Double Degree
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

General information

The Technical University of Darmstadt and the Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) have been working closely together for several years. This applies to both the areas of research and the teaching of students. For the Department of Mechanical Engineering, this partnership has always been one of the key pillars of its international relations. The Master's Double Degree Programme is a continuation of this successful collaboration.

Course of study: Double Degree

TU Darmstadt students complete their first year of the Master’s Double Degree Programme at their home university.
At the start of their 3rd semester, the students move to Blacksburg, to attend courses and write their master's thesis at Virginia Tech.
The master's thesis is carried out jointly, so that in addition to a Virginia Tech professor, a professor of the TU Darmstadt acts as the co-supervisor.

Application requirements

We recommend that you apply in the third, at the latest in the fifth semester of your bachelor's programme, so that the stay abroad can take place in the third semester of your master's programme.

Participants of the programme need to meet the following requirements:

  • Above-average academic performance
  • Extracurricular engagement and social competence
  • Very good knowledge of the English language
  • Willing to submit a report at the end of the programme about the experience
  • Alignment of the master's curriculum to match with the requirements of the double master

Costs & funding opportunities

Two graduate assistantships are available to TU Darmstadt students coming to Virginia Tech. These will help cover tuition and fees, health insurance subsidy, and provide a competitive stipend. The graduate assistantships usually will extend the stay at Virginia Tech by one additional semester.

Without graduate assistantship, costs for tuition and fees will be approximately $15.000 for a semester.

Not covered are living expenses that can vary from $8.000 to $15.000 a year. To cover those costs theDAAD-Jahresstipendium might be interesting for you.

Application documents

The following application documents need to be submitted to the MechCenter of the Mechanical Engineering Department:

  • Online application form from the Department for International Relations and Mobility
  • Letter of motivation with a brief description of the study plan abroad
  • Your current transcript of records (a self-printed web transcript is sufficient!) + Proof of Industrial Internship
  • Copy of the Abitur Diploma
  • Tabular CV
  • Proof of language proficiency (if applicable, Abitur certificate does not have to be certified)


A selection committee in the Mechanical Engineering Department determines whether the applicant is suitable in a selection interview at the beginning of December of the application year.
Should the applicant be nominated for the double degree programme, the application at VT must take place the following year (application deadline is January 5th).
All language certificates must also be submitted then.

About the Virginia Tech and the town of Blacksburg

The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, or Virginia Tech for short, was founded in 1872 and is one of the leading universities in the USA with approximately 34,000 students. The university is located in the town of Blacksburg, Virginia in the east of the USA.

To find out more about the town, please visit the following links:

Studying at Virginia Tech

Submit your VT application online at

The application window for starting in the Fall is October 1st – January 5th and for starting in the Spring it’s June 1st – September 1st.

Yes, these scores are required. The department's target GRE scores are Verbal: 150, Quantitative: 165, and Analytical: 4.5. The minimum language requirement is a TOEFL score of 105 or an IELTS grade of 7.0.

A double degree programme at VT is a unique opportunity to explore the culture, education, faculty expertise, facilities, hands on learning, and laboratories that VT has to offer.

Yes, all international students are required to have health insurance. Please direct all inquiries to the Student Medical Insurance office located at the Student Services Building by phone: 540-231-6226 or email: .

Contact the Graduate Student Immigration Services office in the Cranwell International Center by phone: +1-540-231-6527 or email: .

They are not. Off-campus housing offers many great options, while also being conveniently located near VT, so you can get the most of your experience living in Blacksburg. Please visit Virginia Tech Off-Campus Housing for more information.

Blacksburg Transit provides free public transportation to VT students along its routes, making the community, shops, restaurants, and various amenities easily accessible. The Megabus, is a commercial bus company located in Christiansburg (neighboring town) that offers departures to cities nearby, such as Washington, DC and Knoxville, Tennessee.

Students are encouraged to join clubs and student organisations of varying interests and can find many opportunities to do so at:

VT has one of the most active intramural sport programmes offering recreational and competitive leagues, as well as club sports and the opportunity to attend varsity sporting events.

