Studying in Erlangen

Mechanical engineering is a key industry and the “engine” of the German economy that ensures innovation and technological leadership. In the worldwide market for mechanical engineering, Germany has the largest percentage with about 20 % (more than the USA or Japan) [1].

Due to the high exports, all larger German companies in production engineering have a strong international orientation and are strongly seeking international oriented engineers and managers with technical knowledge and competences in economics and foreign languages.

A striking discrepancy is to be observed between the requested professional qualification and the profile of the graduates: Whilst about half of the graduated engineers said within a study of the VDI (German Engineering Assocation), that business fluent English is essential for their position [2], only 1/3 of the German students completed a study related stay abroad according to a study of HIS (Higher Education Information System) [3]. Therefore the introduction of international oriented engineering study programs is necessary.

The international bachelor study program “International Production Engineering and Management” is comprised of six semesters and builds on the successful study programs “industrial engineering” and “mechanical engineering”. It focuses on production engineering and management with international contents. It qualifies German speaking students for the occupational area of production technology in an international environment.

Targets and structure

In the first semesters, basic topics like mathematics, technical mechanics, design, production engineering and economics are taught. In addition, fundamentals in electrical engineering, computer science and material science are trained. From the second semester on, the fields of “International Production Engineering” and “International Production Management” are taught. In addition to the compulsory modules, a special set of English “International Elective Modules” are created, from which the students may choose modules with technical and / or business contents. International training is provided in the following forms:

  • English engineering and economics courses, such as “Production Technology” and “Quality management”. In special accompanying exercises, the English production-related terminology is taught. Lecture notes will be offered in English or bilingual.
  • Courses with international content (usually in English) like “International Supply Chain Management” or “Global Operations Strategy”
  • Integration of guest presentations of international speakers in English in lectures, such as “Forming” or “Plastics Engineering”.
  • The third year of study provides two mobility windows to take into account results of a study of HIS that the mobility of students in bachelor’s degree programs is lower compared to diploma degree programs [3].

The fifth semester is ideal for studying at a partner university. The sixth semester is used primarily for the compulsory practical training (industrial placement) and / or the writing of the bachelor thesis abroad. The bachelor thesis is to be written in a foreign language. It can be created under the joint supervision of a chair of the Erlangen Department of Mechanical Engineering and a foreign partner chair.

Literature (in German language):

[1] VDMA ( und
Magazin für Wirtschaft und Finanzen der Bundesregierung (
[2] VDI Ingenieurstudie 2008,
[3] Mobilität im Studium. Eine Untersuchung zu Mobilität und Mobilitätshindernissen in gestuften Studiengängen innerhalb Deutschlands. HRK – Statistik zur Hochschulpolitik 2/2008,