course has been extended to Friday, May 1 at 5:00 p.m. EDT. To withdraw from a course, you must submit a Withdrawal from Courses Form (login required) by the May 1 deadline. You will then receive a grade of W for that course. After this date, you are committed to being evaluated for your performance and will receive a grade. Please consult your academic advisor for guidance in making this decision and consider it in the context of the P/NC option now available.
Dean’s List Suspended for Spring 2020
In order to ensure equity for all students, due to the variation in each student’s current circumstances for remote learning, the Dean’s List will be suspended for the spring 2020 semester for Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
President Roger H. Brown on Commencement
Watch a video message from President Roger H. Brown on the rationale behind Berklee's decision to do a virtual commencement in May, followed by in-person celebrations on campus this fall for the Conservatory and the College's three divisions.
Student Emergency Fund
We are aware that some of you are currently facing financial difficulties, and want to share an important resource with you. The Berklee community has come together and is ready to support you if you’re experiencing unexpected financial hardship. Through the generosity of current parents and families, the Board of Trustees, Berklee leadership, and community members, Berklee has mobilized the Student Emergency Fund to help you navigate this challenging time. Learn more about how to apply for emergency funds (login required).
Share Your #BerkleeAnywhere Stories
We want to hear your stories about collaborating with classmates remotely, getting creative with the equipment and space you have access to, and working on projects inspired by your experiences. Please send a description of your project, a YouTube or Spotify link, or other media to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also share your project on your own channels and include #berkleeanywhere in the post.
Watch a video message from Berklee President Roger H. Brown.
Watch a video message from Cathy Young for the Conservatory community.
Schedule Reminder for the Boston Campus
- No classes will be held on Monday, April 20.
- Wednesday, April 22 is an alternate class day and will follow a Monday class schedule.
Based on information provided by health and government authorities relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to deliver the college’s summer semester through remote instruction. While we are all looking forward to getting back to our physical campus, we are committed to supporting you and enabling you to progress toward graduation as planned.
Below you’ll find important information about the summer semester and registration for both the summer and fall 2020 semesters.
- Summer semester for undergraduates begins May 26, 2020.
- Courses, including private instruction, will be delivered remotely by Berklee faculty, who are committed to providing powerful learning experiences in this context.
- This remote summer semester experience will include many of the same benefits and services that are offered as part of our traditional campus experience, including institutional scholarship support, academic advising and tutoring, and career services, along with an expanded catalog of courses, selected to help you progress in your academic program.
- Tuition for the summer will be about a quarter less than the traditional on-campus summer tuition, for a total cost of $15,000 for full-time study. We have achieved this reduction in tuition by taking a few important measures. We have pared down the course catalog by about 25 percent, focusing specifically on those courses needed by the largest number of students to progress toward graduation. Additionally, we will utilize Berklee Online course materials for several classes.
- Students who have been awarded institutional scholarships will maintain their funding at the same percentage rate. This means that if your original scholarship award covered 20 percent of tuition, it will continue to cover 20 percent of this lower cost of tuition. Additionally, Student Financial Services will support students who are eligible for federal financial aid in seeking that aid for the summer term.
- Students also have the option to study directly with Berklee Online, where summer term tuition is about $7,500 for 15 credits. The Berklee Online summer semester starts on June 29 and ends on September 20. Please note the following with the Berklee Online option: There is a two-week overlap between the Berklee Online summer semester and the college fall semester; the Berklee Online course catalog is smaller; institutional scholarships and federal financial aid for Berklee Online study are limited; and the student services offered to our remote learners in the 12-week summer semester are not available to students exclusively taking Berklee Online classes.
- Registration for summer and fall 2020 will begin April 15.
- The registration process will remain the same as it was in previous semesters:
- College students will register through my.berklee.edu. Fall course offerings for the college can be found by logging into my.berklee.edu, selecting "Browse Classes" in the Registration section, and then selecting “Fall Term.” Summer courses offered at the college are currently being updated and will be available no later than Wednesday, April 8.
- Conservatory students will register through Self-Service. Fall course offerings for the Conservatory can be found here.
- Students will receive an email from the Office of the Registrar by Wednesday, April 8 with details about their assigned registration times, the updated summer course offerings and registration guide, and advising resources.
We continue to closely monitor information from the government about the impact of summer term enrollment on international students’ F-1 status. Updates and details will be posted on the ISS Coronavirus (COVID-19) page as they are available.
