Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

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Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
motto know.life
founding 1773; Opening: April 16, 1780 (–1818)
1902 re-establishment
Sponsorship MKW NRW (state)
place Muenster
state North Rhine-WestphaliaNorth Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia
country GermanyGermany Germany
Rector Johannes Wessels
Students 45,721 (WS 2019/20)
Employee 7,141 (2018)
including professors 558 (2018)
Annual budget 642.2 million euros (2017)
Networks DFH , German U15
Website www.uni-muenster.de
EMU headquarters in the castle building
Wilhelm II , namesake of the University of Münster

The Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster ( WWU ) in Münster is one of the largest German universities with around 45,700 students (as of WS 2019/20) and around 280 courses in 15 departments . It was named after Kaiser Wilhelm II in his capacity as King of Prussia , on whose decision the WWU became a university in 1902. Management and administration are located in the building of the former prince-bishop's palace .

There were repeated discussions about the naming, for example in 2018. In May 2020 the Senate of the university declared that the university should promote a “critical, public debate with its namesake”. In 2017, the full name in the logo was replaced by the short form WWU Münster .


The university is the fifth largest university in Germany . Around 7,320 degrees are acquired here every year (as of 2017).

The WWU is not a campus university. Its 246 buildings are distributed over the city of Münster, several of them in the area between Schlossplatz , where mainly the departments of biology and German studies are to be found, and Domplatz , where, among other things, the main auditorium , the university library , the Juridicum (departments of law and economics ) and the departments of Education and Social Sciences, History / Philosophy, Theology and Philology. The Münster University Hospital , the departments of psychology and sports science, music education and musicology, mathematics and computer science, chemistry and pharmacy, physics and parts of the geosciences are located west of the castle near the Coesfeld cross . Other institutes are located on the Leonardo campus , the former Von-Eine cavalry barracks built between 1888 and 1901 , shared by the university, technical college and art academy , as well as at Hüfferstift and near Lake Aa .

The university is active in both basic research and applied science . The program of the University consists of two clusters of excellence , 15 Collaborative Research Centers , five DFG Research Training Groups , 28 DFG Priority Programs , 13 Grants of the European Research Council (ERC grants: two Advanced, four Consolidator and three Starting Grants, Booth 2018), eight Emmy Noether Junior research groups and 26 research centers (as of 2018).

There is a partnership agreement with around 550 domestic and foreign universities as well as double diploma and double bachelor agreements (including in philology, political science, law and economics) with foreign universities. Around 3,600 foreign students, mainly from Eastern Europe and Asia, make up around eight percent of the students at the university. A good 1,300 Münster students study abroad each semester.

As part of the “ Junioruni ” project , talented 11th and 12th grade students can take part in lectures and courses at the university.

Ten times a year, the university and the “Children's University of Münster” hold 45-minute lectures for eight- to twelve-year-old students.

The new Geomuseum of the Westphalian Wilhelms University is being built in this building on Pferdegasse

The university operates three public museums - the Archaeological Museum , the Bible Museum and the Geomuseum Münster (currently closed for renovation) - as well as a botanical garden .


Old University until 1902

The forerunner of today's university was established as a Jesuit college at the end of the 16th century . In 1612, the then Regens , the Jesuit Matthäus Tympius , recommended in his book Significant and important reasons why in the Wollöblichen instead of Munster ... a famous university or academia should be founded and the foundation of a university in the episcopal city.

In 1631, Pope Urban VIII and Emperor Ferdinand II gave the city the founding privileges for a university. The state estates promised the sum of 20,000 thalers. The project failed due to the turmoil of the Thirty Years' War . Another attempt by Christoph Bernhard von Galen , Bishop of Münster, failed in 1670 due to financial difficulties.

Statue of Franz von Fürstenberg in front of the Fürstenberghaus of the university on Domplatz

From 1771 Franz Freiherr von Fürstenberg , the permanent representative of Cologne's Archbishop and Bishop of Münster, Maximilian Friedrich von Königsegg-Rothenfels , succeeded in promoting the establishment. He used the proceeds from the liquidation of two monasteries in Münster, the Liebfrauen-Überwasser monastery and the Jesuit college in Münster, which was affected by the abolition of the Jesuit order, as capital . After the granting of privileges for a state university by Pope Clement XIV on May 28th and by Emperor Joseph II on October 8th, 1773, the ceremonial opening took place on April 16th, 1780. The aim of the established institution should be the university education of talented local people in the faculties of theology , philosophy , law and medicine , so that they can then be appointed to Cologne University . The first chancellor of the university was Franz von Fürstenberg. Prince-Bishop Maximilian Friedrich von Königsegg-Rothenfels held the office of first rector.

After Münster was added to Prussia as part of the Napoleonic reorganization in 1803 , the university was to be expanded into one of the most modern German universities at the time, according to plans by Freiherr vom Stein . This did not materialize. Rather, the University of Münster was abolished after the decision of the Prussian government on October 18, 1818 in favor of the new university in Bonn . What remained was an academic institute for the training of clergy and high school teachers for the diocese of Münster , to which a surgical school was affiliated in 1821 . In 1843 the academic school was renamed the “Royal Theological and Philosophical Academy”. The Surgical School was closed by the Prussian government in 1849, since doctors were supposed to complete university studies from that point on.

