Requirements for Graduation

Each candidate for graduation from Berklee must meet the following requirements:

  • Attain at least a 2.70 cumulative GPA in concentrate courses
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00
  • Complete the principal instrument proficiency level specified by major*
  • Complete a required final project in the chosen area of concentration, as described and approved by the department chair (as applicable)
  • Complete a minimum of four semesters of full-time attendance (this also applies to candidates transferring from another school) 
  • Music education majors must complete all observation and student teaching requirements
  • Music therapy majors must complete all course work and a six-month, full-time, post-course work internship
  • Fulfill all financial obligations to the college

*Students must earn all required instrumental credit on a single principal instrument. Credit earned in instrumental instruction on a non-principal instrument may be applied toward general elective credit within the established limits. Students with principal instruments in the bass, brass, string, percussion or woodwind families may use private instruction credit on more than one instrument within their respective family toward this requirement.

Credit Requirements

In addition to a successful completion of all required courses, proficiencies, projects, recitals, etc., students must complete a minimum number of credits to qualify for graduation.

Program   Minimum Number of Credits
Diploma   96
Degree   120
Degree in Music Education   130-132
Degree in Music Therapy   123-125
Dual Majors    
Diploma   126
Degree   150
Dual degree including Music Education       160-162
Dual degree including Music Therapy   153-155
Dual degree in Music Education/Music Therapy        179-181

Honor Graduates 

Students who at the time of graduation have attained a cumulative GPA within the following limits will have their diplomas and records inscribed with the appropriate honors. 

Honor Cumulative GPA
Summa Cum Laude 3.85 - 4.00
Magna Cum Laude 3.70 - 3.84
Cum Laude 3.50 - 3.69

General Elective Restrictions

Certain categories of courses have a limitation of how many can be used towards fulfilling the general elective requirement:

  • Starting with Fall 2010, a maximum of four additional private instruction credits, beyond the amount required within each major, may be applied to the general elective credit requirements. (Professional Music majors may apply up to an additional two private instruction credits.)
  • A maximum of eight additional ensemble and/or lab credits beyond the amount required for each major may be applied to the general elective credit requirements. (Professional Music majors may only apply up to an additional six ensemble/lab credits.)
  • A maximum of six additional liberal arts credits beyond the standard requirement may be applied to the general elective requirements for students in the degree program. A maximum of twelve additional liberal arts credits beyond the standard requirement may be applied to the general elective requirements for students in the diploma program.
  • Courses taken through the ProArts Consortium that meet the standards of Berklee’s transfer credit policy for liberal arts requirements or electives will be accepted and counted toward graduation as appropriate. Courses that are not normally transferable may be taken through ProArts and applied to the general elective requirements.
* Please note: It is the student’s responsibility to keep accurate records of completed courses, grades received, and other academic documents.

Residency Requirements

All students, including candidates transferring from another school, are normally required to complete four semesters of full-time attendance and a minimum of 60 credits for the degree and 48 credits for the diploma at Berklee in order to graduate from the college. Credit by exam, advanced placement credit, CLEP credit, and transfer credit do not count as residency requirement credits, even if earned while at Berklee. 

Additional Requirements

As a candidate for graduation you are also required to satisfy the following obligations to the college prior to the release of your diploma:

  • Settle all outstanding account balances with the Bursar’s Office.
  • Return all library materials and settle any outstanding library fees.
  • Complete a loan exit interview with Financial Aid and/or Perkins Loan Officer. Exit interviews are required by the federal government, so if you receive any type of federal funding (grants and loans) please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 617 747-2274 or 800 538-3844 to arrange for an exit interview.
  • International students should meet with their Advisor in the Counseling and Advising Center. 

Please note: Even if you have met all academic requirements, all outstanding financial obligations to Berklee must be resolved before you will be cleared to graduate and receive your diploma. Until this is done, the Office of the Registrar will place a “HOLD” on your diploma and official transcript, although you will still be allowed to “walk” in the May Commencement ceremony.

To find out if there are any restrictions that could prevent you from graduating (i.e., bursar hold or library hold), log in to and then select "Registration and Check-in Profile Screen" under the Registration submenu. 

If you have any questions regarding the graduation process, please contact Arielle Schwalm, graduation & curriculum specialist (Office of the Registrar, 921 Boylston Street, Suite 120,, 617 747-2470). The Counseling and Advising Center, as well as your departmental advisors, are also available to assist you with your graduation plans. While we will do everything to help you with the process, the final responsibility for meeting graduation requirements rests solely with each student.