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More information for Students Re: January 2022


Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to read the email from interim President Gilligan announcing adjustments to the mode of instruction for the first week of the Spring 2022 semester. As a follow-up, here is some additional information regarding the process for returning to campus in January 2022.

One request! Recognizing that this email is very long, we ask that you please take your time to read through it, as it will hopefully answer many of your questions about the current plan. We will continue to be nimble and flexible given the rapidly changing public health situation and appreciate your cooperation. More information and updates will follow over the coming week.

Academic instruction:  

  • As noted in President Gilligan’s message, all Boston-based classes will be taught remotely through Friday, January 14.  The first day of in-person instruction will be Tuesday, January 18 (following the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday, January 17).
  • Individual faculty members will be in contact regarding any specific additional directions for their class during that period.
  • Students studying at ELA, PCA, and Kasteel Well can expect to receive program-specific details soon. 

Boston students (undergraduate and graduate), please return to campus as you originally planned!  There is no change to the move-in plan at this time. 

For residential students on the Boston Campus: 

  • We encourage you to move in as originally scheduled and begin the COVID testing regimen to help rebuild the Emerson bubble. You can expect to test twice a week after you return.
  • Residence halls are scheduled to be open as planned in the first week of January for early and traditional student arrivals. 
  • If you arrive on campus after January 9, please note you must plan to arrive and move in at a time when the Emerson/TMC Test Center is open (Monday-Thursday, 8:00 am-6:00 pm, and Friday, 8:00 am-4:30 pm). The testing center will not be open over the Martin Luther King Jr holiday weekend (January 15-17).
  • Please plan to arrive no later than January 11 to ensure your ability to attend classes in person on January 18. If your move-in plans change, please log in to the housing portal, cancel your originally scheduled return date, and sign up for a new date and time.

For students living off-campus in Boston:

  • If you are away during this break, we encourage you to return to Boston as originally planned and begin the COVID testing regimen to help rebuild the Emerson bubble.
  • Access to some campus buildings will be restricted until the first day of in-person instruction on January 18.  Further information on specific spaces will be forthcoming.

For students attending the Spring 2022 Emerson Los Angeles program:

  • You will receive further instructions from the staff at ELA, but as of now, the building is scheduled to reopen as planned on January 1.
  • You will receive additional information from the ELA staff about the specific move-in procedures.

For students attending the Spring 2022 Kasteel Well program:

  • You will receive further instructions from the staff in Education Abroad and Domestic Programs. As of now, the program is scheduled to run as originally planned. Please pay close attention to updates as they arrive, in particular with regard to information about entering the Netherlands from a foreign country. This information could change quickly and is subject to the direction of the Dutch government.

For students in the Global Bachelor of Fine Arts Program (GBFA):

  • You will receive further instructions from the staff at Paris College of Art. As of now, the semester is planned to begin as scheduled.  Please pay close attention to updates as they arrive, in particular with regard to information about entering France from a foreign country. This information could change quickly and is subject to the direction of the French government.

COVID Testing and Booster requirements:


  • All students who plan to access Emerson-operated facilities (Boston campus, Emerson Los Angeles center, and Kasteel Well) must :

1) Upload appropriate booster documentation to the student health portal.

2) Attest on the Emerson app that you have received the vaccine booster or to the other listed criteria.

3) The attestation process will become live on the Emerson app Friday, December 24, 2021.

  • PLEASE NOTE: If you have previously been granted an exemption from receiving the COVID vaccine, you will still need to complete the attestation, but will not need to apply for an additional exemption. 

PCR Testing Requirement Prior to Your Return :

  • All students returning to an Emerson-operated facility (Boston campus residence halls, Los Angeles center, and Kasteel Well) are asked to schedule a PCR test in your current location and receive results 72 hours prior to their expected return to campus.  A rapid test will not satisfy this requirement.
  • You are encouraged to schedule this test now, to ensure you are able to find one in your local area. Please note Emerson’s test center at Tufts Medical Center will not be able to provide this pre-return PCR test.
  • If you are not able to secure a test at no cost, you are encouraged to check with your insurance company, as they frequently cover any associated costs.
  • You will need to complete the attestation of negative test results on the Emerson app to restore your ID access to campus buildings.  Please complete the attestation within 24 hours before your scheduled return.
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 since fall classes ended or over the winter break, you must share that information with the Center for Health and Wellness by emailing which will exempt you from testing for 90 days. 
  • If you test positive within 14 days of your arrival, or you or a member of your household are experiencing symptoms, please do not return to campus and contact the Center for Health & Wellness for guidance.

Testing Requirements After Your Return:

  • All Boston-based students will be required to test twice within seven days at Emerson’s testing site at Tufts Medical Center and receive negative test results prior to attending the first in-person class on January 18.
  • PLEASE BE SURE TO PLAN YOUR RETURN TO CAMPUS ACCORDINGLY SO THAT YOU MAY PROPERLY RECEIVE THESE TWO TESTS. Students arriving after January 11 cannot meet this requirement to start in-person classes on January 18. 

What can I expect on campus between January 3 and 17?

  • The campus will operate in a “stay in room directive” through January 18. This means students are asked to only leave their residence halls or place of residence for testing, meals, medical appointments, necessary employment, or to get mail.  Students should avoid any large gatherings and not leave campus or their residence except for those situations listed above. 
  • On-campus dining facilities will open on January 6, and provide meals in a take-out “grab and go” style.  Dining facilities are scheduled to return to regular service with in-person dining on January 18 for the breakfast meal.  
  • Iwasaki Library:  The library will be staffed but closed for in-person access until January 18. Virtual services will be available. 
  • Residence Halls:  Residence halls will only be accessible to assigned residents through January 18.
  • Most campus events will take place remotely (orientation, spring org fair, etc). 
  • Fitness Center: The Emerson College Fitness Center will be closed through January 18.
  • Campus Center venues, including 172 Tremont and the Student Performance Center, will be open for their normal operational hours, but with limited functions allowed. Students can make individual bookings for personal or academic use.
  • Student organizations should plan to meet virtually, and should not gather or host in-person meetings or events until January 18.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you back in January!  To stay up to date, please check your Emerson email periodically, as we will send additional information, as well as reminders about important dates and requirements. 

Please note that the College will continue to monitor government regulations at the federal, state, and local level, as well as public health and medical guidance. Along with these resources, we will evaluate what is in the best interest of our community to promote safety, and we may make adjustments to classroom experiences, residential options, student services, and activities if needed.

Questions?  Please let us know. College offices will be closed from December 24-January 2, but we will try to answer emails as best we can during that period. We will also host a Zoom COVID Q &A on Monday, January 3, from 4:30-5:30 pm Eastern Standard Time.  Check out EmConnect for more details.  In the meantime, best wishes for a restful break, happy holidays, and a wonderful start to the new year.

Jim Hoppe
Vice President & Dean for Campus Life

PS: did you know that campus-wide emails are archived at It’s a great place to search for information you might have missed

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