TU Dresden
Technische Universität Dresden
Logo TU Dresden.svg
Wissen schafft Brücken (German)
Motto in English
Knowledge builds bridges
Established1828; 194 years ago (1828)
Academic affiliations
German Universities Excellence Initiative
Budget€ 577.8 million (2017)[1]: 87 
PresidentUrsula Staudinger
Academic staff
5,751[1]: 85 
Administrative staff
2,470[1]: 85 
Location, ,
51°1′41″N 13°43′36″E / 51.02806°N 13.72667°E / 51.02806; 13.72667Coordinates: 51°1′41″N 13°43′36″E / 51.02806°N 13.72667°E / 51.02806; 13.72667

TU Dresden (for German: Technische Universität Dresden, abbreviated as TUD and often wrongly[3] translated as "Dresden University of Technology") 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 32,389 students as of 2018.[4]

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 that cover the entire curriculum. The university is a member of TU9, a consortium of the nine leading German Institutes of Technology. The university is one of 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, Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden).

TH Dresden 1905
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).

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.


SLUB — Saxon State Library - Regional and University Library Dresden
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 buildings 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.


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 that 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 five 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.
Building of the Faculty of Computer Science.

Humanities and Social Sciences


Research Centers


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.

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" (now Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) [de]), as well as a new graduate school, the "Dresden International Graduate School for Biomedicine and Bioengineering" with about 300 PhD students.

The CRTD together with the Biotechnology Center (BIOTEC) and the Center for Molecular Bioengineering (B CUBE) are part of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering (CMCB) as central scientific unit of the TU Dresden.[6] The Biotechnology Center (BIOTEC) is a unique interdisciplinary center focusing on research and teaching in molecular bioengineering. It hosts top international research groups dedicated to genomics, proteomics, biophysics, cellular machines, tissue engineering, and bioinformatics. The research at the CRTD and BIOTEC is complemented by that of the B CUBE which aims to learn from nature and translate the new knowledge into technological applications.[7]

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.


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

Business and Economics

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.

Other research areas

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.

Neuromorphic computing facility

TU Dresden received a grant of eight million euro from the EU's Human Brain Project to build the second generation spinnaker computer called spincloud.[8]


University rankings
Global – Overall
ARWU World[9]201-300 (2020)
QS World[10]200 (2023)
THE World[11]172 (2022)

Measured by the number of DAX board members, no top manager in the German economy was a graduate of the TU Dresden in 2019.[12]

According to the QS Engineering and Technology Ranking the university ranked 113th worldwide and 5th in Germany.[13] According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings the university ranked 157th worldwide and in engineering & technology the university ranked 90th worldwide.[14] Moreover, According to Reuters, the university was ranked 79th in the list of 'Most Innovative Universities Ranking 2019'.[15]

The Eduniversal Business Schools ranking ranks the university's Faculty of Business and Economics with 3 out of 5 palmes of excellence.[16] According to the university ranking 2016 of the German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche the university ranked 7th in Germany in computer science and mechanical engineering and 6th in Germany in business informatics and engineering management.[17] The university did not take first place in any of the ranked subjects: Business Administration, Business informatics, Engineering management, Natural Sciences, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Economics.[18]

The main auditorium
The main auditorium

International cooperations

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.

Student life


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. At 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.[citation needed]

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 is currently developing new strategies to make itself more independent from state funding and decision making. 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). It has one of the highest shares of income by industry partnerships.[19]

Points of interest

Notable people

Honorary doctors

Honorary senators




  1. ^ a b c "Statistischer Jahresbericht 2017" (PDF). Technische Universität Dresden (in German). Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Facts and figures of TU Dresden". TU Dresden. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  3. ^ see circular ("Rundschreiben") "Einheitliches Erscheinungsbild im internationalen Außenauftritt der TU Dresden" (RS D1/5/05) which changed the official english name. See also https://tu-dresden.de/tu-dresden/profil/exzellenz/exzellenzinitiative-2012-2019/zukunftskonzept-1/internationalisierung/ressourcen/dateien/sprint/karteikarten/SprInt-Karteikarte-Bezeichnungen-TUD.pdf?lang=en - see also https://tu-dresden.de/forschung-transfer/forschungsinformationen/publikationsrichtlinien?set_language=en
  4. ^ "Facts and figures of TU Dresden". TU Dresden. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Page not publicly available". TU Dresden. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Central Units of TU Dresden". Central Units. TU Dresden. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  7. ^ "Research groups". Center for Molecular Bioengineering. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  8. ^ "Second Generation SpiNNaker Neuromorphic Supercomputer to be Built at TU Dresden - News". www.humanbrainproject.eu. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  9. ^ "ARWU World University Rankings 2018 - Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018 - Top 500 universities - Shanghai Ranking - 2018". www.shanghairanking.com.
  10. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2018". topuniversities.com. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  11. ^ "THE World University Rankings".
  12. ^ "An diesen Unis haben die DAX-Vorstände studiert | charly.education". www.charly.education (in German). Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  13. ^ "Engineering and Technology". Top Universities. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  14. ^ "TU Dresden". Times Higher Education (THE). 9 September 2019. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  15. ^ "REUTERS TOP 100 The World's Most Innovative Universities 2019". Reuters. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  16. ^ "University and business school ranking in Germany". www.eduniversal-ranking.com. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  17. ^ "Hochschulranking 2016: Das sind Deutschlands beste Unis". www.wiwo.de (in German). Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  18. ^ "Hochschulranking 2016: Das sind Deutschlands beste Unis". www.wiwo.de. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  19. ^ "TU Dresden". Times Higher Education (THE). Retrieved 5 April 2018.