Zeppelin University

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Zeppelin University
Logo zeppelin university.gif
Established 2003
Type Private
President Prof. Dr. Stephan A. Jansen
Admin. staff 217
Students 1013
Location Friedrichshafen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Campus Am Seemooser Horn 20 - 88045 Friedrichshafen
Professors 47
Website http://www.zu.de/index_eng.php

Zeppelin University (ZU) is a prestigious and highly selective[1] private research university located at Lake Constance in Friedrichshafen, Germany.[2] The university was founded in 2003. Since then, it has been continuously ranked amongst the top 10 German universities in the field of economics. In 2008 German magazine "Handelsblatt Karriere" published its yearly report on university rankings in which Zeppelin University took 8th place nationwide. [3]


Zeppelin University has the legal form of a non-profit, limited liability organization and calls itself "university bridging business, culture and politics". Thus it stresses the multi-disciplinary character of research and teaching that is an integral part of its self-image. It is named after the German general and airship constructor Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin, whose foundation is the main financier of Zeppelin University.

Zeppelin University receives neither direct nor indirect support by either Baden-Württemberg or the federal state. Thus, at the moment Zeppelin University is the only private university in Germany that has been financed exclusively by private means, without being a burden to state or federal budgets.

The university is accredited nationally by the Academic Council of the Federal Republic of Germany (Wissenschaftsrat). The undergraduate major courses are accredited by ACQUIN, a German higher education accreditation agency.


Professor Dr Stephan A Jansen has managed the university since its foundation.

Well-known professors there include: Dirk Baecker, Peter Kenning, Stephan A. Jansen, Klaus Schönbach, Nico Stehr, Heinrich Wilms, Birger Priddat, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Guy B. Peters, Helmut Willke, Joachim Behnke, Lucia A. Reisch. In August 2007, Birger Priddat was appointed president and managing director of the Witten/Herdecke University.


As of 2011 Zeppelin University consisted of three departments:

  • Corporate Management and Economics (Business Administration and Economics)
  • Communication and Cultural Management (Communication and Cultural Sciences)
  • Public Management and Governance (Economics, Political and Administrative Sciences)

The University planned to start a fourth inter-departmental undergraduate degree from Spring Semester 2012:

  • Sociology, Politics and Economics[4]

Starting from Fall Semester 2011, Zeppelin University reorganized all of their undergraduate degree programmes, converting them into 4-year programs. The additional year is intended to be used as "Humboldt-year", a one-year research project at one of the partner universities. Accordingly, it has a cooperation agreement with University of California, Berkeley, with Sciences Po in Paris, with Copenhagen Business School as well as with Goldsmiths College, London.[5]

As of 2014, Zeppelin University offers the following undergraduate and graduate programs in five (5) departments:[6]

Corporate Management & Economics | CME

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
  • Consecutive Master of Arts (M.A.)
  • Non-consecutive Master of Arts (M.A.)

Communication & Cultural Management | CCM

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
  • Consecutive Master of Arts (M.A.)
  • Non-consecutive Master of Arts (M.A.)

Politics, Administration & International Relations | PAIR

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
  • Consecutive Master of Arts (M.A.)
  • Non-consecutive Master of Arts (M.A.)

Sociology, Politics & Economics | SPE

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Business & Leadership for Engineers | BEL

  • Executive Master (eMA)


Applicants are selected by the university in an arduous two-step selection process: in addition to the written application there is a selection day with interviews, an assessment centre and language tests. Currently the university has an undergraduate acceptance rate, which is lower than 10% and a graduate acceptance rate of about 16%.[7]

Students can graduate with the academic degree of a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and a consecutive as well as a non-consecutive Master of Arts (M.A.). The tuition for the bachelor program amounts to 3,950.00 euro per semester or 675.00 euro per month, for the master programs from 4,000.00 euro to 4,900.00 euro per semester. There are numerous merit-based scholarships by foundations and patrons as well as a student loan of Sparkasse Bodensee that is offered at a relatively low interest rate and is used by more than half of the students.

Since 2007 Zeppelin University has an additional location in the foyer of Tempelhof International Airport in Berlin, the so-called “Institute for the Art of Swimming on Air”.

In the end of the year 2007 a new university building has been finished, so that the Zeppelin University now has space for about 800 students. It is located on the banks of the lake of Constance.


Zeppelin University is a small and exclusive [8] private university and offers fewer programs than traditional universities in Germany. Due to its young age and small size, it typically goes unranked in international comparisons. Nevertheless, it has reached remarkable results in German Rankings: In the magazine Handelsblatt Karriere, edition 07/08 dated April 27, 2007, Zeppelin University has appeared in a university ranking for the first time. It has reached eighth place with its economic program “Corporate Management & Economics”.[9]

In the most reputable German Ranking, the CHE University Ranking, which was published by ZEIT Studienführer 2011/12, all three programs offered by Zeppelin University are ranked among Germany's top-10. The program in Communication and Cultural Management is placed first in Germany, the program Public Management is ranked 4th and the program Corporate Management and Economics takes 6th place among all German Universities.[10]


  1. ^ http://www.spiegel.de/unispiegel/studium/zeppelin-universitaet-ist-bekannt-fuer-ihr-hartes-auswahlverfahren-a-875602.html
  2. ^ Regarding the official status, see Hochschulrektorenkonferenz, Hochschulkompass (German)
  3. ^ http://idw-online.de/pages/en/news?id=206668
  4. ^ http://www.zeppelin-university.de/english/degree_programs/bachelor_spe_overview.php?navid=237
  5. ^ http://www.zeppelin-university.de/deutsch/bewerberportal/bachelor/ZU_Bachelorbroschuere_05_2011.pdf
  6. ^ http://www.zu.de/english/degree_programs/degrees.php?navid=251
  7. ^ http://www.zeppelin-university.de/deutsch/zeppelinuniversity/facts_figures.php?navid=8
  8. ^ http://www.spiegel.de/unispiegel/studium/zeppelin-universitaet-ist-bekannt-fuer-ihr-hartes-auswahlverfahren-a-875602.html
  9. ^ IDW online
  10. ^ [1]

Coordinates: 47°39′31″N 9°26′02″E / 47.65861°N 9.43389°E / 47.65861; 9.43389