Leave of absence / semester on leave

If you are unable to attend courses at TU Darmstadt for a course-related reason (e.g. international stay, work placement) or are unable to attend for a specific semester for appropriate personal reasons, there is the possibility of taking a leave of absence (see reasons for taking a leave of absence).

We recommend submitting your application in good time, if possible by the end of February or the end of August for the subsequent semester. This will ensure that you receive your student documentation containing the relevant information about the leave of absence in good time before the start of the semester on leave. If you need to apply for a leave of absence for a current semester, the application must be submitted at the latest by 30 September for the summer semester and by 31 March for the winter semester. It is not possible to take a leave of absence retroactively for a finished semester. Applications made after 30 September for the summer semester and after 31 March for the winter semester will be rejected regardless of the reasons.

The full Semesterbeitrag are due even for a semester on leave and must be credited to TU Darmstadt's account within the re-registration period. It is possible to obtain a partial refund for the semester ticket as applicable. The students' union (AStA transport department) is responsible for this.

The duration of a leave of absence is limited to six semesters regardless of whether different reasons are applicable. Leaves of absence due to maternity/parental leave and compulsory (military) service are not included in this limit.

Be sure to read the information below regarding the reasons for (and consequences of) taking a leave of absence. Please also note that part-time study is an option for certain degree programmes where available.

A leave of absence may be taken for the following reasons:

  • A medical condition of a type and duration that precludes proper study
  • Course-related* work placement
  • Course-related* international stay (e.g. participation in exchange programmes)
  • Maternity leave
  • Parental leave (extended leave for new parents)
  • Membership of a national team (first, second, third or fourth/third team) of a top professional association in the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB)
  • Caring for a relative who requires care according to a medical certificate
  • Working as a nominated/elected representative on the academic administration or Student Government
  • Other important reason that precludes proper study

*Course-related = the reason must be directly related to the course of studies

  • Taking a leave of absence typically precludes the acquisition of credits and sitting examinations.
    Exceptions:
    • Maternity/parental leave in accordance with Section 15 of the German federal law on family allowance and parental leave
    • Caring for a relative requiring care according to a medical certificate
    • Working as a nominated/elected representative on the academic administration or Student Government
    • Course-related international stay
    • course-related work placement
    • retake of a failed examination
  • Ongoing examination deadlines are not affected or extended by taking a semester on leave. If you have any questions about this, please contact the relevant Office for Student Affairs.
  • You can participate in the university's self-administration but your active right to vote is suspended.
  • A leave of absence in the first subject-related semester is possible for the following reasons by way of exception:
    • Sickness
    • maternity / parental leave
    • caring for a relative who requires care according to a medical certificate
  • It is not possible to take a leave of absence retroactively for a finished semester.
  • Semesters on leave do not count as subject-related semesters.

The number of subject-related semesters or semesters on leave may have an effect on:

  • BAföG funding (student loans and grants under the German federal training assistance act)
  • family allowance
  • duration of student health insurance
  • scholarships/funding programmes

More detailed information is available from the relevant bodies: student loan/grants office, family allowance fund, health insurance provider, scholarship foundation / funding provider