When you study mechanical engineering in Darmstadt, you first complete a very general bachelor's degree. You can only specialize in a Master's degree. This has both advantages and disadvantages. In the Bachelor we have almost only compulsory subjects and only a small range of electives in the 5th and 6th semesters. There you can attend lectures such as Flight Propulsion 1, Laser in Manufacturing, Automotive Engineering or Mechanical Process Engineering. The first 4 semesters of basic studies are similar in most directions of mechanical engineering anyway. Technical mechanics, mathematics, physics, materials science, thermodynamics and technical fluid mechanics should be able to every engineer. A special feature of the mechanical engineering course at the TU Darmstadt is that you are guaranteed a master's place once you have completed your bachelor's degree here. With a Bachelor's degree from TU Darmstadt you can also easily get a Master's place at the other TU9 universities – for example RWTH Aachen, KIT, TU Munich or the universities in Stuttgart and Dresden.
In the Master's program, you can then choose more freely and set your study focus. In general, you can deepen everything you have learned in your Bachelor's degree. These include fluid mechanics, aerospace engineering, automotive engineering, production engineering, mechatronics, adaptronics, lightweight construction and framing plastics, metrology, ergonomics, machine acoustics, process engineering, thermodynamics, machining technology and much more.
For example, we have several specialist areas dealing with aerospace topics such as the FSR (http://www.fsr.tu-darmstadt.de/), the SLA (http://www.sla.tu-darmstadt.de) and the GLR (http://www.glr.tu-darmstadt.de). Since the ESA (European Space Agency) is based in Darmstadt, we have some lectures that are held in cooperation with the ESA. Furthermore, our Department of Mechanical Engineering cooperates with DLR and Jeppeson. The focus on production technology has for example been put on PTW (http://www.ptw.tu-darmstadt.de) or PMD (http://www.pmd.tu-darmstadt.de). The process learning factory CiP (http://www.prozesslernfabrik.tu-darmstadt.de) has been in existence for a few years to provide more practical orientation in this area.
Of course, we also have specialist areas that deal with other topics. You can find a complete list here: http://www.maschinenbau.tu-darmstadt.de/fachbereich/fachgebiete/index.de.jsp
Whether you would like to study mechanical engineering here is up to you. I spontaneously decided to study at the TU Darmstadt at that time, mainly because of the good results in the time ranking. Originally I wanted to study shipbuilding, but wasn't 100% sure if it was the right thing for me. I have not regretted my decision. Mechanical engineering is extremely multifaceted and offers many more specialist areas than I could have imagined at school. The general bachelor's degree gives you the opportunity to only make a decision once you have really seen or at least heard about all the areas. For me this was definitely a win-win situation, as I am now doing my master's degree in adaptronics/mechatronics and have completely abandoned shipbuilding. In Darmstadt, for example, the Frauenhofer Institute is also active in this field, which means that we also have very competent professors in this field.
As a student council member, I also talked a lot with people from other mechanical engineering universities at the last Germany-wide student council conference and was able to find out that we have a difficult, but renowned and well-organised mechanical engineering department at the TU Darmstadt. Especially in the student support we are very far ahead, also concerning the integration of the English language into our teaching (in the form of English summaries at the beginning of the lecture and co). As one of the few universities, we also have a civil clause that explicitly forbids research into weapons technology etc. at the university. We even have something similar to an “Ethics” lecture called “Engineers in Society” which introduces us to social responsibility as engineers. Even though I didn't know this before my studies, this fact confirmed me in my choice, but this is probably also a matter of taste.
If you would like to inform yourself about the course of studies in general, please come by. It is usually someone in the Learning Center Mechanical Engineering (and Architecture) L301-99 or in the Student Council Room 72 itself. You can also simply sit down in a bachelor's lecture and take a look at what we do. The material and the lectures are not without it. There is also help with the decision from our study office (Mechcenter). There are regular information events where you can register and get a guided tour of a subject. I recently organised a guided tour at the FSR, where you were allowed to fly in a flight simulator once. At the end of June there is also a taster day for schoolgirls organized by the university in general, which should also be very informative. In addition there is the TU-Day every year.
You can find general information about our orientation offers in mechanical engineering here: Orientation offers