The university's two campuses in Mülheim and Bottrop are located in the heart of Germany's Ruhr region, one of the world's foremost industrial regions with a population of about 5 million. Named after the Ruhr river, the region consists of 53 connected cities, all next to each other, but each with its distinct personality. The best known among these cities are Dortmund, Essen and Bochum. The neighbouring Rhine region features major travel destinations such as Cologne, Düsseldorf and Bonn, the former German capital. The Ruhr region is found in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in the western part of Germany, not far from the Netherlands, Belgium and France.
The mid-sized city of Mülheim an der Ruhr is home to approximately 170,000 inhabitants. Bottrop, some 20 kilometres north of Mülheim, has about 117,000 inhabitants. Like the Ruhr region as a whole, both cities are strongly influenced by their long history of coal mining and steel industry. These industries saw a decline in the second half of the 20th century, but Mülheim, Bottrop and other cities in the region successfully launched a counter plan to increase business and other development. Today, their economic strength lies in the wide variety of medium-sized companies, some of which are world leaders in their field. Moreover, Mülheim and Bottrop are among the greenest cities in the Ruhr region, offering plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation.
Founded in 2009, Ruhr West is one of Germany’s youngest universities. This not only means brand new, state-of-the-art campus facilities but also innovative programmes, motivated professors and an open academic culture where students have a say in the university’s ongoing development.
The first universities of applied sciences (German: Fachhochschulen) were founded in the late 1960s and early 1970s to fill the gap between research universities and the labour market by offering a high-quality academic training designed to meet the practical aspects of professional life. Typical subjects include business and management, technology, engineering, IT, social work, education and nursing, but also design, film and photography.
Studies at a university of applied sciences are structured much like those at a research university, but hands-on preparation for a concrete and specific profession or career field, e.g. through extensive work placements, plays a much greater role. Bachelor’s and master’s degrees awarded by universities of applied sciences are the same as those awarded by a traditional research university. In fact, as a result of the recent Bologna reforms, these two types of higher education institutions are becoming increasingly alike.
Ruhr West offers a diverse array of bachelor's and master's programmes primarily in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and business administration:
Applied Computer Science
Industrial Services Management
Business Information Systems
International Business and Emerging Markets
International Retail Management and Logistics
Mechanical Engineering and Management
Energy and Environmental Engineering
Energy and Water Management
Technical Operations Management
Energy Systems Engineering and Management
The Ruhr region has a continental climate that is fairly stable throughout the year. With warm summers and reasonably cool winters, the area experiences only occasional weather extremes and is most appealing between May and September, when clear blue skies and high temperatures are most likely. In summer, cafes, bars and restaurants begin to spill out onto the streets to take advantage of the sunny weather and warm evenings, often remaining busy well into the night. However, the climate can be a little unpredictable, with rainy spells being a distinct possibility in any month.
Germany in general is a very safe country; the same is true of Mülheim and Bottrop. Crime rates are low, and people move about freely, day or night, in most parts of the city without taking any special safety precautions. That said, you should follow the same common sense measures you would use anywhere else, such as not leaving valuables unattended or not giving out personal information to strangers on the phone or on the internet.
Patients in Germany receive excellent medical treatment. With its dense network of highly qualified doctors, the German health care system is regarded as one of the best in the world. What is more, basic treatment is provided free of charge for patients who hold public health insurance. In case of an emergency, there are doctors always on stand-by, and accident and emergency departments provide 24/7 treatment at hospitals. And again, insured patients need not pay anything for emergency treatment. As an international student at Ruhr West, you will be treated on the same basis as a resident of Germany. However, you are legally required to have sufficient health insurance coverage.
You are most welcome to visit our campuses anytime. The best time to visit is during the lecture period, when courses are in session and university life is in full swing. Moreover, there are general information sessions for prospective domestic and international students offered in spring and summer. For upcoming dates or individual appointments, please refer to the information on upcoming events on our German website.
Ruhr West doesn’t produce a general university prospectus. All the relevant information is right here on our website. However, we do publish an exciting magazine called MeHRWert once every semester, featuring photos, news and stories about what’s going on at Ruhr West (in German). Current and past issues are available here for convenient download.
If you plan to come to Ruhr West to study for a full bachelor’s degree, you will need the equivalent of a German university entrance qualification (Abitur) to be eligible for admission. Click here for more information on whether the school-leaving certificate from your country is sufficient for direct admission to university study in Germany.
To enrol in one of our master’s degree programmes, a bachelor’s degree from a recognised college or university is generally required. Additional requirements may apply, depending on the specific programme.
