Humboldt University of Berlin

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Humboldt University of Berlin
founding August 16, 1809, teaching from October 10, 1810
Sponsorship state
place Berlin
state BerlinBerlin Berlin
country GermanyGermany Germany
President Sabine art
Students 43,697 (including Charité) (WS 2018/2019; ♀: 57%)
Employee 3,889 (2018) , also 1,864 stud. Student assistants (without Charité )
including professors 461 (2018; ♀: 31%) , including 45 junior professorships
Annual budget € 452.9 million (2018) including € 113.6 million third-party funding
Networks DFH , German U15 , IAU
Palais des Prince Heinrich , main building of the HU Berlin

The Humboldt University of Berlin ( HU Berlin for short , 1828–1945: Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität zu Berlin ) was founded in the summer of 1809 by the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III. Founded as the University of Berlin ( Latin: Alma Mater Berolinensis ) and began teaching in the fall of 1810. The largest and oldest university in Berlin has been named after the Prussian scientists Wilhelm and Alexander von Humboldt since 1949 . Its headquarters are in the Palais des Prinzen Heinrich on Unter den Linden 6 in the Mitte district .

The HU Berlin is one of the 20 largest universities in Germany and the most renowned universities worldwide. On July 19, 2019, as part of the Excellence Strategy as an institution of the Berlin University Alliance (together with the Free University of Berlin , the Technical University of Berlin and the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin ), it was accepted into the second funding line by the federal and state governments, after it had already been awarded in 2012 was named "University of Excellence" as part of the Excellence Initiative .

Friedrich Wilhelms University

Friedrich Wilhelm III. , Founder of the Berlin University

The university was founded on August 16, 1809 on the initiative of the liberal Prussian education politician Wilhelm von Humboldt by King Friedrich Wilhelm III. Founded in the course of the Prussian reforms and began operations in 1810 as the University of Berlin (Alma Mater Berolinensis). From 1828 to 1945 it was named Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität zu Berlin in honor of its founder . In 1949 the Berlin University was named Humboldt University of Berlin .


Wilhelm von Humboldt , today's namesake of the university
Alexander von Humboldt , today's namesake of the university

Significant impulses for the establishment of the university came from important scientists of the time, especially the philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte and the theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher .

The diplomat and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt developed his university concept under the influence of Schleiermacher's reform ideas . From February 1809, Humboldt had been Head of the Section for Culture and Education in the Ministry of the Interior for a year. His primary goal was to introduce a new education system in Prussia . The main pillars of his concept were the close connection between research and teaching, free science for its own sake, and personality formation.

The first professors whose appointment went back to Wilhelm von Humboldt included August Boeckh (philology), Albrecht Thaer (agriculture), Friedrich Carl von Savigny (law), Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland (medicine) and Carl Ritter (geography). They supported Humboldt's concept. According to the scholar and statesman, the operation of the sciences requires academies, universities and relatively independent research institutions to be brought together. Humboldt's concepts, such as the memorandum “On the internal and external organization of the higher academic institutions in Berlin”, which only later became famous, influenced the idea of ​​the modern university. According to Gabriele Metzler , the “universitas litterarum” as a community of all sciences in the sense of Humboldt is “more topical than ever if one thinks of the pressing questions of the present not in terms of scientific disciplines, but in terms of overarching, inter- and transdisciplinary knowledge interests and methods.”

According to Gerhard Lauer , the founding act was a "modest event: the university did not have its own building at that time, many scientists came from the dissolved University of Halle or were only at the beginning of their careers". Great scientists like Carl Friedrich Gauß did not answer a call . The modern educational ideal was not yet able to fully develop its effectiveness: “For Humboldt's contemporaries it [the foundation] was not a particularly noteworthy event. Above all, it was not a break with the traditions of other universities ”.

Everything that was suitable for the education of the students was attached to the university or could be used by the students. She got the Palais of Prince Heinrich , which had been built from 1748 to 1766 in Dorotheenstadt and had been unused since the death of Princess Heinrich in the previous year (1808) . It has been rebuilt several times and expanded with additions between 1913 and 1920, and has been the main building of the university since 1937 (partial renaming of the former Kaiser-Franz-Josephs-Platz, since 1947 Bebelplatz) on Unter den Linden.

After Theodor von Schmalz had been appointed first rector on September 28, 1810 and the first students had enrolled on October 6, teaching started on October 10, 1810. The subjects were divided into the faculties of law, medicine, philosophy and theology. The natural sciences were then part of the Faculty of Arts, so the graduate students to Dr. phil. (not for nat. Dr. rer. ) PhD were.

Karl Eduard Erdmann reports on the private lecturers and professors at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität before 1870:

Teacher theology Law philosophy medicine total
Ordinary professors 9 11 14th 51 85
Honorary professors 1 3 4th 4th 12
Associate professors 7th 3 30th 40 80
Private lecturers 1 10 70 86 167
total 18th 27 118 181 344


View across Opernplatz to the university building, around 1900

In addition to the strong anchoring of traditional subjects, such as classical studies, law, philology and history, medicine and theology, the Berlin university has developed into a pioneer for numerous new scientific disciplines. It owed this in particular to the support of the natural scientist Alexander von Humboldt , brother of the founder Wilhelm. In 1821 , Georg Ludwig Hartig set up a chair for forestry at the university , which later became the Eberswalde Forestry University . The construction of the most modern research and teaching facilities for the natural sciences began in the second half of the 19th century. Famous researchers, such as the chemist August Wilhelm von Hofmann , the physicist Hermann von Helmholtz , the mathematicians Ernst Eduard Kummer , Leopold Kronecker , Karl Weierstrass , the physicians Johannes Peter Müller , Albrecht von Graefe , Rudolf Virchow and Robert Koch , contributed to the scientific fame of the Berlin University across national borders.

