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 undergraduate 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 22, whichever comes first. 

Every undergraduate is required to complete a departure checklist in their Housing Portal.

Undergraduates may return to their housing assignments after 10 a.m. on January 14. 

Graduate students with an on-campus housing assignment for the entire 2023-24 academic year are not required to depart over winter break.  


All campus dining locations close during parts of winter break. 

View Winter Break Dining Hours

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
  • You will receive an email from Residential Life with check-out details, including the procedure for returning your key. 
  • 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. Undergraduates may return to their housing assignments after 10 a.m. 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, confirm with your landlord that they will 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. 

Off-Campus Options 

Students who are interested in staying in the Boston area for all or part of winter break, but do not meet the criteria for on-campus housing, are encouraged to pursue alternatives that work for them. Residential Life has compiled information about a variety of options for your consideration.

View Off-Campus Winter Break Housing Information

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. 

Shuttle Schedules

Health Care

  • Health emergencies should be called to TUPD dispatch at 617-627-6911.
  • Urgent medical needs can be met at LMH Urgent care, 170 Governors Avenue, Medford. It is best to go on the website to reserve a time and to view hours of operation.
  • Health Service will be closed at noon on December 21, 2023 and will reopen at 8:30 am on January 2, 2024. During this time, nurse triage and the on-call provider can be accessed by calling the office at 617-627-3350 and following the prompts. Nurse triage is available 24/7. Students can also schedule appointments for non-urgent matters by visiting the patient portal at and choosing Schedule in the Appointments tab.
  • To report positive COVID tests and review guidelines for isolation, go to Healthy@Tufts and click on Review Current COVID-19 Guidance.
  • CMHS will be closed from December 22, 2023 – January 1, 2024. In a mental health emergency, the Counselor on Call can be reached by calling 617-627-3360 and following the prompts.

Graduate Students

Graduate students in the School of Arts & Sciences, the School of Engineering, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, or the Fletcher School who live on campus and have a full academic year lease are not required to move out of their housing assignment over winter break. There is no registration or signup required to notify us that you plan to stay.  

When deciding whether to stay over winter break, graduate students should note the reduced availability of campus services, including dining centers, the library, the fitness center, and university offices during the break. 

Should graduate students chose to leave their on-campus housing for more than 72 hours, they should utilize the departure checklist to properly prepare their space for their time away. 

Winter Break Hours

The special hours listed below are from the Winter Break period of December 21, 2023 - January 16, 2024. Classes and regular hours resume on Wednesday, January 17, 2024. Please contact individual departments for clarification or confirmation of hours listed here.

Health Services 

  • Mondays to Fridays: Open 8:30 - 4:00 pm (Closed 12:00 - 1:00 pm for lunch)
  • December 24 - January 2, January 15, and all Saturdays and Sundays: Closed


  • Mondays to Fridays: Open 8:30 - 4:00 pm (Closed 12:00 - 1:00 pm for lunch)
  • December 24 - January 2, January 15, and all Saturdays and Sundays: Closed
  • Note: The on-call service will remain available throughout Winter Break. 

Campus Center 

  • December 21:  Open 8:00 am - 3:00 pm 
  • December 22 - January 1:  Closed 
  • January 2 - January 5:  Open 8:00 am - 3:00 pm 
  • January 6 and January 7: Closed 
  • January 8 - January 12:  Open 8:00 am - 3:00 pm 
  • January 13 - January 15: Closed 
  • January 16: TBA 

Tisch Sports Center 

  • December 22 and December 23: Open
  • December 24 - January 2: Closed
  • January 3 and January 4: Open 7:00 am - 8:30 pm
  • January 5: Open 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • January 6: Open 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • January 7: Open 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • January 8 - January 11: Open 7:00am - 8:30pm 
  • January 12 - January 16: Open 

Tisch Library 

  • December 22: Open 7:45 am - 6:00 pm 
  • December 23 - January 1: Closed 
  • January 2 - January 5: Open 7:45 am - 6:00 pm 
  • January 6 and January 7: Closed 
  • January 8 - January 12: Open 7:45 am - 6:00 pm
  • January 13 - January 15: Closed
  • January 16: Open 7:45 am - 6:00 pm


230 Fenway, including all specialized studios, are closed from 10 p.m. on December 21 until 8 a.m. on January 16.

The Art Store and Media Stockroom will be closed from 5 p.m. on December 20 to 8:30 a.m. on January 17.

Mission Hill Studios are closed from 10 p.m. on December 21 until 8 a.m. on January 2.

  • MFA students who have a studio in Mission Hill have access to the building from January 2 through January 15.
  • Regular access resumes for all students at 8 a.m. on January 16.