University of Michigan - Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute - China


In addition to the partnership with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering has an additional agreement concerning student exchange with the University of Michigan – Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute in China. Up to five students at the Bachelor’s or Master’s levels per year can participate in the exchange program.


The UM-SJTU Joint Institute, JI for short, was established in 2006 as a result of the collaboration between Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the University of Michigan. The JI has a very international student body, and all courses are held in English. The curriculum is very similar to that at the University of Michigan.

UM-SJTU Joint Institute


Frequently Asked Questions

What courses can I take at JI?

All visiting students can take courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels; however, there might be courses that are access-restricted or have a limited number of participants, such as lab courses. For an overview of currently available courses, please visit Present Course Offerings.

What benefits do exchange students gain from the partnership?

Tuition fees are waived for xchange students. In addition, you can apply for a scholarship program such as PROMOS.

On-campus housing is guaranteed for exchange students, but you have to pay rental fees. 

What are the application requirements?

  • 3rd or higher (Bachelor's) semester of study during the application period 
  • good academic performance
  • Proof of proficiency in English
    • University entrance qualification: English on Level B2 (CEFR) should be explicitly listed on your transcript of records (Abitur/A-levels or equivalent). Seven successfully completed years of English language instruction will do as well.  Alternatively, you can gain the following certificates:
    • Language test offered by the RWTH Langugae Center (level B2 in all components) OR:
    • IELTS, Cambridge Certificate, TOEFL

What application documents do I have to submit to Faculty's Study Abroad Office?

Your motivational letter and your study plan (min. 30 CP) should be entered in the respective fields on the online application platform.  

In addition, please upload the following documents in PDF format:

  • CV in German
  • Transcript of grades in English (in RWTHonline or issued by the Central Examination Office )
  • Proof of English langugae proficiency:
    • English at least on level B2 (CEFR). The following documents may provide proof of your English proficiency:
      • University entrance qualification: English on Level B2 (CEFR) should be explicitly listed on your transcript of records (Abitur/A-levels or equivalent). Seven successfully completed years of English language instruction will do as well.
      • Aachen Foreign Language Certificate
      • Assessment form the RWTH Aachen Language Center
      • Langugae certificate for a stay abroad from the RWTH Aachen Language Center
      • Language Certificate such as TOEFL, DELE, CAMBRIDGE, or equivalent
      • other proof of proficiency – please consult with the Faculty's study abroad advisors
    • Basic Chinese skills are recommended but not required

What criteria of assessment does the Faculty apply?

The most important part of your application is your motivation letter. You should explain how the study abroad semester can be integrated into your syllabus. Why do you want to study at JI? What courses do you plan to take? How do you want these courses to be recognized at RWTH upon your return? You should demonstrate that you have thought about how to integrate the assessments taken and qualifications gained into your curriculum at RWTH Aachen.

In addition, you can describe more personal reasons for you motivation to go to JI – are you enthusiastic about the host country? Or the city where the host university is located? Any other motivations that drive you to go abroad can be mentioned as well – does the host institution offer an interesting sports club or student association? Please also name any extracurricular activities you engage in – this is a definitive plus!

How does the application process work?

First, you should gather information on the host university and its course offerings via the institution’s website. You can then apply by

  • January 31th if you want to go abroad in the fall (1-2 semesters) or in the spring of the next year (1 semester)
  • April 15th if you want to go abroad in the spring of the next year (1 semester, only if there any spots left)

The semester periods at JI are a slightly different from those at RWTH. For this reason, please plan your exams accordingly, especially in the last semester before your departure. Our Mentoring Team is happy to assist you with organizational matters.

  • Fall Term: Mid-September – Mid-December
  • Spring Term: End of February – End of April
  • Summer Term: Mid-May – Mid-August

If you want to spend an entire year at JI, you have the chance to participate in classes of the spring term. However, you are not obligated to do so. Only participation in the fall and summer term is mandatory.

Please note that you must be present at JI at the beginning of the semester.

Please upload your application documents in PDF format using our Application Platform. Applications that are incomplete will not be taken into account.

Your application documents are assessed by members of staff of the Faculty’s Study Abroad Office. Subsequently the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering will notify you whether you will be nominated for the exchange program by the end of March. Subsequently, your application will be passed on to JI, and you have to register with the partner university.

If you have any questions on the above formal matters, the Faculty’s Study Abroad Office will be happy to assist you. If your application is approved and you are nominated for the exchange program, we will get back to you and tell you about the next steps.




For further information, please get in touch with our advisors at the Study Abroad Office of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.