The policies listed below are excerpted from Berklee's Policy Handbook for Students and can be found in full on pages 13–16 and 36–37 of the handbook, as can other key information about the institution's education. These policies apply to all students at Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
Attendance, Absence and Missed Course Material
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 start promptly on the hour and end 10 minutes before the hour. Late arrival is both disruptive and unprofessional.
Absence from Class or the Institution
It is the student’s responsibility to contact each of their instructors directly via phone or email to notify them of an absence from class, preferably before the class is missed. Each faculty member determines whether or not the absence is excused for that particular class. For absences of two or more weeks due to an extended illness, see the information below in the section titled Absence Due to Extended Illness or Hospitalization.
As this is an academic policy, the decision to excuse absences is at the sole discretion of faculty members. The associate dean, Health and Wellness does not have any authority to excuse absences from classes.
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.
Absence Due to Extended Illness or Hospitalization
If a student at the institution's campus in Boston is unable to communicate directly with faculty members due to a severe medical or psychological impairment, having no access to phone and mail, or in an exceptional personal or family crisis necessitating the student’s immediate departure from campus (e.g., the death of a parent, a sexual assault), the student or a family member should contact Health and Wellness at 617-747-2310. Documentation from the licensed medical or mental health provider treating the problem is needed before Health and Wellness may communicate on behalf of a student to faculty members. At the institution’s campus in Valencia, Spain, students should contact the Ofﬁce of Student Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org. Graduate students should contact the Graduate Studies Department at email@example.com
Withdrawing from the Semester
Initiating a Standard or Medical Withdrawal
Students may withdraw from classes through the ninth week of classes in the fall or spring semester, and, for undergraduates at the institution's Boston campus, through the eighth week in the summer term by submitting a Student Initiated Withdrawal from a Class form at the Office of the Registrar. Withdrawal from a class is not allowed for graduate students during the six- or seven-week summer term, or for undergraduates during the intensive summer semester in Valencia. 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 class from which a student has withdrawn. Once the withdrawal deadline 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’ eligibility to receive a scholarship, financial aid, veterans’ benefits, and international student visa status. Undergraduate 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 class(es) from which they withdraw. 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, for undergraduates, after the eighth week in the summer term.
Students who wish to withdraw from the institution any time after completing the check-in process are required to complete the institution's withdrwal form in order to be officially withdrawn from the term.
There are three locations in which to do this:
- U.S. citizens (or permanent residents) who are withdrawing from the College or Conservatory for any nonmedical reason must schedule an appointment with the Office of Retention and Student Success at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- U.S. citizens (or permanent residents) who are withdrawing from the College or Conservatory for any medical reason must obtain medical documentation and schedule an appointment with a designated Health and Wellness staff member by calling 617-747-6575.
- International students withdrawing from the College or Conservatory for either medical or nonmedical reasons must schedule an appointment (login required) with their international advisor during drop-in hours (login required). Please note that international students in F-1 status will affect their immigration status by withdrawing from the institution.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Students are encouraged to communicate with the Ofﬁce of Retention and Student Success regarding their academic standing as it relates to their withdrawal from the institution (medical or nonmedical).
International Students in F-1 Status
International students in F-1 status should consult their international advisor in International Student Services prior to submitting the institution's withdrawal form as it will affect immigration status.
Berklee's Response to Endangering Behavior/Leaves of Absence
Endangering Behavior/Leaves of Absence
The institution is committed to the safety and wellbeing of its community members and to the integrity of the learning environment. The College and the Conservatory recognize that students may experience medical or mental health situations that significantly limit their ability to function safely or successfully as students in the institution's community. In such circumstances, interruption of academic studies, whether voluntary or involuntary, may be appropriate in order for a student to address mental or medical health concerns.
In an effort to ensure that students receive the individual attention, consideration, and support needed to address medical or mental health issues that arise or escalate while studying at Berklee, the institution has implemented a policy addressing the process for obtaining a voluntary leave of absence, and where, necessary, for requiring leave to address medical and mental health concerns.
