Ludwig Maximilians University Munich

Bielefeld, Germany
Site: Founded: 1472 year Type of University:Public StudyQA ranking: 1232 pts. No. Students: 51025 Frgn. Students: 7812 No. Staff: 6017 Languages: German Phone: 08921800 Fax: 08921802322
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About LMU

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich (also referred to as LMU or the University of Munich, in German: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) is a public research university located in Munich, Germany.

The University of Munich is among Germany's oldest universities. Originally established in Ingolstadt in 1472 by Duke Ludwig IX of Bavaria-Landshut, the university was moved in 1800 to Landshut by King Maximilian I of Bavaria when Ingolstadt was threatened by the French, before being relocated to its present-day location in Munich in 1826 by King Ludwig I of Bavaria. In 1802, the university was officially named Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität by King Maximilian I of Bavaria in his as well as the university's original founder's honour.

The University of Munich has, particularly since the 19th century, been considered as one of Germany's as well as one of Europe's most prestigious universities; with 36 Nobel laureates associated with the university, it ranks 17th worldwide by number of Nobel laureates. Among these were Wilhelm Röntgen, Max Planck, Werner Heisenberg, Otto Hahn and Thomas Mann. Pope Benedict XVI was also a student and professor at the university. The LMU has recently been conferred the title of "elite university" under the German Universities Excellence Initiative.

LMU is currently the second-largest university in Germany in terms of student population; in the winter semester of 2013/2014, the university had a total of 50,542 matriculated students. Of these, 8,719 were freshmen while international students totalled 7,403 or almost 15% of the student population. As for operating budget, the university records in 2013 a total of 571.3 million Euros in funding without the university hospital; with the university hospital, the university has a total funding amounting to approximately 1.5 billion Euros.

History of LMU


The university was founded with papal approval in 1472 as the University of Ingolstadt (foundation right of Louis IX the Rich), with faculties of philosophy, medicine, jurisprudence and theology. Its first rector was Christopher Mendel of Steinfels, who later became bishop of Chiemsee.

In the period of German humanism, the university's academics included names such as Conrad Celtes and Petrus Apianus. The theologian Johann Eck also taught at the university. From 1549 to 1773, the university was influenced by the Jesuits and became one of the centres of the Counter-Reformation. The Jesuit Petrus Canisius served as rector of the university.

At the end of the 18th century, the university was influenced by the Enlightenment, which led to a stronger emphasis on natural science.


In 1800, the Prince-Elector Maximilianv IV Joseph (the later Maximilian I, King of Bavaria) moved the university to Landshut, due to French aggression that threatened Ingolstadt during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1802, the university was renamed the Ludwig Maximilian University in honour of its two founders, Louis IX, Duke of Bavaria and Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria. The Minister of Education, Maximilian von Montgelas, initiated a number of reforms that sought to modernize the rather conservative and Jesuit-influenced university. In 1826, it was moved to Munich, the capital of the Kingdom of Bavaria. The university was situated in the Old Academy until a new building in the Ludwigstraße was completed. The locals were somewhat critical of the amount of Protestant professors Maximilian and later Ludwig I invited to Munich. They were dubbed the "Nordlichter" (Northern lights) and especially physician Johann Nepomuk von Ringseis was quite angry about them.

In the second half of the 19th century, the university rose to great prominence in the European scientific community, attracting many of the world's leading scientists. It was also a period of great expansion. From 1903, women were allowed to study at Bavarian universities, and by 1918, the female proportion of students at LMU had reached 18%. In 1918, Adele Hartmann became the first woman in Germany to earn the Habilitation (higher doctorate), at LMU.

During the Weimar Republic, the university continued to be one of the world's leading universities, with professors such as Wilhelm Röntgen, Wilhelm Wien, Richard Willstätter, Arnold Sommerfeld and Ferdinand Sauerbruch.


During the Third Reich, academic freedom was severely curtailed. In 1943 the White Rose group of anti-Nazi students conducted their campaign of opposition to the National Socialists at this university.


The university has continued to be one of the leading universities of West Germany during the Cold War and in the post-reunification era. In the late 1960s, the university was the scene of protests by radical students.

Today the University of Munich is part of 24 Collaborative Research Centers funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and is host university of 13 of them. It also hosts 12 DFG Research Training Groups and three international doctorate programs as part of the Elite Network of Bavaria. It attracts an additional 120 million euros per year in outside funding and is intensively involved in national and international funding initiatives.

LMU Munich has a wide range of degree programs, with 150 subjects available in numerous combinations. 15% of the 45,000 students who attend the university come from abroad.

In 2005, Germany’s state and federal governments launched the German Universities Excellence Initiative, a contest among its universities. With a total of 1.9 billion euros, 75 percent of which comes from the federal state, its architects aim to strategically promote top-level research and scholarship. The money is given to more than 30 research universities in Germany.

The initiative will fund three project-oriented areas: graduate schools to promote the next generation of scholars, clusters of excellence to promote cutting-edge research and "future concepts" for the project-based expansion of academic excellence at universities as a whole. In order to qualify for this third area, a university had to have at least one internationally recognized academic center of excellence and a new graduate school.

After the first round of selections, LMU Munich was invited to submit applications for all three funding lines: It entered the competition with proposals for two graduate schools and four clusters of excellence.

