Annual Vacation Term

F-1 and J-1 students may take one vacation term per calendar year. Summer quarter/semester is the traditional vacation term, but students may choose to take the vacation term in fall, spring, or winter quarter if they meet eligibility requirements.

Eligibility for Non-Summer Vacation Term

To be eligible students must:

  • complete three quarters of full-time enrollment immediately prior to the non-summer vacation term
  • plan to enroll full time in the terms before and after the non-summer vacation term
  • enroll full-time in the summer term (Note: Verify that appropriate courses are offered in the summer term)
  • only take one on-line course to count towards full-time enrollment unless COVID exceptions apply. Ask an ISSS advisor.

Students may not take more than one annual vacation term in a calendar year.

Students in semester degree programs are not eligible for a non-summer vacation term.


Submit the Non-Summer Vacation Term Request online in the ISSS Portal

How to Drop Classes during Non-Summer Vacation Term

Approval of the non-summer vacation term DOES NOT inform the academic department of the student's intent to not enroll/enroll part-time for the vacation term. Students must notify the department or academic advising.

  • Graduate Students

    Graduate students are generally expected to enroll in each academic term (fall, winter, spring quarters). If you are not going to enroll in one of these quarters or if you need to drop all classes, you must follow the Personal Leave of Absence process.

    If you have questions about this process, contact the Office of Graduate Education.



Students may work on-campus full-time (more than 20 hours per week) during the approved annual vacation term. Certain on-campus work awards may require enrollment, please confirm with the employer. 

See the On-Campus Employment page for more information.


Students may be approved for other off-campus employment authorizations during the annual vacation term. See the employment page for more information. 


During your annual vacation quarter you can remain in the U.S. or travel internationally. See travel for more information.

Loss of DU Benefits

During a non-summer vacation term students may lose certain DU benefits during the vacation term and possibly for the rest of the academic year. These benefits may include campus housing, library and Ritchie Center privileges, health insurance, the EcoPass and possibly others. Please speak with the appropriate campus offices for verification.