School Info, Enrollment & Policies
Berklee Online General Policies
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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
In compliance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), Berklee is prohibited from providing certain information from your education records to a third party. The law also restricts Berklee from providing this information to your parents, spouse, or financial sponsor.
Students who wish to waive their right to maintain the privacy of their personal information must complete and submit the FERPA Release Form here. This authorization has no expiration date and the student may revoke their authorization by sending a written request to the Berklee Online Registrar’s Office.
Berklee Online reserves the right to determine which information should be released to the designated party.
What is FERPA?
FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. It is a federal law that protects the privacy of a student’s education records. FERPA grants specific rights to current and former students, and provides guidelines on how schools may appropriately use and release education records. All educational institutions such as Berklee that receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education must comply with FERPA.
What are education records?
Education records refer to any record maintained in physical or electronic format by the institution that contains information that is personally identifiable to a student. The college maintains the following general records on students: permanent academic records and account payment records. A student file will contain a record of all non-Berklee affiliated individuals or organizations requesting access to it plus statements that specify the legitimate educational purpose for which access was requested. The Record of Access may be released only to Berklee College of Music personnel or to state or federal officials as a means of auditing the reporting of access to student records.
What rights do Berklee students have under FERPA?
Students have the right to:
- Inspect and review their education records. If a student wishes to inspect their records, the student must file a request with the Berklee Online Registrar’s Office. The student will be notified as to the date, time, and location that the desired record will be available for inspection.
- Consent to any disclosure of their education records to a third party.
- Request an amendment to education records they believe are inaccurate or misleading.
- File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Berklee to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
When do a student’s FERPA rights begin and end?
A student’s FERPA rights begin when they enroll at Berklee and end upon their death.
Is Berklee ever allowed to release information or records without the student’s written permission?
Except as listed below, information or records concerning individual students may not be released to any individual or agency without the student’s written permission. Any request for such information received without such written notice will not be honored and will be returned with a request for a written release from the student.
With the approval of the registrar and without the student’s approval, educational records may be released to the following individuals or agencies under the following specific conditions:
- Berklee College of Music personnel for legitimate educational purposes only
- Federal or state officials in connection with the audit and evaluation of federally funded programs, in connection with the enforcement of federal legal requirements that relate to such programs, or in connection with the student’s application for or receipt of financial aid
- State and local officials to whom disclosure is required by state statute adopted prior to November 19, 1974, for organizations conducting studies for the purpose of developing predictive tests, administering student aid programs, and improving instruction
- Accrediting organizations in order to carry out their accrediting function
- The student’s parents, if they claim the student as a dependent on the most recent Internal Revenue Service tax return and provide documentation of such
- Persons possessing a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena (provided that the college first makes reasonable attempts to notify the student)
- When necessary in an emergency, to protect the student’s health, safety, or welfare or that of others, to persons who are in a position to deal with an emergency
- The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS), formerly Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), upon specific request to the college to verify F-1 status of international students
Unless an individual or agency can meet one of the aforementioned conditions, the college will not release a student’s educational records, class schedule, specific address, or telephone number. However, the following data are considered by the college to be informational in nature and may be released without the student’s permission, at the discretion of the college: name, enrollment status, graduation status, term level, program, major, dates of attendance, and hometown.
Additional information on procedures or policies relating to the college compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act can be obtained from the Berklee Online Registrar’s Office.
Student Code of Community Standards
By enrolling at Berklee, students accept the responsibility to become fully acquainted with the institution’s regulations, to comply with the institution’s policies and authority, to respect the rights and property of others, and to recognize that student actions reflect upon the students involved as well as upon the entire Berklee community. Unfamiliarity with Berklee policies will not exempt students from the conduct process. Officially recognized student organizations are also expected to adhere to the Student Code of Community Standards. The institution will take appropriate disciplinary action for any conduct that violates the Student Code of Community Standards, whether such conduct occurs on- or off-campus (in Boston, Massachusetts, or in Valencia, Spain) or online. This may include disciplinary action up to and including expulsion and parental notification. Sanctions are also grounded in education and encourage students to reflect on the impact of their actions. In addition, sanctions will reflect the seriousness of the behavior for which the student will be held accountable. Being a Berklee student is a privilege, and with that privilege comes the expectation that students will uphold the standards and values set forth by the institution and will conduct themselves as individuals who contribute positively to the Berklee community. All students will be treated fairly in the student conduct process, whether they are the alleged student, complainant, victim, or witness.
View the full Student Code of Community Standards.
