Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Leave of absence

Students can apply for leave of absence for the following semester* during the re-registration period if one of these reasons applies:

  1. Illness
  2. Maternity leave and parental leave
  3. Care for own children under 12 years of age
  4. Care of close relatives in need of care
  5. Study-related stay abroad
  6. Study-related internship in Germany
  7. Activities in academic or student self-administration

Each of these reasons requires the submission of proof – in the case of illness, for example, a doctor's certificate (with a stamp) stating that the student is unable to study for at least half of the semester. The evidence required in each case is listed in the application form.

In general, leave of absence for economic reasons is not granted. However, applications for other reasons than listed are possible if a detailed justification and corresponding proof is provided.

The application can be submitted by e-mail, by post or in person at the Student-Service-Centre.

If the leave of absence should last for more than one semester, the application form has to be submitted for each semester separately – again with the necessary proof.

In total, the leave of absence should not exceed two semesters. Leave of absence due to maternity/parental leave or care of own children is possible (together) for a maximum of six semesters per child; in this case at least two semesters until the child's third birthday and a maximum of four semesters beyond. If necessary, the Student Registration Office will provide information on the particularities of non-bodily children.

Students in discontinued degree programmes must submit a confirmation from the relevant examination board in addition to the application form.

* Retroactive leave of absence for a semester already completed is excluded. Leave of absence for a current semester can only be granted if no credit points have yet been made (exception: maternity/parental leave/care, reasons 2 to 4).
Leave of absence for the 1st semester is only possible in case of illness, maternity/parental leave and – only for Master's students, with confirmation from the examination board or the Dean of Studies – in the case of upcoming stays abroad or internships.

Official "leave" from studies - why actually?

A leave of absence is like a "pause button" for your studies. During this time, your subject-related semesters are not counted (yet, your university semesters are further counted, because you retain your student status) and the standard period of study is paused. However, why is this relevant? After all, in Saxony-Anhalt, hence at our university, there are no long-term tuition fees. So why not simply stop your study activities without a leave of absence and exceed the standard period of study?

  • In most cases, you can (but do not have to) save the semester fee, as long as you do not need a semester ticket, canteen meals or a dorm through Studentenwerk during this time.
  • Even if you are receiving BAföG (and/or a scholarship), a leave of absence might be a good option for you. Although BAföG will no longer be paid for the duration of the leave of absence, payments will continue afterwards for the full duration of the standard period of study. Background: If you receive such kind of funding, you are accountable to a certain extent - which is why the progress of your studies should match the subject-related semester in which you are studying.
  • Psychological effect: If it is very important for you that your credit point score and the number of subject-related semesters roughly match, you can achieve this with a leave of absence.
  • For other, smaller advantages, we recommend researching topics on the internet.

And what if you "can't afford" a leave of absence because of the lack of BAföG payments? Then perhaps applying for unemployment benefits has a chance of success – be sure to look for advice   !

Semester of leave: Consequences

  • During the leave of absence, the rights and obligations arising from MLU membership are suspended, except for the right to vote and be elected.
  • This also means: During a leave of absence, you cannot take exams and receive credit points - except for reasons 2 to 4 (maternity/parental leave; care) and, of course, in the case of a stay at a university abroad.
  • A special feature of maternity leave is that the application is also considered to be a notification of pregnancy (> see special webpage). We will therefore also forward your application to the relevant examination office (Prüfungsamt).
  • In certain cases (for details, see application form), it is possible to be exempted from the obligation to pay Studentenwerk fees if the leave of absence is for a full semester and the student does not wish to use the facilities of the Studentenwerk Halle. In reverse: Students who continuously need the semester ticket, canteen meals and a dorm through Studentenwerk etc. must also pay the semester fee for the semester of leave.
  • During the semester of leave, you are not entitled to BAföG or - for some reasons of leave of absence - to child benefit. If you receive one of these benefits, be sure to contact the offices paying them before applying.
  • Your health insurance may also be affected by changes. Please check with your health insurance company in advance.

Application form

Legal sources