2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
    Apr 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Undergraduate Admission



Emerson College welcomes applications from students whose interests and abilities are compatible with a major in communication and the arts and who are well prepared to meet the challenges of a strong liberal arts curriculum. Selection is based upon academic promise as indicated by secondary-school performance, academic recommendations, writing competency, and standardized test results (optional), as well as personal qualities as demonstrated by extracurricular activities, community involvement, and leadership.

Emerson accepts the Common Application and Emerson Application. Students interested in applying should contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission or visit emerson.edu/admission to review application criteria and obtain information about visiting, application deadlines, and financial assistance.

Emerson College
Office of Undergraduate Admission
120 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116-4624
Telephone: (617) 824-8600
Fax: (617) 824-8609
Email: admission@emerson.edu
Web: emerson.edu/admission

Please note: Admission policies and procedures are subject to change at the discretion of the College. Please refer to the website or contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission for the most up-to-date information.

Visiting Emerson

We invite prospective students and their families to visit Boston and see Emerson’s campus and facilities firsthand. Please call us at (617) 824-8600 or go toemerson.edu/visit to learn about available tour and virtual visit options.

Campus Tours and Information Sessions

Student-guided tours are conducted on weekdays and some Saturdays during the academic year (weekdays only during the summer). Optional information sessions follow a similar schedule and are led by an admission representative. The schedule of available tour dates and times can be found at emerson.edu/visit.

Interviews

Undergraduate Admission does not conduct personal interviews. If you would like more information about meeting with an admission counselor in an informal, non-evaluative setting or virtual visit options, please visit emerson.edu/admissions-aid/undergraduate-admission/visit-undergraduate.

First-Year Admission

Emerson welcomes applications from students with strong academic and personal qualities. The academic preparation for successful candidates should include four years of English and at least three years each of mathematics, science, social science, and three years of a single foreign language. The admission committee is interested in how students have challenged themselves academically, balancing hard work with extracurricular activities.

Candidates for first-year admission must submit the following materials by the appropriate application deadline:

  • The Common Application or Emerson Application and application fee ($65)
  • Secondary School Report (with school counselor evaluation)
  • Official secondary school transcript indicating the date, or anticipated date of graduation, or documentation of a high school equivalency examination (GED). Note: An official final transcript with date of graduation is required prior to matriculation. Home-schooled students are required to verify secondary school completion by submitting an official credential issued by a school district, state agency, or a GED.
  • One Teacher Evaluation from a teacher of an academic subject, i.e., English, mathematics, social science, science, or foreign language
  • Optional: official SAT or ACT test results

Please Note: The optional Midyear Report (with first marking period grades) is recommended but may be required, as requested, to complete the application review process.

Important Notes

  • Performing Arts program applicants may only apply for September admission and must complete the required major-specific Artistic Review found online at emerson.edu/PAartisticreview. Please see the Performing Arts Requirements for Admission section.

  • Applicants to the Media Arts Production major within Emerson’s Visual and Media Arts Department are encouraged to submit a creative sample as a part of their application. Please refer to emerson.edu/undergraduate-admission/apply for guidelines regarding media size parameters and acceptable file formats.

  • Applicants to the BFA Comedic Arts major within Emerson’s School of the Arts are required to submit a creative sample as a part of their application. Creative samples can be submitted via emerson.edu/admission/portal. Please refer to emerson.edu/admission/portal for guidelines regarding media size parameters and acceptable file formats.

  • Applicants to the Global BFA in Film Art are required to submit a creative sample as part of their application. All portfolios can be uploaded through the admission portal. Please refer to the Global Portal Program application requirements page for details about portfolio requirements.  

  • Emerson College allows students to submit an application as a Test Optional candidate. Students who feel that their standardized test scores will be beneficial to the review process are encouraged to submit their scores as part of the application process. However, students who feel that their standardized test scores do not effectively represent their skills and talents or effectively demonstrate their ability to succeed within the college environment may opt to forgo submitting them for review. Learn more about the Test Optional policy at emerson.edu/undergraduate-admission/apply/test-optional.

