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Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Students 30 000
Exchange students 3 300
IEM students 2 000
Autumn Semester October - March
Application deadline July 15th
Spring Semester April - September
Application deadline January 15th
Tuition Fee 600€ per semester
Website www.kit.edu

Study Information

In October 2009 the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, KIT for short, opened its doors. The University was renamed due to the fusion of the Institute of Research and Development of Karlsruhe and the Technical University of Karlsruhe. There is a great video available to promote the new name of the university.

In addition to this student guide the Office for International Affairs of the university provides a lot of useful information online. Check this link about Study at the KIT, too.


Exchange Students

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

In order to apply for an exchange (e.g. Erasmus) you need to fill out an electronic application form. After a short interview, the online-application will display all of the degree programs that your individual profile allows you to study at the University of Karlsruhe. You will be given detailed information about each step of the application process and about how to meet requirements that are not yet fulfilled (e.g. language requirements). The deadlines are July 15th and January 15th. Exchange students are exempt from tuition fee, if they come to Karlsruhe with an exchange programme and the University of Karlsruhe has a cooperation treaty with the university in their home country.

Degree Students

Applicants from EU Member States or with a German admission qualification can apply online on the KIT-web page. In Karlsruhe, Industrial Engineering and Management belongs to the subjects with restricted admission: There are "credit systems" which measures not only your overall school grade but also engagement within your school (like student council), participation in societies/clubs, work experience etc. The deadlines for applications are *Autumn term: July 15th *Spring term: January 15th Most of the other subjects like Engineering, Civil engineering or Electrical Engineering are admission-free subjects. For these, you can apply until September 30th for the winter semester and March 31st for the spring semester. Applicants from non-EU member states may contact the International Office. The International Office also provides information about language requirements and visa.


Audimax lecture hall

The University of Karlsruhe offers a broad range of courses. The typical ESTIEM-IEM student course is called "Business Engineering". An overview can be found here. On the homepage of the university, there is a course overview arranged in order of faculties. Note that the IEM department is situated under the Faculty of Economics (Fakultät für Wirtschaftswissenschaften), and includes subjects of economy and management. Most of the Engineering subjects are administrated by other faculties. Actually, the students don't need to sign up for the courses at the beginning of the semester. You just register for the exam at the end of the semester. For the most part the courses are given in German, but depending on the professor exams can be written in English as well. Usually the lecturers upload detailed scripts, but in case you need more information, you can find various books on almost every topic in the University Library which is open 24/7 (access with your KIT Student card) or the regional library. A more detailled overview of the courses could be found in the "Modulhandbücher". They exist for the Bachelor and the Master program (view list of module handbooks). There are versions in German and English, but the English copy isn't as detailed as the German one.

Quality of Education

Old main gate

In 2005, the University of Karlsruhe was appointed to be one of the first three excellence universities in Germany. Before, it was always emphasized that all students have the same opportunities in their studies. Then, the government decided to find a way to support and enhance cutting-edge research and high-quality teaching. By now, there are nine so called excellence univesities in Germany, which are supported with extra financial benefits by the German State. Each year about 2.500 students apply for 450 places in the 'Bachelor of Business Engineering' program note the restriction criteria.

Also, the degree program Industrial Engineering and Management reaches high ranks in national comparisons. Karlsruhe was ranked first place in the annual rankings of the magazines "Die Zeit" and "Wirtschaftswoche". The scope of lectures, mentoring and course situation were especially commended.

Generally, the degree programmes in IEM at the University of Karlsruhe put special emphasis on management subjects ("Business Engineering" instead of "Industrial Engineering & Management").

Study Practicalities

Learning German

After receiving your admission to study at the University of Karlsruhe, you apply at the Preparatory College (Studienkolleg). Then, it depends on your records and the degree programme you want to participate in, whether you have to take an entrance examination (Feststellungsprüfung, supposed to test a student's knowledge and ability to take up a study), the DSH (examination to test your command of German) or whether you are admitted to the German courses at the Preparatory College directly. After your admission to the Preparatory College, there is another test to place you in the appropriate class. Your studies at the Preparatory College start with an Opening Day. That day, you will be told which course you are to participate in, your schedule and informative meetings in the following introduction phase.


In October 2009, the University of Karlsruhe (TH) and the Research Center of Karlsruhe merged to the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The KIT now consists of three campuses: Campus South, Campus West and Campus North.

KIT library South

Campus South comprises the former University of Karlsruhe (TH) and lies close to the northern border of the inner city of Karlsruhe on the eastern side of the palace. The multi-storey building of the Faculty of Physics with fourteen levels is the highest building of the campus and can be seen over a long distance. Campus South is the most important one for students. A big advantage of Karlsruhe Campus is that all the rooms for the lessons are close to each other so you dont have to use tram.

