About the Transition
Starting in the January 2022 semester, Berklee Online will transition our Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) programs to a Bachelor of Arts (BA). Though the requirements of a BA are nearly identical to a BPS, a BA is more universally recognized by the music industry and will better prepare you to deal with the complexity, diversity, and change you may encounter in your music career.
Employers often cite interdisciplinary and integrated learning, flexibility, problem-solving, and communication skills as desirable features of a degree, and Berklee Online’s new BA has been restructured to emphasize all of these characteristics. The BA serves as a stepping stone to a number of different paths, including immediate employment and advanced study.
The BA will help you develop strong intellectual and practical skills, such as communication, industry analysis, and problem-solving, along with the ability to apply this knowledge in real-world settings.
Students Who Have Completed Fewer than 90 Credits
Students who are currently pursuing a BPS degree in the single majors listed below, have completed fewer than 90 credits, and are meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress will have their program converted to a BA in October 2021.
If a student does not wish to convert to a BA, they will need to complete the Request to Retain Program form by October 25, 2021.
Students Who Have Completed 90 Credits or More
Students in one of the majors below who have earned more than 90 credits, or who are not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress would not have their program automatically converted to a BA. Any student in this category can submit a Change of Major form to have their degree changed to the BA in October 2021. Please note that due to some changes in the requirements for each program, additional coursework may be required which could delay graduation.
- Electronic Music Production and Sound Design
- Guitar (changing to Guitar Performance)
- Interdisciplinary Music Studies
- Music Business
- Music Composition for Film, TV, and Games
- Music Production
- Songwriting and Producing Music
Students pursuing a BPS degree in Writing and Producing Music, as well as those pursuing a double major will not have their programs converted to a BA, as those majors are no longer offered. Students in these majors who wish to change to a BA will need to work with an advisor to choose a new major.
New Music Business Students
The BA in Music Business does not include a core music requirement (Music Theory, Ear Training, Piano, etc). Please note: students who remain in the BPS degree in Music Business will need to complete the core music section as indicated in their program requirements.
Students who will be completing all of their requirements for their program during the June 2021 or September 2021 semester will not be eligible to change to a BA. In addition, students who have already graduated will not be eligible to change their degree to the BA.
Alumni who have earned a BPS degree cannot return and earn a BA in the same area of study. They are welcome to pursue a BA in different areas of study.
Students Not Meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress
Students on academic probation for not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards will not have their program automatically converted to a BA. Students not meeting SAP standards who wish to change to a BA must complete the Change of Major form. All program change requests will be reviewed and students will be notified if their request is approved.
Students who have been dismissed from the BPS degree program for not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards can petition to be reinstated into their program. To be considered for reinstatement, students must take a minimum of 6 credits outside of their degree program, either with Berklee Online or another regionally accredited institution. The courses taken should apply towards their degree program. It is important to note that a student who wishes to change to the BA upon reinstatement should consult with an academic advisor to ensure the courses they choose to take will apply to the new program. If they are approved for reinstatement, they can then submit a request to change their program to the BA. Learn more about the reinstatement process.
What does this mean for incoming students?
If you are entering a Berklee Online bachelor’s degree program during or after the January 2022 semester, then your program is a BA.
I think the additional coursework I have taken elsewhere may be applicable to my new program. How do I have those courses evaluated?
If your program is being automatically switched from a BPS to a BA you can fill out the Transfer Credit Re-Evaluation form. If your program is not automatically being switched, there will be a question on the Change of Major form that will allow you to request re-evaluation of your transfer credits.
If I withdrew from a BPS program, can I return and pursue a BA?
Yes. Starting in Winter 2022, all reenrollment requests will be processed for the bachelor of arts program. Students can request to return by completing the Degree Reenrollment form, provided they are in good academic and financial standing.
I am using military benefits for my BPS program. Will my program be changed to a BA?
Students receiving the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, and Survivors and Dependents VA benefits will automatically be switched to a BA if they have completed fewer than 90 credits and are meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Students who have completed 90 credits or more, or are not meeting SAP can submit a change of major/program form if they wish to change to a BA.
Students utilizing VR&E Voc Rehab or Federal Military Tuition Assistance should coordinate with the Military Affairs team by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. If these students wish to change their program, they will need to submit a change of major/program form.
If I choose to continue pursuing a BPS, how much time will I have to complete the program?
Students continuing to pursue a Bachelor of Professional Studies will need to complete all of their requirements by January 1, 2029.
How can I see the new requirements for my program once it has been changed to a BA?
You can access a copy of your official degree audit by logging into my.berklee.edu and selecting Degree Audit—Compare Degree Majors. This will show you the requirements of your new program as well as how your completed courses fit into this program.
I am a student at one of Berklee Online’s Academic Partnership Schools. How will this affect me?
We are currently working with our partners to update our transfer credit agreements to reflect this change. In the meantime, if you are interested in applying to Berklee Online for the Winter 2022 semester or have specific questions about your coursework, please contact us directly at email@example.com and we will be happy to assist you.
If you have any questions regarding this change and how it applies to you, contact an Academic Advisor at 1-866-BERKLEE (or +1-617-747-2146 if you’re outside the US) or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.