Residency Requirement


Student Residency Requirement

Students who entered Emerson Fall 2017 and after 

New first time students (freshmen) entering Emerson College in a fall semester are required to live in College housing for their first six semesters at Emerson College.  Housing is not guaranteed for students after completion of the residency requirement. New first time students (freshmen) entering Emerson College in a spring semester are required to live in College housing for their first five semesters at Emerson College.  Housing is not guaranteed for students after completion of the residency requirement.

Students who entered Emerson Jan 2017 or earlier

Freshmen entering college for the first time in the fall semester prior to 2017 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 prior to 2018 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 and Returning from a Leave of Absence

Transfer students entering Emerson College do not have a housing requirement. Housing can be offered based upon two factors: date of completed non-guaranteed housing application and availability of space on campus. If a new transfer student wants to be considered for on-campus housing, they should submit a $500 enrollment deposit and and then will be able to complete the non-guaranteed housing application.

Students returning from a Leave of Absence (LOA) will be offered on-campus housing pending availability and must contact Housing and Residential Education (HRE) during their re-admittance process to start the non-guarantee housing application process.

External Programs or Approved Study Abroad Program

Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors (students who entered Emerson College as incoming freshmen and have not yet completed their residency requirement) 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.

Seniors attending an Emerson external program or approved study abroad program will be given priority to be housed based on the completion of the non-guarantee housing application process during the semester they are attending classes on the Boston campus opposite the semester they are participating in the offsite program. 

The Office of Housing and Residential Education (HRE) will contact all students who are attending an external program or approved study abroad program during the fall semester regarding housing options for the spring semester.

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. All resident students are required to have one the college-sponsored meal plans.


Exemptions

Exemptions to the residency requirement may be granted by the Office of Housing and Residential Education (HRE). Students seeking an exception must submit a Housing Requirement Exemption Form via their housing portal along with supporting documentation, if applicable. Students are expected to pay room and board fees in full by published payment deadlines unless they have received a residency requirement exemption from HRE. If a student’s request for exemption from the residency requirement is granted after payment is made, they will be issued a refund based on the college's refund schedule. For consideration, the form must be received by HRE no later than May 1 for students returning to campus housing in the fall semester, June 1 for new students scheduled to be in housing for the fall semester and no later than December 1 for new or returning students  for the spring semester.

Exemptions are typically granted when:

  • The student lives at their permanent legal residence (home address) with a parent, legal guardian, sibling or will be living with an immediate family member (parent,grandparent, sibling) who is over the age of 25 at their permanent legal address.
  • The student is able to demonstrate a financial hardship that would otherwise prevent them 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 their condition, e.g., physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, etc. This documentation must meet the guidelines described in the Student Accessibility Services Office statement of policies and procedures found on the Student Accessibility 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 25 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.

Beyond the Residency Requirement

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.

Students who wish to be considered for on-campus living past their residency requirement will have an opportunity to complete a non-guarantee housing application. Housing can be offered based upon two factors: date of completed non-guaranteed housing application and availability of space on campus.

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.