Johannes Gutenberg University

Mainz, Germany
Website: Founded: 1477 year Type of University:Public 301–350 place StudyQA ranking: 654 pts. No. Students: 32000 Frgn. Students: 4000 No. Staff: 3248 Languages: German Phone: +496131390 Fax: +4961313922919
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About JGU

With more than 32,000 students from about 120 nations, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is one of the largest universities in Germany. As the only comprehensive university in Rhineland-Palatinate, JGU combines almost all academic disciplines under one roof, including the Mainz University Medical Center, the School of Music, and the Mainz Academy of Arts. This is a unique feature in the German academic landscape. With 75 fields of study and a total of 242 degree courses, including 106 Bachelor’s and 116 Master’s degree programs, JGU offers an extraordinarily broad range of courses. Some 4,360 academics, including 548 professors, teach and conduct research in JGU's more than 150 departments, institutes, and clinics (including the Mainz University Medical Center; as of December 1, 2014; financed by federal and third-party funding).

JGU is a globally renowned research university of national and international recognition. This reputation comes thanks to its outstanding individual researchers as well as extraordinary research achievements in the field of particle and hadron physics, materials sciences, translational medicine, the life sciences, media disciplines, and historical cultural studies.

JGU’s scientific prowess has been affirmed by its success in the Excellence Initiative by the German federal and state governments to promote top-level research at German universities: Mainz University is one of 23 universities in Germany that have received approval for a so-called Cluster of Excellence as well as approval for a Graduate School of Excellence. The Cluster of Excellence on "Precision Physics, Fundamental Interactions and Structure of Matter" (PRISMA), which is primarily a collaboration between particle and hadron physicists, and the Graduate School of Excellence "MAterials Science IN MainZ" (MAINZ) are considered among the elite research groups worldwide. These two projects will receive financing to the tune of EUR 50 million by 2017.

The university's good positions in national and international rankings and the award of numerous research prizes are further confirmation of the importance and success of the research being conducted by JGU-based academics. This success has been made possible in part through the unique large-scale research equipment available at Mainz University, such as the TRIGA light water research reactor and the MAMI electron accelerator, which both attract researchers from around the world. The research-oriented teaching – with targeted and early integration of research content into the curriculum – is another key element of the JGU philosophy.

JGU is the sole German university of this size to combine almost all institutes on one campus, while also housing four partner research institutions that conduct cutting-edge research outside the organizational structure of the university itself. There are also on-campus student dormitories and childcare facilities. The clinical and clinical/theory institutes of the Mainz University Medical Center are located within roughly one kilometer of the campus.

JGU lives the notion of a civic university being an integral part of society and collaborating with the community it is part of. This means that it also provides lifelong learning programs and promotes timely and comprehensive knowledge and technology transfer.

Founded in 1477 during the era of Johannes Gutenberg and reopened after a 150-year break in 1946 by the French forces then based in Germany, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz owes much to the man whose name it bears and his achievements. With his achievements in mind, the university strives to promote and implement innovative ideas, to help improve people’s living conditions through knowledge, to facilitate their access to education and science, and to encourage people to transcend the many restraints that they encounter on a daily basis.

This is the mission that Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz has set itself.

JGU History

With the opening of the University of Mainz in 1477, the Archbishop of Mainz, Elector and Chancellor of the German Nation, Diether von Isenburg, realized the dream of his predecessor. His actions were absolutely in line with the spirit of the time, as regional universities had already been founded in almost all of the larger territorial states.

In Mainz, theology, medicine, and Church and Roman law were taught in addition to the seven liberal arts, i.e. grammar, rhetoric, dialectics, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. This range of subjects was a quite unique feature at the time, because most European universities offered only one or two of these "higher faculties."

Highly renowned already in the year 1508

The University of Mainz flourished. In its first few decades, the number of students rose to about 200. And in 1508, Mainz University was already “highly renowned,” as Petrus Ravenna chronicled. However, repeated attempts at reform – in 1523, 1535, and 1541 – reflect that the university already experienced its first crisis, caused primarily by its inadequate economic foundation. Moreover, the Protestant Reformation began to take shape and did not fail to leave its mark on the city of Mainz.

