2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
    May 23, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Academic Regulations



Emerson College is the only institution of higher education in the United States to concentrate solely on offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs for students interested in pursuing careers in communication and the arts. Unlike most institutions of higher education, Emerson does not simply treat communication as one among many departments. Instead, all of the College’s major programs focus on some aspect of communication.

The object of the Liberal Arts Curriculum and each major program is to create an environment sufficient to challenge and support students as they develop the ability to speak and write effectively, to think analytically, to understand the present as it relates to the past, to reflect on fundamental beliefs, and to master the necessary skills to achieve career objectives.

These programs lead to one of the following undergraduate degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Music (offered in association with the Longy School of Music in Cambridge).

Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

Baccalaureate degree requirements are established by the faculty through the Academic Policy Committee and the Faculty Assembly. Upon completion of the requirements, students are recommended for graduation by the faculty to the Board of Trustees. Degrees are awarded on August 30, December 30, and at commencement in May.

The curriculum is flexible within certain requirements and guidelines. Students are advised to keep in close contact with the Academic Advising Center, their faculty advisor, and their School’s dean regarding official program requirements. It should be noted that not all courses are offered each semester.

  • Baccalaureate degree candidates must satisfactorily complete the Liberal Arts Curriculum, specific requirements for a major, and general electives in order to earn a minimum of 128 semester credit hours with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
  • Transfer students must complete a minimum of five full courses in their major at Emerson College, regardless of the number of credits transferred into the students’ major. A “full course” is defined as a 4-credit course or two 2-credit courses. Transfer courses must bear a minimum of 2.67 credits  and a grade of C or better to fulfill a course requirement. Only the number of credits transferred will count toward the 128 credits needed for graduation. Transfer course grades are not reflected on the Emerson transcript nor do they factor into the Emerson GPA.
  • Students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 96 credits at Emerson College. This policy does not apply to transfer students, who are required to complete a minimum of 48 credits at Emerson College.
  • Students must complete their final 16 credits at Emerson College.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all degree requirements are met as specified in this catalog. Failure to be aware of a provision does not excuse a student from adhering to policy. While each student has an academic or faculty advisor, that individual only provides advice. Students bear the ultimate responsibility for understanding their degree requirements, selecting their courses, making decisions with respect to their academic pursuits, and utilizing this catalog, their degree audit, and the various campus resources that aid in academic success . All academic and financial requirements must be met before a degree candidate may participate in the College’s annual commencement exercises or receive their diploma.
  • Prior to their final semester, students are required to complete an Intent to Graduate Form. Upon completion of all requirements for graduation, students will be graduated by the College. Students who wish to extend their program of study beyond their degree requirements are strongly encouraged to consult with their financial aid advisor prior to registration as eligibility for financial assistance may be affected.
  • Students must fulfill the degree requirements in effect at the time they matriculate (enroll for their first course), or any complete set of requirements adopted by the institution and published in a subsequent catalog (picking and choosing among elements of various catalogs is not permitted). However, students who take more than seven years to complete their degree requirements must fulfill the requirements in effect at the time they graduate rather than the requirements in effect when they matriculate.

Fields of Study

Majors

Majors are offered in the School of the Arts, School of Communication, and Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies.A major that leads to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree may consist of 36 to 52 credit hours. A major that results in a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree may consist of 56 to 72 credit hours. Students should consult the appropriate program section of this catalog for complete information on specific major requirements.

Double Major

Students may elect to have a double major by fulfilling all the requirements for a major in two different departments. Students within the programs of Visual and Media Arts, Business of Creative Enterprise, or Media Psychology may not double major. Students cannot use the same course to fulfill a requirement in both majors. Students who successfully complete two majors only earn one undergraduate degree.

Minor Programs

Minors give students the opportunity to explore an area outside their major field(s) of study. Students cannot use the same course to fulfill a requirement in both the major and the minor or use the same course to fulfill a requirement in two minors. A minor consists of 16-20 credits of related coursework, which have been approved by the department in which the minor is offered. Students may count credits from the Liberal Arts Curriculum toward the minor, with limits set according to departmental guidelines.