Optional Application Materials

Candidates for programs offered by the Department of Journalism and the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing may submit a graded writing sample, independent writing, or newspaper article in addition to the required admission essay.

Transfer Credit for First-Year Students

Students for whom Emerson College is their first college may transfer in a maximum of 32 credits. This maximum includes transfer courses and exam-based credits (e.g. AP, IB, CLEP) combined. Transfer credit is granted for comparable coursework from accredited two- and four-year institutions that was completed in the last 10 years and received a grade of C or better.

Early Decision

Students who have determined that Emerson is their first choice are invited to apply Early Decision. Early Decision is binding and students who are admitted to Emerson must commit to attending the College. Those who submit an application by the Early Decision deadlines of November 1 (ED1) or January 3 (ED2), will receive decisions in mid-December (ED1) or early February (ED2). Students admitted through Early Decision are required to submit an enrollment deposit by the established deadline outlined in their decision letter.

Early Action

Students for whom Emerson is a top choice are invited to apply for Early Action. Early Action is non-binding, and students who complete an application by the Early Action deadline of November 1 will be sent notification by mid-December. Students admitted through Early Action are encouraged to submit an enrollment deposit as soon as possible, but are not required to do so until May 1.

Regular Admission

First-year candidates for Summer (Global BFA in Film Art) or Fall admission must submit their applications by January 16 (notification by April 1). First-year candidates for January admission must submit their applications and all supporting credentials by November 1 (notification by mid-December). Students who complete their application after the established deadlines will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

International Admission

Emerson welcomes applications from international students and US citizens living outside of the country. Candidates should present their school records along with their results from standardized tests or national examinations. International students applying for first-year admission must submit the Common Application or Emerson Application, application fee (US$65), and supporting credentials (described above) by the appropriate deadline for September or January admission.

In addition, international applicants must submit the following materials:

  • All official secondary school records, certificates, and national examinations (which, if not in English, must be accompanied by an English translation)

  • Optional: SAT or ACT test results

  • Official results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE), or International English Language Testing System (IELTS), if English is not their primary language. (Note: A minimum IELTS score of 7, Internet-based TOEFL score of 90 (with minimum of 20 on each section), PTE Academic of 65, Duolingo English Test of 125 or standardized score of 185 or grade C1 or above on the CAE is required.)

In order to enter the United States to study, international students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States need F-1 Student Visas. To obtain the visa, students must present a valid Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) to a US Embassy or Consulate. The I-20 is issued by Emerson College only to international students who are offered admission, have paid their enrollment deposit, and have submitted satisfactory evidence of financial support (Certification of Finances).

Transfer Admission

Emerson welcomes applications for transfer admission from students with prior coursework at two- and four-year institutions. Admission is competitive and based on academic performance, personal goals, extracurricular or community activities, and/or employment experience. Successful transfer applicants typically have maintained a 3.0 grade point average in previous college work. However, individual circumstances as described in a candidate’s application will be considered. Emerson requires transfer students to complete at least 48 credits at the College, with a minimum of 20 credits in their major, and the final semester at the College.

Candidates for transfer admission must submit the following materials by the appropriate deadline for Fall (September) or Spring (January) admission:

  • The Common Application or Emerson Application for Transfer Students and application fee ($65) or fee waiver

  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended

  • Official final secondary school transcript indicating the date of graduation or GED

  • One Instructor Evaluation from a college professor who has taught them in an academic subject (additional recommendations may be sent from other professors or supervisors at their place of work/internship

  • Optional: official SAT or ACT test results

Additional Instructions

  • Candidates who have been out of school for one year or more must submit a work résumé.
  • Performing Arts program applicants may only apply for September admission and must complete the required major-specific Artistic Review found online at emerson.edu/PAartisticreview. Please see the Performing Arts Requirements for Admission section.
  • Applicants to the Media Arts Production major within Emerson’s Visual and Media Arts Department are encouraged to submit a creative sample as a part of their application. Creative samples can be submitted via emerson.edu/admission/portal and can include a film or video submission of up to five minutes in length, a 5-10 page script or screenplay, an audio or sound clip, or digital photography. Please refer to emerson.edu/undergraduate-admission/apply for guidelines regarding media size parameters and acceptable file formats.