Berklee, including Berklee College of Music; Boston Conservatory at Berklee; Berklee’s campus in Valencia, Spain; and Berklee Online, is a diverse community comprising individuals with different life experiences, viewpoints, and belief systems. A welcoming and inclusive culture is essential to maintaining Berklee’s role as a leader in music education, and Berklee highly values the dynamic environment that results when students, faculty, administrators, and staff from diverse backgrounds come together to learn, live, and work.
The Equity Policy and Process was designed to further Berklee’s goal of inclusion, respect, and equity for all community members and affirms Berklee’s commitment to promote fairness and equity in all aspects of the institution.
View the full Equity Policy.
Berklee Online values integrity within the classroom, across all areas of scholarly and professional practice, and in the use of information technology resources. Consequently, members of the Berklee Online community are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and practice throughout the many aspects of their life and study at the College. Students who have evidenced academic dishonesty may be made subject to disciplinary procedures, including but not limited to receiving a warning, dismissal from their course(s), and suspension or permanent dismissal from the online school.
The following definitions are provided for the information of the Berklee Online community and constitute notice of unacceptable academic behavior or scholarly and professional practice. Academic work in this context means any and all music and nonmusic work related to any course or major at the College. While scholarly and professional work may occur in the context of a course, they also are found in activity that is independent of course work. Dishonesty in scholarly or professional work, whether in the form of fraud, plagiarism, or cheating, is unacceptable and subject to appropriate disciplinary procedures.
Fraud is using identifiers (such as name, password, ID) of other persons as one’s own or submitting false information about oneself. Some examples include such infractions as concealing or misrepresenting one’s identity, impersonating another individual, falsifying information on such documents as one’s resume or internship applications, misrepresenting oneself as acting on behalf of Berklee, or using the College’s name, logo, or symbol without prior written permission.
Cheating is the use of prohibited assistance (whether in the nature of a person or a resource) in the performance of assignments and examinations, and copying of another student’s work or the giving or receiving of information or answers, whether verbally or in writing. Any assignment in which a student has cheated will receive a failing grade and a resubmission of the assignment will not be accepted.
Plagiarism is defined as misrepresenting work that has been done by another as one’s own efforts whether such misrepresentation has been accomplished with or without the permission of the other individual. Any assignment identified as plagiarized will receive a failing grade and a resubmission of the assignment will not be accepted. Some more specific examples of plagiarism would include but are not limited to:
- Turning in someone else’s work as your own whether it was intentional or accidental.
- Copying another person’s work or ideas without giving credit. This includes copying from another student as well as from website resources.
- Downloading another student’s assignment, changing it in any way and then posting as your own assignment.
An instructor who identifies a violation of the honesty in academic work policy by a student should first reach out to the student in a timely manner through private messaging concerning this actual instance or perception of fraud, plagiarism, or cheating. If the instructor confirms or determines the likelihood exists that the student has engaged in fraud, plagiarism, or cheating, the instructor is required to report the instance to the Online Registrar. In addition, the instructor will issue a grade of 0/No Credit for every instance of fraud, plagiarism, or cheating. Resubmission of the assignment (s) and/or discussion post (s) will not be accepted.
The Online Registrar will review the complaint to determine the severity of the violation and if there are prior reports for the student. If this is the first instance and is not severe, the Online Registrar will issue a warning in writing.
Subsequent and/or Severe Offenses
In the case of a subsequent offense of academic dishonesty as confirmed by the Online Registrar, or if the charge(s) of alleged academic dishonesty is deemed sufficiently severe, the process above also applies. However, the student is subject to the following disciplinary sanctions as determined by the Online Registrar, including but not limited to:
- A failing grade for the course
- Disciplinary suspension of at least one semester
- Disciplinary dismissal from the college
The Online Registrar will inform the student of the sanction(s) in a timely manner following the review of the situation in writing. The decision on sanctions is final and cannot be appealed.
Improper Use of Copyright and Proprietary Information of Others
Students may upload to software files or otherwise distribute on online networks only information, software, photographs, videos, graphics, music, sounds, and other material (collectively “content”) not subject to any copyright, trademark, trade secret, or other proprietary rights of others, or content in which the author has given express written authorization for online distribution. Any copyrighted content submitted or used with the consent of the copyright owner should contain a phrase such as, “Copyright owned by [name owner]; used by permission.” Unauthorized transmission of copyrighted or other proprietary content, including Berklee Online course materials, is prohibited, constitutes a violation of Berklee Online policies, and could subject students to criminal prosecution as well as personal liability in a civil suit, in addition to other sanctions.