Decades of negotiations with the Prussian government in Berlin followed . The first partial success was the recognition of the philological studies at the academy as a full course in 1858. The main point of contention on the question of rebuilding a university was that the Catholic academy at that time did not want to accept Protestant students. From 1875 Protestants were also given access.

From the re-establishment in 1902 to 1945

At the instigation of Otto Fürst zu Salm-Horstmar , the Prussian parliament decided on March 11, 1902 to re-establish a law faculty in Münster. In accordance with the resolution, Wilhelm II raised the academy back to the rank of university on July 1, 1902. Theology, philosophy, law and political science faculties were taught. On August 22, 1907, the university was finally given its current name by Wilhelm II. A year later, women were also allowed to study there. In the same year the AStA from Münster was founded. The Evangelical Theological Faculty was established in 1914, followed by the Medical Faculty and the Institute for Physical Education in 1925 .

After the National Socialist seizure of power in 1933, the university's self-administration was restricted. 26 faculty members (11.9%) were fired. Four of them later became victims of National Socialism. Jewish students were not re- enrolled ; some of those still enrolled were able to continue their studies until 1938.

Ten of the 3,662 students enrolled in Münster at the time were excluded from the university because of " non-Aryan descent". Three students were de-registered for political reasons. In 2000, the university's senate decided to announce these unlawful processes in a "Declaration by the Westphalian Wilhelms-Universität Münster on measures taken by the university during the Nazi tyranny" and to declare them invalid.

Since 2014, younger and older students have been researching the lives of victims of National Socialism at the University of Münster as part of several exercises and thinking about them in the form of memorial sheets. Two students from the Münster University of Applied Sciences developed a memorial concept for the victims called hall talks , which was implemented in various buildings of the university at the end of 2015. The memorial sheets for the victims can be found on the project's website.

As a result of the destruction of the war, teaching was discontinued in the winter semester of 1944/45.

After 1945

The university reopened on November 3, 1945. After the reconstruction of the castle, which had largely been destroyed, it was inaugurated in 1954 as the main building of the university.

In 1948, the mathematical and natural science subjects were separated from the philosophy faculty and a separate mathematical and natural science faculty was founded. The Faculty of Law and Political Science was subdivided in 1969 into the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Economics and Political Science. In 1970 a new structure with 19 departments was introduced. In 1968 the first humanities special research area (SFB) of the German Research Foundation was established in the history department: the SFB Medieval Research, which existed from 1968 to 1985. In 1980 the University of Education Westphalia-Lippe , Münster department, was affiliated to the university.

In 1983 the new central clinic in Münster was completed after the old clinic buildings were no longer able to accommodate.

In August 1986 the underground organization Rote Zora carried out an arson attack on the Institute for Human Genetics at the Westphalian Wilhelms University, whose first director from 1951 to 1965 was the Nazi doctor Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer , and published stolen documents from the institute.

In 1999 the departments of the university were organized in their current form. In 2004, through the incorporation of the Münster department of the Detmold Music Academy, the Music Academy was added as the 15th department .

In the summer semester of 2001, the first students in the “junior university” took part in lectures and exams at the university. For this purpose, 11th and 12th grade pupils are proposed by their schools according to their own selection criteria and are exempted from teaching. Certificates of attendance and final exams can be recognized in later studies at the WWU.

In 2002 the university received a new university constitution. It was modified again on a larger scale at the end of 2007 - made necessary by the Higher Education Freedom Act of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The new body of the university council is planned.

In 2004 the parents' alarm took place for the first time , a campaign that was unique in Germany at the time and was awarded by the federal government, in which parents can take part in guided tours and lectures.

After the introduction of tuition fees for long-term students, the number of students fell by around 4,000 in the 2004 summer semester. In May 2006, in protest against the introduction of general tuition fees, students occupied the rectorate of the university in the Münster castle. When the subject of tuition fees was to be dealt with again in the Senate on January 17, 2007, some students at the time stormed the castle, so that the Senate was not quorate with only 11 of the 23 Senators present. Almost 1000 students protested peacefully in front of the castle. During the second attempt on January 20, the Senate meeting took place on a site of the Technical Relief Organization that was specially secured by police protection . It was decided not to introduce any tuition fees for the time being and to have the issue discussed by a specially appointed commission. At the final meeting of the Senate on March 14, 2007, the Senate voted twelve to eleven, despite renewed demonstrations, for the introduction of tuition fees of 275 euros per semester from the 2007/2008 winter semester. This regulation was initially valid for two years, after which an interim balance should be drawn. The Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität was thus - apart from the distance university in Hagen , where the teaching material has always cost - the last university in North Rhine-Westphalia that decided to introduce tuition fees. Tuition fees in North Rhine-Westphalia were abolished again in the 2011/2012 winter semester.

