Academic Breaks

Stanford residences and Housing Front Desks remain open during Thanksgiving Break and Spring Break.

During Winter Break, undergraduate residences close for security reasons and the University requests that most departments close or reduce services to save energy costs. Student Housing will shut down heating systems in closed undergraduate buildings and reduce lighting in common areas

Break Undergraduate residences Graduate residences Residence dining halls
Thanksgiving Break Open Open Open in at least one location on campus
Winter Break Closed: Interim housing will be available in one location Open Closed
Spring Break Open Open Closed: some service at Stanford retail cafes
Summer Quarter Limited availability Full-year residences open At least one dining hall remains open
Summer-autumn interim Open to students with a 10-week summer contract, autumn assignment, and contract for interim housing Open to students living in graduate residences during both summer and autumn terms Closed: some service at Stanford retail cafes

If You Leave During Break

If you plan to be away during an academic recess, make your travel reservations early! Many area schools and universities have the same break schedules, and flights and trains often are booked far in advance. Before you leave for break:

  • Pack everything you’ll need during the Winter Break, including clothing, medicine, your computer, passport, and other personal items. You cannot get back into your undergraduate residence during the break.
  • Lock doors and windows in your room or apartment.
  • Unplug unnecessary items.
  • Defrost, empty, and unplug your refrigerator (Winter Break) to help conserve energy.
  • Prop open the refrigerator door to prevent smells and mold problems.
  • Clean your room or apartment.
  • Empty trash and recycling bins to deter pests.
  • Make sure safety rails are in place if you have a lofted bed.
  • If you leave your car on campus, remove all valuables.

Also, please do not leave your bike in a common area of your residence while you are away. Student Housing staff will move bikes left in these areas to exterior bike parking areas.

Housing for Winter Break

All undergraduate residences close during Winter Break. Graduate housing remains open.

Alternatives for Interim Housing

  • Reserve temporary housing at the Stanford Guest House.
  • Stay with a friend who lives off campus.
  • Go home with a friend and spend the break with his or her family.
  • Arrange a temporary rental. Begin your search on the Community Housing web site.
  • Stay at a local hotel or motel.
  • Look for short-term rentals in the Stanford Report, Stanford Daily,, or
  • For more ideas, talk to your RA, friends, and student organizations.

Residential & Dining Enterprises offers interim housing at an off-campus site to students who need housing for all or part of the winter break.

Reservations and advance payment are required.

What to take

  • Anything you think you’ll need during Winter Break. You cannot get back into your undergraduate residence for three weeks.
  • Clothing, medicine, your computer, passport, and other personal items

Alternative Spring Break

Instead of spending Spring Break enjoying home-cooked meals or tanning by the pool, some students opt for one of Stanford’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) projects offered through the Haas Center for Public Service.

Stanford’s nationally-recognized ASB program gives students an opportunity to combine classroom discussions and directed reading (Winter Quarter) on issues ranging from the environment and energy to veterans’ affairs with an educational trip during Spring Break.

Learn more about ASB projects and application procedures.

Housing for Summer Quarter

Summer housing is available in some residences to both undergraduate and graduate students. Summer housing is included in the term of occupancy of students in graduate housing with full-year contracts.

Students in graduate housing with academic year contracts, and all students living in undergraduate housing, must apply separately for summer housing in the spring.

Each year in April, look for summer housing information and an application in Apply for Summer Housing.

Spring-Summer Interim Housing

Students who are assigned for summer will automatically have housing provided between spring and summer. See check-in dates and times, as they vary depending on your contract and the location of your spring and summer housing. Students will be charged for this period of housing and charges will be split between your spring and summer bills.

Note: If you will be remaining in your current room during the summer and would like your telephone and cable subscription services to continue, contact IT Services by the Friday before graduation.

Summer-Autumn Interim Housing

Summer-Autumn Interim Housing is the period of time between the end of the 10-week summer contract and the beginning of the undergraduate autumn housing assignments.

  • Summer-Autumn Interim is optional, and is only for continuing Stanford Undergraduate students with a 10-week summer contract and an Autumn assignment.
  • Undergraduate students who apply in the Summer Lottery may add or remove Summer-Autumn Interim through the online Summer Change Request form. There may be a fee for each change, depending on when the Summer Change Request form is submitted.