University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

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University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU)
motto University of Sustainability and Life
founding 1872 as the kk college for soil culture
Sponsorship state
place Vienna , Austria
Rector Hubert Hasenauer
Students 11,234 (winter semester 2019/20)
Employee 2,881; thereof 2,142 academic staff (winter semester 2019/20)
including professors 72
Networks AGRINATURA , ASEA-UNINET , CASEE , Danube Rectors' Conference , ELLS , EPSO , EUA , Eurasia-Pacific Uninet , ICA , IDM , IROICA , IUFRO , SILVA , EPICUR , Africa UniNet

The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU short, English University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna ) is an education and research center which is dedicated to the issue of sustainability and the management of natural resources since its establishment 1872nd A special feature is the connection between natural sciences , technology as well as social and economic sciences (three-pillar model).


The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna sees itself as a pioneer in sustainable development and in building a green economy through the interaction of research, teaching, business and society. Your mission is


University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Gregor Mendel House in a photo from 1896

The kk Hochschule für Bodencultur was founded in Vienna in 1872 with a rectorate and dean's constitution; the opening took place on October 15, 1872. One of their founding fathers was Joseph Roman Lorenz . In 1872/1873 the agricultural section was set up in Palais Schönborn in Vienna-Josefstadt , Laudongasse 17. In 1874 the support association for needy and worthy students of the university was founded. The dissolution of the kk forest academy in Mariabrunn in 1875 led to the transfer of forestry studies to the university; This was followed by the establishment of the forestry section in Vienna-Josefstadt, Skodagasse 17. In 1883/84 a three-year course for cultural technicians was introduced as a third field of study .

In 1887 the deanery constitution was repealed; henceforth the university was run only by a college of professors chaired by a rector . In 1896 today's main building was opened in Gregor Mendel- Strasse (in the 18th and 19th districts of Vienna - at the Türkenschanze ). In 1906 the university received the right to award doctorates; the first to receive a doctorate was the forest scientist Rudolf Jugoviz . In 1911/1912 the university was expanded with the Adolf von Guttenberg House (formerly an agricultural and forestry museum). In 1917 the title of "engineer" was introduced for graduates. In 1919 women were admitted to study for the first time, but some professors generally considered them unsuitable. In 1930/31 the university premises were expanded to include the Justus von Liebig House.

50 Schilling collector's coin - 100 years of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna

In the interwar period, the university was not only geared towards German nationality, like most other Austrian universities, but also openly anti-Semitic and not infrequently influenced by National Socialism , in which professors as well as students played a part. In 1923 the college of professors passed a resolution directed against Jewish students, which was followed by many more. The swastika was used in the student body as early as the early 1920s. After the “election victory” of the NSDAP on March 5, 1933 in the German Reich, a follow-up rally was held on March 7, sponsored by Vice-Rector Olbrich; Advertising posters for the SS were allowed by the rectorate.

The Dollfuss dictatorship therefore ousted the rector's office on May 3, 1934 by appointing Federal Commissioner Otto Skrbensky (1887–1952). He had the right to expel students from the college and had five professors dismissed. In 1934 a police station was set up in the main building of the university. Professor Hans Karl von Zessner-Spitzenberg , who was opposed to National Socialism, died on August 1, 1938 as a result of a beating in the Dachau concentration camp .

In the winter semester 1945/46 only 158 students were enrolled at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences. 54 of them were women (34%); After the end of the war, due to the backwater, the number of students reached a peak, similar to after the First World War . In the winter semester of 1947/48, 1,388 students were enrolled, with the number of female students increasing to 170 in absolute terms, but falling to 12% in percentage terms. After the backlog was reduced, the number of students continued to decline. In the winter semester of 1955/56 565 students were enrolled and the proportion of women was roughly the pre-war level of 5% or in absolute numbers there were only 29 students.

In 1960 the Wilhelm Exner House was completed. In 1972 the university celebrated its centenary. Three years later it was renamed the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna and the university complex was expanded again with the Franz Schwackhöfer House. In 1980 an institutional structure took place. In 1984 there were two extensions of the BOKU by the Türkenwirt and the Adolf Cieslar-Haus (former boarding school). In 1995 the food and biotechnology course (until 1984 food and fermentation technology) celebrated its 50th anniversary. Just two years later, the 125th anniversary of the BOKU was celebrated. In 2001, as at all other universities, tuition fees were introduced , some of which were abolished nationwide in 2008.

In the course of the Life Science Austria initiative (from 2000), the university's profile was sharpened from an agricultural orientation towards the life sciences (life sciences or biosciences) with a more modern, more comprehensive term. The Euroleague for Life Sciences was founded in 2001 together with the University of Hohenheim , the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University of Copenhagen, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Uppsala and the University of Wageningen . The BOKU has contributed to many other international networks; most recently in EPICUR and in Africa UniNet.


