Jacobs University Bremen

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Jacobs University Bremen
Jacobs University Bremen logo.svg
Logo of Jacobs University Bremen
Motto Inspiration is a Place
Type Private
Established 2001 (2001)
President Prof. Dr.-Ing. Katja Windt
Administrative staff
412 academic/research staff (of which 76 are Professors)
Students 1244 (WS 2016/17)
Location Bremen, Germany
Campus Urban, 80 acres (0.32 km2)
Website www.jacobs-university.de

Jacobs University Bremen (previously International University Bremen, IUB) is an international, private residential university in Vegesack in Bremen-Nord, Bremen, Germany.

Jacobs University is an English-speaking higher education institution and combines aspects from the American and German academic systems. The exact grading system follows the German one (from 1 the highest to 5 the lowest), and the study length is also 3 years as other German public and private universities.

History and accreditation[edit]

Jacobs University Bremen Campus Center


In the hope of transforming Bremen from a traditional harbor and shipyard business location into one of Germany’s leading science locations, the city’s senate decided to convert the Roland Barracks in North Bremen, a military logistics academy until the middle of the 1990s, into a scientific institution. In November 1997, a first exchange of ideas takes place between representatives of the City State of Bremen, Bremen University and Rice University, Houston, Texas. The result: a recommendation to set up an international and highly selective private research university with a focus on science and engineering and English as the language of instruction. In August 2001 the first 131 undergraduate students from 43 nations as well as 26 faculty members arrive on campus. Later, they are joined by the university’s first 2 PhD students. IUB is officially opened on Sept. 20, 2001, with former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt as keynote speaker.

IUB, which then offers 14 study programs in engineering, the natural and social sciences as well as the humanities, becomes the first private university in Germany to be accredited by the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat). In November 2006 IUB receives a 200-Mio-Euro donation from the Jacobs Foundation. It is the largest private donation ever bestowed onto a scientific institution in Europe and marks a major turning point in the university’s development. In honor of the Jacobs Foundation’s remarkable donation IUB changes its name to Jacobs University Bremen in February 2007.


1999 State approval by the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen

2001 Accreditation by the German Council of Sciences and Humanities

2004 Accreditation of all undergraduate programs by the German Accreditation Council (ACQUIN)

2008 Re-accreditation by the German Council of Sciences and Humanities

2010 Confirmation of the state approval by the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen


2006 Jacobs gains an investment of €200 million by the Jacobs Foundation, at the time the largest donation in Europe ever made by a private foundation to a university.

2008 Jacobs University receives its distinction as Selected Landmark in the innovation contest »365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas« in the field of »science«. The Land of Ideas initiative rewards ideas and projects that make a lasting contribution to Germany.

Official opening of the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS), a joint »Exzellenzinitiative« project by Jacobs University and the University of Bremen federally sponsored with €5.6 million.

Jacobs University's professor Katja Windt is awarded the Alfried Krupp Prize, a scholarship for Young Professors endowed with €1 million. She is also named »Professor of the year« by the German Association of University Professors and Lecturers.

2009 Jacobs University's professor Antje Boetius is honored with the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize 2009, Germany’s most renowned research award by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft endowed with €2.5 million.

2010 Jacobs University's professor Thomas Heine obtains the Starting Independent Researcher Grant by the European Research Council endowed with €1.5 million; the application process is highly competitive: only about 10% to 15% of all proposals are successful.

Jacobs University's spin-off Phytolutions GmbH receives its distinction as Selected Landmark in the »365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas« contest in the field of »environment«.

2011 Jacobs University's deep-sea crawler Wally receives its distinction as Selected Landmark in the »365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas« contest in the field of »science«.

2012 BIGSSS is again funded with another €9 million by the »Exzellenzinitiative«.

2014 Jacobs University alumnus Juraj Draxler appointed Slovakia's Minister of Education.[1]

2014/2015 The process of restructuring and reorganization the academic profile including programs and research area are successfully carried out. Jacobs University can meet the demands of a globalized societies and trade relations.

2016 Mathematics Professor Dierk Schleicher receives EU research funds amounting to more than 2.3 million Euro. The Advanced Grant is one of largest research grants ever made by the European Research Council (ERC) to a mathematician.[2]

The university[edit]

University leadership[edit]

Since 10 February 2014, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Katja Windt is President of Jacobs University. She and the Managing director Prof. Dr. Michael Hülsmann form the Executive Board of Jacobs University. Windt succeeded Prof. Dr. Heinz-Otto Peitgen who was President[3] for only one year, from 1 January 2013 until his early departure at the end of 2013, following his resignation. His predecessor Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Joachim Treusch succeeded the University’s founding President Dr. Fritz Schaumann on 1 July 2006. Since June 2015 Prof. Dr. E. Jürgen Zöllner, Chair of the Charité foundation, is Chair of the Board of Governors.[4]

