Practical Research Experience Program (TUM PREP)

In the framework of the Practical Research Experience Program (TUM PREP), TUM invites each summer excellent students from select North American universities to spend an at least 10-week long research stay at TUM. Participating students gain valuable insights into the research work at Germany’s top-ranked technical university and enhance their technical and methodological qualifications.

Together with TUM scientists, TUM PREP students work in small research teams at different TUM chairs on a previously defined research project. Through individual support, buddies and a variety of TUM PREP events, the participants will be well integrated at TUM as well as in Munich and surroundings in a short time. The language of the TUM PREP program is English, and German language skills are not required for the participation.

TUM PREP Relaunch in 2022

Due to the uncertainty concerning the current worldwide situation, we have decided to suspend the summer research projects in the framework of TUM PREP in 2021.

However, we will be back with the relaunch of a fresh, even more exciting TUM PREP 2022. Applications will presumably be possible as of October 2021.

Thank you for your understanding and we are already looking forward to welcoming you to TUM in summer 2022!

Program dates TUM PREP

Application period October – end of November
Kick-off event End of May
Orientation week End of May – beginnings of June
Research projects (minimum duration) June – mid-August*
Closing event Mid-August

* In most cases, an extension of the project duration (earlier project start, later project end) is possible in consultation with the TUM PREP supervisor.

Eligible universities / institutions

TUM PREP applicants must be enrolled at one of the following institutions at the time of their application and during their participation in TUM PREP:


  • McGill University
  • McMaster University
  • Université de Montréal
  • University of Alberta
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Toronto


  • Brown University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Duke University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Harvard University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Michigan State University
  • New York University
  • Northwestern University
  • Princeton University
  • Purdue University
  • Rutgers. The State University of New Jersey 
  • Stanford University
  • UC Berkeley
  • UC Davis 
  • UC Irvine
  • UC Los Angeles
  • UC San Diego
  • UC San Francisco
  • UC Santa Barbara
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
  • University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
  • University of Maryland at College Park
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Texas at Austin 
  • University of Washington 
  • University of Wisconsin Madison
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Yale University

Participation requirements

  • Enrolled at one of the eligible TUM PREP partner universities / institutions (see above) at the time of application and during participation in TUM PREP
  • Bachelor or master students (at least 2 years of undergraduate studies completed when starting with the TUM PREP project)*
  • GPA minimum: 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Compliance with required project-specific skills

Program participants are expected to get informed independently on which TUM Campus the TUM Department of their research project is located.

Program participants should further get informed about recognition and credit transfer regulations at their home institutions, if they need academic credits for their research stay.

* PhD students are not eligible for TUM PREP. For support with regards to an organization of a research stay at TUM, please contact our TUM Graduate School.

Services provided by TUM

TUM  Global & Alumni Office will provide the following services to program participants:

  • Scholarship: Students not otherwise supported during the time of their participation in TUM PREP will receive a scholarship (1,000.00 €, paid in two installments during their stay at TUM).
  • Accommodation: TUM  Global & Alumni Office will support students in the organization of their accommodation (mostly reservation of dorm rooms).
  • Certificate: TUM PREP participants will obtain a certificate with a written evaluation of their research work from their project supervisors.
  • Credits (ECTS): TUM PREP participants may obtain ECTS credits, if needed. The rule is: 1 ECTS Credit ≙ 30 hours of student workload.
  • Individual Support: The TUM PREP Program Manager of the Global & Alumni Office will act as single point of contact for program participants.
  • TUM PREP Buddies: Additionally, TUM PREP participants will be supported by student buddies.
  • Kick-off Event: A special information and networking event for all program stakeholders will facilitate the start of the project phase.
  • Orientation Week: During the first program week, various events and activities will be offered for the TUM PREP students: Munich city tour, German taster course, intercultural training, industry visits, networking events etc.
  • Framework Program: TUM PREP offers a special framework program with activities and events designed for TUM PREP students only. Moreover, program participants can join the activities organized by TUMi, TUM's orientation and support program for international students.
  • Closing Event: This event including research poster sessions, will be a well-rounded conclusion of the participants' time at TUM.


There are no fees for TUM PREP itself. Although individual figures may vary with regard to personal spending habits, TUM PREP participants should anticipate approximately the following total expenses for their three-month-stay in Munich:

General Expenses (totals for the entire stay)

Accommodation (partly to be paid before arrival) up to 1,800 €
Living expenses up to 1,500 €
German health insurance ca. 530 €

All students must obtain health coverage in Germany. In individual cases, an existing international health insurance may be accepted, if it has no upper limits for payments in the event of damage. In addition, it is highly recommended that students have sufficient liability insurance coverage.

One-time expenses (*to be paid before arrival)

Enrollment Fee ca. 145 €*
Semester ticket for public transportation (recommended) ca. 201 €
Dorm Room Security Deposit (will be refunded) ca. 500 €*
Travel Expenses (flight there and back) ca. 600 - 1,000 €*
Visa Fees (if applicable) ca. 60 - 100 €*

US and Canadian citizens do not need a visa, if their stay in Germany does not exceed 90 days. See country overview for visa requirement on entry to Germany. Please do not travel with a tourist visa to Germany, as it cannot be transferred for study purposes.

Application and admission

Application procedure

Students should only apply online via the application form and the online submission of the required application documents in PDF format (see below). Students applying for a specific project can name another one as their second choice in the online portal. Find over 90 interesting projects available for TUM PREP 2020 in our TUM PREP Project Database. Please take a look at this guideline in case you should have any questions regarding its usage.

Special provision

Institutions pre-selecting and nominating students are:

  • The University of Alberta (Contact:, Brendan Cavanagh, Internship Programs Coordinator (Outbound), Education Abroad)
  • The University of British Columbia (Contact:, Laurinda Tracey, Advisor Research Abroad at the Go Global Office)
  • The University of Toronto (Contact:, Elina Tulla, Learning Abroad Advisor for Summer Experiences at the Center for International Experience)

Application deadline

Presumably end of November 2021 (tbd) for research stays in summer 2022.

Selection of projects and placement of applicants

Applications will be assessed in close cooperation with project supervisors. We always attempt to place TUM PREP applicants according to their priorities.

Admission letters

The selection of the TUM PREP applicants will be completed by the different TUM university chairs between mid-December and end of January. During this period, applicants and partner institutions will be informed about the outcome of their applications.

When accepting a TUM PREP participation, please check carefully, if you will be able to finance your stay. In case of a late cancellation, your TUM PREP spot cannot be given to another student.

Application documents

The following documents should be handed in online and in PDF format together with the application form (= online registration):

  • Letter of Motivation* (at least 1 letter each for project priorities 1 and 2)
  • Resume
  • Transcript of Records*
  • Letter of Recommendation*

Late or incomplete applications cannot be considered.

*Templates and further information can be found under Downloads.

TUM PREP – Impressions

Students and Scientists

TUM PREP participants on tour