FAQs for students

Last update: 23 Feb. 2021

The following questions and answers are arranged chronologically within the topic blocks. The most recently added questions are at the top.

  • ZOOM and online lectures

    What is “WWUzoom” and how can I use it?
    With WWUzoom all members of the University of Münster including students can participate in video conferences and digital meetings with up to 300 participants at no charge. The software offers screen-sharing and chat functions. Thanks to its user-friendly interface and high stability even with many participants, the service is ideal for a wide variety of communication and teaching scenarios. For more information on how to use WWUzoom (and on data protection and alternatives), visit the WWU IT website.

  • Advisory services

    What kind of services does the University offer student parents while childcare facilities are closed? (9. Feb. 2021)
    The new Studi-Kidz allowance was launched on 1 April 2020 to provide childcare support to student parents. Due to the present situation, the allowance will be doubled for all applications submitted by the end of summer semester 2021.  Each student parent can apply for € 300 per semester (for single parents, € 600 per semester). Student parents are also eligible for financial support to cover hourly expenses for babysitting when childcare providers cancel or restrict their services on short notice. Please note that in accordance with the Corona Protection Regulations only one person may provide childcare in a private home environment.
    You can submit your application to the Equal Opportunity Office now.

    Does the University offer advice or support to help mitigate the special challenges in these times of coronavirus?
    Many of the WWU service and counselling offices are working diligently to adjust their services to the current situation. Please do not hesitate to contact them if you require advice or assistance. The Student Advice and Counselling Centre (ZSB) offers psychological counselling, as well.
    In addition to its central facilities, the University of Münster offers the following programmes and services:

    Is AStA still providing services (e.g. social counselling, legal counselling)?
    AStA continues to provide both social counselling [de] and legal counselling [de] services. For more information, visit the AStA website [de].

  • Organisation of study programmes

    Are in-person examinations being administered in the winter semester 2020/21? What rules apply during the nationwide lockdown? (23 Feb. 2021)

    • Digital examinations should be administered as the rule.
    • In-person examinations are the exception, and such exceptions are subject to critical assess-ment and must be documented within the faculties. They are only permissible if, for legal or technical reasons, they cannot be postponed or if doing so would be unfeasible.
    • The faculties will inform you as to which examinations are being offered in digital form, which have to be postponed, and which will take place in person.
    • In-person examinations are subject to a stringent hygiene concept and procedural rules.
    • Please stay informed by regularly checking your departmental website as well as the Examinations Office for changes on rules and modalities concerning your recorded academic achievement.
    • If you are currently in your final semester and urgently need to complete an examination so that you can obtain employment or commence the next phase of your education (e.g. a practical training period (Vorbereitungsdienst)), and if postponement would result in a significant delay, please contact your responsible Examinations Office.

    Other rules may apply to those enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine (FB 05) and state examination programmes.

    In exceptional cases where examinations or courses must be held in person, all instructors and participants are obliged to wear medical-grade face masks (surgical masks or FFP2 masks) in accordance with § 3 (1) sentence 2 of the Coronavirus Protection Regulations (CoronaSchVO). This applies even if the minimum distance between participants is maintained.

    Can I currently register to commence my thesis?
    Students may register to commence work on their theses even during the current lockdown. For more details, please contact your responsible Examinations Office.

    Will the nationwide lockdown have an impact on my thesis, for which I have already registered?
    Deadlines for completing theses which were registered prior to 16 December 2020 have been suspended (no request is necessary) for the length of the current lockdown, provided the faculties have not issued any policies indicating otherwise. For further information, please contact your responsible Examinations Office.

    Are there any rules regarding mandatory attendance?
    Mandatory attendance is not required for in-person courses. However, attendance remains mandatory for courses which take place online.

    Are student lounges available for self-study phases?
    Due to the nationwide lockdown and the legal implementation of the directive by the state of NRW, the self-study rooms in the faculties, the auditorium of the “Vom-Stein-Haus” and the Health and Performance Centre (HSP) will not be available. The same applies to the CIP pools.

