Emerson College uses strategic planning to provide a vision for each department for the next several years. Each academic department and school reviews its strategic plan on an annual basis, to identify programmatic needs and establish plans for faculty hires, budgets, curriculum, and space planning.

The Office of Academic Affairs coordinates this academic planning process with department chairs and school deans, beginning in the fall semester and culminating in prioritized initiatives in the spring semester to be implemented the following academic year. The resulting goals, initiatives, and plans are developed with significant faculty input to reflect the academic mission of the College.

Faculty and staff should consult with the department chairs and school deans regarding strategic planning for their departments and programs.


Emerson is a private, independent, nonprofit college fully accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) [formerly by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC)] as recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Emerson is also accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (for its master's degree in communication disorders), and the Massachusetts Department of Education (education preparation programs in the Departments of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Performing Arts).

The College will undergo full review for reaccreditation with NECHE in Fall 2022.

Emerson was reaccredited by NEASC in 2013, with a five-year review completed in Spring 2018. The NEASC letters and reports may be accessed by clicking the appropriate report in the bullet point list above (after logging in with your Emerson College username and password).

The reaccreditation process involves review, reflection, assessment, and planning by administrators, faculty, students, and members of the professional community.

NECHE Reaccreditation

Emerson College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a reliable authority on the quality of education for the institutions it accredits. NECHE is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), affirming that its Standards and processes are consistent with the quality, improvement, and accountability expectations that CHEA has established.

Accreditation of an institution of higher education by Commission indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality periodically applied though a peer review process. An accredited college or university is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.

Accreditation by the Commission is not partial but applies to the institution as a whole. As such, it is not a guarantee of every course or program offered, or the competence of individual graduates. Rather, it provides reasonable assurance about the quality of opportunities available to students who attend the institution.

Inquiries regarding the accreditation status by the Commission should be directed to the administrative staff of the institution. Individuals may also contact:

New England Commission of Higher Education
3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100, Burlington, MA 01803-4514
info [at] neche.org

Program Reviews

Academic Program Review Guidelines 2020-2021

Each of Emerson’s academic and instructional programs is reviewed regularly by department or program faculty. Reviews are administered and supervised by the Office of Academic Affairs. Most reviews occur on a five-year cycle.

The purpose of Emerson’s academic program reviews is to put into place a system of continuous assessment, planning, and improvement to help achieve the academic mission and the identified academic commitments. Program review is an evaluative, not a descriptive, process; it results in judgments about the quality of a program and the adequacy of its resources.

The Academic Program Review Guidelines provide complete information about the process of program review, and the Program Review Schedule provides a schedule of program reviews.

Emerson College Learning Goals

as of September 2015

The following Emerson College Learning Goals were originally drafted by the Student Learning Committees in 2013-2014. They were reviewed and edited by the Department faculty, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, the Faculty Council, and were endorsed by the Faculty Assembly in September of 2015.

Emerson College graduates create, communicate, collaborate, critically think, and civically engage.

Upon graduation Emerson students will be able to:


  • Experiment with creative processes, including traditional practices.
  • Apply foundational theories and practices to their disciplines.


  • Demonstrate effective written, oral, and visual communication skills.
  • Demonstrate competency in information, media, and digital literacies.


  • Work with others across disciplines of study to produce meaningful outcomes.
  • Integrate the liberal arts into the various fields of communication and the arts.

Critically Think

  • Support conclusions based on research methods appropriate to their disciplines.
  • Make decisions using quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Civically Engage

  • Demonstrate a commitment to diverse perspectives and ethical practices.
  • Engage with local and global communities.