Throughout the semester leading up to orientation, the Office of New Student and Family Programs hosts a variety of webinars and virtual office hours. While these webinars are part of the Family Orientation program, they are an opportunity to learn more about a variety of offices and resources for you and your student. Register for our upcoming summer webinars and virtual office hours now.
Once our webinars are completed, we will post the recorded and captioned videos here for you to refer back to if you were unable to attend.
Watch the New Student and Family Welcome Webinar for entering fall 2022 students and families below. The webinar took place on Thursday, May 26.
Watch the First Semester: How to Prepare webinar for fall 2022 Berklee College of Music entering students below. The webinar took place on Friday, June 10. A preparation webinar for Boston Conservatory at Berklee students is scheduled for July.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Below are questions that we often hear from parents and families. If you don't see your answer below, please don't hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
If your student has a question about orientation, browse the FAQ for students.
Who should attend Family Orientation?
Family Orientation is intended for parents, guardians, and other individuals whom incoming new students consider to be family or meaningful systems of support. While the majority of Family Orientation is combined, there may be separate sessions for family members of students at Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Berklee College of Music.
How long is Family Orientation?
Our Family Orientation program is ever-evolving. The majority of our informational content for Berklee families will be delivered in a virtual format prior to our in-person orientation. More information will be provided later in the semester regarding the length of in-person Family Orientation.
When will Family Orientation take place?
Details regarding Family Orientation, as part of the New Student Orientation offered by the Office of New Student and Family Programs, will be released shortly. All virtual sessions will be recorded so you watch later if you are unable to attend.
Is Family Orientation mandatory?
Family Orientation is optional; however, we strongly encourage parents and families to attend if possible. For families who are unable to attend, we offer Family Weekend as another opportunity to visit your student at Berklee during October.
Should I attend the same sessions as my student?
You and your family will attend Family Orientation sessions while your student attends New Student Orientation sessions. While the two programs are separate, there may be some overlapping orientation events that include your student. For our virtual orientation information prior to the in-person orientation, both students and families are welcome and encouraged to view the content.
Which orientation week events are planned for families, guardians, and guests?
Prior to Family Orientation, we will provide families with a complete list of scheduled events and resources designed for the concerns, needs, and interests of our Berklee families. Families are encouraged to attend convocation and Family Orientation. Because many area colleges and universities start at the same time, we recommend that families choosing to stay overnight in Boston make arrangements for accommodations well in advance of the first day of orientation week. There are a number of options for accommodations near the Boston campus. Visit the Family Orientation page for more specific dates and times.
What will family members learn during Family Orientation?
Families who participate in virtual Family Orientation will have the opportunity to learn about Berklee from the people who are here to support your student. Families will learn about the student experience, the resources available to your student, and how you can best support your student in a safe, healthy transition to life as a student at Berklee. Families who attend the in-person Family Orientation will have the opportunity to make social connections with other Berklee family members.
What is the Black Scholars Initiative (BSI), and will it offer family sessions?
The Black Scholars Initiative (BSI) is a first-year program for entering Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee students who chose to self-identify as Black or African American on their College or Conservatory application. The overall goal of the BSI is to foster a strong sense of community, support, belonging, and cultural understanding on campus. The BSI program kicks off with a pre-orientation week program which begins on Saturday, August 20 to Saturday, August 27. Pre-orientation week activities are for enrolled students. There will also be a reception for BSI family members at the start of the program and a concert that you are invited to attend. For more information about BSI and their upcoming pre-orientation program, please visit: https://www.berklee.edu/BSI
Is there parking during orientation week?
No. There is no on-campus parking at Berklee. During orientation, we recommend you use public transportation whenever possible. If you're driving, we suggest you use one of the many designated public parking garages throughout the Back Bay area or park at a meter near campus.
Where can families, guardians, and guests stay during orientation?
Because many area colleges and universities start at the same time, we recommend that families choosing to stay overnight in Boston make arrangements for accommodations well in advance of the first day of orientation week. There are a number of options for accommodations near the campus.
Can siblings attend orientation events?
We recommend that siblings accompanying parents, guardians, and guests attend only family events. We leave this decision to the families. Because our programming is geared toward guests with a guardian relationship to the entering student, siblings may feel out of place, but are certainly more than welcome to attend.
If a family member requires special assistance because of a medical, physical, or disability-related reason, will Berklee provide the necessary assistance?
We are committed to welcoming and accommodating all entering students and their guests at our orientation week activities. Because some accommodations take time to implement, participants who require special assistance in order to fully experience the week's events are encouraged to contact Accessibility Resources for Students and the Office of New Student and Family Programs well in advance, and we will do our best to provide the appropriate assistance.
I have to return home and won’t be able to attend Family Orientation. Is there any other way to get this information?
We are sorry you won’t be able to join us, but we understand that many families have other commitments, and we have worked to make the orientation experience as accessible as possible. Our team will have all sessions recorded and shared on our website for the members of our community who won’t be able to physically be in attendance. We also have plenty of opportunities throughout the year to make social connections with other Berklee families in a virtual environment.