    Will the deadline for term papers, essays etc. be extended due to the nationwide lockdown?
    No broad-based extensions are planned for term papers, essays or other partial academic achievements. Please contact your department or respective professor if you wish to discuss conditions for extending deadlines for course-related requirements.

    Is there a policy on “free attempts” at the WWU for the winter semester 2020/21?
    If a student fails an examination administered in a course offered during the winter semester 2020/21, the exam is to be regarded as a “free attempt”. This policy does not apply in cases of attempted deception or final theses. Furthermore, the faculties are permitted to waive the provision for degree programmes that conclude with a state or ecclesiastical examination.
    If you have any questions about the use of the “free attempt” provision, please contact the responsible Examinations Office.

    When is the withdrawal deadline for examinations in the winter semester 2020/21?
    For all winter semester 2020/21 examinations, withdrawal is permitted until the moment the examination is scheduled to commence; failure to take an examination is regarded as a withdrawal. This policy does not apply in cases of attempted deception or final theses. Furthermore, the faculties are permitted to waive the provision for degree programmes that conclude with a state or ecclesiastical examination. For more information, please contact the respective Examinations Office.

    Who should I contact if I have problems with or cannot participate in courses because of a physical disability, chronic illness or psychological/emotional impairment (e.g. due to a lack of handicapped accessible PDFs in Learnweb, handicapped accessible online study)? 
    Students with disabilities who cannot participate in academic activities, or only with great difficulty, can receive compensation for disadvantages when participating in university courses (lectures, seminars, lab classes, tutorials, practical courses, excursions etc.). Special contact staff have been designated in each faculty to provide information and advice to students who seek compensation for disadvantages.

    For more information and advice services for handicapped accessible online learning, visit the webpage Studying with a Disability in Times of the Coronavirus.

    How is the University ensuring traceability? Do I have to register somewhere if I want to participate in an in-person course?
    Based on the Coronavirus Protection Regulations of North Rhine-Westphalia, traceability between all contact persons must be ensured in order to interrupt chains of infection. This applies to students who attend in-person courses (lectures, seminars, etc.) at the University of Münster. If someone who has attended a WWU course contracts Covid-19, the University must be able to determine who participated in the course and was seated around the infected individual. This information helps the health department trace the chain of infection.
    WWU IT has developed a tool to allow students to digitally register for in-person courses. The tool does not verify whether students actually attended, however.
    For a detailed description of the registration process, click here.

    In what form can I submit my degree thesis at the moment?
    You may submit your degree thesis in digital form. Send it as a PDF to the responsible Examinations Office within the prescribed deadline together with the signed plagiarism statement from your "uni-muenster.de" account. Please submit one (!) printed and bound copy to the Examinations Office as soon as the necessary infrastructure is available again. The printed copy must be identical to the digital version. You will not be required to submit the digital version a second time.

    What rules apply to participants of the “Senior Guest Programme” in the winter semester 2020/21?
    You can find the latest information about the Senior Guest Programme at https://www.uni-muenster.de/Studium-im-Alter/aktuell.html [de]. If you have specific questions, you can contact our service team by email at studia@uni-muenster.de

    Who should I contact if I am almost done with my degree programme but can’t complete the final degree-relevant coursework or examination(s)?
    If you are near the end of your bachelor’s or master’s programme but cannot complete the final requirement(s) due to the pandemic-related cancellation of teaching and examination activities, please contact the responsible Examinations Office to discuss your options for completing your studies.

    Who should I contact regarding the impact of the coronavirus on my teaching degree programme, specifically regarding my study schedule, work placements, practical training periods etc.?
    Please direct your questions to the University Centre for Teacher Education (ZfL) [de]

    Will the registrations for exams that were supposed to take place before 20 April 2020 and have now been cancelled or postponed remain valid?
    Yes, these exam registrations remain valid. Please do not de-register yourself!

    Will I still receive my BAFöG payments despite the postponement of the summer semester?
    Yes, because the postponement represents an extension of the lecture-free period during which you remain eligible for financial aid. For more details, visit the website of the Student Support Services (Studierendenwerk) [de].

