Withdrawal or other Removal from the Register of Students (Exmatriculation)

Students may be removed from the register of students at their own request or by the Student Records and Registration Office for official reasons (also see Sec. 17 of the Bylaws on Academic Matters (Satzung für Studienangelegenheiten (pdf-file), in German) of Freie Universität Berlin).


Case 1: Student withdrawal

All students who are no longer pursuing their studies at Freie Universität Berlin, whether because they have completed their course of study or because they are unable to, or do not wish to, continue studying although they have not earned a degree in that course of study, are required to submit an application for exmatriculation (also see Sec. 17 (2) of the Bylaws on Academic Matters (Satzung für Studienangelegenheiten (pdf-file), in German) of Freie Universität Berlin). Simply refraining from re-registering (Rückmeldung) for the next term is insufficient, because in that case the student is removed from the register by the administration for official reasons and then a notice is issued containing information on appeals, but the student does not receive a normal certificate of withdrawal or other removal from the register (Exmatrikulationsbescheinigung) containing the information that German higher education institutions generally require for later registration purposes. Students who wish to withdraw generally apply to the Student Records and Registration Office for removal from the register (exmatriculation) as of the end of the semester then in progress (for the application form, see Forms). If the student wishes to be removed from the register before the end of the semester, he or she must submit a statement of the reasons and the enrollment certificates (Immatrikulationsbescheinigungen) and student ID (Studierendenausweis) for the semester in question must be returned to the Student Records and Registration Office immediately.

The possibility of refunding the paid semester fees is regulated in different ways:

In case of leave of absence exemption from payment of the semester ticket can be applied for at the Semester Ticket Office. There will be no refunding of the enrollment or re-registration fee. These fees will be due on the date of receipt of the application of enrollment or re-registration. Please be aware that the reimbursement may only be issued to the bank account of the original depositor. For more information refer to http://www.fu-berlin.de/en/studium/studienorganisation/immatrikulation/gebuehren.html

The fee for the semester ticket will be refunded by the Semester Ticket Office. The required data for this will be forwarded by the Student Records and Registration Office to the Semester Ticket Office. Therefore the semester ticket fee will be credited to your account with some delay. For questions concerning the amount of the refund please directly contact the Semester Ticket Office.

In case of removal from the register of students, a social fee for the student union (Studentenwerk) and the student government (Studierendenschaft) will be refunded on application until the beginning of the classes.

In the case of requests for exmatriculation prior to the beginning of classes, students may apply to the Student Records and Registration Office for partial reimbursement of the semester fees paid in advance.

The only semester for which students may apply to be removed from the register retroactively is as of the end of the semester for which that student last re-registered.

Upper-division (Hauptstudium) students who wish to withdraw without having taken the final examination may consult the appropriate examination office to discuss whether they are permitted to take individual subject-specific examinations and earn certificates for those examinations.

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Case 2: Removal for the register for official reasons

According to Sec. 17 (3) of the Bylaws on Academic Matters (Satzung für Studienangelegenheiten (pdf-file), in German) of Freie Universität Berlin, students may be removed from the register by the administration for official reasons, i.e., without having submitted their own applications for withdrawal, in any of the following cases:

  • If the student has failed to commence his or her studies immediately despite a written request to that effect;
  • If the student’s enrollment approval was granted for a limited time only or on a provisional basis (for example, for participation in the preparatory course (Studienkolleg) or in a pre-study language course or with regard to subject-related eligibility for studies) and the requirements for further enrollment are not met (such as if the student fails the language test with no option to retake it);
  • If the student fails to re-register at the beginning of the semester despite a written reminder notice that includes threat of removal from the register if the student fails to comply with the re-registration requirements, including exam advising (such as if the student forgets to re-register or fails to participate in exam or end-of-program advising (Prüfungsberatung or Abschlussberatung);
  • If the student fails a required test or exam without the option to retake it;

  • If the student has successfully completed a course of study and has not submitted a successful application to transfer his or her enrollment to another course of study or a program for a different degree or certificate.

Application for Exmatriculation (pdf-file)