The advent of hybrids and electric power trains as well as electronic systems in advanced driver assistant and safety systems along with smart phone integration will lead to an increasing demand for electrical & computer engineers and computer scientists in the automotive industry. In the automotive track, students in these disciplines will be taught fundamental courses in automotive mechanical and electrical/electronic systems.  The target for the Two Steps Ahead Program is an equal number of students from both mechanical engineering as well as electrical and computer engineering and computer science.


Once admitted to the exchange program, students will take a rigorous course of study that couples engineering and computer science instruction with German-language courses.

German Curriculum Schedule


Students admitted to the exchange program will take a rigorous course of study that couples engineering and computer science instruction with German-language courses. Students are required to get a head start in learning the German language by completing Elementary German I, GN 101, and Elementary German II, GN 102, the summer prior to the fall of freshman year either at UA or at a university close to home.

UA Early College’s Summer On Campus is a program that offers students an opportunity to live on UA’s campus during the summer, make friends, learn about college life within a strong support environment and take both German prerequisites alongside two other courses. If students are interested in participating in the Summer On Campus program, they need to apply to UA Early College by Monday, April 6, 2020. UA Early College students may be eligible for a partial tuition scholarship. For more information about UA Early College scholarship amounts, please contact their office at 205-348-7083 or visit their scholarship page.

Students who studied German in high school or who already possess proficient German language skills may bypass courses by proving their abilities on the UA German language proficiency placement test.

All students will be required to take the UA German language proficiency placement test prior to beginning their freshman year to ensure that they are placed in the appropriate course.


In their freshman and sophomore years, including summer semesters, students will complete approximately 30 credit hours of German-language instruction in addition to their standard engineering course load.


During the summer between their freshman and sophomore years, students will attend the Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik, a five-week German language immersion program located in Portland, Oregon. This program is designed to improve students’ language proficiency and allow them to bond as a cohort. Students will be required to speak only in German for the duration of the program and will receive approximately 8 UA credits which will count towards their German language studies. Students will need to take their B1 German exams there and finish with 70% points in all four exams.


During their fourth semester, the spring of their sophomore year, students will take their final German class as well as Dr. B’s Fundamentals of Automotive Systems engineering course, taught entirely in German, to prepare them for their engineering coursework at the Hochschule Esslingen, University of Applied Sciences in Germany. This course is only offered to students in the program. The prerequisite is successful completion of the Goethe B1 exams, by Fall of the previous year.


During their second summer at UA, students may be offered a Co-Op or an internship with a regional automotive original equipment manufacturer, OEM, or supplier.  This depends on current company recruiting policies.


Students in this program are encouraged to continue their studies in UA’s accelerated Masters or PhD Programs. From the two students who completed this program in the 1st Cohort (2014), one is continuing with his PhD studies at UA and the other has joined Mercedes-Benz US International at Vance/AL. From the 2nd Cohort (2015), nine out of ten students plan to pursue their accelerated Masters at UA, three of them moving on to a PhD at UA.