Internship Credits

View Internship Requirements & Responsibilities policy

The College encourages qualified students to participate in internships to gain practical experience and develop professional contacts. Four- or 8-credit internships are available to juniors and seniors (students with at least 64 credits) who have a minimum 2.7 GPA. A 4-credit internship requires 16 hours a week over a 12-week period and an 8-credit internship requires 32 hours a week over a 12-week period. Internships shorter than 12 weeks must have a proportional increased number of hours per week. Internships must be no shorter than 10 weeks. No more than 13 credits of any combination of PDE, CDE, and Internship credits may be applied to the total graduation requirements. Students must have their internship submitted and approved through the Career Development Center (see Campus Life section) prior to starting work. See the appropriate departmental requirements for further specifications, including course prerequisites, and the Academic Calendar for registration deadlines. Students seeking a credit-bearing internship in Los Angeles during the fall and spring terms must be enrolled in the Emerson College Los Angeles Program, attend the LA Program Orientation, and have their internship submitted to and approved by Emerson Los Angeles’ Internship Placement Team.

Community Development Experience

The 1-credit Community Development Experience (CDE), is designed to provide students with an opportunity to connect with community partners through civic engagement and hands-on professional experience. The CDE should be 2-12 weeks in length and a minimum of 50 hours. Students must have completed two semesters in college with at least one at Emerson and maintain a minimum 2.7 GPA.To participate in a CDE, students must work with the Career Development Center to complete the CDE approval process. No more than 2 CDE credits may be applied to the total graduation requirements.

Professional Development Experience

The 1-credit Professional Development Experience (PDE) is designed to provide students with an opportunity for experiential learning. The PDE should be 2-12 weeks in length and a minimum of 50 hours. Students must have completed two semesters in college with at least one at Emerson and maintain a minimum 2.7 GPA. To participate in the PDE program, students must work with the Career Development Center to complete the PDE approval process. No more than 2 PDE credits may be applied to the total graduation requirements.

Academic Policies

Declaring or Changing a 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 before entering their junior year at Emerson (that is, before earning more than 64 credits toward graduation). Students who want to change their declared major must request  permission from  the department chair of the desired major. Upon approval, the Academic Advising Center will process this major change request on behalf of the student. 

Any current student wishing to transfer into the Visual and Media Arts Department, Business of Creative Enterprises or Media Psychology majors must submit an application by the designated semester deadline. Students are encouraged to proactively connect with an academic advisor to further discuss the details regarding the application process, eligibility requirements (GPA minimum), and alternative major options if acceptance is not granted as space is limited. Current students may request to change into any major offered by the Department of Performing Arts except BFA Musical Theatre and BFA Acting. Please read the section titled “Change of Major into Performing Arts” under “Schools and Departments” for complete details.

Academic Advisors

All students are assigned an academic advisor, either a departmental faculty advisor or a professional advisor in the Academic Advising Center. Academic advisors are available to meet with students seeking advice about academic planning, course selection, or any other academic concern. Students are encouraged, and in many cases required, to meet with their academic advisor before they can register for courses. Academic advisors provide consult, but students bear the ultimate responsibility for understanding their degree requirements,selecting their courses, making decisions with respect to their academic pursuits, and utilizing this catalog, their degree audit, and the various campus resources that aid in academic success Students who want to change their academic advisor may file an online request at emerson.edu/advising.

Registration for Enrolled Students

Matriculated students have priority for course selection according to the number of cumulative credits earned at the time of registration. The Office of Student Accounts must financially clear students in order to register. Financial balances must be paid and students must agree to the terms and conditions outlined in the Emerson College Student Agreement in order to register. Registration dates are listed in the Academic Calendar. Registration guidelines are emailed to all currently enrolled students. Course schedule information can be found on eCommon. Students are responsible for following the registration instructions, which are posted online at emerson.edu/ecommon

Students who do not register by the deadlines listed on the Academic Calendar are assessed a $50 late registration fee. Students who fail to make financial arrangements for payment with the Office of Student Accounts prior to the set payment deadline may have their registration (and housing, if applicable) canceled. Students who are not registered for courses by the second week of the semester will be administratively withdrawn for non-attendance.

Matriculated students who are employed by Emerson College and eligible for the tuition benefit are required to submit the requisite tuition benefit paperwork to Human Resources for approval prior to registering for courses. Employees who have had their paperwork approved will be allowed to register for classes after the initial registration period for the semester has concluded.

Prerequisites

A prerequisite course or a minimum class standing (credits completed) may be required prior to taking an advanced course. Waiver of a prerequisite course is not routine and may be obtained only from the department chair. Credits are not awarded for prerequisite waivers.

