Ludwig Maximilian
University of Munich
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Latin: Universitas Ludovico-Maximilianea Monacensis
Established1472; 552 years ago (1472)
Budget€734.9 million (2018)[1]
PresidentBernd Huber
Academic staff
5,565 (2018)[1]
Administrative staff
8,208 (2018)[1]
Students51,606 (WS 2018/19)[1]

48°09′03″N 11°34′49″E / 48.15083°N 11.58028°E / 48.15083; 11.58028
Nobel Laureates43 (October 2020)
ColoursGreen and white
University of Munich logo

The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (simply University of Munich or LMU; German: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) is a public research university in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. Originally established as the University of Ingolstadt in 1472 by Duke Ludwig IX of Bavaria-Landshut, it is Germany's sixth-oldest university in continuous operation.[n 1]

In 1800, the university was moved from Ingolstadt to Landshut by King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria when the city was threatened by the French, before being transferred to its present-day location in Munich in 1826 by King Ludwig I of Bavaria. In 1802, the university was officially named Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität by King Maximilian I of Bavaria in honor of himself and Ludwig IX.[2]

LMU is currently the second-largest university in Germany in terms of student population; in the 2018/19 winter semester, the university had a total of 51,606 matriculated students. Of these, 9,424 were freshmen, while international students totalled 8,875 or approximately 17% of the student population. As for the operating budget, the university records in 2018 a total of 734.9 million euros in funding without the university hospital; with the university hospital, the university has a total funding amounting to approximately 1.94 billion euros.[3]

As of 2023, the University of Munich is associated with 44 Nobel laureates. Among these were Wilhelm Röntgen, Max Planck, Werner Heisenberg, Otto Hahn and Thomas Mann. Notable alumni, faculty and researchers include Pope Benedict XVI, Rudolf Peierls, Josef Mengele, Richard Strauss, Walter Benjamin, Joseph Campbell, Muhammad Iqbal, Marie Stopes, Wolfgang Pauli, Bertolt Brecht, Max Horkheimer, Karl Loewenstein, Carl Schmitt, Gustav Radbruch, Ernst Cassirer, Ernst Bloch and Konrad Adenauer. LMU has recently been conferred the title of "University of Excellence" under the German Universities Excellence Initiative, and is a member of U15 as well as the LERU.



University buildings in Ingolstadt

Main article: University of Ingolstadt

The university was founded with papal approval in 1472 as the University of Ingolstadt (foundation right of Louis IX the Rich), with faculties of philosophy, medicine, jurisprudence and theology. Its first rector was Christopher Mendel of Steinfels, who later became bishop of Chiemsee.

In the period of German humanism, the university's academics included names such as Conrad Celtes and Petrus Apianus. The theologian Johann Eck also taught at the university. From 1549 to 1773, the university was influenced by the Jesuits and became one of the centres of the Counter-Reformation. The Jesuit Petrus Canisius served as rector of the university.

At the end of the 18th century, the university was influenced by the Enlightenment, which led to a stronger emphasis on natural science.


Portrait of Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, after whom the University of Munich was renamed in 1802
Adolf von Baeyer, Emil Fischer, Jacob Volhard and other chemists at LMU in 1877

In 1800, the Prince-Elector Maximilian IV Joseph (the later Maximilian I, King of Bavaria) moved the university to Landshut, due to French aggression that threatened Ingolstadt during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1802, the university was renamed the Ludwig Maximilian University in honour of its two founders, Louis IX, Duke of Bavaria and Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria. The Minister of Education, Maximilian von Montgelas, initiated a number of reforms that sought to modernize the rather conservative and Jesuit-influenced university. In 1826, it was moved to Munich, the capital of the Kingdom of Bavaria. The university was situated in the Old Academy until a new building in the Ludwigstraße was completed. The locals were somewhat critical of the number of Protestant professors Maximilian and later Ludwig I invited to Munich. They were dubbed the "Nordlichter" (northern lights), and especially physician Johann Nepomuk von Ringseis was quite angry about them.[4]

View of the University of Munich from Amalienstrasse around 1900

In the second half of the 19th century, the university rose to great prominence in the European scientific community, attracting many of the world's leading scientists. It was also a period of great expansion. From 1903, women were allowed to study at Bavarian universities, and by 1918, the female proportion of students at LMU had reached 18%. In 1918, Adele Hartmann became the first woman in Germany to earn the Habilitation (higher doctorate), at LMU.

