Leave of Absence

If you are studying at the Goethe University and have to interrupt your studies for a valid reason, you can apply for a semester's leave of absence. Leave of absence is regulated by law in § 8 of the Hessian Immatrikulationsordnung (ImmaVO).

Valid reasons:

  1. Illness that prevents proper study (the nature and expected duration of the illness must be documented by a current medical certificate or statement),
  2. Completion of a study-related internship (please enclose proof),
  3. For a study-related stay abroad. (Proof e.g. exchange program, host university abroad),
  4. Maternity or parental leave. (Proof by current medical certificate or birth certificate), Care of a dependent (please attach medical certificate),
  5. Membership in a national squad (A, B, C or D/C squad) of a top professional association of the German Olympic Sports Confederation,
  6. Participation as an appointed or elected representative in academic or student self-government (please include proof of membership and time served).

Application deadlines:   

By April 30 for the summer semester and by October 31 for the winter semester. In case of illness also during the semester, if at least 6 weeks of inability to study are certified by a doctor.

Procedure: You can apply online using your HRZ account under the "Studierende" (Students) tab. After logging in, you will find the option to apply for a leave of absence in the section "Mein Studium" (My Studies) under the tab "Anträge" (Applications). The next step is to select the reason for your leave of absence, the semester for which you wish to take a leave of absence (please note the deadlines mentioned above and that you must have already re-registered in order to take a leave of absence), and to upload the appropriate documents for a leave of absence. If you do not upload the appropriate documentation, you will not be able to submit your application.

Your request will typically be processed within 3 business days. If approved, you will be able to view the status of the leave through your master record. If the request is not approved, a written explanation will be provided with your online application.

Supporting documents: The appropriate supporting documents must be uploaded with the application. Without an upload and suitable proof, the application cannot be submitted or approved.

Please note: a leave of absence does not exempt you from paying semester fees. Before applying for a leave of absence, please contact the relevant offices to find out how a leave of absence will affect your BAföG, child allowance, and health insurance.

In the case of a leave of absence, you can apply for the return of your semester ticket and the refund of the semester ticket fee at the "Semestertickethärtefondstelle" (semester ticket hardship fund office). The following is further stipulated by law:

  • A retroactive leave of absence for a completed semester is excluded.
  • In the case of a leave of absence during the current semester, previous examination results - including failed attempts - remain unaffected.
  • A leave of absence in the first semester is only possible in special individual cases (usually: illness).
  • Leave of absence is not possible for more than 6 semesters (except in case of illness).
  • In the case of leaves of absence according to reasons 1 to 3 (above), failed exams may be retaken, but no new exams may be taken.
  • Students who have been granted a leave of absence under reasons 4 to 6 (above) are entitled to attend classes and complete coursework and examinations despite their leave of absence.
  • Passed courses and exams that should not have been taken due to a previous leave of absence will not be recognized by the responsible examination office. If you have already registered for an exam during your leave of absence, you should contact the relevant examination office immediately and before the exam to clarify your status as a student on leave of absence for the purpose of taking the exam.

Important note for students in the Faculty of Medicine/Dentistry: In case of approval of the leave of absence, you must notify the dean's office of the faculty of the leave of absence. Students on leave of absence from the medicine/dental degree programs remain registered for repeat examinations unless a separate deregistration is submitted to the dean's office and it is not a first attempt.


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