Course Number Guide

First-year-level courses 100/200 numbers
Sophomore-level courses 100/200 numbers
Junior-level courses 300/400 numbers
Senior-level courses, not open to first years 300/400 numbers
Graduate-level courses, open to graduate students only 600 numbers

Auditing a Course

View Auditing a Course policy

Matriculated Emerson students who wish to attend a class without working for, or expecting to receive, formal credit may register to audit the course. Students who audit a course may not participate in class, do not take examinations, and do not submit papers. Students may only audit lecture-type courses; students may not audit acting, dance, and production courses or voice lessons. Students must gain permission to audit a course from the instructor and may not register to audit a course until the first day of classes in order to give priority to students needing to take a course for credit. Students may not attend any course without registering for either credit or audit. Students may not change an audit class to credit after the second week of classes. Consult the Financial Policies section of this catalog regarding the cost of auditing a course. Students must be registered for at least one 4-credit course in the semester in which they wish to also audit a class.

Course Load

Undergraduates carrying 12-16 credits in a semester are classified as full-time. To graduate in eight semesters, a student must average 16 credits per term. Students who are registered for 12 to16 credits during the fall and spring semesters must pay flat-rate full-time tuition; undergraduates who are registered for fewer than 12 credits during the fall and spring semesters are considered part-time students and are billed at a per-credit rate. Because enrollment status affects financial aid awards, students should consult the Office of Financial Aid to determine how a change in enrollment status would affect eligibility for financial aid.

Credit Overload

View Credit Overload policy

Students desiring to take more than 16 tuition credits during a semester must have a cumulative average of 2.7 or higher to be academically cleared to overload. Students may not take more than 4 overload credits. With the exception of voice, dance, and non-tuition courses, first-semester students may not overload as they have yet to earn an Emerson GPA.. Overload courses are billed on a per-credit basis and require financial clearance from the Office of Student Accounts. Students enrolled in the Global BFA in Film Art who are attending classes at the Paris College of Art may not take more than 19 credits, and are considered full-time and not overloading if they are taking between 12 and 19 credits.

Eligible students may overload courses in fall and spring semesters after the semester’s initial week of registration. Eligible students may also overload in summer semesters, but cannot take more than 12 credits in an individual summer session. Students who wish to overload in a summer semester should email registrar@emerson.edu once summer  registration has opened.

Directed Studies and Directed Projects

View Directed Study or Directed Project policy

In a 2 or 4-credit directed study or project, students work closely with a faculty supervisor in designing and carrying out a project for credit. Directed studies or projects may not duplicate existing courses. Directed study or directed project proposals must be approved by the faculty member supervising your directed study and the department chair prior to the end of the examination period of the preceding semester. Directed studies are open only to juniors and seniors (students with at least 64 credits) with a minimum 3.0 GPA. A student may not count more than 8 credits of any combination of directed studies and directed projects toward the total graduation requirements. See the appropriate departmental requirements for further specifications and the Academic Calendar for submission and registration deadlines.

Practica

Practica provide students with the opportunity to gain theoretical and practical experience in a specialized area. Practica are designed by the faculty and vary on an annual basis. For further information about a practicum, students should consult their department chair.

Non-tuition Credits

The College offers a number of 1-credit, Pass/Fail non-tuition options for matriculated undergraduate students. The non-tuition options may be repeated for credit but only 4 non-tuition credits may be applied toward the 128-credit minimum required for graduation. Non-tuition credits may not fulfill any major, minor, or Liberal Arts requirement.

Courses at Other Institutions

View Transfer Credit policy

New first-time students at Emerson College (not transfer students) may take courses at non affiliated institutions up to a maximum of 32 transfer credits. The 32-credit limit includes all pre-matriculation credits and exam-based credits (e.g., AP, IB, CLEP), as well as credits taken after matriculation. Students transferring into Emerson College from another institution may transfer in a maximum of 80 pre-matriculation credits, with no more than 64 of those credits from a junior or community college and no more than 32 credits from exams (e.g., AP, IB, CLEP). Post-matriculation, transfer students will be limited to a maximum of 64 transfer credits, including those credits transferred in pre-matriculation. Students who matriculated at Emerson prior to Fall 2017, and for whom Emerson College is their first college, may transfer in a maximum of 64 credits, with a maximum of 32 exam-based credits (e.g., AP, IB, CLEP). Transfer courses must be taken at a regionally accredited college or university in the United States-coursework taken at a foreign institution will require special clearance.