During the Weimar Republic, the university continued to be one of the world's leading universities, with professors such as Wilhelm Röntgen, Wilhelm Wien, Richard Willstätter, Arnold Sommerfeld and Ferdinand Sauerbruch.


See also: University education in Nazi Germany

During the Third Reich, academic freedom was severely curtailed. In 1943, the White Rose group, consisting of anti-Nazi students, carried out a campaign opposing the National Socialists at this institution. The university subsequently removed Kurt Huber, a Nazi opposition fighter, from his position and revoked his doctorate upon his arrest.

Between 1933 and 1936, Karl Escherich served as rector at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, followed by Leopold Kölbl from 1936 to 1938, Philipp Broemser from 1938 to 1941, and finally, Walther Wüst from 1941 to 1945.


View of the main building of LMU from Professor-Huber-Platz in 2017
View of the main building of LMU from Professor-Huber-Platz in 2017
The Lichthof (atrium)
Colonnade in the first floor

The university has continued to be one of the leading universities of West Germany during the Cold War and in the post-reunification era. In the late 1960s, the university was the scene of protests by radical students.

Today, the University of Munich is part of 24 Collaborative Research Centers funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and is host university of 13 of them. It also hosts 12 DFG Research Training Groups and three international doctorate programs as part of the Elite Network of Bavaria, an educational policy concept of Bavaria for the promotion of gifted pupils and students in the higher education sector. It attracts an additional 120 million euros per year in outside funding and is intensively involved in national and international funding initiatives.

LMU Munich has a wide range of degree programs, with 150 subjects available in numerous combinations. 15% of the 45,000 students who attend the university come from abroad.

In 2005, Germany's state and federal governments launched the German Universities Excellence Initiative, a contest among its universities. With a total of 1.9 billion euros, 75 percent of which comes from the federal state, its architects aim to strategically promote top-level research and scholarship. The money is given to more than 30 research universities in Germany.

The initiative will fund three project-oriented areas: graduate schools to promote the next generation of scholars, clusters of excellence to promote cutting-edge research, and "future concepts" for the project-based expansion of academic excellence at universities as a whole. In order to qualify for this third area, a university had to have at least one internationally recognized academic center of excellence and a new graduate school. After the first round of selections, LMU Munich was invited to submit applications for all three funding lines. It entered the competition with proposals for two graduate schools and four clusters of excellence.

On Friday 13 October 2006, a blue-ribbon panel announced the results of the Germany-wide Excellence Initiative for promoting top university research and education. The panel, composed of the German Research Foundation and the German Science Council, has decided that LMU Munich will receive funding for all three areas covered by the Initiative: one graduate school, three "excellence clusters" and general funding for the university's "future concept".

In January 2012, scientists at the Ludwig Maximilian University published details of the most sensitive listening device known so far. This has led to the college being inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records.[5]

In September 2018, the Munich public prosecutor's office investigated a university vice president on suspicion of embezzlement. The vice president should have claimed "excessive travel expenses".[6] The following year, veterinary students reported that the LMU violated animal welfare standards. According to them, the LMU keeps pigs in tight grid boxes, so that some animals showed scratches, bumps and respiratory diseases from lying down. Students who reported these circumstances said that they were threatened with deregistration from the university.[7] In the beginning of 2020, the LMU locked around 80 students in a room who wanted to discuss the topic "Climate Burns, University Burns," about why universities are doing research for companies that are harmful to the climate.[8]


LMU's institutes and research centers are spread throughout Munich.
Entrance to LMU's main building
Underground station Universität serves LMU's main campus via lines U3/U6.
LMU Klinikum – Campus Großhadern, the hospital

LMU's institutes and research centers are spread throughout Munich, with several buildings located in the suburbs of Oberschleissheim and Garching as well as Maisach and Bad Tölz. The university's main buildings are grouped around Geschwister-Scholl-Platz and Professor-Huber-Platz on Ludwigstrasse, extending into side streets such as Akademiestraße, Schellingstraße, and Veterinärstraße. Other large campuses and institutes are located in Großhadern (Klinikum Großhadern), Martinsried (chemistry and biotechnology campus), the Ludwigsvorstadt (Klinikum Innenstadt) and in the Lehel (Institut am Englischen Garten), across from the main buildings, through the Englischer Garten.

