The Rectorate is responsible for university governance. It represents Heidelberg University externally, and coordinates the cooperation between university members internally. The Rectorate consists of two full-time members, the Rector and the Kanzler, as well as five part-time Vice-Rectors.

The Rector and the Kanzler are elected to six-year terms. The Rector proposes the other five Vice-Rectors to the university Senate, who elects them to three-year terms. Within the university administration, each member is responsible for a specific area.