In the course of the expansion of the university, other existing facilities in the city were gradually incorporated. Examples of this are the Charité , the Pépinière and the Collegium medico-chirurgicum . The Collegium medico-chirurgicum was dissolved in 1809, the library was taken over by the Pépinière, and the medical and surgical university clinic was built in 1810 first in two apartments at Friedrichstrasse 101, until after several moves in 1818 a building complex built as a lead sugar and starch factory in Ziegelstrasse 5 / 6 was acquired. The maternity hospital was established in Oranienburger Strasse in 1816, was later moved to Dorotheenstrasse, and was the forerunner of the I. University Women's Clinic in Artilleriestrasse, which opened in 1882 (from 1951 on Tucholskystrasse). In 1710, Friedrich I had a quarantine house built for plague sufferers outside the city gates. The 'soldier king' Friedrich Wilhelm I decreed in 1727: "The house should be called the Charité ( French for 'mercy', 'charity')". The university's medical faculty moved into this location in 1829, and it was not until 1927 that the surgical university clinic was the last to be relocated to the Charité.

A separate building was built in 1889 for the natural history collections that have belonged to the university since 1810, which is now the Museum of Natural History . An existing since 1790 Veterinary School was formed in 1934 the foundation of the veterinary faculty, and founded in 1881 Agricultural University of Berlin was incorporated as Agricultural Faculty of the University.

Women at the university

Lise Meitner , first associate professor at Berlin University

The liberal social reformer of the German women's movement Alice Salomon was one of the few women who were allowed to study at the beginning of the 20th century. For decades committed women had fought to ensure that they too could participate in scientific life. However, it was not until 1908 that women in Prussia were granted the right to matriculate . Of the four faculties, the philosophy faculty had the largest number of women. Even before the right to matriculate, there were female students at the Berlin University, but only as doctoral students with a special permit. The physicist Elsa Neumann was the first woman to receive her doctorate in 1899 . The first woman to be appointed professor in Berlin was the microbiologist Lydia Rabinowitsch-Kempner , who was awarded the title in 1912. However, she did not get a job at the university. In 1926 Lise Meitner was the first female physicist to be appointed associate professor at a Prussian university. For other talented scientists, such as the Jewish historian Hedwig Hintze , the academic path ended after 1933 with the revocation of the license to teach and emigration. In 1947 Liselotte Richter went down in the university's annals as the first German professor of philosophy and theology. Berlin University was the German university with the most female lecturers between 1919 and 1945 .

time of the nationalsocialism

View across Opernplatz to the university building, 1938

With the seizure of power by the Nazis that began at the Berlin University defamation of Jewish scientists and students. Lectures by Jewish lecturers were boycotted and listeners assaulted. Lecturers who were politically unpopular were persecuted. Students and lecturers at the university took part in the book burning of May 10, 1933.

After the seizure of power, the National Socialists expelled 280 members of the teaching staff. This corresponded to a discharge rate of 35%. More than 90% of the dismissals were for anti-Semitic reasons. Other scholars preferred to leave Berlin University voluntarily. Many students, including some non-Jewish, turned their backs on their former alma mater, which was once considered the home of humanist thought. Numerous doctorates were revoked.

The expulsion and murder of Jewish scholars and students as well as political opponents of National Socialism caused severe damage to the university and to intellectual life in Germany. Resistance from the university remained rather rare.

Start-up and split


War-damaged main building, 1950
War-destroyed work room in the Chemical Institute, 1951

Shortly after the end of the fighting, on May 20, 1945, a first meeting of professors took place regarding the steps necessary to reopen the university, in which the newly formed Berlin magistrate and the Soviet military administration were involved. The main task of the preparatory group was to resolve the issue of spatial accommodation, as all university buildings were badly damaged. Furthermore, the question of the selection of lecturers and students arose: the Allied Military Administration demanded in the context of denazification that no persons with active participation in National Socialist organizations should be admitted to the university. In addition, a budget had to be drawn up, provisional curricula, new university regulations and a timetable for the reopening. Although the university was initially formally under four-power control, in September 1945 the Soviet Military Administration (SMAD) declared itself unilaterally responsible for the control of the university, which was located in the Soviet sector, and subordinated it to the eastern zonal German Central Administration for National Education (DVV). After the "preliminary courses for first-year students" had started on September 3, 1945, the university was able to reopen in early 1946.

The new beginning of the university in January 1946 goes back to a Prikas (command no. 4) of the SMAD. The SMAD, which wanted to redesign the Berlin university on the Soviet model, insisted that it be reopened and not reopened , since if it had reopened it would have been under four-power control. In his speech at the ceremony on January 29, 1946 , the President of the DVV, Paul Wandel , commissioned by SMAD with the opening , said: “I spoke of the reopening and not of the reopening of the university. […] In fact, the Berlin University has to start over in almost everything. You have the picture of the old university in front of you. What remained of it is a single rubble. ”The new Rector Stroux spoke of a“ complete renewal of the outer and inner form ”of the university, which, however, as in the myth of the Phoenix bird , will carry out its own creation. "The program that Wilhelm von Humboldt designed [...] as a source of strength and a guide to our future" continues to apply. This future will be “a time of free German intellectual work” in which the university as a “people's university” will open up to all strata of the people.

Teaching was initially resumed in seven faculties in buildings that were partly destroyed in the war. Many teachers were dead, missing or could not be taken on due to their involvement in National Socialism. The first post-war semester started with 2,800 students. But by the winter semester of 1946, an economics and a pedagogical faculty were opened. A preparatory college was set up in order to give politically or racially persecuted young people who had no opportunity to obtain a university entrance qualification during the National Socialist era . This resulted in the Workers and Farmers Faculty (ABF), which existed until 1962.


The East-West conflict in post-war Germany led to an increasing communist influence on the university. This was not without controversy and resulted in strong protests within the student body and from parts of the teaching staff . The first complaints from students were already loud on May 1, 1946, when the SED emblem was affixed to the main building of the university and it was flagged with red flags. One answer was, among other things, the arrest of several students, including Georg Wrazidlo , who belonged to the CDU and the Junge Union , by the Soviet secret police MWD in March 1947. The judgments of the Soviet military tribunal in Berlin-Lichtenberg were 25 years of forced labor and 25 years each were justified with the alleged formation of an 'underground movement at the University of Berlin' and espionage. As a result, by the end of 1947, calls for a “free” university were loud. 18 other students and teachers were arrested by the Soviet secret police between 1945 and 1948. Some university members who had been sentenced to death by Soviet military tribunals were executed in the Soviet Union .

