Incoming Student FAQs

Do I have to purchase any course materials before the first day of class?

No, unless noted on the course description. The instructor typically hands out or announces a material list on the first day of class.

If I need to change my course schedule before my first semester begins, how should I go about it?

You should contact the Registrar’s Office directly at 617-879-7272 or the Academic Advising Office at 617-879-7281 or 617-879-7282 for assistance, since faculty members and advisors are not always on campus before the semester begins.

Can I add or drop a course?

Yes. But when adding a course, you should first contact the instructor to make sure the class is not full. Also, showing up on the first day of class increases your chances of getting in. You may obtain an Add/Drop form from the Registrar’s office.

Do I have to attend the first day of class?

Yes. It is critical to attend all first day of classes; when many of the course materials, concepts and goals are introduced. Faculty may also drop your name from the class roster to make seat available to another student on the waiting list if you are not present.

If I have questions about academics who should I talk to?

You should contact your faculty advisor first. If you need additional advising you may contact the Studio Foundation Academic Advisor, Professor Marc Holland (

How can I find out the name of my faculty advisor?

You will meet your faculty advisor during Orientation. Also, the names of all freshman and their advisors will be posted outside the Studio Foundation’s Main Office on the third floor of the South Building.

I am commuter student. Is there a designated space where I can do my work?

Yes, there is a studio space located in the Artists’ Residence Building (campus map). You must contact Ian Gage, Studio Manager, at 617-879-7530 or email, to register for a space.

I am commuter student. Is there a place where I can securely leave my art materials and my work?

Yes, you can request a locker. Contact Ian Gage, Studio Manager at 617-879-7530 or email to place your request.

Do I need to purchase my own computer now?

No. You are not required to purchase a computer, however, please refer to the answer to the next question regarding digital media storage. The Studio Foundation Department and the College provide access to the computer workstations you will need to complete digital assignments in the Visual Language and TIME classes. In addition,  the department maintains open lab hours outside of class time. Students also have access to the Computer Arts Center labs (Tower, 3rd floor). The Godine Library has computers for researching and writing papers.

Where will I store my digital media?

You will need a USB Flash Drive with a minimum capacity of 16 GB to store your digital work for the Visual Language and TIME classes. The TIME class has an addition requirement:  You must have an external hard drive (with a USB2 and/or FireWire 800 and/or Thunderbolt connection) to store your digital work.  For video editing USB2 is usable but offers unsatisfactory speeds. USB3 is currently not supported in the Studio Foundation labs. Hard drives must be formatted as “MacOS Extended Journaled” for use on a Macintosh. Talk with your teacher or visit the SF Cage if you need assistance formatting your hard drive.

I need extra help using the Macintosh (or Adobe Photoshop, or Adobe Premiere Pro), where can I get some additional help?

First thing you should do is speak with your instructor. Another option is Digital Media Zone (special open lab hours with an expert consultant on duty, hours are posted on this web site, throughout the department, and on the SF Cage door). One-on-one sessions can be scheduled (in advance) with Gene Preble, Media Arts Studio Manager at 617-879-7298 or email In addition, the Computer Arts Center runs a variety of workshops throughout the semester. Note: These are quick answers, for specific questions contact your instructor or faculty adviser and for general information use the search box on the right or take a look through the various sections of this web site along the top menu section.