School Info, Enrollment & Policies
Graduate Academic Policies
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Prompt and regular online participation is required to complete all Berklee Online courses successfully. The weekly lessons are cumulative; therefore, it is imperative that students stay current with their coursework and assignments. In addition, student-to-student communication and collaboration are essential elements to the overall Berklee Online educational experience, and students who fall behind in their course work not only miss out on the cumulative curriculum but the community aspect of their courses as well.It is recommended that students begin their course(s) promptly when the semester begins. All students are required to post within their course by the end of week 2 of the semester regardless of when they began the course. Failure to do so will result in removal from the semester. If students plan to be away from their courses, they should inform their instructors via a private message and/or e-mail as well as contact the Student Success department at firstname.lastname@example.org, and make every effort to continue working on the courses while away. If this is not possible, they should make a plan with their instructors to catch up upon returning. Note that failure to submit required work in courses in a given semester for two weeks or more will result in an administrative withdrawal for the semester (see Administrative Withdrawal Due to Non-Participation for more information). Instructors each have their own policy for accepting late work. It is important that students review this information. Students should contact their instructors as soon as possible if they plan to be late to determine what, if any, arrangements can be made for the specific situation. Instructors may issue a failing grade for failure to submit required work in a course. The grade of “F” will be recorded for failure to complete or properly withdraw from courses.
Students averaging honor grades for any given semester are placed on the Dean’s List and receive a letter from the Dean confirming their accomplishment. Specific criteria for inclusion on the list are as follows:
Berklee Online is committed to creating usable, equitable, and inclusive learning environments while providing equal educational opportunity and full participation for students with disabilities outlined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Students with disabilities who desire to access accommodations should initiate their request by completing the Disability Accommodation Request Form before or during the first week of the semester. The student is responsible for submitting all supporting documentation to Berklee Online Accommodations, outlining the specific needs and course accommodations requested.
Reasonable accommodations are reviewed on a continual basis, preferably before the semester begins or upon approval from Berklee Online Accommodations. Course accommodations cannot be retroactive and begin only after documentation is received and a reasonable time for accommodation has been allowed. Students are highly encouraged to contact instructors to facilitate the implementation of the identified accommodation.
To declare a disability, you must provide relevant documentation of the disability and list the course(s) for which you are requesting accommodations. Please complete the Disability Accommodation Request Form found here before or during the first week of the course, so that we may assist you.
Berklee Online Accommodations is committed to ensuring that all information regarding a student remains confidential. Information provided to faculty states that the student is a qualified individual with a disability according to the American with Disabilities Act. Specific information regarding the type of disability will not be shared with faculty.
Financial Aid and Part-Time Student Status
Financial aid is available on a prorated basis to students who are enrolled part-time at Berklee Online. The amount of aid for which students are eligible is impacted by the number of credits for which they enroll. All part-time students must continue to make satisfactory academic progress to be considered for financial aid funding. Most federal grants and loans require students to be enrolled in six or more credits in order to continue receiving prorated funding. Students enrolled in fewer than six credits are likely to enter their grace period and/or begin loan repayment.
- Full Time = 9 credits
- ¾ Time = 6 credits
- Half Time = 3 credits
Academic standing and eligibility for a degree are determined by the quality of course work. To determine academic standing, the college uses a point system, each qualitative grade having an equivalent numerical value.
|Letter Grade Equivalent||Numerical Percentage||Value|
|W – Withdrew||N/A||0.00|
|I – Incomplete||N/A||0.00|
Note: Berklee Online does not rank its students.
Grade of Incomplete (“I”)
Under limited circumstances, students may request a grade of Incomplete (“I”) from course instructors in the final two weeks of the semester. To be considered for an Incomplete, students must be passing the course at the time of the request in addition to having satisfactory attendance. The decision to grant the request rests entirely with the instructor of the course. The instructor of the course reserves the right to require an agreement with the student who seeks the Incomplete for the particular course. The agreement specifies the work to be completed and the deadline for completion.
It is strongly recommended that the necessary coursework be completed and submitted to the instructor as soon as possible after the completion of the semester, but it must be submitted by the end of the immediately following semester, whether or not the student is enrolled in that semester. A grade of Incomplete that is not resolved by the last day of the following semester automatically changes to a grade of “F.”
