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Winter Intersession Housing

What is Winter Intersession Housing?

Student housing contracts for academic year 2020-2021 consist of two housing periods: fall semester 2020 and spring semester 2021. UC Merced Residence Education refers to the period of time between these as winter intersession. Winter intersession housing dates for 2020-2021 are as follows:

Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020: Winter intersession begins.

Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021: Winter intersession ends.

During winter intersession, housing is closed to residents. Campus residents are prohibited from accessing their housing assignments effective 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec.19 through 10 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021 without a winter intersession reservation.

Winter Intersession Housing Costs and Eligibility

In normal academic year, residents would pay a nightly rate for winter intersession housing. However, 2020-2021 winter intersession is being offered at no cost to encourage residents to remain on campus over the break and reduce their exposure to COVID-19 through gatherings or housing off campus. The University will cover the cost of student housing and meals for residents who remain on campus. To be eligible for winter intersession, residents must:

  • Be a current on campus resident
  • Have a housing contract for spring 2021
  • Remain in good standing with COVID testing and symptom monitoring before and during intersession

The following conditions also apply to University-funded winter intersession nights:

  • If a resident cancels their 2020-2021 housing contract, they’re ineligible for winter intersession housing and must move out per normal polices.
  • If a resident makes a reservation for winter intersession, then later cancels their spring housing contract, the student will pay for the intersession nights they occupied the room.
  • If a resident is billed for intersession nights for any of these reasons or becomes ineligible, the rate is $65/night and will be billed to the resident.

Requesting Winter Intersession Housing

Students who want to stay on campus during winter intersession must request housing through the Housing Portal by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, December 16. After December 16, residents will need to speak with their REC for winter intersession reservations.

Students in need of housing during the winter intersession should select the "Winter Housing Reservations" button on the Housing Portal. Winter intersession is from 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 through 10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021.


Residents may select any number of days for housing, but all winter intersession requests must be submitted through the housing portal by 11:59 p.m. Dec. 16, 2020.

Residents can directly modify or cancel reservations until 11:59 p.m. Dec. 18, 2020.

Reservation Options

If you plan to stay the entire winter break, you would create one new reservation for housing between Dec. 19, 2020 and Jan. 17, 2021.

If you plan to stay for the beginning of winter session and then return closer to spring opening, you must create two reservations. For example: December 19-23 and January 14-17.

You can choose a reason that best applies to you. If you're staying because it's the safest option or for reasons not represented in the choices, please select "other." More details aren't required, as we will approve all eligible requests this year.

This short video demonstrates how to create, edit and cancel reservations online through the Housing Portal: Winter Intersession Reservations

Living on Campus during Intersession

Winter intersession is a time of significant campus maintenance. Residents considering intersession housing should be advised that maintenance staff may enter student rooms, fire and life safety systems will be tested during daytime hours, and there may interruptions in electrical service while work is completed. Every effort will be made to communicate these to residents by email as they are determined, but notice may be limited to 24 hours.

Glacier Point: Maintenance affecting apartments will be determined by Monday, December 7.

Sierra Terraces: Maintenance affecting apartments will be determined by Monday, December 7.

The Summits Maintenance affecting apartments will be determined by Monday, December 7.

Dining on Campus during Intersession

Winter intersession meal service is limited to boxed or pre-prepared meals between December 19 and January 3 The Pavilion Dining Center will reopen for direct student service on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. Between December 19 and January 3, residents will be issued boxed meals twice daily by Residence Education staff, between 9-10 a.m. and 5-6 p.m.

Between January 4 and January 17, meals will be served at the Pavilion from 9 a.m. to 7p.m.

Students reserving winter intersession with dates between December 19 and January 3 will receive a survey in early December asking them to indicate which meals they anticipate eating while on campus. This request is to help reduce food waste and to clarify any dietary restrictions.

Transportation during Intersession

UC Merced Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) will offer modified CatTracks and Route UC transit services for finals week and winter break. Changes to regular bus service begin Saturday, December 19. All routes return to regular service Tuesday, January 19. Residents may want to consider ZipCar or other alternative transportation options during the intersession.

View the full CatTracks and Bus schedule.

Desk and Mail Services during Intersession

The housing office will have limited hours during the break. Students who order packages should be aware package processing and availability will be limited by this schedule. After-hours assistance will be available through the RA on call for the community and University Police.

Saturday, December 19: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday, December 20: CLOSED

December 21-23: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

December 24-25: CLOSED

Saturday, December 26: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sunday, December 27: CLOSED

December 28-30: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

December 31 through January 1: CLOSED

Saturday, January 2: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sunday, January 3: CLOSED

January 4-9: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

January 10: CLOSED

January 11-15: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The desk will be open extended hours to support new resident move in on January 16 and 17, resuming normal desk hours on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021.


By submitting a winter intersession reservation, you are agreeing to abide by all Housing & Residence Life policies during winter recess housing.

Thank you. We hope you have happy holidays.

If you have questions about billing, contracts, or the housing portal, please contact For questions about winter intersession services, including campus services during winter intersession, please contact