Humboldt University was founded by King Friedrich-Wilhelm III in 1810. With around 34,000 students and 3,500 employees, Humboldt University is one of the 20 largest universities in Germany and has been recognized as an elite university since 2012. As various rankings show (117th place in the QS Global World Ranking, 80th place in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021), it is also one of the leading German universities with broad national and international recognition. Humboldt University is a city university and does not have an adjacent campus area; most of its humanities faculties and institutes are located in the Berlin-Mitte district, scattered around the main building.
The university is named after the famous German scientist Wilhelm von Humboldt, who 200 years ago called for the independence of science, the integration of the humanities and natural sciences (the philosophy of modern university education) and the unification of teaching and research. HU was founded in 1810 and, with the exception of a break during the Russian occupation of Berlin during World War II, has been a regular teaching institution since then and has rapidly become known worldwide.
Humboldt University currently offers 189 courses, all of which, with the exception of mathematics and chemistry, have restricted admission (restricted admission is a common topic in Germany and I will try to write a separate article about it). The university library is one of the largest in Germany and is located in Berlin-Mitte. HU has partnered with over 170 institutions worldwide and international students from more than 100 different countries study at HU. So far, HU has produced 29 Nobel Laureates and is one of the top 10 universities in Germany. Joachim Sauer, the husband of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is Professor of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry at Humboldt University.
HU Berlin organizes orientation events for interested first year students from almost every department. These events are considered as a great opportunity for new students to get to know each other. You will immediately notice that every university in Berlin, and HU as well, is very internationally oriented. Some of the courses, especially the master’s courses, are taught in English and English will be the language you hear most on the streets of Berlin.
However, I would like to warn you that Berlin is the “best place to be” when it comes to skipping classes. In no other city in Germany can you party so much, get to know people, hang out in parks or visit the outdoors in summer. HU’s main campus is in the middle of Berlin, and just because of its location, there are plenty of options for food and coffee on and off campus. Even on the Adlershof campus, there is a state-of-the-art cafeteria serving all the delicacies you can imagine. But Adlershof will not be able to offer you the atmosphere of the city center. When choosing HU, I suggest you pay attention to which campus the department you choose is located on. However, there are reviews about the cafeteria here saying “the food is so good that you don’t even need to go out”.
HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY IN NUMBERS
|Date of foundation
|Total Number of Students
|Semester Fee (includes public transportation ticket)
Humboldt University Applications
Humboldt University application dates:
Winter semester: June 01 – July 15
Summer semester December 1 – January 15
As the undergraduate courses are taught in German, you need to have German C1 proficiency for admission. The university does not have a Preparatory School. If your German is not sufficient and you have a B2 level certificate, you can apply to the school, but you are required to take and pass a C1 exam before enrollment. The university has an external language school, but you can also prepare for this exam with any private course of your choice.
Check the relevant page of the university for more information.
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