Incoming Exchange

The College of Engineering offers a few select spots each year to students coming from our partner institutions abroad. These exchange students will enjoy a limited stay at the University of Michigan with access to top-notch facilities and challenging classes. 

We currently offer exchanges with the following institutions:

  • Member Institutions of the Global Engineering Education Exchange Network
  • Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) in Kowloon, Hong Kong
  • Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Madrid, Spain
  • ISEA- SÉcole nationale supérieure de l’aéronautique et de l’espace
  • RWTH Aachen University,
  • Universidad de Navarra, Tecnun School of Engineering
  • Technische Universitat Berlin, TUB

If you are a student at one of these institutions, you must be nominated for study at the University of Michigan by your home institution’s exchange coordinator. Your application will be carefully screened, and if selected for admission, you will receive a waiver to offset the tuition cost of studying at U-M. Depending on your home institution, you may be nominated for one semester of study or a full academic year (two semesters).  Please note that the University of Michigan only admits exchange students for study in the Fall semester (one semester) or Fall+Winter (academic year). Students may not take courses within the Computer Science Engineering or Computer Engineering departments.

The College of Engineering has committed tuition dollars to your studies because we value diverse cultural perspectives and recognize that engineering is a global field. We hope that you will act as an ambassador of your home institution and country while making a positive contribution to the College of Engineering community. As part of your ambassadorial responsibilities, during your time at U-M we may ask that you take part in some outreach activities on campus.  We hope your stay is full of new experiences, stimulating classes, and opportunities to enrich yourself intellectually as well as personally.

Incoming Exchange Advisor

The International Programs in Engineering office designates one Advisor/Coordinator to serve the incoming exchange students. Please consider this Advisor to be a resource regarding the College of Engineering, the University of Michigan, as well as the city of Ann Arbor. They will assist you during your nomination and application process. Once on campus they will help orient you to campus and Ann Arbor.

The IPE office also works to send domestic students to study overseas. The Incoming Exchange Advisor may ask for your assistance in encouraging students to do this by participating in information fairs or other events IPE may hold for domestic students. They may also ask you to be willing to meet with students on campus who may be interested in studying at your home institution or in your home country.

For information on the Incoming Exchange Advisor, contact the IPE office at


Undergraduate exchange students must be nominated by one of our partner institutions.  Additionally they must be in good academic standing (as determined by the home institution) and meet English Language Proficiency requirements for exchange students. Course selection is determined after admission decisions have been made.  Admission as an exchange student does NOT guarantee preferred course selection.


Undergraduate Exchange (Bachelor’s level) Admission Process:


  1. A completed nomination form should be sent by the home institution to for each nominated student by February 15. (GE3 applicants should start their application with their home institution and will be nominated via the GE3 application process in March.)
  2. Nominated students will receive access to the online exchange student application. The application must be completed by the student (and all supporting documents received by U-M) by the application deadline on March 1.
  3. Admitted students will be notified of admission around mid-May.  Visa paperwork (if applicable) will likely be sent electronically to the applicants starting in May.
  4. Admitted students will be directed to a departmental advisor to begin the course registration process.


All application questions should be directed to the Incoming Exchange Advisor at



There are a few important factors to know before selecting housing. Start with getting to know the U-M campus.  The College of Engineering and likely many of the classes you take will be located on North Campus. You may choose to live on or near either North Campus or Central Campus. The main part of the University and most of the stores, restaurants, and social events are located on Central Campus. The University provides free bus service between the North and Central Campus that is very reliable and convenient, so housing on either Campus is a good option. We recommend avoiding housing located on South Campus as this would be a long commute to North Campus.

You also have the option of on campus housing or living off campus.  For on campus housing options, you will want to consult U-M Housing.  You cannot begin applying for on campus housing options until after you are admitted.  You will likely have the best options available to you for on campus housing if you apply very quickly after your admission in early May.  There are a variety of options for on campus housing including the Global Scholars Program, which is a community focused on exposing students to a variety of global issues.  Exchange students are especially encouraged to consider this option!

