Conservatory Academic Policies

Academic Catalog

The Academic Catalog is a resources for academic rules and procedures. The Academic Catalog contains information about academic programs available at the Conservatory, including detailed information on majors, minors and concentrations, academic achievement, prizes and awards, degree requirements, academic credit, academic standing, and the Academic Review Committee. The catalog also provides information on leaves, withdrawal, and readmission.

Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity

Students have an obligation to behave honorably and ethically in carrying out their academic, musical, and personal activities.


Academic Dishonesty 

Academic dishonesty is claiming the work of others as your own. Examples include copying from another student, using facts, ideas, words or phrases from an un-cited source, or relying on hidden notes during an examination. Please note that while at times it may be acceptable to re-use your own work from a prior course to build upon your research, you may only do so with permission of the instructor.



All NEC students are required to conform to strict ethical standards. The following list of instances of plagiarism is taken from the MLA Handbook:

  • You took notes that did not distinguish summary and paraphrase from quotation and then you presented wording from the notes as if it were all your own.
  • While browsing the Web, you copied text and pasted it into your paper without quotation marks or without citing the source.
  • You presented facts without saying where you found them.
  • You repeated or paraphrased someone’s wording without acknowledgement.
  • You took someone’s unique or particularly apt phrase without acknowledgement.
  • You paraphrased someone’s argument or presented someone’s line of thought without acknowledgement.
  • You bought or otherwise acquired a research paper and handed in part or all of it as your own.

The MLA handbook advises the following practices to avoid plagiarism:

  • Making a list of the writers and viewpoints you discovered in your research and using this list to double-check the presentation of material in your paper.
  • Keeping the following three categories distinct in your notes: your ideas, your summaries of others’ material, and exact wording you copy.
  • Identifying the sources of all material you borrow—exact wording, paraphrases, ideas, arguments, and facts.
  • Checking with your instructor when you are uncertain about your use of sources

Also, please note that translating directly from a non-English source without citation is also considered plagiarism.

A confirmed case of plagiarism may lead to both academic and disciplinary consequences. The professor will decide the academic consequence: the Conservatory recommends a failing grade on the paper and in the class.

Every suspected case of plagiarism is reported to the Dean or Senior Associate Dean of Students. The Dean or Senior Associate Dean of Students will make a decision about disciplinary consequences. In addition, the Dean or Senior Associate Dean of Students may choose to convene a meeting of the Student Disciplinary Committee (see Disciplinary Codes and Procedures) to review the evidence and determine appropriate consequences, ranging from exoneration to expulsion.


Practice Room Policy

Practice Room Use

Conservatory practice rooms are available on a “first-come-first-served” basis.  However, there are a few guidelines that we expect everyone to follow:

  • All students practicing in the Jordan Hall building, the 33 Gainsborough building and the 3rd floor of the St. Botolph building are required to place their NEC ID’s in a card holder, which are located inside the window of each practice room door.
  • Students may use the rooms for as long as they wish, but they must be present in the rooms to retain their use.
  • Students who leave rooms for more than fifteen (15) minutes lose the use of rooms.
  • Rooms cannot be saved through meals, classes, or other prolonged periods of time.
  • Students are responsible for the condition of the rooms, and, if there is any damage attributable to them, they are responsible for these expenses.
  • Students are responsible for any items left in a practice room. Students cannot save rooms by keeping items in the rooms.
  • Under no circumstances may students teach in practice rooms or studios.
  • Students and staff must be observable in studios, offices and practice rooms at all times. Window coverings (shades, drapes, papers and posters, or any other obstruction in the window) will be removed.


The Jordan Hall building is open for practicing seven days a week, Sunday through Saturday, from 7:00 a.m. until 12:00 midnight. The 33 Gainsborough building is open for practicing seven days a week, Sunday through Saturday, from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 pm. The St. Botolph building is open for practice Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon, then again, on a limited basis, from 6:00 p.m. until 11:00 pm; there are Continuing Education classes on weekday evenings in the St. Botolph building, which limits the number of rooms available for evening practicing. St. Botolph is open for practicing on Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.  Occasionally, the St. Botolph building is closed on Holiday weekends.

The Jordan Hall, 33 Gainsborough and St. Botolph buildings are used almost exclusively by the Preparatory and Continuing Education division until 6:00 p.m. on Saturday.


Preparatory and Continuing Education

The Conservatory’s Preparatory School uses Jordan Hall, 33 Gainsborough and St. Botolph buildings for programming on Saturdays, from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. During that time, the Conservatory’s College students may only use rooms reserved through the Concert Halls Office for rehearsals, not for individual practicing.


Types of Practice Rooms

There are four different kinds of practice rooms

  • Open rooms: these rooms are available to anyone, first-come-first-serve.
  • Locked studios: these are reserved for use by the studio instructor and his/her students. The administration requires each instructor to authorize keys or Penguin Pass codes for each of his/her students.
  • Priority rooms: There are a limited number of Piano Priority and Percussion Priority Rooms; these rooms are designated as priority rooms. Priority for these rooms must go to pianists or percussionists, since they pay annual fees for their use. This means that a pianist has priority over a singer or another instrumentalist, even if that singer or instrumentalist has nowhere else to go. Please see “Piano Priority Practice Room Policy for further details.
  • Jazz/CI Ensemble Rooms: There are a limited number of rooms that have a piano, drum set and amplifiers available. These rooms are designated priority rooms for Jazz and CI students or those needing access to a drum set and/or amplifiers for rehearsals only.

Piano Priority Room Policy

The policies below will be enforced by NEC staff. Students who do not abide by these policies may be asked to leave these rooms.

  • Piano Majors who have paid the “Piano Priority fee” are eligible to use these rooms – a sticker indicating access to these rooms should be on the student ID.
  • A student ID must be placed, picture side out, in the ID holder on the door window during use of the room.
  • Students may leave the room for a maximum of 10 minutes – if a student is gone for longer than 10 minutes, he/she will have to give up the room to another student who is waiting for a practice room.
  • Students are not permitted to teach private lessons in these rooms, nor in any room at NEC.
  • Students are not permitted to bring drinks and/or food in the room and cannot eat in these rooms – no exceptions.
  • Both College and Preparatory School faculty reserve some of these rooms for studio lessons/coachings at various times in the week – these reservations will be indicated on a printed schedule (updated weekly) outside the room.
  • The Schools of Preparatory and Continuing Education have priority with these rooms during the day on Saturdays.
  • Students whose studio teacher has a locked studio are eligible to receive a copy of the key to the studio for practicing when the studio is not being used – keys can be obtained from the Building Operations department on specific days/times.
  • Please do not leave any unattended valuables in the room, even though it is locked – NEC is not responsible for any missing or stolen items.
  • Be courteous and respectful to other piano students waiting for rooms.
  • For any emergency, please call Public Safety at x1777 or 617-585-1777.

Piano Priority Rooms

  • JH208, JH248, JH249, JH250, JH251, JH256, JH259, JH302, JH303, JH305, JH308, JH310, JH312, JH316, JH318, JH322, JH324, JH349, JH351, JH359– all of these rooms may occasionally be reserved for faculty instruction and coaching as well as Piano audition days in February/March, but are otherwise available for practicing
  • Piano faculty who do not have a locked studio may reserve these rooms for their studio teaching.