TU Dresden

TU Dresden
Motto Wissen schafft Brücken. (German)
Motto in English
Knowledge builds bridges
Type Public university
Established 1828
President Hans Müller-Steinhagen
Administrative staff
7,094 as of 2012 w/o medicines
Students 37,134 (As of 2013)
Location Dresden, Germany
Campus urban
Affiliations German Universities Excellence Initiative
Website tu-dresden.de
Georg-Schumann-Building of the Dresden University of Technology

The TU Dresden (usually mistakenly translated[1] from German as Dresden University of Technology and abbreviated TUD) is a public research university, the largest institute of higher education in the city of Dresden, the largest university in Saxony and one of the 10 largest universities in Germany with 37,134 students as of 2013.[2] The name Technische Universität Dresden has only been used since 1961; the history of the university, however, goes back nearly 200 years to 1828. This makes it one of the oldest colleges of technology in Germany, and one of the country’s oldest universities, which in German today refers to institutes of higher education which cover the entire curriculum. The university is member of TU9, a consortium of the nine leading German Institutes of Technology. The university is one of the eleven German universities which succeeded in the Excellence Initiative in 2012, thus getting the title of a "University of Excellence". The TU Dresden succeeded in all three rounds of the German Universities Excellence Initiative (Future Concept, Graduate Schools, Clusters of Excellence).


In 1828, with emerging industrialization, the "Saxon Technical School" was founded to educate skilled workers in technological subjects such as mechanics, mechanical engineering and ship construction. In 1871, the year the German Empire was founded, the institute was renamed the Royal Saxon Polytechnic Institute (Königlich-Sächsisches Polytechnikum). At that time, subjects not connected with technology, such as history and languages, were introduced. By the end of the 19th century the institute had developed into a university covering all disciplines. In 1961 it was given its present name, the Dresden University of Technology (Technische Universität Dresden).

TH Dresden 1905

Upon German reunification in 1990, the university had already integrated the College of Forestry (Forstliche Hochschule), formerly the Royal Saxony Academy of Forestry, in the nearby small town of Tharandt. This was followed by the integration of the Dresden College of Engineering (Ingenieurshochschule Dresden), the Friedrich List College of Transport (Hochschule für Verkehrswesen) the faculty of transport science, and the “Carl-Gustav Carus” Medical Academy (Medizinische Akademie or MedAk for short), the medical faculty. Some faculties were newly founded: the faculties of Information Technology (1991), Law (1991), Education (1993) and Economics (1993).


TU Dresden has 14 faculties. Almost all faculties are located on the main campus South of the city center, except for the Faculty of Medicine which has its own campus near the Elbe river East of the city center and the Department of Forestry in Tharandt.


With 4,390 students the Faculty of Mathematics and the Natural Sciences is the second-largest faculty at the university. It is composed of 5 departments, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology. The departments are all located on the main campus. In 2006, a new research building for the biology department opened. In October 2006 the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft decided to fund a new graduate school, the Dresden International Graduate School for Biomedicine and Bioengineering and a so-called cluster of excellence From Cells to Tissues to Therapies.


Building of the Faculty of Computer Science.

Humanities and Social Sciences


Research Centers


With regard to its ability to generate research money from industry partners, the TU Dresden belongs to the most successful in Germany. In 2004 3,564 projects were financed with 104.1 million Euro from outside sources (other than state funds). The TU Dresden benefits from the strong research tradition in microelectronics and transport sciences in the Dresden area, but also from the establishment of new research fields such as Biotechnology.

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft supports the university in many areas and TU Dresden cooperates closely with renowned research institutes such as Fraunhofer Society, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Scientific Community and Max Planck Society.

Biotechnology and Medical Technology

The university has established a strong partnership with the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in molecular bioengineering. As part of the German Universities Excellence Initiative, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft has decided to fund the Cluster of Excellence "From Cells to Tissues to Therapies: Engineering the Cellular Basis of Regeneration" (DFG-Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden), as well as a new graduate school, the "Dresden International Graduate School for Biomedicine and Bioengineering" with about 300 PhD students.

