Who is obliged to enroll?

Enrollment is mandatory for all doctoral candidates accepted by a KIT department, unless

  • they are employed full-time by KIT.

Those doctoral candidates who are already enrolled don’t have to enroll a second time.

Doctoral candidates, who were accepted for the doctorate by a KIT department not later than February 16, 2021, are entitled, but not obliged to enroll. These persons are not obliged to submit a declaration in writing that no enrollment is desired.

What does “full-time employment“ at KIT mean?

Full-time employment means that the working time or the official tasks cover at least half of the regular working time or half of the average volume of official tasks of the corresponding staff that is employed full-time.

Simply put: if you are employed with at least a 50% contract, you have full-time employment.

I am pursuing doctoral research at KIT but have external employment. Which rules apply to me?

Doctoral candidates who are not employed at KIT are obliged to enroll, regardless of their volume of employment. They cannot get an exemption from mandatory enrollment.

Does the volume of external employment affect mandatory enrollment?


I am obliged to enroll. For which time period do I have to enroll?

You need to be enrolled for the whole time you are accepted as doctoral candidate. Please note that you need to re-enroll every semester.

I am obliged to enroll. What is the earliest date that I will be unenrolled or at which I can disenroll?

Enrollment ends with the expiration of your acceptance as a doctoral candidate at your KIT Department (cf. § 17 Abs. 2 Zulassungs- und Immatrikulationsordnung).

Official unenrollment takes place at the end of the term during which the oral examination (disputation) of the doctoral procedure was successfully completed.

To obtain the final documents (i.e. the doctoral certificate), a proper disenrollment upon request is required. Other information regarding the topic of becoming unenrolled can be found here.

If no oral doctoral examination has been taken by the end of the limited period of acceptance as a doctoral candidate, doctoral candidates will be officially unenrolled at the end of the semester unless the doctoral candidate provides the “Studierendenservice” with a confirmation of the extension of the acceptance. The doctoral candidate must apply for the extension of the acceptance to the Doctoral Admissions Committee of the respective KIT department.

For which semester do I have to enroll?

You are obliged to enroll as a doctoral candidate with the Students Office within a period of two weeks upon receipt of the Doctoral Admissions Committee’s letter of your acceptance as a doctoral candidate or within a period of two weeks upon receipt of the information document respectively. You are therefore enrolling in the current semester.

How long does my enrollment remain valid?

Enrollment remains valid for one semester. Therefore, you need to re-enroll in time in order not to be unenrolled. All doctoral candidates who were accepted by a KIT Department, who are not employed at KIT full-time, are obliged to re-enroll for the following semester.

What happens if I do not enroll in the two-week period?

It does not matter if you do not manage to meet the exact deadline as long the latter is only exceeded slightly.

Which documents do I need to submit for enrollment?

All information on the enrollment process can be found ▶ here.

Do I have to pay the full fee for the entire semester?

Yes. The semester fee consists of the administrative fee, the Studierendenwerk fee, and the Studierendenschaft fee. The legal provisions and fee statutes apply. The semester fee has to be paid upon enrollment for every semester.

Information on the fees (administrative fee, the Studierendenwerk fee, and the Studierendenschaft fee) can be found ▶ here.

Can I get a reimbursement of the fees in case of disenrollment?

Yes, a reimbursement of the fees in case of disenrollment is possible on request. All relevant deadlines need to be observed. Please refer to Information about Fees.

I am a KIT student and want to do a doctorate after I finish my degree and I want to enroll as a doctoral researcher. Do I need to disenroll after I finish my degree or can I re-enroll during the period of re-enrollment? Will I keep my student id number, my email address and my student card during this process?
Yes, you have to disenroll from your degree program. You can find more information on this ▶ here.
If you enroll as a doctoral researcher, you will obtain your student id number and your email address from your previous degree, but you will get a new student card.
You can stay enrolled in your degree program that qualifies you for admission until you receive your degree certificate (this might mean that your academic semesters increase). Your enrollment for the ensuing doctoral phase is only possible after you have been accepted as a doctoral researcher.