With Bettina Böhm as the successor to Klaus Anderbrügge, a woman took over the chancellery at the head of administration for the first time in the history of the university. Their nomination in the Senate was unanimous. He was succeeded on February 1, 2008 by Stefan Schwartze from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin-Buch .

In 2006 the university professionalized its further education portfolio. The establishment of the WWU further education non-profit GmbH was an important step of the Westphalian Wilhelms-Universität to the expansion and the targeted bundling of the further education activities. As a wholly-owned subsidiary, the company's purpose is to promote continuing education at the WWU and to combine science and practice.

In 2007 the Higher Education Freedom Act was introduced. Since then the university has been run as a corporation under public law . In addition, the commission to process the history of the University of Münster in the 20th century began its work on July 12, 2007. The results were published in an anthology in 2012. The aim is a systematic and long-term review of the past of the University of Münster. In the same year the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität received its current logo and introduced a corporate design .

In 2008 a university council was appointed, which is provided for in the Higher Education Freedom Act. The first chairman was Reinhard Kurth († February 2, 2014), former president of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin.

In 2016 preparations began for the creation of a “Campus of Religions” with Protestant, Catholic and Islamic theological faculties, its own administration and a shared library, which was originally supposed to start work in 2022. In a later presentation, institutions for Christian-Orthodox and non-denominational research on religion were promised and the year 2023 was named as the planned opening date.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic , teaching has been switched to digital channels as far as possible.

University seal and logo

University seal

The seal of the university shows Mary Queen with a crown and scepter and on her arm the baby Jesus with orb with the inscription "SIGILLUM • UNIVERSITATIS • MON [ASTERIA] SIS". It was already in use at the time of the Old University from 1780. The university adopted the seal image from the seal of the abbess of the Liebfrauen-Überwasser monastery , Dorothea von Hörde (1703–1750). This monastery was abolished in 1765 at the request of the Münster cathedral chapter and the knighthood of the city of Münster in order to be able to finance the establishment of the university with the proceeds from it.

For most of the 19th and the whole of the 20th century, the university was a state authority and therefore initially bore the seal of the Prussian state , after the synchronization in the 1930s the seal of the National Socialist state and then the small seal of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Westphalia . By enacting the Higher Education Freedom Act , the universities in North Rhine-Westphalia were given the right to use their own coat of arms and seals from January 1, 2007, when they were converted into public corporations. The Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität made use of this with Article 1, Paragraph 3 of its constitution of December 21, 2007. Previously, the use of the university seal was reserved for the rectorate. Today the seal is used in particular on certificates and other official documents.

The faculties partly bear their traditional (faculty) seals, partly the seal of the university.

There is also the logo of the university with the castle as the main building in a stylized form. In 2007, a new logo was introduced that depicts the castle in a more abstract form. Despite a comparatively broad criticism of both the new logo and how its introduction was communicated, it is now used as the official logo of the WWU.


Committees and functions

Fundamental decisions in research and teaching as well as decisions that affect the university as a whole are made by the central committees of the Rectorate and Senate. In addition, the Senate is the only directly elected by the members of the university organ responsible for constitutional changes and amendments of the central systems of the university and selected along with the University Council the Rector of the University, the Vice Rector Interior and Vice-Rectors and the equal opportunity commissioner of the university. The term of office of the members of the Senate is two years, that of the student members one year.

The university council advises the rectorate and exercises financial supervision over the rectorate. It has internal and external members, such as Nobel Prize winner Johannes Georg Bednorz from 2008 to 2018 .

The rector has been the physicist Johannes Wessels since October 1, 2016 . He represents the university externally. The Chancellor, Matthias Schwarte since March 2012, has been in charge of administration, is the employer of all non-academic staff and is responsible for the budget.

Student representation

The student body is responsible for representing the students . It regulates its own affairs independently within the framework of student self-administration and, as a constituent student body, is a legal body under public law and a member of the university. The organs of this self-administration include the student parliament , the General Student Committee (AStA) and the student councils .


The budget in 2017 was around 640 million euros. In 2018, around 152 million euros were raised in third-party funding, an increase of 60 million compared to 2008. Third-party funding providers also include three dependent foundations and the Universitätsgesellschaft Münster eV

At the beginning of 2012, a loss of eight million euros was forecast for the 2012 financial year. In mid-2012, these forecasts were corrected to a deficit of ten million euros. The 2012 annual financial statements surprisingly showed a profit of 6.94 million euros. The reason for this was that the university only had to repay three of the nine million euros of the University Pact I to the state. Another million could be generated by setting up a dunning system . In the following years until today, the WWU achieved a balanced annual result or a low annual surplus.

For the summer semester 2020, the semester fee was set at 299.34 euros. This includes the fee for the semester ticket. It was decided to introduce tuition fees for the 2007/2008 winter semester . The tuition fee was 275 euros and was last raised in the 2011 summer semester.