Any conduct that in the College’s sole discretion restricts or inhibits others from using an online network or violates College policies or applicable law is not permitted and will be subject to sanction and disciplinary action. Students are prohibited from posting on or transmitting through any online network any unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, profane, hateful, racially or ethnically demeaning or threatening, or otherwise objectionable material of any kind, including without limitation, any material that encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any applicable law or College policies. Berklee Online reserves the right to restrict and/or interrupt communication through or by use of any of the College’s computers or computer services, which Berklee Online believes to be harmful to the College or to others using the applicable online network or a violation of College policies or any third-party rights. More specifically and without limitation, the following conduct violates College policies and is not permitted:
- Offensive Communication: Use of vulgar, abusive, or hateful language is prohibited.
- Harassment: Targeting another person or organization to cause distress, embarrassment, injury, unwanted attention, or other substantial discomfort is harassment, which is prohibited. Personal attacks or other action to threaten or intimidate or embarrass an individual, group, or organization; or attacks based on a person’s race, national origin, ethnicity, handicap, religion, gender, veteran status, sexual orientation, or another such characteristic or affiliation are prohibited.
- Offensive Graphic Files: Transmitting through or posting on any online network sexually explicit images or any other content the College deems to be offensive is prohibited.
- Impersonation: Communications under a false name or designation or a name or designation students are not authorized to use, including instances in conjunction with representing that students are somehow acting on behalf of or under the auspices of Berklee College of Music, are prohibited.
- Chain Letters and Pyramid Schemes: Transmission of chain letters and pyramid schemes of any kind is prohibited. Certain chain letters and pyramid schemes are illegal. Letters or messages that offer a product or service based on the College utilizing the structure of a chain letter are also of questionable legality.
Use of Berklee College of Music or Berklee Online Name
Students may not under any circumstances, without the College’s prior written consent, use the name “Berklee College of Music” or “Berklee Online” in any form or use any symbol or logo or graphic used by or associated with Berklee College of Music alone or with the name “Berklee” or any name, symbol, logo, or graphic confusingly similar to Berklee’s name, symbols, logo, or graphics as part of an e-mail address, a “home page,” or a second or higher-level domain name for any online network a student utilizes, originates, or registers with Internet or similar authority. Unauthorized use of the name “Berklee Online,” “Berklee College of Music,” or any symbol, logo, or graphic used by or associated with the College or any confusingly similar thereto, is a violation of College policies and subject to sanctions.
Credit Card Fraud Policy
Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, your bank cannot hold you liable for more than $50.00 of fraudulent charges. In the event of unauthorized use of your credit card, you must notify your credit card provider in accordance with its reporting rules and procedures. Please note that when using your bank debit card as a credit card, you are protected under the Electronic Funds Transfer Act. You must report any fraudulent charges within two business days to avoid being liable for more than $50.00. Please contact your bank or www.consumer.gov for more information.
Berklee Online takes credit card fraud very seriously. We cooperate completely with local, state and federal law enforcement officials to apprehend groups or individuals committing credit card fraud.
Berklee Online will supply all information that we have about fraudulent orders to those officials who will then pursue investigation and prosecution of the criminal action taken by offending parties. Once the criminal case has been completed, a separate civil case is then submitted against the offending party to recover any and all damages, financial and otherwise, that are incurred by us.
Grievance and Appeals Policy
Situations sometimes arise in which particular circumstances surrounding a policy decision require special consideration, or students have a complaint about the behavior or performance of an instructor or staff member. As a general rule, students should address their concerns about a policy decision or instructor directly with the Online Registrar.
An unresolved complaint about the behavior/performance of a staff member may be brought to the attention of the person’s immediate supervisor. If the complaint remains unresolved, the student may continue to appeal to a higher level of authority, within the appropriate area, up to the Vice President of the area. Students wishing to continue their appeal can do so using the Berklee Online Student Complaint Form.
Please note: If you are looking to appeal a policy or a policy decision regarding academic or refund policies, prerequisite waiver decisions, or grades, do not complete this form. Please complete the Berklee Online Policy Appeals Form which can be found below. The complaint form cannot be used to request a withdrawal or refund.
If online students residing in another state wish to file a formal complaint with their home state authorizing agency after exhausting internal avenues, they may do so using the contact information listed here.