How can I sign up for the monthly family newsletter?
All families of incoming students should automatically receive a series of five new family newsletters over the course of the three months leading up to your student beginning at Berklee. Our office receives each family's contact email address from Admissions. If you are not receiving these emails, simply let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will add you. When the academic year begins, New Student and Family Programs releases a monthly family newsletter with information on things happening on and around campus, upcoming events and deadlines, and other pertinent supports for you and your students. In order to receive these emails, you must opt in by signing up for our mailing list.
I want to book my student’s flight home for the holidays. When are finals over?
You can refer to the academic calendar here to see important dates and deadlines for the current academic year. Students’ individual exam schedules will vary based on their course schedules, so we typically advise not booking flights until after the listed exam period has ended.
Where do first-year students live on campus?
There is a misconception that all first-year on-campus residents live in the 160 Massachusetts Avenue residence hall. First-year students who live on campus can be found in every one of our residence halls. In fact, the majority of our residence halls have at least a 50 percent new/entering student occupancy.
My student will be living off campus, but is having trouble finding an apartment and roommates. What do you suggest?
Our colleagues in the Office of Housing and Residential Education offer a fantastic online resource to help with this. Visit Berklee's Off-Campus Housing site to search local listings posted by property managers, members of the Berklee community, and students from other colleges looking for housemates. You can search off-campus housing listings, create and view roommate profiles, compare your favorite property listings side by side, share property listings with friends through social media, and post to message boards for buying or selling furniture, books, musical instruments, and accessories.
Is the Berklee campus a safe area?
Although the Berklee campus is considered safe, as are the immediate areas surrounding the campus, crime can still happen anywhere and any time. Maintaining your own safety is crucial. Public Safety staff members are on foot and bicycle patrolling the campus 24/7. On request, Public Safety offers a walking "safety escort" program on or near the campus. Our residence halls are secured by card access and staffed with security officers 24/7. If you have a safety or security concern, please call Public Safety at 617-747-2333.
Public Safety publishes an annual security and fire safety report that is meant to inform the campus community of the policies, procedures, and programs that exist at Berklee as they relate to safety and security. The report publishes statistics on a variety of crime classifications including robbery and theft. Additionally, programs designed to help prevent robbery, theft, and other crimes, along with Berklee’s procedures for responding to the different scenarios, are outlined in this report. We encourage you to download and read it, and to share its information with your student.
In general, be proactive, and take precautionary safety measures:
- Program the Public Safety emergency phone number into your cell phone.
- Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you feel uneasy, get out or away from the situation.
- If possible, travel with a friend; there’s power in numbers.
- Attempt to travel in well-lit, busy areas, and avoid shortcuts through alleys.
My student lives off campus; will they feel disconnected from their peers? What resources exist for them to stay connected?
Whether your student is a first-time student or transferring to Berklee, they will be grouped with a small cohort of their peers and matched with a community connector (CC). Their CC will help them succeed socially while transitioning to Berklee and to the city of Boston. Berklee's approach will provide a support network, links to resources, and, most importantly, a connection to the caring Berklee community that your student is now a member of.
Additionally, there are many ways for your student to find a community of their own. Options to get involved on campus include joining a student club or participating in an array of cultural organizations. We encourage students to follow the @CampusLife Instagram or stop by the Center for Campus Life (150 Massachusetts Avenue, ground level) to explore the variety of opportunities available to them.
What kinds of activities or clubs are available for students outside classes?
Music education is what brings students to Berklee, but most Berklee students are interested in and benefit from engaging in music and other activities outside of the classroom. From student clubs and student-run enterprises to student government and a wealth of opportunities throughout Boston, you can get involved in extracurricular activities such as the Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship and an array of cultural organizations. There are also many health and wellness opportunities such as yoga, meditation, and fitness programs. For more information, check out the Center for Campus Life page.
Where can my student go to get additional help with their classes?
Berklee has a variety of support services to assist students with their personal, musical, academic, and career development. Individual office information is located on the student life pages. The Office of Retention and Student Success also maintains a comprehensive list of student resources and is available to assist all students in connecting with Berklee's various student support offices and programs.
How does my student get a job when they finish at Berklee?
Students are encouraged to launch their careers by utilizing the Berklee Career Manager, which incorporates access to internships, gigs, jobs, advising, and more from Berklee's Career Center and International Career Center.
Berklee's Career Center offers students a wealth of information concerning the diversity and growing number of careers available in contemporary music. Students are encouraged to think of it as their "career work center." Trips to the center should begin as early as the third semester of enrollment to become familiar with the tools and resources in the office and the terrific staff there who are willing to help. Internships are a wonderful way to explore professional opportunities, and the Career Center assists students in gaining professional work experience.
Where can Berklee students exercise?
