Transferring to Another Degree ProgramCopyright: © RWTH Aachen
The application period for the 2023 summer semester will begin December 1, 2022.
If you are interested in changing your subject or your course of study, you must submit an Application for Change of Enrollment through RWTHonline. As a prerequisite, you must have submitted an application through RWTHonline before the application deadline and, upon admission, have accepted the offer of a place.
Acceptable Reasons for Change of Enrollment:
- Subject change (if in a course of study with multiple subjects)
- Degree program change
- Addition of a second or third course of study
- Removal of a course of study or subject
Please note that you must have submitted an application through RWTHonline (including for open admission courses of study) before the application deadline. You can find more detailed information about the admissions restrictions for the current semester in the RWTH Info.
In the Application Wizard you can indicate whether you are giving up your current studies and beginning a new course of study or whether you would like to add the course of study to your current studies.
Changing From a Bachelor's to a Master's Courses of Study
Students may transition from a Bachelor's to a Master's degree program at a later point in time in exceptional circumstances that the student is not responsible for. This includes, in particular, the impending loss of a residence permit, financial hardship due to the discontinuation of BAföG funding, or the non-granting of a scholarship due to the student's failure to initiate a transfer . In these cases, students must submit an application to the Registrar's Office, providing credible evidence justifying the required transfer, immediately after successfully completing their Bachelor's degree program and no later than June 15, 2021, for the summer semester.
For those transferring to a Master's program: A pandemic-related postponement of the last exam from winter semester 2020 to summer semester 2021 also counts as one of the above-mentioned exceptional circumstances (“Härtefall”), so that in these cases a transfer is possible until June 15, 2021. To do so, simply submit an informal application to the Registrar’s Office. Further proof is not required.
Please note that you must have submitted an application on RWTHonline before the application deadline to be able to enroll or transfer to a Master’s course of study. You can find out what documents you need to submit on the RWTHonline Application Wizard.
The Registrar’s Office only informs you of any missing documents and the status of your application on Selfservice on RWTHonline. It is therefore up to you to check your status regularly.
The Registrar’s Office or International Office checks that their respective applicants fulfill the formal admissions requirements, while the relevant faculty examination boards review the applicants’ educational background. The examination boards inform the Registrar’s Office or International Office of the results for Master's courses of study with open admission by September 15 for winter semester or April 15 for summer semester at the latest.
If you apply for an open-admission Master's course of study in the first course semester and receive admission for it, you can only enroll by October 31 for winter semester or April 30 for summer semester at the latest. This is possible provided you submit your Bachelor's degree certificate by the respective deadline or your degree completion has been registered by the Central Examination Office on RWTHonline. The latter only applies to RWTH students.
The review of applicants’ educational background and the allocation procedures in restricted-admission courses of study will only be conducted after the end of the deadline for submitting additional documentation on August 15 for winter semester or February 15 for summer semester respectively.
The notification of acceptance or rejection will be made available in the Selfservice in RWTHonline. It is therefore your own responsibility to check the situation regularly. If granted, admission only applies to the application semester. It is only possible to transfer from a Bachelor's course of study to a Master's course of study for winter semester up to the deadline of October 31 and for summer semester up to April 30.
Note for RWTH Bachelor’s graduates: If you have already registered for Master’s modules ahead of time on RWTHonline, all these registrations will automatically be canceled when you transfer to your new course of study. You must therefore re-register for these modules.
Dropping a Course of Study
If you are enrolled in multiple courses of study and would like to drop one or more courses of study, please use the application to drop one or more courses of study. Submit it to the Registrar's Office by April 30 for the summer semester and October 31 for the winter semester.
FAQs about Subject Changes
When do I need to submit an application for a change of enrollment?
During the re-enrollment period. Please note that you must have applied for a place within the application period.
Exception 1: Necessary Subject Change Due to Loss of Your Right to Examination
If you want to change your subject because you have lost your right to examination, you are allowed to do so after the start of the lecture period. As long as you have applied by the respective deadline, it is possible to change subject until the last day of the month in which the current lecture period started. October 31 is the latest deadline for the winter semester, and April 30 for the summer semester .
Note: If you would like to start a new subject in this way, you need to submit an official affidavit and a certificate of good standing from your current examination board to RWTHonline.
Exception 2: Changing From a Bachelor's to a Master's Course of Study
If, by the end of the first month of the lecture period, you cannot prove that you have successfully finished your Bachelor's course of study, you must at least have provided an original or notarized copy of an official passing certificate. This must state the date of the degree that you have successfully completed. The Registrar’s Office does not accept transcript of records or so-called “4.0 certificates” as proof.
You must submit your degree certificate during your first semester. Failure to do so will mean you can not re-enroll for the following semester. You need to apply within the respective deadline to change subject. If you have applied by the deadlines, the latest date you can change your enrollment by is April 30 for summer semester and October 31 for winter semester. These are also the latest possible successful completion dates for your Bachelor's course of study.
Can I receive credit in my new subject for the exams I took in my old subject?
Yes. Exams you have completed that are equally applicable for both the old and new subject are recognized when you change your subject.
When I change subjects, do I start my new studies in the first course semester?
No. If you have completed exams in your old subject, credits for which can be to your new subject, you can enroll in a higher course semester, right as you change subjects. the Examination Board may, upon application, agree to place you in a higher course semester.
As a prerequisite, you need to apply to be accepted into a higher course semester.
For detailed information on the process in place for your degree program/subject, please get in touch with your departmental advisor.
There is restricted admission for the higher course semesters of my new subject. What do I do?
You have to apply for a university placement in a higher course semester through the Registrar's Office. The application deadline for the summer semester is March 15th, and September 15th, for the winter semester.
Whether or not you receive the placement in a higher course semester depends on whether there are free spots available in that course of study's respecitive course semester. This means that someone from your targeted course semester has to disenroll, thus freeing up a spot for you. Please note that as a general prerequisite, you must have applied for a place via RWTHonline.
Note: We recommend that you simulatenously apply for a spot in the first semester. If there is no open spot in the semester you are aiming for, you still have the chance to enter your desired course of study in the first semester. After you are enrolled as a first semester student, you can be bumped up to your desired semester if there are enough spaces available in the higher core semesters after the allocation process has taken place. Typically students will not be bumped up until the following semester due to limited capacities.
Get Advising First
There are many things to take into consideration when changing your degree program: Is a change really in order or can you change the parameters of your studies? Maybe you would be interested in changing your work methods and time management. Furthermore, the effects of changing your degree program on funding (e.g. BAFög) should be cleared up as well as whether you have a right to examination in your new subject. The Student Advice Centre offers group presentations as well as individual advising sessions about subject changes. Additionally, your departmental advisor or mentor is also available to answer questions about possible or necessary degree changes.