Financing after graduation

Job search

You can work in various jobs and job fields; studying physics teaches various skills, including skills in effective problem solving. This makes a physics degree very relevant for jobs outside of physics. Research jobs are usually paid E 13 and are mostly temporary; there are very few non-permanent positions. If you want to go into teaching at an university, you should also aim for a habilitation.

Unemployment benefits

  • Register as a job seeker 3 months in advance (specify the date of defense) at
  • Wait for the employment agency to contact you, you will then receive documents and can go to the employment agency. Attention, difference: employment agency is for ALG I and the job center is for ALG II
  • If you have worked with compulsory insurance for more than 1 year while studying, you are entitled to ALG I. I don't know what will happen next in this case.
  • Important: Go to the HU registration office as quickly as possible after your defense and exmatriculate yourself by hand. You will also be automatically exmatriculated, but this will only happen two months later. During these two months you are “virtually” eligible for Bafoeg. However, as far as I know, that doesn't help you. At least as far as I know, the student union follows §15b of the BAFoeG and cancels the funding as soon as the final examination (i.e. the defense) has been completed. Although exmatriculation certificates are not required anywhere in the law, the employment agency and job center insist on them.
  • In any case, go to the employment agency first, they will then tell you whether you may be entitled to ALG I. If not, there is a negative decision and instructions to go to the job center

Bürgergeld (ALG II)

  • Report to reception at the job center, get a piece of paper in your hand for a new application
  • Give your details to the first friendly employee
  • Be sent to another department that is responsible for job placement. As far as I know, this is the offensive group for academics
  • Explain the situation there, then explain what obligations you have and what happens next. If you already have a plan in mind, they'll leave you alone.
  • Back in the waiting hall, then to the actual application processing
  • There you will be given all the necessary forms including a list of which documents are required. this includes
    • Certificate or performance overview, on which Ms. Voigt has noted which date the graduation date will be (date of defense)
    • Rental contract
    • Operating cost accounting
    • Gas, electricity, water
    • Bank statements from the last 3 months
    • Personal ID and registration certificate (this is perhaps not that important. You actually need it, but in my case the clerk didn't even want to see it). Anyway, a registration certificate is available at every municipal office and costs 5 EUR. If you bring the forms from the job center, i.e. the list of required documents, it doesn't cost anything.
    • Health insurance card
    • Proof of how you have financed yourself in the last few months (parents, BAFoeG notice, scholarship notice, employment contract)
    • If necessary, an employment contract or scholarship contract if you already know what will happen next
  • You set an end date for submitting the application. You can submit the application by this date
  • the pile of paper you have to fill out is relatively self-explanatory, and if not you can find enough help on the internet. The only thing that causes problems in my opinion is the page for rental. I hardly know a student who doesn't live in a shared apartment and yet shared living option is not well taken into account on the relevant form, especially if several roommates are the main tenants. That's why it's a good idea to write down a list of the rental conditions and have it signed by the roommates (including a list of who occupies how many square meters, etc.). You can then go over this with the clerk at the deadline. It is also important that you list your roommates in an appropriate attachment and write that you have no personal relationship with each other, but are just roommates. Otherwise you could get the impression that you have amorous relationships and they would be responsible for your support.
  • When everything is together, you go to the job center, go through everything with the clerk, they make a bunch of copies and then hopefully the support that you are entitled to will soon be available