Approval of coursework for transfer, particularly within the major, is not automatic. Students must submit courses for pre-approval through eCommon and have them approved by the Office of the Registrar before registering at another institution. Students must achieve a minimum grade of C in each course requested for transfer. Transfer course grades are not reflected on the Emerson transcript nor do they factor into the Emerson GPA. Students with junior or senior status (64+ credits) may only request transfer credit for courses taken at a four-year, baccalaureate-degree granting institution. (Community colleges are not eligible.) It is the student’s responsibility to have an official transcript of courses taken mailed directly from the other institution to the Emerson College Office of the Registrar. Quarter hours and trimester hours will be reduced to semester hour credits. Transfer courses must bear a minimum of 2.67 credits to fulfill a course requirement. Courses taken at other institutions that are three (3) semester hours can meet a Liberal Arts or major requirement at Emerson College. However, the course will not be awarded the 4-credit equivalent. Potential major equivalencies must be pre-approved by the department chair and may often require the review of a course syllabus.

Adding and Dropping Courses

View Adding/Dropping a Course policy

During the fall and spring semesters, all add/drop activity takes place online during the first two weeks of classes via eCommon. After the first week of the semester, students may only drop courses online on eCommon. Adding courses requires online permission from the instructor and must be processed in person at the Office of the Registrar. After the first two weeks of classes, no course can be added except by an approved petition through the Office of the Registrar. If approved, students are responsible for any tuition increases or financial aid changes that result from late additions to their schedules. Late registrations for summer courses require prepayment of all tuition and fees before registrations can be processed. All approved late registrations are assessed a $50 late registration fee. Dropping a course after the 10th day of classes, resulting in refund issues, is not permitted except through a petition approved through the Office of the Registrar at registrar@emerson.edu. Students who are not registered for a semester may not add any classes after the add/drop period, even with instructor permission.

Withdrawing from a Course

View Course Withdrawal policy

Students may withdraw from a course after the 10th day of classes and before approximately the last three weeks of classes (or two weeks of a summer session course). Check the Academic Calendar for course withdrawal deadlines. Students who wish to withdraw from a course must obtain a Course Withdrawal Form from the Registrar’s Office website. Students must sign the form in order to acknowledge the course withdrawal policy and terms. The instructor must sign the form and award one of two grades: WP (Withdrawn Pass) or WF (Withdrawn Fail), neither of which impacts the GPA. 

The course and grade will appear on the student’s transcript. It is the student’s responsibility to submit the signed form to the Office of the Registrar (180 Tremont Street, Fourth Floor or via registrar@emerson.edu) before the deadline posted on the Academic Calendar. A withdrawal does not constitute successful completion of a course. This may affect a student’s academic standing-students who fail to successfully complete at least 75 percent of attempted coursework have not made satisfactory academic progress. No refund is given to students who withdraw from a course.

Repeating a Course / Grade Forgiveness

View Repeating a Course policy

A student who fails a course may repeat the same course in an attempt to receive a passing grade. Both courses, and the grades received, are part of the student’s permanent record and will be reflected on the Emerson transcript. However, only the passing grade will be included in the student’s cumulative grade point average. A student who fails the same course more than once may only have one F grade excluded from their GPA. A student who fails a Topics course must enroll in the same course topic to have the original F excluded from their GPA. Please note that repeating the same course could impact financial aid eligibility.

Standards of Classroom Behavior

The primary responsibility for managing the classroom rests with the faculty. Students who engage in any prohibited or unlawful acts that result in disruption of a class may be directed by the faculty member to leave the class for the remainder of the class period. Longer suspensions from a class or dismissal on disciplinary grounds must be preceded by a disciplinary hearing

Attendance

View Attendance policy

Students are expected to attend classes regularly and promptly and are responsible for all coursework done while they are absent. Individual instructors determine the number of times a student may be absent or tardy before a grade is lowered. In classes in which attendance is required, students are responsible for notifying the instructor in advance of unavoidable absences. Students must adhere to individual instructors’ attendance policies. Attending an out-of-class activity or event for another course may not be used as an excuse to disregard a given class’s attendance policy. A faculty member may not require a student to attend specified out-of-class activities that conflict with the student’s schedule for another class.