Magnetism and Material Sciences

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft funds research in the area of electromagnetic flow influence in metallurgy, artificial crystal formation and electrochemistry. Other research is done on the Meissner effect and artificial fibers (textile).

Micro and Nanotechnology

Silicon Saxony is the biggest cluster of the microelectronics industries in Europe. TU Dresden is incorporated in this network with three departments of the Faculties of Electrical Engineering and Sciences. Together with the Fraunhofer Center for Nano-electronic technologies (CNT) it represents one of the leading universities in the field of nanotechnology. There is also a research cooperation with some semiconductor fields of TU Freiberg. In May 2012 the Helmholtz-Kolleg NANONET was founded.

Other research areas

The university has a partnership with the Fraunhofer-Institut for Transport and Infrastructure systems to research on IT-systems for public transport in Dresden.

In partnership with TU Dresden, the Ifo Institute of Economic Research (Ifo Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung e.V.) is researching the economic development in Eastern Germany.

The university belongs to a consortium of European Universities offering the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral Programme IT4BI-DC for Business Intelligence.


The main auditorium

The university offers a comprehensive spectrum of courses and research. It has a high reputation in technical fields such as electrical engineering, computer science, photo optics, engine construction and traffic logistics.

The university is considered highly underfunded. Until 2020 more than 1,000 jobs are to be cut at Saxon universities, including Dresden University of Technology.[4] As of 2012 there is an annual funding gap of about 50 million Euros.[5] Since March 2012, every single new or extended employment contract needs to be personally approved by the Minister-President of Saxony.[6] The Minister-President of Saxony promised to end this situation in case the university achieves what media often call an elite status in the German excellence initiative. The university officially achieved the status on June 15, 2012.

The Center of Biotechnology ("BIOTEC") is a unique interdisciplinary center focusing on research and teaching in molecular bioengineering. The BIOTEC hosts top international research groups dedicated to genomics, proteomics, biophysics, cellular machines, tissue engineering, and bioinformatics.

The university is currently developing new strategies to make itself more independent from state funding and decision making. As one of the first universities in Germany it has opened a branch in Hanoi, Vietnam offering a Master's course in mechatronics. It also maintains close partnerships with leading universities around the world, e.g. Boston University, Georgetown University, Harvard Medical School, Tongji University and POSTECH.

In 2009 TU Dresden, all Dresden institutes of the Fraunhofer Society, the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Scientific Community and the Max Planck Society and Forschungszentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, soon incorporated into the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, published a joint letter of intent with the name DRESDEN-Konzept - Dresden Research and Education Synergies for the Development of Excellence and Novelty, which points out worldwide elite aspirations, which was recognized as the first time that all four big post-gradual elite institutions declared campus co-operation with a university. These German semi-public institutes hire their team leaders globally and settle freely within Germany and the city of Dresden has appealed to an unmatched absolute number of them. Building on that circle the university and non-university institutions formed Dresden Concept to strengthen international awareness and the position in applications for the German excellence initiative. A significant decision about success or failure of this strategy concept was expected for June 15, 2012. The characteristic focus on the technical and nature-science subjects of almost all quality-endeavours displeased especially students from other subjects who have to suffer most from reorganization, cancellation and shortage of qualified staffmembers.


SLUB — Saxon State Library - Regional and University Library Dresden

TU Dresden is a campus university in most aspects. Some of its buildings are more than a hundred years old (such as the buildings around Muenchner Platz square). The architecture of these buildings is mostly influenced by the art nouveau style or the Bauhaus school (e.g. the Chemistry building Fritz-Foerster-Bau). In recent years these historic building have been complemented by modern buildings (e.g. the library, the main auditorium, the biochemistry department or the life sciences building).

The main campus, as well as the medical faculty and that of Computer Science, are all within the boundaries of the city of Dresden. The main campus is located South of the city center, mostly in the area bordered by Nöthnitzer Straße, Fritz-Förster-Platz and Münchner Platz; the medical faculty can be found in the Johannstadt district. The faculty of forestry, formerly the Royal Saxon Academy of Forestry, resides in a forest area in the nearby town of Tharandt.