Faculties and departments

The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Courtyard of the Juridicum
Entrance to the music college

The university is divided into 15 departments (as of winter semester 2018/19):

  • Faculty 1: Protestant Theological Faculty on Universitätsstrasse with 1163 students
  • Faculty 2: Catholic Theological Faculty on Johannisstrasse and institutions on Robert-Koch-Strasse with 1759 students
  • Faculty 3: Faculty of law on Universitätsstrasse in Juridicum and the "Alte UB" as well as an institute on the Leonardo campus , around 5095 students
  • Faculty 4: Faculty of Economics on Universitätsstraße in Juridicum, on Stadtgraben and partly on Leonardo Campus , 5885 students
  • Faculty 5: Medical Faculty on Domagkstrasse with 3293 students
  • Faculty 6: Education and social sciences on Georgskommende and Scharnhorststraße with 3596 students
  • Faculty 7: Psychology and Sports Science on Fliednerstrasse and Horstmarer Landweg with 1940 students
  • Faculty 8: History / Philosophy on Domplatz with 3539 students
  • Faculty 9: Philology on Schlaunstraße with 5602 students
  • Faculty 10: Mathematics and Computer Science on Einsteinstrasse with 2891 students
  • Faculty 11: Physics on Wilhelm-Klemm-Strasse with 2872 students
  • Faculty 12: Chemistry and Pharmacy on Hittorfstrasse with 2773 students
  • Faculty 13: Biology at Schlossplatz with 1942 students
  • Faculty 14: Geosciences on Heisenbergstrasse with 1842 students
  • Faculty 15: Musikhochschule on Schorlemerstraße with 530 students

828 students are enrolled in courses that do not belong to any department.


The University and State Library of Münster (ULB) provides research, teaching and studies at your university with literature and information. The ULB is available to students and employees of the WWU and other universities in Münster and the residents of the city and the region. As a state library, it procures, indexes and stores literature and information from and about Westphalia and supports research, work and education in the region.

The entire library system of the WWU consists - in addition to the ULB with its branches for the subject areas of medicine , social sciences , chemistry and physics - from a further 100 specialist libraries (as of 2016) in the departments and faculties. The total inventory at the WWU comprises around 7.62 million media units.

External buildings

The university has buildings outside of Münster, which are used as conference venues primarily for seminars or research colloquia. The Rothenberge house near Wettringen is maintained by the Erich Kummer Foundation. The “Zafernahütte” in Kleinwalsertal in Austria has been in use for 50 years. The Carolinensiel watt station , which is mainly used by biologists, has been owned by the university for almost as long .

Information processing

The data center was founded in 1964. In 1996 it was reorganized and renamed the Center for Information Processing (ZIV). Ten decentralized IT supply units (internal designation IVVen ) were set up in the departments. In 2020, the ZIV was merged with the administrative IT (IT and process development department) to form WWU IT.

The tasks of the WWU IT include planning, installation, operation and maintenance of the university IT and communication technology including central high-performance computers as well as the operational supervision of all data processing systems of the university.

The WWU IT also operates the "Münster Science Network" for networking with the Münster University of Applied Sciences , the Münster Art Academy and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine.

It cooperates with the German Research Network , the working group of the heads of scientific data centers in NRW, the centers for communication and information processing, the German initiative for network information and the resource association NRW. In addition, WWU IT is in charge of sciebo , a cloud storage service for research and teaching operated jointly by around 30 universities in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Research priorities

The WWU conducts internationally renowned cutting-edge research in numerous research fields - for example in collaborative research in the humanities and cultural sciences, in evolution research, in chemistry and physics, and in mathematics. Ten Leibniz Prize winners worked in Münster in 2017. 13 ongoing grants from the European Research Council (ERC - Starting, Consolidator and Advanced) and six Max Planck research awards for scientists from the University of Münster underline the level of research. The WWU is the host university in seven DFG Collaborative Research Centers. In addition to other funding projects with DFG funding, the proportion of programs that are funded from federal and EU funds or through foundations is growing.

German Research Foundation

In the special research areas funded by the German Research Foundation DFG, research is carried out on the extracellular matrix , among other things , while mathematics is about groups, geometry and actions . In medicine and the natural sciences, research is carried out on molecular cell dynamics , molecular imaging , multilevel molecular assemblies - structure, dynamics and functions and fear, anxiety and anxiety disorders . The historians are in charge of the Collaborative Research Center on Symbolic Communication and Social Value Systems . German scholars, art historians and lawyers are also involved.

Global differential geometry ( mathematics ), host-parasite coevolution , science and the public: the understanding of fragile and conflicting scientific evidence ( psychology ) and The first 10 Million Years of the Solar System - a Planetary Materials Approach ( mineralogy ) are promoted as priority programs of the German Research Foundation .

In the junior research groups, the scientists are supervised immediately after completing their doctorate with the aim of achieving the requirements for teaching at a university. Political science is about European civil society and multilevel governance . In psychology there is one for coding and processing visual movement information . The young mathematics group deals with Alexandrov geometry and its applications . The historians deal with family values ​​in social change and norm and narration in ancient societies . The group Theory and ab initio simulation of plasma turbulence is operated together with the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics .

