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.
- 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:
- A break request must be submitted no later than the last day of class for the current semester you are enrolled in.
- To view the Academic Calendar, please visit: Academic Calendars
- Students should submit a request for a semester break via their student portal in Terra Dotta: Semester Break > International Student Office (harrisburgu.edu)
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.