The Emerson Wellness Center (EWC) encourages students to practice self-care and adhere to common public health practices and college policy when they have a health condition that necessitates their absence from class. Students should contact their professor according to the guidance provided in the course syllabus.

Emerson Wellness Center clinicians can provide students with clinical guidance by phone or appointment; however, they do not provide excused absence notices for missing class or academic obligations. EWC may recommend alteration of academic requirements, deferment of responsibilities, non-participation in certain activities, and other appropriate measures to faculty when indicated as part of the clinical management for the student’s health condition. The student’s written authorization is required for this notification, as well as for a request to verify the nature and dates of the condition to a faculty member who may inquire.

Prolonged Absence

When a student anticipates or experiences a prolonged absence due to accident or illness, the student should immediately notify the Office of Student Success and each of their instructors. Under these circumstances, the student is advised to work with each instructor to either obtain a course withdrawal, or if they are in good standing within a given course and it is near the end of the term, discuss the possibility of an Incomplete grade. Depending on the situation, it may be advisable to arrange a leave of absence for the semester in question via the Office of Student Success.

Absence for Religious Observance

View Religious Observance Attendance policy

Massachusetts law and Emerson College policy require faculty and staff to accommodate students who are absent due to religious observance and to provide them with a reasonable opportunity to make up an examination, study, or work requirement missed due to their religious observance, provided such accommodation does not create an unreasonable burden.

There are many factors that influence how faculty and staff structure their semester calendars, including the College’s academic calendar, the scheduling of service learning opportunities, and the scheduling of performance dates. In their planning process, we invite faculty and staff to use the comprehensive multi-faith holiday calendar found on emerson.edu/departments/spiritual-life as they identify key due dates and consider how students’ religious traditions may impact their attendance, availability, and participation. 

We particularly encourage faculty and staff to pay special attention to work-restricted holidays (indicated on the multi-faith calendar with “no work”). These are days that faith practitioners will focus their attention on their faith and will not be able to attend a course/meeting/rehearsal, or may not be available to communicate with their peers, professors or staff. It is recommended to avoid scheduling important or mandatory events on work-restricted holidays or if that’s not possible, to provide alternate accommodations. 

Students are encouraged to take the initiative at the beginning of the semester to share religious observances/dates and work with faculty to create a plan for turning in assignments, making up missed work, etc. It is suggested that students contact their faculty about needs and the agreed-upon plan to stay up to date in the course two weeks in advance of the anticipated absence.

Dignity, empathy, care and accountability are all important as both faculty and students consider how they can work together so that students can demonstrate their skills and knowledge while also observing their religious traditions. Doing so will require timely communication, agreed- upon timelines, and flexibility. Possible topics for students to include in conversations with professors include:

  • Which date(s) you anticipate needing to be absent due to a work-restricted holiday
  • Does the professor expect a reminder email closer to the date of your requested religious
  • observation? If so, within what time frame?
  • An explanation of any recurring accommodations you are seeking (daily prayers, observance
  • of the Sabbath, etc.)
  • How and by when the professor expects you to either submit assignments due on the day of your absence or “make-up” they require in order to confirm your completion of coursework
  • Whether the professor expects you to take a quiz or test prior to or following your absence
  • Your plan for successful participation in any group projects or assignments despite your
  • planned absence.
  • Whether your absence will be coded as excused or unexcused

For further guidance, please consult the resource guides for Students, Faculty, and Staff, available on emerson.edu/departments/spiritual-life.

Absence Because of Jury Duty

Any US citizen 18 years or older who resides in Massachusetts for 50 percent or more of the calendar year is eligible to be called for jury duty. However, keep in mind that the laws have been modified both to shorten the length of jury duty and to allow people to schedule their duty at a convenient time. For more information, students may visit www.mass.gov/jury-duty. Faculty will provide a reasonable substitute or compensatory opportunities for any required work missed so long as it does not create an unreasonable burden upon the College.