Exchange students or visiting students from one of Ruhr West’s international partner universities need to demonstrate they have completed at least one year of study at their home university.
Since German is the language of instruction at Ruhr West, we expect international degree students to have a proficiency level of at least DSH-2 on the DSH (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang) or TDN-4 on the TestDaF (Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache). Non-degree students from one of our partner universities are required to have German skills equivalent to levels B1/B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Click here for more information on German language requirements and accepted tests.
No, advanced German skills are a prerequisite for admission to Ruhr West.
All of Ruhr West’s degree programmes are taught in German, with the exception of the International Business Semester, which is taught entirely in English.
Ruhr West, like all public universities in Germany, does not charge tuition. However, all students are required to pay a set of semester fees at the beginning of each semester.
No. Like most German public universities, Ruhr West does not offer any kind of institutional financial aid for international students. However, scholarship opportunities for non-degree study are available from a wide range of organisations, including the European Union’s ERASMUS programme, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) or institutions in your home country.
International students seeking a full bachelor’s degree apply directly through the university’s online application portal if they are from the European Union. Non-EU citizens seeking a bachelor’s degree must submit their application through uni-assist, a non-profit credential evaluation service.
Master’s degree candidates apply online through the university’s online application portal, regardless of citizenship.
Non-degree exchange students from our partner universities have to submit their application through the international office of their home university.
International degree students:
15 July for winter semester admission (starting in September)
15 December for summer semester admission (starting in March)
International non-degree students (Erasmus, exchange, etc.):
15 June for winter semester admission (starting in September)
15 December for summer semester admission (starting in March)
Please note that late applications cannot be considered.
Whether or not you will need a visa to study at Ruhr West depends on your nationality. Citizens of the European Union, Iceland and Liechtenstein, for example, do not need a visa to enter, study and live in Germany. See the section on immigration and visas for more information regarding your home country. If you do need a visa, you have to apply for it at your local German Embassy or consulate before you come to Germany. Do not, under any circumstances, come to Germany on a tourist visa! It cannot be converted to a student visa here – meaning you would have to return to your home country to get the proper visa.
German universities do not automatically place their students in student residence halls or dormitories. This means it will be mostly up to you to find a suitable place to live before or after you arrive. Our International Office staff will be there to help you with your search. There are plenty of affordable housing opportunities available. Basically, you may choose to rent a room in one of the off-campus student residence halls in Mülheim, Essen and Duisburg, or move into private accommodation, possibly sharing an apartment with other students. Learn more about housing options in the Mülheim/Bottrop area.
Mülheim and Bottrop are well connected to national and international destinations. Düsseldorf Airport, Germany’s third-largest airport, is only about 20 kilometres away, and there is a dense network of railway connections that serves the entire Ruhr region, with stops in both Mülheim and Bottrop.
See the directions for getting to our campus for further guidance.
Yes. Regardless of your nationality or visa status, you will need to register with a local Bürgeramt (Citizens’ Offices) within two weeks after your arrival. Unless you are a citizen of the European Union, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you will also have to register with the local Ausländerbehörde (Aliens’ Registration Office) within three months after your arrival to obtain your ‘Residence Permit for Study’.
See the page on immigration and visas for more detailed information.
Yes. International students from any of the EU countries, Iceland and Liechtenstein do not require a work permit and may work as much as they like in Germany. All other foreign nationals, however, are only allowed to work for a maximum of 120 full or 240 half days per calendar year. This also includes unpaid internships. See the page on student jobs for more information.
For the first six months after your arrival, you will be allowed to drive a car in the EU zone, provided you have an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) to accompany a valid license from your home country. In other words, you will need both your original driver's license and the IDP to drive a vehicle in the EU during the initial six-month period. After that, you will need to obtain a German driver’s license by taking driving school lessons, which might be quite expensive. However, with bike lanes all over and a dense public transport network (buses, trams, trains) that serves virtually all parts of Mülheim and Bottrop and connects all cities in the Ruhr region and beyond, you will most likely not need to drive a car at all during your studies at Ruhr West.
Absolutely! The Ruhr West Career Office is there to provide career counselling, CV writing help, mock interviews, and a wide range of resources to help you choose the career that’s best for you.
A degree from Ruhr West will prepare you to start your professional career both in the national and international arena. However, unless you are an EU citizen, a degree from a German university does not automatically entitle you to work legally in Germany. After graduation, you have one year to find a position that is appropriate to your qualification. If an appropriate job offer is made, the Federal Employment Agency will carry out a priority check (to ensure that no other persons with priority – i.e. Germans or EU citizens – can take up this job offer). After this, you may be granted a residence permit for the pursuit of gainful employment.