The instructor of the course additionally retains the right to change the student’s final grade from “I” to the grade that the student had earned at the completion of the semester, or at any time after the completion of the semester, including during the period prior to the submission of the remaining work for the course by the student.
Berklee recognizes that students may be presented with certain opportunities, such as work projects, music performances, vacation, or other activities. These situations do not qualify a student to receive a grade of Incomplete.
Grades of “I” are not calculated into the GPA. Students do not receive credit for courses with a grade of “I,” nor does any course with a grade of “I” count as a prerequisite for another course until the “I” is changed to a passing grade.
Criteria for receiving Dean’s List honors specify that a student cannot have a grade of Incomplete for the semester in question. Dean’s List honorees are determined in the third week of classes of the following semester. Any grade of Incomplete must be changed to a letter grade by the second week of classes to be eligible for Dean’s List consideration.
Although Berklee Online’s academic policy provides students up to one full semester to complete an incomplete (I) grade, one or more “I” grades can adversely affect the Minimum 67% Pace of Completion component of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
Repeat Course Policy
Students may enroll in and receive a grade for a course taken for a second or subsequent time. Only the highest grade will be computed in the cumulative GPA. The repetition of a course will not eliminate the previous grade from the student’s record, nor will any additional credit toward a degree be earned by repeating a course. Additional tuition and fees will apply.
The student transcript is the college’s official record of the courses that each student takes and the course grades received while at Berklee Online. To ensure accuracy, students and alumni have online access to view their transcripts.
If a student feels they have been issued a grade that does not accurately reflect their performance in a course, they should first reach out to their instructor to discuss their concerns.
If unable to resolve the issue with the instructor, the student should send a written appeal to the Berklee Online Registrar’s Office to dispute the grade. The appeal should include the name of the course, the instructor, and a detailed reason why the student feels the grade is incorrect. The appeal can be emailed to email@example.com.
The appeal must be received prior to the end of the following semester to be considered. Any appeal received after this time will not be eligible for review.
To graduate from the Berklee Online Master of Music or Master of Arts degree program, students must satisfy all program requirements and complete a minimum of 36 credits. Students must also earn a minimum of 30 institutional credits. Although “D” (1.0) and “C-” (1.67) grades are considered passing in a course, a student must have a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 2.00. Prior to receiving a degree, students must fulfill all financial obligations to the college.
Applying to Graduate
Students must apply for graduation by academic year. The graduation application for an academic year will open during the fall term. Additional information regarding specific deadlines will become available early fall. Students planning to complete their degree requirements by the end of that academic year are asked to submit their applications by the stipulated deadline. Students are held responsible for determining that they have earned all necessary credits for graduation. Those students with questions regarding their eligibility are encouraged to contact their academic advisor.
Completing the application for graduation is the only way to initiate the graduation process. A degree cannot be conferred unless the student has submitted the application for graduation. The graduation application is considered active for one academic year following its submission. If graduation requirements are not completed during this time period, the student’s application will expire and they will be required to submit a new graduation application.
Applications submitted after the stipulated deadline may delay processing of the student’s academic record and diploma.
Participating in the Berklee College of Music Commencement Ceremony
Berklee Online Master of Music and Master of Arts degree students have the option of attending the master’s graduation ceremony. Students interested in participating should indicate their intention to participate in the commencement ceremony on their application for graduation.
In order to be eligible to walk in the ceremony, graduate students must be within nine (9) credits of completing their degree requirements by the end of the spring semester. Students are responsible for ensuring that they will be within the necessary credit range to participate and can lose eligibility to take part in the ceremony should they not be in compliance with this policy.
It is essential that students planning to walk in the ceremony submit the application for graduation by the stated deadline. Should a student submit their application late, they will need to wait until the following year to walk.
Participating in the ceremony does not mean a degree has been conferred. Students are still responsible for successfully completing all eligibility requirements even if they have already walked in the commencement ceremony. All eligibility requirements must be successfully completed prior to degree conferral.
Students may only participate in one ceremony per degree, even if eligibility requirements are completed during a subsequent academic year.