Watch a video update from President Roger H. Brown.
Watch a video update from Conservatory Executive Director Cathy Young.
To support students in their career and artistic development wherever they are, all Career Center services are now available virtually. Students can access virtual career advising and walk-ins, complete the internship seminar, and participate in virtual events. Read about offerings for Boston students and Valencia students.
The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020), signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020, helps provide financial stability and relief for individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19. The legislation is very broad and impacts a range of industries and policies, including your benefits. Read about updates to your benefits (login required), including flexible spending accounts (FSA), health savings accounts (HSA), and your retirement account.
Requests to Reverse Course Withdrawals
Students who withdrew from a course before the pass/no-credit grading option was announced this spring may wish to re-enroll. First, please speak with your academic advisor and/or the instructor of the course. Next, you will be asked to file the petition to the committee for registrar standards and policy to make a formal request. The Office of the Registrar will ask the instructor to determine whether the student can rejoin the course. If amenable, the request will be granted. Note that if you withdrew from a course before March 11, the date remote instruction was announced, you will not be considered for re-enrollment.
Remote Learning Etiquette
Now that we’ve moved to a remote learning format, it’s important to maintain the same standards of behavior that you would follow in a physical classroom. Review Berklee's remote learning etiquette and guidelines for best practices for communicating in live classes, email, and discussion forums.
Temporary Changes to Grading Policies and Extension of Withdrawal Deadline
In response to the extraordinary circumstances brought about by COVID-19, Berklee will offer the following grading options for the spring 2020 semester. Please note that these are temporary adjustments to the grading policy.
This semester, all Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee faculty will assign letter grades per normal and with the same deadline, Thursday, May 14.
Students receiving grades A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, or D can choose whether to keep the letter grade or request a “pass” (P) grade. Those receiving a grade of F can choose “no credit: (NC). P and NC grades will not impact a student’s GPA. They will, however, be treated as attempted credits for the purpose of calculating completion rate and, as such, may affect a student’s satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standing. International students’ F-1 status will not be affected by choosing the P/NC option.
With the exception of certain courses (such as those where grades are required for certification or licensure, and certain graduate-level courses), students can choose this option for any or all of their spring 2020 courses. A full list of courses not eligible for P/NC grades will be made available soon.
Students will have one week to decide if they’d like to choose the P/NC option for each class. Grades are due May 14, so students must indicate they’d like the P/NC option by May 21. Details about how to do this will be shared by the Office of the Registrar in the upcoming weeks.
Additionally, we understand that due to the transition to online classes and other changes to your learning experience this spring, you may need additional time to make decisions about your courses. Therefore, we are extending the deadline to withdraw from a spring 2020 course to Friday, May 1, at 5:00 p.m. EDT.
The process to withdraw from a course has not changed. You must submit a withdrawal from courses form by the May 1 deadline. You will then receive a grade of “W” for that course. Please consult your academic advisor for guidance in making this decision and considering it in the context of the P/NC option now available.
Our hope is that these temporary changes will help you navigate this difficult time. We appreciate the dedication demonstrated by our faculty, staff, and students, and look forward to seeing everyone in person again as soon as possible. Until then, we remain steadfast in our commitment to you, our creative, collaborative network of artists and musicians.
Berklee will recognize seniors’ accomplishments with a virtual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 9, and continue the tradition of a collaborative music, dance, and theater tribute on commencement eve, Friday, May 8.
Updated Practices for Community Notifications
Berklee will continue to notify students and essential staff on campus if they might have been in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 or presumed positive, but will not trace contacts of new cases among community members who are now off campus. Please continue to report your symptoms and diagnoses so Berklee can provide you with support and resources.
Learn more about community notifications.
As a Berklee student, you have access to a host of services, programs, and events designed to support your academic and artistic pursuits, career preparation, and overall wellness. Now you can continue to access them from wherever you are.
Introducing #BerkleeAnywhere: Your Guide to Accessing Services and Staying Connected. Explore this page to learn how you can access student services, find emergency funding and support options, attend virtual events, and more.
We encourage you to share the projects you’ve been working on and photos of your current workspace with the hashtag #berkleeanywhere.
As you resume your classes this week, we wanted to remind you that we are committed to making sure you get the support you need to focus on your education, creative and artistic development, and overall wellness.
Here are some highlights of the resources available to you.