Does my doctorate count as a second degree and do I have to pay tuition fees for a second degree in this case?

No. A doctorate does not count as a second degree, which is why you do not have to pay tuition fees for a second degree for your doctorate.

Which benefits do I get from being enrolled as a doctoral researcher?

Information on the benefits of enrollment can be found ▶ here.

Do enrolled doctoral researchers get a student ID card?

Yes. According to the admission and enrollment regulations at KIT, all doctoral researchers who are enrolled receive a student ID card, an enrollment number, and a KIT account.

I am not obliged to enroll as a doctoral researcher. Are there any disadvantages for my doctorate if I do not enroll?


I enrolled voluntarily. Can I revoke my decision to enroll?

Yes. If you do not wish to remain enrolled and the conditions for an exemption are fulfilled, you can refrain from re-enrolling the next semester. Please note, that a proper disenrollment is additionally required. Other information regarding the topic of becoming unenrolled can be found here.

Please note that in this case, your affiliation with your status group can change as you had decided on entering the status group of doctoral researchers upon enrollment. Enrollment cannot be revoked during the semester.

If you do not wish to re-enroll, a declaration in writing (“Widerspruch”) against mandatory enrollment is required. Such a declaration is not required if you fall under the transition regulation.

Do international students have to pay tuition fees for their doctorate at KIT?

No. Tuition fees are only payable by international students who are citizens of an EU or EEA member state and who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree, consecutive master’s degree or an undergraduate degree according to article 34, par. 1, LHG, cf. article 3, par. 1, LHG.

A doctorate does not count as a degree course in the above-mentioned sense, which is why there is no tuition fee for pursuing a doctorate at KIT.

Does the enrollment as a doctoral researcher affect the status of my visa?

International doctoral researchers should contact the staff at the International Scholars & Welcome Office via ▶ e-mail.

I am employed full-time at KIT and have made the decision to enroll. As a consequence, I also have to decide whether I want to be part of the status group of members of academic staff or the group of doctoral candidates. What does the assignment to one of these entail?

Your decision should be made based on where you want to make an impact regarding your participation in academic self-government and the safeguarding of your interests, for instance in committees.

Why has the legislature introduced a new status group of doctoral candidates and why do I have a right to vote as a doctoral researcher who is employed full-time at KIT?

Enrolled doctoral researchers count as students in the sense of article 60, paragraph 1, LHG, but according to membership law, they now have the option to safeguard their interests as doctoral researchers specifically. As the interests of doctoral researchers who are at the same time employed full-time at KIT may differ from those doctoral researchers who are not employed full-time at KIT or not employed at KIT at all, the former group is granted a right to vote. They can then decide as part of which group they want to exercise their right to participate.

I am employed full-time at KIT and have made the decision to enroll. How and to whom do I communicate my choice of status group?

The modalities of how to choose group assignment are specified in the ▶ electoral regulations of KIT.

If enrolled doctoral researchers are students in the sense of the State Higher Education Act (LHG), are they allowed to participate in the elections for the student parliament?

▶ According to Art. 4 par. 1 clause 2 and Art. 4 par. 2 clause 1 of the election regulations of the constituted student body, enrolled doctoral researchers have the right to vote and are eligible for election:

- "All members according to Art. 1 clause 1 of the organization statutes who are registered in the electoral roll are entitled to vote. This includes enrolled doctoral researchers, but not temporary students according to Art. 60 par. 1 clause 5 LHG."

- "All members who are listed in a valid election proposal are eligible for election. Members of the election committee, election officers, and members of the council of elders may not be included in any election proposal."

Members are defined in ▶ Art. 1 clause 1 of the organization statutes of the constituted student body as follows: "The enrolled students including the enrolled doctoral researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) (members) form the student body according to Art. 65 par. 1 LHG."

According to its Art. 1, the election regulations also apply to elections to the student parliament: "These statutes regulate elections to the student parliament and the student representative bodies, the ballot, as well as elections to other bodies of the student body, insofar as a statute provides for this."

Source: DE RECHT