Frequently Asked Questions | Spring 2021

The College is working to create the conditions for a safe reopening of campus for the Spring 2021 semester. FAQs will be updated in the coming weeks as more detailed plans are finalized.

We will continue to communicate directly with our students and families via email announcements. Please continue to send your questions to In addition, please reach out to key offices and departments listed on our Contact Us page. Representatives from each of these offices will be responding to inquiries daily during regular business hours.


The Spring 2021 semester will now begin on Wednesday, January 27th, one week later than originally planned. We heard clearly from students that there is a need for adequate breaks throughout the semester. While we will not have a week-long spring break this year due to health concerns related to travel, the Presidents’ Day and Patriots’ Day long weekends, as well as the Easter holiday, have been maintained. Additional course offering times throughout the semester will enable students to distribute courses in a way that allows for breaks between classes, as well. 

The Spring 2021 semester academic calendar has been posted, and is available here.

The following majors and class years have been prioritized for Emmanuel housing based on the need to complete courses face-to-face in studios, laboratories or clinical/practicum settings to satisfy degree requirements. This criteria for academic programs includes the following majors, (minors are not included in prioritization):

Graphic Design, Studio Art and Art Therapy only Juniors and Seniors
Biology (including all concentrations) Juniors and Seniors
Chemistry (including all concentrations): Juniors and Seniors
Elementary and Secondary Education majors Juniors and Seniors
Biostatistics Juniors and Seniors
Nursing Sophomores
Neuroscience Juniors and Seniors

Course listings and their expected model of delivery (face-to-face or 100% virtual) will be live on Monday, November 2nd on Student Planning via EC Online Services. Advising is now underway; students should schedule a meeting with their academic advisor if they have questions about what courses to take for Spring 2021. Registration will begin on November 16th and close on November 29th. Priority registration times have been posted. The Office of the Registrar can be reached by phone at 617-735-9960 or via email at 

Those living in the residence halls will be expected to attend classes that are designated as face-to-face. However, resident students are able to register for classes which may only be offered virtually.

Yes, these students are able to come to campus and will be part of the College’s testing protocols. Furthermore, there will be courses offered that require face-to-face attendance, and if a student registers for these courses they will be expected to attend in person, unless unable to attend in person due to a need for isolation or quarantine. It is important that all students are adhering to the College’s policies on social distancing, use of masks and other safe hygiene both on campus and when they are off campus.

Yes, all face-to-face classes will occur in classrooms with the technology to offer remote participation should a student be unable to attend due to a need for isolation or quarantine.

Those students who require a 100% virtual experience will work directly with their assigned Academic Advisor during the registration process to craft a semester that allows for progress in their major and fulfills their general requirements. Students who wish to take a course designated as face-to-face in a 100% online format will be allowed to apply for an exception, which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Yes, students will be able to select from a number of general requirement courses made available virtually.During the registration period, students’ academic advisors will be available to work with students’ individually to ensure they are able to complete all necessary course requirements.

Billing & Financial Aid

The spring 2021 tuition bill will be released once course registration and housing assignments are completed. Students will be notified at their Emmanuel email address when their tuition bill is available to view online. We are anticipating the tuition bill will be available in mid-December.

The spring 2021 tuition bill will be due January 15, 2021.

To access your tuition bill, log in to EC Online Services and select the Billing and Payment Center. Students can login with their Emmanuel username and password to view their tuition bill. Parents and other authorized users can login once students have shared account access.

Yes, students can grant other individuals (parents or guardians) access to real-time online account information by designating them as “Authorized Users.” To set up an Authorized User, log in to EC Online Services and select “User Options.” Click here for detailed instructions on sharing tuition bill access.

For detailed information on payment options, including our monthly payment plan and parent or student loans, visit

Enrollment for the 5-month spring semester payment plan will open when spring tuition bills are released. You must enroll and make the first payment by the January 15th spring bill due date.

If after paying your spring 2021 tuition bill you have a credit on your account, you can request this credit by submitting the online Refund Request Form. Financial aid is disbursed after the add/drop period each semester. For the spring semester, refunds will be available starting in late February. We recommend students budget accordingly if they plan to use their refund for living expenses.

