Winter Break


Final exams are scheduled from December 14 through December 21.  SMFA review boards begin December 13. 

Students should plan to attend all scheduled exams and review boards in person on these days. Faculty are advised not to grant excused absences due to student vacation plans or travel preferences. 


All on-campus residence halls close over winter break. Students must depart 24 hours or less after the end of their last scheduled final exam or review board, or by noon on December 21, whichever comes first. 

Students in singles and the last roommate to leave a double or triple room are required to complete a departure checklist. 

Students may return to their housing assignments after noon on January 14. 


All campus dining locations close during parts of winter break. More detailed information regarding dining hours will be available later in the semester.

If you are traveling...



The MBTA operates usual service throughout the break except for December 24 and 25, and December 31 and January 1, when there is less frequent service.  See MBTA holiday hours.  Students can get to the main rail hubs, North Station and South Station, and to Logan Airport for around $2 on the MBTA.  If you return via Logan Airport, the Silver Line trip from the airport is free

MassPort Shuttle 

The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) operates a shuttle from the Hynes Convention Center in Back Bay to Logan Airport for $3.  Taking the shuttle also grants you to priority access at the TSA security checkpoint.  The return trip from Logan airport to Hynes Convention Center  is free.  More information and tickets.  There is direct access to the Hynes Convention Center from Tufts via the MBTA. 

Preparing Your Housing for Winter Break 

Departure Checklist for On-campus Students Returning to the Same Assignment in Spring 2024: 

  • You may leave your belongings in your room over the break. There will be no access to the residence halls over the break, so take with you anything you might need before the start of the spring semester. 

  • The last person to leave each room must complete the departure checklist and post it to their door.  Residential staff and facilities staff will inspect rooms after each departure checklist is completed. 

  • The departure checklist requires all items in the room to be unplugged, the MicroChill to be defrosted, the HVAC system to be set to a particular setting, windows to be closed, and door to be locked, among other items. Roommates who are not the last to leave should do their parts of the checklist before departure.  

Departure Checklist for On-campus Students Not Returning to Same Assignment in Spring 2024: 

  • Make a check-out appointment with your RA, whether you are the last person to leave your room or not. 

  • All belongings must be packed up and cleared from the room prior to your appointment with the RA. 

  • After completing your check out appointment with your RA, return your key to the Residential Life office at 120 Packard Ave.  After hours key dropbox available. 

Return Arrival for On-campus Students: 

  • Spring semester courses begin January 17. Students may return to campus for the start of the spring semester any time after noon on January 14. 

  • Students who are returning to their fall semester assignment are not required to sign up for an arrival time or check in upon arrival. 

  • Students who are moving into a new room for the spring 2024 term must make a check in appointment with the Office of Residential Life.  See move-in procedures

  • No requests for early arrival will be considered. 

Departure Checklist for Off-campus Students: 

You are responsible for your home, even when you are out of town. If you are leaving town during winter break, make a plan for: 

  • Snow and ice removal: Medford, Somerville, Cambridge, Boston, and most other municipalities near Tufts require snow to be cleared from the sidewalk in front of your home within six daylight hours of the end of snowfall.  This applies regardless of whether you are home or on vacation. In addition, you should also shovel your property’s walkway and porch if the mail carrier or others need to access it during the break. If all housemates will be gone during winter break, make arrangements with your landlord, a neighbor, or a snow removal service to ensure sidewalk, walkways, driveway, and other areas are shoveled, de-iced, and clear down to pavement. 

  • Parking: If you are leaving your car near your home while out of town, make sure it can remain parked legally for the duration of your trip. Most streets have intermittent parking restrictions for street sweeping, planned maintenance, and other activities. In case of snowfall, your car needs to be on a designated side of the street in order to avoid being damaged by snow plows or towed in preparation for plowing. You could choose to park in your driveway or on campus to avoid possible conflicts with street parking. 

  • Trash: To prevent rats and other challenges, no trash should be left outside your home for more than a few days and even then, should be in a closed cart provided by the city. If you are going to be out of town, put as much trash and recycling out on the trash day before you leave and take anything that accumulates between then and your departure date to a designated city collection site. Your neighbors generally do not appreciate leaving trash barrels at the curb for the duration of an out of town trip. 

  • Temperature: You can save significant energy and cost during break by lowering your heat and turning off and unplugging most electric appliances. Consult with your landlord to determine optimal thermostat setting and which appliances are safe to unplug. 

  • Security: See tips about security on the Seasonal Housing and Breaks, including USPS Hold Mail Service

If you are unable to leave campus...

Students who are required to be on campus during winter break for a university-sponsored activity (e.g., RAs arriving early for required training, student athletes participating in competitions that occur during break) will be permitted to live in residence halls on campus only for the dates needed to complete their requirement.  

Students who are approved to stay under these criteria will be contacted by Residential Life in mid-November with additional details.  You do not need to submit an exceptional housing request; instead, let the department sponsoring your required activity know your plans. 

Exceptional Housing 

Students who have exceptional circumstances that make it impossible for them to leave campus during winter break may request winter break housing by submitting a request by December 1.  

Only requests documenting truly exceptional circumstances will be considered. In general, travel quarantine policies of other countries do not constitute an exceptional circumstance. Students who prefer not to travel to a particular location due to travel quarantine policies are encouraged to make alternative off-campus plans. 

Submit Exceptional Housing Requests Here

After your request is received, it will be reviewed by the Dean of Students Office and you will be contacted within ten business days. Students with questions about exceptional winter break housing requests can contact the Dean of Students Office at 617-627-3158 or

Exceptional Meal Support 

Students who (1) meet certain financial aid criteria, (2) have a meal plan during either the fall or spring term, and (3) are approved to reside on campus over winter break due to exceptional circumstances will receive winter break meal support. Students meeting those criteria will be contacted by email with information. Students with questions about this program can contact the Dean of Students Office at 617-627-3158 or

Getting Around Campus 

The Davis Square shuttle, the SMFA Connected shuttle, and SMFA Beacon Direct shuttle will operate on limited hours.  Generally, shuttles will operate on a regular schedule through December 22, then a reduced schedule on December 23, have no service December 24 through January 14, and operate on a limited schedule January 15 through 17. 

Winter Break Hours

More detailed information about facility hours during Winter Break will be available soon.