By opening a Jesuit college in 1561, the Archbishop of Mainz pursued several goals. So he undertook great educational effort to aid the Catholic Counter-Reformation and helped to renew and stabilize the university. He succeeded in doing so not only in the field of theology but also in the field of medicine. In the end, there was even need of a new building: the Domus Universitatis was built between 1615 and 1618. Today the historical building hosts the university's School of Journalism and the Institute of European History.

In Mainz, as elsewhere, the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) resulted in a significant decline in the number of students. When Swedish troops occupied the city, the members of Mainz University went into “exile” to Cologne, for example, where they continued teaching. After the war, the University of Mainz was only slow to recover.

Secure economic foundation

Following the suppression of the Jesuit Order in 1773, its Mainz college was disbanded that same year. This required another reform of the university statutes. Finally in 1781, the Mainz University Foundation Fund was established creating a secure economic foundation for the university. Moreover, Mainz University now extended its range of subjects and disciplines. Its new Faculty of Historical Statistics focused on various aspects within the field of history as well as on governance, public policy, and statistics. A Faculty of Cameralistics was set up, which included, for example, teaching in mathematics, botany, and veterinary treatment of livestock. Just as in the beginnings, the curriculum also included theology and medicine. This broad range of subjects attracted up to 700 students to come to Mainz in the next few years. At that time, Mainz University was shaped by the Enlightenment and was home to probably one of the best-known scholars of the old university: Georg Forster, who worked as head librarian at the University of Mainz. The flourishing Mainz University from this period served as a model for a great number of other important European universities.

The French Revolution (1789-1799) left many traces in Mainz. In its wake, the first republic on German soil was founded in 1792. Teaching at Mainz University, however, ceased due to the wars and permanent unrest, the conquest and recapture of the city of Mainz. The Faculty of Medicine held on to the end and awarded its doctorates right until 1818, but had to close five years later.

Only the Mainz University Foundation Fund, a Catholic seminary, and the Mainz "Accouchement," a school for midwives founded in 1784, continued to exist over time, preserving a little of the university’s tradition until its reopening in 1946. Before that date, there had been continual discussions about reestablishing the entire university-level teaching operation, but all these plans failed due to a lack of financing.

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

On May 15, 1946, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz resumed its teaching activities under its new name. A total of 2,088 students were enrolled in the opening semester and, for the first time in history, female students were admitted too. Teaching in the natural sciences began in the 1946/47 winter semester and increased the number of students to 4,205.

With the university reopening right after World War II, the French military government sought to make a contribution to educating Germans in a “new spirit.” The new Mainz University was located in former military barracks, which were the foundation of our modern international campus university. Since the JGU campus is located somewhat distant from the Mainz city center, the university has always organized a variety of outreach activities which have resulted in a unique portfolio of formats aiming at the public understanding of science. Activities include, for example, science festivals, researchers’ nights, expositions, and public lectures on the Gutenberg campus as well as in downtown cultural institutions such as the Mainz State Theater or the city’s various museums.

In the following decades, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz experienced a continuous growth in its number of students and the range of disciplines offered. In 2011, for example, JGU counted about 37,000 students from 130 nations and offered 145 different subjects, organized in 119 Bachelor’s and 96 Master’s degree programs. Being a comprehensive university, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz covers almost all academic disciplines, encompassing the Mainz University Medical Center, the Mainz School of Music, and the Mainz Academy of Arts – a rare but beneficial kind of organization within the German landscape of higher education.

The JGU General Studies program, the International Summer Course, the Faculty of Translation Studies, Linguistics, and Cultural Studies in Germersheim, and the university’s numerous international partnerships are fine examples of the goals set by reopening the university. The continued existence of the faculties of Catholic and Protestant theology, the very name of the university, and many street names on campus still forge links between the “old” and the “new” university. Thus, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz can draw on many fine and honored traditions and understands their present-day obligations, as set forth in the JGU Mission Statement.

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz is devoted to the spirit of its namesake – fostering innovative ideas, moving people’s minds, and employing knowledge in order to transcend borders. This university-wide philosophy of an active management of change is reflected in the very title of its Institutional Strategy: "THE GUTENBERG SPIRIT: Moving Minds – Crossing Boundaries."


