Elternzeit im Studium

Leave of Absence

A leave of absence due to raising children is - analogous to parental leave - possible for 3 years, i.e. for 6 semesters per child. Leave of absence means that you take a full or partial break from your studies.

If you decide to let your studies rest completely, the leave of absence offers the following advantages over taking yourself off the university register:

  • You retain your place in the degree programme (this is particularly important in the case of subjects with restricted admission)
  • After your leave of absence, you will generally continue to study according to the examination regulations in which you started
  • You keep your status as a student

Please be sure to visit a counselling centre at the university before you decide to take yourself off the university register.

Special Features of a Leave of Absence for Student Parents

Of course, you can also take leave for other reasons, but taking leave of absence due to parenthood has certain advantages:

  • It is already possible in your first semester of study
  • Despite your leave of absence, you can take up to 50% of your exams

Studying Part-time

In some degree courses, it is possible to study part-time. Part-time means 50% of the performance per semester with double the standard period of study. Due to the special regulation that you may also take 50% of your exams during a leave of absence due to parenthood, the leave of absence is financially more favourable for you than studying part-time, because:

  • You don’t pay semester fees
  • The number of your semesters of study does not increase

If you want to take more than 50% of your exams and/ or do not wish to give up your BAföG entitlement, stay enrolled as a regular student. The student advisory service team at your local faculty or the central student advisory service team are happy to help you organize your individual part-time studies.


A leave of absence makes sense

  • If you wish to interrupt your studies for a certain period of time in order to take parental leave. You only pay the fees for the Studentenwerk (student services) and save the semester fees.
  • If your examination regulations include exmatriculation limits, i.e. you have to earn a certain number of credit points or pass specific exams in certain semesters. This means that you can use a leave of absence to "catch up", because you can earn credit points while the number of your semesters of study remains at the same level as before the leave of absence.
  • If you are interested in studying part-time, but your degree programme is not offered as a part-time course of studies.

  • If you are under 25, you will no longer be entitled to child benefit (Kindergeld)
  • Loss of your entitlement to BAföG, if you are currently receiving BAföG (for the period of leave of absence)
  • Loss of student semester ticket
  • Possible entitlement to ALG 2, which you as a student usually don’t have