International students applying for transfer admission are required to submit the International Supplement to the Secondary School Report as well as additional documentation, such as a TOEFL score, IELTS score, CAE score, Certification of Finances, or English translation of academic credentials. Please refer to the International Admission section on the website.

Optional Application Materials

Applicants for all programs have the option of submitting additional materials, showcasing their passion for their chosen industry, that may include a graded writing sample, independent writing, newspaper articles or more, in addition to the required admission essay.

Transfer Application Deadlines

The transfer priority deadline (for performing arts applicants, comedic arts applicants, and special scholarship consideration) for September admission is March 15. The rolling admission deadline for Fall (September) admission is June 15. The priority deadline for January admission is November 1. Decisions are released on a rolling basis. Transfer applications completed after the priority deadlines will be reviewed on a space-available basis. Transfer students interested in being considered for a merit scholarship must have a complete application file by March 15. Transfer applications to the Department of Performing Arts must be submitted in time to complete the required major-specific Artistic Review according to the published schedule found online at emerson.edu/PAartisticreview.

Transfer Credit for Transfer Students

Transfer credit is granted for comparable coursework from accredited two- and four-year institutions that was completed in the last 10 years and received a grade of C or better. A maximum of 80 pre-matriculation credits (no more than 64 credits from a junior or community college) may be transferred to Emerson. Post-matriculation, transfer students will be limited to a maximum of 64 transfer credits, including those credits transferred in pre-matriculation. Shortly following an admission offer, students will be able to view a transfer credit evaluation online, which indicates the number of transferable credits, class standing, and the degree requirements satisfied as of the admission date. This online evaluation will be updated as final grades, additional transcripts, and departmental equivalencies are received. The Registrar’s Office may require additional information to evaluate specific transfer credit, such as course descriptions, syllabi, or proof that a nonstandard grade is equivalent to a C or better.

Performing Arts Requirements for Admission

Performing Arts program applicants may only apply for September admission. All Performing Arts program applicants must complete a major-specific Artistic Review. The Artistic Review requirements may be previewed at emerson.edu/PAartisticreview.

Prescreen. Students interested in the BFA program in  Musical Theatre must submit and pass  a prescreen in order to continue with the audition process. Prescreens should be submitted online through the Emerson Acceptd Portal. Please refer to emerson.edu/PAartisticreview to preview the prescreen requirements.

Audition. Auditions are required of applicants to the BFA  programs Musical Theatre, Theatre and Performance, and Theatre Education and Performance. Auditions are held virtually, in Boston, and in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles as a part of the National Unified Auditions (unifiedauditions.com). All auditions are scheduled online through the Acceptd Application Portal. Please refer to emerson.edu/PAartisticreview to preview the audition requirements and the complete audition schedule.

Interview and Portfolio. Students interested in the BFA programs in Stage and Production Management or Theatre Design/Technology must prepare a portfolio of their work and interview with a faculty member. All interviews are scheduled online through the Acceptd Application Portal. Please refer to emerson.edu/PAartisticreview for the interview and portfolio requirements and the complete interview schedule.

Essay. Students applying for the BFA programs in Theatre Education or Theatre must complete the major-specific essay in the Acceptd Application Portal. Please refer to emerson.edu/PAartisticreview for complete instructions. This additional essay is not required of applicants to the BFA programs in Theatre Education and Performance and Theatre and Performance.