    Will study places be allocated in each subject area as planned?
    Please refer to the information on study place allocation on the websites of the respective department/institute/facility.

  • Access to buildings

    Do I have to wear a mask at the University of Münster? (23 Feb. 2021)
    Yes, in accordance with current regulations, face masks are required in the following situations:

    • when conducting general service and research operation
      In accordance with CoronaSchVO, all persons in closed rooms must wear at least cloth masks. Exceptions are allowed while working in your own office/workplace if a minimum distance of 1.5 metres from others can be ensured. This corresponds to the existing rule at the WWU, but now additionally requires employees to wear masks during business meetings and conferences, provided that holding them in-person is deemed necessary.
    • when holding courses and administering examinations
      In exceptional cases where examinations or courses must be held in person, all instructors and participants are obliged to wear medical-grade face masks (surgical masks or FFP2 masks) in accordance with § 3 (1) sentence 2 of the Coronavirus Protection Regulations (CoronaSchVO). This applies even if the minimum distance between participants is maintained.

    Exemption from wearing masks
    Persons who cannot wear a face mask for medical reasons must present a medical certificate upon request confirming exemption from this mandate.

    May I enter University buildings during the nationwide lockdown?
    The University buildings will remain open. However, opening hours are sometimes restricted. Please inform yourself about the opening hours before you visit. As long as you are enrolled at the University of Münster, there is no need to register on the lists provided in the entrance areas. It is necessary, however, to register for seats in classrooms, although in-person courses and examinations will not be taking place (see corresponding FAQ). Please make sure to disinfect your hands at the entrance area (unless you have allergies). Sanitiser dispensers have been provided for this purpose. While inside University buildings, we ask you to comply with the distancing, face mask and hygiene rules, avoid touching your face etc.
    Other rules may apply inside the buildings of the University Hospital (Faculty of Medicine, FB 5).

    Entry is prohibited without exception to the following persons:

    • those who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, or who are considered infectious until a negative test result is obtained
    • those who have been instructed to self-quarantine (e.g. by the public health authorities for being a Category-1 person, after trips abroad in accordance with CoronaEinrVO, etc.) for the duration of quarantine
    • those with acute symptoms of Covid-19 (please consult your general practitioner)

    Will the CIP pools remain open during the nationwide lockdown?
    The CIP pools will remain closed during the nationwide lockdown .

  • Plans for the winter semester 2020/21 and for the summer semester 2021

    In what form can examinations take place in March 2021? (23 Feb. 2021)
    Your faculty/professors will provide you with information regarding which examinations will be offered in digital form, which will be postponed, and which will take place in person.
    Please bear in mind that planned in-person examinations might have to be postponed or cancelled at very short notice. We ask you to anticipate such changes when making your plans.

    How does the WWU plan to continue teaching operations during the nationwide lockdown? (23 Feb. 2021)
    Due to the nationwide lockdown and in compliance with NRW regulations, the University has adjusted its operating policy as follows.

    Please note that other rules regarding courses and examinations may apply to students enrolled in state examination programmes or programmes offered by the Faculty of Medicine (FB 5).

    Courses:
    Courses should continue to be offered in digital format. In-person courses are not planned. Exceptions can only be made for lab practicals, individual artistic instruction and trial operations insofar as these cannot be offered digitally or postponed without resulting in severe disadvantages to students.
    If such an exception applies to one of your courses, you will be contacted by your respective professor or faculty.

    Lab work conducted as part of a thesis:
    Lab activities conducted as part of a thesis or dissertation are among the in-person preparatory measures allowed by exception. Such activities may be carried out in person if interrupting the work would result in a significant delay to the student’s course of study or represent unreasonable hardship.
    If this should be the case, please contact your supervisor to discuss further steps.

