Click on a question below for answers to frequently asked questions about orientation at the Boston campus.
What are the dates of orientation?
When I arrive on campus for orientation, what should I do first?
If you will live on campus, your first stop will be your assigned residence hall. Housing and Residential Life will email you if you are living on campus with your assigned move-in day and time as well as your assigned residence hall. The email will be sent to your berklee.edu email address. Prior to arrival, you should have access to our online orientation app, Cadence, to view the orientation and Welcome Week schedules.
How do I find out who my community connector or orientation leader is?
What should I bring to check-in?
Before you arrive on campus, you will receive a check-in email at your Berklee email address. If you are an international student, be prepared to present your Form I-20, passport, Form I-94, and visa.
Complete the following items before your arrival:
- Review Your Check-In Requirements: Log in to my.berklee.edu to ensure you have everything covered for check-in.
- Review Transfer Credit: Admitted students who submitted college transcripts, official AP credit, or CLEP scores can view their transfer credit at my.berklee.edu under the Student Services section.
- Submit Your SAFO Form: Submit the online Student Acknowledgement of Financial and Other Obligations (SAFO) form. All students are required to submit this electronic agreement acknowledging their financial obligations before they can check in for the semester. You can find the link to the SAFO form under the check-in section on my.berklee.edu. Scroll to the bottom of the page, check the box indicating you have read and agreed with the three disclosures, and click Submit.
Am I required to attend orientation?
Yes, orientation is mandatory. We strongly recommend you arrive on the first day of orientation week. During orientation week, students will participate in placement auditions to determine their course schedule. Missing these assessments will delay receiving a course schedule for the first week of classes.
What will the orientation week schedule be like?
Through the Cadence app, you will be able to view the full orientation and Welcome Week schedules. We encourage you to participate in as many planned events as possible. In addition to placement auditions, the week is filled with opportunities to interact with faculty and staff, learn about Berklee programs and services, and connect with fellow entering students.
When will I receive my course schedule?
You will receive your course schedule during a meeting with your success advisor at the end of orientation week. You will take the Entering Student Proficiency Assessment (ESPA) prior to orientation and placement auditions during orientation to help determine your course schedule.
Am I required to take the English Language Assessment?
All non-native English speakers are required to take the English Language Assessment, which is administered during orientation week.
This required assessment will help us evaluate your English proficiency and place you in the English class that is best for you. There is no need to prepare; this is not an exam. It is an exercise that will help us ensure that we are providing classes that will be most helpful to you. Bring your student ID to the assessment.
The English Language Assessment is not required for native English speakers.
How can I review the policies for my liberal arts transfer credits before I check in?
When can I pick up my laptop and required software package?
You are required to purchase the Entering Student Software Package from the college, which will provide you with the tools you need to succeed in your coursework and in your career. Because this suite is offered as a package, you must purchase the full package even if you already own some of the software included in it; for this reason, please refrain from purchasing music software in anticipation of attending Berklee.
In addition to the required software, students entering Berklee College of Music are required to own a MacBook Pro that meets the standards established by the academic and technology leadership of the institution. This requirement does not apply to students entering Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Make sure your laptop and audio interface meet or exceed the college’s technology requirements.
After you have checked in, you will receive more information about where to pick up your audio interface, and software package. More information on this process is available here.
If you have a hold on your student account, you must clear the hold before you are allowed to pick up your laptop, audio interface, and software. To ensure that you will be cleared, check your status ahead of time on my.berklee.edu.
When do I purchase books?
After you receive your course schedule at the end of orientation week, bring your schedule to the Berklee Bookstore at 1090 Boylston Street. To easily find your books, match the bookstore's course call numbers with the numbers on your schedule.
Are practice rooms open during orientation week?
Yes. Information on locations, hours of operation, and rules and procedures for using practice rooms is available here. To access practice facilities, visit the front desk at that location and show your student ID.
Which items should I bring to move into my residence hall?
We recommend you bring these items:
- Bedsheets (twin XL)
- Pillow and pillowcase
- Mattress cover, protector, or topper (twin XL)
- Blanket or comforter
- Bath towels, face towels, and hand towels
- Toiletries (e.g., shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothbrush, and toothpaste)
- Coat hangers
- Laundry basket or laundry bag
- Laundry detergent and fabric softener
- Quarters for coin-operated laundry machines*
- Alarm clock
* You can load money onto your Berklee ID at berkleecard.com.
Consider bringing these items:
- Ethernet cable
- Hair dryer
- Power strip or surge protector
- Filtered water pitcher
- Utensils (e.g., plates, bowls, cups, mugs, forks, spoons, and knives) for snacks
- Microwave (0.7 cubic feet or smaller)**
- Mini refrigerator (4.3 cubic feet of smaller)**
- Small basket or shower caddy to carry toiletries to and from the bathroom
** Items can be rented from nestudentservices.com.
These items are not allowed in residence halls:
- Air conditioners
- Candles or incense
- Electric blankets
- Hibachi or barbecue grills
- Wireless hubs
- Extension cords
- Sun lamps
- Traditional coffee makers (with coil)
- Halogen lamps
- Holiday lights
Where can I ship my belongings before classes start?
The Mail Center at 1108 Boylston Street (between Teriyaki House and J.P. Licks) is open 9 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday–Friday. An email will be sent to your berklee.edu address when the mailroom has a package for you. The mailroom will be open on move-in day so that you may access packages you have shipped. We ask that you do not ship items that will arrive to campus prior to one week before move-in day.
Note: Berklee mail services are primarily for on-campus residents. Students living off campus should have mail and packages sent to the appropriate off-campus address.
Before move-in, send mail to this address:
Student Name—Entering Resident
Berklee College of Music
168 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
If my family or I require 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.
Where do I stay during orientation?
For on-campus students, residence halls will open on the first day of orientation week. If you will be living off campus and won't be ready to move into your apartment or house, refer to our temporary housing information for lodging near the Boston campus.
Is there parking during orientation week?
No. There is no on-campus parking at Berklee College of Music. During orientation, we recommend you use public transportation whenever possible. If you are 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.
Which orientation week events are planned for families, guardians, and guests?
Prior to orientation, we will provide families with a complete list of sessions designed for the needs, concerns, and interests of parents and families. Families, guardians, and guests are especially 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.