Goethe University of Frankfurt

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IG Farben Building at Uni Frankfurt
Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Logo Gotehe-Logo.svg
Established 1914
Type Public
Endowment € 518 Million (2011)[1]
President Birgitta Wolff
Academic staff
636 (2013)[2]
Students 46,613 (2014/15)[2]
Location Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Nickname Uni Frankfurt / Goethe Uni
Website www.uni-frankfurt.de

The Goethe University of Frankfurt (full German name: Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main) is a university which was founded in 1914 as a Citizens' University, which means that, while it was a State university of Prussia, it had been founded and financed by the wealthy and active liberal citizenry of Frankfurt am Main, a unique feature in German university history. It was named in 1932 after one of the most famous natives of Frankfurt, the poet and writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Therefore, it is also referred to be "Goethe University" in formal or informal occasions. Today, the university has 46,000 students, on 4 major campuses within the city.

Several Nobel Prize winners have been affiliated with the university, such as Max von Laue.[3] The university is also affiliated with 11 winners of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize.[4] The University celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2014, and the very first female president of the University, Professor Dr. Birgitta Wolff, has been sworn into office in 2015.[5]

Four Campuses[edit]

Campus Westend

The University is located on four campuses in Frankfurt am Main:

  • Campus Westend:

Headquarter of the University, Social sciences, Pedagogy, Psychology, Theology, Philosophy, History, Philology, Archaeology, Law, Economics and Business Administration, Human geography

  • Campus Bockenheim:

University library, Mathematics, Computer science, Art history, Fine Arts

  • Campus Riedberg:

Pharmacy, Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, Geosciences and Geography

  • Campus Niederrad:

Medical science, Dentistry, University hospital

Other facilities include the university sports complex on Ginnheimer Landstraße in Frankfurt-Bockenheim.


Campus Westend
Campus Westend
Campus Bockenheim, after war
Library Campus Westend

The University has 16 Faculties, according to sorting number, they are: [6]

  • 01. Rechtswissenschaft(Law)
  • 02. Wirtschaftswissenschaften(Economics and Business Administration)
  • 03. Gesellschaftswissenschaften(Social Sciences)
  • 04. Erziehungswissenschaften(Educational Sciences)
  • 05. Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften(Psychology and Sports Sciences)
  • 06. Evangelische Theologie(Protestant Theology)
  • 07. Katholische Theologie(Roman Catholic Theology)
  • 08. Philosophie und Geschichtswissenschaften(Philosophy and History)
  • 09. Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaften(Faculty of Linguistics, Cultures, and Arts)
  • 10. Neuere Philologien(Modern Languages)
  • 11. Geowissenschaften/Geographie(Geosciences and Geography)
  • 12. Informatik und Mathematik(Computer Science and Mathematics)
  • 13. Physik(Physics)
  • 14. Biochemie, Chemie und Pharmazie(Biochemistry, Chemistry and Pharmacy)
  • 15. Biowissenschaften(Biological Sciences)
  • 16. Medizin(Medical Science)

In addition, institutes belong to Max Planck Society are:

  • MPI für Biophysik
  • MPI für Hirnforschung
  • MPI für europäische Rechtsgeschichte


IG Farben Building at Campus Westend

The University of Frankfurt has at times been considered liberal, or left-leaning, and has had a reputation for Jewish and Marxist scholarship (or even Jewish-Marxist)[citation needed]. Thus, during Nazi times, "almost one third of its academics and many of its students were dismissed for racial and/or political reasons—more than at any other German university"[citation needed]. It also played a major part in the German student riots of 1968.

The University is historically best known for the Institute for Social Research (founded 1924), institutional home of the Frankfurt School, a preeminent 20th century school of philosophy and social thought. Some of the University of Frankfurt scholars are associated with this school, including Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Jürgen Habermas, as well as Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm, and Walter Benjamin[citation needed]. Others include the sociologist Karl Mannheim, the philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer, the philosophers of religion Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, and Paul Tillich, the psychologist Max Wertheimer, and the sociologist Norbert Elias[citation needed].

In recent years, the University has turned its attention especially to law, history and economics, creating new institutes, such as the Institute for Law and Finance (ILF) and the Center for Financial Studies (CFS)[citation needed]. One of the university's ambitions is to become Germany's leading university for finance and economics, given the school's proximity to one of Europe's financial centers.[7] The Goethe Business School offers a M.B.A. program, in cooperation with Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Goethe university has established an international award for research in financial economics, the Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics.

Campus Westend[edit]

“Campus Westend” of the University is dominated by the IG Farben Building by architect Hans Poelzig, an example of neoclassicist architecture[citation needed]. The style for the IG Farben Building was originally chosen as "a symbol for the scientific and mercantile German manpower, made out of iron and stone", as the IG Farben director at the time of the construction, Baron von Schnitzler, stated in his opening speech of October 1930.

When the University took over the complex, the same style was also adopted for several new buildings[citation needed]. On 30 May 2008, the House of Finance relocated to a new building designed by the architects Kleihues+Kleihues, following the style of the IG Farben Building. The upper floors of the House of Finance building have several separate offices as well as shared office space for researchers and students. The ground floor is open to the public and welcomes visitors with a spacious, naturally lit foyer that leads to lecture halls, seminar rooms, and the information center, a 24-hour reference library. The ground floor also accommodates computer rooms and a café. The floors, walls and ceiling of the foyer are decorated with a grid design that is continued throughout the entire building. The flooring is inspired by Raphael's mural, The School of Athens.

Goethe Business School[edit]

The Goethe Business School is a graduate business school at the university, established in 2004, part of the House of Finance at the Westend Campus. it is a non-profit foundation under private law held by the university. The Chairman of the Board at GBS, Rolf E. Breuer, is former Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bank[citation needed]. Goethe Business School has a partnership in Executive Education with the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad[citation needed].

The Deutsche Bank Prize[edit]

The Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics honors renowned researchers who have made influential contributions to the fields of finance and money and macroeconomics, and whose work has led to practical and policy-relevant results. It is awarded biannually, since 2005, by the Center for Financial Studies, in partnership with Goethe University Frankfurt. The award carries an endowment of €50,000, which is donated by the Stiftungsfonds Deutsche Bank im Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft.

Notable faculty (excerpt)[edit]

Nobel Prize winners (alumni & faculty)[edit]

World rankings[edit]

Points of interest[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "House of Finance Endowment". Hof.uni-frankfurt.de. Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  2. ^ a b uni-frankfurt.de: Data 2009. December 2009
  3. ^ "Nobel prize Physics laureates". 
  4. ^ "Leibniz Prize Laureates" (PDF). 
  5. ^ "Neue Uni-Präsidentin will kommunikativen Führungsstil". Retrieved 2015-03-03. 
  6. ^ "Faculties". Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  7. ^ "Die Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität auf dem Weg zur führenden Wirtschaftshochschule in Deutschland" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  8. ^ "Global Companies Rank Universities". New York Times. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  9. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2012". Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "QS World University Rankings 2010 Results". 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°07′10″N 8°39′05″E / 50.11944°N 8.65139°E / 50.11944; 8.65139