Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University Greifswald

The University of Greifswald (German pronunciation: [ˈɡʁaɪfsvalt]; German: Universität Greifswald), formerly also known as “Ernst-Moritz-Arnt University of Greifswald“, is a public research university located in Greifswald, Germany, in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Founded in 1456 (teaching existed since 1436), it is one of the oldest universities in Europe, with generations of notable alumni and staff having studied or worked in Greifswald. As the fourth oldest university in present Germany, it was temporarily also the oldest university of the Kingdoms of Sweden (1648–1815) and Prussia (1815–1945), respectively. Approximately two-thirds of the 10,179 students are from outside the state, including foreign students from 90 countries all over the world. Due to the small-town atmosphere, the pronounced architectural presence of the alma mater across town, and the young, academic flair in the streets, Greifswald is often described as a "university with a town built around it" rather than a town with a university.


  • History
  • 11456–1600: Founding
  • 21600–1815: Sweden
  • 31815–1933: Prussia[6]
  • 41933–1945: Nazi Germany
  • 51945–1990: GDR
  • 61990–present: Germany
  • Organisation
  • Central governance
  • Faculties
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Law and Economics
  • University Medicine
  • Mathematics and Natural Sciences
  • Theology
  • Library
  • Academic year
  • Cooperation
  • Research partners
  • International cooperation
  • Public events
  • Museums and university collections
  • Statistics
  • Admission
  • Rankings
  • Student body
  • Student life
  • Athletics
  • Activities
  • Housing
  • Societies
  • Fraternities
  • Notable people
  • Quotes
  • See also
  • References
  • Further reading
  • External links
  • History
  • 1456–1600: Founding

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Map of medieval universities in Europe.

The University of Greifswald was founded on 17 October 1456 with the approval of the Holy Roman Empire and the Pope. This was possible due to the great commitment of Greifswald's lord mayor, Heinrich Rubenow, who was also to become the university's first rector, with the support of Duke Wartislaw IX of Pomerania and Bishop Henning Iven of the local St Nicolas' Cathedral. The founding took place in the local cathedral, which was later remodeled by Caspar David Friedrich and his brother and can still be visited today. The founding of the university was made possible by a decree that restricted teaching activity at the University of Rostock (founded 1419). Several professors left Rostock for Greifswald to continue their work there, where Heinrich Rubenow took the chance of establishing his own university. Originally, the university consisted of the four traditional divisions: Theology, Philosophy, Medicine and Law.