Institutional Accreditation or Recognition - Ministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft, Weiterbildung und Kultur des Landes Rheinland-Pfalz

Student life @JGU



For a comfortable room not too far from the university, students can expect to pay a monthly rent of around EUR 350,-- to 500,--. Based on past experience, demand for rooms is usually particularly high at the start of the winter semester. We recommend arranging your accommodation as soon as possible. University halls of residence offer relatively moderately priced accommodation costing EUR 300,-- to 450 monthly,--. Halls of residence are also an excellent place to meet new people, particularly for students starting their first semester. You are guaranteed a dorm room if you  are an international student  who gained the qualifications for university entrance not in Germany. You qualify AFTER Admission Independent whether you are a degree seeking student or an exchange student.

Searching for apartments and rooms on the private housing market

See the notice boards on the university campus, especially for available rooms in shared flats: near the student canteen in the Philosophicum (Jakob-Welder-Weg 18), the ReWi-Haus (Jakob-Welder-Weg 9), SB II (Colonel-Kleinmann-Weg 2)

Accommodation bureaus, particularly for sublets:

  • Student Union Dormitories
    rooms or flats offered by private landlords to students are posted in a display case at the Student Union (Mon-Thur, 8.30 am-4.00 pm; Fri 8.30 am-12.30 pm). This is located at entrance C of the Student Union Center at Staudingerweg 21.
  • General Students' Committee (AStA)
  • accommodation exchanges (you will find the addresses in the telephone book and on the Internet, see link opposite)

You can also conduct a targeted search online for the kind of accommodation that you require. The links opposite will provide you with a representative selection of search options.

Listings in local newspapers:

  • Allgemeine Zeitung Mainz
  • Mainzer Rhein-Zeitung

If you need somewhere to live for a short period while searching for accommodation, you could consider options such as the Youth Hostel Mainz.

Student halls of residence

There is no point in submitting your application for a room in a student hall of residence until you have actually been granted a place on a course at Mainz. You will need to present your matriculation certificate at the time of moving in, at the latest.

Residences managed by non-commercial organizations:

  • Student Union (2800 rooms in 10 halls of residence)

    Special offer of the Service International Students:

    A room in the students’ residences is guaranteed for all INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS who apply within the deadline.

  • Protestant Student Center (127 rooms)
  • Catholic University Congregation (57 rooms)
  • Studentenwohnheim Rhein-Main e.V. (71 rooms)

Residences managed by commercial organizations:

  • Vegis (797 rooms in four halls of residence)
  • Schöfmann private student residence (25 rooms) Address: Backhaushohl 43, D-55128 Mainz, Tel. +49 6131 222085

Refreshment facilities on campus

Student Union canteen

The canteen is located next to the student dormitory at Staudingerweg 15. There, you can buy lunch from four counters, at student discount prices. You can view the menu on the Student Union's website or download it as a PDF file.

Opening hours: Mon - Fri 11.30 a.m. - 2.20 p.m., Sat 11.30 a.m. - 1.15 p.m.

Payment: You will need to pay for your lunch with the Studicard, which you can purchase and charge with credit in the canteen foyer.

Cafeterias on campus

Small meals and drinks are available from the cafeterias:

  • Cafeteria in the canteen, the so-called Mens@ria, Staudingerweg 15
  • Cafeteria in the Law and Economics building, Jakob-Welder-Weg 9
  • Cafeteria in the Philosophicum, Jakob-Welder-Weg 18

The cafeterias are usually open from 9.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.(different times apply during holidays; precise information is available on the website of the Student Union). You can pay with your Studicard or with cash.

You can also buy food from vending machines. These are located at the Central Library, the new Chemistry building, SB II, Pharmacy Institute Building and the Philosophicum.


The Kulturcafé is located on the basement level of the old canteen at Forum universitatis (Johann-Joachim-Becher-Weg 3-9). Each day for lunch, you can choose between two warm meals, the salad bar, as well as an extensive array of snack and beverages.

Payment: You can pay with cash or the Studicard.

In addition to providing food, the Kulturcafé also offers regular cultural events. 