Points of interest



Of the roughly 35,000 students, 45% are studying Engineering Sciences, 36.2% Humanities and Social Sciences, 12.5% Natural Sciences and Mathematics and 6.3% Medicine.

About 59% (20,620) of the student body originates from Saxony, 18.9% (6,626) from other Eastern German federal states, 12.3% (4,306) from the Western German federal states and 9.8% (3,442) from other countries.

Of the 20,620 students from Saxony, 12,351 (59.9%) are from Dresden, 2,934 (14,2%) from the Dresden metro area and 5,335 (25.9%) from other parts of Saxony.

The origin of the students is based on the location where the A-level exams have been completed.

International students

There are 3,442 international students enrolled at the TU Dresden (2005/2006). Most of the foreign students come from Europe (1,527), followed by Asia (1,404) and America (170). Ranked by countries the largest group of students comes from China (710), followed by Poland (294), Vietnam (196), Bulgaria (160) and Russia (154). The university is also quite popular among Central and East European countries such as the neighboring Czech Republic or Ukraine. Also, through the Erasmus programme and partnerships with universities in the USA, there are many English, French and Spanish speaking students. The language spoken during lessons is nearly always German on most faculties. To prepare for admissions to the university, many foreign students attend German language courses at the University affiliated language school TUDIAS-Sprachschule.

International students interested in TU Dresden should visit the websites of the "Akademisches Auslandsamt" (International office) for more information. This office is responsible for handling international applications. In the end of 2011 13.7% of beginning students came from abroad.

A number of activities for international students facilitates their integration and help students to find new friends. Most notably the Erasmus-Initiative TU Dresden offers many group activities throughout the semester which are open to all students (not only to Erasmus participants). A student run program, the LinkPartnerProgramm matches every interested international student with a German student, to help him or her with questions arising during the first weeks, be it regarding course registration or any other issue students might have.

Leisure activities

Sports are very popular among the TUD students. There are eight big students' clubs and the summer campus party is considered to be the biggest in Germany. There are cafeterias as at most universities and the largest refectory can compete with some restaurants even as far as menu size.

Performing Arts Ensembles

Among the many groups at the TU Dresden are four major ensembles. These four include the theater group "Die Bühne" which has a small ensemble directed by professionals, and the folk dance group "Folkloretanzensemble Thea-Maass" which is dedicated to reviving regional styles of dance. The last two groups are the largest by far and these are the University Choir and the University Orchestra, both having student and non-student members of all ages. In 1997 a part of the University Orchestra branched off into a chamber ensemble, becoming the "TU-Kammerphilharmonie", and since it consists almost exclusively of students the ensemble rehearses and performs only during the academic year. Each of these major ensembles performs an average of one to four times per semester. These performances often take place in Saxony but also occasionally internationally.

The university in numbers

"Facts & Figures on TU Dresden". Facts & Figures on TU Dresden for 2005/2006. Retrieved February 2006.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

People associated with TU Dresden

Honorary Doctors (Selection)

Honorary Presidents (Selection)



See also

Notes and references

  1. There is no official translation of the university's name. By circular decree RS D1/05/05 “Technische Universität Dresden” is a proper name and registered trademark and to be used as such. It may be referred to as “TU Dresden” in English. While university of technology is commonly used in English, technical university would be the most fitting translation emphasising the difference between technique and technology in German. However, the term technical can be misleading (essential versus not proper versus of technology).
  2. Facts and figures of TUD
  3. English Homepage of the School of International Studies
  4. Schnitt nach vorn. In: Die Zeit, Nr. 44, 27. Oktober 2011.
  5. Halb gedroht. In: Die Zeit, 2. Februar 2012.
  6. Staatsregierung schränkt Personalpolitik an Sachsens Hochschulen ein – Grüne sprechen von „Skandal". In: Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten (online edition), 9. März 2012.
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Coordinates: 51°1′41″N 13°43′36″E / 51.02806°N 13.72667°E / 51.02806; 13.72667

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