Natural sciences

Main building of the physics department
The “Center for Nanotechnology” (CeNTech) on Gievenbecker Weg

The university’s chemistry department has the first German-Japanese graduate college on Complex Functional Systems in Chemistry: Design, Development and Applications . The German-Dutch graduate school on the subject of the creation of supramolecular cavities - container molecules, macrocycles and related compounds is supported by the departments of physics and chemistry, while that of biology and medicine researches the molecular basis of dynamic cellular processes . There are other colleges in the traditionally very strong research area of mathematics with an interdisciplinary connection to physics on the subject of analytical topology and metageometry . Two Max Planck Prize winners and five Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize winners are active in mathematics .

The departments of biology , chemistry and medicine are involved in the research training group Molecular interactions of pathogens with biotic and abiotic surfaces . Physics, on the other hand, is part of the European Graduate School FANTOM (International Research School for Fundamental and Applied Nuclear and aTOMic physics) together with top European universities . It also has a stake in CeNTech together with the chemical industry . Together with the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, international master's and doctoral courses are offered.

The Institute for Geoinformatics , together with the University of Bremen and the University at Buffalo, runs the international graduate college "Semantic Integration of Spatial Information".

The Institute of Planetology is involved in space missions by ESA and the German Aerospace Center. It is funded with several million euros for the exploration of the planet Mercury as part of Bepi Colombo and MERTIS . He is also responsible for project management.

The International Graduate School of Chemistry (NRW Graduate School), founded at WWU in 2001, enables doctoral studies with a PhD degree within three years.

In 2009, the Battery Research Center Münster Electrochemical Energy Technology (MEET) was founded. With around 50 million (as of 2014) within the university, MEET is the leader in third-party funding.

Humanities and social sciences

In the “Religion and Politics” cluster of excellence at the Center for Religious Studies , historians, theologians, lawyers, social and literary scholars examine the relationship between religion and politics from pre-Christian antiquity to the present.

The Graduate School of Politics was founded in 2005 in the Department of Political Science and enables doctoral studies in three years. The Graduate School Practices of Literature is jointly supported by the Philologies.

A Graduate School of Communication Science (GSCS) has been set up at the Institute for Communication Science (IfK). The institute was founded in 1919 as a press department and, according to its own information, is the oldest communication science institute in North Rhine-Westphalia and the second oldest institute of its kind in the Federal Republic.

The Center for Religious Studies deals with interreligious and intercultural issues in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The Center for the History and Culture of the Eastern Mediterranean deals with interreligious and intercultural issues . There are also special research and graduate colleges in this area.

The Center for Rhetoric bundles the areas of rhetoric , communication and theater practice in German studies .

The House of the Netherlands (right)

The Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität has several research centers of its own, for example the Center for Dutch Studies in the House of the Netherlands , which is devoted to the Netherlands and Flanders in an interdisciplinary manner . The center includes the graduate school “Civil Society Processes of Understanding from the 19th Century to the Present. Germany and the Netherlands in comparison ”.

In the field of history, there is a graduate college on social symbolism in the Middle Ages . At the Department of Ancient History and Epigraphy is Research Center Asia Minor resident who the ancient Asia Minor explored.

The International Center for Talent Research is an interdisciplinary ( educational , sociological and psychological ) research institution in cooperation with the Catholic Radboud University in Nijmegen , located in Münster. The main research areas are teacher training and development as well as talent development and research.

The virtual graduate college of psychology deals with Knowledge Acquisition and Knowledge Exchange with New Media in cooperation with the University of Freiburg and the University of Tübingen .


In the field of medicine, there is a link with the Münster University Hospital . The German Research Foundation finances five special research areas here. In addition, there is cooperation with the Max Planck Society , which established a Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster in 2001 . The Leibniz Institute for Arteriosclerosis Research (LIFA), which is affiliated to the university as a Leibniz Institute , was closed in 2014. There is also the Center for Molecular Biology of Inflammation (ZMBE). One of the university's academic teaching hospitals is the Sankt-Elisabeth-Hospital Gütersloh .

In 2014, the faculty came into the light of plagiarism investigations by the VroniPlag platform. Among other things, cases became known in which dissertations had been largely written off several times or almost completely.

law Sciences

The state competence center for information, telecommunications and media law links legal research in an interdisciplinary manner with elements of communication science and business informatics . There are also several legal centers such as the Center for European Private Law (CEP) or the Center for Foreign Trade Law . Furthermore, several research centers have been set up such as the research center for banking law, insurance, industrial property rights, the European forum for foreign trade, excise duties and customs, the Münster social law association, the affiliated institute for customs and foreign trade law, the affiliated institute of the Society for Legal Philosophical Research and the research center for legal law. There is also the possibility of a secondary degree as part of the subject-specific foreign language training. In this, students acquire knowledge of foreign law in English, French and Spanish .


