Do colleges have days off?

Do colleges have days off?

Colleges do have days off, Humans are considered the most intellectually advanced creatures. Always pushing our intellectual barriers and creating newer advancements, but it’s no surprise when these same efforts can lead to overworking ourselves. This results in what we call a “burnout”. After all, we are living creatures, not man-made technologies. Even machines stop working after exhausting maximum capabilities. That is why breaks are needed in our day-to-day lives. Be it in the form of weekends, national holidays, etc. 

Yes, colleges do have days off throughout the academic year. Aside from most weekends, public and national holidays are usually observed as well. Although not all colleges observe the same holidays, some might have classes on specific holidays, some might not. But all in all, colleges do provide days off for their students to relax and catch up on their work, hobbies, or meet their families/friends, etc.

Types of Off Days in Colleges

The days of the year every student eagerly anticipates. Sometimes, you just need some time off to yourself from the routine of academic life. Here are the types of holidays colleges provide:

  • Seasonal Holidays:
  • Summer Break:

Just like school, colleges provide a summer break of around 3-3.5 months long.

  • Winter Break:

Depending on your college schedule and policies, you can get a winter break of around 4-6 weeks.

  • Spring Break:

For most colleges, this is usually 1-2 weeks long.

  • Weekends:

Saturdays and Sundays are usually off for the most part. If your class or major requires it, then sometimes evening classes or meetings might be arranged on the weekend for which the students must attend. 

  • Public Holidays:

Just like every institute and company/employer enjoys days off on public holidays, colleges provide this benefit to their students. Religious holidays (excluding Christmas) are not included, however. 

Can students take additional days off?

Students may take additional days off, but it’s not practiced very often. Since the academic days are limited and the course is lengthy, students cannot afford to take additional days off. If you miss a day, you’ll be a day behind and thus must make up for it. However, if the circumstances require it, there are options for students provided by the college:

  • Gap Year/Semester:
  • Most colleges do offer the option of taking off a semester or year. You can still re-enroll in your classes. It is just a pause in your academic studies. You must continue where you left off after you come back.
  • It could be for medical reasons, travel, break, exploring new hobbies, etc. 
  • It’s all about growing and expanding.
  • Leave of absence (LOA):
  • Students may apply for a leave of absence. This is just a temporary intervention during the time in which the student is enrolled.
  • This cannot be more than 180 days in 12 months.
  • Exceeding this time may result in serious repercussions on the student’s financial aid. 

Ways to utilize days off:

  • Summer Classes:
  • Summer Classes are an excellent way to utilize your summer break if you don’t already have anything planned for you. 
  • Perhaps you need an extra push in certain classes you’re not doing so well in, then no worries. Summer break is the perfect time to take up additional classes without feeling like you’re being left behind.
  •  Summer classes, however, are not only for those who need a push. Many students may take additional courses to enhance future job prospects. 
  • Students may simply take summer classes of curriculums they find interesting but do not have time for in their busy academic life.
  • Gap Year/Semester Off:
  •  Contrary to the stigma surrounding taking a gap year/semester off, many students tend to go for this liable option during their college life.
  • It’s no secret that college life can be really taxing on an individual’s life, so taking a much-needed extra break can prove very fruitful in the future. 
  • Traveling, exploring other academic paths, taking up an internship/part-time job, volunteer work, etc. are all very common ways students utilize their gap year/semester off. 
  • This is a great way to develop one’s personality and additional skills as well as mentally declutter.
  • Just remember that in the case of taking a semester off, be prepared to create a plan that’ll help you readjust when you re-enroll in classes.
  • Catching up with friends and spending time with family can be best done during a gap year/semester off.
  • Weekends:
  • Visit local art galleries, museums, or other events.
  • Participate in on-campus functions.
  • Travel to nearby areas, go hiking, visit the beach, etc.
  • Work on unfinished projects.
  • Basically, weekends are for your own self-care. 


Having days off provided by the college as well as additional options for students is very important for the mental health of an individual. College life is the time where students not only accel academically but also explore who they are and work towards things they are passionate about. Days off provide a perfect work-play balance for the student so that they may handle the real world effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are students allowed to go home during summer break?

Yes, of course. However, it is solely up to the student themself. Most college students do end up going home during their summer break. But if they wish to stay back, they may do so. In case, the student lives in apartments near campus, the lease might end right before summer break starts. It’s best for such students to lease a full year if they plan on residing near campus. 

Must students complete their major in the designated period?

No. Students on average can complete their major within 6 years, even if the duration to complete the course is 4 years long. Many factors are responsible, and colleges are aware of that. Medical reasons, taking a break from academics to de-stress, broadening future job prospects, family emergencies, wanting to change majors, etc. are all valid reasons to extend the duration of completing their course.