The university's main building is situated in Geschwister-Scholl-Platz and the university's main campus is served by the Munich subway's Universität station.

Great Assembly Hall (Große Aula)

Große Aula

The große Aula is located in the university main building at Ludwigstraße in Munich. The Aula was constructed as part of the main building by Friedrich von Gärtner and completed in 1840. The hall is situated in the first floor and extends to the second floor.

The Aula was not destroyed during World War II and, thus, is one of few usable pre war venues in Munich. The Aula was used for the first performances of concerts after the war. Furthermore, it was venue for the constituent assembly of the state of Bavaria, where the current Bavarian constitution was enacted.[9]

Today, the Aula hosts mainly concerts, talks and lectures.


Fields of study

Despite the Bologna Process which saw the demise of most traditional academic-degree courses such as the Diplom and Magister Artium in favour of the more internationally known Bachelors and Masters system, the University of Munich continues to offer more than 100 areas of study with numerous combinations of majors and minors.[10]

In line with the university's internationalisation as a popular destination for tertiary studies, an increasing number of courses mainly at the graduate and post-graduate levels are also available in English to cater to international students who may have little or no background in the German language.[11] Some notable subject areas which currently offer programmes in English include various fields of psychology, physics as well as business and management.[12]


LMU's Institute of Systematic Botany is located at Botanischer Garten München-Nymphenburg.
Faculty of chemistry buildings at the Martinsried campus of LMU Munich

The university consists of 18 faculties which oversee various departments and institutes.[13] The official numbering of the faculties and the missing numbers 06 and 14 are the result of breakups and mergers of faculties in the past. The Faculty of Forestry Operations with number 06 has been integrated into the Technical University of Munich in 1999 and faculty number 14 has been merged with faculty number 13.[14][15][16][unreliable source?]

Research centres


In addition to its 18 faculties, the University of Munich also maintains numerous research centres involved in numerous cross-faculty and transdisciplinary projects to complement its various academic programmes.[17] Some of these research centres were a result of cooperation between the university and renowned external partners from academia and industry; the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, for example, was established through a joint initiative between LMU Munich and the Deutsches Museum, while the Parmenides Center for the Study of Thinking resulted from the collaboration between the Parmenides Foundation and LMU Munich's Human Science Center.[18]

Some of the research centres which have been established include:

Tuition and fees

Universities in Bavaria do not charge tuition fees. Instead, a mandatory semester fee has to be paid that is fully transferred to the student union for providing, amongst other services, housing and lunch options for students.


University rankings
Overall – Global & National
QS World 2025[19] Fall 59 Same position 2
THE World 2024[20] Fall =38 Same position 2
ARWU World 2023[21] Fall 59 Same position =2
QS Europe[citation needed]
QS Employability[citation needed]
THE Employability[citation needed]

The 2025 QS World University Rankings rank LMU Munich 59th overall in the world and 2nd in Germany.[19] In the 2024 QS Subject Rankings, the university is highly ranked in the arts and humanities, natural sciences, and life sciences and medicine.[22]

The Times Higher Education Ranking 2024 ranks LMU Munich 2nd in Germany, and 38th in the world.[20] In the 2023 THE subject rankings, LMU is ranked first in Germany in the arts and humanities, law, and psychology.[23]

The Academic Ranking of World Universities ranks LMU Munich joint 2nd nationally and 59th in the world as of 2023.[21] In the subjects of physics, education, communication, public administration, and hospitality, it is ranked first in Germany.[24]

In 2018 and 2019, the LMU took 1st place based on the number of DAX board of management members.[25][26] The top 3 universities in 2019 were the LMU Munich, the RWTH Aachen and the Technische Universität Darmstadt.[26] According to the funding report of the German Research Foundation (DFG) of 2021, which breaks down the grants from 2017 to 2019, LMU Munich ranked 1st among German universities. By area, it ranked 1st in the life sciences, 2nd in the humanities and social sciences, and 6th in the natural sciences.[27] In November 2018 Expertscape recognized it as one of the top ten institutions in the world in pancreatic cancer.[28]

