Emerson residence halls offer students the opportunity to live in the city of Boston and develop responsibility and independence through active participation in their living community. 

Residency Requirement Policy

New first-year students entering college for the fall semester are required to live on campus for their first six semesters at Emerson College. Housing cannot be guaranteed for students after completion of the residency requirement. 

New first-year students entering college in a spring semester are required to live in College housing for their first five semesters at Emerson College. Housing cannot be guaranteed for students after completion of the residency requirement. 

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 an enrollment deposit and then will be able to log into their housing portal to complete the non-guaranteed housing application. 

Once a student’s housing guarantee is complete, students can request housing through the non-guarantee housing application and/or the on-campus housing lottery. HRE will work to house students provided there is space available on campus.

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

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 college-sponsored meal plans. 

External Programs or Approved Study

Abroad Program

Students who have an active housing requirement/guarantee  and are 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. 

Students without an active housing requirement/guarantee who are 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 and availability of spaces on campus after all guarantee students returning to campus are housed.


Exemptions to the residency requirement may be granted by Housing and Residential Education (HRE). Students seeking an exemption must submit a Request for Exemption to Residency Requirement Form along with supporting documentation.
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., a physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist. 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 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.

Housing Selection and 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 time 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 and will be offered housing if there is space available.

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. 

If you would like more information and/or wish to fill out an exemption request form, please visit https://www.emerson.edu/policies/residency-requirement.

Residence Hall Locations

Our residence halls are conveniently located near all of the College’s academic and administrative buildings. The residence hall locations are: 

  • Little Building, 80 Boylston Street, Boston 
  • Piano Row, 150 Boylston Street, Boston 
  • Colonial Building, 100 Boylston Street, Boston 
  • Paramount Center, 555 Washington Street, Boston 
  • 2 Boylston Place, 2 Boylston Place, Boston 

The Little Building (80 Boylston Street) offers housing in single, double and triple occupancy rooms which are off-hallway and share communal bathrooms. There are a very small number of suites in the building as well that have access to a private bathroom. Each floor in Little Building also has one private, gender-neutral, and accessible bathroom for any resident to utilize. The campus mailroom is located on the first floor of the Little Building. 

Piano Row (150 Boylston Street) offers housing in four- and six-person suites. A café and convenience store are located in Piano Row. The Colonial Building (100 Boylston Street) offers students the opportunity to live in single or double rooms within suites. Students live in double rooms within four- and six-person suites. 

The Paramount Center (555 Washington Street). In addition to the residence hall, some of the features in the Paramount Center include a café, rehearsal and classrooms, the Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre, and the Bright Family Screening Room. 

The College provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the College Dining Center for students living on and off campus. The meal plan is mandatory for all undergraduate students living in the residence halls. 

All students living in the residence halls are required to sign a room and board contract for the full academic year. Students are obligated to fulfill their full-year commitment unless they graduate mid-year. 

Learning, Theme, and Special Interest Communities

Housing and Residential Education provides specialized housing in Learning Communities as well as within spaces where New, First-Time students can be housed within special interests. These communities offer students the opportunity to form and participate in residence hall learning groups organized around common academic and/or intellectual interests related to the College’s mission, or a specific area of growth and development. Choosing to be a part of any of the communities listed here involves a commitment to fellow students living within the cluster. They are assigned on a space-available basis. For more information about this specialty housing, including their locations, please visit https://www.emerson.edu/departments/housing-residential-education/residence-halls/specialty-communities.

Residential Specific Policies

The Basic Rights of a Resident include:

  • The right to read, study, and live free from undue interference, unreasonable noise, and other distractions that inhibit the exercise of this right.
  • The right to expect that others will respect one’s personal belongings.
  • The right to a reasonably clean environment in which to live.
  • The right to free access to one’s room and to the facilities provided in the residence hall.
  • The right to a reasonable degree of personal privacy.
  • The right to redress grievances through Community Standards procedures.
  • The right to be free from physical or psychological intimidation, harassment, and/or harm.