In a discussion on April 1, 1947 between representatives of the student council and Professor Solotuchin , the head of the national education department of the SMAD , the latter stated that the persons had not been arrested in their capacity as students, but as German citizens, "because of proven fascist activities" but he did not provide any evidence.

A particular point of criticism at the Berlin University was the admission procedure for studies at the latest since the beginning of the winter semester of 1946: In the interviews, questions were asked about political attitudes, applicants from the working class and members of communist organizations were apparently preferred, and bourgeois and SED-critical students were excluded. The obligation to attend lectures with titles such as: “Introduction to the political and social problems of the present” met with criticism. The university was accused of becoming an "SED party university".

After the university management had withdrawn the admission of several students to study without a proper legal process in the spring of 1948, the opposition students demanded a Free University , which was founded in the American sector in Dahlem with the support of the USA , the newspaper Der Tagesspiegel and the governing mayor Ernst Reuter has been. In this way, as they see it, the students preserved Humboldt's ideal of freedom of teaching and research. The Latin motto of the coat of arms : "Veritas - Iustitia  - Libertas " (Truth - Justice - Freedom), with the Berlin bear carrying the torch of the spirit , should express the ideological distance to the communist-dominated old Berlin university and at the same time remind of its tradition . The decades-long division of the city into East Berlin and West Berlin cemented the division into two independent universities.

Humboldt University

Festive lighting on the occasion of the university's 150th anniversary, 1960

GDR time

In 1949 the Berlin University Unter den Linden was named Humboldt University in Berlin , the main building, which was partly destroyed in the war, had been reconstructed by then . Between 1946 and 1949 it was called - as in the early years up to 1828 - Berlin University or University of Berlin. Course content, course of study and research conditions were based on the political foundations of the GDR, which was founded in 1949 . With the beginning of relaxation in Europe in the mid-1970s, the Humboldt University was able to reestablish international ties in some areas of science and to consolidate it through global cooperation. The long-standing and intensive research and exchange relationships with universities in Central and Eastern Europe , especially with institutions in the Soviet Union, should be emphasized . During this time there was intensive cooperation with universities in Japan and the USA , as well as with developing countries in Asia , Africa and Latin America .

Almost 150,000 students were trained at the Humboldt University, the largest university in the GDR, by 1990. Internationally recognized researchers taught at the university. Many were able to maintain their place in the academic world after reunification.

Since 1990

Wilhelm von Humboldt monument on the left in front of the main building
Alexander von Humboldt monument on the right in front of the main building

The renewal after German reunification resulted in a significant change in personnel. From 1989 to 1994, almost 3,000 scientists left the university sector, partly for reasons of age, mostly for political, technical or structural reasons. In the course of this opening up, the student body became increasingly critical, so on November 17, 1989 , the HU's independent student newspaper , UnAufiger , was founded. She accompanied the change process and commented on what was happening from a student perspective. The Humboldt University has given itself a new scientific structure, under the responsibility of structure and appointment committees anyway on the basis of numerous reports and recommendations from expert groups: research and teaching content was evaluated, changed and redefined.

Since German reunification, Berlin has four universities trying to coordinate their curricula. Traditional courses of study were restructured as part of the study reform, the courses offered were placed on a modern and internationally comparable basis, and research was realigned and strengthened.

Thanks to the renovation, the Humboldt University was able to regain its reputation and attractiveness in research and teaching. This development is also documented by the considerable funding from the German Research Foundation that flows into the Humboldt University and is considered an indicator of scientific success. Close contacts and cooperation with business strengthen the university's anchoring in society.

Development of student numbers

Since 1994 the university has had eleven faculties and several interdisciplinary centers and central institutes. With over 300 properties in Berlin and Brandenburg, it is one of the most important location factors in the region. In the 2004/2005 winter semester, 40,828 students were enrolled at the Humboldt University including Charité . This number has risen sharply since 1989. In the 1992/1993 winter semester, 20,425 people were still studying at the university, so the number has doubled since then. Almost all courses are now subject to admission restrictions. Also because of the capital city's attractive location for young people, for example, 25,750 high school graduates applied for only 3,455 places in the 2007/2008 winter semester. You will study at the various locations in Mitte, Adlershof and in the north of Berlin. 5791 (14.1 percent) foreign students from more than 100 countries are currently studying and researching at the Humboldt University.

The eleven German "elite universities" (as of 2012)


The HU currently maintains partnerships with over 170 scientific institutions on all continents. It describes itself as a reform university under the sign of excellence and has a management with a full-time executive committee. The promotion of young academics, a system of quality assurance in research and teaching as well as the study reform make the HU one of the leading German universities with broad national and international recognition, as numerous university rankings show every year. However, the Humboldt-Universität did not achieve the goals it had set itself in the Excellence Initiative of the federal and state governments to promote science and research at German universities. In the first round in 2006, their future concept was not asked to apply. In 2007 it made it to the preliminary round, but was initially not recognized as a so-called “ elite university ”. However, in the first round it received a graduate school and in the second round two further graduate schools as well as its own cluster of excellence ( Topoi Cluster of Excellence ), and it is involved in two more together with other Berlin scientific institutions. In the preliminary round of the third Excellence Initiative in 2011, the HU and six other German universities were asked to submit a long application. As part of the second excellence initiative by the federal and state governments, it received excellence status. It also received a new cluster of excellence and two more graduate schools, so that the university now has two clusters of excellence and is involved in another cluster together with the TU Berlin , as well as three of its own graduate schools and two participations in graduate schools.

