StudyQA — RWTH Aachen University — Aachen — Germany: Fees, Rankings, Courses, Admissions

RWTH Aachen University

Aachen, Germany
Website: Founded: 1870 year Type of University:Public StudyQA ranking: 4667 pts. No. Students: 44517 Frgn. Students: 8556 No. Staff: 5355 Languages: German Phone: +49241801 Fax: +492418092312
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About RWTH Aachen University

RWTH Aachen University or Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen is a research university located in Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. With more than 42,000 students enrolled in 144 study programs, it is the largest technical university in Germany.

The university maintains close links to industry (one in five board members of German corporate groups has studied in Aachen) and accounts for the highest amount of third-party funds of all German universities in both absolute and relative terms per faculty member. In 2007, RWTH Aachen was chosen by the DFG as one of nine German Universities of Excellence for its future concept RWTH 2020: Meeting Global Challenges and additionally won funding for one graduate school and three clusters of excellence. RWTH Aachen is a founding member of IDEA League, a strategic alliance of four leading universities of technology in Europe. The university is also a member of TU9, DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and the Top Industrial Managers for Europe network.

History of RWTH Aachen University

On 25 January 1858, prince Frederick William of Prussia (later German emperor), was presented with a donation of 5,000 talers for charity, raised by the Aachener und Münchener Feuer-Versicherungs-Gesellschaft, the precursor of the AachenMünchenerinsurance company. In March, the prince chose to use the donation to found the first Prussian institute of technology somewhere in the Rhine province. The seat of the institution remained undecided over years; while the prince initially favored Koblenz, the cities of Aachen, Bonn, Cologne and Düsseldorf also applied, with Aachen and Cologne being the main competitors. Aachen finally won with a financing concept backed by the insurance company and by local banks. Groundbreaking for the new Polytechnikum took place on 15 May 1865 and lectures started during the Franco-Prussian War on 10 October 1870 with 223 students and 32 teachers. The new institution had as its primary purpose the education of engineers, especially for the mining industry in the Ruhr area; there were schools of chemistry, electrical and mechanical engineering as well as an introductory general school that taught mathematics and natural sciences and some social sciences.

The unclear position of the new Prussian polytechnika (which officially were not universities) affected the first years. Polytechnics lacked prestige in society and the number of students decreased. This began to change in 1880 when the early RWTH, amongst others, was reorganized as a Royal Technical University, gained a seat in the Prussian House of Lords and finally won the right to bestow PhD (1898) degrees and Diplom titles (introduced in 1902). In the same year, over 800 male students enrolled. In 1909 the first women were admitted and the artist August von Brandis succeeded Alexander Frenz at the Faculty of Architecture as a "professor of figure and landscape painting", Brandis became dean in 1929. 

World War I, however, proved a serious setback for the university. Many students voluntarily joined up and died in the war, and parts of the university were shortly occupied or confiscated.

While the (then no more royal) TH Aachen (Technische Hochschule Aachen) flourished in the 1920s with the introduction of more independent faculties, of several new institutes and of the general students' committee, the first signs of nationalist radicalization also became visible within the university. The Third Reich's Gleichschaltung of the TH in 1933 met with relatively low resistance from both students and faculty. Beginning in September 1933, Jewish and (alleged) Communist professors (and from 1937 on also students) were systematically persecuted and excluded from the university. Vacant Chairs were increasingly given to NSDAP party-members or sympathizers. The freedom of research and teaching became severely limited, and institutes important for the regime's plans were systematically established, and existing chairs promoted. Briefly closed in 1939, the TH continued courses in 1940, although with a low number of students. On 21 October 1944, when Aachen capitulated, more than 70% of all buildings of the university were destroyed or heavily damaged.

After World War II ended in 1945 the university recovered and expanded quickly. In the 1950s, many professors who had been removed because of their alleged affiliation with the Nazi party were allowed to return and a multitude of new institutes were founded. By the late 1960s, the TH had 10,000 students, making it the foremost of all German technical universities. With the foundation of philosophical and medical faculties in 1965 and 1966, respectively, the university became more "universal". The newly founded faculties in particular began attracting new students, and the number of students almost doubled twice from 1970 (10,000) to 1980 (more than 25,000) and from 1980 to 1990 (more than 37,000). Now, the average number of students is around 42,000, with about one third of all students being women. By relative terms, the most popular study-programs are engineering (57%), natural science (23%), economics and humanities (13%) and medicine (7%).

Recent developments

In December 2006, RWTH Aachen and the Sultanate of Oman signed an agreement to establish a private German University of Technology in Muscat. Professors from Aachen aided in developing the curricula for the currently five study-programs and scientific staff took over some of the first courses.

