Carnegie Mellon University

Dortmund International Summer Program

TU Dortmund University, Dortmund, Germany

Dates:  Typically June 1 – July 31


Carnegie Mellon started an exchange program with Technische Universität Dortmund in Germany in 2002.  This summer program is for Chemical Engineering students.  Every year about 1 or 2 students participate in this program. 

The “Dortmund International Summer Program” takes place late-May to late-July, and focuses on 5 different subjects:

Biochemical and Chemical Engineering

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Automation and Robotics
  • Business & Economics
  • German and European Culture

 Visit this link for specific course offerings.

All courses are taught in English, but students are advised to use this opportunity to acquire some basic German language skills.  Please note that most of the Automation and Robotics lectures are also suitable for Chemical Engineering and Biomedical/Chemical Engineering students.

The application deadline is the first Friday upon your return from winter break.  Once Cindy Vicker notifies you that you have been accepted into the program, you should complete Dortmund's online application interface that typically has a deadline in mid-February.  This is simply a way for them to capture your information electronically.  Forward the following information to Nora in DH1106 before the deadline:

  • Resumé
  • One-page essay providing any information that would help us gain a complete picture of you as a person and as a potential employee, including your career goals.  Please mention how you believe that participating in this program might help you to achieve those goals.
  • A recent photograph.
  • Three letters of recommendation from Carnegie Mellon faculty members. (The letters can either be sent to Cindy Vicker’s attention in DH1106, or they can be emailed to her by the faculty members.)
  • Any other documents that may support your application.

If you wish to do a scientific project during the Summer Program, please provide an extra letter entitled "application for a project," directed at the professor of your choice.  For details, please refer to the Course Catalog.  Please also emphasize your prerequisites for the specific project.

 Feedback from Students  

Dortmund International Summer Program is a study abroad opportunity in Dortmund, Germany.  It is a great opportunity for students interested in studying abroad that do not want to be gone for a whole semester or year.  All the classes are offered in English, so I was able to participate in the program without knowing a word of German beforehand.  All students in the program take a German language course.  I was able to take three courses and complete a research project.  There is an engineering track and a German track and students can take classes in either track.  I took the engineering track and was able to take classes that are not available here at Carnegie Mellon University.  With the program fees, students receive a public transportation pass for the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen.  On the weekends there are touristy activities run by students from Technische Universität Dortmund in different cities in the state and exploring Dortmund.  I traveled to two other countries and many other cities in Germany.  The program is a great way to meet students from around the world and to visit Europe while taking classes. 

Jessica Kafka (Summer 2011)


To describe my experience at TU Dortmund University, I would use the words once in a lifetime.  I got wonderful experience working in a laboratory setting, met a lot of fascinating people, and learned a lot about myself. It was so great coming into the program not knowing anyone, eventually making great friends that I shared such an incredible experience with.  I would recommend this program because it is the perfect length of time for those who think that a year is just too long.  If you are contemplating whether to go or not, and have even slightly considered it, ask yourself why not? Go! You will not regret it. Going abroad was one of the best decisions I made thusfar during my time at Carnegie Mellon.

Jackie Budz (Summer 2012)

 By attending the research program and taking several technical claasses and a German course, I gained a comprehensive as well as astonishing view of the German engineering undergraduate study, research, and German culture.  The researchers here know how to pursue a balance between excellent results and efficiency.  The food and drinks alone are enough to make you consider staying here for a longer career...great people, energetic students, and orderly culture.  And don't worry if you don't speak German at all.  I did not and this turned out to be one of my most precious studying experiences.  Final advice: travel around when you are still not trapped by finals and reports!

Muyuan Li (Summer 2014)