One Munich Strategy Forum

The LMU and the Technical University of Munich have come together to work on "One Munich Strategy Forum", with a €2.5 million fund from the state of Bavaria.[29]

Munich International Summer University

The Munich International Summer University (MISU at LMU) is the Summer University by LMU, which takes place annually in Munich and depending on the course also involves stays at different European cities. MISU invites international students to attend short-term programs at the LMU Munich in order to progress academically even in winter or summer breaks at their home university. MISU hereby offers two course formats: On the one hand German Language classes are held at different times over the year. On the other hand, MISU offers 16 subject-specific Summer Schools and Winter Schools covering a wide range of academic fields. Around 1000 students from nearly 90 countries joined MISU short-term programs in 2019.[30]

Germany has a long tradition of hosting summer programs for international students.[31] The LMU Munich organised its Summer University for the first time in 1927. Labelled as Sommerkurse für Ausländer (Summer Courses for Foreigners) the Summer University ran annually until 1934 and primarily consisted of German Language courses for international students.[32] After a longer intermittence period, LMU's Summer University resumed as Internationaler Münchner Sommer (International Summer in Munich). Since then the number of courses has increased and the range of subject-specific Summer Schools was extended to further academic disciplines. From 2008 onwards LMU's Summer University operates under the name Munich International Summer University (MISU).[33]

A central aim of MISU is to boost the internationality of the LMU Munich in terms of research and teaching.[34] Compared to semester-based student exchange programs, short-term programs such as Summer Schools have the advantage for international students to receive a very intensive and concise insight into the research areas and campus at the LMU Munich.[35] MISU hereby has the objective to combine excellent academic education with extra-curricular activities. Participants are thus not only supervised intensively by established researchers on selected topics but are also introduced to the history, culture and politics of Munich, Bavaria and Germany. Moreover, the Summer University allows the LMU Munich to intensify cooperation with international partner universities. MISU's short-term programs therefore strengthen the LMU's international visibility as one of the highest ranked universities in Europe.[36][failed verification]

Notable alumni and faculty members

Main articles: List of Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich people and List of Nobel laureates by university affiliation

The alumni of Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich played a major role in the development of quantum mechanics. Max Planck, the founder of quantum theory and Nobel laureate in Physics in 1918, was an alumnus of the university. Founders of quantum mechanics such as Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, and others were associated with the university. Most recently, to honor the Nobel laureate in Chemistry Gerhard Ertl, who worked as a professor at the University of Munich from 1973 to 1986, the building of the Physical Chemistry was named after him.

Pakistani philosopher and poet Sir Muhammad Iqbal, regarded as the "Poet of the East" and "The Thinker of Pakistan", earned his PhD degree from the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich in 1908. Working under the guidance of Friedrich Hommel, Iqbal published his doctoral thesis in 1908, entitled The Development of Metaphysics in Persia.[37][38][39][40]

The anti-Nazi resistance White Rose was based in this university.[41]

See also


  1. ^ In modern Germany, only Heidelberg University (1386), Leipzig University (1409), the University of Rostock (1419), the University of Greifswald (1456) and the University of Freiburg (1457) are older. Although Cologne, Erfurt and Würzburg were originally founded earlier than the University of Munich, they shut down for longer periods.