    Examinations:

    • Digital examinations should be administered as the rule.
    • In-person examinations are the exception, and such exceptions are subject to critical assessment and must be documented within the faculties. They are only permissible if, for legal or technical reasons, they cannot be postponed or if doing so would be unfeasible. Decisions on exemption are made by the respective Dean's Office.
    • The faculties will inform you as to which examinations are being offered in digital form, which have to be postponed, and which will take place in person.
    • In-person examinations are subject to a stringent hygiene concept and procedural rules.
    • We ask you to stay informed by regularly checking your departmental website as well as the Examinations Office for changes to rules and modalities concerning your recorded academic achievement.
    • If you are currently in your final semester and urgently need to complete an examination so that you can obtain employment or commence the next phase of your education (e.g. a practi-cal training period (Vorbereitungsdienst)), and if postponement would result in a significant delay, please contact your responsible Examinations Office.

    In exceptional cases where examinations or courses must be held in person, all instructors and participants are obliged to wear medical-grade face masks (surgical masks or FFP2 masks) in accordance with § 3 (1) sentence 2 of the Coronavirus Protection Regulations (CoronaSchVO). This applies even if the minimum distance between participants is maintained.

    What are the plans for the summer semester 2021? (9. Feb. 2021)

    The following measures are planned:

    1. A comprehensive digital teaching programme will be offered to students until the Whitsun holidays. Individual subjects can offer supplementary hybrid elements, but there will always be an option to participate in courses digitally. We expect that instructors will be able to hold lab practicals and artistic individual instruction and trial operations in person – provided the regulatory framework allows. Exemptions for students in state examination programmes will remain in place.
    2. The week of Whitsun holidays will have to be used for administering examinations in some subjects to provide student enough time to retake or reschedule exams etc. Further details on this will be provided shortly.
    3. Instructors should be prepared to continue (and conclude) their courses in digital form after the Whitsun holidays. Digital courses should be planned, therefore, and offered the entire semester if need be. The faculties are responsible for planning supplementary in-person formats, counselling sessions, small group work and exchange formats for their respective areas.
    4. Pending a change to the current legal regulations, the libraries will reopen to the extent permitted by law, and study rooms will be made available to students. We plan to permit in-person contacts as much as possible and allow in-person interaction and meetings in compliance with the regulatory framework.

    Are the facilities (advice offices, libraries, institutes, faculties) going to remain open during the nationwide lockdown?

    • The student service and advice centres will continue to offer most of their services in digital form. For more information, please consult the websites of the respective facilities. When arranging appointments for personal meetings, please contact the respective service centre or staff member via email. Open consultation hours are not offered during lockdown.
    • Libraries: In accordance with current legal regulations, the University Library (ULB) cannot offer access to study carrels or workstations. However, you will be able to continue borrowing books and media to a limited degree in the coming weeks. For more information, visit the ULB website.
    • Most facilities will remain open (e.g. advice offices, libraries, institutes and faculties). Please consult the websites of the respective units for information on opening times and applicable rules or policies.
    • As always, we ask all University members to strictly comply with the hygiene and safety regulations while inside WWU buildings.

    What measures is the University planning should the pandemic get worse? What does the University’s three-stage concept entail?
    In order to promptly respond to possible spikes of infection and, if necessary, implement closures and similar measures, the University of Münster has planned three stages of operation for the winter semester:

    • Stage 1: full operation with restrictions
    • Stage 2: restricted operation due to an increase of coronavirus infections in Münster/at the WWU
    • Stage 3: minimal operation due to a general lockdown

    If infection rates worsen so that the University of Münster must reduce operations, i.e. enter Stage 2, most courses will revert to digital formats. The more extensive restrictions prescribed in Stage 3 would only be necessary under conditions of a general lockdown.

    What are the semester dates for the winter semester 2020/21?
    The winter semester will begin on 1 October 2020.
    The orientation week will take place in the week from 26 October 2020. Courses in the winter semester 2020/21 for first semesters and higher semesters mostly begin on 2 November 2020.
    End of lecture period: Friday, 12 February 2021

    It is possible that some or all of your courses in various modules will have to be rescheduled to dates before and after the given lecture period. For more information on this, please contact your department.

    I’m planning to start a work placement or study visit abroad in the coming months. What do I have to pay attention to?
    At the moment, no restrictions apply to students planning a work or study visit abroad. Please bear in mind, however, that changes and restrictions can come quickly. Please monitor the situation abroad on a regular basis and consult the guidance issued by the Federal Foreign Office. With regard to financing through Erasmus/PROMOS scholarships: travel restrictions which apply to tourist destinations have no influence on funding. Nonetheless, the funding provider, i.e. the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), discourages applicants from travelling to high-risk areas.