In the World University Ranking 2014/15 of the Times Higher Education the HU reached place 80. In the World University Ranking 2018/19 of the Times Higher Education the HU reached place 67 and in the World Reputation Ranking 2018 it was in places 61-70 and belongs both times to the best four German universities.



The Presidium of the Humboldt University is composed of the President Sabine Kunst , who took over this office on May 11, 2016 from her predecessor Jan-Hendrik Olbertz , the Vice President for Studies and International Affairs (VPSI) Michael Kämper-van den Boogaart , the Vice President for Research (VPF) Peter Frensch and Vice President for Budget, Human Resources and Technology (VPH) Ludwig Kronthaler . The President is responsible for the Presidential Department with two departments and two staff units, the Vice President for Studies and International Affairs reports five, the Vice President Research four, and the Vice President Budget four departments.


Altes Palais Unter den Linden, building of the law faculty
Old library on Bebelplatz, building of the law faculty

Since April 2014 , the Humboldt University has been divided into nine faculties , each comprising several institutes . There are also various central and interdisciplinary institutions.

  • Law Faculty
  • Faculty of Life Sciences
  • Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
    • Institute of Chemistry
    • Institute for Physics
    • Institute of Geography
    • Institute for Computer Science
    • Institute for Mathematics
  • Charité  - Universitätsmedizin Berlin (joint medical faculty of Freie Universität Berlin and HU)
  • Philosophical Faculty
  • Faculty of Linguistics and Literature
    • Institute for German Literature
    • German language and linguistics
    • Northern Europe Institute
    • Institute for Romance Studies
    • Institute for Slavic Studies
    • Institute of English and American Studies
    • Institute for Classical Philology
  • Faculty of Culture, Social Sciences and Education
  • Faculty of Theology
    • Old Testament seminar
    • New Testament seminar
    • Church history seminar
    • Systematic Theology Seminar
    • Practical Theology Seminar
    • Seminar for Religious and Mission Studies as well as Ecumenics
    • Institute for Christianity and Antiquity
    • Institute for Church and Judaism
    • Institute for the Sociology of Religion and Community Development
    • Institute for Islamic Theology (from WS 2018/2019)
  • Faculty of Business and Economics

Interdisciplinary centers and institutions

  • Center for Biophysics and Bioinformatics
  • Humboldt ProMINT College
  • August Boeckh Antikezentrum
  • College Mathematics Physics Berlin
  • Interdisciplinary center for educational research
  • Border Crossings - Crossing Borders. Berlin Center for Transnational Frontier Research
  • Interdisciplinary Center for Computational Neuroscience
  • Georg Simmel Center for Metropolitan Research

Central facilities

Central Institutes

Affiliated institutes

The following affiliated institutes exist at Humboldt University :

  • artop GmbH - Institute at the Humboldt University of Berlin (Wolfgang Scholl)
  • Institute for Agricultural and Urban Ecological Projects at the Humboldt University of Berlin (IASP), Otto Kaufmann
  • Institute for Cooperative Studies at the Humboldt University of Berlin (Konrad Hagedorn)
  • Institute for Church and Judaism at the Humboldt University of Berlin ( Markus Witte )
  • Institute for Quality Development in Education (IQB) ( Petra Stanat )
  • Maecenata Institute for Philanthropy and Civil Society (Michael Bauer)
  • Center Marc Bloch

The affiliated institutes are required to report to the university. The head of an affiliated institute is also a professor at the HU. The affiliated institutes are supervised by the university's research department.

Equality and Good Scientific Practice

The Humboldt University has a central women's representative who is responsible for questions of equal opportunities and equality. The HU successfully participated in two rounds of the federal and state professorial program. To ensure good scientific practice, there is a statute that was passed in 2000.


Campus center

Prince Heinrich's palace, main building of the Humboldt University

Campus Mitte, on which almost all faculties of the humanities, social sciences and economics are located, is the oldest of the three campuses. It extends around the main building of the Humboldt University, the Palais des Prinzen Heinrich on the boulevard Unter den Linden 6. The palace was built for Prince Heinrich of Prussia in 1748–1753 and converted into the main building of the Berlin University in 1809/1810. In addition to the university management, it also houses the Student Service Center, the Institute for Philosophy, the Institute for English and American Studies, the Winckelmann Institute for Classical Archeology, the Hermann von Helmholtz Center for Cultural Technology and the Classical Archeology Branch Library . Other locations on Campus Mitte are the Old Library , the Old Palais and the Governor's House , which are used by the Faculty of Law, as well as the Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Center , which houses the university library and the computer and media service .

Eight parapet sculptures of the Potsdam City Palace have been placed on the side wings of the main building of the Humboldt University since 1967 . The list contradicts the Venice Charter and is described by critics as " looted art ". Proponents therefore demand the restitution of the attic sculptures and point to their poor condition, their wrong size and their lack of context on the palace of Prince Heinrich. Opponents reject the return to the Potsdam City Palace and refer to the existing monument protection.

See also: Palais des Prince Heinrich # Attic sculptures

Campus north

Together with the Charité , the buildings on Luisenstrasse, Philippstrasse and Invalidenstrasse form the North Campus. The life sciences (agricultural-horticultural, neuroscientific and biological) institutes as well as the Asian and African studies are primarily to be found here. The Natural History Museum, which has been part of the Leibniz Association since 2009, is also located on Campus North . In the former Reuss Gardens, the so-called “Campus of the Life Sciences”, there are the Charité's anatomy buildings, the animal anatomical theater , the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience and the Berlin School of Mind and Brain.

Adlershof campus

Erwin Schrödinger Center with the Central Science Library on the Adlershof campus

The mathematical and natural science institutes, with the exception of biology, are located at the science and business location ( WISTA ) in Berlin-Adlershof in the southeast of the city on the former Johannisthal airfield . The buildings used by the Humboldt University were built between 1998 and 2003. The large wind tunnel is one of the most well-known facilities of the research facilities built by the German Research Institute for Aviation Research since 1912 .

