Medical Certificates and Withdrawal Due to Illness

  Hand with highlighter marks word exam on calendar © 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 in PDF format.
  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.