If circumstances change and a stay-at-home order is issued or a Covid-19 outbreak requires the College to close the campus after the start of the Spring 2021 semester, housing and meal plan (room and board) charges will be prorated. Tuition and fees will not be prorated as classes will continue in a virtual format. For detailed information on the College’s withdrawal and refund policies, including the impact on financial aid and tuition insurance visit

The Office of Student Financial Services may be reached by phone at 617-735-9938 or

Student Life

The spring semester will be unlike any in the 100-plus years in Emmanuel’s history. While we look forward to students once again living and learning on our Boston campus, we approach this semester with new expectations. The health of each member of the community remains a top priority. To this end, there will be significant changes in institutional operations and expectations for individual habits.

All members of the Emmanuel community will be asked to sign Halo’s Pledge, which will outline the extraordinary steps everyone will commit to take to ensure their individual health and safety and protect our community at large. More information will be provided in the forthcoming Spring 2021 Return to Campus Guide in the coming weeks.

We do not plan to restrict students from leaving campus, but strongly suggest that students limit their off-campus activity. We will provide further information regarding expectations of living on campus later this semester, all which will align with the latest guidelines from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

While our preference would certainly be to invite all students back who desire to live on campus, public health guidelines dictate that we must be conservative with our resident numbers. The initial criteria which will be used to prioritize housing eligibility includes (in order): academic programs for junior and senior majors which require on-campus facilities such as studios and laboratories; sophomore nursing majors; first-year students; and seniors. Returning students within these priority groups must have participated in the 2020-2021 housing selection process and completed the necessary requirements prior to the February 14, 2020 deadline for consideration.

Given the need to de-densify campus, and specifically the residence halls, we are not able to open the residence halls at full occupancy. Many scenarios were considered. As an educational institution first and foremost, it is important that those students in majors and class years requiring on-campus courses to fulfill degree requirements are prioritized. The importance of on-campus living for first-year students to acclimate to campus life, as well as for seniors to conclude their final year at Emmanuel in the residence halls contributed to our decisions on prioritization as well.

Given the need for dedicated space for isolation and quarantine, and for proper physical distancing in all areas of campus, all rooms in St. Joseph Hall, St. Ann Hall and Loretto Hall will be single occupancy. The New Residence Hall apartments will be used as designed, with four students per two-bedroom apartment and one student per studio. We believe this configuration provides the safest environment possible for resident students.

The New Residence Hall offers different configurations and amenities, including bathrooms within each unit, which allows for expanded occupancy. In the traditional residence halls, the occupancy is lessened to singles based on the configuration of the floors. Please contact the Office of Residence Life for additional information.

The College has identified additional vacancies in the residence halls following the October 16th opt-in deadline for priority housing groups. Students who received a housing assignment as part of the Spring 2020 selection process and were not initially within the priority groups, have been invited to be considered to live on campus. All students expressing interest in campus housing will be notified by October 30th if space is available. For those that are not offered housing based upon availability, these individuals will be added to a waitlist and will be pulled into housing as vacancies occur.  

Students that no longer need housing for Spring 2021 based on other arrangements have been asked to e-mail Residence Life at to notify the office. Students who did not complete the Opt-In Form by October 16th are not eligible for the housing selection process for Spring 2021.

No, any previously communicated housing assignments, including those issued over the summer, are no longer valid. A new selection process will be administered. Key dates and additional requirements will be communicated to students who have been approved for spring housing. 

For returning students

The new selection process will continue to be based on seniority regardless of your qualifying priority group(s). Residence Life & Housing will honor individual lottery numbers from the 2020-2021 Housing Selection Process from the spring. Once the office has a better understanding of who will be participating in the new selection process, students will receive another e-mail with a lottery number as well as any additional forms needed to participate in group or studio selection as space allows.

For first year and transfer students for Fall 2020

Based on single occupancy rooms in our traditional residence halls, Residence Life & Housing will not be able to honor previously communicated housing assignments. The office’s staff will re-review students’ Housing Lease & Preference Questionnaires and attempt to honor building preferences to the best of our ability in light of reduced occupancy. For those with roommate requests, the office will also work to place intended roommates near one another. Placement in preferred building or near intended roommates cannot be guaranteed.

