University of Münster

University of Münster

University of Münster Details

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The University of Münster  is a public university located in the city of Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. The WWU is part of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, a society of Germany’s leading research universities. The WWU has also been successful in the German government’s Excellence Initiative.

With more than 43,000 students and over 120 fields of study in 15 departments, it is Germany’s fifth largest university and one of the foremost centers of German intellectual life. The university offers a wide range of subjects across the sciences, social sciences and the humanities. Several courses are also taught in English, including PhD programmes as well as postgraduate courses in geoinformatics, geospational technologies or information systems.

WWU Münster’s aims in the field of research are closely linked with its own commitment to provide high-quality courses of study covering a wide range of subjects. It has taken a pioneering lead in changing teacher training to the double bachelor degree. The second step – a bottom-up process – will involve the masters courses. The development of programmes for structured doctoral courses represents the third step in the realisation of the objectives set out in the Bologna process. WWU thus provides the best possible teaching on the basis of high-quality broad and top-level research.

WWU Münster considers gender equality to be a task of strategic importance. The aim is to make it easier for women to combine an academic career and family interests. It is in combination with the high quality of life offered by the Münster region that the university hopes to reap benefits in recruiting brilliant researchers in the future. WWU’s second strategic objective in the field of gender mainstreaming is to apply suitable measures to strengthen women’s social qualifications in pursuing academic careers. In order to initiate such measures to reach these goals, WWU subjects its gender mainstreaming policies to an external “family-friendly university audit”.

Measures currently implemented (selection):

  • Since 2000 the WWU has been running an internal gender equality programme, with an annual budget of €200,000, which supports women in their academic activities.
  • The university runs a training programme which is tailored to support young women researchers with respect to their academic careers.
  • WWU is currently setting up its own facilities where the children of academic staff can be looked after all-day; there is a special focus on children under three. WWU will also be offering a flexible and speedy childcare service, for example in cases of weekend seminars or in emergencies. Last but not least, assistance is being planned for supervising schoolchildren while they do their homework.

Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties

  • Faculty of Protestant Theology
  • Faculty of Catholic Theology
  • Faculty of Law
  • School of Business and Economics
  • Faculty of Medicine
  • Faculty of Educational and Social Science
  • Faculty of Psychology/Sport and Exercise Sciences
  • Faculty of History and Philosophy
  • Faculty of Philology
  • Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Faculty of Physics
  • Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Biology
  • Faculty of Geosciences
  • Faculty of Music


The university has its roots in the Münster’s Jesuit College (Jesuiten-Kolleg Münster), founded in 1588, and the convent of lay sisters Liebfrauen-Überwasser, founded in 1040, of which it took its seal. The convent was dissolved in 1773, so that its funds could be used to found the University of Münster on 16 April 1780.

In 1631, Pope Urban VII and Emperor Ferdinand II issued privileges, allowing the establishment of a university in Münster. However, due to a lack of funding, they were only put to use in 1780, when the modern University of Münster was founded with four faculties: Law, Medicine, Philosophy and Theology.

In 1843, it was renamed to Royal Theological and Philosophical Academy (Königliche Theologische und Philosophische Akademie), informallyMünster Academy (Akademie Münster).

The ceremony of constitution was performed by Franz Freiherr von Fürstenberg. The university received its current name from Emperor Wilhelm II on 22 August 1907.

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