Diplomas will be mailed to the address provided on the student’s graduation application within 6-8 weeks of successful program completion. To ensure timely delivery of their diploma, students are asked to verify the accuracy of their address by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. College policy allows each graduate only one diploma. Should a diploma be lost, stolen, or damaged, a replacement may be requested by supplying the original or by submitting the police report or insurance claim. A diploma cannot be issued until a student has submitted their application for graduation and is free from any and all holds.
- Summa Cum Laude 3.85–4.00
- Magna Cum Laude 3.70–3.84
- Cum Laude 3.50–3.69
It is each student’s responsibility to work with their assigned advisor before attempting to register for courses. Berklee Online may make changes to a student’s registration schedule in situations, including but not limited to the following: (1) if a course is cancelled, (2) if the student becomes ineligible to enroll in a course due to failing a requisite course, or (3) if a student fails to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
Berklee Online has four intensive semesters per year, Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer.
After registering for courses in a given semester, students may make adjustments to their course schedule under certain conditions.
The add/drop period at the beginning of each semester is the first five days of the semester. Through Friday of the second week of the semester, students may add or drop a course with approval from an academic advisor.
Students are encouraged to work with this advisor before making adjustments to their schedule.
Catalog Year Policy
All students must complete the curriculum defined in the catalog at the time of their matriculation. Students may opt to change to a more recent catalog year assignment if they prefer to graduate under a newer set of curricular requirements. To do so, students should submit a request via email to email@example.com. Students who leave and return to Berklee Online after four or more years will automatically be assigned to the new catalog year that is in effect at the time of their return. Students may not change their catalog year assignment to an earlier catalog. However, students are encouraged to meet with their advisor to discuss the applicability of past course work to their existing catalog assignment.
Prompt and regular online participation is required to complete all Berklee Online courses successfully. The weekly lessons are cumulative; therefore, it is imperative that students stay current with their coursework and assignments. In addition, student-to-student communication and collaboration are essential elements to the overall Berklee Online educational experience, and students who fall behind in their course work not only miss out on the cumulative curriculum but the community aspect of their courses as well.
It is recommended that students begin their course(s) promptly when the semester begins. All students are required to post within their course by the end of week 2 of the semester regardless of when they began the course. Failure to do so will result in removal from the semester.
If students plan to be away from their courses, they should inform their instructors via a private message and/or e-mail as well as contact the Student Success department at firstname.lastname@example.org, and make every effort to continue working on the courses while away. If this is not possible, they should make a plan with their instructors to catch up upon returning. Note that failure to submit required work in courses in a given semester for two weeks or more will result in an administrative withdrawal for the semester (see Administrative Withdrawal Due to Non-Participation for more information).
Instructors each have their own policy for accepting late work. It is important that students review this information. Students should contact their instructors as soon as possible if they plan to be late to determine what, if any, arrangements can be made for the specific situation. Instructors may issue a failing grade for failure to submit required work in a course. The grade of “F” will be recorded for failure to complete or properly withdraw from courses.
Full time status in graduate programs is a minimum of 9 credits (three courses) per semester. Students interested in taking more than three courses in a semester require approval by the Berklee Online Registrar’s Office.
Graduate Students Taking Undergraduate-level Courses
Undergraduate-level courses (100, 200, and 300, and 400 level) will generally not be counted toward a graduate-level degree. An exception may be made for Berklee Online 400 level music business courses that map very closely to the subject area covered in courses in the music business master’s program. If a graduate student takes certain undergraduate courses to make up for deficiencies in knowledge or experience needed for the program, the course credit hours will not be used as part of the graduate degree program but will appear on the student’s academic transcript. Students should reach out to their advisor for assistance.
Each Berklee Online semester is 12 weeks in length.
Reinstatement After Academic Dismissal
Students who have been academically dismissed from the Berklee Online master’s degree program for not meeting satisfactory academic progress standards may submit a one-time request for reinstatement into their program. To be considered for reinstatement, students must complete the Reinstatement Request Form here and explain what changes they have made in their academic preparation and strategies that will improve their potential for successful degree completion.
The Dean will review all requests for reinstatement, and students will receive a decision by email. The decision is final and cannot be appealed. Students who are reinstated and are not yet meeting satisfactory academic progress standards will be placed on academic probation and will need to follow an academic recovery plan until they meet the requirements.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
All Berklee Online graduate students are required to make satisfactory academic progress (SAP). All students must meet or exceed the following three standards at the end of each semester once grades are posted to meet Berklee Online’s Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. In addition, they must meet these requirements to maintain federal financial aid eligibility.