Campus Dahlem

Experimental departments of the Faculty of Life Sciences, founded in 2014, are located on the Dahlem campus. After reunification, these areas belonged to the Faculty of Agriculture and Horticulture until 2014. In addition to buildings in which scientific research is carried out, open-air and greenhouse areas are available here.

Arboretum in Baumschulenweg

Späth Arboretum

The University 's Späth Arboretum , founded in 1879, is located in Berlin-Baumschulenweg . The arboretum has been part of the “Institute for Biology” and the seat of the “Working Group for Systematic Botany” since 1995.


The university library is one of the largest university libraries in Germany with around 6.5 million books and around 9,000 current journals. The university library is divided into the central library - the Grimm Center on Campus Mitte - with 12 integrated branch and branch libraries, the branch library for natural sciences on the Adlershof campus, the branch library on Campus North and eight other branch and branch libraries, such as those of the Japan Center , the law or the theological faculty.


Although the Humboldt University does not offer medicine or engineering, it is a traditional full university with 185 courses . The Medicine course at the Charité is a joint faculty with the Free University of Berlin, the engineering courses - for historical reasons - can only be studied at the Technical University of Berlin. The offer for teacher training courses covers all four careers of the Berlin model.

Degree programs and NC

In addition to the classic subjects, the Humboldt University offers small subjects such as African and Asian Studies, Deaf Studies or European Ethnology. The HU is the only university in Berlin that offers agricultural science , evangelical theology and social science . 12 agricultural science courses can be studied. The rehabilitation sciences course with a focus on sign language and audio education, as well as the international Masters course in Religion and Culture, is unique in Germany . As part of the financial cuts in the late 1990s, the offerings at Berlin universities were restructured and merged. The HU gave pharmacy and veterinary medicine to the FU and was able to keep library and sports science .

With a few exceptions such as mathematics (mono bachelor ), computer science and chemistry , most of the undergraduate courses at the Humboldt University were restricted in admission in the 2013/2014 winter semester and had an NC between 1.0 in psychology and 2.8 in library and information sciences . The HU received around 29,250 applications for around 3,200 places in Bachelor's degree programs. The number of applications varied greatly depending on the subject. B. 4,788 people to 100 places, in business administration 3939 to 160 places. 65 applications were received in Evangelical Theology with 30 places. Many second subjects in the combined bachelor's degree programs were restricted, the NC was between 1.3 in geography and media studies and 2.5 in media studies; Without an NC, the second subjects included Latin , mathematics and regional studies in Asia / Africa.

In the 2013/2014 winter semester, there were around half of the master’s programs without restriction, for example mathematics , modern South and Southeast Asian studies or Scandinavian studies . The remainder required grades between 1.4 in European History and 2.8 in Adult Education.

Semester fee

The semester fee at HU Berlin is 315.64 (as of July 8, 2019). This consists of the semester fee for re-registration, the contribution to the Studentenwerk Berlin and the contribution to the student body . The fee also includes a semester ticket with which public transport in the Berlin-Brandenburg transport association (Berlin ABC tariff area) can be used for six months. As at other public universities in the State of Berlin, there are no tuition fees.

Student representatives

Students are on the Student Parliament , the Referent_innenrat (see. General Student Committee ) and the student bodies directly represented. StuPa and RefRat moved to the center of the media through a research by the student newspaper UnAufgeford (UnAuf), which sparked a debate about the allocation of offices and transparency within student representatives. The article generated a lot of media coverage both internally and nationwide and was printed , for example, in the Tagesspiegel . Other media picked up the topic, which led to disputes between students and university management. It was particularly criticized that the speakers of the RefRat would not reveal their names, which in turn justified this fact with data protection.

Student Parliament

The StuPa is the highest decision-making body of the student body. This is elected once a year. His tasks include, for example, advising on university policy problems and making decisions on the basic guidelines for the work of student self-administration , determining the presentations and choosing the speakers of the RefRat as well as monitoring them, making decisions on the amount of student contributions , making decisions on the budget of the student body, election by members of university committees and committees of the student union , if they are not elected by primary election, amendment of the statutes of the student body and resolution on the membership of the student body in student organizations as well as on the partnership with other student bodies .

The work of the student parliament takes place in public sessions (plenary sessions with all members) and in working groups or commissions . Every student can submit applications for treatment to the student parliament.

Distribution of seats in the 26th student parliament (elections in 2017), a total of 60 seats

Nomination Votes in% Seats
Power of Science (PoS) 11.13 7th
List of independent students (LuSt) 7.23 4th
LinksGrünVersifft (LGV) 7.09 4th
Education and transparency 5.93 4th
Juso University Group 5.90 4th
StuPa progressive 5.23 3
FSI - CHARITÉ 5.06 3
Liberal University Group (LHG) 4.97 3
Left list at the HU - LiLi 4.88 3
Secular Humanist List 4.53 3
BAföG & Brandenburg Sem.-Ticket for everyone 4.53 3
Die Linke.SDS 4.07 2
IYSSE 3.75 2
Grünboldt - the green alternative university group 3.54 2
RCDS - The Student Union 3.54 2
F_emancipatory left list 3.37 2
Queer feminist LGBT * I ​​* Q list 3.11 2
OLKS - Open List of Critical Students 3.02 2
the autonomous alcoholics 2.53 2
For a kebab shop on campus 2.06 1
Gay list - Die SchwuLis 2.00 1
Forever and 3 days - long-term students 1.08 1

(Status: Official final result for the election of the 26th student parliament, the turnout was 8.79 percent.)


The Referent_innenRat (RefRat) represents the concerns of the students towards the university management and the Berlin Senate . This body thus formulates the interests of the students before the public and politicians. The committee is also responsible for a wide range of services. The RefRat is elected for one year by the student parliament. He is the executive body for the StuPa. The RefRat is divided into 16 sections . The term `` Referent_innenrat '' only exists at the Humboldt University in Berlin. At the other Berlin universities, the designation General Student Committee (AStA) is required by law, which is why the official name of the RefRat also bears the addition of the legal AStA . Nevertheless, there are significant differences to an AStA, as the presentations of the RefRat are selected individually. This means that after the StuPa elections, no new RefRat is constituted, as is the case at universities with an AStA.