Faculty and student body[edit]

There are currently 1244 students from 111 countries pursuing Bachelor’s, Master's, and PhD degrees. Currently there are 76 employed professors and 28 working for Jacobs University on a freelance basis.[5]


Jacobs University’s alumni association was founded in 2004 by the university’s pioneer graduating class. Since then, the number of Jacobs alumni has increased more than tenfold from 130 to over 3,000, about 80% of which have joined the alumni association.[6] To provide a legal framework for the alumni’s participation in shaping the university’s future, the Jacobs University Bremen Alumni & Friends GmbH was founded in 2008. Co-owned by the alumni association (99%) and the university (1%), the company became one of Jacobs University’s three shareholders.[7]


In order to guarantee the practical orientation and students' networking capability, Jacobs University works with several companies and institutions. This network and cooperation offers interships and jobs perspectives for alumni. Since 2015, Jacobs University organizes an annual Career Fair on its campus.[8]

Academic profile[edit]

Jacobs University's transdisciplinary approach is mirrored in all focus areas of research and teaching. The university’s profile combines research and teaching equally and focuses on three general topics:

  • Mobility (of people, goods, and information)
  • Health (focus on bioactive substances)
  • Diversity (in modern societies)[9][10]


Scientists from different fields work together across disciplinary boundaries in highly innovative Research Centers. Moreover, the Jacobs University accounts for third-party founds, e.g. DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft).

Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences

BIGSSS integrates excellent areas of graduate education and research at the University of Bremen and Jacobs University into a synergetic inter-university institution designed to become an internationally competitive model of graduate education. BIGSSS' guiding principles are education to excellence, quality assurance, and effective funding. It is supported by the German Excellence Initiative.[11]

China Global Center

The “China Global” Center deals with one of the pivotal issues of our time: the growing significance of China for Germany and Europe at large. The center’s main research objective is to assess the political, cultural, social and economic facets of China’s growing global roles. It does so through interdisciplinary research and in close collaboration with partner institutions in China and other countries. The institute will conduct projects which are relevant for the corporate world, and it creates dialogue forums for the general public sphere.[12]

Teaching and study programs[edit]

Jacobs University's academic programs provide a broad range of academic majors in the natural sciences and engineering, the humanities and the social sciences. All classes are taught in English. A transdisciplinary approach to academic study allows students to discover how different fields interconnect and develop a problem-oriented perspective. Jacobs University offers research opportunities for students from early on. Interactions with faculty and staff as well as personal involvement in its development are trademarks of this young university.[10]

Foundation Year Program

Jacobs University offers a Foundation Year Program that is designed to provide high school graduates with academic skills essential for undergraduate studies. Among these are the necessary credentials for admission to English-speaking universities, advanced competence in English, strong study and academic skills as well as fundamental subject orientation in economics, engineering and the natural sciences. Students who complete the program successfully have the opportunity to apply to regular Jacobs University undergraduate programs or to other universities worldwide.[13]

Preparatory study programs

The Medical Natural Sciences program and the Medical Preparation program prepare students for later studies in medicine at German state universities (or medical schools in the neighboring countries) and provide general career orientation in the health sector.[14]

Exchange programs

Jacobs University‘s network of exchange partners includes but is not limited to Rice University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University in the USA, Sciences Po in France, Instituto de Empresa in Spain, University of Edinburgh in Scotland, Fudan University in China, Technion in Israel and Yamanashi Gakuin University in Japan. Jacobs University is a holder of the Erasmus+ Charta and an active participant in the numerous Erasmus+ programs dedicated to student, faculty and staff mobility. Faculty-led visiting programs such as Engineering Abroad with Lafayette College and PreMed Abroad with Wellesley College are another important part of Jacobs University’s cooperation portfolio.[15]


Jacobs University’s offers study programs leading to a Bachelor’s degree in 3 years, a Master’s degree in 1.5 to 2 years, a Ph.D. or an Executive MBA.[16]


Jacobs University has been receiving top grades in the University Ranking by the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE), the most comprehensive and detailed ranking of higher education institutions in German-speaking countries.[17]

  • 2005 Political and Social Sciences
  • 2007 Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • 2009 Biology and Geosciences
  • 2011 Political and Social Sciences
  • 2012 Biology, Mathematics, Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics
  • 2013 Psychology, History, Electrical Engineering, Biotechnology
  • 2014 Global Economics and Management
  • 2015 Geo Sciences, Computer Sciences, Mathematics, Physics and Political Sciences
  • 2016 Biology, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Computer Sciences, and Psychology
  • 2017 Industrial Engineering and Management, International Business Administration, and Global Economics and Management

Location and facilities[edit]

Campus and residential colleges[edit]

The 80-acre Jacobs University Bremen campus offers what, in Germany, is a new concept for teaching, research, and living. Undergraduate students live in four residential colleges on the campus. Each college comprises students and faculty of different disciplines, origins, and ages. Exchanges between students and faculty are encouraged outside as well as inside the seminar rooms. Jacobs University is home to four residential colleges: Alfried Krupp College, Mercator College, College 3, and College Nordmetall. A variety of common rooms can be booked by students for conferences and meetings, playing games, practicing dance, and watching movies or sports. The colleges offer similar amenities but foster their own unique identities with different traditions and events. Each college is headed by a College Master, a professorial member of academic staff and their family.

