Updated: 2020-09-05 | Duration: 4:00 min.

UA Ruhr: University Alliance in the Ruhr Region of Germany

An overview on the alliance, partnerships, and unique fellowships for students

In 2007, three universities in the Ruhr region of Germany consolidated to form the University Alliance (UA) Ruhr in order to bundle their resources and optimize their competitiveness. Many German universities create alliances with nearby universities or topically-related universities in order to optimize competitiveness with other university corporations in Germany. The UA Ruhr Alliance universities, like many other alliances, have research centers and cooperate with industry partners to create opportunities for students such as internships and traineeships.

The UA Ruhr Alliance is made up of three universities:

  1. Ruhr-University Bochum,
  2. University of Duisburg-Essen,
  3. Technical University of Dortmund.

These three institutions offer a wide array of study programs in English for international students.

Additionally, all three universities are public. In Germany, public universities generally do not charge tuition fees, even for non-EU students. Therefore, anyone can apply to a UA Ruhr partner university. The following article will provide a brief overview of the alliance universities, their English-taught programs, and fellowship opportunities from the alliance.

Ruhr Alliance University Profiles

Aerial view of Ruhr-University in the year 2014

© Tuxyso. Type of license: CC BY-SA 3.0.

The UA Ruhr Alliance is made up of three leading German universities which are all located in the Ruhr region. A brief university overview of each partner university is below. Click on each profile to see stats on each university such as admissions requirements, rankings, and English-taught programs:


Further Reading

Germany in University Rankings

UA Ruhr English Programs

book with a yellow cover with the words "everyday english"

The UA Ruhr partner universities are not exclusive for German students. Not only do they welcome international students, they offer more than 50 courses in English (some of them as joint degree programs). To make the search process easier for students, we list all of the English-taught degree courses from UA Ruhr universities on our site. Alternatively, you can click on the universities below to see the English-language courses they offer:

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.

The UA Ruhr “New York” Fellowship: for UA Ruhr Alliance students

aerial photo of new york

The Transatlantic Ruhr Fellowship, sometimes referred to as the UA Ruhr New York Fellowship, provides the opportunity for students from the UA Ruhr Alliance universities to gain unique experience in the New York Tri-state area. Students have a vast array of companies and organizations to choose from in finance, trade, biotechnology, manufacturing, media, and more. Ten Transatlantic Fellows are chosen every year.


Fellows take part in a one-week long summer school on different topics which are then followed with a one-week skills seminar in New York City. Following is an internship at a company or international organization in the New York metropolitan area. Students must be enrolled in a bachelor’s or master’s program in engineering, social science, or business. Only students enrolled at a UA Ruhr university are eligible to apply for the Transatlantic Ruhr Fellowship.


Further Reading

Scholarships for international students (2024/25)

The Ruhr Fellowship: for students from the US

map of the united states

The Ruhr Alliance collaborates with a handful of elite universities in the United States. Students enrolled in one of the partner universities in the US can apply to become a Ruhr Fellow. As a Ruhr Fellow, students have the opportunity to participate in a cultural and language immersion program and also take part in an internship with either one of the leading companies in the Ruhr area, or as a researcher at one of the UA Ruhr universities. Sophomore, junior, or senior bachelor’s students in an engineering, science, business, or humanities program from the following universities can apply for the Ruhr Fellowship:

  • Harvard University.
  • Lehigh University.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Princeton University.
  • Purdue University.
  • Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
  • University of California.
  • UC Berkeley.
  • University of Cincinnati.
  • University of Pennsylvania.
  • Yale University.

Further Reading

DAAD Scholarships: Guide

Cost of Attending a UA Ruhr University

group of different coins

Public universities in Germany are free of tuition, with very few exceptions which are detailed in the table below. The UA Ruhr universities are exclusively public. However, there are some exceptions to free tuition. Specialized executive master’s programs (e.g. LlLM, 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:

German Higher Education Costs

Tuition Fee vs. Semester Contribution
pays for study program   pays for administrative costs, social services provided by university, local public transportation ticket for unlimited use throughout semester
averages 5,000 - 7,000 €  per semester averages 200 - 300 € per semester
charged by private universities and specialized professional degrees (e.g. L.LM, MBA, etc.)* Charged by all universities

*In the southwest of Germany lies the state of Baden-Württemberg. Baden-Württemberg has a mandatory tuition fee of 1,500 € per semester  to all non-EU students.

Keep in mind that while some programs are not tuition-free, you shouldn’t overlook them on your 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

How Much Does it Cost to Live in Germany?