Legal Framework for Student parents



General information

The information provided here is non-binding. Legal and financial regulations may differ significantly depending on your nationality. Some measures may be accessible to EU citizens but not to third-country nationals.


In such cases, the Frankfurt Association for the Support of International Students (Frankfurter Verein zur Unterstützung internationaler Studierender e. V.) might be the only possibility to obtain financial assistance.

Special rules currently apply in many areas for Ukrainian refugees.

If in doubt, please contact the respective advisory services linked to this website.


Studying at Goethe University Frankfurt with a child/care responsibilities 

Experience has shown that the study progress of students with children is somewhat more unsteady than that of fellow students without children. On the one hand, this can be explained by a greater organisational and financial burden. On the other hand, the focal point of students' lives shifts at the latest with the child's birth or is enriched by another. As a result, they cannot concentrate in everyday life solely on their studies. The situation of those responsible for caring for relatives is similar, albeit with somewhat different implications.

As far as the organisational framework is concerned, there are certain regulations that take into account the special situation of students with children or care responsibilities. Below you can find an overview that should give you some guidance. You should, however, always ask the academic advisors about the faculty-specific rules for students with children or care responsibilities.

Please also note the various advisory services at Goethe University Frankfurt.


Leave of absence (Beurlaubung)

For the time around the child's birth, but also to cushion difficult situations when completing your studies, leave of absence from university can be a good option.

Reasons that justify leave of absence are governed by Section 8 of the Hessian Regulations on Enrolment at Universities (Hessische Immatrikulationsverordnung) (in German only).
Family-related reasons for leave of absence in accordance with Section 8 (1) could, for example, be the following:

  • A medical condition that makes it difficult to study properly – this can include complications during pregnancy
  • Availing oneself of maternity protection (Mutterschutz) and/or taking parental leave (Elternzeit) in accordance with the statutory regulations
  • Caring for relatives who according to a medical certificate are in need of care

Corresponding proof must be submitted in each case. Since students cannot claim parental leave, the Student Registration Office of Goethe University Frankfurt accepts the child's birth certificate as proof of leave of absence – of both mother and father – due to parental leave.

It is only possible to take leave of absence for whole semesters; semesters already completed cannot be taken into consideration. Leave of absence due to maternity protection/parental leave is granted for a maximum of three years, analogous to the Federal Parental Allowance and Parental Leave Act  (Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetz (BEEG)). This is usually six semesters or seven semesters if the preceding period of maternity protection is included. This limit of six (or seven) semesters does not apply in the case of multiple births. In this case, leave of absence is extended in accordance with the rules on parental leave pursuant to Section 15 (2) of the Federal Parental Allowance and Parental Leave Act. Furthermore – unlike in other cases – students may participate in courses and exams during maternity protection periods and parental leave (Section 8 (3)).

Application deadlines: 30.04. for a summer semester and 31.10. for a winter semester (in the event of illness, you can also apply during the course of the semester.)

Procedure: You can find the application form (in German only) in the download area or obtain it from the Student Services Centre. You can submit your application online, but you must also submit a paper copy. The university will notify you by post whether your application has been approved or rejected.

Important: Please note that leave of absence does not exempt you from paying the semester fee. You can apply for reimbursement of your semester ticket to the Semester Ticket Hardship Fund of Frankfurt Student Services (Studierendenwerk Frankfurt am Main) and return it there. Before applying for a semester on leave of absence, please also enquire at the respective offices about what effect taking leave of absence will have on any grants under the Federal Education and Training Assistance Act (BAföG), child benefit and your health insurance.

You should also please note that leave of absence jeopardises your status if you are a student trainee (Werkstudent/Werkstudentin). General administrative rules assume that in the case of leave of absence you are no longer exempt from paying social security contributions.

Please send your application and address any questions you might have to:

Goethe University Frankfurt
Student Registration Office
PO Box 11 19 32
60054 Frankfurt


Parental leave (Elternzeit)

Like parental allowance (Elterngeld), parental leave (Elternzeit) is, within the meaning of the Federal Parental Allowance and Parental Leave Act (Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetz (BEEG)) (in German only) first of all intended for working parents. They have the right towards their employer to parental leave until the child is three years of age.

In accordance with Section 8 of the Hessian Regulations on Enrolment at Universities (Hessische Immatrikulationsverordnung) (in German only), students can justify leave of absence with their right to take parental leave. In this case, it is not necessary to apply to the university separately for parental leave. You can read more about this under Leave of Absence.

For students in an employment relationship, the same rules apply as for employees.

When making plans, please also note the rules on parental allowance.

The Family Service is happy to help you if you have any questions about parental leave and other topics related to reconciling your studies and your family responsibilities.

Please click here for further information about the services available.


Maternity protection (Mutterschutz)

The Maternity Protection Portal of Goethe University Frankfurt (Mutterschutzportal) offers customised information for all pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, as well as for those persons responsible for implementing corresponding measures, and in this way ensures transparency and a sound basis for taking the next steps.


Part-time studies

The special situation of students with family responsibilities often demands creative solutions in order to balance studies, perhaps part-time work, and family life. Studying part-time is a means of creating a little breathing space when faced with all these obligations at the same time.

In principle, it is also possible to pursue an undergraduate degree programme part-time, provided the respective study and examination regulations of the chosen programme do not explicitly exclude this.

Please ask your academic advisor, who must confirm on the application form (in German only) that you have consulted them. Without this confirmation, the Student Registration Office cannot process your application.

You can find the general rules on part-time studies on the website of Global Affairs Study and Teaching (in German only).


FamilyPlus Card

The FamilyPlus Card contributes to removing bureaucratic hurdles, making everyday life at university a little bit easier. In addition to simplified proof of parenthood, the card is also a route to inexpensive meals for children.


Please direct enquiries for consultations to


Benjamin Kirst
Family-Service Officer

Fon: +49 69 798-18124
Campus Westend, SKW-Building, Room 05.C111

Visiting address

Goethe University Frankfurt a.M.
Equal Opportunities Office

Rostocker Str. 2
60323 Frankfurt am Main

Fon: +49 69 798-18698

Postal address

Equal Opportunities Office
Goethe University Frankfurt a.M.
Postbox 227
60629 Frankfurt am Main