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    Leave of Absence

    If you are prevented by valid reasons from duly pursuing your studies, you are usually entitled to up to two semesters of leave of absence. Please note: While you cannot take a leave of absence in the first subject semester of an undergraduate programme, you can take a leave of absence in your first semester as a Master's student.

    Circumstances under which a leave of absence will be approved:

    Please submit a statement from a medical practitioner that confirms that you have a medical condition that renders you unable to duly pursue your studies in the semester in question or renders you unable to successfully complete the semester in question.

    If you are completing a study abroad period, you must submit either a letter issued by the International Office of the University of Würzburg (if you are taking part in the Erasmus/Sokrates programme) confirming your participation in the exchange programme or an enrolment certificate issued by your host university. The form ‘Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status’ alone will not suffice.

    Please submit a letter confirming your participation in the assistant teacher programme.

    Please note:

    Participation in an assistant teacher programme is considered a work placement. However, since programmes generally run over one year, the period of leave of absence that will be granted is two semesters.

    If you are completing a work placement, you must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a leave of absence: You must spend at least half the lecture period of the semester in question in your placement, and your placement employer must be an institution other than the University of Würzburg.

    As proof, please submit a letter issued by your placement employer that states the start and end dates of your placement.

    Please submit a photocopy of your child’s birth certificate or proof of pregnancy (if you or your partner are/is due to give birth during the semester in question).

    In accordance with the provisions of Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetz (Federal Parental Allowance and Parental Leave Act, BEEG), pregnancy and child rearing leaves of absence will be granted for a total period of up to six semesters per child, provided that the total period of pregnancy/child rearing leave does not extend beyond the child reaching the age of three.

    If you have not taken all of your entitlement (six semesters) by the time your child reaches the age of three and your child was born after 31 December 2000, you can carry over up to two semesters of leave. Any carry-over leave not taken by the time your child reaches the age of eight will be lost.

    If your child was born after 1 July 2015, you can carry over up to four semesters of leave. Any carry-over leave not taken by the time your child reaches the age of eight will be lost.

    Please note:

    Leaves of absence for fathers can commence no earlier than the date of birth of their child. If your child is born after the application deadline has passed, you will only be granted a leave of absence for the current semester if you apply for it within 14 days after your child was born.

    Hint:

    Please also note the information provided by the University of Würzburg on the new Maternity Protection Act, which came into force on 01.01.2018. You can find them here.

    Please submit a statement from a medical practitioner that confirms that your family member has care needs. This statement must also state the name of the individual receiving care. Please also submit documentary evidence of the family relationship between yourself and the care recipient (e. g. birth certificate(s) or similar).

    Pursuant to Section 4 Subsection 1 Pflegezeitgesetz (Care Leave Act, PflegeZG), individuals are entitled to a maximum of six months of care leave per family member with care needs. This means that the maximum period of leave of absence that will be granted is one semester.

    If you are participating in a volunteer programme [voluntary military service, Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr (FSJ), Freiwilliges ökologisches Jahr (FÖJ), Bundesfreiwilligendienst (BFD), weltwärts and kulturweit volunteer programmes, European Voluntary Service, International Youth Volunteer Service, development volunteer service], you are eligible for a leave of absence, provided that you spend at least half the lecture period of the semester in question volunteering. Depending on the duration of your service, the maximum period of leave of absence that will be granted is two semesters.

    As proof, please submit a letter issued by the organisation running your volunteer programme that states the title of the programme as well as the start and end dates of your service.

    You are eligible for a leave of absence if your volunteer work requires a time commitment that is so substantial that your volunteering is not compatible with your studies. As proof, please submit a letter issued by the institution at which you are volunteering. This letter must state that you are volunteering during the semester in question and must also state the required time commitment.

    Deadlines and other important information:

    A leave of absence is granted for one subject semester at a time. You should submit your application for permission to take a leave of absence at the time you re-enrol but must submit it no later than one month after commencement of the lecture period of the semester in question. Click here for the exact start date of the lecture period of the semester in question.

    Please note that you will be charged semester fees for semesters of leave.

    If you develop a medical condition in the middle of a semester, a leave of absence may be authorised, by way of exception, at a later date, provided that the following prerequisites are met: the condition occurs after the semester has started, you submit documentation from a medical practitioner that confirms this fact without delay after the condition has occurred, and the condition renders you unable to successfully complete the semester. This also applies in cases where a pre-existing medical condition deteriorates during a semester to the point that you are no longer able to pursue your studies and are thus rendered unable to successfully complete the semester.

    Leaves of absence will not be granted retroactively even if you provide proof of the existence of a medical condition.

    If you are underage at the time you submit your application for permission to take a leave of absence, please make sure your parents/legal guardians also sign the document. For more information for underage university students and their parents, please click here.

    The form you will have to complete is available for download in pdf format:

    Application for permission to take a leave of absence

    Withdrawing an application for permission to take a leave of absence:

    To withdraw your application for permission to take a leave of absence, please file an informal written request. Please note that you must file this request no later than one month after commencement of the lecture period of the semester in question.

    Important information regarding examinations and assessments:

    Semesters of leave of absence will not be included in your subject semester count. While on leave of absence from your studies at the University of Würzburg, you will usually not be allowed to sit examinations or take assessments; you will only be allowed to resit failed examinations or assessments.

    If you failed your first attempt at a final examination or Vorprüfung/Zwischenprüfung (preliminary examination), your notification letter will state the deadline by which you must have taken your resit. Taking a leave of absence will not stop or extend this deadline, and your registration for the respective exam will not be withdrawn automatically! If you are unsure about a particular case or have any other questions, please contact the competent Examination Office!

    If you are studying law (state examination) and want to take the free shot (Freischussregelung), please note that semesters of leave of absence will be included in the relevant semester count unless certain conditions are satisfied (cf. Section 37 Ausbildungs- und Prüfungsordnung für Juristen (Education and Examination Regulations for the Legal Profession, JAPO)).

    Only during appropriately substantiated periods of maternity/parental leave or periods of family caregiving may students on leave of absence sit examinations or take assessments.

    Minimum length of programmes in human medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy:

    In contrast to many other degree programmes that only have a standard length for completion, programmes in medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy also have a minimum length. This means that you must have studied a minimum number of semesters when you register for your exam.

    In this context, please keep in mind that semesters of leave of absence will not be included in the relevant semester count!!!

    The minimum length of programme requirement is based on German federal law (Section 4 Bundesärzteordnung (Federal Medical Practitioners Act, BÄO) in conjunction with Approbationsordnung für Ärzte (Licensing Regulations for Medical Practitioners, ÄAppO), Section 5 Bundes-Apothekerordnung (Federal Pharmacists Act, BApO) in conjunction with Approbationsordnung für Apotheker (Licensing Regulations for Pharmacists, AAppO)) and, ultimately, European law (Article 24 of Directive 2005/36/EC). For programmes in medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy to be considered in compliance with EU standards, they must have a minimum length, and students must obtain specific course and examination achievements. Since only those periods are considered to be of relevance that medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy students spend actively pursuing their degrees, German lawmakers made a deliberate decision to not allow semesters of leave of absence, maternity leave, or similar to be included in the relevant semester count.

    Please contact the competent Examination Office for any questions regarding the minimum length of programmes! Click here for the relevant licensing regulations.

    If you receive financial assistance under the BAföG Act, please note:

    Taking a leave of absence may lead to a loss of your entitlement to financial assistance under the BAföG Act. Before you apply for permission to take a leave of absence, please consult with the competent BAföG agency.