Medical Certificates and Withdrawal Due to Illness

  Hand with highlighter marks word exam on calendar Copyright: © Martin Braun

Did you know that...

  1. ... we recorded a total of 5,645 medical certificates in 2019?
  2. Due to the pandemic-related special regulations, however, the number in 2021 was only 803.

If you fall ill on the day of an exam and are therefore unable to take the exam, please take note of the official regulations in the Guidelines on Inability to Take an Exam Due to Illness.

Medical certificates must be obtained immediately, i.e. usually no later than the day of the exam. They must be submitted to us at the ZPA in the original or as a digital version no later than the third working day after the respective exam date. In the case of an oral exam, the examiner must also be informed.

Please be sure to indicate your student ID number and the exams in question on the medical certificate.

The submitted certificate must meet the following requirements:

  • Date or expected duration of illness
  • Date, stamp, and signature of the physician
  • Explicit attestation of the student's inability to take the exam

Please note that a simple certificate of incapacity for work is not sufficient. Please use this form wherever possible.

You can send us certificates in the following ways:

  1. Via email to .
    Important: Please be sure to use your RWTH email address and send us the certificate(s) as a single PDF file.
  2. Via the after-hours mailbox at the Main Building. Important: Please put the certificate in an envelope addressed to us. The stamp of receipt is used to determine when the certificate was received.
  3. Via postal mail. Please note: the stamp of receipt is used to determine when the certificate was received.

Certificates that are received outside the deadline or do not meet the above-mentioned requirements will be considered as a request for a subsequent withdrawal from an exam due to illness. We will therefore forward the certificate to the relevant examination board, which will decide on the outcome of the request.



I have received an email that my certificate has been forwarded to the examination board. Do I need to do anything?

Initially, no action is required. The examination board will contact you if there are any queries. Otherwise, you will be informed of the decision of the examination board.

I am currently writing a term paper and am ill. Can I extend the deadline with a medical certificate?

No, that is not possible.

Will I receive confirmation that you have received or processed my certificate?

No, due to the sheer number of medical certificates we receive, we are unfortunately unable to send a notice of receipt or information that the certificate has been processed. However, if your certificate does not meet the criteria – formal and other – and/or was not received by the deadline, we will forward it to the relevant examination board and inform you of this by email.

Where can I see that my certificate has been accepted for the specified exam?

As soon as we have received and processed your certificate, you can view this in RWTHonline under "My Achievements". Via the "My Exam Dates" menu item you can the corresponding entry for the exam(s) in question.

I have submitted a certificate in due time. RWTHonline, however, shows a grade of 5.0 (did not attend the exam) for the exam(s) in question. What do I have to do?

During the examination periods, we at the ZPA receive a large number of certificates. Therefore, it may take a few days to process you document. In some cases, examiners may be faster than we are, entering a 5.0 into the systems because you did not attend the exam. Basically, you do not have to worry. If your certificate was received in time and meets all relevant criteria, the entry will be corrected and the receipt of the medical certificate noted.