Student Vacation Time

Effective Date
November 1, 2007
Responsible Office
Graduate School - Academic Affairs
Rodney D. Priestley, Dean of the Graduate School
  1. Policy Statement

    The Student Vacation Time Policy is meant to acknowledge that all graduate students are able to take a vacation time during their course of study.  The policy provides enrolled graduate degree candidates in good academic standing with the opportunity to work with their dissertation advisers and departments to schedule vacation time when appropriate.

  2. Who is Affected by this Policy

    This policy applies to all currently enrolled graduate students in regular, in absentia, and DCE status.

  3. Definitions

    Regular Enrollment
    A student within the defined program length who is pursing degree-related work, completing requirements, and making sufficient academic and/or research progress as specified by the department or program and the Graduate School. The student has registered by completing academic year sign-in and is in residence – that is, regularly present on campus, using University resources to fulfill degree requirements and objectives a majority of days per week for the academic term or year. Ordinarily enrolled students receive all benefits reserved for regular degree-seeking students. For Ph.D. students, this includes tuition and stipend support. The standard tuition rate that includes the student health plan is charged for a student enrolled regularly.

    In Absentia Enrollment
    A registered full-time student still within the defined program length who is pursuing degree-related work, but is NOT in residence for greater than half the term. Students may apply to be moved to in absentia status if they need to use educational resources not available in Princeton. If approved, in absentia status is granted for one academic term or one academic year at a time, up to two years, normally only to Ph.D. students who have successfully completed the general examination. Students are encouraged to seek financial aid outside the University for the time spent in absentia.  Students enrolled in absentia are considered fully enrolled graduate students. As such, they are required to complete academic year sign-in and participate in the yearly reenrollment process. In absentia students have access to all appropriate University benefits, with the exceptions of housing.  In absentia students remain on the student health plan, but do not require referrals to access health care during their time away from Princeton.  In absentia students are not eligible to be appointed as assistants in instruction or to enroll in courses conducted on campus.   A marginal tuition rate that includes the student health plan is charged for a student enrolled in absentia.  In absentia enrollment is recorded on the transcript.

    DCE Enrollment
    A Ph.D. student who has exhausted the defined program length, but is still making progress toward degree completion and retains an enrolled status.  DCE status must be taken immediately after the regular enrollment period has ended and may be granted for a maximum of four consecutive semesters. Through the annual reenrollment process, a student must apply to move into or retain this status and have the approval of both the department and the Graduate School.  A DCE student is enrolled and eligible for most benefits reserved for enrolled students, but ordinarily may not enroll in courses. A marginal tuition rate that includes the student health plan in charged for a student enrolled in DCE status. DCE status is recorded on the transcript.

  4. Policy

    Graduate study is understood to be a full-time commitment on the part of students. During an academic year, which includes the summer, graduate student degree candidates may take up to (but no more than) four weeks of vacation, including any days taken during regular University holidays and scheduled recesses (e.g., the fall- and spring- term breaks and inter-term break). The specific periods taken as vacation must not conflict with the student’s academic responsibilities, coursework, research, or teaching, and should be discussed in advance with one’s director of graduate studies, adviser, or dissertation committee.

    If a student receives financial support for graduate study for only part of the year (e.g., regular term time, August 1 to May 31), then the amount of vacation should be prorated accordingly. If a student receives summer support and has taken the allowed vacation during regular term time, August 1 to May 31, then that student should not take additional vacation time during the summer months of June and July.  

    If a student holds an external fellowship whose terms may conflict with this policy, the student should consult first with the director of graduate studies or adviser. 

  5. Procedures (if applicable)


  6. Related Documents/Pages/Forms (if applicable)


  7. Roles and Responsibilities

    Dean of the Graduate School
    Oversees Graduate School policies and associated procedures.

    Academic Affairs
    Administers student vacation time policy.

    Finance and Administration
    Administers funding policies associated with student status.

    Dissertation Adviser
    Approves student requests for vacation time.

    Graduate Student
    Accurately monitor and report vacation time to be in compliance with policy.