If you are interested in living off campus, you can find opportunities the University recommends by visiting the U-M Off-Campus Housing site.  You may also want to consider co-ops. Co-ops are large houses where many students live together. Co-op residents must help out around the house and do a few hours of work (e.g. cleaning, cooking, etc.) per week. For this reason, co-op rent is typically the least expensive off-campus housing option. The Inter-Cooperative Council (ICC) is responsible for organizing all of the co-ops near campus, for instance the Escher House on North Campus near the College of Engineering. Please visit the ICC website for specific details on Co-op house or to apply online. Be certain to apply right away, as spaces can fill up quickly!

Arrival Information & Orientation

Undergraduate Exchange Students: Arrive in late August (exact date TBD)

Graduate Exchange Students: Late August (exact date TBD by your department)


Travel and Arrival Information

The airport in Detroit, Michigan (DTW) is the closest airport. It is approximately 20-25 miles from the University of Michigan campus. Try to plan travel so you will arrive during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm). This will make it easier for you to find transportation to campus and to utilize any of the university services you might need.

  • AirRide offers convenient, inexpensive transportation from the airport to U-M Campus. This shuttle runs several times during the day and picks up at Detroit Metropolitan Airport and drops off at Blake Transit Center in downtown Ann Arbor. A one-way ticket booked in advance is $15; tickets purchased from the coach driver are $3-5 more expensive. A one-way ticket on AirRide is $15, however, if a reservation is made in advance the fare is reduced to $12. 
  • Metro Cars is a more expensive service, but they offer door-to-door service. This service might be best if you have a lot of luggage, or if you are traveling with a group. They recommend booking in advance on their website.
  • You can also use a ride-sharing application such as Uber or Lyft.  Depending on day and time, this will likely cost $40 or more.



You are required to complete the mandatory immigration check-in (required of all international students attending U-M). Advisors from U-M’s International Center will attend your Exchange Student Orientation and your check-in will be completed during that time.




Attendance at the Engineering Exchange Student Orientation is mandatory for all undergraduate incoming exchange students. 


  • TBD (late August): Engineering Exchange Student Orientation (required)
    • Mandatory immigration check-in
    • Practical aspects of adjusting to life in Ann Arbor (transportation, banking, using your student ID card, etc.)
    • Health care and health insurance
    • Maintaining your student visa status
    • 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Room TBD
    • Topics covered at this orientation:
  • August 28, 2023: UM International Center Summer Orientation (optional)
    • If you are able to arrive early, there will be valuable optional information sessions available.  We highly recommend arriving early and attending several of these sessions if possible.  View a schedule of these sessions offered by the International Center.
  • TBD (late August): First Day of Fall Classes
  • For other important dates, view the academic calendar


Academic Calendar


The academic year is divided into semesters:


Fall semester (September-December)

Winter semester (January-April)

Spring & summer semester (May-August)


The majority of courses take place during fall and winter semesters. Exchange students who have been designated to receive tuition waivers from the College of Engineering will receive a waiver for fall and/or winter only (not spring or summer semesters).


You can view the U-M Academic Calendar on the Registrar’s Office web page.  


Note: The first Monday in September is traditionally a national holiday – Labor Day. Most offices on campus will be closed that day. Try to plan so that you will not need to conduct any official business on that day.


Course selection & Registration


First, you should read course descriptions to see what is available at U-M.

Since Fall 2017, the University of Michigan no longer admits exchange students to Computer Science Engineering and Computer Engineering. Students admitted to other departments will not be allowed to take courses within either department.

For Engineering Course Descriptions:

  • View the College of Engineering Bulletin
  • Select the appropriate department
  • Make sure to note the subject code and course number for each course. For example, “EECS 487” would be a complete subject code and course number.  EECS is the subject code, and 487 is the course number.  You will need this information to see if the class will be offered during the appropriate semester.


For Business Course Descriptions:

  • Visit the Ross School of Business Course Descriptions
  • Select the “Program” as BBA
  • Select the “Department” you want to search
  • Select the appropriate “Term”
  • Make sure to note the subject code and course number for each course.

Please keep in mind that it is often difficult for engineering students to enroll in certain business courses.


Then, you will need to check if the courses you’ve found are available.  This step is only available once you’ve been admitted as an exchange student. 


