Jacobs University Bremen

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Jacobs University Bremen
jacobs university
Logo of Jacobs University Bremen
Motto Inspiration is a Place
Established 2001 (2001)
Type Private
President Katja Windt
Academic staff
394 academic/research staff (of which 130 are Professors).
Administrative staff
Students 1250 (2014/15)
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 Bremen, Germany.

Jacobs University is an English-speaking higher education institution and combines aspects from the American and German academic systems.

History and Accreditation[edit]

Jacobs University Bremen Campus Center


In the hope of transformation Bremen from a traditional harbor and shipyard business location into one of Germany’s leading science locations, the city’s senate decides 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 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 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 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 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’ 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’ 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 alumnus Juraj Draxler appointed Slovakia's Minister of Education.[1]

The University[edit]

University Leadership[edit]

Since 10 February 2014, Katja Windt has been President of Jacobs University. She succeeded Prof. Dr. Heinz-Otto Peitgen who was President [2] 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 January 2008 Prof. Dr. Karin Lochte, Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, is Chair of the Board of Governors.

Faculty and Student Body[edit]

There are currently 1250 students from 114 countries pursuing Bachelor’s, Master's, and PhD degrees. Currently there are 130 professors and over 260 research and instructional personnel working with the undergraduate and graduate student population.


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 2,000, about 80% of which have joined the alumni association. 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.[3]

Academic Profile[edit]

The university’s profile in research and teaching focuses on the general topics:

  • Energy
  • Water, Nutrition, Health
  • Information, Communication, Education
  • Peace and Conflict Management
  • Logistics Engineering and Management[4]


Jacobs research is structured in 10 transdisciplinary research centers where Jacobs scientists focus on novel solutions for the global challenges of the future. Jacobs University accounts for 53% of the third-party funds generated by the more than 100 private universities in Germany.

The 10 research centers at a glance:

AgeAct Aging - Interaction of Processes aims at a better understanding of how biological and behavioral processes as well as socio-economic context influence individual outcomes of age.


The Center for Advanced Systems Engineering provides products in the domains of communication and sensing, information distribution and control as well as ocean research and exploration, with a special focus on advanced systems engineering for extreme environments.


Cognitive Systems and Processes is committed to two central scientific endeavors: The fundamental understanding of natural cognition processes and the construction of artificial intelligent systems on the basis of such knowledge.


Mathematics, Modeling, and Computing hosts research at the interface between mathematics, natural sciences, modeling, and high-performance computing with applications in engineering and science.


Molecular Life Sciences studies the structure, behavior and function of vital biomolecules (such as proteins and nuleic acids) and processes like the regulation of gene expression and the functioning of cells as well as the immune system.


Functional Materials and Nanomolecular Science applies theoretical and molecular knowledge to develop novel functional materials and nanostructures, and ultimately, new technological devices and improved products.


Transformations in Europe and Asia: Markets, States, Societies explores the changing interactions of state, market, and society in Europe and Asia, two world regions that have experienced fundamental transformations from imperial and colonial times onwards, through the Cold War period until today.


Visual Communication and Expertise aims at explaining visual production, distribution, usage and reception processes, as well as the meanings of mass-mediated and interpersonally communicated visuals in contemporary aesthetic, cultural, economic, historical, political, and social contexts.

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. 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. The Schools of Engineering and Science and Humanities and Social Sciences offer a three-year undergraduate degree program leading to a Bachelor of Science or to a Bachelor of Arts, respectively. The Jacobs Center on Lifelong Learning is a third pillar that focuses on graduate level research. Find more information about undergraduate programs as well as graduate programs on Jacobs University's website.

International Foundation Year Program

Jacobs University offers an International 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.

Exchange Programs

Jacobs University has established student exchange programs with Universidad de Murcia Spain, Rice University, Washington State University, Carnegie Mellon University in the USA, Sciences Po in France, Lafayette College in the USA, Thammasat University in Thailand, Università degli Studi di Cagliari and Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" in Italy, and more recently with the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and Instituto de Empresa in Spain.


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.


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.

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, Geosciences

2013 Psychology, History, Electrical Engineering, Biotechnology

Location and Facilities[edit]

Campus and Residential Colleges[edit]

The 80-acre park-like 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. Lively 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. The colleges provide students with a home away from home with ample spaces for living, studying, and recreation. A variety of common rooms can be booked by students for conferences and meetings, playing games, practicing dance or martial arts, 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 facilities[edit]

There is a sports and convention center,playing fields, a cinema, a theater space,a bar 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), 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]

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, soccer, basketball, volleyball, cricket, rugby, 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 art club, and the new Yachay Initiative. The construction of a student theater in 2011 has allowed more students to participate in the performing arts. Currently, a new music room with rentable instruments, a recording booth and practice material is being built.


External links[edit]

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