German automotive engineering generally has a worldwide reputation for excellence. You should not be surprised that Germany has many outstanding schools for automotive design–way too many to list and describe in one place. However,there are four institutions with representative automotive design programs namely; Hochschule Esslingen and Hochschule Pforzheim, both near Stuttgart; Westsächsiche Hochschule Zwickau, near Leipzig; and RWTH-Aachen University, near Cologne. They are commonly referred to as Esslingen, Pforzheim, Zwickau and Aachen.
These four universities offer a master of science (MS) program that cover automotive design. The curricula will include transportation design, mechanical engineering and computer software design. The name of the particular program in Aachen is MS in Automotive Systems Engineering; in Pforzheim, MS in Product Design; in Zwickau, MS in Automotive Engineering; and in Esslingen, MS in Design and Manufacturing.
Note that Aachen’s program can be completed in four semesters, or two calendar years. Pforzheim, Zwickau and Esslingen each offer their curricula in three semesters, or one and a half calendar years. All these four programs begin in the fall, which is typical of the German university system.
Pforzheim charges €7,400 (approximately $6,563) for its two-year program. Zwickau, Esslingen and Aachen each charge €500 per semester, or €1,500 for the entire program (approximately $1,330). None of these amounts include living expenses or other administrative fees. The tuition may seem very low, but since the schools are state-supported, the German state in which the school is located determines fees for all schools in their districts. However, the quality of education is very high, and applicants must pass strict entrance exams. Scholarships are available for each school.
Fortunately,the language of instruction at Esslingen and Aachen is English. Zwickau and Pforzheim hold some classes in English and some in German. Applicants are subsequently tested for acceptable levels of these languages before admission.
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