Résumé. All applicants for Department of Performing Arts programs are required to upload a brief résumé of theatrical work in the Performing Arts Artistic Review section of the Application Portal. Résumé guidelines differ by program; please refer to emerson.edu/PAartisticreview for specific instructions.

Please note: Artistic Review policies and procedures are subject to change at the discretion of the College. Please refer to emerson.edu/PAartisticreview for the most up-to-date information.

Admission to the Honors Program

The Emerson College Honors Program is a four-year interdisciplinary approach to education. It offers individual mentoring and advising, special lectures, collaborative research projects, and faculty-directed independent study. Admission is very selective and limited to first-year candidates applying for September admission. More information about the program and application process is available online at emerson.edu/honors-program.

Admission Fees

Students should expect to incur the following costs during the admission and matriculation process:

  • A $65 nonrefundable application fee
  • A $500 nonrefundable enrollment deposit to confirm acceptance of admission to the College (applied toward first-semester charges). Please note: For students confirming their acceptance of admission to the Global BFA in Film Art major, the nonrefundable enrollment deposit is $1,000.

Advanced Standing

A maximum of one year or 32 credits of advanced standing may be awarded through certain college-level examinations (or combination of examinations).

For first-year students entering in Fall 2017 or later, credits awarded for college-level examinations and other transfer coursework combined may not exceed 32 credits.

Students may not receive credit twice for different exams taken in the same subject, e.g., AP and IB in mathematics. Official evaluations of advanced standing credit are made after students receive an admission offer, and only when official examination results are submitted for credit consideration. Examples of examinations for advanced standing include:

 Advanced Placement Program (AP)

AP test scores of 4 or 5 will receive 4 credits (one full course) in the area of the exam.

AP Exam Min Scores Emerson Equivalency Credits
Art History 4 or 5 Fulfills the Aesthetic Perspective 4
Biology 4 or 5 Fulfills the Scientific Perspective 4
Calculus (AB or BC) 4 or 5 Fulfills the Quantitative Reasoning Perspective 4
Chemistry 4 or 5 Fulfills the Scientific Perspective 4
Computer Science 4 or 5 General elective credits only 4
Economics (Micro or Macro) 4 or 5 Fulfills the Social & Psychological Perspective 4
English Language 4 or 5 General elective credits only 4
English Literature 4 or 5 Fulfills the Literary Perspective 4
Environmental Science 4 or 5 Fulfills the Scientific Perspective 4
European History 4 or 5 Fulfills the History & Politics Perspective 4
Foreign Language 4 or 5 Fulfills the World Languages Perspective 8
Human Geography 4 or 5 General elective credits only 4
Music Theory 4 or 5 General elective credits only 4
Physics 4 or 5 Fulfills the Scientific Perspective 4
Psychology or Sociology 4 or 5 Fulfills the Social & Psychological Perspective 4
Statistics 4 or 5 Fulfills the Quantitative Reasoning Perspective 4
Studio Art 4 or 5 General elective credits only 4
US Government & Politics 4 or 5 Fulfills the History & Politics Perspective 4
US History 4 or 5 Fulfills the History & Politics Perspective 4
World History 4 or 5 Fulfills the History & Politics Perspective 4

British General Certificate of Education, Advanced Level

Course credit will be awarded for grades A, B, or C with the exception of the English exam, which requires a score of A or B for credit. The amount of credit will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

International Baccalaureate

Credit is awarded for higher-level examinations with scores of 4, 5, 6, or 7, with the exception of Language A/English, for which a score of 6 or 7 is required. Credit is granted for standard-level exams with a score of 7.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Official CLEP examination scores of 50 or better may receive 3 credits per exam, with the exception of the second foreign language exams. Foreign language exams with a score of 50 will be awarded 6 credits per exam.

Emerson recognizes the academic value of other national educational systems and may consider certain examination results, certificates, and coursework for advanced standing credit, such as the Abitur, Swiss Maturite, European Baccalaureate, and Canadian CEGEP 13th year.

