Updated: 2020-12-21 | Duration: 5:00 min.

The Rhine-Main Universities (RMU) Alliance

An overview of the the alliance, their partnerships, and study programs for international students

There are more than 400 different universities in Germany, many of which create partnerships or alliances with one another. These alliances are meant to foster cooperation among universities and therefore many students seek out institutions that are part of a multi-university alliance. The members of a university association can vary from the focus of the university (technical, arts, business, etc.) to the location of the universities.


Attending a university that is part of a strategic partnership can provide students with additional resources such as academic exchanges between universities or shared scholarly databases, for example. Moreover, these universities collaborate to stay competitive on a national scale with other university partnerships, investing in the development of research for their students.


The Rhine-Main University Alliance is one of the many partnerships among German universities, including a top-ranked technical university as well as a university with a top-ranked American Studies program. This article will provide a detailed overview of the Rhine-Main University Alliance, English-language study programs, and the cost of attending for international students.

About the alliance

The Rhine-Main University Alliance (RMU) is made up of three universities in the Rhine-Main region of Germany. The strategic alliance includes two universities and one technical university. The RMU was established in 2015 and provides unique study programs offered by the partner university which offers courses from both institutions. Before the alliance was formed, this joint study program was not possible.


The RMU alliance is composed of thirty different research groups and research networks as well as an initiative fund to support research projects. Combined, the alliance universities have a total of more than 100,000 students, 1,400 professors, and more than 630 degree programs (RMU). Each of the three universities is located in a different city in the Rhine-Main region and allows their more than 100,000 students to enroll simultaneously at all three universities starting in June of 2020. Check them out below, or go to the following section to see their detailed university profiles!

Rhine-Main university profiles

The Rhine-Main universities offer an array of study programs in three unique cities of the Rhine-Main area: Frankfurt, Mainz, and Darmstadt. The RMU is considered an academic hub in the middle of Germany and the universities individually also have other partnerships and alliances. Below we have listed the university profile of each institution along with some facts and figures. Click on each profile to see more about the university and the degree programs they offer!

Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main

Goethe University is a top-ranked university located in Frankfurt. In addition to being part of the RMU, it is also part of the IT cluster, Rhine-Main-Neckar. Goethe University Frankfurt is a public German university with more than 45,000 students. Degree programs available range from bachelor’s programs to Ph.D. programs in a variety of topics from English Studies to Physics.

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Mainz is located in the Frankfurt area and easily reachable by train from Frankfurt. The Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz has approximately 32,000 students and is among the largest universities in Germany. The university is also a member of the German U15, a coalition of 15 research-intensive and leading medical universities in Germany.

Technical University of Darmstadt

The Technical University of Darmstadt (also referred to as Darmstadt University of Technology), is in the Rhine-Main area outside of Frankfurt in the city of Darmstadt. It was the first university in the world to create a chair for electrical engineering: the university founded the first electrical engineering degree program in the world in 1883.


Further Reading

Public Universities in Germany

Rhine-Main English-language degree programs

a book with a yellow cover with the words "everyday English" written on int

The Rhine-Main alliance universities offer more than fifty different English-taught bachelor’s and master’s programs. Degree programs taught in English are most popular among international students, though they are of course welcome to apply to programs in German as well. Be sure to search through the full list of Rhine-Main University Alliance English-taught degree programs as the topics vary from sports science to economics and public policy. Below are just a few of the programs found on our StudyFinder.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main

Click here to view all English-taught programs from Johan Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt.

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Click here to view all English-taught programs from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

Technical University of Darmstadt

Click here to view all English-taught programs from the Technical University of Darmstadt.

Keep in mind that while there are many English-taught programs available, international students may also apply for courses taught in German. Whether you are applying for a study program taught in English or German, it is important to observe the language requirements of the program carefully to ensure you meet the requirements.


Further Reading

English Language Requirements to Study in Germany

Cost of attending a Rhine-Main university

lots of different coins

Public universities in Germany are free of tuition, with very few exceptions which are detailed in the table below. The Rhine-Main Alliance universities are exclusively public. However, there are some exceptions to free tuition. Specialized executive master’s programs (e.g. LLM, MBA, MPA, etc.) can sometimes charge tuition fees. Of course, this all depends on the university and the program as well, so be sure to check each study program page carefully. To provide a general idea, an overview of tuition costs in Germany is displayed below:

Tuition Fee Semester Contribution
Pays for the study program.

Administrative costs, social services, etc. are extra.
Pays for administrative costs, social services provided by the university, local public transportation ticket for unlimited use throughout the semester.
Averages 5,000 - 7,000 €  per semester. Averages 200 - 300 € per semester.
Charged by private universities and specialized professional degrees (e.g. LLM, MPA, etc.). Charged by all universities.


Keep in mind that while some programs are not tuition-free, that you shouldn’t overlook them on your master’s program search. Should you be interested in a program that charges tuition, keep your many funding options in mind. There are many scholarships available for international students. Also, be sure to refer to DAAD Scholarships for international students in Germany.


Further Reading

10 things you need to know about scholarships

Rhine-Main Universities (RMU)

Browse all English-taught programs