The Basic Responsibilities of a Resident include:

  • Treating other residents with respect and consideration and guaranteeing them their individual rights.
  • Understanding and abiding by all policies and regulations necessary for the hall community to function, and abiding by those rules (contained in the housing contract, Student Handbook, and other official College publications and postings).
  • Being responsive to all reasonable requests from fellow residents.
  • Being responsive and cooperative in all dealings with residence hall staff members and other College officials.
  • Accepting responsibility for personal and community safety, e.g., refraining from misusing safety equipment; propping open security doors; destruction of fire exit and other safety signage; falsely activating fire alarms or fire extinguishers; losing, forgetting, and/or duplicating front door/room keys.
  • Recognizing that public areas and their furnishings belong to everyone, and abuse of those areas and furnishings violates the rights of the community.

Residence Hall Policies

In addition to the policies cited elsewhere in the Student Code of Conduct, all residential students and their guests are expected to adhere to the policies cited below.

Alcohol, and Other Drugs

Refer to the Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy outlined by Community Standards.

Fire Safety

Fire safety equipment is installed on each floor for the protection of the residents. This equipment is for emergency use only and the misuse of such equipment may result in the lack of protection in the event of an actual emergency.

The College will take very strong action against students found in violation of any fire safety policy. Individual students found engaged in such behavior will be subject to severe disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the residence hall, and/or monetary fines, and may be subject to criminal prosecution.

If the particular individuals involved in damage to fire safety equipment cannot be identified, the residence hall or floor will be subject to the monetary charges on a prorated basis.

Students may not:

  1. Use or possess unauthorized appliances including, but not limited to: sun lamps, heating coils, air conditioners, water beds, electric frying pans, hot pots, coffee makers with an exposed heating element (Keurig–type coffee makers are permitted), toaster ovens, popcorn poppers, air fryers, and heating elements or cooking elements in any area of the residence hall. Refrigerator/freezer combinations are permitted provided the total size of the unit is no larger than a 3.1 cubic foot capacity. Microwaves are allowed, but are limited to 700 watts of cooking power. Clothing irons and clothing steamers with an automatic shut-off are permitted. 
  2. Possess or store halogen lamps, hoverboards, electric scooters, electric one-wheels, motorized or electric bikes, etc, in the residence hall. 
  3. Use or possess space heaters, heated blankets, etc. 
  4. Store or use highly combustible items (e.g., gasoline, refill containers of cigarette lighter fluid, propane gas). 
  5. Hang large tapestries or other large flammable items from ceilings or walls or near doors or other means of egress, or hang anything from ceilings or pipes. 
  6. Excessively (more than 50 percent) cover walls or doors. 
  7. Utilize area rugs, including welcome mats and small shoe rugs (area rugs are only permitted in buildings with tiled floors, including the Paramount Center and 2 Boylston Place, and must be under 20 sq. ft)
  8. Intentionally, negligently, or recklessly misuse, disable, or damage fire safety–related equipment (e.g., fire extinguishers, alarmed doors, exit signs, sprinkler systems, smoke detectors). 
  9. Possess or use dart boards utilizing metal or sharp object tips
  10. Possess or use items capable of producing an open flame (e.g., all candles, torches, incense, Sterno, refill containers of cigarette lighter fluid). 
  11. Tamper with electrical wiring, circuit panels, or related equipment.
  12. Build lofts/platforms or bunk beds in student rooms. 
  13. Obstruct any entrance, exit, corridor, or stairwell by placing any furnishings, property, or electrical wiring in these areas. This includes student rooms. 
  14. Possess light strings without a label indicating the product has undergone independent testing by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  15. Possess extension cords or any kind of outlet splitter without surge protection. Surge protectors are permitted. 
  16. Fail to evacuate the building and follow directions from both the automated alarm systems and College officials during the sounding of a fire alarm. 
  17. Possess fitness machines/equipment exceeding 10 lbs (weights, exercise bikes, etc). 
  18. Intentionally, recklessly, or negligently cause the sounding of the fire alarm without evidence of fire. 
  19. Possess non-College-issued upholstered furniture or window treatments: In accordance with the City of Boston fire code regulations, upholstered furniture and window treatments (such as curtains) are not permitted in College residence halls. Area rugs not exceeding 20 square feet are permitted on non-carpeted floors.  Cube-style storage ottomans up to 16 cubic inches and individual chairs that can be folded flat and stored away such as canvas camping chairs are permitted. 
  20. Violate other fire safety policies as noted in the Student Handbook or other official College publications or postings.

Guest/Visitor Policy

Emerson College grants residential students the privilege of hosting guests in the residence halls. The right of a student to live in reasonable privacy takes precedence over the privilege of their roommate or suitemate to entertain a guest in their room or suite. A resident’s ability to host guests is, in fact, a courtesy extended by roommates and/ or suitemates.