Collections of the Humboldt University

Giraffatitan skeleton in the Museum of Natural History

The university's scientific collections with several million objects are among the most important in the German-speaking area. They go back to the year 1700, when the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences was founded. After 1810, parts of this and other scientific collections were incorporated into the university. A total of over 100 collections belong to the Humboldt University.

Until the end of 2008, the natural science collection in the Museum für Naturkunde founded in 1889 was also included. In 2009 the Natural History Museum with its 30 million objects was spun off.

Members of the Humboldt University

There are numerous famous scientists in the history of the Humboldt University. When the Nobel Prize was awarded for the first time in 1901 , one of the coveted awards went to Berlin University, the Dutch chemist Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff . A year later, Theodor Mommsen , Professor of Ancient History, was honored - as the first German Nobel Prize winner for literature . The Nobel Prize in Physics went to numerous researchers who were scientifically connected to the university. Albert Einstein and Max Planck were among the 29 Nobel Prize winners . Emil Fischer , Walther Nernst and Otto Hahn were honored for their achievements in chemistry, and in medicine Robert Koch and Otto Warburg . Ernst Niekisch , the editor of the journal Resistance, which was banned in 1934, was one of the politically prominent professors at Humboldt University . Journal of national revolutionary politics , who became professor of sociology in 1948.

But not only the Nobel Prize winners shaped and continue to shape the reputation of Berlin University; Its alumni also determined the development of society in the 19th and 20th centuries: Heinrich Heine , Adelbert von Chamisso , Ludwig Feuerbach , Otto von Bismarck , Karl Marx , Franz Mehring , Wilhelm and Karl Liebknecht , Kurt Tucholsky and Alfred Wegener were once considered to be Students enrolled at the Berlin Alma Mater. After women were allowed to study in Prussia in 1908, female students and teachers were also able to represent the academic reputation of the HU, including Alice Salomon , Liselotte Richter , Lise Meitner and Clara von Simson . The first synthesis of amphetamine was carried out in 1887 by the chemist Lazar Edeleanu at the Humboldt University.

University professors (selection)

Until 1945

1945 to 1990

After 1990

See also


  • Rüdiger vom Bruch , Heinz-Elmar Tenorth (ed.): History of the University of Unter den Linden 1810-2010 . Akademie Verlag , 6 volumes, Berlin 2010–2013. With contributions by Jan-Hendrik Olbertz, Heinz-Elmar Tenorth, Werner Treß, Torsten Lüdtke, Hannah Lotte Lund, Charles E. McClelland
    • Volume 1: Foundation and heyday of the University of Berlin 1810–1918 . Edited by Heinz-Elmar Tenorth; Charles E. McClelland, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-05-004622-8 . (Rectors of the University of Berlin, 1810–1918)
    • Volume 2: The Berlin University between the World Wars 1918–1945 . Edited by Heinz-Elmar Tenorth; Michael Grüttner, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-05-004667-9 . (Rectors of the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, 1918–1945)
    • Volume 3: Socialist experiment and renewal in democracy - the Humboldt University of Berlin 1945–2010 . Edited by Konrad H. Jarausch; Matthias Middell; Annette Vogt, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-05-004668-6 . (Rectors and Presidents of the Humboldt University of Berlin, 1945–2010)
    • Volume 4: Practice of their Disciplines - Genesis of the Disciplines. The constitution of the university . Edited by Heinz-Elmar Tenorth, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-05-004669-3 . (The constitution of the disciplines by the middle of the century)
    • Volume 5: Practice of Their Disciplines. Transformation of the knowledge order . Ed., Heinz-Elmar Tenorth, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-05-004670-9 . (The focus is on the change in the order of knowledge, as it has prevailed with the emergence of large-scale research, the socialization of science and the scientification of society around and since 1900.)
    • Volume 6: Practice of Your Disciplines - Self-Assertion of a Vision . Ed., Heinz-Elmar Tenorth, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-05-004671-6 . (The checkered history of the university since 1945 and the effort to assert oneself before the vision of its founding as a university)
  • Johannes Asen : Complete directory of the teaching staff of the University of Berlin, Volume 1: 1810–1945. The Friedrich Wilhelms University, the University of Veterinary Medicine, the Agricultural University, the Forest University , Harrassowitz, Leipzig 1955
  • Peter Bahl , Wolfgang Ribbe (ed.): The register of the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität zu Berlin 1810-1850 . 3 volumes, Berlin 2010
    [= individual publications of the Historical Commission on Berl Vol. 86, LXXXIV, Part 1 and 2 as well as T. 3 (indices)]
  • Rüdiger vom Bruch (Ed.): The Berlin University in the context of the German university landscape after 1800, around 1860 and around 1910 . 2010. ISBN 978-3-486-59710-3 .
  • Gianluca Falanga: The Humboldt University. Story, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-929829-27-4 ( full text online PDF)
  • Christian Saehrendt : Anti-Semitism and political violence at the Berlin University 1919–1933. In: Yearbook for Research on Antisemitism. Berlin 2004.
  • Max Lenz : History of the Royal Friedrich Wilhelms University in Berlin . 4 volumes, Verlag der Buchhandlung des Waisenhauses 1910/18.
  • Helmut Klein (ed.), Rüger Adolf u. a .: Humboldt University of Berlin. German Science Publishing House, Berlin 1985.
    • Volume 1: Overview 1810–1985.
    • Volume 2: Documents 1810–1985.
  • Volker Klemm: From the Royal Academy of Agriculture in Möglin to the Agricultural and Horticultural Faculty of the Humboldt University in Berlin. With the participation of Reinhard Deutsch. Photographic tour through the faculties: Kerstin Neumann. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-00-002300-3 (contains time table from 1804, short biographies).
  • University of Berlin: Committee for Public Relations of the Faculty: The Agricultural and Horticultural Faculty of the Humboldt University of Berlin. Berlin 1998.
  • Anna-Maria von Lösch: The naked spirit: the law faculty of the Berlin University in upheaval in 1933 (= contributions to the legal history of the 20th century , volume 26), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1999, ISBN 3-16-147245-4 .
  • David Koser, Roman Schmidt: Friedrich Wilhelm University , In: Capital of the Holocaust. Places of National Socialist Racial Policy in Berlin (PDF; 1.3 MB), City Agency, Berlin 2009, Place 67, p. 186 ff., ISBN 978-3-9813154-0-0 .
  • Werner Hartke (Ed.): Wilhelm von Humboldt 1767–1967: Legacy, Present, Future. Contributions presented by the Humboldt University in Berlin on the occasion of the celebration of the 200th birthday of its founder. Niemeyer, Halle / Saale 1967. (Contributions to the history of the Humboldt University) (contains: Heinz Warnecke: Timeline for the founding of the Berlin University. Pp. 237–242.)
  • Volker Gerhardt , Reinhard Mehring, Jana Räter: Berliner Geist: a history of the Berlin university philosophy until 1946. With an outlook on the present of the Humboldt University. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-05-002961-7 .
  • Kurt-R. Biermann : Mathematics and its lecturers at the Berlin University 1810–1933: Stations on the way to a mathematical center of world renown. With a foreword by Heinz Stiller. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1988.
  • Aya Soika: The Art History Institute, the former university library . 2000. ( online )
  • Ludwig Petry : The founding of the 3 Friedrich Wilhelms Universities in Berlin, Breslau, Bonn . In: Otto Brunner (ed.): Festschrift Herman Autin for his 80th birthday. Wiesbaden 1965, pp. 687-709.
  • Hans-Dieter Kubitscheck: The Southeast Asia Institute at the Humboldt University in Berlin. On the history of Southeast Asian studies. Humboldt University of Berlin, Berlin 1996. (Southeast Asia, 1st)
  • Otto Franke: The Seminar for Oriental Languages ​​in Berlin. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1924, DNB 573122539 .
  • Steffi Heinzel: On the history of the Institute for Vocational Education in Teaching and Research at the Humboldt University in Berlin 1946–1968. Dissertation. Humboldt University of Berlin 1986 (Dissertation A Humboldt University of Berlin 1986, 143, L 15, [9] sheet).
  • Peter Krietsch, Manfred Dietel: Pathological-Anatomical Cabinet: from the Virchow Museum to the Berlin Medical History Museum of the Charité. Blackwell, Berlin a. a. 1996, ISBN 3-89412-254-4 .
  • Konrad H. Jarausch : The expulsion of the Jewish students and professors from the Berlin University under the Nazi regime. Lecture on June 15, 1993. Humboldt University, Public Lectures, Issue 37. 1995.
  • Carlo Jordan : Kaderschmiede Humboldt University in Berlin. Revolt, purges and militarization 1945–1989. Links, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-86153-253-0 .
  • Heinrich Fink : How the Humboldt University was turned. Memories of the first freely elected rector , Ossietzky, Hanover, 2013, ISBN 978-3-9808137-0-9 .