In 2007, RWTH Aachen was chosen as one of nine German Universities of Excellence for its future concept RWTH 2020: Meeting Global Challenges, earning it the connotation of being an elite university. However, although the list of universities honored for their future concepts mostly consists of large and already respected institutions, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research claimed that the initiative aimed at promoting universities with a dedicated future concept so they could continue researching on an international level.Having won funds in all three lines of funding, the process brought RWTH Aachen University an additional total funding of € 180 million from 2007-2011. The other two lines of funding were graduate schools, where the Aachen Institute for Advanced Study in Computational Engineering Science received funding and so-called "clusters of excellence", where RWTH Aachen managed to win funding for the three clusters: Ultra High-Speed Mobile Information and Communication (UMIC), Integrative Production Technology for High-wage Countries and Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass (TMFB).


Institutional Accreditation or Recognition - Ministerium für Innovation, Wissenschaft und Forschung des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen

Year of first Accreditation - 1870


Ranking 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
QS World University Rankings   145 147 147 150 140 158
QS Faculty Rankings: Engineering & Technology   53 42 28 35 39
QS Faculty Rankings: Natural Sciences   46 36 47 83 82 59
QS Subject Rankings: Mechanical Engineering   12 18 17 23 47  
QS Subject Rankings: Electrical Engineering   51-100 45 51-100 51-100 51-100  
QS Subject Rankings: Physics & Astronomy   30 37 30 26 48  
QS Subject Rankings: Chemical Engineering    34 36 45 50-100 50-100  
QS Subject Rankings: Materials Science    29 25 45 47 50-100  
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 78 110 156 129 154 168 182
The Times Higher Education Reputation Ranking (World)   91-100 91-100 - - - -
The Times Higher Education Subject Rankings: Engineering and Technology 29 30 54 39 - - -
The Times Higher Education Subject Rankings: Physical Sciences 49 48 78 61 - - -
The Times Higher Education Subject Rankings: Computer Science 29 - - - - - -
Research Performance Index (Engineering)           96
Research Performance Index (For Pure, Natural, and Mathematical Sciences)           79
Academic Ranking of World Universities (Mathematics)   76-100 101-150 76-100 76-100 - 77-100
Academic Ranking of World Universities (Chemistry)   51-75 51-75 151-200 151-200 - -
Academic Ranking of World Universities (World)   201-300 201-300 201-300 201-300 201-300 201-300

Services of RWTH Aachen University

The preparedness to help other people, gather practical experience, and to be involved in associations or organizations is not only important for our society, but also for shaping your social skills and preparing you for professional life. It also makes you feel good. Here you will find an overview of student initiatives, organizations, and recreational activities.

 Representatives and Governance of the Student Body

  • AStA
  • ESP ErstsemesterInnenprojekt der Fachschaften
  • Student Representative Councils
  • Studierendenparlament

Accredited Student Initiatives

  • Aachen hat Ausdauer
  • Aachener Studentenchor der Katholischen Hochschulgemeinde
  • AEGEE Aachen e.V.
  • AIESEC Aachen
  • Aixsolution e.V.
  • Albanischer Studierendenverein in Aachen (AlbAix)
  • Akzeptanz Performing Arts & Photography Association
  • Amnesty International Hochschulgruppe Aachen
  • Association of Indian Students in Aachen (AISA)
  • Board of European Students of Technology (BEST)
  • Biotechnologische Studenteninitiative e.V (btS)
  • Bitcoin
  • Bonding Aachen
  • Deutsch-Griechischer Wissenschaftsverband Aachen
  • Ecurie Aix Formula Student Team
  • FAQ Film Aachen
  • Flugwissenschaftliche Vereinigung Aachen 1920 e.V.
  • Freunde der Medizinstudierendenschaft Aachen e.V. (FdMSA)
  • Gaming Group Aachen
  • Global Brigades Aachen
  • GPM Young Crew Localgroup Aachen
  • IAESTE Aachen
  • Ingenieure ohne Grenzen
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
  • Interkulturelles Centrum Aachener Studierender (INCAS)
  • Iranisches Kulturzentrum Rahaward e.V.
  • Iranische Studenten Aachen (ISA)
  • Jugend- und Auszubildendenvertretung (JAV)
  • Kamerunischer Chor: LesVoix De L'Harmonie
  • KarlMUN – Model United Nations in Aachen
  • Kiron
  • Kolumbianische Studierendenvereinigung (ColAachen)
  • Koreanische Studentenvereinigung (KSV)
  • Kreis Integrative Medizin
  • Herencia Latina – Lateinamerikanische Tanzgruppe
  • Hochschulgruppe des Deutsch-Vietnamesischen Freundeskreises e.V. (HDVF)
  • Mexikanische Aachener Studierende (MexAS)
  • Mongolischer Studentenverein in Aachen (MoStA)
  • Muslimischer Studentenverein Aachen e.V. (IMSU)
  • Nightline Aachen e.V.
  • Pakistan Student Association (PSA)
  • Perhimpunan Pelajar Indonesia (PPI Aachen)
  • Philou
  • ROCK YOUR LIFE! Aachen e.V.
  • Sonnenwagen Aachen
  • SchülerNavi e.V.
  • STARRING Aachen
  • Student Family with Children Group (SFCG e.V.)
  • Studentischer Besuchsdienst
  • Studieren ohne Grenzen Aachen
  • Studis heißen Willkommen
  • TEDxClub RWTHAachen e.V.
  • Tunesian Relations' Window/ Tunesisches Fenster (TunRW)
  • Türkisch-Muslimischer Studierenden- und Akademikerbund (MUSAB)
  • Unihandball Aachen
  • Verband der Elektrotechnik Elektronik Informationstechnik e.V. (VDE)
  • Verband der Chinesischen Wissenschaftler und Studenten in Aachen (VCWSA)
  • Verein kamerunischer Studenten in Aachen (ACA e.V.)
  • Verein kurdischer Studierender Aachen (KSA)
  • Vereinigung Russischsprechender Studenten Aachens (VeRSA)
  • Vietnamesische Studierendenvereinigung in Aachen (SVA)
  • vdla Gewerkschaft, Fachgruppe RWTH Aachen
  • VWI Hochschulgruppe Aachen