A guest is any individual, over the age of 17, who is present in a campus residence hall room or suite at the invitation of a resident student of the room or suite. This definition includes Emerson students, family, and friends. For safety and security reasons, all guests must have a government issued photo identification and residents are expected to only host individuals with whom they are familiar.

Residents may host overnight guests in Emerson’s residence halls for no more than three (3) nights per seven-day period. Resident students who violate this privilege may have their overnight guest privileges terminated.

Guests may stay no longer than three (3) nights in a seven-day period. Guests who violate this privilege may have their overnight guest privileges terminated.

The intent of guest privileges is to allow limited and temporary lodging or visitation for a resident’s personal friend or relative at no additional cost, not a place of residence. Detailed arrangements for having guests must be worked out and mutually agreed upon by all roommates and/or suitemates. If an agreement cannot be reached, a staff member may be called upon to help mediate the conflict.

Guests that are disruptive or involved in a policy violation of any kind may be asked to leave the residence hall immediately and may be banned from returning.

Please note:

  1. The host is responsible for ensuring that the guest(s) follows College rules and regulations. The host assumes the consequences for the violations committed by the guest(s). 
  2. Any person entering the residence hall must report to the main reception area. If the person does not live in on-campus housing, they must wait for their host to be signed in and escorted in the building. 
  3. A guest must be at least 17 years of age and signed in with the desk receptionist by the host before entering the residence hall and must be signed out by the host when leaving. 
  4. The guest must be escorted by the resident who signed them in at all times. 
  5. Residents may not check in more than two (2) guests at any given time.
  6. All residents must follow all maximum occupancy guidelines for their room and/or suite. The occupancy limit includes the resident(s) of the room or suite. 
  7. Failure to check guests in/out at the front desk by established procedures is prohibited. 
  8. Abuse of the hosting policy or of guest privileges (i.e, not appropriately signing guests in, attempting to sign in more than the permitted number of guests, guests not adhering to campus policies, etc) will result in removal of guest privileges. 
Room/Suite TypeMaximum Capacity (including residents of the room/suite)
Single-Person, Standalone Room3
Two-Person, Standalone Room or Suite6
Three-Person, Standalone Room or Suite8
Four-Person Suite10
Five-Person Suite10
Six-Person Suite12
Eight-Person Suite16

General Safety Policies

For the safety of individuals and all community members, a number of general safety policies are to be observed in the residence halls. Each community member is encouraged to hold others accountable to the community’s general safety policies.
Students may not:

  1. Throw or drop objects from windows or down stairwells or place objects on ledges or fire escapes. 
  2. Remove or tamper with window stop hardware and/or screens. 
  3. Throw or toss objects in hallways or play “hall sports,” including in-line skating, skateboarding, use of scooters, bike riding ,etc.
  4. Access the roof, roof ledge, window ledge, or fire escape (without evidence of fire) of any residence hall. 
  5. Possess, store, manufacture, or use firearms, dangerous weapons, weapons used for sparring or fighting, or fireworks. This includes nunchucks or karate sticks, switchblades, swords, knives, pistols, mace, pepper spray, guns, ammunition, firecrackers, tear gas, or other dangerous weapons or articles. Knife exception: Butter/table knives without a serrated edge or non-locking pocket knives with a single edge no larger than 2.75” in length.
  6. Possess realistic replicas of dangerous weapons.  
  7. Prop any stairwell door or security door/ grate 
  8. Possess or store any human or animal remains within the residence halls including bones, ashes, or animal carcasses.  

Keys, Locks & Identification

  • Students are to carry their keys and Emerson ID at all times. 
  • Keys issued to an individual are not to be given/lent to others at any time. 
  • The unauthorized use or duplication of keys is prohibited. 
  • Lost keys must be reported immediately to the residence director of the residence hall
  • The unauthorized use of student property, residence hall property, or equipment is prohibited. 
  • Failure to comply with the directions of residence hall staff members in performance of their duties is prohibited. 
  • Failure to present ID upon request to staff members in performance of their duties is prohibited. Students are required to carry College ID at all times. 
  • Resident students are required to present their IDs to the desk receptionist each time they enter a residence hall. 
  • Students may not change the locks on their doors or add other locking devices including, but not limited to, deadbolts, chains, or padlocks. 
  • Students may not install any audio or video-recording home security systems to the interior or exterior of their rooms.
  • Students may not violate other general safety policies as noted in the Student Handbook or other official College publications or postings.

