Course attendance is mandatory, and there is no distance-learning option (except for the provisions regarding master’s thesis research). Part-time studies are no longer available.
The normal duration of the program is four semesters. Students are not required to stay in Frankfurt during the fourth semester, provided that they have met all other requirements and they are working on their thesis. They are required to attend the research seminar, which will usually be offered as a block seminar over approximately 4 days.
If a student fails a fundamental course, the student has to retake the corresponding exam. Failure to pass all fundamental courses as planned in the schedules (i.e. after two semesters) results in automatic expulsion from the program. Failure to pass an elective, a supplementary course or a seminar, requires the student to substitute it with another course from the relevant category or to retake the specific course when it is offered again. In making this choice, students are encouraged to consult with the instructors in order to make sure that the course they intend to repeat or use as replacement is offered in the relevant semester.
The maximum duration of study is eight semesters. Failure to obtain a passing grade in any of the three fundamental courses after two semesters or to meet the complete requirements of the program by the end of the eight semester results in expulsion from the program.
A leave of absence interrupts the normal schedule, but is given only in exceptional circumstances (typically for well-documented medical reasons).