Semester Breaks

The College Houses remain open for Fall Break, Thanksgiving Break, and Spring Break. For Winter Break, all First-Year and Four-YearCollege Houses will close.  All Upperclass (Gutmann, Harnwell, Harrison, Radian, and Rodin) College Houses will remain open.

Quick Tip

Make sure you review occupancy dates of your building so you plan your travel accordingly.

Winter Break 2023-2024

The Fall Occupancy period ends at noon, Friday, December 22, 2023. Spring occupancy begins at 9AM, Saturday, January 13, 2024. 


Closed Buildings

First-Year and Four-Year College Houses close at noon on Friday, December 22.  Residents in buildings that are closing MUST vacate their rooms and buildings by noon on that day.  Front doors and/or gates will be locked at that time. 


Open Buildings

The following College Houses will remain open during Winter Break: 

  • Harnwell College House
  • Harrison College House
  • Rodin College House
  • Gutmann College House
  • Radian

Residents of open buildings who wish to stay in their rooms over Winter Break will need to register through MyHomeAtPenn. Instructions will be sent to residents via email.

Any undergraduate student needing to remain in on-campus housing during Winter Break (December 22 – January 13) must complete the Winter Break Form, available in MyHomeAtPenn on November 14.


Students who live in Upperclass College Houses (Gutmann, Harnwell, Harrison, Rodin, and Radian) can remain in their assignments during Winter Break.  In order to maintain access to your building and room, you must complete the Winter Break Form at MyHomeAtPennno later than December 22 at noon. 


Students from First-Year (Hill, Kings Court English, Lauder, and Quad – Fisher Hassenfeld, and Ware) and Four-Year College Houses (Du Bois, Gregory, and Stouffer) will have to complete the Winter Break Form at MyHomeAtPenn

Student requests will be reviewed by a committee and students will be notified of their request status within 5 business days. Those closed building students that are approved for Winter Break housing will be relocated to available spaces on-campus in Sansom Place West.  Students remaining on campus for Winter Break should anticipate sharing their space with a roommate or suitemate(s). Winter Break housing is not meant to provide a 1-2 day extension for residents. Winter Break housing is meant to provide housing for students that are not able to leave campus for break period.

The deadline for form submission by residents in First-Year College Houses is 12 noon on Thursday, December 14.  Students in First-Year College Houses and Four-Year College Houses will be notified of their relocation space in the afternoon of Tuesday, December 19.  Students in Upperclass College Houses may submit the form through December 22 at noon. 

In addition to the information found in the Other Break Periods section, please note the following steps for leaving campus for Winter Break:

  1. Close your windows when you leave to keep out cold air, rain and wind. Failure to do this may result in fines of at least $50. 
  2. Leave heat settings on low to minimize risk of frozen pipes. 
  3. Lock all doors.
  4. Store items OFF the floor of your room (i.e., on the bed or desk) to avoid damage in the event of a flood. 
  5. Make sure that lounge and common bathroom windows are closed and locked at all times. 
  6. Seal food items in containers to avoid drawing pests. Clean up crumbs after that last study break. 
  7. POWER DOWN! Unplug appliances: i.e. lamps, clocks, fans, computers, appliances except refrigerators. 
  8. Take your must-need items with you, such as jewelry, computers, small electronics, medications, passports, critical documents, etc.

The Harnwell and Hill Mail & Package Centers will remain open through Winter Break except for the Holiday closures listed below. For questions regarding mail or packages please email . Following is additional information for winter break mail and package services.


If you are leaving for winter break:

  • All mail and packages will be held at the Hill or Harnwell Package Centers over the winter break period.
  • Packages that were delivered to package lockers prior to winter break will be returned to your Mail & Package Center if you did not pick them up before leaving campus.
  • You will not be allowed to enter the College Houses or Sansom Place West to retrieve mail or packages during the winter break period.
  • Please note that you may receive autogenerated email reminders for package pickups. Regardless of these reminder emails your packages will be held and not returned to sender.

If you are staying on-campus for winter break:

  • Mail and packages will be available for pickup at the Hill or Harnwell Mail & Package Center throughout the break.
  • Please note that If you have been assigned to stay in a College House other than your academic year assignment for winter break your Mail & Package Center may have changed. Following are the College Houses that are served by each Mail & Package Center.
    • Harnwell Mail & Package Center
      • Du Bois College House 
      • Gregory College House 
      • Gutmann College House
      • Harnwell College House 
      • Harrison College House 
      • The Quadrangle 
      • Rodin College House 
      • Stouffer College House  
      • College House at the Radian
    •  Hill Mail & Package Center
      • Hill College House 
      • Kings Court English College House 
      • Lauder College House 

​​​​​​Mail & Package Center Hours

  • Monday – Friday: 8AM-9PM
  • Saturday: 10AM-5PM
  • Holiday Mail & Package Center Hours
    • Friday 12/22 – Open from 8AM-2PM
    • Monday 12/25 – Closed
    • Winter Break 12/26 to 1/5 - Reduced Hours - 8AM-7PM
    • New Year’s Day – Monday 1/1 - Closed  

If you are Graduating in January:

  • Mail and packages can be forwarded to you for up to 6 months after graduation. If you would like to request mail forwarding you must email with the following information.
    • Email Subject line: “Add to Mail Forwarding”
    • Full Name
    • Fall 2023 Room Assignment
    • Email address
    • Phone Number
    • Forwarding address
  • Please note that there may be costs associated with forwarding mail and packages. Mail & Package Center staff will contact you if additional postage is needed to forward you item.
    • Domestic mail send via USPS can be forwarded at no change.
    • Mail that is being forwarded to an international address will need additional postage before it can be sent.
    • Packages will likely need additional postage before they can be forward unless the option for package forwarding was included with the initial shipment.

  • Anyone who is not a resident of the building, or does not have a valid PennCard, including a family member, is considered a guest. Residents will be able to sign in guests at the Information Center, following established guest access procedures. 
  • Winter Break Housing participants are permitted to have guests during winter break following established guest access procedures. This includes having no more than two guests at a time, signing your guest(s) in for every entry, and accompanying your guest at all times. Guest passes will not be issued and guests are unable to stay longer than a consecutive 3 days and 2 nights.
  • Guests must have a valid form of photo ID to be signed in and must be accompanied by a building resident host at all times. They should expect to present their ID for sign in and for physical verification upon each entry. 
  • For the Sabbath observant, a Shabbat Security List is generated by The Orthodox Community at Penn to permit observant Jewish students special access to the residences on Shabbat without carrying their ID cards. 
  • Residents are responsible for their guests at all times! 
  • Guest passes will NOT be issued or accepted for access into open buildings during the Winter Break period. 

When you leave campus for Fall, Thanksgiving, or Spring Break, please do the following:

  1. Lock your apartment or room door whenever you leave. Make sure that windows are closed and locked and that shades, drapes, and blinds are closed. 

  1. Make sure that valuables and electronics are stored in a safe and secure location. 

  1. If you have a bike on campus, think about storing it in your room, or use a "U-Lock" to secure it to a bike rack in a populated area. 

  1. Make sure that lounge and common bathroom windows are closed and locked at all times. 

  1. Seal food items in containers to avoid drawing pests. Clean up crumbs after that last study break. 

  1. POWER DOWN! Unplug appliances: i.e. lamps, clocks, fans, computers, appliances except refrigerators. 

  1. Unplug, remove or throw away decorations.