Humboldt University journals

  • Scientific journal of the Humboldt University of Berlin / social and linguistic series. - Berlin: Humboldt-Univ. 1.1951 / 52 - 31.1982; 32.1983.2
  • Scientific journal of the Humboldt University of Berlin / Social Science Series - Berlin: Humboldt-Univ. 32,1983.1; 32.1983.3 - 36.1987
  • Scientific journal of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin / Social Sciences series / Ed .: Der Rektor - Berlin: Univ. 37.1988 - 39.1990
  • Scientific journal of the Humboldt University of Berlin / Mathematical and natural science series. - Berlin: Humboldt-Univ. 1.1951 / 52 -36.1987
  • Scientific journal of the Humboldt University of Berlin / Series Mathematics, Natural Sciences / Ed .: Der Rektor. - Berlin: Univ. 37.1988 - 39.1990
  • Scientific journal of the Humboldt University of Berlin / Mathematics, Natural Sciences - Berlin: Univ. 40.1991 - 41.1992
  • Scientific journal of the Humboldt University of Berlin / Medicine - Berlin: Univ. 40.1991 - 41.1992
  • Scientific journal of the Humboldt University of Berlin / Agricultural Sciences. - Berlin: Univ. 40.1991 - 41.1992
  • University <Berlin, East> / Medicine (Charité): Charité-Annalen. - Berlin: Akad.-Verl. (1.1981 (1982) -9.1989 (1990)) ISSN  0232-7090
  • University <Berlin, East>: Humboldt University. - 1.1957, Oct. 14-Oct. 35, 1990, 1/2 (Sept.) / 91 (1990) 1968-1990
  • University <Berlin, Humboldt University>: Humboldt University. - Berlin, de. - 35.1990, 3 (Oct.) / 91 (1990) - 36.1991 / 92, July
  • University <Berlin, Humboldt University>: Humboldt. - Berlin: Runze & Casper. - 37.1992 / 93, Nov.


  • Mysterious places - The Humboldt University. Documentary, Germany, 2013, 44:10 min., Script and direction: Lutz Rentner and Frank Otto Sperlich, production: Noahfilm, rbb , series: Mysterious Places, first broadcast: 3rd September 2013 by rbb, summary by rbb.