No, individuals who are placed or select from a traditional residence hall will be living independently in a double occupancy space to align with local and state health recommendations for reduced occupancy.

Understanding the changing needs for housing by those who selected as groups in the spring, Residence Life & Housing anticipates a need to offer a new selection process, including group housing. If this is the case, new groups forms would be required as well as new group numbers issued. Groups that are still intact will remain in their selected unit and no further action will be needed. 

If a student selected a studio during the earlier process and elects to remain in housing for Spring 2021, they will be able to maintain their studio assignment. Should studios become available, students will be given the opportunity to apply for a studio space through a new process. 

Given the limited number of beds available to Emmanuel students for the Spring 2021 semester, we encourage students and their families to discuss what the best decision might be for them related to housing arrangements.

Students who participate in the new selection process who later need to cancel their housing may do so through Friday, December 11, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. Cancelling by this point will remove the student from housing and related charges. This timeline will also allow Residence Life & Housing to make any vacancies available to other students and make arrangements for the staggered January move-in process.

Yes, the price is based on the room type. If you are the only person in a double room in a traditional residence hall, you will be charged the double rate.  A listing of housing and meal plan prices is available here.

View Housing and meal place prices

Due to the de-densified residential experience, priority will be given to those who completed the necessary requirements as part of the original process, and the housing waitlist is no longer valid. Residence Life will reach out to these students regarding their interest in spring 2021 housing; they may be pulled into housing should such vacancies occur. Students on this list who are a member of the original priority groups will be moved to the top of the list for consideration. 

Residents living in the halls are not permitted to have guests who live in other residence halls or outside visitors. 

All dining locations are currently scheduled to be open. Students can expect changes based on city and state guidelines including limitations to some food service items, required compliance with physical distancing and hygiene recommendations, and new service hours to allow for cleaning between meals.

Emmanuel College’s food service partner, Bon Appetit, is planning to provide a variety of food options. While there will be a transition away from any buffet-style options such as salad bars, students will be able to select from served and pre-packaged hot and cold menu items. 

The dining staff has been trained on coronavirus-specific food safety protocols and all dining locations will be closed between meals to allow for cleaning and sanitization. 

This minimum meal plan requirement for all resident students is to reduce the need for students to come and go from campus and to ensure that the College is able to provide food to any student who may need to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19.  Meal plan options and prices may be found here.

View Housing and meal place prices

On-campus co-curricular activities and events will be limited to ensure the health and safety of our community. Virtual engagement opportunities through Emmanuel as well as the Colleges of the Fenway will be available. Changes to activities and events will be communicated to students via their Emmanuel College email account. Information about events can be found at

View The Events Calendar

The intention is to open fitness centers at a more limited occupancy. More information in regard to expectations of living on campus will be provided in the upcoming weeks. 

Yes, spaces will be available for this purpose. All spaces will be set up to facilitate physical distancing. All community members will be required to adhere to safety standards in commons spaces (ex. wearing of face coverings).

In keeping the health and safety of Emmanuel College student-athletes, coaches, staff and administrators as the highest priority, Emmanuel College will not participate in winter athletic competition during the 2021 winter season. The sports impacted by this extremely difficult decision include men's and women's basketball, men's and women's indoor track & field, and the dance team.  

Despite the cancellation of intercollegiate athletic competition during the winter season, Emmanuel will continue to explore all meaningful athletic-related activity including training and practice environments when students return to campus as part of the EmmanuelForward plan. 

To read the full statement from the athletics department, click here. 

The Office of International Programs is following up individually with students to discuss options based on current guidelines pertaining to international students and online learning for the spring semester.

Yes. Commuter students will be able to purchase parking permits on a space-available basis for the spring semester. The process for securing parking will be communicated prior to the beginning of classes. 

Health & Wellness

Yes, students should purchase and plan for their own inventory of personal face masks.

Students must bring their own proper face coverings to campus. The College will have a supply to provide to community members, as needed.