As part of a restructuring based on the Universities Act (UG) 2002 , the previously independent institutes were converted into 13 departments with subordinate departments and institutes. There are currently 15 departments:

  • Department of Materials Science and Process Technology
  • Department of Biotechnology
  • Department of Water-Atmosphere-Environment
  • Department of Nanobiotechnology
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department for Integrative Biology and Biodiversity Research
  • Department of Food Science Food Technology
  • Department for Space, Landscape and Infrastructure
  • Department of Economics and Social Sciences
  • Department for Sustainable Agricultural Systems
  • Department of Civil Engineering and Natural Hazards
  • Department of Forest and Soil Sciences
  • Department of Crop Science
  • Department of Agrobiotechnology / IFA Tulln
  • Department of Applied Genetics and Cell Biology

Special scientific institutions

  • Center for Agricultural Sciences
  • Center for Bioeconomy
  • Center for Global Change and Sustainability
  • Vienna Institute of BioTechnology

BOKU is also a member of the Alliance of Sustainable Universities , which was founded in 2012 with the aim of promoting sustainability at universities.

Course offer

With the 2004/2005 academic year, all courses at BOKU were converted to Bachelor and Master courses. A three-tier study system was thus introduced - bachelor's degree, master's degree and doctorate. The previous diploma courses can no longer be started, only completed. At the university there are eight (including one jointly established with the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna ) bachelor's degree, 28 master's degree and ten doctoral degree.

Bachelor degree

In the course of the reform of the University Act 2002 , all Bachelor curricula were revised. By successfully completing the bachelor's degree with a standard study period of six semesters, the graduates now acquire the academic degree "Bachelor of Science" (abbreviation BSc or B.Sc.). This gives you the option of either entering a suitable profession or completing a master’s degree. All bachelor's programs comprise a total of 180 ECTS points .

Master's degree

The master’s program with a standard period of four semesters is completed with the academic degree of Diplomingenieur (abbreviation DI or Dipl.-Ing.). Exceptions are in some cases the international master’s programs, in which master’s degrees are awarded. All master’s programs comprise a total of 120 ECTS points .

  • Agriculture and Food Industry
  • Alpine natural hazards / torrent and avalanche control
  • Applied Plant Sciences
  • Biotechnology
  • European Master in Animal Breeding and Genetics (degree with MSc)
  • European Forestry (degree with MScEF)
  • Environmental Sciences - Soil, Water and Biodiversity (Degree with MSc)
  • Forest sciences
  • Wood technology and management
  • Horticultural Sciences
  • International Master in Soils and Global Change
  • Cultural engineering and water management
  • Landscape planning and landscape architecture
  • Food science and technology
  • Limnology & Wetland Management (degree with MSc)
  • Mountain Forestry (graduation with MScMF)
  • Natural Resources Management and Ecological Engineering (Degree with MSc)
  • Animal Science
  • Crop Science
  • Organic Agricultural Systems and Agroecology (degree with MSc or Dipl.-Ing.)
  • Phytomedicine
  • Safety in the food chain
  • Material and energetic use of renewable raw materials
  • Sustainability in Agriculture, Food Production and Food Technology in the Danube Region
  • Environmental and bioresource management
  • Water Management and Environmental Engineering
  • Viticulture, oenology and winemaking
  • Wildlife Ecology and Wildlife Management (graduation with MSc)


Graduates of the master’s degree can acquire a doctorate in continuation of the master’s degree.

  • PhD in Biomolecular Technology of Proteins
  • Doctoral program in Advanced Biorefineries: Chemistry and Materials
  • PhD program in AgriGenomics
  • PhD program in Biomaterials and Biointerfaces
  • PhD program in Bioprocess Engineering
  • Doctoral degree in soil culture
  • PhD program in Human River Systems in the 21st Century
  • PhD program at the International Graduate School in Nanobiotechnology
  • Doctoral studies in social and economic sciences
  • PhD program in Transitions to Sustainability


The Gregor Mendel House 2016
Wilhelm Exner House
Guttenberg House
Cieslar house
Armin Szilvinyi House