The building of the European Research Center for Information Systems on the Leonardo campus

Research in business administration is organized into four centers: the Accounting Center Münster (ACM), the Finance Center Münster (FCM), the Marketing Center Münster (MCM) and the Center for Management (CfM), each of which has several chairs and Institutes work together. The Accounting Center Münster deals with questions of external and internal accounting , auditing and corporate taxation . The Finance Center Münster focuses on banking and finance issues . The main focus is on corporate finance , credit risks, investment decisions including old-age provision , the valuation of assets and especially asset price bubbles. The Marketing Center Münster deals with questions of market-oriented corporate management . Topics such as customer relationship management , value-based marketing, sales and distribution management, direct marketing , media and digital marketing and B2B marketing play an essential role. The Center for Management focuses on general management components such as organization, innovation and strategic management.

According to its methodological core, economic research is organized in three centers, the Center for Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM), the Center for Quantitative Economics (CQE) and the Center for Economic Theory (CET). They also combine the work of several chairs and institutes. In terms of content finance , sports economics , International Economics , Monetary Economics , theory and empiricism of business cooperation, international financial markets, economics Transport economics , energy economics , regional and Real Estate Economics and Quantitative Economic History emphasized as research priorities.

The Institute of Economics computer science consisting of several chairs, provides the Board of the European research network "European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS)". The research focus of the institute includes industrial informatics , logistics , trade information systems , investment controlling, e-learning , internet economics , interorganizational systems and Web 2.0 .

The Center for Interdisciplinary Economic Research (CIW) has specialized in interdisciplinary work beyond the boundaries of economics. Research is carried out on the basis of economic methodology in a broad field of economic and social science , which includes economic education , modern political economy and organizational economics .

In 2019 the department celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Interdisciplinary branches of research

The Center for Scientific Theory (ZfW), founded in 2006, promotes the networking of content between the natural sciences and the humanities. As of 2020, 12 departments of the university are involved in the ZfW.

The Center for Nonlinear Science (CeNos) is an interdisciplinary center for mathematics , physics , chemistry , pharmacy and economics . It deals with non-linear complex systems. It was created from DFG Collaborative Research Centers and Graduate Schools and is intended to expand them to include a Graduate School , Collaborative Research Centers and Graduate Schools .

The Cells in Motion Cluster of Excellence (CiM) has been researching the dynamic interaction of cells in organisms since 2012 and is developing biomedical imaging methods for this purpose. Around 80 working groups from the fields of medicine, biology, chemistry, pharmacy, physics, mathematics, computer science and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine are involved .

The Interdisciplinary Center for Electron Microscopy and Microanalysis (ICEM) does basic research in the field of geosciences.

The Interdisciplinary Research Center for Cooperative and Functional Nanoscale Systems deals with basic research on nanotechnology.

Other research areas

Water as a raw material is the main focus of research in the Water Network , an association of science and practice in which the Westphalian Wilhelms University, the University Hospital and the Münster University of Applied Sciences participate.

External cooperation

In addition to those already mentioned, there are external collaborations with the Freiherr-von-Stein Institute of the District Council of North Rhine-Westphalia , the Erich-Schütz Research Institute, the Honorary Prize Institute for SWIFT Studies, the Center for Hospital Management and the Institute for Forest and Forest Informatics. Affiliated institutes are the Academy for Manual Medicine , the Institute for Agricultural and Forest Informatics , the Institute for Psychological Psychotherapy Training , the Institute for Comparative Urban History , the Institute for Westphalian Church History , the International Institute for Forest and Wood NRW and the Nephrological Institute .

European degrees

From 1999 onwards, the university implemented the “ Bologna Process ” with the aim of achieving university degrees that were comparable across Europe and gradually established Bachelor , Master and PhD degrees. New courses were subject to admission restrictions .

By the winter semester 2006/2007 almost all courses at the WWU had been converted. Exceptions are, as nationwide, the state exams in medicine, pharmacy and law. Since 2007, individual courses have been offered entirely in English . Other degree programs contain individual lectures, seminars or theses in English.

Awards and grants

The university awards prizes to students or young academics either itself or in cooperation with companies. The following prizes are awarded annually or per semester:

