Remote Course Policy for International Students

Berklee/the Conservatory does not have a fully remote option, though a limited number of remote courses are offered each semester. However, F-1 regulations limit the number of remote courses that both full- and part-time students can take each semester.

A remote course is defined as a course that does not require students to attend a class in person to complete the course. This includes remote courses that never meet in person as well as remote courses that require students to attend one class to take an in-person exam. At Berklee, remote course section numbers begin with "R," e.g., MHIS-331-R002 History of Film Music–Online.

Note: Enrollment in Berklee Online courses do not count towards the full-time enrollment requirement for F-1 students. Berklee Online is a separate organization with a different registration process, semester dates, programs, and tuition fees. Credits completed via Berklee Online must be transferred to Berklee. Visit the Transfer Credit Services page to read about the transfer credit policy and procedures.

How many remote courses can I take?

  • During a full-time semester (minimum 12 credits): Within your first 12 enrolled credits in the semester, you may take only one remote section of a course offered by the College/Conservatory to count towards full-time enrollment. Once you meet this 12-credit requirement, you may add additional remote courses in the semester. You can take the additional remote courses through the College/Conservatory, Berklee Online, or another school. Note that all students must enroll full time (minimum 12 credits) unless they meet certain criteria and receive authorization.

  • During your final semester with two or more required courses (2-11 credits) remaining to complete your program: You may take only one remote course. You can take the remote course through the College/Conservatory, Berklee Online, or another school. You must be in compliance with the remote course policy in order to maintain F-1 status and qualify for OPT.

  • During your final semester with one required course remaining to complete your program: You must enroll in an in-person (on campus) section of your remaining required course. You must be in compliance with the remote course policy in order to maintain F-1 status and qualify for OPT.

  • During an authorized vacation semester: Per F-1 regulations, you may take more than one remote course offered by the College/Conservatory, Berklee Online, or another school during an authorized vacation semester. However, if you complete all remaining graduation requirements while enrolled only in remote courses during a vacation semester, you will be in violation of F-1 status and will lose eligibility for OPT.

  • If you have a reduced course load accommodation (medical part-time): You may take only one remote section of a course offered by the College/Conservatory. (Students must request a reduced course load accommodation through Accessibility Resources for Students.)

Why are F-1 visa holders subject to remote course limits?

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) regulations define the primary purpose of F-1 status students as enrollment in a full-time course of study that requires regular physical presence to complete the course or program. Online/remote courses and programs do not require regular physical presence because students can attend and complete their course or program from anywhere in the world. Students enrolled in multiple remote courses do not meet the full-time enrollment requirement, which is an F-1 status violation. 

You can read more about SEVP's online/remote course regulation at studyinthestates.dhs.gov/full-course-of-study (Online courses and “Distance Learning”).