    You may submit your application for an Erasmus/PROMOS work placement scholarship. Please read the relevant information in the FAQs on the Careers Service website [de]. The application process for foreign study visits in the academic year 2020/21 will proceed as usual. If you have any specific questions, please contact the staff at the International Office.

    I'm planning to start a work placement or study visit at the University of Münster as a foreign exchange student in the coming months. What do I have to pay attention to?
    Due to the current developments concerning Covid-19, the Rectorate of the University of Münster has decided to suspend all incoming mobility programmes for international students in the winter semester 2020/21. Therefore, unfortunately, you will not be able to follow through on your plans and will have to postpone or cancel your trip. If you have any specific questions, please contact the staff at the International Office.

  • Application, enrolment, change the course of study, standard duration of study and de-registration (exmatriculation)

    Questions on these topics are answered on the pages of the Student Admissions Office.
    The FAQs on that page are updated on a regular basis.

  • Further FAQs

    What rules apply to holding committee meetings during the nationwide lockdown?
    In-person committee meetings should not take place.

    What rules apply to persons returning from Covid-19 risk areas in Germany or abroad?
    Travellers returning to North Rhine-Westphalia who have visited so-called "virus-variant regions" in the past ten days are required to:

    • inform the authorities of their return by registering at www.einreiseanmeldung.de.
    • immediately self-quarantine for ten days.
    • follow the so-called “two-test strategy”. Travellers are instructed to take the first coronavirus test within 48 hours of returning home or immediately after returning (within 48 hours) and present the results to the responsible public health authorities. The second test should be taken five days after arrival and the results likewise presented to the health authorities. If both tests are negative, the period of quarantine automatically ends upon receiving the results of the second test.

    Travellers from other foreign Covid-19 risk areas (as indicated by the RKI) have the following options:

    • Travellers can have themselves tests within 48 hours of the return trip or up to 24 hours after arriving. If the traveller does not take a coronavirus test upon arrival, he/she is obliged to enter a ten-day quarantine. The test can be taken at a later time, and the quarantine will automatically end, provided the result is negative.
    • Travellers are instructed to inform the authorities of their return by registering at www.einreiseanmeldung.de.
    • Various exemptions apply, e.g. for short-term stays, visits to relatives, cross-border commuters, transit travellers and children under six years (see § 4 (2a – 4) CoronaEinrVO).

    You can find the full-text version of the regulations at https://www.mags.nrw/sites/default/files/asset/document/210104_coronaeinrvo_ab_05.01.2021_lesefassung.pdf [de].

    No special rules apply to travellers arriving in NRW or Münster from Covid-19 risk areas within Germany. However, public health authorities recommend that travellers strictly observe hygiene and distancing rules, contact their general practitioner at the onset of any symptoms, and to use the Corona-Warn-App, if possible.

    What should I do if I'm found to be infected with the coronavirus?
    If you test positive for coronavirus, the staff at the public health department will ask you to name those with whom you have had contact so that they can interrupt the chain of infection. With this information, the responsible health authorities will contact the WWU to request assistance with interrupting the chain of infection, particularly if you have been in rooms and/or attended courses at the WWU during the period in question. If you do get infected, we ask you to also inform us via coronaMeldekette@uni-muenster.de. By notifying us, we can help public health authorities trace potential infection vectors faster.
    If the health department places you under quarantine due to your infection or for being a Category-1 contact person, the health department will also inform you when you can attend in-person courses again.

    I am pregnant or nursing. Am I at particular risk when studying during the coronavirus pandemic?
    Please refer to the WWU Münster website Maternity protection for students.

    Are the museums operated by the WWU (Archaeological Museum, Bible Museum, Botanical Garden) open?
    For current information, please visit the webpages of the Botanical Garden, Archaeological Museum and Bible Museum.

    Are University Sports taking place?
    Please visit the University Sports website for more information.