Deferred Admission

Students who wish to postpone (defer) their enrollment, for up to one academic year, must pay a nonrefundable $500 enrollment deposit (which will be applied toward the first-semester charges) and submit a request through the Admission Portal to the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Students who undertake academic work in the interim may be required to reapply or reactivate their application by submitting official transcripts for review. Performing Arts majors may not defer admission to a spring enrollment term.

Readmission from a Leave of Absence

Students may take a leave of absence from the College for a period of up to two years. During this two-year period, students are eligible for readmission to the College through the Office of Student Success. Readmission to a Performing Arts BFA program is contingent upon course sequencing and space within the program. Students planning to return to the College must contact the Office of Student Success (617-824-8650) by the established deadline for the semester under consideration and return a Request for Readmission Form. Students returning from a Health Leave of Absence will also need to submit a Health Readiness to Return Form. There is no guarantee of readmission and formal approval for readmission is required. If granted readmission, students will fall under the same academic and social standing as when they left. Once readmitted, students are encouraged to work with a staff member from the Academic Advising Center in order to register for classes.

Students who wish to return to the College more than two years after their last semester of enrollment must submit a new application to the Office of Undergraduate Admission and be subject to current admission standards. Credit for Emerson work previously completed is subject to course approval, and students would follow the catalog in effect for the term in which they are readmitted.

Students with Disabilities

Emerson College is committed to providing access to its academic programs and social activities for all qualified students with disabilities. While upholding this commitment, we maintain the high standards of achievement that are essential to the College’s programs and services. In advancing these dual aims, we ensure that the College’s policies, practices, and procedures conform to federal and state statutes and regulations. Our philosophy is that students are independent and self-determined and that students with disabilities-just like all students-have control over their lives here at Emerson and are ultimately responsible for making their own decisions.

For information and details pertaining to documentation and accommodations, contact the director of Student Accessibility Services at 617-824-8592 or sas@emerson.edu, or visitemerson.edu/student-accessibility-services for details.

Change of Major

Students select a major at the time they apply for admission to Emerson College by designating their preference on their application for admission. Students who were undecided about their major at the time they applied for admission are encouraged to declare a major at any time before entering their junior year at Emerson (that is, before earning more than 64 credits toward graduation). Students who want to explore changing their declared major must meet with a professional academic advisor at the Academic Advising Center to discuss if this curricular change is feasible within their anticipated graduate timeline and if they meet the eligibility/application requirements set by the academic department. All major change requests also require the permission of the department chair of the desired major.

  • Students who would like to request a change of major prior to matriculation may complete the Change of Major request form online through the Admission Portal. Requests made prior to May 15 (or December 15 for spring admits) will be reviewed by Undergraduate Admission. Requests made after May 15 (or December 15 for spring admits) will be reviewed by the Academic Advising Center. Major change decisions are based on seat/space availability and competitiveness of the program entry requirements.

  • Once enrolled, details regarding the major change process are available from the Academic Advising Center at advising@emerson.eduor (617) 824-7876. Students are expected to meet with a professional advisor to further discuss their academic pursuits in advance of making this formal request

Students within the Visual and Media Arts Department and those majoring in Business of Creative Enterprises may not double-major. Those interested in transferring into either of these departments must meet the eligibility/GPA requirements and application deadlines in order to be considered for acceptance.

Additional Information

Emerson College reserves the right to rescind its offer of admission if the College receives information that indicates an applicant: provided misleading information in connection with an application, made incomplete or inaccurate statements, submitted false material in connection with an admission application, had a significant decline in academic performance after submitting the application, engaged in academic misconduct, engaged in disciplinary misconduct at any academic institution or with an employer, engaged in legally prohibited behavior, or otherwise acted in a manner inconsistent with the College’s Code of Community Standards or mission.