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Leave of Absence

Upon request, students can be granted a leave of absence from a regular course of study for important reasons.

Legal Foundation

The regulations governing leaves of absence are stipulated in sections 11 and 12 of the TUM Enrollment, Re-enrollment, Leave of Absence and Withdrawal Statutesin conjunction with article 48, paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of the Bavarian Higher Education Act.

What are important reasons?

Generally speaking, a reason is considered important if it prevents the student from carrying out and completing a course of study. Possible reasons are for example:

  • an illness attested by a physician
  • maternity or paternity leave
  • caring for a close relative
  • studying at a foreign university
  • an external internship as mandated in the FPSO, which cannot be completed in the lecture-free period alone
  • an internship or an equivalent activity. Please note that this is only possible on a case-by-case basis and with written approval of the school or faculty and only if a refusal based on the duration of the activity were to place the student at an unfair disadvantage.

    Please be aware that requesting a leave of absence due to an internship may require additional processing time within the faculty administration. Be sure tocontact your faculty or department in time.
     
  • the formation of a company. This has to be verified with an extract from the Commercial Register. If this is unavailable, a draft of the business plan, approved by TUMforTE may also be submitted.

Other reasons may be recognized on a case-by-case basis after a review. Economic circumstances are not considered important grounds for a leave of absence however.

For how long can leave of absence be granted and when do I have to apply for it?

  • Requests for a leave of absence must be submitted until the first day of the lecture period of the respective semester. Relevant documents may be submitted later.
  • If the reason for the leave of absence occurs after this period and was unforeseeable, the request can still be submitted up to five weeks after this date.
  • A leave of absence is normally approved for one semester and should not exceed two semesters. Up to 6 semesters per child can be approved for maternity or paternity leave.
  • Even if the reason is important, a leave of absence during the first upper-division semester can be approved only if the reason occurred after enrollment and was therefore unforeseen (e.g. illness). This does not include a leave of absence during the first upper division semester of a consecutive master's program at TUM.
  • A leave of absence cannot be granted retroactively.

How do I apply for leave of absence?

  • You are required to hand in your application for a leave of absence in writing, using the official form provided by TUM. The document can be downloaded from your TUMonline account under “Print Documents”.
  • The application has to be submitted in the interval between the beginning of the re-enrollment period and the start of the lecture period. You can hand in the documents  supporting the reason for your leave of absence later if you cannot get hold of them in time.
  • Should the leave of absence be illness-related, you will need a medical certificate by a physician or, if requested by TUM, by a TUM partner physician
  • Submit our application to studium(at)tum.de or send it to

    Technische Universität München
    Application and Enrollment
    Arcisstraße 21
    80333 Munich

Important note on attestations:

  • Medical certificates issued in Germany and in German can be sent electronically via email to studium(at)tum.de. They do not have to be certified or submitted in hardcopy. 
  • Medical certificates issed in another language or outside of Germany have to be submitted as original or certified copy, together with a translation by a sworn translator in either German or English. Submission is then only possible as hardcopy via post, we cannot accept original or certified documents via e-mail. 

What exactly does leave of absence mean for me?

  • You still have to pay the student union fee as well as the fee for the basic semester ticket.
  • Your rights and obligations as a student are not affected. You are only no longer obligated to attend a regular course of study. You cannot participate in courses or lectures during a leave of absence.
  • You can still participate in university elections.
  • You cannot take any initial examinations. Exceptions apply in the case of maternity/paternal leave or leave for the care of a close relative.
  • Make-up examinations can still be taken, however.
  • Please note: Existing deadlines still apply! This also applies to a leave of absence based on a foreign study semester or an internship. For this reason you should inquire in advance as to whether an examination schedule can be postponed. Please contact the corresponding examination committee
  • There is no entitlement to BAföG during a leave of absence. If you receive a scholarship, you should check with your scholarship provider before taking a leave of absence to see whether the scholarship will continue to be paid out during your leave of absence. For TUM scholarships and the Deutschlandstipendium more information is available in our scholarship overview. The payment of child benefit can also be affected – for further information, please contact your local family fund.

In what cases am I advised against applying for a leave of absence?

  •  You have not yet taken the GOP, i.e. the fundamental examinations and orientation examinations which have to be completed within the first year of study.
  • You have not yet been able to fulfill the requirements for a master's program
  • You are currently writing your thesis. During a leave of absence, you may not register or submit any degree theses unless it is a second attempt.
  • You have been provisionally accepted for a master’s program and still need to submit certain documents within a set deadline. Deadlines still apply during a leave of absence.

Does my leave of absence count as an upper division semester?

A semester, in which you have taken leave of absence, is not counted as an upper division semester. This also applies to a leave of absence taken to study abroad or to complete an external internship.

If, however, you apply to have credits recognized which you earned during your leave of absence, and more than 22 credits are recognized, the semester counts as an upper division semester. Exceptions from this threshold apply for the bachelor's degree programs in Architecture (20 Credits) and Engineering Science (26 Credits).

A request for recognition of credits earned during a leave of absence semester may only be submitted once during the semester that follows the leave of absence at TUM.