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Bundeswehr University Munich

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Type  Public
President  Merith Niehuss
Total enrollment  2,806 (2013)
Founded  1973
Parent organization  Bundeswehr
Established  1973
Students  3,000 (March 2013)
Phone  +49 89 60040
Academic staff  586
Bundeswehr University Munich
Location  Neubiberg (Munich), Bavaria, Germany
Campus  Sub-urban 140 hectares (350 acres)
Address  Werner-Heisenberg-Weg 39, 85579 Neubiberg, Germany
Notable alumni  Thomas Reiter, Volker Wieker, Raheel Sharif, Klaus‑Dietrich Flade, Roderich Kiesewetter
Similar  Technical University of Munich, Helmut Schmidt University, Munich University of Applie, Catholic University of Eichstä, Ludwig Maximilian University

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Bundeswehr University Munich (German: Universität der Bundeswehr München, UniBw München) is one of only two federal research universities in Germany that both were founded in 1973 as part of the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr). Originally called Hochschule der Bundeswehr München the institution was supposed to offer civilian academic education for military officers. Today, the university has an increasing number of civilian and international students. The academic year at the university is structured in trimesters and not the usual semesters, to offer intensive studies with more credit points per year. Very capable students can therefore achieve a bachelor's and a master's degree within less than four years, while this would usually require five years. Universität der Bundeswehr München has well-established scientific research and forms part of two excellence clusters of the German government's university excellence initiative. Bundeswehr University is one of only very few campus universities in Germany.


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In 1970 the then minister of defence Helmut Schmidt decided that the education of military officers in Germany had to be reviewed and had to include full academic studies. After one year the Ellwein commission presented its proposal for the creation of two civilian colleges within the armed forces. Students should get fully recognised civilian degrees independent of their military profession, to have a higher qualified officer corps and more incentives to join the military. The idea was that students would have better conditions than at normal universities so that they could cope with a higher workload and study faster. After almost two years of discussions and the necessary legislative procedures, both universities could open. University education normally being a responsibility of the German states, Universität der Bundeswehr München and Helmut Schmidt University are the only federal universities in Germany. With their innovative concepts Helmut Schmidt University and Universität der Bundeswehr München quickly became widely known as reform universities within the very traditional German university landscape. In the following years the universities had to establish their image and reputation and finally were accepted as full universities with the rights to award doctorate degrees as well as Habilitations to qualify university professors in the 80s. In the 90s and 2000s the university has started to open its teaching towards civilian students and to extend its international relations. While the researchers and doctorate students always used to be mainly civilians, the student body still had been purely military in the 90s. Today, Universität der Bundeswehr München has concluded partnership contracts with different major financial and industrial companies, which send students to Universität der Bundeswehr München. In the past few years different federal agencies have started to qualify their employees at the university. Since 2007 Universität der Bundeswehr München has changed its degree to the harmonized Bologna system. It has completely restructed its curriculums and awards bachelor's and master's degrees instead of the former German Diplom.


  • 1973–1974 Gerhard Wachter (temporary)
  • 1974–1982 Horst von Engerth
  • 1982–1990 Rudolf Wienecke
  • 1990–1993 Jürgen von Kruedener
  • 1993–1994 Rudolf Avenhaus (temporary)
  • 1994–2005 Hans Georg Lößl
  • since 2005 Merith Niehuss
  • Campus and student life

    The university is located in Neubiberg in the south of Munich, Bavaria. There are S-Bahn and U-Bahn connections to Neuperlach Süd as well as three bus connections available. In addition to that, there are motorway exits at Neubiberg and Neuperlach, permitting fast access by car. The large campus used to host the Air Force officer school before, and also included a military airport. Former runways are still used for scientific testing of vehicles. Since the 1970s a large number of buildings has been built for teaching, scientific research and student housing. Most of the students live in modern individual student dormitories on the campus and next to the university buildings. There is currently a large renovation process ongoing on the campus: within the next years about € 220m will be spent on building activities. On campus students have access to different sports facilities like gyms, tennis courts and golf ranges. Different multinational engineering companies have their headquarters or important industrial facilities directly next to the campus, most notably Siemens, Infineon Technologies, Bosch and Siemens Household Appliances (BSH), and EADS facilitating frequent cooperation in research.

    On campus all students (also the military ones) usually wear civilian clothes. Students can organize their activities as they want and attendance to lectures is mostly voluntary. On Wednesday afternoons there is regularly military or language training for soldiers. There are many possibilities for extracurricular activities within student initiatives and associations. International initiatives like the German-American, German-Israeli or German-Hispanic clubs as well as the Model United Nations Society play an important role on the campus. The students of each student dormitory usually organize a large party every year.

    As a large part of the student body consists of military officers and officer candidates, sport is considered important on the campus. The sports center provides a variety of free courses for students - e.g. for different martial arts. There are a lot of sports facilities like gyms, different sports halls, a golf course, a large climbing wall, an indoor swimming pool, several tennis courts and other sports grounds. Furthermore, the university has a large military obstacle course which was used for the CISM world cup in 2009. There are different sports teams on the campus which also take part in the university championships.

