Penn’s winter break will be eight days longer for the 2023-24 academic year, with classes resuming on Jan. 18.
Winter break next school year will last 27 days, according to the University academic calendar. This is more than a week longer than winter break for the 2022-23 year, which lasted 19 days and ended on Jan. 11.
The Office of the Provost wrote in a statement to The Daily Pennsylvanian that Penn extended winter break so that “the last day of classes, reading days, and final examinations occur after the Passover holiday.”
In 2024, Passover will occur from April 22 to April 30 – significantly later than usual. The last day of the spring term will be May 14, as compared to May 9 for the 2022-23 year. Commencement will take place on May 20 for the Class of 2024.
An analysis by the DP this January found that Penn has the fewest days off — defined as weekdays between the first day of the fall term and the last day of final exams in the spring — when compared to other Ivy League universities and peer institutions in the Philadelphia area.
College first-year Tyler Trang said that this year, some of his friends started winter vacation before him and returned to school after him.
“With our short break, I didn’t really have as much time to relax back at home because I had to travel,” Trang said. “It felt very quick.”
The length of Penn’s winter break has historically fluctuated from year to year, from 19 days to just under four weeks. Students have said that shorter breaks contribute to burnout and pose logistical problems for international students in particular, for whom traveling home is often more costly.
College first-year Mia Antonacci said that she appreciates having a longer winter break next year.
“It would be nice to have more time with my family during the break between semesters, especially for students who have longer travels back home,” Antonacci said.
The extension comes mostly from days added at the end of break; the 2023 fall semester will end only one day earlier than the fall semester in 2022.
Engineering first-year Aeshon Balasubramanian, who lives on the west coast, said that he is uncertain the change “would really make much of a difference” for his travels back home.
“If [winter break] started earlier, then we’d dodge more of the Christmas traffic,” Balasubramanian said.
For the 2024-25 school year, the calendar indicates that winter break will be 26 days long.