Housing & Dining
Residency Requirement Policy
- Residency Requirement Policy
- Exemptions from Residency Requirement
- Housing Selection and the Residency Requirement
Freshmen entering Emerson College for the first time in a fall semester are required to live on campus for their first four semesters at Emerson College, and may apply to live on campus for subsequent semesters pending availability of housing. Freshmen entering College for the first time in a spring semester are required to live on campus for their first three semesters at Emerson College, and may apply to live on campus for subsequent semesters pending availability of housing.
Transfer students entering Emerson College will be offered on-campus housing depending on availability. If a transfer student wants to be considered for on-campus housing, he or she should secure their space on the housing waitlist. When considering transfer students for housing, their year of graduation from high school is taken into consideration. Transfer students who graduated from high school fewer than two years from their enrollment date at Emerson will be given priority depending on availability of housing.
The College will not be able to provide on-campus housing for the majority of students beyond their fourth semester in college (which includes semesters attended at previous colleges). If students wish to be considered to live on-campus for their junior year they will have the opportunity to pay a $300 housing deposit and participate in the Rising Junior Housing Lottery; a limited number of students from the lottery will be offered spaces. A full explanation of the housing selection process will be communicated to all students in late January.
Students returning from a Leave of Absence will be offered on-campus housing pending availability.
Housing contracts extend through the full academic year (fall and spring semesters), and students living on campus in the fall semester are obligated to remain in on-campus housing for the fall and spring semesters. In addition, all resident students are required to purchase one of the College-sponsored meal plans.
External Programs or Approved Study Abroad Program
Freshmen and sophomores (students who entered Emerson College as incoming freshman and have not yet completed four semesters of college) attending an Emerson external program or approved study abroad program are required to live in on-campus housing during the semester they are attending classes on the Boston campus. Because this is a condition of residency, freshmen and sophomores participating in an external program do not need to submit a $300 housing deposit.
Juniors attending an Emerson external program will be given the option of either on-campus housing or living off campus during the semester they are attending classes on the Boston campus. Any junior who wishes to live on campus during the semester that they are not attending an external program will be required to submit a $300 housing deposit. Juniors will be contacted by the Office of Housing and Residence Life with more details regarding this option.
Students who entered Emerson as transfer students are not covered by the Residency Requirement. As such, they are not guaranteed housing on the Boston campus during the semester when not attending an external program as a sophomore or junior. A student in this situation who wishes to live in on-campus housing during the semester they are attending classes on the Boston campus may place their name on the housing wait list. A $300 housing deposit is required and on-campus housing will be offered pending availability.
The Office of Housing and Residence Life will contact all students who are attending an external program during the fall semester regarding housing options for the spring semester.
Exemptions to the residency requirement may be granted by the Office of Housing and Residence Life (OHRL). Students seeking an exception must submit a Request for Exemption to Residency Requirement Form along with supporting documentation. Students are expected to pay room and board fees in full by published payment deadlines unless they have received a residency requirement exemption from the OHRL. If a student’s request for exemption from the residency requirement is granted after payment is made, he/she will be issued a refund. A separate Request for Exemption to Residency Requirement Form is required for each year an exception is being sought. For consideration, the form must be received by OHRL no later than June 1 for new students scheduled to be in housing for the fall semester and no later than December 1 for new students admitted for the spring semester.
Exemptions are typically granted when:
- The student lives at home with a parent or legal guardian. If the student changes residence, it is her/his responsibility to promptly notify the Office of Housing and Residence Life.
- The student is able to demonstrate a financial hardship that would otherwise prevent him or her from attending Emerson.
- The student has a disability that precludes living in a residence hall. Documentation of the student’s disability is required from a qualified professional who has direct knowledge of the student and his or her condition, e.g., physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, etc. This documentation must meet the guidelines described in the Disability Services Office statement of policies and procedures found on the Disability Services page.
- The student is married, in a registered domestic partnership that is recognized by the state of Massachusetts, and/or is a parent with whom one or more dependent children reside.
- The student is 21 years of age or older prior to September 1 of the academic year in question.
- The student has served in the military as verified by a discharge certificate.
During the spring semester of each academic year, the College administers a housing selection process for the following academic year. Students will be automatically assigned housing selection appointment numbers based on their residency requirement as defined above. All other students wishing to live in on-campus housing will be able to submit an application and a $300 deposit for consideration pending availability.
Failure to settle Emerson College accounts in full, obtain required vaccinations, or abide by the Code of Conduct can result in the loss of student housing. Students who are not able to fulfill the residency requirement due to their own actions, including failure to comply with College policies, may also be dismissed from the College.
If you would like more information and/or wish to fill out an exemption request form, you can download a pdf version.