Generally, a student’s request for medical leave will be approved upon the student’s demonstration that health issues have compromised the student’s health, safety, or academic success. Approval of a request for voluntary leave will be based on individualized assessment of the student, and the length of any approved leave will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the associate dean, Health and Wellness. Wherever possible the institution will discuss options available to a student who expresses an intent to withdraw, including the impact of withdrawal upon the student’s academic progress.
In the event a student’s behavior presents a risk to the safety, health, and wellbeing of the campus community or if the student’s behavior causes significant disruption to the educational activities of the Berklee community, the institution favors voluntary leave for the student to address such concerns. However, in some instances, the institution may require a student take a leave of absence from Berklee to obtain treatment. In such circumstances, the institution employs the following procedure:
- Involuntary leave policies are applied equally to disabled and non-disabled individuals.
- An individualized risk assessment is required to establish both the grounds for removal and conditions of return (even where there is no explicit, direct threat to self or others).
- The elements of a risk assessment are determined based on the facts and circumstances of the events leading to a determination to place a student on involuntary leave.
- A student placed on involuntary leave will be provided a written explanation of the process used in rendering a determination to place the student on involuntary leave, and any conditions the student must meet in order to establish eligibility for re-enrollment. In most instances, the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the student will be provided a copy of the institution’s notice to the student.
- Where practical, students will be provided an opportunity to present information to be considered in the risk assessment.
- A student seeking to return from an involuntary leave will be required to provide the institution with evidence to establish the student’s readiness to return. The nature of the evidence to be required will be determined on a case-by-case basis in consideration of the nature of the events giving rise to the leave and the circumstances of the leave. However, any student removed from campus as a result of a direct threat of self-harm or threat of harm to others must provide evidence of a current psychological evaluation completed by a licensed mental health professional before the student will be allowed to return to campus. Such evaluation must describe the treatment provided to the student related to the circumstances requiring the leave, the student’s current clinical status, and the provider’s opinion as to the student’s readiness to return.
- The duration of a required leave typically is not less than one semester, although the specific length of a leave will be determined on a case-by-case basis and will depend upon relevant information available to the institution, including a provider’s evaluation of a student’s readiness to return.
Readmittance to the Institution after a Medical Leave of Absence
Key Dates and Information
Students requesting to return to Berklee after taking a leave for medical reasons must submit the following materials to the associate dean, Health and Wellness (or designee) by June 1 for a request to return for the fall semester, by November 1 for a request to return for the spring semester, and by April 1 for the summer 12-week semester:
A written notification of intent to return for the semester to the associate dean, Health and Wellness, according to the deadlines above.
- If hospitalized during the medical leave, a copy of the hospital discharge summary/summaries.
A letter from a treating licensed medical or mental health care provider stating that the student is able and ready to return to the residence halls, classrooms, and/or common areas on campus, considering they pose no risks to the safety, health, and wellbeing of the campus community.
A written statement from the student stating what they have done to address the reason for leave, including participation in adequate medical/psychological care and any structured activity (e.g., work, classes) engaged in to increase health and wellness (e.g., a regular sleep schedule).
A student seeking to return from an involuntary leave will be required to provide Berklee with evidence to establish the student’s readiness to return. The nature of the evidence to be required will be determined on a case-by-case basis in consideration of the nature of the events giving rise to the leave and the circumstances of the leave. However, any student removed from campus as a result of a threat to the health, safety, and wellbeing of the community must provide evidence of a current psychological evaluation completed by a licensed mental health professional before the student will be allowed to return to campus. Such evaluation must describe the treatment provided to the student related to the circumstances requiring the leave, the student’s current clinical status, the provider’s opinion as to the student’s readiness to return, and the provider’s professional recommendations for ongoing care.
Requests for part-time enrollment are not administered by Health and Wellness. Please refer to the policy below for assistance.
Conditions for Part-Time Enrollment
A student may be eligible for part-time enrollment as a reasonable accommodation for a documented disability. The institution's Accessibility Resources for Students office makes the determination of this accommodation based on a review of documentation and an interview with the student. The request for part-time enrollment and documentation of the disability should be submitted to Accessibility Resources for Students before the last day of the semester's add/drop period. (Accessibility Resources for Students will provide the authorization for the part-time enrollment to the Office of the Registrar.)