Summer 2020 semester: current information for students

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Students,

The first weeks of the lecture period in this summer semester are now behind us and have shown that we have come to terms with the suspension of in-person courses in various ways. This is a unique challenge and a unique accomplishment. Some issues are still being cleared up, some faltered a bit in the beginning, but overall we have been receiving mostly positive feedback on the extent to which teaching can be offered virtually. Thank you for taking up this challenge with us, and for being understanding with each other and with us.

We are determined to use this unusual situation to learn how virtual teaching can be a useful addition to in-person teaching in the future. But at the same time, most of us probably would prefer to be able to go back to using the campus as a place of learning and meeting place. Based on the assessment of the health situation, this will continue to not be possible, or will only be possible for a small portion of courses with specific formats.  

In the following key points, we would like to inform you of current updates regarding teaching and examinations:

  • Teaching must continue to take place mostly in virtual form; there are no indications that this will change in the near future. We meanwhile assume this will continue into the winter semester.
  • Practical laboratory courses may take place under observance of special protective measures based on distancing and hygiene rules, and an adjusted number of participants. The same applies to other courses with practical portions that require in-person presence, such as sports. Thank you for your patience until the faculties can implement the appropriate concepts.
  • Starting in June, examinations, tests and e-tests with more than 12 participants will again be carried out in person under observance of the RKI standards – and also under observance of a hygiene and distancing concept. This applies first to the exams that need to be made up from the Winter 2019/20 semester. You will, as usual, be informed of your examination date with four weeks’ notice.
  • We are currently reviewing to what extent, in addition to practical laboratory courses and practical sports exercises, further individual smaller courses that require in-person attendance can take place during the first three weeks of July, subject to the room capacities in view of the examination schedule. In these cases, you will be informed directly by your instructors.
  • Professors and instructors are requested to give students who belong to a risk group according to RKI standards opportunities to take part in teaching and examinations from home. Students may come to campus on a voluntary basis, for example to take part in exams. The same applies to students who live in the same household with individuals in a risk group.
  • Since loaning services are again being provided by the libraries, the completion deadlines for term papers, final papers and other written coursework which had been suspended on 17 March (start of the restrictions on teaching operations) will once again go into effect. The effective date for the transition is 15 May 2020. For term papers and final papers newly assigned between 15 May through 30 September 2020, the completion deadlines as stipulated in the regulations will start on the day the assignment is made, and will generally be extended by three weeks. Different rules may apply for state examinations.
  • Borrowed books will be automatically extended by the university library by 28 days in June for the last time. After this, the loan deadlines apply once more, and beginning on 1 July 2020, overdue penalties will also go into effect. The university library will provide further information.
  • There is currently no state-wide coordinated regulation for the lecture period in the winter semester. Like the current semester, its start may be delayed.
  • The course catalogue for the Winter 2020/21 semester will be made accessible centrally on 15 June. The faculties have the option of setting a later internal date for when all information must be available. This may be no later than the end of July and should be visible in the course catalogue.

More detailed information on this and other issues can be found on our website under (German).

We ask for your compliance, and also for your understanding for the new regulations. They have been and will continue to be developed together with the student deans, and study and teaching staff, but of course also on the basis of feedback from the student body – and if necessary, they will be adjusted to the current situation. You can continue to send us your questions at the familiar e-mail address

With Best regards,

Prof. Dr. Birgitta Wolff, Goethe University President
Prof. Dr. Roger Erb, Vice President for Study and Teaching

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