- A cumulative grade point average of 2.00.
- A cumulative credit completion percentage of 70 percent, calculated by cumulative credit hours completed divided by cumulative credit hours attempted.
- The ability to complete their degree requirements for graduation within 150 percent of the normal credits allotted for degree completion. Example: A student enrolled in a 36-credit degree program has a maximum of 54 attempted credits to complete the degree.
Failure to satisfy any one of these three standards will result in a student being placed on SAP warning. Students on SAP warning are given one additional semester of enrollment and financial aid eligibility to meet SAP standards. Students placed on SAP warning should take the necessary steps to ensure that they meet requirements by the end of the warning period. At the end of the SAP warning semester, students still not meeting SAP requirements will be placed on SAP suspension.
Students placed on satisfactory academic progress suspension have the option to appeal the decision to Berklee Online. At the end of the semester, students are notified of SAP suspension and have the right submit an appeal by submitting the SAP Appeal Form here. All appeals must be based on extenuating circumstances and contain written verification along will all supporting documentation of those circumstances. Students who choose not to appeal, or whose appeal is denied, face dismissal from the college.
If an appeal is granted, students will be placed into academic probation status for one semester and must sign and agree to an academic recovery plan in order to continue to receive federal financial aid and register for classes. If students have not fulfilled the conditions of the academic recovery plan by end of the probationary period, they will face academic dismissal from the college.
At the end of the probation period:
- If a student has made satisfactory academic progress and fulfilled the conditions of the academic recovery plan, his/her enrollment eligibility will be conditionally restored, and the student will maintain financial aid eligibility.
- If a student has not made satisfactory academic progress but has fulfilled the conditions of his/her academic recovery plan, the student may request an extension to his/her academic probation.
- If a student has not made satisfactory academic progress nor fulfilled the conditions of their academic recovery plan, the student will have their enrollment eligibility permanently revoked, resulting in academic dismissal from the college.
Students placed on academic dismissal are ineligible for future semesters of enrollment with Berklee.
To obtain an official copy of your transcript, please complete the Official Transcript Request Form here. A signature and date are both required. In addition, please be sure to complete the Mail To section of the form so it is clear where the transcript should be sent.
Please allow two weeks from receipt of a written request to process a transcript. Transcripts cannot be processed if you have an outstanding financial obligation to Berklee Online.
WithdrawalsWithdrawal from Courses/Semester
Withdrawing from a course is the responsibility of the student. Students can withdraw with a grade of W through week 8 of the semester. Students are strongly advised to consult with their advisor, instructor, or Student Success prior to withdrawing from a course. No withdrawals are accepted after week 8. Students continue to be financially responsible for any course they withdraw from and are not eligible for a tuition refund or replacement course. Students should note that withdrawing from a course might affect their eligibility to receive scholarships, financial aid, and veterans’ benefits. Once the withdrawal deadline has passed, all registered students will receive a course grade based on the stated grading criteria.
Students wishing to withdraw from a course(s) and/or semester should complete and submit the Withdrawal from a Course Form found here.
Withdrawal from the College
Students who wish to withdraw from the college must complete the Withdrawal from the College Form found here.
No credit is granted if students are suspended, dismissed, or leave the college without formally withdrawing. In some instances, financial aid awards may be prorated upon withdrawal from the college. Contact the Office of Financial Aid or see below for more information.
Withdrawal Due to Medical Reasons
Students who need to withdraw from their course(s) for medical reasons may be eligible for a medical withdrawal and refund. A medical withdrawal will be considered only if accompanied by a written verification from a medical doctor on letterhead stating the student cannot complete the semester due to an illness or disability. Please note the doctor’s note must be in English to be considered. The withdrawal will not be allowed if a student fails to submit medical documentation to the Student Success department prior to the end of week 8 of the semester. If the requested medical withdrawal is approved, the student will receive a grade of “W” for the semester.
Students wishing to withdraw from a course(s) or the semester due to medical reasons should complete and submit the Degree Medical Withdrawal Form Form found here.