Web links

Commons : Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Art becomes President of the Humboldt University. (No longer available online.) Humboldt University Berlin, archived from the original on March 5, 2016 ; Retrieved March 3, 2016 .
  2. a b c Data and figures on the Humboldt University. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, accessed on January 22, 2020 .
  3. Performance report for 2018 on the implementation of the university contract. Land Berlin, p. 25 , accessed on August 3, 2020 .
  4. Network. List of universities in the DFH network. In: Franco-German University, accessed on October 5, 2019 .
  5. ^ List of IAU Members. In: International Association of Universities, accessed July 28, 2019 .
  7. ZEIT ONLINE: Excellence Strategy: Ten universities and the Berlin network can call themselves excellent . In: The time . July 20, 2019, ISSN  0044-2070 ( [accessed July 21, 2019]).
  8. ^ State of Berlin: Excellence Strategy. Retrieved June 27, 2020 .
  9. Gabriele Metzler: What was left of the Humboldt year. In: Der Tagesspiegel , October 14, 2017, p. B 5.
  10. ^ Wilhelm von Humboldt: Schriften zur Bildung (ed. By Gerhard Lauer), Stuttgart 2017, pp. 264–265.
  11. ^ Matriculation number 1: The first student ( Memento from December 29, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (
  12. See welcome speech by Christoph Markschies , then President of the Humboldt University, at the opening event of the Humboldt anniversary year on October 12, 2009, accessed on March 6, 2012.
  13. Eduard Erdmann: The importance of private lecturers. To the criticism of the Lex Arons
  14. Sven Kinas, mass dismissals and emigration, in: Michael Grüttner u. a., The Berlin University between the World Wars 1918–1945 , Berlin 2012 (History of the University of Unter den Linden, Vol. 2), p. 386.
  15. a b c James F. Tent : The Free University of Berlin. A Political History. Indiana University Press, Bloomington 1988, ISBN 0-253-32666-4 .
  16. ^ A b c Siegward Lönnendonker : Free University of Berlin. Foundation of a political university. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1988, ISBN 3-428-06490-9
  17. Ilko-Sascha Kowalczuk: Spirit in the service of power. University policy in the Soviet Zone / GDR 1945–1961. Christoph Links Verlag, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-86153-296-4 .
  18. ^ A b c Karol Kubicki, Siegward Lönnendonker: The Free University of Berlin 1948–2007. From the foundation to the excellence competition. V&R unipress, Göttingen 2008, p. 22, ISBN 978-3-89971-474-6 .
  19. a b Claudia Dreier: Ostracized History: The HU 1945 to 1948. In: Jessica Hoffmann, Helena Seidel, Nils Baratella (eds.): History of the Free University of Berlin , Frank and Timme, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-86596- 205-8 .
  20. ^ Edwin Redslob: Free University of Berlin , series: Berlin. Shape and spirit. Vol. 1, Wolfgang Stapp Verlag, Berlin 1963, p. 31 ff.
  21. ^ Reimer Hansen: From the Friedrich Wilhelms University to the Humboldt University in Berlin. The renaming of the Berlin University from 1945 to 1949 and the establishment of the Free University of Berlin in 1948 (PDF; 980 kB), Humboldt University of Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-9813135-7-4 .
  22. Unsolicited editions from 1989. Unsolicited archive, accessed on August 22, 2018 .
  23. ^ Rush to Berlin's universities. Berliner Morgenpost, October 13, 2007, accessed on June 25, 2008 .
  24. HU press release on the Excellence Initiative 2012 from June 15, 2012, accessed on June 16, 2012.
  25. ^ Humboldt University of Berlin., accessed October 4, 2014 .
  26. ^ Humboldt University of Berlin., accessed October 3, 2018 .
  27. ^ Organization of the HU , accessed on May 6, 2014.
  28. Faculties of the HU , accessed on May 6, 2014.
  29. Humboldt-Uni founds Institute for Islamic Theology ,, published and accessed on June 29, 2018
  30. Kilian-Kristoph Schumann: Welcome! - Humboldt ProMINT College. Retrieved February 15, 2018 .
  31. homepage of the ancient center
  32. More practice for future teachers , article in the Tagesspiegel supplement of October 16, 2011, accessed on October 23, 2011.
  33. ^ Website of the Hermann von Helmholtz Center for Cultural Technology
  34. ↑ Affiliated institutes. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, accessed on June 8, 2013 .
  35. Internet site of the Institute for Church and Judaism ( memento of April 10, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on December 5, 2013
  36. See homepage of the central women's representative, accessed on September 22, 2015
  37. See results of the second selection round of the female professors' program are available ( Memento from October 28, 2015 in the web archive ) HU announcement from July 14, 2013
  38. See
  41. See also the following link to the Adlershof campus: The Adlershof campus on the official homepage of the HU Berlin. Last updated: February 18, 2010.
  42. ^ Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences I - Institute of Biology: Botany & Arboretum ( Memento from December 20, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  43. Profile of the University Library , accessed on July 25, 2010.
  44. data and figures , accessed on June 29, 2014.
  45. Overview of the agricultural science courses. Retrieved June 28, 2014 .
  46. Profile of the Audio and Sign Language Education Department ( Memento from May 22, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on April 10, 2011.
  47. International Masters Course in Religion and Culture (MRC)
  48. a b How high is the NC? (WS 13/14) (pdf), accessed on June 29, 2014.
  49. Feedback from Humboldt University in Berlin . University website. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  50. Feedback on the website of the HU Berlin, accessed on June 29, 2014.
  51. Ämtergeschacher in student bodies . In: Der Tagesspiegel Online . November 15, 2017, ISSN  1865-2263 ( [accessed August 9, 2018]).
  52. ^ Philip Kuhn: University conflict: Berlin Humboldt University sued its own students . In: THE WORLD . August 5, 2018 ( [accessed August 9, 2018]).
  53. Official final result for the election of the 26th student parliament on January 16 and 17, 2018. (PDF) Retrieved on August 9, 2018 .
  54. Humboldt University Berlin: RefRat - Referent_innenRat of the Humboldt University Berlin. Retrieved January 22, 2020 .
  55. ^ History of the Museum ( Memento from April 10, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on March 6, 2012.
  56. Nobel Prize Winner , accessed on October 23, 2011.
  57. Women in the natural sciences , accessed on October 23, 2011.
  58. See the review by Ilko-Sascha Kowalczuk in: Zeitschrift des Forschungsverbund SED-Staat No. 33, 2013

Coordinates: 52 ° 31 '5 "  N , 13 ° 23' 36"  E