Withdrawal/Leave of Absence from the College

View Leave of Absence policy

All students considering a withdrawal or leave of absence from Emerson must report to the Office of Student Success to file the appropriate form. Students who subsequently choose to return to the College return at the same academic standing at which they left. Students who have filed a withdrawal or leave of absence are not eligible to participate in varsity or intramural athletics, student clubs and organizations, student employment programs, or any other College-sponsored activity or program. Resident students who take a leave are required to vacate College housing immediately. A leave of absence is valid for a period of two years from the date of the leave. During this two-year period, students are eligible for readmission to the College through the Office of Student Success. Students planning to return to the College must contact the Office of Student Success by the established deadline for the semester under consideration and submit an online Request for Readmission Form via emerson.edu/student-success/leave-absence-readmission. Readmission to a Performing Arts BFA program is contingent upon course sequencing and space within the program.

Students who wish to return to the College more than two years after their last semester of enrollment must contact the Office of Student Success and may be required to submit a new application to the Office of Undergraduate Admission and be subject to current admission standards. Please note that students are considered to be on leave from the College based on the date of their last enrollment whether or not they file the appropriate form.

Call to Active Duty and Military Withdrawal

Students called to active duty in the armed forces of the United States for more than two consecutive weeks during a term should initiate a military withdrawal from Emerson College by presenting an official copy of their military orders to the Office of Student Success. This must be done at the time a student is required to stop attending classes.

Students who are called to active duty during a semester or session and are approved for a military withdrawal will not be charged tuition for the semester of withdrawal. Students living on campus will be charged a room and board assessment to cover housing and meal plan expenses already incurred.

The Office of Financial Aid will review eligibility for aid funds already received by the student. Students will be evaluated and advised on the status of their financial aid based on the date of their withdrawal. Students will also be advised of actions required to defer loan(s) repayments based on active military duty.

No refunds will be made until the military withdrawal has been approved by the Office of Student Success and processed by all offices.

At the time the student is discharged from military service or is placed on inactive duty, the student will be eligible for “military reinstatement” to Emerson College at the start of the following semester. Upon their return, the student will have direct access to the same major in place at the time of withdrawal.

Reinstatement after Serving on Active Duty

Students whose absence from the College results from being called to active duty for more than two consecutive weeks will be reinstated to the College with the same academic status if: (1) they provide notice of such service, and other documentation required by law, to the Office of Student Success; (2) within three years of their completion of service (or within two years after any period necessary to recover from an injury incurred or aggravated during such service), they notify the Office of Student Success in writing of their intent to return; (3) the cumulative length of all absences from the College for service in the armed forces of the United States does not exceed five years; and (4) the student has not attended another college/university during the period of “military withdrawal.” Refer to emerson.edu/veterans for more information.

Class Standing

The Office of the Registrar determines each student’s class standing. First-years have completed fewer than 32 credits, sophomores from 32 to 63 credits, juniors from 64 to 95 credits, and seniors 96 or more credits. Credits completed do not include in-progress coursework or outstanding Incomplete grades.

Credit Evaluation for Graduation

Every student must file an Intent to Graduate Form via the Office of the Registrar. The Intent to Graduate Form is electronic and can be accessed via gradapp.emerson.edu. It is the sole responsibility of the student to ensure that all degree requirements as specified in this catalog are met. Failure to be aware of a provision does not excuse a student from adhering to it.

Participation in May Commencement for Prospective August Graduates

Students planning to complete their degree requirements as of September may participate in the College’s May commencement ceremony provided the following requirements are met: (1) The student must submit an Intent to Graduate Form by the deadline stated on the Academic Calendar. (2) The student must register and pay for the final coursework by the posted deadline. (3) The student must request commencement tickets online. Participation is allowed with the understanding that August graduates do not receive a diploma until degree completion. Please see the Academic Calendar for specific dates and deadlines.

Undergraduate Degree Time Limit

All requirements for a degree must be met within seven years of the student’s date of matriculation at Emerson College. Because courses may become obsolete when they have been taken over a period of time that exceeds the normal four-year period, School deans reserve the right to delete courses from a student’s program of study when such courses are deemed to be obsolete for the current curriculum.

Transfer Credit Time Limit

Transfer credit for courses taken over 10 years prior to a student’s matriculation at Emerson College is awarded on a case-by-case basis by approval of the Registrar or the appropriate School dean. Transfer credit is not granted for courses taken more than 10 years before the student’s matriculation at Emerson. An appeal to the Registrar for waiver of any of the foregoing policies may be made by filing a petition in the Office of the Registrar. See Courses at Other Institutions.

