University of Zurich

University of Zürich
Universität Zürich
Latin: Universitas Turicensis
TypePublic university
Established1833; 191 years ago (1833)
Budget1.578 billion Swiss francs
PresidentMichael Schaepman
Academic staff
3,702 (Full-time equivalent)
Administrative staff
2,051 (Full-time equivalent)
Location, ,

47°22′29″N 8°32′54″E / 47.37472°N 8.54833°E / 47.37472; 8.54833
ColoursBlack, white, blue, grey and ochre
AffiliationsLERU U21

The University of Zürich (UZH, German: Universität Zürich) is a public research university located in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. It is the largest university in Switzerland, with its 28,000 enrolled students. It was founded in 1833 from the existing colleges of theology, law, medicine which go back to 1525, 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.


The University of Zurich was founded on April 29, 1833, 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.[citation needed]

Aerial view (1953)

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. 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.


The university is scattered all over the city of Zürich. The main campuses are located in the city centre, Irchelpark and Oerlikon. Members of the university can use several libraries, including the ETH-library, and the Zurich Central Library, with over 5 million volumes. 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. The construction of the second stage lasted from 1978 to 1983. The campus also houses the anthropological museum Anthropologisches Museum, and the cantonal Staatsarchiv Zürich.


The Institute and Museum for the History of Medicine is part of the university. The university includes 13 museums: the Anatomical Collection, the Archaeological Collection, the Botanical Museum, the Museum of Wax Moulages, the Science Exploratorium, the Museum of Veterinary History, the Zürich Herbaria, the Museum of Anthropology, the Botanical Garden, the Ethnographic Museum, the Paleontological Museum, the Veterinary Anatomy Collection and the Zoological Museum.


Main building by Karl Moser as seen from the south

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). Examples for common initiatives between the two institutions include University Medicine Zurich, the Wyss Translational Center Zurich and Life Science Zurich.


University rankings
Global – Overall
ARWU World59 (2023)
QS World91 (2024)
THE World=80 (2024)
USNWR Global=67 (2022-23)
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University Ranking (heavy emphasis on research output – citations, Nobel prizes etc.) Ranked 59th overall as well as 5th and 10th in the subdisclipines Ecology an Human Biological Sciences respectively.
  • QS World University Rankings (heavy emphasis on peer review) 91st overall and 56th in Medicine globally making it the highest ranked University in Switzerland for Medicine according to QS.
  • THE World University Rankings 2024 80th overall and ranked 42nd in the subdiscipline business & economics.

The university's Department of Economics is especially strong and was ranked first in the German-speaking area by the Handelsblatt in 2017. In 2009, the faculty of Business Administration was ranked third in the German-speaking area.

Language policy

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. All Master courses at the Faculty of Science are held in English. Master courses in Economics and Finance are mainly held in English, while the Master of Science in Quantitative Finance is held completely in English.[citation needed]

Student life

The university's Academic Sports Association (ASVZ) offers a wide range of sports facilities to students of the university. The student body is represented through the Verband der Studierenden der Universität Zürich VSUZH which organizes events and is involved in the university administration.

Notable alumni and faculty

Politics, law and society

Economics, business and management


Philosophy and theology

Arts and music

Nobel Prize laureates

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

Albert Einstein
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

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Annual Report 2022". University of Zurich. 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Facts and Figures 2015". Executive Board of the University of Zurich. 2015.
  3. ^ "Annual Report 2018". University of Zurich. 2018.
  4. ^ Die Hausfarben der Universität Zürich – website of the University of Zurich
  5. ^ CD-Manual: Basiselemente – website of the University of Zurich
  6. ^ "University of Zurich". Coursera. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  7. ^ "The University of Zurich – At a Glance". University of Zurich. 2020. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  8. ^ "University of Zurich". Times Higher Education. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  9. ^ "Faculties of the University of Zurich". University of Zurich. 2021. Retrieved December 2, 2021.
  10. ^ "Dies academicus". University of Zurich. August 26, 2009. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  11. ^ The Life of Jesus, Critically Examined by David Friedrich Strauss 2010 ISBN 1-61640-309-8 pages 39–43 and 87–91
  12. ^ The Making of the New Spirituality by James A. Herrick 2003 ISBN 0-8308-2398-0 pages 58–65
  13. ^ Familiar Stranger: An Introduction to Jesus of Nazareth by Michael J. McClymond (March 22, 2004) ISBN 0802826806 page 82
  14. ^ See Douglas R McGaughey, "On D.F. Strauß and the 1839 Revolution in Zurich" Archived February 1, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Ganz, Michael T.; Stucki, Heinzpeter (2008), History in brief, University of Zurich, retrieved January 31, 2010
  16. ^ "Campuses". Retrieved December 2, 2021.
  17. ^ Stadt Zürich (Map). 1:1000. University of Zurich. April 4, 2006. Archived from the original on January 27, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2010.
  18. ^ "Irchelpark" (in German). Universität Zürich. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  19. ^ a b "Irchelpark" (in German). Grün Stadt Zürich. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  20. ^ "Anthropologisches Museum" (in German). Universität Zürich. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  21. ^ "Kleine Zürcher Verfassungsgeschichte 1218–2000" (PDF) (in German). Staatsarchiv Zürich. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  22. ^ "UZH - Universität Zürich". Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  23. ^ "Museums and Collections". Retrieved December 2, 2021.
  24. ^ "Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  25. ^ "Partnerships". Retrieved December 14, 2023.
  26. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2023". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. Retrieved December 14, 2023.
  27. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2024". Retrieved December 14, 2023.
  28. ^ "World University Rankings 2024". December 14, 2023. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  29. ^ "U.S. News Education: Best Global Universities 2022-23". Retrieved December 14, 2023.
  30. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities - 2023". December 14, 2023.
  31. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2024". QS World University Rankings. Retrieved December 14, 2023.
  32. ^ "THE World University Rankings 2024". December 14, 2023. Retrieved December 14, 2023.
  33. ^ "Handelsblatt Ranking". Handelsblatt. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  34. ^ "Handelsblatt Ranking Betriebswirtschaftslehre 2009". Handelsblatt. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  35. ^ "Studying". Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  36. ^ "VSUZH - Verband der Studierenden der Universität Zürich". VSUZH (in German). Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  37. ^ "Thomas P. Gottstein". Credit Suisse. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  38. ^ "Germany is a global center for superstition". OHB SE.

External links

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