    Every student as well as the public has access to the more than one million volumes in the university library. The library is linked to the academic library network of Bavaria which allows interlibrary loans.

    Administration and organization

    The organization of Universität der Bundeswehr München is similar to a usual university. 1,100 (non-military) employees, among them 163 full professors, serve the approximately 3,400 students. The university is led by a civilian president and three vice presidents. The incumbent president, Merith Niehuß, is the only female university president in Bavaria. The administration is headed by the Chancellor. A difference to most other universities is that the structure of education and research is split up between normal university part with seven university faculties and a Fachhochschule (College of Applied Sciences) part with three more faculties. Furthermore, the structure contains central services like the computing center, the large university library, a media center with state-of-the-art technology, a language service and the sport services. In addition to that the university has two further research institutes. The department for special services includes the Studium+ institute for interdisciplinary studies, the CASC center for postgraduate studies as well as some further services. Another difference to other universities is the military division which is responsible for the administration and training of military students. Decisions are made by the board, the extended board and the administration council (Senate and University Council). The university has about 850 non-scientific employees in addition to the about 570 scientific employees as well as additional military personnel.


    Similar to some other military run universities like the École Polytechnique the university only offers civilian study courses. The contents generally have no relation to the military and correspond to courses at regular German universities. Bachelor´s and Master´s studies in total consist of 400 ECTS credit points. Due to this there also is a small number of highly gifted civilian students who are sponsored by industrial and financial companies like Allianz, Bosch or Munich Re. In addition to that other German ministries and federal institutions like Bundesnachrichtendienst also educate some of their employees at the university. In cooperation with George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies a course of studies for senior leaders (International Strategic Studies) has been introduced. The university also has international students and offers individual mentoring and tutoring programmes. Universität der Bundeswehr has concluded partnership contracts with an increasing number of international universities. Furthermore, it is possible for civilians to receive a doctorate or to qualify as a university lecturer (Habilitation). All of the professors are civilians and the number of professors per student is significantly higher than at normal German universities. Thus in general the conditions for teaching are better. In autumn 2009 the university introduced the first military related engineering course of study called Defence Engineering, which is solely dedicated to civilian students from industrial companies and federal institutions. Military students of the university usually only have a maximum of 4 years to pass their Master's within the intensive studies with more content. If they do not finish their Bachelor's after 2 1/4 years with the necessary grades they cannot proceed. As the studies have to be finished in a shorter time than at common German universities the academic year consists of three trimesters instead of the normal two semesters.

    Study courses

    The university has restructured its courses of study according to the Bologna treaty and offers bachelor's and master's degrees as well as doctoral and postdoctoral studies. Universität der Bundeswehr offers normal university courses of studies as well as a few more practical oriented Fachhochschule (University of Applied Sciences) study courses.

    The University

  • Civil Engineering & Environmental Studies (Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, doctorate, habilitation)
  • Electrical Engineering & Information Technology (Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, doctorate, habilitation)
  • Computer Science (Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, doctorate, habilitation)
  • Aerospace Engineering (Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, doctorate, habilitation)
  • Political Science & Social Sciences (Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, doctorate, habilitation)
  • Economics & Organizational Sciences (Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, doctorate, habilitation)
  • Business Information Systems, (Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, doctorate, habilitation)
  • Adult, Intercultural and Media Education (Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, doctorate, habilitation)
  • Sports Science (Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, doctorate, habilitation)
  • Mathematical Engineering (Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, doctorate, habilitation)
  • Psychology (Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, doctorate, habilitation)
  • College of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule)

  • Computer Engineering & Communication Technology (Bachelor of Engineering)
  • Mechanical Engineering (Bachelor of Engineering)
  • Computer Aided Engineering (Master of Engineering)
  • Business and Journalism (Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts)
  • Defence Engineering (Bachelor of Engineering)
  • Media Management (Master of Arts)
  • Campus Advanced Studies Center, CASC (Postgraduate only)

  • Business Administration (Master of Business Administration, in cooperation with ESB Reutlingen)
  • International Security Studies (Master of Arts, in cooperation with George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies)
  • Business Engineering (Bachelor of Engineering)
  • Public Administration (Master of Business Administration)
  • Systems Engineering (Master of Science)
  • Human Ressources Development (Master of Arts)
  • Research

    The university is very successful and well established in different fields of research, especially when it comes to aeronautical engineering (e.g. participation in the GALILEO satellite program and development of different parts of space probes) or computer-driven cars. Bundeswehr University has the largest aviation and aerospace faculty in Germany. A main focus of the university are also all kinds of security technology. The university is part of two excellence clusters of the German government universities excellence initiative (Cognition for Technical Systems and Munich-Centre for Advanced Photonics). The university hosts the ESA Summer School on Global Navigation Satellite Systems and the Munich Satellite Navigation Summit. Bundeswehr University forms part of the joint research and academic center Munich Aerospace, founded in 2010 and the Bavarian International Campus Aerospace & Security, founded in 2012. The university also has a number of partner companies which rely on the universities research expertise and support the university with products and facilities for testing and research. To strengthen its research profile and enhance cooperation between the faculties, Bundeswehr University Munich has created four interdisciplinary research centers: MOVE (Modern Vehicles), MIRA (Munich Integrated Research on Aerospace), RISK (Risk, Infrastructure, Security and Conflict), CODE (Cyber Defence).