Emerson College Email

Students are issued Emerson email accounts. Please see the “Email” section of the Electronic Resources Acceptable Use Policy for requirements related to email delivery and security. . All official College communications are sent to Emerson College email addresses. Students using a non-Emerson email address should use a forwarding feature to ensure that they receive all official College emails. If students elect to have their Emerson College email forwarded, Emerson College is not responsible for rules set by their preferred email service that may prevent delivery of official Emerson email communications.

Change of Address or Emergency Contacts

View Emergency and Missing Person Contact Records policy

Changes to a student’s permanent address, telephone number, and emergency contacts, which are used in the event of an emergency or for billing purposes, as well as local mailing address changes, should be made promptly online via eCommon. Students are required to provide two emergency contacts and one “missing person” contact. One of the emergency contacts also can serve as a student’s “missing person” contact.

Grading Policies

View Grading policy

Grading System

The College uses a system of letter grades and quality points to evaluate student performance. Grade point averages are computed on a scale where A = 4.0 (93-100), A- = 3.7 (90-92), B+ = 3.3 (87-89), B = 3.0 (83-86), B- = 2.7 (80-82), C+ = 2.3 (77-79), C = 2.0 (73-76), C- = 1.7 (70-72), D = 1.0 (60-69), F = 0 (failing).

W: A W (Withdrawn) is recorded for students who take a leave of absence or withdraw from the College before the last two weeks of the semester. This grade does not affect the grade point average.

NF: An NF (No-Show) grade indicates that the student never attended the class and did not drop the course. This is not calculated as a failing grade. As of Fall 2018, this grade is used only as a midterm warning to indicate a lack of attendance in a course. Students who fail to attend a course and withdraw before the deadline will receive an F.

WP: A WP (Withdrawn Pass) grade means the student was passing the course at the time of withdrawal. This grade does not affect the grade point average.

WF: A WF (Withdrawn Fail) grade means the student was failing the course at the time of withdrawal. This grade does not affect the grade point average.

I: An I (Incomplete) grade should only be given when a student has satisfactorily completed most of the required work for the course, but due to medical reasons or other extenuating circumstances, is unable to complete the remaining work by the end of the term. Incompletes should not be given in lieu of a letter grade to simply extend the time given to the student to complete the work in the absence of the required conditions. An I grade must be completed by the date agreed to on the learning contract, which must be before the end of the next full term in which the student is registered or it automatically becomes an F grade.

P: A P (Passing) grade indicates performance in a course for which specific grades are not given. A P is equivalent to a grade of C or better and may be used in designated pass/fail courses only.

S: An S (Satisfactory) grade indicates satisfactory performance in a non-credit course.

U: A U (Unsatisfactory) grade indicates unsatisfactory performance in a non-credit course.

AUD: An AUD (Audit) grade designates registration for a course as an auditor.

DEF: A DEF (Deferred) grade is issued in the first semester of the two-semester Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) major Capstone project. When the Capstone project  is completed in the second semester, the DEF grade will be converted to a standard letter grade. The DEF does not calculate into the 75% Satisfactory Academic Progress calculation. 

Grade Changes

Any change to a student’s grade must be proposed and justified by the instructor and approved by the instructor’s department chair. No changes will be made to the student’s official academic record after the student has officially withdrawn or graduated from Emerson College. Once a course is graded, the credits for that course may not be changed.

Grade Reports

All students may access their final grades and complete grade history online via eCommon.

Midterm Evaluations

Midterm grade reports are made available online to undergraduate students whose grades fall below a C in any enrolled course. Student Success and Academic Advising staff will outreach to students who received a midterm  warning(s) encouraging them to meet with their instructor, consult their academic/faculty advisor and seek help from the Lacerte Family Writing and Academic Resource Center.

Academic Transcripts

Emerson uses a third-party, Parchment (parchment.com) for all transcript orders. Current instructions on how to order an Emerson College transcript can be found at emerson.edu/transcripts.

Unoffcial Transcripts

Current students may view their unofficial transcript under emerson.edu/ecommon > Registration. Unofficial transcripts contain the same information as official transcripts but are not accepted by academic institutions. Unofficial transcripts are not available to alumni.

Enrollment Verifications

Downloadable Enrollment Verifications

Downloadable enrollment verifications may be obtained from emerson.edu/ecommon > Registration once classes are in session. They certify whether you are enrolled full-time, half-time, or less than half-time for either the current semester or for all of the semesters that you have attended.