Students wishing to request an exception to a Berklee Online Policy or policy decision in cases of extenuating circumstances must complete the Berklee Online Policy Appeals Form. Students are advised to explain the events or circumstances that necessitate the exception, such as unexpected personal or family problems or illness, as well as provide documentation to support the appeal. Please note supporting documentation must be in English to be considered. Petitions must be submitted by the end of the following semester.
This petition is not used to remove or change classes or grades for the purpose of applying to another institution. Better than expected or worse than expected grades is not a valid reason to request a credit status change after the posted deadline. Lack of knowledge about posted deadlines or policies is not a permissible criterion for this petition process.
In addition, students cannot petition for:
- An incomplete grade
- Appeal an individual assignment grade
- Extended course access after 1-year period ends
- Appeal a dismissal or suspension
- Appeal administrative withdrawal due to non-attendance.
Students can submit the Berklee Online Policy Appeals Form for following:
- Add a course
- Postpone/withdraw from a course
- Refund tuition charges when associated with a withdrawal
- Change credit status
- Appeal a course waiver decision (Certificate Students)
- Appeal a course substitution decision (Certificate Students)
- Appeal a prerequisite waiver decision (Degree Students)
- Appeal a course overload decision
- Dispute a final grade
Approved petitions are considered to be a one-time exception to posted policies and deadlines; multiple or repeated petitions for the same exception will be denied without review unless students can demonstrate circumstances beyond their control. Any approved refunds will exclude any course-specific fees and the Registration and Technology fee.
Decisions of the committee are final.
Methods of Communication
Email is the official method of communication for Berklee Online. Students enrolled in a course or program with Berklee Online must be opted in to receive all email communications. Most communication between Berklee Online and its student body is conducted in this manner to keep students apprised of:
- Important deadlines
- Administrative business required for student enrollment
- Changes to existing courses and programs
- New courses and programs
- Other important announcements/updates
To ensure there are no gaps in communication, students enrolled in a degree program are required to use their berklee.edu email address for all Berklee Online related communication.
All students must have a current mailing address on file with Berklee Online. Important documentation is regularly sent out via mail, with documents including:
- 1098-T federal tax forms
- Letters regarding enrollment status
- Other important information
Students wishing to update their mailing address will need to complete the Change of Address form, which can be found here.
For 1098-T federal tax form information, please log into Berklee Online and follow the link on the right hand side called Tax Information. On this page you will be able to provide your Social Security Number (SSN) as well as find additional information regarding this process.
Only Berklee Online students enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate degree program are eligible to receive a student ID card. Degree students can request a student ID card by filling out the form available here.
Any materials posted on the Web site that you copy, print, or download are licensed to you by Berklee for your personal, non-commercial use only, provided that you do not change or delete any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices. You agree not to reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, resell or exploit for any commercial purposes, any portion of the Web site, use of the Web site, or access to the Web site. Berklee reserves the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the Web site (or any part thereof) with or without notice. Berklee reserves the right to use classroom content for promotion purposes. Personal information shall be kept private. You agree that Berklee shall not be liable to you or to any third party for any modification, suspension or discontinuance of the Web site. Recognizing the global nature of the Internet, you agree to comply with all local rules regarding online conduct and acceptable Content. Specifically, you agree to comply with all applicable laws regarding the transmission of technical data exported from the United States or the country in which you reside.
YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT BERKLEE SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF PROFITS, GOODWILL, USE, DATA OR OTHER INTANGIBLE LOSSES (EVEN IF BERKLEE HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES), WHETHER BASED ON CONTRACT, TORT OR STRICT LIABILITY, OR OTHERWISE, RESULTING FROM: (i) THE USE OR THE INABILITY TO USE THE WEB SITE; (ii) THE COST OF PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS AND ONLINE SERVICES RESULTING FROM ANY GOODS, DATA, INFORMATION OR ONLINE SERVICES PURCHASED OR OBTAINED OR MESSAGES RECEIVED OR TRANSACTIONS ENTERED INTO THROUGH OR FROM THE WEB SITE; (iii) UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO OR ALTERATION OF YOUR TRANSMISSIONS OR DATA; (iv) STATEMENTS OR CONDUCT OF ANY THIRD PARTY ON THE WEB SITE; OR (v) ANY OTHER MATTER RELATING TO THE WEB SITE. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN WARRANTIES OR THE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES. ACCORDINGLY, SOME OF THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.
