College Operations

Last Updated 4/10/2020 at  4:24 pm EST

Are the Equipment Distribution Center (EDC), editing suites, studio spaces, and Iwasaki Library open?

Student access to all campus buildings is restricted until further notice. This includes computer labs, Media Services Center, Media Technologies & Production (MTP), the Equipment Distribution Center (EDC), production spaces, rehearsal studios, 172 Tremont Street, and the Fitness Center. Members of faculty and staff continue to have access to academic and administrative buildings. 

Regarding the Iwasaki Library, please see the below details.

Is quarantine on campus likely?

We currently do not have anyone on campus in quarantine with COVID-19. Should it be necessary to quarantine someone on campus, the College has a plan in place to facilitate that process.

Will I receive a credit for room and board?

We will be issuing partial credit for spring semester room and board charges, due to these unprecedented circumstances. We are continuing to review our policy and will provide further details as soon as possible. 

Are we still sending athletic teams on travel engagements?

As of March 12, the New England Women's and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) has canceled the spring Regular Season Conference Schedule and NEWMAC Spring Championships.

Will Commencement still take place? What about the EVVYs?

The College has made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Commencement Exercises, but is committed to celebrating the Class of 2020 and its achievements. Planning is underway for a virtual ceremony, and the College is will hold an in-person gathering, once it is safe to do so. 

EVVYs advisors also have decided to cancel the in-person April 19 EVVYs Gala and the in-person May 8 EVVYs Award Show. Despite these cancellations, EVVY nominations will still be revealed on April 6. Advisors are evaluating alternative ways to announce the winners and are exploring different modalities to ensure co-curricular credit.

Are campus visits, tours, and information sessions being affected at this time?

The College has cancelled our April 4 and April 25 Picture Yourself at Emerson undergraduate admitted student events, as well as all spring graduate admission events. 

We are not currently offering on-campus undergraduate or graduate admission visits or events. We hope to be able to offer these visit options later this spring, and will update our website as soon as we are able to do so.

We are now offering a number of virtual visit options for admitted and prospective undergraduate and graduate students! We encourage you to explore all that Emerson has to offer and connect with us virtually. Please check back often, we will be adding to our virtual visit options in the coming days and weeks.

All Graduate Admission Events have been cancelled, but we are still offering virtual meetings and calls with current students and admission liaisons. Virtual Accepted Student events will be posted on our Accepted Students and Graduate Events pages and sent via email to accepted students for students to meet faculty and experience the Emerson community. Please contact gradadmission [at] or (617) 824-8610 with any questions or concerns.

We are now offering virtual admitted undergraduate student information sessions and will be offering additional virtual options for both undergraduate and graduate students in the coming days. Please contact us directly so we can assist with virtual visit options.

What is the policy in regards to events in student spaces?

All campus on-campus events have been cancelled
We will continue to evaluate the situation at two-week intervals.

Will any Emerson facilities be enlisted to help with the COVID-19 response?

An agreement between Emerson College and Tufts Medical Center for use of Emerson residential space is underway. Tufts will continue to use the hotel across the street from the hospital until either the predicted surge occurs and/or the hotel closes. At that point, Tufts will notify the College 96 hours in advance if its medical personnel need to take occupancy at the Paramount Residence Hall.

How does Emerson clean and disinfect facilities?

Emerson College Facilities Management personnel clean common areas around campus on a daily basis and have implemented measures to clean and disinfect surfaces in public areas that are touched frequently. There are also dispensers throughout campus containing hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer can help prevent the spread of the virus, though proper hand-washing technique is deemed to be more effective by the CDC.

The College has increased the number of housekeeping staff and purchased additional equipment to clean all common areas nightly. Common areas include; classrooms, hallways, common bathrooms, dining areas, lobbies, hallways, the Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker Gym, and the Fitness Center. Offices are being disinfected twice per week; faculty offices are also being disinfected three times per week. The equipment used is the highly effective Clorox 360 disinfecting and sanitizing machine, which applies a fine mist of anti-viral disinfectant to all hard and soft surfaces. 

In addition, ample paper products and to-go containers for use in the Dining Center are available if needed, and paper towels have been added to restrooms that have hand dryers only.

We will continue to monitor recommendations from the CDC for preventing the spread of the virus.

How do I speak with the Student Financial Services staff?

Student Financial Services staff may be reached at 617-824-8655.

What hours will the mailroom be open?

The mailroom currently plans to be open Monday-Friday, 9:00 am–6:00 pm.

Access to Campus Buildings & Services

Iwasaki Library

Beginning March 18, Iwasaki Library will operate as a virtual library.