Pre-Registration Verifications

Before a semester starts, students can request pre-registration verifications on College letterhead by sending a written request to registrar@emerson.edu. These letters do not verify enrollment and can only indicate intention to be enrolled in the upcoming semester. However, many students find these letters useful for non-academic purposes (e.g., student auto loan discounts).

Other Verifications

If the downloadable enrollment verification in eCommon does not suffice, please email registrar@emerson.edu and let them know what additional information is required (date of birth, address, or other academic information). They can provide a custom verification letter on College letterhead.

Third-Party Forms

Third-party enrollment verification forms, which require the school seal, must be submitted directly to the Office of the Registrar, Ansin 400, for processing. Please include the intended recipient or if your documents should be held for pick-up.

Replacement Diplomas

Alumni of Emerson or Marlboro College may request a replacement diploma. Emerson uses a third-party, Parchment (parchment.com) for all diploma orders. Diploma replacements will include the current layout, logo, and signatures. 

Academic Grievances and Student Complaints

Students who wish to make a complaint or grievance, including regarding any College academic policy should consult the College’s Academic Grievance and Student Complaint Process and Policy for instructions.

Academic Standards

View Academic Standards policy

The College requires students to achieve a 2.0 cumulative average to earn a baccalaureate degree. This is a minimum requirement. Each school has the prerogative to require a higher cumulative average in any major field of study.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (Academic Notice and Suspension)

At the conclusion of each semester, undergraduate records are reviewed to determine if students are making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Detailed information regarding the College’s Academic Standards can be found at emerson.edu/policies/academic-standards.

The College has set the following standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress:

  1. Students are expected to maintain a cumulative and semester grade point average of 1.7 for students with first-year standing  (up to 34.99 credits) and 2.0 for all other students. 
  2. Students must successfully complete 75 percent of attempted credits per semester. Grades of F, WF, WP, and I are not considered as successfully completing a course.

Students who fall below either of these standards are placed on Academic Notice. Students who do not earn Satisfactory Academic Progress for two consecutive semesters are subject to Academic Suspension. Students who have been academically suspended may appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee for their allowance of continued study. If a student chooses not to appeal their academic standing or their appeal is denied, they will be administratively withdrawn. After at least one semester of suspension, the student may apply for readmittance to the College which will require submitting a petition to the Academic Appeals Committee to show evidence of readiness for continued studies.

Students are also required to make Satisfactory Academic Progress to maintain their eligibility for financial aid, which requires a separate appeals procedure for Financial Aid Suspension. Contact the Office of Financial Aid at 617-824-8655 for more information.

Students not in satisfactory academic standing at the College are ineligible to compete in varsity athletics or run for Student Government Association office. They may be prohibited from participating in extra- and co-curricular activities (e.g., WERS, EIV, theater productions, and forensics) by the chair of the academic department in which they are majoring, and from serving in student affairs leadership positions (e.g., resident assistants and orientation leaders) by the associate dean of campus life. 

Academic Dismissal

If, after a thorough review of a student’s academic record, the Academic Appeals Committee  determines that a student’s academic success at Emerson College is not feasible, that student will be issued an Academic Dismissal. A third consecutive semester of not earning satisfactory academic progress  will also result in automatic Academic Dismissal, which is a permanent separation from the College with no option to appeal. 

Academic Ethics

A student who fails to meet minimum academic ethical standards by cheating, plagiarism, theft, or vandalism related to library or laboratory materials or equipment, or similar acts, shall be subject to disciplinary proceedings that may result in suspension or dismissal.

Academic Distinction

Dean’s Honor List

Full-time (12+ credits) students who complete all credits attempted and achieve a 3.7 or higher grade point average for the preceding semester will be placed on the Dean’s Honor List. A grade below C- automatically disqualifies a student for the Dean’s Honor List for that semester, regardless of the grade point average.

Honors Graduation

Honors graduation at Emerson College is based on a student’s entire Emerson undergraduate academic record. A student who graduates with Latin Honors must have completed a minimum of 64 credits at Emerson College, and at least 75 percent of college-level work must be done in letter-graded courses (not pass/fail courses).

Students who meet all the above criteria and are in the top 30 percent of their graduating class will receive Latin honors. Students in the top 5 percent will graduate Summa Cum Laude; students in the next 10 percent will graduate Magna Cum Laude; and students in the next 15 percent will graduate Cum Laude.