- Web conferencing software assistance: schedule an appointment with a peer trainer.
- Finding and accessing online library materials: for assistance with papers, projects, and class assignments, you can schedule an appointment with a librarian through online chat or by emailing email@example.com.
- Technology training: peer-to-peer and group technology training is available for a variety of production, notation, multimedia, game audio, and web-conferencing software.
Academic Advising (login required)
Berklee College of Music undergraduate students
- Schedule an appointment (login required) with your academic advisor via Google Hangout, from Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. EDT. Other times can be arranged if needed.
- Attend a virtual drop-in (login required) from Monday through Friday, with expanded hours.
Boston Conservatory undergraduate students
Advising is through your department. Please reach out to your faculty and chairs for more information.
To discuss accommodations for students with disabilities, schedule an appointment via Google Hangout, from Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Other times can be arranged if needed.
Berklee College of Music undergraduate students
Tutors are available for one-on-one online assistance for your core music courses from Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. EDT.
All undergraduate students
You can schedule an appointment for ESL, math and science, and English writing tutoring, from Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. EDT.
Health and Wellness
Medical Withdrawal or Leave of Absence
All policies as noted in the Policy Handbook for Students (page 16) still apply.
- Domestic students: If you need to request a medical withdrawal (Berklee College of Music) or a medical leave of absence (Boston Conservatory at Berklee), please schedule an appointment (login required) with Jeff Klug, associate dean of Health and Wellness, and be prepared to provide appropriate medical documentation for your request.
- International students: If you need to request a medical withdrawal (Berklee College of Music) or a medical leave of absence (Boston Conservatory at Berklee), please schedule an appointment (login required) with your assigned international student advisor, and be prepared to provide appropriate medical documentation for your request.
If you would like support during this challenging time, the Counseling Services team is available at 617-747-2310 to help you find mental health resources in the area where you're living. Learn more about counseling resources.
Students who are physically in the U.S. may access telehealth medical care through Online Connect 24/7 (for students 18 years of age and older). Berklee will continue to cover the access fee for this service. Register for telehealth through the Online Connect account and use this service key: Berklee. You may also download the Online Connect app or simply go to myonlineconnect.org to get started.
Watch a video update from Berklee President Roger H. Brown.
Tell Us Your Stories
As we navigate this unprecedented time together, we encourage you to share your stories of collaboration and creativity. If you'd like to submit anything for us to possibly feature online, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it to your own social channels and include the hashtag #berkleeanywhere. You can check out some of what your peers are up to at the Berklee Anywhere page.
- Free Online Mental Health Platform SilverCloud Now Available for Students: You now have access to SilverCloud, a clinically proven online mental health platform that offers programs to help you build resilience, manage your anxiety or depression, and develop skills to manage stress and sleep issues. The programs use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and positive psychology to guide you as you build self-awareness and self-management skills for your emotional health. To sign up for SilverCloud, select "Berklee" from the School Name dropdown, and use your @berklee.edu email to access the site.
- Telehealth: Students can get expert treatment with telehealth services through Online Connect, an online doctor visit platform provided by Tufts Medical Center. Until further notice, Telehealth through Online Connect will now be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for students 18 and older who feel they are sick or developing symptoms of illness. As before, Berklee will continue to cover the access fee for this service. Telehealth through Online Connect can be used to connect with licensed medical providers in lieu of going to a public urgent care space, and students concerned about their health for any reason may see a doctor online. Learn more about how to access telehealth.
Faculty and Staff:
- Teladoc: If you think you are infected with COVID-19 and are a member of the Tufts medical plans, Teladoc doctors can answer questions about the disease, evaluate your risk, and advise you on next steps. Please register for this service now, so you’ll already be registered and ready to use it if you happen to feel unwell later on. You can enroll at the Tufts website and follow the link to “Access Teladoc Telemedicine Services.” In addition, please notify the core response team at email@example.com and let your supervisor know that you are feeling unwell. If you have questions about your health care information, please contact a member of the Human Resources benefits team at 617-747-2375 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Changing Your April Commuter Benefits: If you have a commuter MBTA pass, you can return it for credit if WageWorks receives it by April 5, 2020. If you have a Perq/Charlie Card, the MBTA will provide a credit if there is absolutely no usage on the card for the month of April. Learn more about these options (login required) as well as parking and other commuter pass programs.
The Berklee community began remote teaching and learning today. Check out these resources to help students, faculty, and staff as we continue to adjust to changes in our regular routines.
