After two (2) consecutive semesters are completed, graduate students in F-1 status may request a semester break. Only one semester break may be requested per degree.


Students can take a full break or partial break.

Example of full semester break: Break request for Late Fall and come back Late Spring semester.

Example of partial semester break: Break request for Spring and come back Late Spring semester.

Important Notes:

  • Harrisburg University operates on a trimester schedule and full-time enrollment is expected year-round. You must be approved for a semester break by the International Student Office (ISO). You are expected to enroll in the next semester, after your break has ended. 
  • A student on break is not required to leave the U.S.
  • Students are permitted to travel outside the U.S. if they have a valid passport, visa, and active form I-20 with travel endorsement.
  • A semester break is only for one semester. If you foresee any issues with returning after one semester, please contact the ISO to discuss your situation.
  • If you have been approved for a program extension in the past, please contact the ISO to determine your eligibility for a semester break. 



  • A student may not be employed on Curricular Practical Training (CPT) while on a semester break.
    • When a semester break is approved, CPT must cease as of the last day of classes of the semester before the break.
    • We will be shortening your CPT authorization to the last day of class of the last semester of enrollment.


Deadline to Apply:



H-1B and All Non-F1 students:

  • Students on H-1B or other valid Visas that are not F-1 status may request a break from their studies after completing the following steps:
    • You will need to notify the ISO office, if you have not done so already, that your status has changed from F-1 to H1B or other type of visa that is not F-1 by providing a PDF copy of the I797 Approval Notice. 
    • Once your record has been updated, you will need to contact Records and Registration Office to request a break by submitting a new support ticket: Support : Harrisburg University Records & Registration.