Students who fail to comply with DTU’s rules governing their study programme may only continue their studies if granted an exemption. DTU’s board of exemptions may grant an exemption from rules contained in curricula, course descriptions, and DTU’s rules and regulations, provided that the exemption does not conflict with any acts or ministerial orders in the field of education.

Students who have submitted an application for exemption from the first-year exam, 5 ECTS credit study activity requirement, maximum duration of the study, and additional exam attempts can continue their studies while their application is being processed.

The application
Applications for exemptions must be submitted electronically via the Exemption Application System www.dispensation.dtu.dk. You can find good advice on exemption applications in the Study Guidance's links in the grey box on this page. If you cannot access DTU Inside, you can find contact information for the Study Guidance on DTU's website here

Meeting dates for the board of exemptions and application deadlines can be found at DTU Inside under Study rules'/'Exemption, leave and maternity/paternity leave'/'Exemption'/'Exemption meetings.

Students who submit their application for exemption within the given deadlines can expect to receive a decision no later than 8-10 weeks after the board of exemptions has processed the application at the subsequent meeting, given that the application holds all necessary information. However, the board and the board's secretariat will always prioritize applications regarding examination attempts and postponement of the submission deadline for a final project. Here, the case processing time will usually be much shorter.

Therefore, the processing time for an application will generally be extended if there is insufficient documentation or if the board of exemptions requests additional information. Questions regarding exemption can be directed to the Study Guidance or, if it concerns a specific exemption application, to studiedispensation@adm.dtu.dk.  

Students enrolled in one of DTU's national collaborative programmes must apply for extra exam attempts in a course at the educational institution where they are enrolled; this also applies when the course is offered at KU and CBS. Applications must then be submitted via the Exemption Application System, www.dispensation.dtu.dk.

Application requirements
Applications for exemption must be justified and accompanied by the necessary documentation. Applications for exemption regarding illness must always be accompanied by medical documentation. The student in question must bear the expenses for the medical certificate. An application must always be accompanied by a realistic study plan (prepared in the study planner). Documentation must be uploaded as a pdf file, otherwise, the file cannot be opened.

Statement from Head of Studies
A statement from the Head of Studies must be enclosed in the following situations:

  • Commencement of the final project before prerequisites are met
  • Postponement of the submission deadline for the final project
  • If the enclosed study plan has one or more semesters in which the student plans to take more than 30 ECTS credits
  • Change of study plan in relation to the student's programme curriculum

In other cases, a statement from the Head of Studies is unnecessary. 

Circumstances that may justify an exemption
The decision of the board of exemption on an application for exemption is always discretionary and based upon an individual assessment of the student's reasoned application combined with the circumstances concerning the situation. Applications for exemptions may be justified by the following:

  1. Special circumstances in which the student is not guilty. These circumstances can be personal illness, serious illness/death of a close relative, civil representative as a judge or jury, compulsory military service, or other unusual, external circumstances which concern the individual student and for which the student is not usually responsible.

    A medical certificate for both physical and mental illness should include the doctor’s assessment of how the illness affects the ability of the student to study, including a prognosis of the duration of the illness, if possible, and whether the student is in treatment/improvement. Psychologist statements and other medical documentation that meet the above requirements may also be used. A medical certificate, etc. in connection with the application for additional exam attempts must only relate to whether one or more previous exam attempts have involved unusual circumstances in the form of illness and the like.
  2. The student has a functional impairment for which any special educational support (SPS) does not sufficiently compensate. Documentation must be provided for the impairment, including any compensation the student receives in the form of special educational support.
  3. The student is an elite athlete. The student must attach a statement from the relevant sports association which documents that the student is an elite athlete. Find more information about applying for exemption as an elite athlete at DTU Inside under 'Academic offers and guidance'/'Elite sports'. It is also possible to apply for a leave of absence. Find more information at DTU Inside under 'Study rules'/'Exemption, leave, and maternity/paternity leave'/'Leave of absence'.
  4. The student is an entrepreneur. Students must provide documentation of having their own business with revenue and income-generating activities (company registration no. (SE no., annual accounts and a company description should be supplied). The student's business must have a relevant engineering profile. Alternatively, the student can be a part of an entrepreneurial environment, for example, an incubator or entrepreneurial environment at DTU or regional growth environments. 
  5. The student is chairman of a voluntary organization under the Danish Youth Council (DUF), a board member of Polyteknisk Forening (PF student association), or similar organizations. It must be documented that the activities are so time-consuming that being a full-time student is not possible.

When applying to be released from a binding course, the requirements to be able to document unusual circumstances are different and very strict. Read more in the section ‘Application to be released from a binding course’ below.

Circumstances that do not generally entitle students to exemptions
As a general rule, the board of exemption does not grant exemptions based on the following circumstances:

  • Time spent on regular or voluntary work
  • Participation in committee and board work, including department boards of studies and the advisory committees for the MSc programmes (CUU) and BEng programmes (DUU), respectively
  • Lack of knowledge of the rules governing the study programme
  • Personal circumstances, such as housing or financial problems, etc.

