University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

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University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
Universität für Bodenkultur Wien (BOKU)
Former names
Hochschule für Bodenkultur
Motto Universität des Lebens
Motto in English
University of Life
Type Public
Established 1872 (1872)
Rector Martin Gerzabek
Academic staff
about 2,000
Administrative staff
about 500
Students about 13,000
Location Vienna, Austria

The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, or simply BOKU (derived from its German name, Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, German pronun­cia­tion: [ˌunivɛʁziˈtɛːt fyːɐ̯ ˈboːdn̩kʊlˌtuːɐ̯ viːn]), founded by Cisleithania (Austro-Hungarian Empire) in 1872, is an education and research centre for renewable resources in Vienna. BOKU combines fundamental and applied expertise in the fields of natural sciences, engineering and biotechnology as well as social and economic sciences to enhance the knowledge basis for sustainable management of natural resources. It is a member of the Euroleague for Life Sciences (ELLS) university network. There are currently around 13,000 students from over 100 countries enrolled at BOKU.[1]


After 27 years at Palais Schönborn (today's Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art) the City of Vienna decided in 1896 to build a new campus at Türkenschanzpark in the 18th district. The departments of sustainable agriculture, soil science, horticulture, animal husbandry, economics and social sciences are still headquartered at this original campus. Another city campus, located at Muthgasse in the 19th district near the Heiligenstadt underground station, is the headquarters for the biotechnology, chemistry, plant sciences, water resource management, waste management and food sciences departments. There is also a research facility complex in Tulln, north of the city, with biotechnology and agricultural sciences laboratories and facilities. Other important locations and testing fields are Groß-Enzersdorf (Lower Austria), Jedlersdorf (Vienna), Knödelhütte (Vienna), Heuberg/Rosalia (Burgenland) and the Water Cluster Lunz am See (Lower Austria).[2]

Departments and Research Units[edit]

15 Departments of BOKU [3]

  • 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 of Agrobiotechnology, IFA-Tulln (Interuniversitäres Department für Agrarbiotechnologie, IFA-Tulln)
  • Department of Applied Genetics and Cell Biology (Department für angewandte Genetik und Zellbiologie)

Research Units and Initiatives [4]

  • Center for Development Research
  • Center for Global Change and Sustainability
  • Center for Agricultural Sciences
  • Vienna Institute of BioTechnology
  • Bio-Resources & Technologies Tulln


During the 2004/2005 academic year, the university began the switch to the European Union system of higher education, meaning that they implemented a three-tier system of studies. From that point on, the university has offered bachelor's degrees (180 ECTS), master's degrees (120 ECTS), and doctoral/PhD degrees (180 ECTS).[5]

Notable alumni[edit]

Leopold Figl (1902–1965)

Notable scientists[edit]

Martin Wilckens (1834–1897)

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]

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