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Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main

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Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main

Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
File:Logo Gotehe-Logo.svg
Established 1914
Type Public
Endowment € 518 Million (2011)[1]
Rector Prof. Werner Müller-Esterl
Academic staff 535 (2009)[2]
Students 38,000 (4100 International students) (2009)[2]
Location Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The Goethe University Frankfurt (full German name: Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main) is a university which was founded in 1914 as a Citizens' University, which means that, while it was a State university of Prussia, it had been founded and financed by the wealthy and active liberal citizenry of Frankfurt am Main, a unique feature in German university history. It was named in 1932 after one of the most famous natives of Frankfurt, the poet and writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Today, the university has 38,000 students, on 4 major campuses.

Until now Goethe University Frankfurt has produced 14 Nobel Prize winners, including 8 graduates.[3] Being research focused, the university is an affiliate of 11 academics, who have been awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, the highest research prize in Germany.[4]


The university is located on four campuses in Frankfurt am Main:

  • Campus Bockenheim: Mathematics, Computer science, Art history, Fine Arts
  • Campus Riedberg: Pharmacy, Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Geosciences and Geography
  • Campus Westend: Social sciences, Pedagogy, Psychology, Theology, Philosophy, History, Philology, Archaeology, Jurisprudence, Economics and Business Administration, Human geography
  • Campus Niederrad: Medical science, Dentistry, University hospital

Other facilities include the university sports complex on Ginnheimer Landstraße in Frankfurt-Bockenheim, the Bio Campus which houses the Botanic Garden of Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main at the Palmengarten in Frankfurt.


The University of Frankfurt has at times been considered liberal, or left-leaning, and has had a reputation for Jewish and Marxist scholarship (or even Jewish-Marxist). Thus, during Nazi times, "almost one third of its academics and many of its students were dismissed for racial and/or political reasons—more than at any other German university"  (University homepage). It also played a major part in the German student riots of 1968.

The University of Frankfurt is historically best known for the Institute for Social Research (founded 1924), institutional home of the Frankfurt School, a preeminent 20th century school of philosophy and social thought. Some of the most famous University of Frankfurt scholars are associated with this school, including Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Jürgen Habermas, as well as Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm, and Walter Benjamin. Others include the sociologist Karl Mannheim, the philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer, the philosophers of religion Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, and Paul Tillich, the psychologist Max Wertheimer, and the sociologist Norbert Elias.

In recent years, Goethe University has turned its attention especially to law, history and economics, creating new institutes, such as the Institute for Law and Finance (ILF) and the Center for Financial Studies (CFS). One of the university's ambitions is to become Germany's leading university for finance and economics, given the school's proximity to one of Europe's financial centers.[5] Therefore, Frankfurt University's Goethe Business School developed a new M.B.A. program, in cooperation with Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Today the university's Business School offers a number of programs including a Full Time MBA. Goethe university has established an international award for research in financial economics, the Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics.

Campus Westend

Frankfurt University’s “Campus Westend” is dominated by the IG Farben Building by architect Hans Poelzig, an example of neoclassicist architecture. The style for the IG Farben Building was originally chosen as "a symbol for the scientific and mercantile German manpower, made out of iron and stone", as the IG Farben director at the time of the construction, Baron von Schnitzler, stated in his opening speech of October 1930.

When Frankfurt University took over the complex, the same style was also adopted for several new buildings. On 30 May 2008, the House of Finance relocated to a new building designed by the architects Kleihues+Kleihues, following the style of the IG Farben Building. The upper floors of the House of Finance building have several separate offices as well as shared office space for researchers and students. The ground floor is open to the public and welcomes visitors with a spacious, naturally lit foyer that leads to lecture halls, seminar rooms, and the information center, a 24 hour reference library. The ground floor also accommodates computer rooms and a café. The floors, walls and ceiling of the foyer are decorated with a grid design that is continued throughout the entire building. The flooring is inspired by Raphael's mural, The School of Athens.

Goethe Business School

The Goethe Business School is a Graduate Business School in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, set up as an independent, non-profit foundation under private law, held by Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. Founded in 2004, Goethe Business School (GBS) is the center for management education of Frankfurt University. Goethe Business School is part of the highly respected House of Finance at Goethe University Frankfurt’s Westend Campus. The programs at GBS are taught by much acclaimed faculty members of the University’s Faculty of Economics and Business Administration as well as internationally reputed visiting professors. In the recent past professors teaching at GBS programs have taught at schools such as the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, Duke University, University of North Carolina, Nottingham University, Grenoble Ecole de Management, Tongji University among many others. The Chairman of the Board at GBS, Rolf-E. Breuer, is former Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bank. Goethe Business School has a partnership in Executive Education with the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad.

The Deutsche Bank Prize

The Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics honors renowned researchers who have made influential contributions to the fields of finance and money and macroeconomics, and whose work has led to practical and policy-relevant results. It is awarded biannually, since 2005, by the Center for Financial Studies, in partnership with Goethe University Frankfurt. The award carries an endowment of €50,000, which is donated by the Stiftungsfonds Deutsche Bank im Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft.

Notable faculty (excerpt)

Nobel Prize Winners (Alumni & Faculty)

World Rankings

  • QS World University Rankings[8] of 2012 ranked Goethe University Frankfurt 201st in the world. Its individual subject rankings were: 106th in Arts & Humanities, 154th in Life Sciences & Biomedicine, 207th in Natural Sciences, and 101st in Social Sciences.

Points of interest

See also

  • Frankfurt University Library
  • List of modern universities in Europe (1801–1945)


External links

  • University homepage
  • Movie
  • History of the IG Farben building
  • University on flickr

Coordinates: 50°07′10″N 8°39′05″E / 50.11944°N 8.65139°E / 50.11944; 8.65139

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