Organizing Your Studies


Obligation to Report Pregnancy to the University

You are not required to report your pregnancy to the university.


If you are employed, for example as a student assistant, you are required to inform your employer of the pregnancy. The same applies to when internships are completed as part of studies, for example in a lab or on a hospital ward.

Maternity Leave

The Maternity Leave Act applies to all women who are employed. Studies and exams are not included. If you are employed or completing an internship, the employer/University, must adhere to the maternity leave guidelines. Maternity leave deadlines – six weeks before and eight weeks after giving birth and twelve weeks for early and multiple births – only apply in the case of employment.

As of January 1, 2018, female students are also covered by the Maternity Leave Act. They are supposed to still be able to choose whether or not to attend class or take exams during maternity leave. You will find information on the new features of the Maternity Leave Act on the website of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

Semester of Leave

You can apply for a semester of leave during pregnancy and to raise and care for a child who is not yet of school age. A total of six semesters of leave are possible per child. If both parents want to take semesters of leave, they have to distribute the six semesters between themselves. It in agreement with the examiner, it is possible for parents to take exams during the semester of leave.


During the semester of leave BAföG is not disbursed. Students taking a semester of leave may be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Family Card

RWTH students who are parents can apply for a Family Card at the Regristrar's Office. This card is meant to support students who have to reconcile family obligations with their study schedules in their busy every-day lives. Parents who are in posession of such a card can get preferential treatment in choosing lectures and seminars and they can also apply for a childcare grant with the Family Services Center.

Taking Exams During Pregnancy and Maternity Leave

It is possible to take exams during pregnancy and maternity leave. The University makes an effort to not have students on maternity leave take exams durign the legal dates of leave. You can contact the Family Services Center for advising in person if you have questions.