  • Transfer price: 20,000 euros to one or more scientists for members who cooperate outside the university with industry and practice and integrate research results into practice. The award is also aimed at start-ups at the University of Münster.
  • Prize for the promotion of young scientists (awarded by the Universitätsgesellschaft Münster eV ): 10,000 euros for particularly outstanding research achievements by young academics at the University of Münster.
  • Dissertation prizes: 7,500 euros each for outstanding dissertations at the WWU. For each faculty (apart from the theological ones, which alternately award the dissertation prize), the year's best dissertation is selected.
  • Student price: 7,500 euros for exceptional social commitment by students
  • Sybille Hahne founder award: 32,000 euros for innovative start-up projects that have a unique selling point and are already active on the market. Sybille Hahne award for young entrepreneurs: 1,500 euros for young entrepreneurs.
  • Procter & Gamble Prize for special scientific achievements by Masters / Diploma / PhD students in chemistry and pharmacy at the WWU
  • Oliver Wyman -AlumniUM-Vordiplom-Award: 1000 Euro for the ten best undergraduate students of a semester at the Faculty of Business and Economics
  • Ernst & Young Prize: 500 euros for the best diploma / master's thesis of a semester in the area of ​​controlling at the Faculty of Business and Economics
  • Prize of the Institute for Political Science for the three best theses (1st place 300 euros, 2nd place 200 euros, 3rd place 100 euros) at the Institute for Political Science
  • Oliver Wyman -AlumniUM-Master-Award with prizes for the three best diploma / master graduates at the Faculty of Business and Economics
  • Oliver Wyman foreign scholarship for students of the Faculty of Business and Economics
  • Ludwig Mülhaupt Prize: 1000 euros for outstanding performance in one semester at the Faculty of Business and Economics
  • Lufthansa Revenue Services Award for outstanding diploma / master's theses in business informatics
  • Harry Westermann Prize for the promotion of young academics in the Law Faculty of the University of Münster (awarded since 1990)
  • Andreas Dombret Prize for an outstanding dissertation that combines science and practice at the Faculty of Business and Economics
  • Infineon Master Award: 1500 euros for the best diploma or master thesis of a semester in the field of physics (since April 2007)

The following prizes are awarded every two years:

  • Teaching award: 30,000 euros to a lecturer for outstanding and exemplary performance in the field of teaching
  • Research award: 30,000 euros to a scientist for excellent, internationally recognized and current achievements
  • Women's advancement award: 20,000 euros for outstanding projects and measures to promote equality between women and men
  • Ernst Hellmut Vits Prize (awarded by the Universitätsgesellschaft Münster eV): 20,000 euros for an excellent scientific contribution, through which "ways to improve mentally and materially life in the world determined by science and technology are shown".


In the Shanghai Ranking 2019, the University of Münster is among the 150 to 200 best universities worldwide. This makes it eighth in Germany, together with the universities of Cologne and Tübingen . With 189th place in an international comparison, the university received a similarly strong rating in the Times Higher Education Ranking of 2020. In the QS World University Ranking 2020, however, it comes off significantly weaker at 347th place. In addition, the university has deteriorated significantly in recent years. In 2014 she was able to reach place 236.


In the medical school, experimental mice were illegally kept in an unapproved facility . After an anonymous tip in 2017, the university switched on the veterinary office of the city of Münster, which then closed the facility. Six animals were euthanized due to their state of health , the remaining animals were confiscated. The university announced the consequences as soon as those responsible were known.

Media offers

The college radio for all Münster universities is Radio Q . The city's student newspaper is called Semesterspiegel and appears seven times a year with a circulation of 3,500 copies. The official newspaper of the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität “Wissen | Leben ”appears eight times a year with a print run of 7,200 copies (2019). It is aimed at university members, alumni , sponsors and interested parties.

Additional offers for students

The Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität offers university sports in around 140 sports for a fee.

Since February 25, 2002, the university has been a “ partner university for top-class sport ” and supports the active in making their studies and sport successful. In association with the Olympic base in Westphalia , the Studierendenwerk Münster, the umbrella organization adh , the WWU offers top athletes comprehensive advice on study planning and organization, and provides sports facilities for training. Every year university sports organize German university championships in various sports and send active participants to German and European championships for students. Every week, 25,000 students and employees of the university take part in the diverse range of popular sports. With the Leonardo Campus Run in summer and the St. Nicholas Tournament in winter, university sports organize major sporting events. The Basketball Nations Cup held from 2002 to 2009 was also very prestigious .

Students can use the university's computer workstations and a university-wide wireless LAN free of charge , print over the Internet, use the university's computer clusters for computing- intensive tasks and attend computer courses. Most of the university's copiers are networked with the Internet, which allows documents and books to be scanned (optionally in pdf or tif format) free of charge and then sent to an e-mail address within the university.

In the language center of the WWU, students from all faculties can attend almost 20 different, partly subject-specific language courses and acquire certificates ( e.g. DELE , UNIcert ).

The university is home to the Münster student orchestra , two student big bands , the young symphony orchestra and student choirs such as the university choir or the student choir . In the theater area there is the studio stage on Domplatz , the theater laboratory on Scharnhorststraße and foreign-language drama groups such as the English Drama Group or the Theater uit de muur .

Muenster represented student initiatives include AEGEE , AIESEC , the debating society, ELSA , Münster trading floor, MTP , Market Team , move - student consultancy , symposium Oeconomicum Muenster , Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE), Venture Club Munster, farsightedness .

Regular student parties include the JuWi-Fest or Die WiWi-Party (formerly WiWis On Rock ).

As of 2018, there were 30 active student associations in Münster .


The canteen da Vinci on the Leonardo Campus

The Studierendenwerk Münster operates four canteens as well as eleven bistros and cafés in Münster such as the cafeteria on Aasee with space for over 1,600 guests and the cafeteria on the Ring near the Coesfelder Kreuz. There is a cafeteria in Bispinghof and the da Vinci cafeteria on the Leonardo campus .