Care and Treatment of Property 

Students may not:

  1. Remove College furniture from the residence hall room or lounge to which it is assigned. 
  2. Dismantle residence hall furniture. 
  3. Tamper with thermostat boxes in residential facilities. 
  4. Paint any residence hall structure or furnishing. 
  5. Make any renovation/addition or attachment (e.g., building shelves, making holes in the wall, the use of nails) that may cause damage. NOTE: Students are reminded that cellophane tape and other strong adhesives will cause damage to walls and/or doors by removing paint. The Office of Facilities Management recommends reasonable use of removable mounting squares or stick pins as items less likely to damage walls and/or doors. 
  6. Place room furnishings in such a way that they are supported by College furniture or residence hall structure. All room furnishings must be free standing and self supporting. 
  7. Prop bed legs on any objects other than commercially manufactured bed risers (6” maximum height). Concrete blocks are not approved for bed raising. 
  8. Place postings in residence hall common areas, except on authorized posting boards. Fliers or other postings may not be placed on hallway walls, lobbies, stairwells, doors, or other unauthorized areas in the hall. Postings may not be placed on any window. Postings must be stamped as registered through Campus Life
  9. Students are required to maintain rooms and suite common areas in a sanitary, safe, and healthy condition at all times. Residence Life staff will make periodic inspections of student rooms and suites to ensure compliance with this policy.
  10. Store personal belongings in public area (e.g., hallways, lounges, and lobbies).
  11. Dispose of any products, other than toilet paper, in residence hall toilets. Products such as paper towels, condoms, and tampons do not dissolve and will cause plumbing problems if flushed. As you would in your own home, please discard these items properly in a trash receptacle. 
  12. In the event of a vacancy in the room, occupy or utilize any of the furniture not assigned to them.  
  13. Violate other care and treatment of property policies as noted in the Student Handbook or other official College publications or postings.

Community Living Policies 

  1. Residents assigned to a room and/or suite are responsible for taking reasonable actions to responsibly address acts of misconduct and/or prohibited items in these assigned spaces. Residents who knowingly allow acts of misconduct and/or prohibited items in their room and/or suite may be held responsible, in part, for the behavior and/or the item(s).
  2. Courtesy hours are always in effect. All residents and guests are expected to be courteous of one another at all times. Residents should be able to sleep and study in their rooms. All students should honor reasonable requests by any resident or staff member when asked that stereos, amplifiers, musical instruments, etc., be discontinued or toned down. 
  3. Quiet hours are Sunday–Thursday evenings from 11:00 pm to 9:00 am the following mornings, and on Friday and Saturday evenings from 1:00 am to 10:00 am the following mornings. During quiet hours, noise should not be heard outside any room or between rooms. Any noise or sound that can be clearly heard outside one’s room or any excessive noise heard in common areas (i.e., hallways, elevators, bathrooms, laundry rooms, lounges, and suite common areas) is prohibited. 
  4. Lounges and common areas on residential floors are available for the use of the building residents including floor meetings and programs, study, relaxing, etc. Lounges and common areas may not be reserved or used for student organization meetings, rehearsals, or programs, or any meetings or activities that are disruptive to the living environment of the residence hall. 
  5. For health reasons, no pets are allowed in College residence halls, with the exception of fish. Fish tanks are not to exceed 10 gallons. PLEASE NOTE: Fish tanks, as well as all other electrical appliances, must be unplugged during periods when the hall is closed. 
  6. The unauthorized change (switch) of a residence hall room is prohibited. 
  7. The College does not permit the use of its residence or dining facilities for the solicitation of membership or contributions for religious, charitable, or political organizations or activities. This includes direct solicitations by members of the College community on behalf of such agencies. This prohibition includes the selling of goods or services, recruitment meetings and/or efforts, and tickets of chance on behalf of such agencies. For guidance on permitted advertisements or tabling, please refer to Student Engagement and Leadership. 
  8. No one may solicit in the residence hall for donations or sell any items or services. No student is permitted to sell goods or services from a residence hall, including by acting as an agent for an outside organization.
  9. Residents may not utilize the residence hall to create a tenancy or other interest in property 
  10. The violation of other community living policies as noted in the Student Handbook or other official College publications or postings is prohibited.