Community Notifications about COVID-19 Diagnoses
It is likely that some members of our community will test positive for COVID-19, and we are committed to keeping you informed when we receive that information. To date, a small number of members of the Berklee community have been diagnosed as presumed positive for COVID-19. None of them have been on campus for more than two weeks. To our knowledge, at this time, based on self-reports to Berklee, there are no confirmed cases in our community. Although most students, faculty, and staff have now left the campus, we will continue to update this page with any presumptive and confirmed positive test cases in our community members. For updates on community notifications, please visit berklee.edu/covid19/community-notifications.
Community Support Services for Students
If you are a student in need of support during this difficult time, the Counseling Services team is available at 617-747-2310 to help you find mental health resources in the area where you’re living.
Community Support Services for Faculty and Staff
If you are a member of the faculty or staff and would like support to help you navigate this stressful time, you can get counseling services through our Employee Assistance Program (login required), E4Health, at 800-624-5544. Access the EAP with company code: Berklee.
Moving to All Electronic Mail and Communication
All departments who currently rely on the mailroom need to be prepared to continue operating without interruption if Berklee’s mailroom cannot be staffed, the state or federal government orders a “shelter in place” mandate, or carrier deliveries are suspended or stopped. Our goal is to transition to a completely paperless environment immediately with an allowance for very limited exceptions.
This presents an opportunity for us to accelerate the ongoing transition from paper and mail to electronic communication, not only for the health and safety reasons requiring social distancing on campus or to work remotely, but as a way to make our work environment more productive while also reducing paper, equipment, and handling costs. Making this change will help Berklee meet environmental and financial sustainability goals.
Follow these steps for a smooth transition:
- Identify and list all external business partners and colleagues that you currently send paper documents to or from whom you receive documents during the entire year.
- Contact all the business partners and colleagues on your list to inform them of Berklee’s new requirement by Friday, March 27, 2020.
- Develop new communication plans and methods to achieve this goal with each colleague or business partner.
- Identify any very recent mail/documents that either party has sent, but has not been received to date (e.g., USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL). Monitor this list until all the mail/documents have been received.
- Update your supervisor on the status of this effort and communicate the names of any colleagues or business partners that cannot meet this request. Supervisors will work with these few exceptions to find a workable solution
The Berklee community continues to get ready for next week's transition to remote learning and teaching. Check out these resources to help students, faculty, and staff prepare.
Training and Support
For questions about the technology for learning, teaching, and working remotely, please reach out to Training and Support at email@example.com or 617-747-2238. The service desk has increased the number of support staff in preparation for this transition and is ready to provide remote, timely help.
Faculty and students: For urgent remote teaching and learning support, please call 617-747-2238 and press 1. You will be routed directly to a team of technicians with remote access and video conferencing expertise. Support staff will be available to help you during the following hours:
- Monday–Thursday, 8:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
- Friday, 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
To support faculty with the transition to remote teaching, the service desk will also be available on Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For non-time-sensitive issues, support staff will be available during normal business hours, Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or submit a ticket (login required) so the phone lines can be used to support students and faculty with urgent questions about their online learning and teaching.
Platforms for Remote Learning
- Comprehensive Fee: Berklee will prorate the comprehensive fee for all students for the rest of the spring semester, including the students who remain in the residence halls. The credit will be calculated as of March 18, 2020 and will appear on students’ accounts by Friday, March 27, 2020. The credit may be used to offset any outstanding balance on your student account. If you are not graduating, the credit will be applied toward your tuition, room and board, or other charges for the fall 2020 semester. If you are taking summer courses, and would like to apply your credit to your summer 2020 balance, please email email@example.com.
- Campus Access for Faculty and Staff: Faculty and staff who are not identified as essential will not be able to access campus buildings starting Monday, March 23.
- Mail Services: Faculty, staff, and student mail services will be modified until further notice. Students should change their forwarding address and not have mail or packages shipped to Berklee. Faculty and staff should use electronic mail for all business correspondence and change their subscriptions to the “paperless” option.
- Berklee Bookstore: The Berklee Bookstore will be closed to visitors starting March 19. If you still need to purchase or rent books, you can do so through the bookstore's website, which now offers free shipping. You may keep using your rental books; you do not need to return them early. Free return shipping for rentals is available through the bookstore's website.
