University of Innsbruck
Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck
Latin: Universitas Leopoldino Franciscea, Alma Mater Oenipontana
EstablishedOctober 15, 1669; 353 years ago (1669-10-15) (as a university)
RectorTilmann Märk
Academic staff
3.966 (300 professors)[1]
Administrative staff
Students28.106[1](May 2022)
47°15′46″N 11°23′4″E / 47.26278°N 11.38444°E / 47.26278; 11.38444Coordinates: 47°15′46″N 11°23′4″E / 47.26278°N 11.38444°E / 47.26278; 11.38444

The University of Innsbruck (German: Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck; Latin: Universitas Leopoldino Franciscea) is a public research university in Innsbruck, the capital of the Austrian federal state of Tyrol, founded on October 15, 1669.[2]

It is the largest education facility in the Austrian Bundesland of Tirol, and the third largest in Austria behind Vienna University and the University of Graz. Significant contributions have been made in many branches, most of all in the physics department. Further, regarding the number of Web of Science-listed publications, it occupies the third rank worldwide in the area of mountain research.[3] In the Handelsblatt Ranking 2015, the business administration faculty ranks among the 15 best business administration faculties in German-speaking countries.[4]


In 1562, a Jesuit grammar school was established in Innsbruck by Peter Canisius, today called "Akademisches Gymnasium Innsbruck". It was financed by the salt mines in Hall in Tirol, and was re-chartered as a university on October 15, 1669, by Leopold I with four faculties. In 1782 this was reduced to a mere lyceum (as were all other universities in the Austrian Empire, apart from Prague, Vienna and Lviv), but it was reestablished as the University of Innsbruck in 1826 by Emperor Franz I. The university is therefore named after both of its founding fathers with the official title "Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck" (Universitas Leopoldino-Franciscea).

During the National Socialist era, the university was renamed the "Deutsche Alpenuniversität" in March 1941 at the suggestion of the then Rector Raimund von Klebelsberg. As at all universities, "Säuberungsaktionen" took place: Opponents of the National Socialists were deprived of their powers and excluded from academic life.[5] In 1945, after the end of World War II, it was reopened under the name "University of Innsbruck".[6]

The second half of the 20th century brought further expansion of the university: in 1969 the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture and in 1976 the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, which emerged from the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences. In 2004, the Faculty of Medicine was spun off, and in 2012 the School of Education was established, which was later renamed the Faculty of Teacher Education.

In 1991, Lauda Air Flight 004 crashed in Thailand, killing all aboard, including 21 members of the University of Innsbruck. The passengers included professor and economist Clemens August Andreae, another professor, six assistants, and 13 students. Andreae had often led field visits to Hong Kong.[7]

Main building of the University of Innsbruck
Main building of the University of Innsbruck

In 2005, copies of letters written by the emperors Frederick II and Conrad IV were found in the university's library. They arrived in Innsbruck in the 18th century, having left the charterhouse Allerengelberg in Schnals due to its abolishment.

In October 2021, a controversy arose about a Peace Studies course.[8] As a result, the university management declared that, despite the name Master's program, it was not a regular master program, but an extraordinary course on peace, development, security and international conflict transformation. Since 2022, a regular master's program in Peace and Conflict studies is taught at the university.[9]

Ceremonial Equipment

See also: Ceremonial Equipment of Innsbruck Medical University

In the main building of the University of Innsbruck
In the main building of the University of Innsbruck
1998 copy of Olomouc University Rector's Mace - the original from ca. 1572 is as of 2015 still held by Innsbruck University
1998 copy of Olomouc University Rector's Mace - the original from ca. 1572 is as of 2015 still held by Innsbruck University

In the 1850s, the Habsburgs gradually closed the University of Olomouc as a consequence of the Olomouc students' and professors' participation in the 1848 revolutions and the Czech National Revival. The ceremonial equipment of the University of Olomouc was then transferred to the University of Innsbruck. The original Olomouc ceremonial maces from the 1580s are now used as the maces of Innsbruck University and Innsbruck Medical University. Olomouc University Rector's mace from ca. 1572 is nowadays used as the mace of the Innsbruck Faculty of Theology and Olomouc Faculty of Law Dean's Mace from 1833 is nowadays used as Innsbruck's Faculty of Law Mace.[10]

Since the establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918, the Czechs have been unsuccessfully requesting the return of the University of Olomouc's original ceremonial equipment. Many years later, in 1998, Innsbruck donated an exact copy of the rector's mace to Palacký University, but it is still, in 2015, using the Olomouc University original maces and other regalia as its own ceremonial equipment.[10]

The faculties

The new plan of organisation (having become effective on October 1, 2004) installed the following 16 faculties to replace the previously existing six faculties:

As of 1 January 2004, the Faculty of Medicine was sectioned off from the main university to become a university in its own right. This is now called the Innsbruck Medical University (Medizinische Universität Innsbruck).

The inter-disciplinary unit called the Digital Science Center (DiSC) was founded in 2019 to integrate and promote digitalisation of scientific research as well as to support high-quality science.


The university buildings are spread across the city and there is no university campus as such. The most important locations are:

Points of interest

Nobel laureates

Notable faculty

See also: Category:Academics_of_the_University_of_Innsbruck

Notable alumni

See also: Category:University_of_Innsbruck_alumni

Victims of political persecution and terror

See also


  1. ^ a b Universität Innsbruck Auf einen Blick 2022
  2. ^ "History of the University of Innsbruck", University of Innsbruck website
  3. ^ Körner, Christian (2009). "Global Statistics of "Mountain" and "Alpine" Research". Mountain Research and Development. 29: 97–102. doi:10.1659/mrd.1108.
  4. ^ "Ranking-Erfolg für BWL".
  5. ^ Archiv „Vertriebene Wissenschaft“ der Universität Innsbruck, Retrieved on 26 March 2015
  6. ^ Zeittafeln der Universität Innsbruck, Retrieved on 19 August 2014
  7. ^ a b "Im Gedenken an den Flugzeugabsturz 1991." (Archive) University of Innsbruck. Retrieved on 15 February 2013. "223 Menschen, darunter 21 Angehörige der Universität Innsbruck, kamen beim Absturz der Boeing 767, die am 26. Mai 1991 nach einem Zwischenstopp von Bangkok Richtung Wien gestartet war, ums Leben. Neben dem bekannten Wirtschaftswissenschaftler Prof. Clemens August Andreae, der die finanzwissenschaftliche Exkursion nach Hongkong geleitet hatte, waren ein weiterer Professor, sechs Assistentinnen und Assistenten und 13 Studierende an Bord des Unglücksfliegers, der aufgrund einer defekten Schubumkehr nur 15 Minuten nach dem Abflug in den Thailändischen Dschungel stürzte."
  8. ^ ORF 2, Zeit im Bild 2, October 13, 2021, 10:00 pm, Tirol Heute, October 13, 2021.
  9. ^ [ Master's Programme Peace and Conflict Studies], Retrieved on 30 November 2022
  10. ^ a b Fiala, Jiří (12 July 1998). "Původní žezlo rektora olomoucké univerzity [Original mace of Olomouc University's Rector]" (PDF). Žurnál Univerzity Palackého (in Czech). Olomouc: Palacký University of Olomouc. 7 (28). Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  11. ^ Pace, Eric (1994-06-17). "James Demske, 72, A Jesuit Priest Who Led Canisius College". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  12. ^ Geehr, Richard S. (1990). Karl Lueger: Mayor of Fin de Siècle Vienna. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 9780814320778.