  1. Go to Wolverine Access
  2. Click U-M Course Catalog located beneath the ‘Public’ heading
  3. Click Class Search and then GO.
  4. Choose the desired term from the drop down menu next to Term.
  5. You can now search for courses by subject code, catalog number or course description. You can also uncheck the box next to Show Open Classes Only to gain a better understanding of the number of courses offered. There is also an Advanced Search option that allows you to search for classes by class number, days of the week the class meets, time the class meets, and the instructor’s last name.
  6. Click Search once you have specified your search criteria.
  7. A Course List of all the courses for that subject code will appear. Scroll down until you find the course number you would like to take to review.
  8. The class sections for that course will appear on the screen. For some courses there will be only one section offered, and for others there will be more than one section listed. If more than one section is listed, then you can choose whichever section best fits your schedule. For each section you will see the day and time the course meets.  Some courses have required lab or discussion sections in addition to the lecture.  When selecting classes make sure that you remember these important components.


Finally, after you’ve been admitted and have spoken with an academic advisor in your assigned department, you can enroll in courses. Please note that exchange students generally will not register as early as other students and some classes will fill up quickly.  We cannot guarantee space for you in any course at U-M. 


  1. Go to Wolverine Access
  2. Click on Student Business under the ‘Students’ heading
  3. You will then need to enter your uniqname and password to proceed.
  4. Click on Class Search/Browse Catalog.
  5. Click on “Backpack/Registration” at the top of the page.
  6. Confirm that you are in the correct term. If not, click the “change term” button and find the correct term.
  7. You can now either enter the class number or search for classes.
  8. Select the class/section that you desire, then click “next.” This will add that particular class/section to your Backpack.
  9. Once your classes are in your Backpack, check the boxes next to the classes that you would like to register for (the box is in the ‘select’ column).
  10. Click the “Proceed to step 2 of 3” button.
  11. Click “Finish Registering.”
  12. After registering, go to “my class schedule” to see your complete schedule.


Important notes

  • Pay attention to the “Status” for each course and section. If Status is “Open” then you will be able to enroll in the course. If the Status for the section you wish to take is “Closed,” you must choose a different section of the same course. If there are no open sections for a course, then you can attempt to get an override from the department to take the course (this may or may not be possible). 


  • If a course has prerequisites, you will be required to demonstrate that you have taken them before getting permission to enroll in the course.  The departmental advisor you are assigned to will be given access to your transcript from your home institution.  They will need to evaluate the equivalency of your courses.  You should be in touch with them if you are attempting to enroll in a course for which you believe you have completed the prerequisite(s) as you will need an override to enroll.


  • An “Override” is special permission to take a course which is closed.  It can sometimes be granted by your department advisor.  More often, overrides are given by the instructor teaching the course. 
  1. Email your assigned department advisor to find out if he/she can give you an override for the course. 
  2. If your advisor cannot give you an override, they will explain whether or not you should contact the instructor to request the override instead.
  3. If the instructor agrees to give you an override, your department advisor or the department administrator will let you know when the permission has been granted.  
  4. You must then return to Wolverine Access to register for the course. An override does not mean you are registered. It merely grants you the access to register for the course yourself.
  • When registering for courses, please note whether you will be awarded a letter grade or a pass/fail grade.  Some courses (for example, many Entrepreneurship courses) are only available for a pass/fail grade.  You will not be permitted to change this grade to a letter grade.  If a pass/fail grade will have negative consequences for you back at your home institution we recommend you either not take the course or get permission ahead of time from your home advisor to take it pass/fail.


Academics in the U.S.


Incoming students often find that the U.S. higher education system is different than that of their home country. Some helpful background information:


  • Undergraduate students enter the university system after having successfully obtained a high school diploma.
  • Undergraduate students apply to the College of Engineering without having to choose a specific field in engineering.
  • The undergraduate education lasts 4-5 years.  Engineering students typically fulfill engineering preparatory classes (math, physics, chemistry) in their first academic year.
  • Students declare a major (such as Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering) by the time they have obtained 55 credit hours of courses on their transcript (about 2 years worth of credits).
  • Graduate students are those students who have successfully obtained a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent and who seek to expand their education with either a Master’s degree (typically completed in two years) and/or a doctoral degree (typically completed in 4+ years).