The Alliance of Rhine-Main Universities
Studying in a university alliance with over 100,000 students

Study at three universities at the same time? Yes, it is possible at the Rhine-Main Universities (RMU). RMU is a strong alliance of three regional universities that work closely together for you and your studies. These universities are jointly committed to a strong Rhine-Main research region. Find out how this works and what else this research cooperation offers you here! Maria from #studentsofTUdarmstadt, studies a cooperative degree programme offered by the RMU Alliance and shares her experiences.

Published: 21st February 2022

Medical Engineering B.Sc.

Studying at two universities is always exciting. The remarkable thing is that we spend one day per week in Frankfurt, experiencing a completely different kind of university. Opposed to other programmes where this is not the case.

Picture: Privat

RMU: Studying in Darmstadt, Frankfurt and Mainz

The Rhine-Main metropolitan region is an exciting location for research. Innovative perspectives from business and science collide here. This offers students lots of opportunities. But that's not all: There is also a lot going on within research and teaching in the Rhine-Main region. To offer the 100,000 students in the region the most comprehensive range of knowledge possible, three universities have joined forces to make cross-university study possible for you. Welcome to the Rhine-Main Universities, or RMU for short!

Logo TU Darmstadt
Logo Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main
Logo Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

The RMU consists of TU Darmstadt, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, and Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. Top universities that conduct research together in their alliance, offer an even broader range of studies and bundle their expertise in innovative cooperative study programmes. Maria's degree programme, Medical Engineering, is a result of this cooperation. If that's not your thing – no problem! Other degree programmes, such as International Studies / Peace and Conflict Studies M.A. or Political Theory M.A., are also designed as cooperations between TU Darmstadt and Goethe University. They include various courses at both universities. The future holds exciting things in store for you: Additional cooperative degree programmes will be added to the existing ones. We will keep you informed on which programmes will be added. In addition to such cooperative study programmes, there is also the possibility of using the study programmes offered by the other two universities without enrolling in another bachelor's or master's programme: the so-called “RMU study programme”.

Dr. Henriette Reinecke ,
Department II, Head of Student Services

The aim of RMU studies is to look beyond one's own course of study, to broaden one's own subject horizon or to take an interest-driven look at other courses of study or modules which, from TU Darmstadt's point of view, do not exist here. The so-called "RMU studies" can be taken on a semester basis and for individual modules, and it is possible to participate in the courses offered by the respective universities in a very low-threshold manner, without additional fees.

Dr. Henriette Reinecke
Picture: Privat

Simply studying at three universities – how does it work?

In addition to these cross-university study programmes, the RMU programme offers all students at the three universities the opportunity to take individual courses through RMU. This means that you have access to courses from a total of 630 study programmes at three universities with around 30 departments! You are then enrolled at up to three universities at the same time and can take the courses approved in the RMU course catalog. You will also receive a special student ID card that will give you access to the libraries. if you have more than one passion, are curious, have an interest in a different subject area, or individual modules then you can expand your study options in the region. Henriette Reinecke, head of the student services unit, says. “Students in RMU studies are full members of the respective university and are then enrolled at the RM University in the cooperative study programme 'RMU Studies' for one semester. In addition to the study programme of the home university. If a student has registered for the RMU course, this student can also register for the examination and receive a transcript of records. This can then be submitted to the home university for recognition, if necessary.” However, this should be discussed with the home university beforehand, says Dr. Reinecke.

Whether you want to take further RMU modules in the next semester is up to you, by re-registering or not. And although you are enrolled at two universities, you do not pay both of the semester fees. All this is free of charge for students of the three RM universities.

If you are worried that additional exams might be too much for you, don't panic: “You don't have to take the exam. You decide for yourself whether you want to take the exams. However, there are no so-called 'participation certificates,'” Dr. Reinecke adds: “The exam is the only proof of participation.” Therefore, it is important that you coordinate events at other universities, especially if you want to have the credit points recognized, for example, as part of your elective modules, with the study office beforehand. The recognition of exams is regulated by each university itself.

Die Rhein-Main Universitäten – Geografische Lage

Medical Engineering B.Sc.

At the beginning, I couldn't imagine how exactly it would work with the two universities. Then it turned out that we are in Frankfurt one day a week. It's really nice to walk along the banks of the River Main in Frankfurt and take a lunch break when we have a little more time.

Picture: Privat

Biomedical Engineering B.A.: My everyday study life between Darmstadt and Frankfurt

Maria studies the cooperative degree programme in biomedical engineering that was created within the framework of the RMU. Her daily study routine moves between TU Darmstadt and Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. We asked her how she likes her studies, what a typical week looks like, and what advantages this exciting cooperation offers her:

“When I discovered the biomedical engineering programme, I thought it was cool that Frankfurt was included as a second location. At the beginning, I couldn't imagine exactly how it would work with the two universities. But it quickly became clear that we would simply be in Frankfurt one day a week. That's 20 percent of the courses in my degree programme. We have lectures there in the morning and seminars in the afternoon, and at the end of the semester we write some of our exams there. The other 80 percent takes place at TU Darmstadt. Here we learn the basics in electrical engineering, math, and physics. Of course, in addition to lectures and seminars, we also take practical courses in electrical engineering and medicine and thus gain practical insights into the various disciplines. Gradually, the boundaries become increasingly blurred. There is a medical technology internship in Darmstadt and also biomechanics and biomaterials in Frankfurt, which thematically no longer revolve around the body itself, but around the methods and materials on or in the body.