Campus West: Among others, the Faculty of Geophysics and Biology are based at the western campus.

Mackensen: Institute of Reciprocating Engines

Campus North comprises the former Research Centre of Karlsruhe and lies twelve kilometres north of Karlsruhe in a forest. The area is about two square kilometres wide and in 2005, there were 3800 people working at the Research Centre.

Student ID card

You will receive the student ID card when you enter the Karlsruhe University. You can load money to it and use it to eat in the various cafeterias, to lend books, to print our copies of your scripts and it also allows you to enter some buildings during the weekend (computer centre, library), for example to get your copies. The card is called KIT-Card. The KIT-Card also allows you to use public transportation between 7pm and 3am for free. You need to print out a little paper to show in the tram together with the student ID, but this will be explained to you once you arrive. If you are going to be member of the ESTIEM Local Group Karlsruhe, the KIT-Card will allow you 24/7-access to our office and our beer-fridge.

Practical Information

How to get there

By plane

  • Baden-Airpark is the nearest local airport, about 40km from the city. The airport is now served by low-cost carrier Ryanair, which offers cheap flights to several European destinations. There is a cheap airport shuttle bus (Baden-Airport-Express) (leaving 8 times a day on weekdays, 3 times a day on saturdays, synchronized with the flight schedule) to Karlsruhe Main Station. One-way-tickets can be bought from the driver (9 EUR, cash only, accepted currency: Euro). Alternatively, you can take a bus to Rastatt or Baden-Baden and take a train or a tram-train to Karlsruhe. Through-ticketing is available, for current prices and schedules see (Karlsruher Verkehrsverbund (Karlsruhe Area Mass Transit Authority))
  • Frankfurt airport is Germany's biggest airport and is served by all major carriers that operate in Germany. It has a direct ICE high speed train connection to Karlsruhe (1 hour, 37 Euro).
  • Stuttgart airport From there, Karlsruhe is reachable by train in one and a half hour (about 20 Euro). Furthermore there are special offers for groups Baden-Württemberg Ticket
  • Frankfurt Hahn airport - is about 200km from the city and reachable by car and bus. The airport is served by Ryanair and other low-cost carriers. There is a airport shuttle bus (Hahn-Express) (leaving 2 times a day, 28 Euro) to Karlsruhe Main Station.

By train

The train station is located south of the city centre, with roughly 5-10 minutes by tram to the central market square, and direct tram links to other parts of the city. Karlsruhe is well linked to other larger cities by ICE high speed trains. The schedules for the inter-city connections can be found on the site of the Deutsche Bahn (German rail roads).

By bus

The bus station is located at the south entrance of the train station. You can buy tickets for international destinations inside the train station. All the bus route networks are here: bus networks

Trams in Karlsruhe

The most frequent and important means of (public) transport in Karlsruhe are the trams. There are various lines and special offers for students. The route network of trams in Karlsruhe can be seen here. An alternative to the trams is using bicycle.


Karlsruhe city centre

Karlsruhe has several student dormitories available. They are managed by the Studentenwerk Karlsruhe. You can find numerous dormitories on their web page and can also apply online. As you are an international exchange student you can get additional help from the Office for International Affairs on this issue. There are more dormitories which are managed privately, often by the church. Of course this doesn't mean that must have a specific religious denomination. See the overview over all dormitories. If you want to live in shared flat with other students you should check out the offers on wg-gesucht.de. They page is available in English and most students offer their rooms here. It is common that you physically visit and introduce yourself and then people will decide if you can move in our not. Sometimes a Skype interview with a video can also work so it is worth a try. The living situation in Karlsruhe is quite bad. You will need to be patient, but eventually everyone finds a nice place to stay. Because of high demand living in Karlsruhe is quite expensive:

  • Dormitories: 150€ - 250€ per month
  • Shared flat: 200€ - 350€ per month
  • Single flat: 300€ - 500€ per month

Important Things

Visa/residency permit

Students who are not nationals of an EU country have to apply for a student visa in their home country before coming to Germany. Before applying for the license you have to be matriculated to a German university. IMPORTANT: A student visa is needed, not a tourist visa! For applying for the visa go to the German embassy in your home.