Berklee continues to transition to an online/remote learning, teaching, and working environment. Faculty are attending supplementary training to ensure that they can continue to deliver the same quality education as always, and student support services are transitioning online so students have access to all the support they need for this to be a successful experience.
Room and Board Credits: Berklee is prorating room and board (meal) charges for students who have paid room and board fees for the spring 2020 semester and who have completely vacated their residence hall by March 18, 2020; the credit will be calculated as of that date. Students will see a credit on their student account by Monday, March 23, 2020. The credit may be used to offset any outstanding balance on their student account. If students are not graduating, the credit will be applied toward their tuition, room and board, or other charges for the fall 2020 semester. If students are taking summer courses, and would like to apply their credit to their summer 2020 balance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring Break Trip Group Travel: All students who booked group travel through Berklee will be reimbursed for trip fees paid to attend New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Nashville Spring Break Industry Trips. This includes airfare, hotel, and ground transportation group travel that was booked through the Career Center and our travel agent. Read the full message.
Faculty and Staff Travel Booked through Egencia: Employees who booked upcoming travel arrangements through Egencia must contact them to cancel your arrangements and request a refund or credit toward future travel. Until further notice, you should not book any new travel reservations for Berklee-sponsored business travel, which includes all air, hotel, conferences and transportation. You should cancel all existing Berklee-sponsored business travel arrangements for trips from now through at least April 30, 2020. This includes conference fees and any arrangements made outside of one of our travel partners. Securing full refunds, or credits toward future travel, is of top priority.
The following are among the most frequently asked questions we received yesterday, along with the most up-to-date answers we have for them. The situation continues to change rapidly, so please continue to check this page for updates, and use this form to submit additional questions. We are working to improve the user experience and have added individual sections with information for students, for faculty, and for staff.
Q: Will refunds be provided for moving out early, not making use of the dining plan for the rest of the semester, and/or studying remotely?
A: Berklee’s goal is to ensure that instruction continues throughout this semester. Room and board (meal) costs will be prorated for the remainder of the semester for all students leaving campus and completely vacating their housing; a credit will then be issued to each student to be used for your next semester at Berklee. Additional information on calculating and processing the credits is forthcoming. Instruction is continuing remotely, so no tuition will be refunded.
Travel from Valencia to the United States
Q: Given the announcement last night that flights from Europe to the U.S. are suspended for 30 days, are students in Valencia stuck there?
A: The travel ban announced on March 11 from Europe to the U.S. does not apply to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. More information was provided to students in Valencia in this morning’s email.
Q: Do students have to move everything out of their residence halls by March 18?
A: Everything needs to go. There are shipping, packing, and storage offerings that will be on site. Boston campus residential students can find details about resources for moving out of the residence halls in yesterday’s email from Residential Life.
Q: If students have already left for spring break, will someone pack their rooms for them so they don’t have to return to campus?
A: Berklee will provide free packing supplies to students. Students on the Boston campus can engage New England Student Services if they need someone to pack and ship or store their belongings for them. More information was included in yesterday’s email from Residential Life. Information for students in Valencia is forthcoming.
Q: Why can’t students’ belongings stay in the rooms?
A: We will operate remotely until the end of the semester. We also need everyone’s belongings removed so we can thoroughly clean the campus.
Q: When will students hear about their housing appeals?
A: We are working to quickly review all appeals. Everyone will receive a response no later than Friday, March 13.
Q: Will student employees lose jobs, or will they continue to be paid?
A: We are doing everything we can to ensure that student employees continue to work and be paid. Student employees will continue to work remotely, where applicable, and/or continue to receive payment for the work they were expected to do. The email from Student Employment yesterday has further details.
Q: How will this affect international students’ visa status?
A: It will not. International students do not need to worry about their immigration status. They do need to read everything in the email International Student Services sent yesterday.
Q: Do international students need to stay in the United States to complete their classes online?
A: They do not. They do need to read everything in the email International Student Services sent yesterday. We will have more information about resources for students in particular countries as it is available.
Q: How will this affect students who receive Veterans' Benefits?
A: The Office of Student Financial Services understands that there are questions about potential cuts to benefits with Berklee's move to online instruction. On Friday, March 13, 2020, the VA indicated they would be issuing additional guidance by Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Student Financial Services will communicate information regarding these changes as soon as it becomes available.
Q: How will online classes work across so many time zones?
