Does someone here know how many years at the maximum one can take to finish MSc degree in Mathematics in Germany ? My friend enrolled for three semesters on regular basis but due to his mental instability he couldn't do anything. He almost has all the credits required and just needs thesis to be done. He is planning to take take a year gap to recover and may be finish his degree .

Is it possible for him ? Are there any provisions that restrict a person to take only certain number of semesters or that a person cannot take a year break or something of that sort ?

  • 3
    Check with the Graduate School in his university. There are surely university-specific regulations regarding this kind of (health-related) issues.
    – user8458
    Mar 24, 2015 at 23:13

3 Answers 3


It is almost always possible to take a vacation semester, which is either free of charge, or at a fraction of the standard fee you would normally pay. (But you also lose some student perks, such as the public transportation ticket and student discounts.)

But you have to check with your Studienordnung or Prüfungsamt. You will certainly have a maximum number of semesters for your studies as well as a maximum time between finishing your last lectures and beginning your thesis.

In case of illness, as long as you have an official waiver from a doctor saying you can't study/work, most of these limits don't apply.

tl;dr: Check with your "Prüfungsamt"

  • 2
    Also check with the Studienberater for your program. [You may also lose any "bonuses" associated with finishing the program in the Regelstudienzeit ("official" program length).]
    – aeismail
    Mar 25, 2015 at 19:50
  • Also check with the Immatrikulationsamt for things like Langzeitstudiengebühren (fee for taking more than a few semesters longer than necessary). Mar 27, 2015 at 6:12

As far as I know it just becomes more costly after a certain time. Search the Internet for 'langzeitstudiengebühren'.


Universities are interested in "creating" degree holders, too. In case of the German state universities, even the financial resources will - at least to some degree - depend on the number of students finishing (not starting) academic studies.

If you talk to the registrar's office (DE: Prüfungsamt) in advance, many things are possible; we had even things like leave of absence "for helping at bringing in the harvest" (if the parents have a farm), and, not uncommon, due to various health reasons.

But please try to resolve this in good time, it's much easier that way than after impending removal from the register of students.

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