Living on campus is a great opportunity for students to grow as artists and citizens. More than just a convenience, it is an important part of the social and academic lives of students. Students who live on campus do better academically, in part due to the easy access to support services. In addition, living in close proximity to other students who are taking the same classes helps to develop social networks that contribute to a successful college experience.
By living on campus, you will interact with people who are very talented and unique. You will also meet people whose experiences, values, and priorities are different from yours. This is your first step toward broadening your horizons as a student and an artist.
The Residence Halls
On-campus housing at Boston Conservatory at Berklee consists of five historic brownstones in the desirable Back Bay neighborhood of Boston, which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The layout of each residence hall is unique, and the number of students housed in each hall ranges from 20–40. Many types of rooms are available to undergraduate students, including doubles, triples, and quads.
All first-time college students, 20 years of age or younger, are required to live in the undergraduate residence halls, except for students who commute from their homes of origin. Gradate and transfer student housing is available on a first-come, first-served basis and depends on availability.
For information on housing costs, please see our Tuition and Fees section.
Who Lives On Campus
First-Year Students: All first-time college students 20 years of age or younger that have not completed a full year's course load at another college or university are required to live in the residence halls. This requirement does not apply to students who commute from their permanent residence.
Transfer Students: Transfer student housing is available on a first-come, first-served basis for those transfer students wishing to live on campus.
Graduate Students: There are a limited number of rooms available for graduate students, if they would like to live on campus.
Current Students: If rooms are still available, students who wish to return to live in the residence halls have first choice of rooms, and their priority in the selection process is based on academic standing.
The Greater Boston area offers a variety of distinct neighborhoods and transportation options for off-campus housing. The conservatory's Office of Housing and Residence Life can aid you in your search by helping you decide:
Which neighborhood is a good fit;
How close you should live to campus; and
Your ideal number of housemates or roommates.
The Housing and Residence life team can also guide you through the leasing process in Boston, and advise you on:
What is considered a reasonable monthly rent cost, and what that cost typically includes;
What types of fees students might expect if moving into a new place; and
Best practices when searching for apartments, including tips on what to look out for.
Some students also choose to find off-campus housing with conservatory or Berklee peers. If you wish to live other students, you can post a message on the conservatory Admissions Office's Facebook page for incoming students, or create an account on proartsconnect.org and use the housing forum feature to connect with arts students from the six ProArts Consortium schools who may be looking for roommates or offering housing in the area.
When to Start Looking for Off-Campus Housing
Students should give themselves plenty of lead time when searching for off-campus housing, and be aware that the rental process and lease terms vary depending on the landlord or management company. For example, some leases are month-to-month ("rolling") and can be renewed or canceled with 30 or 60 days written notice to the the landlord, while other leases are for a 12-month term that can begin any month of the year (August 1, September 1, and June 1 are popular move-in dates for Boston). Typically, September vacancies will be advertised as early as January or February.
Because finding a room, apartment, or neighborhood in Boston can be difficult if you are not physically in the area, it is recommended that students plan to visit before starting school to search for apartments. If hoping to begin a lease in August or September, you should plan to visit earlier in the summer to begin scouting apartment options and avoid the late summer rush.
Subletting a room can also be an ideal option for some students if the terms of the lease allow for it. If you are interested in subletting, be sure to consult with the landlord and review the prior tenant's lease before committing to anything. Also be aware that many people only sublet an apartment for a set period of time, so it is important to find out whether there is a possibility of extending or renewing the lease beyond the sublet period.