University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
Website: Founded: 1742 year Type of University:Public StudyQA ranking: 1471 pts. No. Students: 39868 Frgn. Students: 4341 No. Staff: 3464 Languages: German Phone: +499131850
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About FAU

Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (German: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, FAU) is a public research university in the cities of Erlangen and Nuremberg in Bavaria, Germany. The name Friedrich-Alexander comes from the university's first founder Friedrich, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, and its benefactor Christian Frederick Charles Alexander, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach.

In Germany, traditional liberal arts universities do not usually have an engineering school or department. However, FAU does have a distinct engineering faculty.

FAU is the second largest state university in the state Bavaria. It has 5 faculties, 23 departments/schools, 30 clinical departments, 19 autonomous departments, 656 professors, 3,404 members of academic staff and roughly 13,000 employees.

In winter semester 2014/15 around 39,085 students (including 3,556 foreign students) enrolled in the university in 239 fields of study, with about 2/3 studying at the Erlangen campus and the remaining 1/3 at the Nuremberg campus. These statistics put FAU in the list of top 10 largest universities in Germany.

In 2013, 5251 students graduated from the university and 663 doctorates and 50 post-doctoral theses were registered. Moreover, FAU received 171 million Euro (2013) external funding in the same year, making it one of the strongest third-party funded universities in Germany.

In 2006 and 2007, as part of the national excellence initiative, FAU was chosen by the German Research Foundation as one of the winners in the German Universities Excellence Initiative. FAU is also a member of DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and the Top Industrial Managers for Europe network.

In Academic Ranking of World Universities for year 2014, FAU ranked second among German universities in Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences group for all four ranking parameters TOP, FUN, HiCi and PUB.

History of FAU

The university was founded in 1742, in Bayreuth by Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, and moved to Erlangen in 1743. Christian Frederick Charles Alexander, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach (one of the two namesakes of the institution) provided significant support to the early university. From the beginning, the university was a Protestant institution, but over time it slowly secularized. During the Nazi era, the university was one of the first that had a majority of Nazi supporters in the student council. In 1961, the business college in Nuremberg was merged with the university in Erlangen, so that now the combined institution has a physical presence in the two cities. An engineering school was inaugurated in 1966. In 1972, the school of education (normal school) in Nuremberg became part of the university.

Below is a short timeline of FAU from its inception to its present form:

  • 1700–1704: The Schloss of the Margraves at Erlangen is built.
  • 1743: Friedrich, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, issues an edict whereby the university recently founded in Bayreuth is transferred to Erlangen. It has the four faculties of Protestant Theology, Jurisprudence, Medicine and Philosophy.
  • 1769: The University at Erlangen is given the new name of Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in honour of Alexander, Margrave of Ansbach and Bayreuth.
  • 1818: The library of the University of Altdorf, dissolved in 1809, is moved to Erlangen.
  • 1824: The first hospital is built.
  • 1825: The University moves into the Schloss.
  • 1927: Science is taken out of the Faculty of Arts thus creating the new Faculty of Science.
  • 1961: The FAU acquires a further faculty through merger with the Nuremberg College of Economics and Social Sciences (founded in 1919). The University's name is now Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg.
  • 1966: Faculty of Engineering is established. (FAU is thus the first of the traditional universities of the old federal republic to incorporate engineering as an independent faculty.)
  • 1972: The Teacher Training College in Nuremberg is incorporated into the Faculty of Education.
  • 1993: The FAU celebrates its 250th anniversary.
  • 1994: The Free State of Bavaria purchases for the university 4.4 hectares of land in Erlangen previously owned by the US military. The area is now called Röthelheim Campus.
  • 1995: The WiSo Faculty (Business Administration, Economics & Social Sciences) celebrates its 75th anniversary.
  • 2000: The Bavaria-California Technology Centre opens its headquarters at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg.
  • 2000: Inauguration of the Research Centre in Clinical Molecular Biology in Erlangen.
  • 2001: Opening of the Röthelheim Campus on the site of the old artillery barracks.
  • 2004: Inauguration of the new building at the WiSo Faculty of Business Administration, Economics & Social Sciences in Nuremberg.


