Do you have questions about the Harvard-Berklee Joint Studies program? The answers to the most commonly asked questions are listed below. If you have additional questions about the Harvard-Berklee Joint Studies program, there is detailed information on both Berklee’s program page and Harvard’s Department of Music page.
Applying to the Harvard-Berklee Joint Studies Program
How do I apply for the dual degree program?
Prospective students must apply to both Harvard and Berklee separately to be considered for the joint studies program. Each application has a box that applicants must check to indicate their interest. In order to enroll, students must be admitted to both programs. The two schools have no influence on the other’s admissions process, and students must be accepted to both institutions to be considered for the Joint Studies program. From there, Berklee selects a small cohort of students to be admitted to the program. This means that admission to both schools does not guarantee admission to the program.
Harvard uses the Common Application, due January 1 each year (early action due November 1). Admission to Harvard is overseen completely by Harvard's central admissions office. The Harvard Department of Music does not participate in the admissions process, and does not influence final admission decisions. Please refer to college.harvard.edu/admissions for all Harvard admission questions and processes.
Berklee’s deadlines are January 15 (regular) and November 1 (early action). Berklee requires an audition and interview; Harvard does not. You can apply early action as long as you do so for both schools. Students will not be eligible to apply in later years after matriculating.
Is there a different application or enrollment process for international students?
As an applicant, you should follow each college’s application instructions. If you are admitted to Harvard, you will receive specific visa information directly from Harvard. If you wish to enroll in a Berklee master’s program, Berklee will provide you with specific visa information for the program you are enrolling in.
Can I apply for financial aid?
Yes, you can apply for financial aid. Be sure to include both Berklee and Harvard on your FAFSA so that both schools will be able to assess information about your need. You can learn about Harvard’s financial process on their website. For students admitted to the program, annual awards for the Berklee portion of the undergraduate program are available for those with demonstrated financial need. This is made possible through the Paul and Catherine Buttenweiser Endowed Scholarship Fund.
As a current Berklee or Harvard student, can I apply for this program?
This program is limited to a small cohort of admitted students each year. Returning students are therefore not able to apply.
Enrolling in the Harvard-Berklee Joint Studies Program
Will I have access to Berklee’s facilities?
As a student in the joint studies program, you will have a Berklee ID and the same access to Berklee facilities as a typical Berklee student, including access to Berklee practice rooms and the opportunity to audition for Berklee performances.
How long will it take me to complete my master’s degree?
Berklee's master’s programs are three semesters long. You will begin your program in the fall following your graduation from Harvard, then graduate from Berklee the following summer.
As a Berklee student, can I take classes at Harvard?
You must be enrolled as an undergraduate student at Harvard to take classes through this program. Students enrolled at Berklee are not eligible to take classes through this program at Harvard.
What classes will I take?
Harvard-Berklee students are encouraged to take three to four Berklee credits per semester, including their private lessons and ensembles. Students will typically begin by taking private instruction, an ensemble, and/or an introductory Core course at Berklee (depending on their placement during orientation). After this, students are able to take most Berklee courses for which they meet the prerequisites. Berklee offers courses in performance practice, composition, songwriting, screen scoring, music production, electronic design, and music business that may be of interest to students. Students will work closely with their Harvard and Berklee advisors to create their course schedule each semester. Their advising team will aid with selecting appropriate courses while also considering the student’s overall schedule and commuting time. For those students interested in pursuing a Berklee master’s program, suggested preparatory courses are bundled in tracks in performance, production, and music business.
Will I have an orientation at Berklee?
Yes, you will have an orientation at both Berklee and Harvard before you begin classes as a first-year student.
How will I get my Berklee class schedule? What if I have schedule conflicts?
Berklee and Harvard will work together to make sure that your schedule works for you. Your Berklee classes will be determined as you work with your advisors.
What does the $4,000 per semester Berklee tuition fee include?
The Berklee tuition fee includes all the fall and spring semester classes you take at Berklee, including private music lessons, ensembles, and courses by advisement. Depending on selected courses, students may be required to meet Berklee laptop and software requirements. You may take classes during the summer or at Berklee Online for additional tuition.
Will liberal arts or music courses taken at Berklee transfer toward my undergraduate degree at Harvard?
Students may transfer up to eight Berklee credits to be counted toward their Harvard degree. Students are also not allowed take a course at Berklee for which there is a reasonable equivalent offered at Harvard. To have credit approved, students must fill out the Harvard music department form with an attached course description and syllabus, and have the form signed by the course instructor, their Berklee advisor, their Harvard house dean, and the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Harvard music department.
Can I take an unlimited number of classes at Berklee?
Students may take as many credits as they wish, though they are encouraged to take no more than 20 combined total credits per semester between Harvard and Berklee. The Berklee tuition fee includes all fall and spring semester classes you take at Berklee. If you choose to take courses over the summer on the Boston or Valencia campuses, you may enroll in courses for additional tuition.