Virginia Tech

Exchange program – Virginia Tech

The partnership between Virginia Tech and TU Darmstadt spans across various levels comprising students, research staff and professors. The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers its students a variety of opportunities to study for a period of time at Virginia Tech (Third year at Virginia Tech, Double Degree Program). This exchange program is part of the series of exchange programs offered by the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Program coordinator is the head of the Institute of Automotive Engineering, Prof. Hermann Winner. For Virginia Tech, the head of the Advanced Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory (AVDL), Prof. Sandu, is the contact person.

As part of the exchange program, three students from TU Darmstadt have the opportunity to study for one semester (fall semester at Virginia Tech from August to December) at Virginia Tech each year.


The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia Tech in short, is located in Blacksburg, Virginia, about 4.5 hours' drive south-west of Washington DC and 6.5 hours northeast of Atlanta, at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains. It is a state university, which means that the tuition fee of about $ 10,000 per semester is “affordable” (this fee is waived for the students taking part in the exchange student program). Virginia Tech is one of the top 20 U.S. universities in engineering education, and is characterized by a high degree of international orientation. Since the establishment of the University (1872) students from over 100 countries have graduated from Virginia Tech. The student-teacher ratio is 16:1, which ensures excellent support for the students.



The three students from the TU Darmstadt, who are sent to Virginia Tech, do not have to pay tuition fee there. They remain enrolled at the TU Darmstadt throughout the stay and get the status of “exchange student” at Virginia Tech.

All exams taken at Virginia Tech examinations fully recognized by the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the TUD if these exams are contained in the course catalogue of the double master program between the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the TUD and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech. This ensures that the participation in the exchange programme does not lead to extended study duration.

A DAAD- partial scholarship for selected students is granted. This scholarship covers the travel expenses, cost of medical insurance and an allowance for living expenses of about 800 EUR per month. The funding was approved consistently since the beginning of the exchange program and is already granted up to the year 2015.


Who can apply?

All students who will be enrolled in mechanical engineering at TU Darmstadt at the time of the foreign stay at the University at Buffalo can apply. The students, however, must have completed their bachelor’s course by this point in time.

It is recommended, that an application be submitted during the fifth or seventh semester so that the stay abroad can be arranged for in the seventh or ninth semester.


Time frame

  • 24. August 2015: Start of lectures at Virginia Tech
  • 18. December 2015: End of the semester at Virginia Tech

Experience Reports

August 2013 – December 2013

  • Report by Benjamin Zimmer, Samira Gruber, Steffen Dressler

August 2011 – December 2011

  • Report by Thomas Scheibe, Maximilian Jüngst, Sebastian Ebner

August 2010 – December 2010

August 2009 – December 2009

August 2008 – December 2008

August 2007 – December 2007

August 2006 – December 2006