On Friday 13 October 2006, a blue-ribbon panel announced the results of the Germany-wide Excellence Initiative for promoting top university research and education. The panel, composed of the German Research Foundation and the German Science Council, has decided that LMU Munich will receive funding for all three areas covered by the Initiative: one graduate school, three "excellence clusters" and general funding for the university’s "future concept".

In January 2012, scientists at the Ludwig Maximilian University, published details of the most sensitive listening device known so far. This has led to the college being inducted into the Guinness book of world records.


Institutional Accreditation or Recognition - Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Bildung und Kultus, Wissenschaft und Kunst


  • LMU Munich is consistently ranked among the world's top 100 universities in various international ranking surveys such as the Academic Ranking of World Universities and the Times Higher Education Supplement which ranks over 1000 universities worldwide.
  • In a 2010 human competitiveness index & analysis Human Resources & Labor Review published in Chasecareer Network, LMU Munich was the only German university listed in its list of the world's best 50 universities and was ranked 38th internationally.
  • In 2013, LMU Munich was internationally ranked 53rd in the QS World University Rankings.

Student life @LMU

Want to try surfing? Skiing? Or is poetry more your thing? Maybe you‘d enjoy getting involved in an international humanitarian group, or perhaps you’d like to go out to see the latest bands! You can try it all while studying at LMU Munich. Student life here is lively and diverse, and you’ll be making new friends in no time.

Arts, Entertainment, and More

With so much to discover on campus and in Munich, you’ll want to make sure you get out of the library or lab and join in the fun! There’s music, film, art, and all kinds of cultural events, so you’re sure to find something you love—for a discounted, student price.

And if you’re interested in getting involved in cultural events on campus, check out the Culture Bureau—a student-run group that organizes all kinds of fun events, from dances to comics to culture-clubbing. You can also join student groups and go out together for a show, go shopping at a flea market, visit some of the historical sites, go swimming or surfing in the Eisbach, and more. There are a lot of possibilities!

There’s no shortage of festivals in Munich. From Oktoberfest to various student festivals, you’ll have many chances to celebrate with your new friends!


If you’re into sports, Munich is a great choice. The combination of the Alps, the Bavarian lakes, and the former Olympic venues means there is no shortage of options for you!

University Sports Center

The Munich University Sports Center (ZHS) offers incredible and low-cost opportunities to participate in 90 types of sports, including indoor aerobics, climbing or skiing in the mountains, sailing on Lake Starnberg, and yoga. Many of the activities focus on fitness and health, and you'll never get bored! The center is affiliated with the sports studies program at Technical University Munich and you’ll find all available options on the Munich University Sports Center website (in German).

You can get a membership card for the semester (students: €7.50, staff: €12.50) with an option to include additional activities, such as swimming or events (students: €15; staff: €20). Membership cards are issued at the start of each semester in the foyer of LMU, at Schellingstrasse 3, or throughout the year at the ZHS central office in Connollystrasse 32.

Sports in Munich

The Munich Sports Office website (in German) gives you extensive information about additional athletic opportunities in Munich. An A–Z database describes every sporting program in Munich—including 250 sports—and offers detailed information on organizations, locations, and sport venues. Sports fans and athletes can also check the calendar for the latest sporting events and times.​

Student Groups

Since you’re starting out in a new school, city, and country (!), it’s the perfect time to make new friends. And whether you’re outgoing or more of the quiet type, there’s a group for you here at LMU Munich. There are activities on campus and off, with lots of opportunities to get to know new cultures, people, and this beautiful region.

  • Humanitarian Organizations
  • International
  • Religious Organizations
  • Career-Oriented Student Organizations

Cooks on Campus

A voyage around the world’s kitchens with LMU: International students invite friends to help them prepare - and consume - their favorite dishes from home. And in the course of the evening they talk about their studies, LMU and how they settled in – and, of course, what they enjoy most in Munich when they’re not studying.

The tasty recipes from all over are delicious and will appeal to cooks of all levels of skill. The recipes will be assembled into an online cookery book, and provide unique insights into the culinary background, and other aspects of the cultural heritage of the many foreign students at the University. Bon appetit!


Funding opportunities within the university: The university society "Westfalisch-Lippische Universitatsgesellschaft" awards some part-cost grants for excellent international Master's students.

Arrival support: Personal mentoring programmes as well as several welcoming services are offered by the International Office. Additionally, the International Office organises introduction days for all international students and provides individual counselling.

Services and support for international students: In addition to many services and facilities available to all students, the International Office offers a wide range of special services helping you to adjust to your new surroundings and provides you with continuing support that will enhance your learning.At the beginning of each semester, a leisure day programme with a variety of activities is published to which all international students are invited: day excursions, weekend trips, journeys taking several days and evening meetings in the international contact centre.The PunktUm project offers interdisciplinary assistance for the acquirement of basic academic skills to international students. Project offers are composed of individual advice, workshops and courses on the following contents: academic writing, oral study achievements and scientific language for subject-related and interdisciplinary use. Bielefeld University's "brother-sister-programme" is a personal tutoring programme for all foreign freshmen and participants of the German language courses. Students of all semesters and fields of study support people new to Bielefeld during their first semester in dealing with organisational difficulties and in other new situations.In 1985, the Society for the Support for International Students was founded with the purpose to support international students and scholars/scientists of the Bielefeld academies and encourage contacts and relationships to the people of the region.

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