Administrative Withdrawal Due to Non-Participation
Students pursuing a degree through Berklee Online are required to maintain regular participation in the courses in which they are enrolled.
Through week 10 of the semester, students who do not participate in any of their courses for two consecutive weeks will be administratively withdrawn from their courses, unless prior arrangements have been made with their instructor, academic advisor, and Student Success department. Participation is defined as posting an assignment within a course. No administrative withdrawals will be processed for lack of participation during the last two weeks of the semester; students will be required to finish the semester and will be issued the grade earned.
Extenuating circumstances that prevent a student from participating, either at the beginning of the semester or during the semester, will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Student Success department.
Administrative withdrawals may have implications for a student’s financial aid award and satisfactory academic progress. Students who are administratively withdrawn from their courses will not be eligible for a tuition refund. Administrative withdrawal from courses during a semester does not relieve the student of financial responsibility for any costs associated with, or resulting from, registration for the semester, including tuition, registration, or any fees. When students are administratively withdrawn from their courses, a final grade of “W” will be entered into their academic record and they will be removed from their courses for the semester.
Withdrawal from Berklee Online with Financial Aid
Title IV federal financial aid for graduate programs includes Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans.
Per federal regulation, students who receive Title IV federal financial aid and who fully withdraw from Berklee Online on or before the 60 percent point in the semester (in calendar days) are entitled to keep only the portion of Title IV federal student aid that they have earned to that point. Students who receive federal financial aid and withdraw after the 60 percent point of the semester are considered to have earned all of their federal student aid for that semester.
Students who stop attending all classes without officially withdrawing are considered to be “walking-away.” The federal aid received during the semester will be subject to the federal return calculation based on the effective date of withdrawal, which is determined by the last recorded date of academically related activity (see Administrative Withdrawal Due to Non-Participation).
Students who withdraw prior to Title IV funds being disbursed may be eligible for a portion of their available aid. Students eligible for Federal Direct Loans will be notified of the percentage of their loan(s) for which they are eligible and will be given 14 days to accept the loan(s) and have it applied to their balance. Loans will not be applied without confirmation.
Return of Federal Financial Aid
Based on a pro-rata schedule, the percentage of the semester attended is used to calculate the amount of a student’s earned/unearned federal financial aid funds. Any unearned federal aid must be returned to the federal government. Federal aid funds previously disbursed will be adjusted and may create a balance owed to the college. Students are responsible for any balance due after the return of funds calculation has been completed.
The unearned portion of Title IV federal financial aid will be returned to the appropriate aid programs in the following order:
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
- Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
Refunds to the student and/or to the federal financial aid programs by the student or the college will be made within 30 days of the date that the college determines the student has withdrawn.
The chart below will help explain how refunds are calculated. Refer to the column that applies to a student’s withdrawal/federal student-aid status at Berklee College of Music. The college will calculate a student’s tuition charges and aid eligibility under the policy, which applies to a student’s status and withdrawal.
Withdrawal Tuition and Aid Percentage Chart
|Time||Tuition Charged||Federal Aid Earned|
|Before classes begin||0%||0%|
|Monday of Week 1||0%||6%|
|Monday of Week 2||0%||14%|
|Monday of Week 3||100%||20%|
|Monday of Week 4||100%||28%|
|Monday of Week 5||100%||34%|
|Monday of Week 6||100%||41%|
|Monday of Week 7||100%||48%|
|Monday of Week 8||100%||54%|
|Monday of Week 9-12||100%||100%|
*These percentages are weekly guidelines; actual refunds are based on calendar days. This represents the amount of student aid that is earned at the point of withdrawal. Unearned Federal Aid will be returned to the government. Final eligibility will be determined by the Office of Financial Aid within 30 days of the student withdrawing from classes.
State funds have their own eligibility criteria for when students withdraw. State regulations vary, and we recommend students check with their state or with the Office of Financial Aid to determine eligibility for any state funds when withdrawing.
Veterans’ benefits, too, have their own eligibility criteria for when students withdraw. We encourage any student receiving veterans’ benefits to talk with the veterans’ certifying official for Berklee Online before withdrawing from the college.
Note that when a student fully withdraws, any adjusted Berklee charges that have not been paid are still owed to the college.
For more information, contact:
Office of Financial Aid
Berklee College of Music
921 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215