Leave of ab­sence

A semester of leave is an official interruption of studies - a passive semester in which the number of semesters of study does not increase. Leave of absence from studies can be granted upon application if there is an important ground is proven.

Basic information

  • A leave of absence is always granted for the duration of a semester. If you wish to continue your studies after a semester of leave of absence, this is done by re-registering in due time. A further leave of absence must be applied for again.
  • It is not possible to take a leave of absence retroactively (for previous semesters).
  • Leaves of absence for the first semester are not permitted in the Bachelor's degree programme, except in the case of serious illness. In the Master's degree programme, leave of absence is possible for the first semester.
  • Membership rights and obligations are suspended during the leave of absence. For example, you may not participate in student elections and you are not authorised to complete coursework/examinations or earn credit points . However, if credits earned during the semester of leave are credited, the semester will be counted as a subject semester - exceptions:
    - This does not apply to the repetition of failed examinations or to participation requirements that are the result of a semester abroad or internship semester itself for which leave is to be taken.
    - This also does not apply to leaves of absence due to parental leave or the care of relatives.
  • If you are on leave of absence, you can apply for a refund of the semester ticket.
  • Do you receive BAföG? Ask the BAföG office in good time about the consequences of your leave of absence.
  • Leave of absence due to a stay abroad: If the university's post addressed to you is to be sent to a different address during your stay, you can change the address in PAUL via My data > Address. Please remember to update your address again after your return.

Application for leave of absence

The application must be submitted within the re-registration period via PAUL > Studies > Applications.

If the requirements for a leave of absence are met after the deadline, the university administration will decide on exceptions. In this case, please send an e-mail to backoffice@zv.uni-paderborn.de.

Leave ofabsence can only be granted after payment of the semester fees has been received.

In the case of a leave of absence due to illness, studies at a foreign university, recognised service or pregnancy , the semester fee minus the social contribution must be paid. Important: If the application for leave of absence cannot be granted, there will be no re-registration if the missing amount (social contribution) is not paid on time.

What happens once I have sent the application?

If your application can be approved, the application has the status "approved" in PAUL. You will receive your study certificates as usual, with the status "on leave" noted on them.

If your application cannot be approved or if evidence is missing, you will receive a corresponding message by e-mail (university e-mail address). You should therefore keep an eye on your e-mail inbox. If missing documents are not submitted by the deadline, the application for a leave of absence will be considered invalid and a leave of absence will no longer be possible.

Im­port­ant grounds

Grounds for leave of absence Facts of the case Evidence required Fees

Studying at a foreign university

As an exchange semester at a partner university or as a freemover.

  • Confirmation from the International Office or

  • Proof of acceptance from the foreign university or

  • Certificate of enrolment from the foreign university

Semester fee less social contribution

Other stay abroad that serves the study objective, e.g. au pair, language school, internship, work and travel

The stay abroad must not be a study/examination achievement or participation requirement within the meaning of § 64 Para. 2 No. 2 HG and no credit points may be acquired.

  • Suitable proof (e.g. au pair contract, confirmation from the language school, internship confirmation/contract, confirmation of a scholarship from the Educational Exchange Service) and

  • Certificate from the faculty that the stay abroad serves the purpose of the degree programme

Semester fee

Voluntary internship in Germany that serves the study objective

The internship may not be a study/examination achievement or a prerequisite for participation within the meaning of § 64 Para. 2 No. 2 HG and no credit points may be acquired.

  • Internship contract or

  • Confirmation of internship from the company and

  • Certificate from the faculty that the internship serves the study objective

Semester fee

Absence from the university in the interest of the university or due to collaboration on a research project


  • Suitable proof

Semester fee


Voluntary military service, recognised federal voluntary service, recognised voluntary social or ecological year or a recognised comparable service.

  • Certificate from the service organisation

Semester fee less social contribution


Attendance of courses and fulfilment of the expected academic achievements is not possible due to illness.

  • Medical certificate confirming that the student is not fit to study for the semester or is so severely restricted that it is not possible to study properly (current certificate with date, signature and stamp from the doctor's surgery)

Semester fee less social contribution



  • Maternity pass

Semester fee less social contribution

Parental leave

Care and upbringing of children within the meaning of § 25 (5) BAföG (natural children, children of the spouse/registered partner living in the household, foster children) until they start school

  • Birth certificate of the child

Semester fee

Care/care of relatives

Care or provision for the spouse, registered partner, a relative in a direct line or a relative by marriage within the first degree, if this person is in need of care or provision.

  • Written declaration of the nature of the existing relationship and corresponding

  • corresponding proof such as a medical certificate or care classification notice

Semester fee

Establishment of a company


  • Suitable evidence, e.g. business plan, support from the start-up grant, etc.

Semester fee

Other important reasons

Important reason that makes it impossible to continue your studies.

  • Written justification and

  • suitable proof

Semester fee