University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

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University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
Universität für Bodenkultur Wien
Former names
Hochschule für Bodenkultur
Motto Universität des Lebens
Motto in English
University of Life
Established 1872 (1872)
Type Public
Rector Martin Gerzabek
Academic staff
about 1,000
Administrative staff
about 500
Students about 12,000
Location Vienna, Austria

The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, or simply BOKU (derived from its German name, Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, literally Vienna University for Soil Culture), founded in 1872, is "an education and research centre for renewable resources" in Vienna.[1] There are currently around 12,000 students enrolled at BOKU.


The original campus was built in 1896 in the Türkenschanzpark in Vienna's 18th and 19th districts. The Departments of Sustainable Agriculture, Viticulture, Soil Science, Horticulture, and Animal Husbandry are still headquartered at this original campus. Another campus, located near the Heiligenstadt subway station, is the headquarters for the biotechnology, chemistry, plant sciences, water resource management, and food sciences departments. A new building with chemistry and food sciences laboratories, facilities, and lecture halls was completed at this campus in 2009. There is also a research facility in Tulln, north of the city, with biotechnology and agricultural sciences laboratories and facilities.

Conversion to European Union University Structure[edit]

During the 2004/2005 school year, the school began the switch to the European Union system of higher education (Universitätsgesetz (UG) 2002), meaning that they initiated a three-tier system of studies. From that point on, the university offered bachelor-type degrees, masters degrees, and doctoral degrees. This was a change from the older Austrian system of Diplomstudien, in which graduates left the University with a diploma representing something more specialized and involved than a bachelor's degree, but less so than a master's degree. In the years from 2005 to 2009, the last of the Diplom students completed their studies at the University, and no new Diplom studies were begun.

The changeover also restructured the faculty and department organization at BOKU. The existing 40 "institutes" of faculty were converted to 13 "departments," although there are currently 15 departments at the university.


  • Department of Material Sciences and Process Engineering (Department für Materialwissenschaften und Prozesstechnik)
  • Department of Biotechnology (Department für Biotechnologie)
  • Department of Water, Atmosphere and Environment (Department Wasser-Atmosphäre-Umwelt)
  • Department of Nanobiotechnology (Department für Nanobiotechnologie)
  • Department of Chemistry (Department für Chemie)
  • Department of Integrative Biology and Biodiversity Research (Department für Integrative Biologie und Biodiversitätsforschung)
  • Department of Food science and Technology (Department für Lebensmittelwissenschaften und -technologie)
  • Department of Landscape, Spatial and Infrastructure Sciences (Department für Raum, Landschaft und Infrastruktur)
  • Department of Economics and Social Sciences (Department für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften)
  • Department of Sustainable Agricultural Systems (Department für Nachhaltige Agrarsysteme)
  • Department of Civil Engineering and Natural Hazards (Department für Bautechnik und Naturgefahren)
  • Department of Forest- and Soil Sciences (Department für Wald- und Bodenwissenschaften)
  • Department of Crop Sciences (Department für Nutzpflanzenwissenschaften)
  • Department for Agrobiotechnology, IFA-Tulln (Interuniversitäres Department für Agrarbiotechnologie, IFA-Tulln)
  • Department of Applied Genetics and Cell Biology (Department für angewandte Genetik und Zellbiologie)

Areas of study[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable scientists[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ BOKU, "General Information". Accessed: May 24, 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°14′12″N 16°20′14″E / 48.23667°N 16.33722°E / 48.23667; 16.33722