A: We are in the process of determining the logistics of remote learning, but we expect at this time that classes will take place at their regularly scheduled times, Eastern Daylight Time. Classes will be held as scheduled in a virtual teaching environment. Faculty will take attendance. Assignments may be modified, but all assignments will be graded. Students will be given a grade for the semester, which will be part of their official Berklee transcript. Students will continue to progress toward graduation as usual. There will be no interruption in students’ academic progress. Faculty will be in direct communication with students about their specific classes.
Q: Will classes be held online/remotely for the remainder of the semester, or is there a chance they will be held in person?
A: We will operate remotely until the end of the semester.
Q: How will classes such as ensembles, dance, theater, and those that require technology be managed and held online?
A: Classes such as ensembles, dance, theater, and those that involve technology will be held remotely, similar to other classes. Students should plan to participate in these classes during regularly scheduled class times. Your professors may use different means of instruction to reach the original class objectives, or they may revise the class syllabus and learning outcomes to maximize learning in this context. Your professors are artists and expert educators and will make every effort to ensure that expectations are clear and learning is meaningful, relevant, and engaging.
Q: How will students in China access Berklee courses?
A: For students returning home to China, you may experience some difficulty accessing your Berklee courses over a standard internet connection. If you have a U.S. or non-P.R.C. registered mobile phone, you can use your data plan to access your courses. Please be aware that standard data rates will apply.
Q: Will commencement still be held?
A: No decision has yet been made regarding commencement. We will update you when we have further information.
Faculty Access to Campus
Q: Will faculty have access to their offices on campus?
A: Faculty will have access to their offices through Sunday, March 22. As of March 23, faculty and students will interact remotely. In order to reduce the likelihood of the spread of the virus, we are minimizing person-to-person interactions. To do so, we are taking steps to reduce the number of people on campus.
Q: Will faculty be able to come back to campus to teach their classes remotely?
A: No. We will operate remotely until the end of the semester.
Admissions Tours for Prospective Students
Q: Are admissions tours cancelled?
A: Campus remains operating as usual through this Friday. Tour groups will be no larger than 10 people. Starting Saturday, March 14, we will transition to virtual tours.
Thank you again for your flexibility and patience as the situation continues to rapidly evolve. We are committed to responding as effectively and efficiently as possible and are doing everything we can to ensure your health. We will continue to share more information with periodic email updates. For the most up-to-date information, continue to visit this page, which is continually being updated with the latest information.
Out of an abundance of caution, and in collaboration with the faculty union, the chairs, and the deans, we are taking major steps to limit our community’s exposure to the disease. We shared the following messages today:
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Online Learning, Facilities, and Public Gatherings
All students and families (Boston and Valencia)
Online/remote learning begins March 23; all events are canceled starting on Saturday, March 14; students must move out of the residence halls by Wednesday, March 18; self-quarantine is limited to travel to level 2 and 3 countries; and limited dining services will be available during and after spring break.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Online Learning, Remote Work, and Public Gatherings
All faculty and staff (Boston and Valencia)
Online/remote working and teaching begins by March 23; all events are canceled starting on Saturday, March 14; and self-quarantine is limited to travel to level 2 and 3 countries.
- Important Information for International Students Regarding Today’s Campus Announcement
You do not need to worry about your immigration status: the United States government is allowing F-1 students to stay in valid status while completing all of their classes online; check the travel signature on your I-20 information; and learn about OPT.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Student Employment: Work and Compensation Policy
Student employees and supervisors
Berklee Student Employment offers the possibility of working remotely to student employees, and all student employees will get compensated with their regular pay.
- Information for Residential Students
Students who live in residence halls
Students must move out of the residence halls by Wednesday, March 18; storage and shipping services are available; and students must submit an appeal by Friday, March 13 if they have extenuating circumstances and need to stay on campus.
A detailed community update will be sent out via email tomorrow morning, March 11.
- Berklee-sponsored travel: At this time, Berklee is restricting all domestic and international Berklee-sponsored business travel until further notice, including spring break trips. Exceptions may be allowed in extreme circumstances. Learn more.
- Personal travel: Until further notice, if you must travel for personal reasons, any community members traveling to or returning from countries designated as levels 2 or 3 or states where emergencies (currently California, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Utah, and Washington) have been declared will not be allowed to return to campus until they have completed the required 14-day self-quarantine. Please be aware that this list continues to expand. If you choose to travel for any reason, please submit your travel information.