STARTING A DEGREE COURSE IN AN ADVANCED SEMESTER - The Basics

Anyone who is already enrolled, or has been enrolled at a university has the possibility to continue studying the same subject. Students might also change subjects.

A student might enrol or change degree programme internally within Heidelberg University, transfer to Heidelberg from another university, or do this following an interruption to their studies. In each case, enrolment is subject to specific conditions.

CHANGE OF SUBJECT

Students who are already enrolled at Heidelberg University who wish to change one or more subjects within their degree programme will be considered a new, first-semester student in the new subject(s). Students must therefore submit an application for admission to the new subject(s), or to the new degree programme in line with the relevant admission requirements. If a student wishes to pick up an admission-restricted subject, they must first receive confirmation of a place on the relevant programme before the change of degree programme can be registered. If a student wishes to pick up a subject which is not admission-restricted, the change of degree programme can be registered anytime from the beginning of the re-registration period until the beginning of the following semester. If students have progressed to the third or a more advanced semester in a degree course and wish to change degree programme, they must provide proof of having consulted an academic advisor in relation to the new subject. This is a requirement of the Higher Education Law (Hochschulgesetz). If students are looking to change all subjects in a combination they must consult only one academic advisor and are not required to consult an advisor for each separate subject.

If a student’s performance in a previous degree course can be recognised in the new subject/subjects and considered to account for a number of completed semesters, it is possible for a student to change degree programme and enrol in the new subject area in a more advanced semester. In such cases, where the student does not begin the new subject(s) in the first semester, we talk of a transfer. If admission is also restricted for entry beyond the first semester, students must submit an application by the given deadline (15 July/15 January).

It is strongly recommended that international students wishing to change subject seek advice from the International Student Advisory Office.

Students who receive a national student grant (BaföG) should also think carefully about the possible implications of changing subject.

CHANGE OF INSTITUTION

Students looking to change their degree programme once they have already progressed into the third or a more advanced semester of a given degree programme, may do so via a transfer, or by changing institution.

If students wish to enrol at Heidelberg University to continue a degree programme that they have already begun at another German university, it is possible to change institution and enrol at Heidelberg in the subsequent academic semester. If the relevant degree programme is admission-restricted beyond the first semester however, students must submit an application by the given deadline (15 July or 15 January). Admission to more advanced semesters is subject to specific admission criteria.

If students wishing to enrol at Heidelberg University have previously studied a degree programme with the same name at an equivalent university in an EU member state, they are able to enrol under a change of institution. In such cases, it must be possible for the student’s performance in the previous degree programme to be recognised and equated with a number of semesters of study. If the relevant degree programme is admission-restricted beyond the first semester however, students must submit an application by the given deadline (15 July or 15 January). Admission to more advanced semesters is subject to specific admission criteria.

If a student’s performance in a previous degree programme can be recognised in the new subject area, it is possible for the student to begin that new subject in a more advanced semester (e.g. via a transfer). If admission is also restricted for entry beyond the first semester, students must submit an application by the given deadline. Admission to more advanced semesters is subject to specific admission criteria.

Regardless of whether a subject is admission-restricted beyond the first semester or not, international students who do not possess a German university entrance qualification and wish to change institution or transfer must submit an application to the University.#

INTERRUPTION OF STUDIES

If students were formerly enrolled at a German university for a given degree programme and, having taken a break from their studies, now wish to continue with that same programme, they are said to be enrolling after an “interruption of studies”. Provided that the degree programme is not admission-restricted beyond the first semester, German citizens and international students with a German university entrance qualification are able to enrol within the general registration periods without prior application. If the subject is admission-restricted beyond the first semester however, candidates must submit an application by the given deadline (15 July or 15 January). International students without a German university entrance qualification must submit an application for all subjects regardless of whether or not they are admission-restricted.

Subjects with nationwide admission restrictions

If admission to a degree programme is subject to nationwide admission restrictions beyond the first semester, German citizens, as well as candidates from EU/EEA member states and international students with a German university entrance qualification must also submit an application for admission directly to Heidelberg University (application under a change of institution / interruption of studies). This is the case for candidates applying for entry to any semester, including the first semester. This increases students’ chances of being offered a university place. If admission to the first  academic semester is granted via hochschulstart.de any semesters already completed at another German university will be recognised and if requested, the University will consider admitting students to a later semester.