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Education / Postdoctoral Affairs / Trainee Handbook / Policies and Benefits / Vacation and Holiday Policy for Graduate Students


Vacation and Holiday Policy for Full-time PhD Students

The School of Medicine and Dentistry recognizes that time away from school is important to the individual. Vacations should be taken at times that do not interfere with students' course work and their research responsibilities in the lab/office and within the department. Students will abide by the following vacation policies:

  • PhD students are permitted to take two weeks of vacation time (10 business days) each calendar year (January 1 through December 31). Vacation time does not automatically accrue and can be rolled over from year to year only with written permission of the advisor and program director.
  • Vacation time must be approved well in advance by the appropriate advisor/program director. First year biomedical science students are required to receive written permission of the program director to ensure that the vacation period does not interfere with course work and laboratory rotations.
  • Semester breaks are not automatic holidays. PhD students are expected to be in their labs or offices during breaks between semesters and during periods when no classes are held. See the SMD Graduate School Academic Calendar for exact dates.
  • Vacations must not interfere with teaching assistant duties, including meetings prior to the start of classes.
  • International students who plan to travel outside the United States must submit a Short Term Absence Notice. The information provided on this form will allow the School to assist the student in the event he/she is subject to an extensive security clearance prior to receiving the necessary clearance and documentation required for re‐entry into the United States.
  • Unauthorized absences may result in a prorated withholding of a student’s stipend.

University Holidays

PhD students are entitled to paid time off for official University holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Juneteenth
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day and the Friday following Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Observance of Religious Holidays

As provided in New York Education Law Section 224‐a, students who choose not to register for classes, attend classes or take exams on certain days because of their religious beliefs will be given an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or to make up the work requirements or exams they miss, without penalties or additional fees.