Taking a leave of absence

Students may apply for a leave of absence in special circumstances.

You may apply to take a leave of absence if you are unable to attend classes for an extended period during the semester for a good reason. The reason for the leave of absence should be temporary in nature, and because of this, the period of the leave of absence should not exceed two semesters.

When to apply

In cases 1-3, the application should be submitted during the registration period. If you wish to take a leave of absence for a different reason, you must apply to take a leave of absence immediately during the current semester after the reason for the leave of absence has occurred. Please submit the application by the end of the semester in which you wish to take a leave of absence at the latest. It is generally not possible to apply for a leave of absence for a past semester.


Please fill in the application for taking a leave of absence and attach the necessary supporting documents. You can send us your application together with the relevant supporting documents using the contact form or deliver them to us personally during onsite during the office opening hours, send them by mail or put them in our mailbox.

Studierendenservice und Prüfungsamt
Haus der Studierenden
Pfaffenwaldring 5c
70569 Stuttgart

Contact form


Reasons for taking a leave of absence

You can apply for a leave of absence for the following reasons:

  1. Studying at a foreign university or a foreign language school (proof from a foreign university or language school)
  2. Foreign language assistant or school assistant abroad
  3. Subject-related, voluntary internship (practical work experience), which is related to your intended degree (no working student positions)
  4. Illness (supporting documents: current medical certificate)
  5. Completion of federal voluntary service (Bundesfreiwilligendienst) or military service (proof: certificate of service duration)
  6. Caring for a close relative in accordance with § 7 para. 3 Pflegezeitgesetz (Caregiver Leave Act) (supporting documents: current medical certificate)
  7. Birth of a child, maternity leave, parental leave and caring for a child in accordance with § 3 para. 1 MuSchG or § 15 para. 1 to 3 of the Federal Parental Allowance and Parental Leave Act (supporting documents: pregnancy log book record, or birth certificate and certificate of registration)
  8. You must serve a prison sentence
  9. Other important reason

Reasons that are not valid

The following are not considered valid reasons for taking a leave of absence:

  • preparing for examinations or writing your final thesis
  • internships or studying abroad as defined by the examination regulations and which must be completed within the standard study period, e.g. practical semester in a school when studying for a high-school teaching degree.
  • taking on work or getting a job to finance your living expenses
  • working student positions / student assistant activities

Further information

You must continue to pay your semester fee even during a leave of absence. You can apply for an exemption from paying tuition fees (EUR 650 or 1500) if you apply for an exemption/exemption before the lecture period begins. Please use the application for exemption from tuition fees.

Information on exemptions

You remain enrolled at the University of Stuttgart during your leave of absence, which is why you must pay the semester fees. However, you are not allowed to attend courses or use university facilities (except the library and the computer centers).

Exception: Students on leave of absence under maternity protection or on parental leave can attend courses, fulfill course and exam prerequisites and use all facilities freely. The same applies to students who take care of a relative, who is in need of care, as defined in §§ 14, 15 SGB XI, as defined in §7 Section 3 of the Personal Leave for Caregivers Act.

Exams which are not part of a course can be taken. There is no obligation to repeat previously failed exams during a leave of absence. However, a leave of absence is not an indirect deadline extension. Please apply to the examination board for a deadline extension.

Provided the relevant Exam Regulations envisages “free attempts” rules or other incentive schemes to promote early completion of exams, generally up to two leave of absence semesters do not influence the deadlines as per the Exam Regulations.

Maternity protection, maternity leave, and flexible studying

Leave of absence semesters count as university semesters but not as study semester. The deadlines for completing exams as per the relevant Exam Regulations only take into account study semesters. 

Please note that a leave of absence might lead to consequences in relation to other parties. For example with BAföG, child benefits, or residence permits. Please contact the appropriate authorities (e.g. Office for Educational Support, Social Welfare Office, Child Benefit Office, Foreigners Registration Office).

  • Admissions and Enrollment Regulations of the University of Stuttgart
  • Act on the higher education institutions in the Land of Baden-Württemberg (LHG)
  • Contribution rules of Studierendenwerk Stuttgart



Student Service and Examination Office

Pfaffenwaldring 5c, 70569 Stuttgart

  • Further information
  • Please contact the Student Service and Examination Office via our contact form, phone or during our office hours (onsite or online).
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