Business and Management

  • AC.E Aachener Entrepreneurship Team e.V.

Culture, Communication and Media

  • Aachener Studentenchor der katholischen Hochschulgemeinde
  • Aachener Studentenorchester
  • BigBand der RWTH Aachen
  • Collegium Musicum
  • Debattierclub an der RWTH Aachen e.V.
  • Filmstudio an der RWTH Aachen e.V.
  • Hochschulradio für Aachen
  • Junges Sinfonieorchester Aachen
  • Kármán-Zeitung
  • Theatergruppe Poetischer Anfall
  • Theatergruppe Actor's Nausea


  • Deutsch-Kamerunisches Forum
  • Hochschulgruppe des Deutsch-Vietnamesischen Freundeskreises

Politics and Social Commitment

  • Arbeitskreis Sicherheitspolitik an der RWTH Aachen
  • Enactus RWTH Aachen
  • ESG - Evangelische Studierendengemeinde
  • HELP e.V.
  • hêvî e.V.
  • Katholische Studierende Jugend - Hochschulring (KSJ-HSR)
  • KHG - Katholische Hochschulgemeinde Aachen
  • Navigatoren e.V. Aachen
  • Queerreferat
  • SMD-Aachen
  • Studis helfen Kids
  • UNI und KIND e. V.
  • UNICEF-Hochschulgruppe Aachen

Unternehmensgründung und Wirtschaft

  • AC.E Aachener Entrepreneurship Team e.V.

Science and Technology

  • Aachen Programming Club
  • Amateurfunkgruppe der RWTH Aachen
  • EESTEC Aachen e.V.
  • Energie Forum Aachen e.V.
  • Energybirds e.V.
  • IG Metall Hochschulgruppe Aachen
  • Roboterclub Aachen e.V.
  • VDI Aachen


  • Akademischer Seglerverein in Aachen e.V. (ASV)
  • Hochschulsportzentrum
  • Rallyesportverein an der RWTH Aachen e.V.

Academic Initiatives

  • Akademischer Seglerverein der RWTH Aachen
  • Akademischer Verein D'Letzebuerger, the association of luxembourgish students in Aachen
  • Akademischer Yachtclub (AYC)
  • Computer-Club an der RWTH Aachen e.V.
  • Fliegergruppe an der RWTH Aachen e.V.
  • proRWTH – Freunde und Förderer der RWTH Aachen e. V.
  • K.A.V. Alcuinus, Vereniging Nederlandse Studenten en Afgestudeerden T.H. Aken
  • THESIS e.V.
RWTH Aachen University on map:
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Study mode:On campus Languages: English
Foreign:$ 4.44 k / Semester(s)
Deadline: Mar 1, 2023 StudyQA ranking: 750
Study mode:On campus Languages: German English
Foreign:$ 4.44 k / Semester(s)
Deadline: Mar 1, 2023 StudyQA ranking: 567
Study mode:On campus Languages: English
Foreign:$ 1.36 k / Semester(s)
Deadline: Mar 1, 2023 StudyQA ranking: 842
Study mode:On campus Languages: English
Foreign:$ 5.43 k / Semester(s)
Deadline: Mar 1, 2023 StudyQA ranking: 628
Study mode:On campus Languages: English
Foreign:$ 5.43 k / Semester(s)
Deadline: Mar 1, 2023 StudyQA ranking: 568