University of Zurich

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University of Zurich
Universität Zürich
University of Zurich seal.svg
Latin: Universitas Turicensis
Type Public university
Established 1833
Budget 1.377 billion Swiss francs[1]
President Prof. Dr. Michael Hengartner
Academic staff
3,702 (Full-time equivalent)[1]
Administrative staff
2,051 (Full-time equivalent)[1]
Students 25,732[1]
Location Zürich, Canton of Zurich, Switzerland
47°22′29″N 8°32′54″E / 47.37472°N 8.54833°E / 47.37472; 8.54833Coordinates: 47°22′29″N 8°32′54″E / 47.37472°N 8.54833°E / 47.37472; 8.54833
Campus Urban
Affiliations LERU
University of Zurich Logo.svg

The University of Zurich (UZH, German: Universität Zürich), located in the city of Zürich, is the largest university in Switzerland,[2] with over 25,000 students.[3] It was founded in 1833[4] from the existing colleges of theology, law, medicine and a new faculty of philosophy.

Currently, the university has seven faculties: Philosophy, Human Medicine, Economic Sciences, Law, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Theology and Veterinary Medicine. The university offers the widest range of subjects and courses of any Swiss higher education institution.[5]


The University of Zurich was founded on April 29, 1833,[6] when the existing colleges of theology, the Carolinum founded by Huldrych Zwingli in 1525, law and medicine were merged with a new faculty of Philosophy. It was the first university in Europe to be founded by the state rather than a monarch or church.

In the University's early years, the 1839 appointment of the German theologian David Friedrich Strauss to its Chair of Theology caused a major controversy, since Strauss argued that the miracles in the Christian New Testament were mythical retellings of normal events as supernatural happenings.[7][8][9][10] Eventually, the authorities offered Strauss a pension before he had a chance to start his duties.

The university allowed women to attend philosophy lectures from 1847, and admitted the first female doctoral student in 1866. The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine was added in 1901, the second-oldest such faculty in the world. In 1914, the university moved to new premises designed by the architect Karl Moser on Rämistrasse 71.[11]


The university is scattered all over the city of Zurich. Members of the university can use several libraries, including the ETH-library, and the Zurich Central Library, with over 5 million volumes.[12] In 1962, the faculty of science proposed to establish the Irchelpark campus on the Strickhofareal. The first stage the construction of the university buildings was begun in 1973, and the campus was inaugurated in 1979.[13][14] The construction of the second stage lasted from 1978 to 1983.[14] The campus also houses the anthropological museum Anthropologisches Museum,[15] and the cantonal Staatsarchiv Zürich.[16]


The Institute and Museum for the History of Medicine is part of the university.[17]



Main building by Karl Moser as seen from the south

The University of Zurich as a whole also ranks in the top ten of Europe and in the top fifty worldwide.[citation needed] Notably in the fields of bioscience and finance, there is a close-knit collaboration between the University of Zurich and the ETH (Federal Institute for Technology, just across the road).[18] Their faculty of chiropractic medicine is six years.[19]


University rankings
ARWU World[20] 54
Times World[22] 136
USNWR World[23] 88
QS World[21] 73
54th globally and 15th in Europe.
61st globally and 14th in Europe.
57th globally.
  • Professional Ranking of World Universities[27] (Based on the number of alumni listed among CEOs in the 500 largest worldwide companies.)
32nd globally and 10th in Europe.
52nd globally and 1st in Switzerland.

According to Handelsblatt, the Department of Economics was ranked first (in 2009?) in the German-speaking area[29] and in 2009 the faculty of Business Administration was ranked third in the German-speaking area.[30]

Language policy[edit]

Atrium Central
Irchel Campus, newer and more remotely located buildings of the University of Zurich
Statue at the entrance

Bachelor courses are taught in Swiss Standard German ("Hochdeutsch"), but use of English is increasing in many faculties. The only bachelors program taught entirely in English is the "English Language and Literature" program.[31] All Master courses at the Faculty of Science are held in English. In some highly competitive and international programs, such as the Master of Science in Quantitative Finance, all lectures are held in English.[citation needed]

Notable fellows of the university[edit]

Student life[edit]

The university's Academic Sports Association (ASVZ) offers a wide range of sports facilities to students of the university.

