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Universität Zürich

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Universität Zürich
Seal of the University of Zurich
Latin: Universitas Turicensis
Date of establishment 1833 (1525)
Type Public University
University president Prof. Dr. Andreas Fischer
Faculty (university)#North American usage 7,170 (2008)
Undergraduate education 9,785 (2008)
Postgraduate education 5,093 (2008)
Location Zürich, Canton of Zürich, Switzerland
Campus Urban area
Affiliations LERU

The University of Zurich (UZH, German: Universität Zürich), located in the city of Zurich, is the largest university in Switzerland, with over 24,000 students.[1] It was founded in 1833 from the existing colleges of theology, law, medicine and a new Faculty (university) of philosophy. Currently, the University has faculties of arts, economics, law, medicine, chiropractic medicine[2], science, theology and veterinary medicine, offering the widest range of subjects and courses at any Swiss higher education institution.[3]


The University of Zurich was founded on April 29, 1833, when the existing colleges of theology (founded by Huldrych Zwingli in 1525), law and medicine were merged together 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. 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 oldest such faculty in the world. In 1914, the University moved to new premises designed by the architect Karl Moser on Rämistrasse 71.


Main builing as seen from the south
Irchel Campus, newer and more remotely located buildings of the University of Zurich

Its best-performing faculties in terms of research quality are the Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Science, all of which rank in the top ten of Europe's universities. The University of Zurich as a whole also ranks in the top ten of Europe and in the top fifty worldwide. Notably 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, just across the road). Their faculty of chiropractic medicine is six years. [2]. In 2014 the Univeristy of Zurich, and the University Hospital of Balgrist announced that the "6 year Master in Chiropractic Medicine degree (M Chiro Med) has been officially accredited by the Swiss University Conference (SUK) and the Swiss Accreditation Council (CSA). The accreditation is for a period of 7 years." [4]


  • Newsweek global university ranking[5] (Based on research output, international staff/students and library holdings)
46th globally and 11th in Europe.
  • Academic Ranking of World Universities[6] (heavy emphasis on research output - citations, nobel prizes etc.)
53rd globally and 12th in Europe.
  • THES - QS World University Rankings [7] (heavy emphasis on peer review)
85th globally and 26th in Europe.
  • Professional Ranking of World Universities [8] (Based on the number of alumni listed among CEOs in the 500 largest worldwide companies.)
32nd globally and 10th in Europe.


There are several libraries available for use by members of the university, including Zurich Central Library, with over 5 million volumes. Most of the University is scattered all over the city of zurich. [9]

Student life

The university's Academic Sports Association (ASVZ) offers a wide range of sports facilities to students of the university.


Except for medicine, the University pursues an admission policy as follows. All students who have a Matura or an equivalent secondary school qualification can study for a year. After this assessment year, only those passing the exams may proceed their studies. On average, about one half passes the assessment year (differing across faculties and particular program). To study medicine, even to be granted permission to enter the assessment year, exams need to be passed. Admission to a Masters degree naturally requires a Bachelor. Admission to a PhD programme requires a Masters degree with honours and clear research orientation.

Language policy

The general language of courses is Standard German (Hochdeutsch). Notably in some highly competitive and international programs, such as the Master of Science in Quantitative Finance MSc UZH ETH Quantitative Finance, all lectures are held in English. There is an increasing use of English observed in many faculties.

Nobel Prize winners

The University of Zurich has produced several Nobel Prize laureates. Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrödinger, one of the founders of quantum mechanics, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, the first person to win the Nobel Prize in Physics and others were affiliated with the University. In total former students and faculty of the university have won 23 Nobel Prizes.


Rear courtyard of the main building
  • Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (Physics, 1901); also worked on the faculty
  • Theodor Mommsen (Literature, 1902); also worked on faculty
  • Alfred Werner (Chemistry 1913); also worked on faculty
  • Carl Spitteler (Literature, 1919)
  • Albert Einstein (Physics, 1921); also worked on the faculty
  • Paul Karrer (Chemistry 1937); also worked on faculty
  • Walter Rudolf Hess (Medicine 1949); also worked on the faculty


  • Emil Theodor Kocher (Medicine 1909)
  • Max von Laue (Physics 1914)
  • Charles-Edouard Guillaume (Physics 1920)
  • Walther Hermann Nernst (Chemistry 1920)
  • Karl Landsteiner (Medicine 1930)
  • Erwin Schrödinger (Physics 1933)
  • Peter Debye (Chemistry 1936)
  • Lavoslav Ružička (Chemistry 1939)
  • Henrik Carl Peter Dam (Medicine 1943)
  • Linus Pauling (Chemistry 1954; Peace 1962)
  • George Wald (Medicine 1967)
  • Hamilton O. Smith (Medicine 1978)
  • Karl Alex Müller (Physics 1987)
  • Eric F. Wieschaus (Medicine 1995)
  • Rolf M. Zinkernagel (Medicine 1996)

Famous Fellows of the University

  • Rolf Pfeifer, Artificial Intelligence Lab, IFI



External links

id:Universitas Zürichhe:אוניברסיטת ציריך ka:ციურიხის უნივერსიტეტი la:Universitas Turiciensis lt:Ciuricho universitetas nl:Universiteit van Zürich ja:チューリッヒ大学 pl:Uniwersytet w Zurychu pt:Universidade de Zurique ru:Цюрихский университет sr:Универзитет у Цириху fi:Zürichin yliopisto sv:Zürichs universitet tr:Zürih Üniversitesi zh:苏黎世大学