Turkenschanze location

  • Gregor Mendel -Haus (main building) (1180 Vienna, Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33) 48 ° 14 ′ 12 ″  N , 16 ° 20 ′ 14 ″  E Coordinates: 48 ° 14 ′ 12 ″  N , 16 ° 20 ′ 14 ″  E
  • Justus v. Liebig House (1180 Vienna, Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33)
  • Wilhelm Exner House (1190 Vienna, Peter-Jordan-Straße 82); since 1960
  • Franz Schwackhöfer House (1190 Vienna, Peter-Jordan-Straße 82)
  • Adolf von Guttenberg House (1180 Vienna, Feistmantelstraße 4)
  • Oskar Simony House (1180 Vienna, Peter-Jordan-Straße 65)
  • Adolf Cieslar House (1190 Vienna, Peter-Jordan-Straße 70)
  • BOKU-International Relations and Public Relations, Villa (1190 Vienna, Peter-Jordan-Straße 82a)
  • Türkenwirt building (TÜWI) (1190 Vienna, Peter-Jordan-Straße 76)

Muthgasse location

  • Emil Perels-Haus, "Muthgasse I" (1190 Vienna, Muthgasse 18 / Nussdorfer Lände 11)
  • Armin Szilvinyi - House "Muthgasse II" (1190 Vienna, Muthgasse 18)
  • Simon Zeisel - House "Muthgasse III" (1190 Vienna, Muthgasse 11)
  • External leasing "Muthgasse 107" (1190 Vienna, Muthgasse 107)

Tulln location

Branch offices

  • Test farm Groß-Enzersdorf (2301 Groß-Enzersdorf, Schloßhofer Straße 31)
  • Branch office Essling "Test site for engineering biology and landscaping" (1210 Vienna, Schlachthammerstraße 86)
  • Test center Jedlersdorf (1210 Vienna, Gerasdorfer Straße 103)
  • Fruit growing experimental garden (1210 Vienna, Sowinetzgasse 1)
  • Gustav Hempel House "Knödelhütte" and forestry experimental garden (1140 Vienna, Knödelhüttenstraße 37)
  • BOKU Teaching Forest Center Heuberg / Rosalia (7212 Forchtenstein, Heuberg 82)
  • BOKU water cluster (3293 Lunz am See)

Well-known scientists at BOKU


see: List of Rectors of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

Well-known graduates


Leopold Figl (1902-1965)


  • Hans Hoyos-Sprinzenstein (1923-2010), Austrian nobleman and large landowner
  • Max Krott , forest scientist and political scientist, since 1995 professor at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen


  • Josef Löschnig (1872–1949) - regional fruit growing inspector, councilor and author of numerous books on fruit growing and viticulture

Food and biotechnology

  • Ulf Stahl (1944–2019) microbiologist and geneticist


  • Manfried Welan, Paulus Ebner: The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna - From the foundation into the future 1872–1997. Böhlau Verlag, Vienna, ISBN 3-205-98610-5 , ( @google books ).
  • Manfried Welan, Gerhard Poschacher: From Figl to Fischler - important graduates of the "BOKU" Vienna. Stocker, Graz 2005, ISBN 3-7020-1049-1 .

See also

Web links

Commons : University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Rector :: Rectorate :: BOKU .
  2. ShowReport .
  3. ShowReport .
  4. BOKU development plan , from September 16, 2009 (PDF; 873 kB)
  5. ^ Paulus Ebner: History of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences from its beginnings to 1934 , Appendix 1 ( "Brown" past of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences 1918–1938. Materials ); Discussion paper, published by the Institute for Economics, Politics and Law, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna 1995 (PDF; 116 kB)
  6. ^ Paulus Ebner: Politics and University. The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences 1914-1955. Vienna 2002. ISBN 3-7005-4673-4
  7. History :: Public Relations Office :: Staff Offices :: Rectorate :: BOKU. In: Retrieved August 11, 2016 .
  8. Departments of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna :: BOKU. In: Retrieved August 11, 2016 .
  9. ↑ Course offerings :: BOKU. In: Retrieved August 11, 2016 .
  10. Bachelor studies :: BOKU. In: Retrieved August 11, 2016 .
  11. German-language master’s courses :: BOKU. In: Retrieved August 11, 2016 .
  12. English-language master’s programs :: BOKU. In: Retrieved August 11, 2016 .
  13. International master’s programs :: BOKU. In: Retrieved August 11, 2016 .
  14. Doctoral Studies :: BOKU. In: Retrieved August 11, 2016 .
  15. Location Türkenschanze :: Facility Services (FM) :: BOKU. In: Retrieved August 11, 2016 .
  16. ^ Location Muthgasse :: Facility Services (FM) :: BOKU. In: Retrieved August 11, 2016 .
  17. ^ Location Tulln :: Facility Services (FM) :: BOKU. In: Retrieved August 11, 2016 .
  18. ↑ Branch Offices :: Facility Services (FM) :: BOKU. In: Retrieved August 11, 2016 .