Yes. All members of the Emmanuel community are expected to wear a face mask or covering when unable to physically distance on campus. This entails wearing a face mask that covers both an individual’s nose and mouth. Students will be reminded to wear their face masks upon entering and exiting their residence halls as well as entering and exiting all buildings across campus. We anticipate students and faculty also being required to wear face masks in the classroom to ensure as safe a learning environment as possible. Additionally, there will be an expectation that Emmanuel students, faculty and staff will wear face masks within the neighborhood in adherence with the City of Boston’s guidelines when unable to physically distance.

View The City of Boston's Guidelines

The only times a student does not need to wear a face covering is when a student is:

In their Residence Hall Room

A student’s room is a semi-private space and is not prone to frequent traffic by other students. As such, students are not required to wear a face covering when in their bedroom. However, roommates must discuss in their roommate agreement whether face coverings must be worn if students who do not live in the bedroom are in the room. This includes bathrooms, kitchens and living rooms in New Residence Hall apartments.

Eating or Drinking

Face coverings may be removed to eat or drink. Students can temporarily remove their face covering if they are actively eating or drinking outside of their residence hall room. Students must remain at least six feet away from others while eating or drinking, unless the students live in the same room or apartment.

Personal Grooming/Hygiene

Students are required to wear their face covering while navigating the bathroom. There are a variety of personal grooming/hygiene actions that may require removal of a face covering, such as showering, brushing teeth, shaving facial hair, etc.). If a student must remove their face covering in the bathroom for personal grooming/hygiene, they are required to stay at least six feet away from other students. Personal grooming/hygiene is only permitted in residence hall bathrooms.

Symptom Monitoring

Emmanuel has partnered with both The Broad Institute and CoVerified to provide the end-user tools for managing COVID-19 response. Through the CoVerified mobile app and website, all faculty, staff, and students must complete daily symptom check whether you are coming to campus or not. All employees who exhibit symptoms are prohibited from coming to campus and must notify their supervisor or department head. Students should notify the Health Center immediately if they exhibit any symptoms. 


All faculty, staff and students will be tested up to two times per week, a rate that scientific models have demonstrated will greatly limit the potential spread of the virus by detecting infections in individuals prior to them becoming contagious. Emmanuel will use an anterior nasal swab test, which is considered the least invasive COVID-19 test available. The test, which is free of charge to all faculty, staff, and students coming to campus, is quick and accurate. Test results will be provided electronically to the individual and to Emmanuel within 24 hours of delivery to the lab.

Isolation and Quarantine

To mitigate the spread of the virus, Emmanuel College will isolate students who have tested positive or who are suspected of having the virus and awaiting a test result. Students who test positive for COVID-19 or are suspected of having the virus and are awaiting their test result will be isolated for 14 days (or until their test result has returned) in campus housing.

Students who have been exposed to the coronavirus (identified through contact tracing efforts) will be asked to self-quarantine.

Detailed testing and isolation/quarantine plans will be shared prior to the beginning of the Spring 2021 semester.

If able, students will be asked to inform their family if they test positive for COVID-19. If unable, the College will notify family members identified as their emergency contact. Isolation and quarantine protocols will be put into effect. These protocols will be shared prior to student arrival on campus.

Building systems vary widely across campus. Emmanuel has followed guidelines to increase the amount of fresh air, ventilation, and exhaust for buildings with air conditioning.  Some buildings have no air conditioning and can only be ventilated by opening windows. Our building systems are maintained on preventative maintenance (PM) schedules that include operational checks and filter changes. This PM work was completed during the summer. Prior to re-opening, building systems will be purged, checked and set to the normal operating settings for temperature and humidity, based on occupancy schedules. 

COVID-19 policies, procedures and protocols will be incorporated into Residence Life staff training. Staff will be updated regularly as updates from health agencies such as the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Health are shared with the College.

There will be protocols in place for social distancing during emergency evacuations. These will be fully explained to students at the beginning of the semester and will be shared in written form with all students.

There will be extensive safety protocols in place across campus, including reconfigured spaces to promote physical distancing (adhering to state and city guidelines), new cleaning and sanitation procedures, and a comprehensive testing and contact tracing plan. The College will share further details about these extensive protocols in the coming weeks.

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