Germany and Mechanical Engineering
If you ask in my country, the first thing that comes to mind when we think of university education in Germany is “Mechanical Engineering”. In fact, this is the case not only for our country but for the whole world. Germany’s renowned education system, especially in engineering, and its achievements in mechanics continue to be appreciated all over the world. As such, the question “Which are the best universities to study mechanical engineering in Germany” has become one of the most common questions.
While I can guarantee that you will not find a bad school in Germany, it is natural that some schools stand out. Some schools are very well known internationally. Their engineering education has been experienced and approved all over the world. When I list the schools for you, I feel like I am repeating the same things over and over again. For this reason, when it comes to mechanical engineering, the list is almost the same with one or two changes in the ranking. (See Best Universities to Study Informatics in Germany 2023)
There are no bad engineering schools in Germany. Likewise, a bad engineer has no chance of graduating. The Technical Universities (RWTH, Munich, Berlin, Darmstadt, Dresden, etc.), some of which are legendary, and the schools (Stuttgart, KIT, Braunschweig, Dortmund, etc.), some of which are old and some of which are relatively new but have proven their quality all over the world, are all schools that produce excellent engineers.
As I have written before, since the “rankings of university rating agencies” that you can find open-source on the internet are focused on the intensity of academic outputs, the rankings can be especially important for PhD and maybe a little bit for master’s studies. (I think you should check these lists if you are going to do more PhD)
It does not help undergraduate or graduate students if schools have elite professors who “do a lot of research, publish a lot in academic journals, but don’t attend classes“. The right people to measure the quality of education are the employers who employ engineers after graduation.
For this reason, I think that surveys of human resources managers of large employers in Germany give a more realistic picture of the ranking. These statistics are published every year (Wirtschaftswoche).
Here is the 2023 list of the most preferred universities by German employers in mechanical engineering:
The Technical University of Munich remains in first place by clear margin.
The school‘s Mechanical engineering programs are extremely popular with prospective students from all over the world. Engineering education in Germany is closely linked to the German automotive and machinery development industries. The wealthy state of Bavaria and the support of BMW in particular bring additional opportunities for the school. As with all programs at the school, mechanical engineering is a very challenging program. But it also offers excellent career opportunities. Please also take a look at my article “Studying in Munich“.
The Technical University of Berlin is the 2nd most admired school, up 1 place compared to last year.
In fact, if you search a bit on the forums, you will find many negative articles about TU Berlin. When it comes to engineering, students have a misconception that TU Munich, RWTH or KIT are the best choice. The prejudice that TU Berlin is located in the capital and far away from industry is a common mistake. You can understand why this is a mistake by looking at the tables. In general, the motivation of engineering students who prefer this school is the city of Berlin. If you ask me, this is enough, but employers think even more. TU Berlin graduates are preferred by German employers in the top three in almost every field. I think it is a bit pointless to say that such a popular school provides bad education. You can also read my article about being a student in Berlin.
Something is happening to RWTH Aachen. Down one place to 3rd place
Mechanical engineering is the largest student group at RWTH Aachen. Thanks to its successful teaching and research, the school is one of the most renowned universities in this field in Germany and Europe. The school not only teaches technical skills, but also a methodical approach to problem solving. In the first two years, basic engineering subjects such as mathematics, physics, mechanics, thermodynamics, design and materials are taught. From the fifth semester onwards, students choose the areas in which they want to specialize (e.g. production, construction, energy, process, plastics, textiles, traffic).
The University of Karlsruhe (KIT) is, as usual, one of the leaders.
One of Germany’s best-known technical schools. In other words, one of the schools that cemented Germany’s international reputation in engineering. It is known all over the world as a highly respected technical school. Home to Europe’s largest research institute, it is very popular with both German and foreign students. German employers also confirm this. The only disadvantage for us is that the school is located in the state of Baden Württemberg. The school charges foreign students 1500 Euros per semester. You can find my article about Student Life in Karlsruhe here.
With the support of Mercedes, the University of Stuttgart offers one of the best courses in mechanical engineering.
When it comes to mechanical engineering and being home to companies like Mercedes and Daimler, it would be absurd if Stuttgart University was not on the list. The school has the 5th most preferred mechanical engineering department for German employers. Stuttgard Uni has an international reputation, especially in automotive engineering. Similar to KIT, the school charges 1500 Euros per semester for foreign students because it is located in the state of Baden Württemberg.
TU Darmstadt is one of Germany’s most respected and well-established engineering schools, and this is recognized by employers.
Located 20 minutes from Frankfurt, this school is particularly known for its very successful engineering degrees. This school, which is ranked 6th by German employers, established the country’s first chair in “Electromechanics” and graduated the first female engineer. For more details, please see my articles about the city and the school.
The Technical University of Dortmund is a well-known engineering school.
It is a city known more for its football team than its university. It actually has a very good engineering school. The school specializes in “Materials Science” and is also noteworthy when it comes to “Machinery”. German employers give the school a lot of credit and it is ranked 7th. For more details, you can read my impressions of Dortmund.
Technical University of Dresden, East Germany’s star engineering school
In Germany’s most touristic city and allegedly the most xenophobic city, it is a school with extremely modern and extensive facilities. In fact, it is one of the cities where you can live most comfortably as a student. First of all, it is cheap. There is no xenophobia as exaggerated. And the school is one of the best schools in Germany. What more can you ask for. Although it is a bit far from big cities and transportation is a bit problematic, I think it is worth it for the opportunities it offers.
The Technical University of Braunschweig is also one of the leading schools in mechanical engineering.
TU Braunschweig is my favorite school because of its well-established and traditional education, which is often complained about by students. Students complain, but employers like the quality of the education. The city of Braunschweig’s proximity to Wolfsburg, the headquarters of Volkswagen, and the company’s support for the school make it a standout in mechanical engineering education.
Technical University Kaiserslautern
Although the school is relatively young, it has brought a new perspective to technical education with its interdisciplinary approach. Despite the disadvantage of being located in a slightly out-of-the-way city (Frankfurt 2 hours), it is in the top 10 for German employers with the quality of education it provides.
In addition to universities in Germany, I have already mentioned the so-called “Universities of Applied Sciences” (Fachhochschule), whose curricula are more focused on practice. Those who have not read my articles “What is Fachhochschule?” and “University or Technical University or Fachhochschule?” can read my articles. Since these schools maintain close cooperation with industrial organizations and business circles during their education, their graduates are more preferred than some university graduates.
German employers’ most preferred Fachhochschule in mechanical engineering 2023 list
When you look at the list given above, you will notice that the Fachhochschules in the cities where the universities in the top 10 in the first table are located are on the list. The main reason for this is that universities in Germany are in close cooperation with the industry and the real sector, and Fachhochschules are shaped in line with the needs of the industry and the real sector in the region. Therefore, schools in cities with high employment in the automotive industry and energy systems stand out in these fields.
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