Flat Registration

All foreigners who stay longer than 8 weeks in Germany must register at the registration office. This also applies to EU nationals. In the apartment registration you will need: *Passport *Rental agreement (if there is any yet), or address information on housing donors/landlord *completed and signed registration form

Residence permit

Immediately after arriving in Karlsruhe, you must register at the immigration office/authority for foreigners of the city of Karlsruhe (Kaiserallee 8) and apply for a residence permit for study purposes. The application for residence permit you need:

  • two biometric Photos
  • Passport
  • Matriculation certificate
  • Proof of financing
  • Completed and signed application form

Opening times

Flat Registration

  • Monday and Wednesday 08.00 - 15.00 clock
  • Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 08.00 - 12.00 clock
  • Thursday 14.00 - 17.45 clock

Residence permit

Note: Before you go to the immigration office, you must then call for an appointment Letters range phone

  • N, P, S, T, T, U, V, X 133-3388
  • A, C, E, F, H, I, Q, Z 133 -3262
  • D, J, L, M, A, R, Y 133-3263
  • B, G, K, O, B, W 133-3264

Address and contact Karlsruhe Public Services and Safety Kaiserallee 8 76124 Karlsruhe Directions Phone: 0721 1333388


The average costs for rents are listed above. Additional costs are quite the same like in the rest of Germany. You need about 10€ each day for food and cosmetics. More detailed:

  • cantine lunch ("Mensa"): 3,50€
  • transportation: 90 minutes: 2,60€ or flatrate for 112,50€ (for 6 months) >> buy a bike!
  • Large Beer: 0,70€ - 1,20€ in supermarket, 2,00€ - 3,50€ in pubs, 2,50€ - 5€ in clubs
  • club admission fee: 0 - 10€
  • clothes 10€-100€
  • student fee: 100€ per month

We do have the usual shopping stores here for clothing (H&M, C&A, Karstadt, Breuninger, Zara, s.Oliver, ...). Everything else could be bought at the supermarket, the cheapest ones are ALDI and LIDL. Mobile phone contracts are offered by T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2 and ePlus. There are several other/smaller providers like ALDI Talk, debitel, congsta, tchibo, simyo who are often cheaper for the "basic needs" like phone calls and SMS. Most of the students do have an contract including a free SMS/phoning amount or flat rate. This contracts are usually settled for 24 months so it might be easier for you to buy a prepaid card where you buy credits in advance and use them for SMS, phoning, data. There are dozens of banks in Karlsruhe/Germany and almost each offers free banking accounts for students. Also a included free credit card is quite common. In Germany you usually pay cash or with Electronic Card (EC: bank card with PIN). Credit cards are only accepted in larger stores and only a very few clubs.

Student Activities

Student Organisations

The VWI-ESTIEM Hochschulgruppe Karlsruhe e.V. (aka ESTIEM LG Karlsruhe) is one of the oldest student organisations in Karlsruhe. It was founded 1983 and has 200 listed members today. About 50 of them could be seen as active. Our LG is member of ESTIEM as well as VWI ("German" ESTIEM). Additionally we host about 10-12 events each semester term. An event is either a workshop, lecture, meet & greet, field trip or training together with a company. About 50 of the companies we cooperate with are consulting companies (which is the most favourite business sector for a lot of IEM students from Karlsruhe). Each company has to pay a fee if they want to host an event with our LG. The money is used to support our "strategy weekend" each term and some other local activities ;) Also we financially support you travelling with ESTIEM! We do have a weekly meeting (Tuesday, 19:30 @ room 103.2, building 20.14) where we discuss past and future events, report about the work which has done. Afterwards we always go to the "Oxford Café" and do mental and cultural trainings. The weekly meeting is in German but don't fear to join! There are always a lots of well known ESTIEMers!

An overview about other IEM student organisations for can be found here.


Karlsruhe has a couple of Clubs with lots of different styles of music. Most of the students go out for party on weekdays because clubs are cheaper.

During the semester (not in holidays) there are lots of student parties hosted by the university, the "Fachhochschule" (university of applied sciences) and some other colleges (e.g. for arts, music, …). Traditionally each faculty of the university hosts its own party each semester which leads to lots of parties, at least one or two each week. Also there are lots of flat parties ("WG-Party").

The most famous clubs in Karlsruhe are:

Overview about all clubs in Karlsruhe is here.


The easiest and cheapest way of doing sports is to select a course from the "Hochschulsport" (College sport program). They offer a variety of sports. Be careful, you have to register instantly after the application is open otherwise you won't get a place. During summer our local group also has a weekly volley ball and soccer meeting. If you like doing cycling, join the Radsport_KA group. They do a 3h ride every Sunday, wintertime and about 3 rides a week during summertime.


Things that do not fit under any place. Try to put as little as possible here.


Study information

If you need help about your study/courses the "Fachschaft" (Student Association which only exists to help other students of their faculty) is best contact person. Have a look at their study consulting page. You also could write an email to Mr. Hilser from the Prüfungssekreteriat which is kind of more official.

Another possibility is to send an email to our studium.karlsruhe@estiem.org mailing list. There you can ask anything about your studies, courses or learning material.

Practical Information

You need help? Just ask anyone from Local Group Karlsruhe or write an email to the local board (vorstand.karlsruhe@estiem.org).


If there are errors, broken links, or missing information in this article, please send a mail to studentguide@estiem.org. We appreciate your help.