After you have been selected for the double degree by VT, please visit the following online application system.

Please read the information for the application carefully.

For the coming winter semester, apply by April 30th.

For the coming summer semester, apply by November 30th.

If you grew up in an English speaking country or you obtained a first degree with English as the language of instruction, you do not need to provide scored of the TOEFL/IELTS. The GRE is not a required test at German universities.

Please note that some courses of the degree are offered in German. In order to have the full choice of courses, you would need a language proficiency level comparable to B2 (Upper Intermediate).

Knowing some German will also help you dive into the local culture and take part in student life in Darmstadt. It is not a prerequisite for the application.

You can start learning German at the VT German department. Please contact the responsible advisor.

Starting your German classes online is also a possibility with the German Language course – STEM offered by TUDa as an online blended learning opportunity.

Following your arrival in Darmstadt, you can join the courses offered at the Language Resource Centre. It offers intensive language classes before the start of the semester. The language courses are part of the semester fee and do not need to be paid extra. Courses are offered at all levels and with a focus on STEM. German courses are also offered during the semester and can be taken as part of the semester workload.

Getting two degrees opens two huge job markets for you. Graduates with two degrees are sought after and tend to get leading positions at earlier stages of their career. In the program with TUDa, you live and learn in the thriving Rhine-Main area and become familiar with the German culture and language. You study at and graduate from a TU9 University, which is a consortium of the Top 9 Technical Universities in Germany. Furthermore, this programme gives you another perspective on your research field.

Yes, you do. A health insurance approved by the German health care system is required. This insurance covers all medical fields, from regular check-ups to emergencies. Students are guaranteed special rates. Please visit this website for more details:

Virginia Tech also requires you to have an international insurance while studying abroad. Please contact the Global Education Office for more information.

To start your stay at TUDa you may require a visa to enter Germany. Please take a look at thewebsite of the German Embassy, which is responsible for visa issues. A visa navigator helps you to find out which requirements apply to you. Some foreign nationals may be part of a visa waiver programme.

All foreign nationals have to apply for a residence permit after they arrive in Germany. The TUDa International Student Service (ISS) will help you with these questions, as well as assist you with any non-academic questions. Make sure to check their information before starting your trip to Darmstadt.

TU Darmstadt is not a campus university, as many German universities are not. Instead, the university is spread throughout the old and new areas of Darmstadt. Thus, the university is well integrated into the city.

Furthermore, TUDa does not own or run student dormitories. However, there is a close cooperation with the Studierendenwerk Darmstadt, that offers affordable housing for students. To find a suitable accommodation, please contact the ISS. They will be able to assist with Accommodation for Exchange Students, either with the Studierendenwerk or private accommodation.

With your Student ID, you can use the local public transport for free. As the public transportation system is good, as is the case in most German cities, you do not need a car; a bike is the more common vehicle for students to get around. You can find more details on the website of the International Student Services (ISS): Semesterticket.

Public transport in the State of Hessen.

TU Darmstadt and the City of Darmstadt provide a broad variety of indoor and outdoor activities as well as sports. Most of them are free for students. For more information, check the website of the International Student Services.

General information about costs for studying in Germany can be found on the Website of the German Academic Exchange Service (opens in new tab).

Depending on your accommodation and personal requirements, estimated living expenses in Darmstadt range from 700 to 900€ per months. An overview on the costs that may incur, can be found on this website.


TU Darmstadt:
Fachbereich Maschinenbau – MechCenter:
Dipl.-Geogr. Gabriele von Laufenberg

Fachbereich Maschinenbau –
Responsible Professor for the program:
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Steffen Hardt

Office for International Relations & Mobility:
Julia Fitzthum, M.A.

Virginia Tech:
Department of Mechanical Engineering:
Cathy Hill, Graduate Coordinator

Cranwell International Center:
David Clubb, Director

College of Engineering,
Office of Global Engineering, Engagement and Research:
Rob Emmett, Ph.D.