Offers for alumni

The “Alumni Club WWU Münster” for former students and employees is the university's largest network. Through events, regional group meetings, information about the University of Münster and various services, alumni can maintain contact with each other and with the university. The Alumni Club WWU Münster supports the establishment of alumni regional groups of the WWU worldwide. Through donations from its members, the Alumni Club also supports talented and committed students as part of the WWU ProTalent scholarship program.

In addition, there are associations and offers for alumni in the faculties and institutes.

Personalities and alumni

The following lists contain a listing of well-known personalities and former students of the university.

Götz Alsmann completed his studies in musicology in 1984
Mikhail Gorbachev , honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Law since 2005
Hanna-Renate Laurien , honorary doctorate from the Catholic Theological Faculty of the University of Münster
Jens Lehmann studied from 1992 to 1998 Economics
Ulrike Meinhof , member of the AStA in 1958
Georg Milbradt , student and later honorary professor at the WWU
Reinhard Mohn , 2001 honorary doctorate from the economics faculty of the WWU
Ursula Nelles studied law at the WWU. From 2006 to 2016 she was the rector there.
Josef Ratzinger , Professor of Dogmatics from 1963 to 1966
Johannes Wessels , physicist at WWU, has been its rector since 2016

Graduates and Students

Lecturers and Professors

Honorary doctors



  • Bernd Haunfelder , The Rectors, Curators and Chancellors of the University of Münster 1826–2016. A biographical manual (= publications of the University Archives Münster 14), Aschendorff, Münster 2020, ISBN 978-3-402-15897-5 .
  • Wilhelm Kohl , Robert Giesler: The register of the University of Münster 1780 to 1818. Edition and biographical explanations (publications of the University Archives of Münster, 1) . Aschendorff Verlag, Münster 2008, ISBN 978-3-402-15880-7 .
  • Lothar Kurz (Ed.): 200 years between cathedral and castle. A reader on the past and present of the Westphalian Wilhelms University of Münster . Self-published, Münster 1980.
  • Jörg Niemer: From Domplatz to Schloss: The building history of the University of Münster from its foundation to the completion of the reconstruction after the Second World War . Aschendorff, Münster 2010, ISBN 978-3-402-15882-1 .
  • Ruth Mohrmann (Ed.): 50 years ago ... commemorative events of the Westphalian Wilhelms University of Münster on May 8, 1945 . Lit-Verlag, Münster 1996, ISBN 978-3-8258-2683-3 .
  • Sabine Happ, Veronika Jüttemann (eds.): “Let them think!” 100 years of studies for women in Munster (publications from the Münster University Archives , 2), 2nd edition, Aschendorff Verlag, Munster 2009, ISBN 978-3-402 -15881-4 .
  • Hans-Ulrich Thamer , Daniel Droste, Sabine Happ (eds.): The University of Münster under National Socialism. Continuities and breaks between 1920 and 1960 (publications by the Münster University Archives, 5). Aschendorff Verlag, Münster 2012, ISBN 978-3-402-15884-5 .

Individual faculties, institutes and facilities

  • Manfred Hermanns: Social ethics through the ages. Personalities - Research - Effects of the Chair for Christian Social Studies and the Institute for Christian Social Sciences at the University of Münster 1883–1997. Schöningh, Paderborn 2006, ISBN 3-506-72989-6 .
  • Rolf Wiermann: The Botanical Garden of the University of Münster: 200 years of history. Landwirtschaftsverlag, Münster 2003. ISBN 978-3-7843-3218-5 .
  • Daniel Droste: Between progress and entanglement. The biological institutes of the University of Münster 1922 to 1962 (publications of the University Archives of Münster, 6). Aschendorff Verlag, Münster 2012, ISBN 978-3-402-15885-2 .
  • Birthe Heitkötter: Obstetrics and Gynecology in National Socialism. Peter Esch and the gynecological clinic of the University of Münster from 1925 to 1950 (publications of the University Archives of Münster, 7). Aschendorff Verlag, Münster 2013, ISBN 978-3-402-15886-9 .
  • Kathrin Baas: "Geography as a political matter" - Geographical research and teaching at the University of Münster between science and politics (1909–1950) (Publications of the University Archives Münster, 8). Aschendorff Verlag, Münster 2015, ISBN 978-3-402-15887-6 .
  • Manfred Günnigmann: Werner Korte and musicology at the University of Münster 1932 to 1973 (publications of the University Archives of Münster, 9). Aschendorff Verlag, Münster 2015, ISBN 978-3-402-15888-3 .
  • Sebastian Felz: Law between Science and Politics. The law and political science faculty of the University of Münster from 1902 to 1952 . Aschendorff Verlag, Münster 2016, ISBN 978-3-402-15889-0 .
  • Kristina Maraike Sievers: Between Academic Freedom and State Control. University administration of the University of Münster 1922–1951 (publications of the University Archives of Münster, 11). Aschendorff Verlag, Münster 2017, ISBN 978-3-402-15892-0 .

Web links

Commons : Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

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Coordinates: 51 ° 57 ′ 49 ″  N , 7 ° 36 ′ 47 ″  E