Residential students have access to workout rooms in the 160 Massachusetts Avenue and 270 Commonwealth Avenue residence halls that include cardio machines, free weights, and a few cable machines for strength training. Students who are interested in weight training may want to look at other facilities off campus.
Many Berklee students take advantage of local physical activity opportunities. Nearby facilities include the following:
- Northeastern University Marino Center: This state-of-the art fitness center includes a full range of equipment, a pool, group classes, and personal training. Berklee students enjoy deeply discounted rates. All sign-ups and payment are made directly through Northeastern. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is currently on pause.
- Tennis and Racquet Club of Boston: Right next door to Berklee, this facility offers traditional exercise equipment and racquet sports. Berklee students receive discounted memberships.
- YMCA of Greater Boston on Huntington Avenue: This is a new facility with classes, workout rooms, and a pool. Student rates are available.
Students are encouraged to stay tuned for future initiatives, including discounts with additional facilities, on-campus yoga and other classes, and programs to enhance overall health and wellbeing.
What support is available for students with disabilities or special needs?
Based on documented need, students are offered assistance through Accessibility Resources for Students to support a successful Berklee experience. You can schedule an appointment to meet with either Ginny Perelson or Allie Kadell to discuss these topics, or with Tasha Chemel to discuss academic coaching.
- Allie Kadell (for students who are currently registered with Accessibility Resources)
- Tasha Chemel (for students participating in academic coaching)
If you would prefer a phone or Google Hangouts meeting, when you schedule the appointment, please send an email to email@example.com to let us know.
Note that if you are unable to schedule an appointment online and must do it over the phone at 617-747-2387, the Center for Student Advising and Success can schedule the appointment for you.
My student has a history of anxiety and depression. What if they need to meet with a therapist and/or psychiatrist while they are at Berklee?
Professionally trained and licensed clinicians offer free, confidential counseling services to all Berklee students. Counselors provide short-term counseling or a referral to a community practitioner, giving students an opportunity to receive help with depression and anxiety, stress management, relationship and family concerns, sexual assault or harassment, substance abuse, wellness, crisis intervention, and any other concern impacting their mental health.
We also provide crisis on-call services, so if your student needs to meet with someone urgently, they can walk in and meet with someone Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. We also provide after-hours on-call services so that a student can speak with the on-call counselor by phone by first reaching out to Berklee Public Safety.
If my student gets sick and needs to see a doctor, is there one on campus?
There is not a doctor on campus, but Berklee contracts with Tufts Medical Center. Many services are available at Tufts Medical Center, including same-day/next-day urgent care visits, and their goal is to provide the highest level of quality care for all of our students' needs. Telehealth visits at Tufts Medical Center are also available for select services and providers. Berklee is committed to ensuring ease of access to medical care to reduce barriers to quality care.It is important to know that Tufts Medical Center is not an emergency medical facility. Students should bring their Berklee ID card when they visit Tufts Medical Center. They will also need to show an insurance card before receiving care or filling a prescription. Additional information can be found on the Health and Wellness website regarding medical care for students
How do I decide my student's health insurance coverage?
It is important to consider your student's routine medical appointments as well as unexpected medical situations. The details of health care and insurance can be puzzling. That's why we encourage you to explore and take the time to understand your health insurance options before arriving in Boston.
Massachusetts law requires all college students registered for at least 75 percent of full-time credits to be enrolled in a health insurance plan while attending school.
Should your student elect to stay with your family plan, there are several questions that they should ask your carrier:
- Where can I be seen in Boston for routine health care?
- Is a referral required for appointments? What is the process to obtain a referral?
- Will I need a primary care physician (PCP) in the Boston area?
- Where should I go for emergency care?
- What are the financial considerations (copays, deductibles, etc.)?
- How and where can I fill my existing prescriptions?
- Does this health plan include dental care?
- Are there any academic restrictions when using this insurance? For example, many companies cite that students must be enrolled in a full-time course load (at Berklee, at least 12 credits) in order to be eligible for coverage.
Make sure that your student carries a health insurance card with them at all times and has a list of important information (policy number, phone numbers for questions, websites for area referrals, etc.). We also recommend that they have a good contact person at their insurance company for reference in the future.
Lastly, if your student has chronic mental or physical health concerns, we strongly encourage them to secure a PCP in the Boston area before coming to Berklee.
Regardless of your health insurance selection, students should be sure to arrive at Berklee with the medication(s) they need. We recommend that they have prescription refills to last three months for medications that they take regularly.
Can international students on an F-1 visa participate in gigs and shows? Also, can F-1 students work off campus?
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ website, F-1 students may not work off campus during the first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions. After the first academic year, F-1 students may engage in three types of off-campus employment:
- Curricular practical training (CPT)
- Optional practical training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion)
- Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) optional practical training extension (OPT)
Optional practical training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. For more information on this and other aspects of the F-1 visa, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ website.
Do you have a question not covered above?
Please feel free to send the New Student and Family Programs team an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.