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Getting your degree when you have children

Do you have questions about how to combine parenthood with your university studies?

Parents looking to complete a degree program while caring for their children need organizational skills, good communication, and flexibility.

Our Family Services Office is happy to advise you. They offer a confidential space where you can ask specific questions, for instance what steps you should take if you find out you are pregnant, when you can apply for state social benefits such as unemployment benefit II, child benefits, housing benefits or maternity benefits, and what kinds of childcare options are available.

Family Services 


Other services for students with children:

  • Tests: All examination regulations contain a paragraph on “Students in special situations.” This section describes special regulations that apply to testing for students facing unique challenges, for instance because they are on maternity leave, are drawing parental benefits, or have to take care of a family member.
  • Leave of absence: If you become pregnant, or if you want or need to spend more time with your child during a certain period, you can take a leave of absence from your degree program. Observe the guidelines for requesting a semester leave of absence, and contact th educational support office if necessary.
  • Emergency scholarship: The OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts offers students with family emergencies the opportunity to receive a scholarship. You can find information about applying for these scholarships here. Please submit your request to the Equal Opportunities Officer.
  • Children’s meals at the cafeteria: All cafeterias in the Bielefeld student union offer free children’s meals. Students purchasing a complete meal can receive a children's meal for their kids (up to 10 years of age). Further information is available here.
  • Parent and child rooms: All parents can use these rooms. Access is available at any time and without registration. An overview of these rooms is available under Childcare.
  • Part-time studies If you need more flexibility to complete your degree, some of our degree programs are available on a part-time basis.
  • Maternity leave: Starting January 1st, 2018, university students are covered by maternity leave laws. Pregnant students should report to the Family Services Office. Further information is available under Maternity and parental leave.


The following advisory offices are available to answer your questions: