PREP participant Andrea Blankenship
Photo: Ulrich Benz / TUM
PREP participant Ronald Ballouz
Photo: Ulrich Benz / TUM
PREP participant Catherine Lim
Photo: Ulrich Benz / TUM
PREP participant Shuyan Zhang
Photo: Ulrich Benz / TUM
PREP participant Sarah Barreto Ornellas
Photo: Ulrich Benz / TUM

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, 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 PREP events, the participants will be well integrated at TUM and in Munich in a short time. The language of the PREP program is English, and German language skills are not required for the participation.

Program dates TUM PREP 2019

Application periodOctober 8 – November 30, 2018 (3 pm, CET)
Kick-off eventMay 28, 2019
Orientation weekMay 29 – June 3, 2019
Research projects (minimum duration)
June 4 – August 13, 2019*
Closing eventAugust 13, 2019

*In most cases, an extension of the period of the project is possible in consultation with the TUM PREP supervisor.

The projects for TUM PREP are offered by various university chairs and are therefore diverse. For example: Towards Full Genome Phylogeny, Molecular Magnetic Resonance Imaging or Mental Well-Being of Athletes. Get an overview of the current project offers here

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

Academic prerequisites

  • 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

Applicants are expected to get informed about recognition and credit transfer regulations at their home institutions, if they need academic credits for their research stay.

Services provided by TUM

TUM International Center 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 (1,200.00 €, paid in two installments during their stay in Munich).
  • Accommodation: TUM will reserve dorm rooms for all program participants.
  • Individual Support: The TUM PREP Program Manager will act as single point of contact for program participants. Additionally, TUM PREP participants will be supported by student buddies.
  • Certificates: TUM PREP participants will obtain a certificate of participation as well as a written evaluation of their research work from their supervisors.
  • 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: With research poster sessions and the issue of certificates, this event 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 (3 months)ca. 270 €

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 Feeca. 130 €*
Semester ticket for public transportation (recommended) ca. 200 €
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.

Special Provision

Institutions pre-selecting and nominating students are:

  • The University of Alberta (Contact: Ciara Murrin, International Internship Coordinator)

Application Deadline

November 30, 2018 (3 pm, CET)

Selection of Projects and Placement of PREP 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.

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*
  • Confirmation of Insurance* (meaning students will take care of the necessary insurance coverage)

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 at the kick-off event
Photo: Benz / TUM
TUM PREP participants at the kick-off event
Photo: Benz / TUM
TUM PREP participants at the kick-off event
Photo: Benz / TUM
PREP participants with Dr. Hannemor Keidel, Interim Senior Vice President International Alliances and Alumni
Photo: Benz / TUM
PREP student preparing a test liquid for freeze-drying
Photo: Benz / TUM
PREP student helps test person with an oxygen mask in preparation for a test on muscle function and neuromechanics
Photo: Benz / TUM
PREP participant Andrea Blankenship and her tutor
Photo: Benz / TUM
PREP student analyzing cells regarding the determination of the amount of phosphorus in lipid membranes
Photo: Benz / TUM
PREP student examining control and learning mechanisms by applying a robotic manipulandum to a test person
Photo: Benz / TUM
Discussing a research poster on a new aerobic performance test
Photo: Benz / TUM
Two PREP students absorbed in the details of a research poster
Photo: Benz / TUM
PREP student discussing her research with her supervisor and Dr. Hannemor Keidel
Photo: Benz / TUM
Laughing together with supervisors at the closing event
Photo: Benz / TUM
PREP participants at the closing event
Photo: Benz / TUM
PREP participants with Dr. Hannemor Keidel at the closing event
Photo: Benz / TUM
Happy PREP students with their certificates
Photo: Benz / TUM

TUM PREP participants on tour

Pub meeting of PREP participants
Photo: Filart / TUM
PREP participants travel to Berlin
Photo: Ambi / TUM
PREP participants travel to Salzburg
Photo: McPhee / TUM
PREP participants in TUM MakerSpace of UnternehmerTUM
Photo: McPhee / TUM
PREP participants from Canada in the Bavarian Alps
Photo: McPhee / TUM
PREP excursion to the mountains
Photo: Filart / TUM
PREP student from UC Berkeley in Rome
Photo: Komara / TUM
PREP students from UC Berkeley and University of British Columbia in front of Munich city hall
Photo: Filart / TUM
PREP student from UC Berkeley in front of the Allianz Arena, Munich
Photo: Komara / TUM
Excursion of the PREP group
Photo: Filart / TUM
PREP student from University of Alberta in Berlin
Photo: McPhee / TUM
PREP student from University of Alberta in the Bavarian foothills of the Alps
Photo: McPhee / TUM
PREP students from University of Alberta and UC Berkeley in Berlin
Photo: Komara / TUM
PREP student from University of Alberta in Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Photo: McPhee / TUM
PREP student from Georgia Tech after successful half-marathon in Füssen
Photo: Guan / TUM
PREP student from University of Alberta in the Bavarian foothills of the Alps
Photo: McPhee / TUM