The study material is available online via TU Darmstadt and its platforms, including the documents from Goethe University. Sometimes though I do notice that I am studying at two universities. The concepts and structures aren’t the same between the two. That's also because I study two subjects that have little to nothing in common. The way we study electrical engineering is very different from how we study medicine. And the organization differs, too. In Frankfurt, we don't have a permanent lecturer for some courses, but several lecturers who tell us about their specialization in medicine. For radiology there are specialists for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), for X-rays, and experts for computer tomography (CT).

Additionally, you usually organize yourself very independently during your studies. There is a seminar here, a lecture there. Because we study a full day a week in Frankfurt, we automatically have more structure. There is also a plan for the whole semester, so we always know what to expect. This is very pleasant. It's soothing to walk along the banks of the River Main in Frankfurt and take a lunch break when we have some spare time, because the campus in Frankfurt is right by the river.

Applying for the joint degree programme was simple and easy, just like for any other degree programme at TU Darmstadt. However, I study at both universities and have two student IDs. With the semester ticket, we can get to our events in Frankfurt without any problems and, of course, we can use the libraries at both locations. And if there ever is a problem, we have contacts at both universities who take care of our concerns. I am really happy with my joint degree programme, so I decided to do my master's degree in biomedical engineering, too, and will continue studying in Darmstadt and Frankfurt.”

Did you like this little insight into the bachelor's programme in medical technology and do you want to know what happens afterwards? You can read details about the master’s in medical engineering in the interview with Ellen Bräuer.

Medical Engineering B.Sc.

Officially, everything is organized by TU Darmstadt. I am a TU student, but I also have an ID card from Goethe University in Frankfurt. The application and teaching materials are also made available online via the TU's platforms.

Picture: Privat

Researching together!

We haven't even mentioned the joint research of the three RMUs yet! 16 collaborative research projects have received millions of euros in funding under the Research Initiative Fund since 2016. Among them, there are various projects, such as 3D printed bone replacement. Super interesting, isn't it? Other departments have exciting research collaborations as well. You should definitely check them out!

RMU for all

Do you feel like thinking outside the box? Then look towards the various options available to RMU students. Maybe you would like to experience other lectures and departments here and there. Taking an additional lecture in economics or politics is particularly easy. And a breath of fresh air at a different campus can sometimes be quite nice. Especially if it means you can go for a walk along the rivers Rhine in Mainz or Main in Frankfurt before heading home.

If you would like to read more reports about experiences at RMU, you can check out the articles by Enes and Merve. David and Ceylan are also getting a taste of other disciplines in their studies.

How do I apply for the RMU study programme?

Have we made you curious? If you are interested in the concept of RMU or the study programmes we mentioned, then check out the summary of the process:

First of all, you need to apply for RMU studies at the respective RM university. This is a cakewalk. All you have to do is submit a semester certificate from your home university. You will then be enrolled in the RMU programme for one semester in addition to your regular studies and will receive a corresponding ID card. In the following semester, you will decide whether you want to continue your RMU studies by re-registering. If you do not re-register, your RMU status will automatically expire.

Each university publishes a catalog of courses that are open for RMU studies, broken down by subject, as part of its course catalog. You can freely choose from this catalog and register via the registration channels of the respective university. In principle, however, only courses from admission-free degrees are offered. If, however, there are more applications than places available, the respective guidelines of the university offering the course apply for admission to the courses.

Further information can be found on the website of TU Darmstadt and in the FAQ of the RMU.

The study office of TU Darmstadt and the Central Student Advisory and Orientation Office (Zentrale Studienberatung und –orientierung, ZSB) can offer you further assistance.

If you want to learn more about the Rhine-Main region as an exciting location for research, you can find more information in Diego's blog post “Darmstadt as a science location”.

By the way, TU Darmstadt is also a member of the European network “unite!”. This works like RMU studies, you can take courses and cooperative study programmes at the European partner universities. More information about this can be found in our blog post "unite! – Studying together from Finland to Portugal ".

Picture: Privat


Hey, I'm Maria. I am one of the first to study medical engineering at TU Darmstadt. Since I like to try out new things, it suits me very well. At TU Darmstadt, I was particularly impressed by the methods used to bring medical engineering closer to students. This strict separation between medicine and technology and the fact that the two subjects are only brought together at a later stage is something I have never seen before at any other university. In addition, the cooperation between two universities (Frankfurt and Darmstadt), which are very well known in their respective fields (medicine and technology), is of course also appealing about this study program here.

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