You agree that Berklee, in its sole discretion and without prior notice to you, may Terminate your registered account (or any part thereof) or use of the Web site, and remove and discard any Content within the Web site, for any reason, including, without limitation, for lack of use or if Berklee believes that you have violated or acted inconsistently with the letter or spirit of the TOU. Berklee may also in its sole discretion and at any time discontinue providing the Web site, or any part thereof, with or without notice. Termination, suspension, or cancellation of this Agreement or your access rights will not affect any right or relief to which Berklee may be entitled in law or in equity. Upon termination of this Agreement all rights granted to you will automatically terminate. Paragraphs 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 13 shall survive termination of this Agreement.
Berklee College of Music, Inc., Berklee Press, Berklee Media, Berklee Online Passport and Berklee Online trademarks, logos and product and service names are trademarks of Berklee College of Music, Inc. Without Berklee’s prior permission, you agree not to display the above or use in any manner.
Course-Specific Technology Requirements
Some courses have additional software and hardware requirements, depending on the third-party hardware and software needed for the course. Extra requirements for each course are listed in the course catalog. The system requirements vary depending on the demands of each third-party product. Although we strive to assist our students in the best way possible we cannot be held responsible for course hardware and/or software purchases that is found to be unsatisfactory, insufficient, defective, misused, or incompatible with current system setups. We highly recommend that you consult with the individual manufacturers of these products for the most current and accurate information possible.
Berklee Online provides numerous information technology resources for use by the Berklee Online community to support its educational mission. The use of these resources must be consistent with the goals of the online school. As a member of the Berklee Online community, students are expected to act responsibly and to follow the online school’s guidelines, policies, and procedures in using information technology and electronic networks accessed by such technology.
The online school’s acceptable use policy includes the following guidelines and the requirement that each Berklee Online community member, including faculty, students, staff, or other users:
Respect copyright and other intellectual-property rights. Copying files or passwords belonging to others will be considered a violation of College policies and a violation of law, and may constitute fraud, plagiarism, or theft. Software licensed by the online school must only be used in accordance with the applicable license. Modifying or damaging information without authorization (including but not limited to altering data, introducing viruses, or simply damaging files) is unethical and a violation of College policies, and may be a felony in the state of Massachusetts.
Identify oneself clearly and accurately in electronic communication. Anonymous or pseudo-anonymous communications appear to disassociate a student from responsibility for his/her actions and are inappropriate. Concealing one’s identity or misrepresenting one’s name or affiliation to mask or attempt to distance oneself from irresponsible or offensive behavior is a serious abuse and violation of College policies. Using identifiers of other individuals, including such identifiers as one’s own, constitutes a violation of College policies and constitutes fraud.
Abide by security restrictions on all systems and information. Distributing or making one’s password or another person’s password or access code available to others, or otherwise attempting to evade, disable, or “crack” password or other security provisions, or assisting others in doing so, threatens the work, privacy, and well-being of many others and is a serious violation of College policies, as well as grounds for immediate suspension of a student’s access privileges, and other disciplinary action.
Recognize limitations to privacy in electronic communications. A student may have an expectation that the contents of what they write or otherwise create, store, and send may be seen only by those to whom the student intended or gave permission; however, the security of electronic information on shared systems and networks is approximately that of paper documents in an unsealed envelope and is generally respected, but breachable by someone determined to do so. Also note that, as part of their responsibilities, technical managers or other persons may need to view the contents to diagnose or correct problems.
Accept responsibility for ones own work by learning appropriate uses of software to maintain the integrity of what one creates. Students should learn and properly use the features for securing or sharing access to information on any computers they use. They should change passwords frequently and do not share them. Students should maintain at least one backup copy of all important files, and diligently backup all work in progress at regular intervals.
Use resources for lawful and permitted purposes only. Use of resources for unlawful purposes or for use not specifically permitted by the College, or assisting another in such use, is a serious violation of College policies and grounds for disciplinary action and other sanctions.
Cooperate with investigations by resource managers or others at the College, either of technical problems or of possible unauthorized or irresponsible use, as defined in these guidelines, in its other guidelines, policies, or procedures, or as may otherwise be identified by the College from time to time. Failure to do so may be grounds for suspension or loss of access privileges and other disciplinary action as indicated in the acceptable use policy, or otherwise determined by the College.
Students may be given passwords Berklee Online has selected for accessing the online school (“Berklee Online passwords”) and be authorized to use one or more Berklee Online passwords for specific purposes. Students are responsible for maintaining all Berklee Online passwords in confidence and not to disclose or make available any to third parties without prior written consent of the College. Students will be held responsible and will be liable for any harm resulting from their disclosing or allowing disclosure or improper use of a Berklee Online password.