The Baron is located on the basement level of the old canteen at Forum universitatis (Johann-Joachim-Becher-Weg 3). At lunchtime, you can choose from a range of freshly prepared dishes at reasonable prices. The Baron refuses to use glutamate and artificial flavoring, and the food is cooked using reduced vegetable stock. Allergy information can always be provided.

In the morning, Illy-Cafe can be obtained from an Italian espresso machine, along with fresh baguettes, croissants, and pain au chocolates. In the evening, there is homemade pizza and Tarte Flambee from the stone oven, as well as a small but diverse menu. In addition, there are wines from regional wineries, beer on tap, and regular cultural events.

Reservations can be made at

There is also a night delivery service, Bierbaron, which delivers drinks free of charge from Tuesday to Saturday, 8.00 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Opening hours: 9.00 a.m. - closing

Payment: You can pay with cash or a debit card.

Imbiss Diwan

In addition to mussels, the Imbiss Diwan (Johann-Joachim-Becher-Weg 25) also offers a culinary journey through the Orient. Besides breakfast, many oriental and Arab dishes, with and without meat, are offered.

Telephone: +49 6131 373557

Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 10.00 a.m. - 8.30 p.m., Saturday: 10.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.

Dede's Campus-Döner

DeDe's Campus-Döner in the student dormitory (Staudinger Weg 21) offers a wide selection of sausages and American food, in addition to kebabs and various pastries.

Opening hours: Mon - Fri 7.30 a.m. - 9.00 p.m. (Thu until 3.00 a.m. for events) and Sat 9.00 a.m. - 3.00 p.m.

KHG canteen/bistro

The Catholic University Community of St. Albertus is located across from the university on Saarstraße. In its canteen and bistro, you can choose between two dishes each day (one is always vegetarian).

Opening hours: 11.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. While the university is in session, the KHG bistro offers an additional salad bar and daily special.

Services of JGU


Your library card also functions as your "Studicard" (combined library card and student card).

You will need your Studicard to pay for meals in the central student canteen. Your Studicard can also be used for other purposes:

  • Making payments in the Student Union cafeterias on campus, in the Kulturcafé, and in the campus restaurant (see link: "Catering on the campus")
  • Making cash-free payments for copies prepared using the campus photocopying machines
  • Replenishing your Center of Data Processing printing account
  • Making payments for work materials in the German Institute, in the Center of Data Processing, and in the Institutes of Chemistry and Pharmacy, as well as for services provided by the central library.
  • In all Student Union halls of residence (except Valenciahaus), the washing and drying machines can only be operated by means of a Studicard.

Where to obtain a Studicard: You can obtain a Studicard for EUR 2.50 in the foyer of the central student canteen during opening hours. You can credit the card with an amount of up to EUR 200 at the various payment stations located throughout the campus.

Sport and recreation

The campus is not just a place to study.

JGU offers a wide range of alternative activities.

All students at JGU can participate in the general university sports program (AHS).The program is financed by the "social contributions" paid by students (included in the semester fee). For details of all activities, see the brochure "AHS Sports Program" and the various notice boards and placards. The brochure is available from the Institute of Sports Science and can also be downloaded as a PDF file from the university sports website.

Other sporting activities that are open to all members of the university, such as activities outside the AHS program and competitions in popular forms of sport, are offered by the Student Sports Committee, which is also responsible for the organization and financing of all university sports competitions.

For more information on recreational activities on campus, see, for example, "STUZ" (a student publication) or the various notice boards and leaflets in the student canteen. Activities are also announced on the Internet.

Career Service

The Career Service at JGU combines all the career services on offer from various institutions within the university.

The services of the Career Service are aimed at both students and graduates.

The task of the Career Service is to help you find the right career, plan your future profession, and help you obtain the necessary qualifications beyond your specialist field, in order to prepare you for a successful start to your professional life.

Johannes Gutenberg University on map:
Study programs at :
Deadline: May 15, 2024
Duration: 2 years
Languages: English
Study mode: On campus
Study type: Full-time
StudyQA ranking: 1503
Deadline: Jul 15, 2024
Duration: 5 semestrs
Languages: English
Study mode: On campus
Study type: Full-time
StudyQA ranking: 1300