Research Help 

Reference chat and Zoom consultation services for Spring 2020 will be available for Boston, Emerson Los Angeles, and Kasteel Well students and faculty:

Monday–Thursday: 10:00 am–7:00 pm ET
Friday: 10:00 am–4:00 pm ET
Sunday: 2:00–6:00 pm ET

Contact us via email, IM, SMS, or request a video consultation with a librarian via Zoom.

EBooks, Online Articles, and Streaming

See our Distance Learning guide: for details on how to access our virtual collections and best practices for online learning.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

ILL is available to students as long as the lending library remains open. We are working with faculty to provide access to learning materials through Canvas courses, in addition to providing students access to materials for research and learning.

Amazon Smile Wishlists - Kindle Books for Course Readings (No Video)

In some cases, ebooks are not accessible as multi-user licenses to libraries. Faculty and librarians will be consulting on accessing Kindle book content students need to complete their course work. Kindle books may be read on any mobile device using the free Kindle app. More information on this process will be forthcoming.

Returning Materials

The library lobby book-drop will be open to returns when the Walker Building is open. Students who are no longer on campus can return materials in September when they arrive for the fall semester. If you are not planning to return to campus in the fall, you can mail us returns at Emerson College Library, 120 Boylston Street, Boston MA 02116. 
Have questions about returning materials? Call us at (617) 824-8668 or email us at circulation [at] Have questions about accessing materials electronically? Email our reference librarians at reference [at]
Please be aware that interlibrary loans need to be returned before you leave campus.


Overdue fines and recalls are now suspended. Please be aware that if items are not returned in September that you may be charged an item replacement fee. 

Social Justice Center

Out of an abundance of caution and care for the community, the staff of the Social Justice Center will be working in alternative ways that best support community health and well-being. We will continue to be available by phone, email, and online via Zoom, Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, etc. Please contact us if you'd like to connect. 

Social Justice Center

Sylvia, Alayne, Samantha, & Jae
sjc [at]

Healing and Advocacy

Melanie & Greta
advocate [at]

Elma Lewis Center

Tam, Ashley, & Jeeyoon
elmalewiscenter [at]

Title IX

Pam & Ryan
titleix [at]

Travel & Study Abroad

Last Update: 4/1/2020 11:45 am EST

Can I travel internationally while there is a Global Level 4 Health Advisory: Do Not Travel due to COVID-19?

The College is currently prohibiting College-funded staff, faculty, and student international travel at this time.

As of March 19, the US State Department has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory: Do Not Travel. This is the highest travel advisory issued by the United States, and advises that those in the United States do not travel anywhere at this time. The notice advises those planning to travel of the following:

  • Consider returning to your country of residence immediately using whatever commercial means are available.
  • Have a travel plan that does not rely on the U.S. Government for assistance.
  • Review and follow the CDC’s guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus.
  • Check with your airline, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
  • Visit to view individual Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to safety and security.
  • Visit Embassy webpages on COVID-19 for information on conditions in each country or jurisdiction.
  • Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.

The College requests that staff, faculty, and students also avoid personal travel except in emergency circumstances.

What should I do if I am currently abroad or have recently arrived in the United States from abroad?

Emerson College is actively working with students and families currently participating in study abroad programs to ensure their return home as soon as possible. Students are instructed to return to their permanent residence in their home country, and may not reside on any of Emerson’s campuses. If students and families are experiencing extenuating circumstances regarding their transition home, please contact abroad [at] with details regarding your individual situation.

Travelers arriving to the U.S. from abroad will be subject to either a required 14-day self-quarantine or 14-day period of recommended social distancing, dependent upon their country of departure as per CDC guidelines. Please also see the section on self-quarantine.

Is Emerson restricting travel to other countries or locations?

At this time, the College is prohibiting College-funded staff/faculty international travel and College-funded student travel to any location, foreign or domestic. The College is also asking staff, faculty, and students to strongly reconsider all non-essential personal travel.

The College will continue to fund Emerson-related domestic travel for faculty and staff. However, we encourage everyone in our community—faculty, staff, and students—to weigh whether any domestic travel between now and at least until commencement is essential and instead to explore options to join meetings or events remotely, especially in the growing number of areas with high infection rates.

I am currently outside the U.S. on College business or am planning an overseas trip. Who can I contact for support or information?

The College is suspending College-funded staff, faculty, and student international travel at this time. The College is also asking staff, faculty, and students to avoid personal travel except in emergency circumstances. If you have questions about upcoming international travel, please contact the Office of Internationalization and Global Engagement at abroad [at]

Is Emerson canceling any future international programs?

The College has canceled a number of Summer 2020 Global Pathways Programs and has communicated current program cancellations to students and families. Questions regarding canceled summer programs can be directed to abroad [at] The College continues to assess the status of remaining Summer 2020 Global Pathways Programs and will update students and families regarding additional program cancellations as soon as possible.