  1. ^ a b c d "Facts and Figures". LMU Munich. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Landshut (1800–1826) – LMU München". Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  3. ^ "Facts and Figures – LMU Munich". Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  4. ^ "Wortgewaltiger Gegner der Nordlichter: Der Mediziner Johann Nepomuk von Ringseis", in: Ulrike Leutheusser, Heinrich Nöth (Hg.), "Dem Geist alle Tore öffnen". König Maximilian II. von Bayern und die Wissenschaft, München 2009, pp. 142–153; 2. Aufl. München 2011, pp. 142–153.
  5. ^ Glenday, Craig (2013). Guinness Book of World Records. Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 194. ISBN 978-1-908843-15-9.
  6. ^ Knoll, Günther (4 September 2018). "Untreue-Verdacht gegen einen der LMU-Vizepräsidenten". Sü (in German). Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  7. ^ Scherf, Martina (3 December 2019). "Eingepfercht für die Forschung". Sü (in German). Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  8. ^ Buchwald, Sabine (24 January 2020). "In der Großen Aula eingesperrt". Sü (in German). Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  9. ^ "Geschichte der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München". Archived from the original on 18 March 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
  10. ^ "Herzlich willkommen! – LMU München". Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  11. ^ "Degree Students – LMU Munich". Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  12. ^ "Studienfächer und Studiengänge von A bis Z – LMU München". Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  13. ^ "Faculties – LMU Munich". Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  14. ^ "Geschichte der forstwissenschaftlichen Ausbildung in Bayern". Technische Universität München. Archived from the original on 4 May 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
  15. ^ "Fakultäten". Archived from the original on 2 March 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
  16. ^ Hofmann, Andreas C. (29 May 2010). "Warum die LMU München (keine) 20 Fakultäten hat. Zur Ausdifferenzierung des Wissens an der Ludovico-Maximilianea im Spiegel der Geschichte ihrer Fakultäten". aventinus bavarica (in German). No. 15. Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  17. ^ "Research Centers – LMU Munich". Archived from the original on 3 November 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  18. ^ "About us " MCA " EUNICE " Education " Parmenides Foundation". Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  19. ^ a b "QS World University Rankings 2025". QS World University Rankings. Retrieved 6 June 2024.
  20. ^ a b "World University Rankings 2024". Times Higher Education World University Rankings. 27 September 2023. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  21. ^ a b "2023 Academic Ranking of World Universities". Academic Ranking of World Universities. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  22. ^ a b "QS World University Rankings by Subject". QS World University Rankings. Retrieved 10 April 2024.
  23. ^ a b "World University Rankings by subject". Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Retrieved 27 October 2023.
  24. ^ a b "ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2023". Academic Ranking of World Universities.
  25. ^ Michael Proft. (2018). 7. DAX-Vorstands-Report
  26. ^ a b Klaus Hansen. (2019). 8. DAX-Vorstands-Report
  27. ^ Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (2021), Förderatlas 2021 (in German) (1st ed.), Bonn: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft e.V., ISBN 978-3-96827-003-6
  28. ^ "Expertscape: Pancreatic Neoplasms, November 2018". November 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  29. ^ "ONE MUNICH Strategy Forum: TUM and LMU to jointly explore new research fields". Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  30. ^ Munich International Summer University: "MISU at LMU Annual Report 2019", 2019.
  31. ^ Joachim Hoffmann: Zur Geschichte der Universitätsferienkurse. In: Informationen Deutsch als Fremdsprache, Nr. 12,4, 1985, p. 341-352.
  32. ^ Ulrich Bauer: Sommerschulen für Interkulturelle Deutschstudien. Geschichte-Konzeptualisierung-Modellbildung. Ein Beitrag zur Angewandten Lehrforschung Interkultureller Germanistik, IUDICIUM Verlag, 2002, p. 73.
  33. ^ Munich International Summer University: MISU at LMU Annual Report 2019, 2019, p. 8.
  34. ^ LMU Munich: Internationality of LMU Munich Archived 6 February 2020 at the Wayback Machine.
  35. ^ Kathleen Campbell: Short-term study abroad programs: objectives and accomplishments. In: Journal of International Mobility, Nr. 4, 2016.
  36. ^ "World University Rankings". Times Higher Education (THE). 20 August 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  37. ^ Sharif, Imran (21 April 2011). "Allama Iqbal's 73rd death anniversary observed with reverence". Pakistan Today. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  38. ^ Lansing, East; H-Bahai, Mi. (2001) [1908]. "The development of metaphysics in persia" (PDF). London Luzac and Company. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  39. ^ Mir, Mustansir (1990). Tulip in the desert: A selection of the poetry of Muhammad Iqbal. London: c.Hurts and Company, Publishers Ltd. p. 2. ISBN 978-967-5-06267-4.
  40. ^ Jackso, Roy (2006). Fifty key figures in Islam. Taylor & Francis. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-415-35467-7.
  41. ^ "DenkStätte Weiße Rose". Weisse rose Stiftung e.V. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2016.