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

Year of first Accreditation - 1947



Ranking 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
Academic Ranking of World Universities 151-200 201-300 201-300 201-300 201-300 201-300 201-300 201-302 201-302 203-304 201-300 203-300 202-301 201-300
natureINDEX Institutions - academic 107 116 106 132                    

Broad subject fields ranking

Broad Subject Fields 2015 2014 2013 2012
Engineering/Technology and Computer Science (ENG) 76-100 76-100 101-150 101-150
Natural Sciences and Mathematics (SCI) 101-150 101-150 ------- -------
Life and Agriculture Sciences (LIFE) ------- ------- 151-200 151-200
Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy (MED) 151-200 151-200 151-200 151-200

Subject fields ranking

Broad Subject Fields 2015 2014 2013 2012
Chemistry 51-75 51-75 101-150 101-150

Subject rankings Engineering

Subject 2016 world (domestic)
Chemical Engineering 47 (3)
Electrical & Electronic Engineering 76-100 (4)
Energy Science & Engineering 76-100 (3)
Materials Science & Engineering 31 (1)
Mechanical Engineering 51-75 (3)

Domestic ranking

Broad Subject Fields 2015 2014 2013 2012
Engineering/Technology and Computer Science (ENG) 2 2 3 3
Natural Sciences and Mathematics (SCI) 9 10 - -

Student life @FAU

Costs of living

As a student in Erlangen or Nuremberg, your costs of living will be around EUR 700 per month. You can find a breakdown of the costs below:

  • Rent: EUR 250–500/month
  • Health insurance: EUR 80–150/month
  • Transport: approx. EUR 60/month
  • Food: approx. EUR 200/month
  • Study materials: approx. EUR 50–100/month


Studying at FAU is free for international students. To finance your costs of living, you can apply for a scholarship. Several scholarship organisations offer financial support at particular stages in your studies. You can search for scholarships in the scholarship database of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD, stipendium/en). The University does not offer scholarships for financing your entire degree.

International student ID

The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is the only student ID card recognised throughout the world. This card will entitle you to various discounts while you are abroad. You can get an ISIC from many travel agencies and Student Services Erlangen Nürnberg. You can find contact details for Student Services in the guide ‚Studieren in Erlangen und Nürnberg‘ on their website: wegweiser.shtml and


In contrast to some other countries, you will not be allocated a room in student accommodation automatically when your place is confirmed at the University. Instead, you need to make your own accommodation arrangements. Please note that Friedrich-Alexander-Universität ErlangenNürnberg (FAU) does not own or manage any accommodation and does not act as an estate agent. Your own initiative is required to find suitable accommodation. There are two options for finding accommodation: state-funded accommodation or private accommodation. Private accommodation includes accommodation run by church foundations, commercial organisations and private landlords. Rooms in student accommodation are generally furnished, which means that a bed, wardrobe, table and shelf are available. Students are usually responsible for providing bedding, towels and tableware. Privately rented flats are usually let without furniture. 

Sports and leisure

Erlangen and Nuremberg have a wide range of activities on offer: the city centres and the surrounding countryside offer ample opportunity for discovering the city or trying out new sports. All students and postgraduates enrolled at the University can enjoy a wide range of cultural events – theatre, opera, concerts, festivals and museums – at a reduced rate (Studententarif).

Many towns nearby to Nuremberg and Erlangen are charming destinations for exploring the south of Germany. Towns of particular historical interest include Bayreuth, Würzburg, Bamberg, Ansbach, Aschaffenburg, Coburg, Eichstätt, Dinkelsbühl, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Augsburg and Munich. You can visit all of these towns on the Romantic Road. 

The Franconian Lakes are located around 30 km south of Nuremberg. In summer, the lakes are a perfect destination for swimming, windsurfing and sailing. Between Bamberg and Bayreuth and to the northeast of Erlangen, Franconian Switzerland is an idyllic stretch of countryside, which can be best enjoyed by hiking or cycling. Charming and varied scenery awaits visitors to Franconian Switzerland: from peaceful river valleys and craggy hilltops (like the ‚Walberla‘) to majestic castles and ruins – there is much to see within a compact area.

Buddy programme 

The FAU buddy programme aims to promote exchange between German and international students and help exchange students and students participating in exchange programmes to get to know Erlangen and Nuremberg when they first arrive.

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg on map:
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Languages: German, English
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