Notable alumni and faculty[edit]

Politics, law and society[edit]

Economics, business and management[edit]


Nobel Prize laureates[edit]

Associated with the university are 12 Nobel Prize recipients, primarily in Physics and Chemistry.

Year Field Laureate
1901 Physics Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen
1902 Literature Theodor Mommsen
1913 Chemistry Alfred Werner
1914 Physics Max von Laue
1921 Physics Albert Einstein
1933 Physics Erwin Schrödinger
1936 Chemistry Peter Debye
1937 Chemistry Paul Karrer
1939 Chemistry Lavoslav Ružička
1949 Medicine Walter Rudolf Hess
1987 Physics Karl Alex Müller
1996 Medicine Rolf M. Zinkernagel

Associated institutions[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Facts and Figures 2015". The Executive Board of the University of Zurich. 2015. 
  2. ^ "University of Zurich". Coursera. Retrieved May 6, 2017. 
  3. ^ "University of Zurich Facts & Figures 2016". University of Zurich. 2016. Retrieved March 20, 2018. 
  4. ^ "University of Zurich". Times Higher Education. Retrieved May 6, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Profile: At a glance". University of Zurich. 2008. Retrieved April 26, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Dies academicus". University of Zurich. August 26, 2009. Retrieved May 6, 2017. 
  7. ^ The Life of Jesus, Critically Examined by David Friedrich Strauss 2010 ISBN 1-61640-309-8 pages 39–43 and 87–91
  8. ^ The Making of the New Spirituality by James A. Herrick 2003 ISBN 0-8308-2398-0 pages 58–65
  9. ^ Familiar Stranger: An Introduction to Jesus of Nazareth by Michael J. McClymond (March 22, 2004) ISBN 0802826806 page 82
  10. ^ See Douglas R McGaughey, "On D.F. Strauß and the 1839 Revolution in Zurich" Archived February 1, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Ganz, Michael T.; Stucki, Heinzpeter (2008), History in brief, University of Zurich, retrieved January 31, 2010 
  12. ^ Stadt Zürich (Map). 1:1000. University of Zurich. April 4, 2006. Archived from the original on January 27, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Irchelpark" (in German). Universität Zürich. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "Irchelpark" (in German). Grün Stadt Zürich. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Anthropologisches Museum" (in German). Universität Zürich. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Kleine Zürcher Verfassungsgeschichte 1218–2000" (PDF) (in German). Staatsarchiv Zürich. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  17. ^ "UZH - Universität Zürich". Retrieved January 14, 2018. 
  18. ^ "Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved January 14, 2018. 
  19. ^ Staff Writer. "Chiropractic medicine". University website. University of Zurich. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  20. ^ Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018
  21. ^ QS World University Rankings 2018
  22. ^ World University Rankings 2018
  23. ^ U.S. News Education: Best Global Universities 2018
  24. ^ [1]
  25. ^ "THES – QS World University Rankings 2009 – top universities". Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings. Archived from the original on January 25, 2010. Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  26. ^ "QS World University Rankings® 2014/15". September 11, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2018. 
  27. ^ "The 377 leading higher education institutions in 2009". International Professional Ranking of Higher Education Institutions. Mines ParisTech. 2008. Archived from the original on January 22, 2009. Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  28. ^ "URAP – University Ranking by Academic Performance". URAP. December 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2011. 
  29. ^ "". Archived from the original on July 28, 2009. Retrieved January 14, 2018. 
  30. ^ "Handelsblatt Ranking Betriebswirtschaftslehre 2009". Handelsblatt. Retrieved November 11, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Studying". Retrieved January 14, 2018. 

External links[edit]