Students: Study in the densest higher education network in Europe

Studying in the Ruhr region means having an enormous choice of study options. This not only concerns the individual courses and subjects, but above all the range and variety of universities and colleges in the Metropole Ruhr.

22 universities and colleges in the Metropole Ruhr

The choice is yours: there are 22 universities and colleges located in the Ruhr region. Of these, there are five universities alone in the cities of Bochum, Dortmund, Duisburg, Essen, Hagen and Witten. In addition, Folkwang University of the Arts is an internationally-acclaimed art college with its base in the Ruhr region. However, the universities are not the only places where academic qualifications can be obtained. At 15 different universities of applied sciences students have the opportunity to undertake practice-relevant and qualified studies in various subjects. 

Orientation (Cities will be displayed on the map)

University co-operation results in unlimited options for studying

University co-operation results in unlimited options for studying

And even after you have decided on one of the universities or colleges in the Metropole Ruhr you can still benefit from the proximity to the other establishments in the region.

University Co-operationen

The universities in Bochum, Dortmund and Duisburg-Essen have joined forces to form

the UniversitätsAllianz Ruhr, with the goal of expanding the capabilities of

the three universities, further developing their focus of activities and

enabling researchers to network better with one another.

UA Ruhr

The Ruhr Master School is a network of the Universities of applied sciences in Bochum,

Dortmund and Gelsenkirchen for Master of engineer and computer science. The

Ruhr Master School is supported by Stiftung Mercator.


Ruhr Master School


UniverCity Bochum is an association of 12 institutions, including seven universities located in Bochum. All partners in the network aim to increase the profile of Bochum as a city of science and education. For example, UniverCity Bochum offers joint events for study orientation to provide the best advice for prospective students.

UniverCity Bochum

The TalentKolleg Ruhr project is supported by the University Duisburg-Essen, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Dortmund and the Westfälische Hochschule. The TalentKolleg Ruhr pursues the goal to facilitate the decision for training and education for non-traditional target groups and to encourage suitable candidates for studies. Thereby participants can benefit from an orientation and qualification phase up to one year.

The TalentKolleg Ruhr is represented at three locations:


University Duisburg-Essen

University of Applied Sciences and Arts Dortmund

Westfälische Hochschule

Three univercities of applied sciences work together with StartUps


Studying in a vibrant metropolis

And the Ruhr region also offers everything that students require beyond the courses themselves: affordable housing, jobs and a wide range of cultural, sporting and leisure activities. In addition, the Semester Ticket allows you to travel quickly and economically from place to place throughout the Ruhr region - whether it is by rail, underground or bus.

Whether or not you require a visa to work in the Ruhr region depends on your country of origin. As a rule, foreign citizens wishing to work or study in Germany require a visa. However, there are exceptions.

  • Find out the terms that apply for your country of origin here:

Do I require a visa?
Information site of the Federal Foreign Office

Overview of all countries with a visa requirement
Overview of the Federal Foreign Office on visa requirements for entry into Germany

  • The visa must be applied for prior to arrival from the German diplomatic representation in your country of origin (e.g. German embassy or consulate general). 

German diplomatic representations
Country overview on the portal of the Federal Foreign Office

  • All information on visa procedures and the necessary documents can be found on the information portal of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD):

Information on visas for students

Information about Visa for purpose of applying for a course of study

Prerequisite for studying at a German university is a university access entitlement (HZB). Before you enrol at a university or college in the Ruhr region you should find out if your school-leaving qualifications are recognised as university access entitlement. 

In addition, German language skills are also a prerequisite for studying at a university in the Ruhr region, as the majority of courses are taught in German. 

  • All information regarding key requirements can be found on the information portal of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD):

Information on recognition of school-leaving qualifications and language skills

Central standardised aptitude test for foreign students

German Language Skills

How and where you are required to apply for a course at a German higher education establishment depends on which subject you wish to study, where you obtained your school-leaving examinations and what university qualification, e.g. Bachelor or Master, you wish to study for.

  • All information regarding application, application documents, admission with checklist can be found here:

Applying for a course

Have you chosen a course and - where necessary - been accepted? Then you need to enrol at the university or college. This is known as matriculation. Once you are enrolled - or matriculated - you can attend lectures as a student, use the library and take exams.

Enrolling at a university or college

If you have questions regarding your studies, you can contact the central student advice office that nearly every university offers. Specific questions regarding your course can be directed to the course advice office at the respective university or college.

  • An overview of the advice on offer at German universities can be found on the information portal of the University Conference:

Overview of student advisory offices
List of advice options at German universities

  • Initial orientation and assistance in the choice of a course can also be found in the form of self-assessments and aptitude tests on the internet. With the aid of these tests you can frequently decide whether a course is the right one for you.

Overview of online tests for course orientation

Dates and deadlines
Overview of key dates and deadlines for application, registration and enrolment

Information about grants for studiying in the Ruhr region

Stipendienkultur Ruhr

  • Have you chosen to study a course at a university or college here in the Ruhr region? Then perhaps you are looking for a room or a flat. Here you can find tips and information on finding accommodation and settling in quickly in the Ruhr region.

Finding a room
Tips and information from the German Academic Exchange Service

Finding halls of residence
Halls of residence database of the German Academic Exchange Service

  • When you have found a flat or a room, the next step is to register with the registration office of the town or city in which you live. Further information can be found here:

Registering with the authorities

  • Here you find some more Information of the Deutsche akademische Austauschdienst about scholarships and earning money:

Finding ScholarshipsEarning Money

  • The towns and cities of the Ruhr region are superbly linked with one another by bus and rail. As a student, you have an excellent opportunity to use all public transport in the Ruhr region and beyond with your Semester Ticket. Further information on public transport in the Ruhr region can be found on the portal of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr.

Mobile with bus and rail
Information portal of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr regarding tickets, timetables and more

  • Local offers to help you settle into the city: BeComing Friends is a sponsor programme supported by the Akademisches Förderungswerk and the UniverCity-Bochum-Verbund, which brings together foreign students and citizens of Bochum.

BeComing Friends
Cultural exchange between international students and citizens of Bochum

Housing for Students in Dortmund - Advices



  • The universities in the Ruhr Region offer numerous exchange programmes and maintain partnerships all over the world. Here you can find some Information about the exchange programmes.

Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Technische Universität Dortmund

Universität Duisburg Essen

Hochschule Ruhr West

Westfälische Hochschule

Universities and Colleges in the Ruhr region take over social responsibility and recruit non-tradiotional groups by their profil of appreciating handling with diversity

Advicing Center
Übersicht über verschiedende Angebote an der Universität Duisburg-Essen

Programm zur Förderung von Chancengleichheit und Bildungsteilhabe

Programm für zugewanderte Akademiker und Akademikerinnen

Chance hoch 2
bildungsbiografiebegleitendes Förderprogramm von der Qualifikationsphase bis zum Hochschulabschlussrogramm


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The directions lead you step by step to the most important information.

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