The College is actively assessing the status of upcoming education abroad programming for Fall 2020.

What does it mean to self-quarantine?

Self-quarantine means:

  • Staying indoors and avoiding contact with other people during the 14-day incubation window. During this time, staff and faculty remain home and students do not attend classes.
  • Have a designated contact person who is working with you or your supervisor to make sure you have the support you need to continue to work or pursue your studies during this time. Please see above contacts.
  • If you live on campus, the College will work with you to reassign or alter your living space to ensure that you are not sharing a room or bathroom with others. Should our ability to do this become limited, we will do our best to accommodate the highest priority cases.

If I must self-quarantine, will I continue to be paid?

If you are medically directed to self-quarantine and you are well enough to work (either full-time or part-time) while self-quarantined, you will be paid for your work time. If you are sick and not able to work, you can use sick time according to the Emerson sick time policy


Does Emerson offer a telehealth option to see a doctor remotely?

For anyone who gets their health insurance through one of Emerson’s Harvard Pilgrim plans, yes. Harvard Pilgrim offers telehealth via its website. Just follow these steps or check out its Virtual Visits guide.

  • Visit
  • Click “Find a provider” at the top of the page
  • Select your plan
  • Click “Doctor On Demand Urgent Care and Behavioral Health Virtual Visits”

I have prescription drug coverage through Emerson and am on a maintenance medication. Can I get my prescription refilled early?

OptumRx, Emerson’s pharmacy vendor, is allowing members to refill their maintenance medications early to ensure they have an uninterrupted supply of medication during the COVID-19 threat. OptumRx's policy includes the following:

  • OptumRx members with active eligibility may obtain an early refill of their prescription medications if they have refills remaining on file at a participating retail or mail-order pharmacy.
  • The refill obtained will stay consistent with the standard days supply previously filled by the member as allowed by their plan (e.g., 30- or 90-day supply).
  • The initial term of this “refill too soon” waiver is set at 90 days, but it will be continuously evaluated to determine the appropriate duration based on CDC guidelines.
  • This applies to both traditional and specialty medications.
  • Please contact OptumRx customer service directly at 855-546-3439 with questions.

Last Updated 4/1/2020 at 3:50 pm EST


I am working/teaching remotely. Can I cancel my monthly transit/parking order?

All order changes must be made by the first day of the prior month. For example, changes to your orders for June must be made by May 1. WageWorks is working with transit and parking providers to credit April’s transit or parking pass to a future order. MBTA passes need to be received by April 6 to credit your account. For details, visit the WageWorks website.  

Monthly Passes

If you are signed up for a monthly pass as noted above you can go to the WageWorks site by May 1 to turn off your June transit order. (Please note that passes for May have already been ordered and paid for by WageWorks, thus there is no opportunity to turn off May orders.) We don't know yet if the MBTA will provide any refunds to WageWorks for May passes; if that happens, we will notify you.

Commuter Cards

If you have a WageWorks commuter debit card, you may also wish to make a change or end your contributions to that card. The dates for making those changes are also the first of the prior month. Please note that the funds on these cards do not expire as long as you are an employee.

Parking Orders

Any changes to parking orders must also be made by the first day of the prior month.


Last Updated 4/1/2020 at 3:54 pm EST

I read that the Utah Jazz practiced at Emerson during spring break, and that later two team members tested positive for coronavirus. Should I be concerned?

During the College’s spring break, the Utah Jazz held a practice in the College’s gym. Emerson has determined that two coaches had minimal contact with the team at that time, and public health officials have assured the College that they are not at risk. Even though these coaches are healthy and not restricted at all, the College has asked them to self-monitor.

When professional teams use College facilities, access to the gym is restricted; furthermore, the practice occurred when much of our student body was away from campus. In addition, the College continues to take every precaution to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our community, including more frequent and targeted disinfection of facilities and surfaces, which began the day before the practice and continue on a daily basis.

I heard that Emerson will store my belongings. May I just leave my things for convenience sake? 

If you have the ability to remove your belongings or store them elsewhere, please do so. There are many who do not have the resources or support to move their belongings, and we do not want concern over where to store belongings to be a barrier at this time.

I have rented textbooks through the bookstore. What happens if I take them home with me?

Students who rented textbooks from the bookstore have the ability to print out a return label from the bookstore website to return their books. You can ship rental books back to the store FREE OF CHARGE up until 11:59 pm on Friday, May 1, which is the last day for rental returns. After that date, you will not be able to access the shipping return label and will have to pay shipping costs to return your texts. You may also return textbooks in person if you are in Boston during the appointed times. All students are encouraged to keep textbooks until classes are completed.