Application for cancellation of an exam registration (EM)
A student may apply for cancellation of an exam registration in a course, but only if he or she does not plan to participate in the exam or has not participated in the exam. If the exam has been held, the student must have one of the following registrations: 'Not met' (EM), 'Ill' (S), or 'Not approved' (IG).

In an application to cancel an exam registration in a course, the student must explain why he/she did not cancel the exam registration within the deregistration deadline. If the student does not wish to complete the course, the exam registration can be cancelled if only one exam attempt has been used and the attempt has one of the above-mentioned registrations. It is good if it can be stated which course the student wishes to take instead. In the case of compulsory courses, the application must always be accompanied by a statement from the Head of Studies indicating which course the student must take instead. 

If the student has used several exam attempts in a course but never participated in any of the exams, an exemption may be granted in special cases to have all the exam registrations cancelled. 

Cancellation of exam registration in a course where the exam has previously been taken one or more times
If the student applies to have an exam registration cancelled, where the registration is 'EM', 'S' or 'IG', and the student is bound by the course (due to previous participation in the exam), an exemption can be granted to cancel an exam registration. It is a prerequisite that the student can describe and, as a starting point, document unusual circumstances as to why he/she could not withdraw from the exam within the deadline. See above under 'Circumstances that may justify a dispensation'. The student remains bound by the course.

Application to be released from a binding course 
Once the student has participated in the exam in a course, the possibility of being released from the course is extremely limited. 

Read about binding courses at DTU Inside under 'Study rules'/Teaching'/'Binding courses'. Here are described various situations where the student can be released from a course, e.g. if the course is no longer offered. Read more at DTU Inside under 'Study rules'/'Exam'/'Re-exams'.

BSc and MSc students
BSc and MSc students must submit their exemption application via www.dispensation.dtu.dk.

BSc students enrolled in a study programme valid before September 2023 who wish to be released from a course at the master's level must, however, instead send an email to studiedispensation@adm.dtu.dk. Read more on DTU Inside under 'Study rules'/'Teaching'/'Binding courses'.

An exemption to be released from a course can only be granted in exceptional cases if there are unusual circumstances of a more long-term nature that are directly linked to the course and which, for a long time, prevent the student from completing the course. For example, students with special educational needs may be covered by this narrow exemption access.

If the student applies for an exemption to be released from a binding course solely on the grounds of extended study time, academic challenges with the course, or wishes to change the academic composition of the study programme, this can not be included when assessing whether special circumstances apply, and the application will thus be rejected. 

BEng students
BEng students enrolled in a study programme valid before September 2023 who wish to be released from a course at the master's level must send an email to studiedispensation@adm.dtu.dk. Read more on DTU Inside under 'Study rules'/'Teaching'/'Binding courses'.

Applications to be released from a compulsory course are processed by the Board of Exemptions. Applications are submitted via the Exemption Application System www.dispensation.dtu.dk.

All other exemption applications to be released from a course can only be processed by the Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science, not DTU. Only the agency has the competence to decide whether to grant an exemption. In this connection, the Agency assesses, among other things, whether there are conditions of an unusual nature that are directly linked to the course and prevent the student from completing the course. The case processing time in the Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science is about two months for this type of application. If necessary, the application and documentation are submitted via email to studiedispensation@adm.dtu.dk, after which DTU forwards the application to the agency with a case presentation.

Appeal guidance
The decision can be referred to The Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science if the appeal concerns legal issues. Legal issues can be, e.g. non-compliance with the educational rules that apply to the education and whether other legislation (e.g. the Public Administration Act) and the general principles of administrative law have been complied with. The Agency thus does not deal with academic issues, as the universities have academic self-governance. The deadline for submission of an appeal is two weeks from the day the decision is announced to the student. The appeal should be submitted to DTU, the Office for Study Programmes and Student Affairs via the Exemption Application System www.dispensation.dtu.dk. In the Exemption Application System, the exemption type 'Appeal against exemption decision' is selected, and the student must write the case number of the decision being appealed in the free text field.

When DTU receives an appeal about a decision, a reassessment of the decision is made based on the information the student has provided in the appeal. In this connection, DTU may decide to reopen the case if the appeal contains information that is of significant importance to the case or if significant case handling errors have occurred in the original processing of the case.

If DTU chooses to maintain the original decision, DTU will prepare a statement about the decision and the appeal. The statement will be sent to the student who will have the opportunity to comment on it. Finally, the entire case will be sent to the Agency for their consideration. The processing time at the Agency is currently approx. six months from the time DTU sends the appeal to the agency.

An appeal to the Agency usually does not have a suspensive effect on the sanction the student has received. A rejection of an application for exemption, which has the consequence that the student's enrolment at the university will be terminated, will therefore continue to apply.

21 JULY 2024