Staff and student facilitie[edit]

There is a sports and convention center, playing fields, a cinema, a theater space,and a dedicated student facility building (the Student Activity Center) including a late-night shop, the Interfaith House (serving the multiple purpose of a church, concert venue and praying location open to every religion), a café, multiple student clubs and even a kindergarten/preschool. In terms of academic resources, there are lecture halls, classrooms and laboratories in different locations around the campus as well as the modern Information Resource Centre (including an actual library and access to online research resources).

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Student clubs

There is a variety of student clubs at Jacobs University. They can basically be divided into sports clubs and “Arts and Culture” clubs. Sports activities include, for example, rowing,[18] football, basketball, volleyball, cricket, rugby, badminton, cheerleading, ballroom dance, salsa, breakdance, slacklining, ultimate frisbee and martial arts. Exemplary clubs within the category “Arts and Culture” are the campus newspaper “Pulse of the World”, the model United Nations society “BRIMUN”, the debating society, the environmental club, the arts club. The construction of a student theater in 2011 has allowed more students to participate in the performing arts. A new music room with rentable instruments, a recording booth and practice material has recently been built. Student clubs have recently extended in to the creation of international competitions (Jacobs Hackathon[19] and Jacobs Startup Competition and the Women's International Leadership Conference[20]).

Social engagement of students

There is a high social engagement of students organized several in groups. They are e.g. supporting refugees, teach English to children, or explore Bremen together with socially disadvantaged school kids from the neighborhood.

Host family program

The Jacobs University Host Family Program helps to familiarize students with life in Germany and with the numerous facets of the city of Bremen and the surrounding area. More than 500 families from Bremen and its surroundings participate as volunteers in this program.[21]


University presidents[edit]

  1. Dr. Fritz Schaumann (1998-2006)
  2. Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Joachim Treusch (2006-2012)
  3. Prof. Dr. Heinz-Otto Peitgen (2013-2013)
  4. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Katja Windt (2014-)

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.minedu.sk/ministrom-skolstva-sa-stal-juraj-draxler/
  2. ^ "| Jacobs University - Inspiration is a Place". www.jacobs-university.de. Retrieved 2017-06-15. 
  3. ^ New leadership in office at Jacobs University
  4. ^ "| Jacobs University - Inspiration is a Place". www.jacobs-university.de. Retrieved 2017-06-16. 
  5. ^ "| Jacobs University - Inspiration is a Place". www.jacobs-university.de. Retrieved 2017-06-16. 
  6. ^ "Alumni". Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  7. ^ ”Privilege and Challenge”, In: Jacobs Magazine, Winter 2010/11, p. 37
  8. ^ "| Jacobs University - Inspiration is a Place". www.jacobs-university.de. Retrieved 2017-06-15. 
  9. ^ http://www.jacobs-university.de/research/fields-projects
  10. ^ a b https://www.jacobs-university.de/academics
  11. ^ https://www.jacobs-university.de/research-centers
  12. ^ "- China Global". China Global. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  13. ^ "Foundation Year". Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  14. ^ "Preparatory Study Programs". Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  15. ^ "About Us | Jacobs University - Inspiration is a Place". www.jacobs-university.de. Retrieved 2017-06-16. 
  16. ^ "| Jacobs University - Inspiration is a Place". www.jacobs-university.de. Retrieved 2017-06-16. 
  17. ^ "- Jacobs University". Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  18. ^ "Jacobs University Rowing | Welcome!". rowing.jacobs-university.de. Retrieved 2015-11-23. 
  19. ^ "jacobsHack! Fall 2015". jacobsHack!. Retrieved 2015-11-23. 
  20. ^ "Women's International Leadership Conference". Women's International Leadership Conference. Retrieved 2016-05-09. 
  21. ^ "| Jacobs University - Inspiration is a Place". www.jacobs-university.de. Retrieved 2017-06-15. 
  22. ^ "I like it! The unusual career of Hashem Al-Ghaili". Jacobs University. Retrieved 26 April 2017. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°10′N 8°39′E / 53.167°N 8.650°E / 53.167; 8.650