    International collaboration

    Universität der Bundeswehr München has partner universities worldwide. The following list shows some examples:

  •  Austria: University of Graz
  •  Chile: Universidad de Chile (Santiago de Chile)
  •  China: Tongji University (Shanghai)
  •  Denmark: Aarhus University (Aarhus)
  •  Finland: University of Oulu (Oulu)
  •  France: Toulouse Business School (Toulouse), ENSAM (Paris), ENSTA Bretagne (Brest), ENSMP (Paris), ISEP (Paris)
  •  Hungary: Central European University (Budapest)
  •  Japan: Osaka Institute of Technology (Osaka)
  •  Netherlands: Technische Universiteit Delft (Delft)
  •  Poland: Wrocław University of Technology (Wrocław)
  •  Romania: Politehnica University of Bucharest (Bucarest), University of Craiova (Craiova)
  •  Russia: Saint Petersburg Polytechnical University (St. Petersburg)
  •  Scotland: Napier University
  •  Spain: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Madrid), Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona), Universidad de Cádiz (Cádiz)
  •  USA: University of Arizona (Tucson), University of Texas at El Paso, United States Military Academy, Naval Postgraduate School, Norwich University
  •  Vietnam: Le Quy Don Technical University
  • Notable alumni

  • Raheel Sharif, Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan and a 4-star General.
  • Thomas Reiter, Director Human Spaceflight at the European Space Agency and former astronaut (former student)
  • Volker Wieker, Chief of Staff of the German military (former student)
  • Michael Kortstock, president of Munich University of Applied Sciences (former student)
  • Wolfram Kühn, Former Deputy Chief of Staff of the German military (former student)
  • Marion Schick, Chairman at Deutsche Telekom AG (former student)
  • Gunter Schweiger, president of Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences (former student)
  • Klaus-Dietrich Flade, former astronaut (former student)
  • Bruno Kasdorf, Chief of Staff of the Army, former Chief of Staff ISAF (former student)
  • Joachim Schmillen, German Ambassador to Peru, formerly to Nigeria, Chile, former Chief of the Planning Staff of the Foreign Ministry (former student)
  • Roderich Kiesewetter, CDU politician and Member of the German Parliament (former student)
  • Martin Lindner, FDP politician and Member of the German Parliament (former student)
  • Norbert Stier, Vice President of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) (former student)
  • Norbert Finster, Deputy Chief of Staff of the German Air Force (former student)
  • Wolfgang Reuther, CDU politician and Member of the Parliament of Baden-Württemberg (former student)
  • Erich Vad, secretary of the Federal Security Council, military policy advisor of Angela Merkel (former student)
  • Wolfram Ressel, Rector of the University of Stuttgart (former PhD student)
  • Walter Spindler, Deputy Commander Eurocorps (former student)
  • José Carlos Matías León, Head of Programation, Evaluation and Information Office in Provias Nacional at Ministry of Transport and Communications, Perú (former PhD student)
  • Thomas Wollny, Commander Air Force Office (former student)
  • Werner Kullack, Deputy Commander I. German/Dutch Corps (former student)
  • Christoph Seeßelberg, President of Cologne University of Applied Sciences
  • Hans-Lothar Domröse, Commander Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (former student)
  • Günther Schmitz, Vice President German Patent and Trade Mark Office
  • Notable faculty

  • Friedrich L. Sell, chief of the scientific advisory council of Halle Institute for Economic Research (current professor)
  • Michael Wolffsohn, Israeli-born German historian (former professor)
  • Brun-Otto Bryde, former judge at the German Constitutional Court (former professor)
  • Ernst Dickmanns, pioneer of dynamic computervision and driverless cars (professor emeritus)
  • Günter W. Hein, Head of Galileo Operations and Evolution at the European Space Agency (former professor)
  • Sonja A. Sackmann, German organisational psychologist (current professor)
  • Daniel-Erasmus Khan, German expert on public international law (current professor)
  • Egon Jüttner, CDU politician and Member of the German Parliament (former professor)
  • Ursula Münch, Director of the Bavarian Academy of Civic Education (current professor)
  • Jürgen Schnell, former Deputy Chief of Staff of the German military (current professor)
  • Udo Helmbrecht, executive director of the European Network and Information Security Agency (current professor)
  • Rupert Stettner, Rector of Munich School of Political Science (former professor)
  • Carlo Masala, professor for international politics (current professor)
  • Rainer Marquardt, professor for power electronics and inventor of the famous M2C topology which is base of the HVDC electrical power transmission systems(current professor)
  • Gunther Schmidt, emeritus professor for computer science
  • References

    Bundeswehr University Munich Wikipedia

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