Heidelberg University (informally Heidelberg, German: Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg; Latin: Universitas Ruperto Carola Heidelbergensis) is a public research university in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Founded in 1386 on instruction of Pope Urban VI, Heidelberg is Germany’s oldest university and one of the world’s oldest surviving universities. It was the third university established in the Holy Roman Empire.
Heidelberg has been a coeducational institution since 1899. The university consists of twelve faculties and offers degree programs at undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels in some 100 disciplines. Heidelberg comprises three major campuses: the humanities are predominantly located in Heidelberg’s Old Town, the natural sciences and medicine in the Neuenheimer Feld quarter, and the social sciences within the inner-city suburb Bergheim. The language of instruction is usually German, while a considerable number of graduate degrees are offered in English.
Associated with 56 Nobel prize winners the university places an emphasis on research. Modern scientific psychiatry, psychopharmacology, psychiatric genetics, environmental physics, and modern sociology were introduced as scientific disciplines by Heidelberg faculty. Approximately 1,000 doctorates are completed every year, with more than one-third of the doctoral students coming from abroad. International students from some 130 countries account for more than 20 percent of the entire student body.
The concept of the comprehensive research university is a central component of Heidelberg University’s institutional strategy and ensured the University’s success in the German Excellence Initiative. The University places special emphasis on initiating and maintaining a dialogue across traditional subject boundaries and developing new forms of interdisciplinary cooperation.
Internationally renowned and consistently ranked among Europe’s top universities, Heidelberg is a German Excellence University, as well as a founding member of the League of European Research Universities and the Coimbra Group. The university’s noted alumni include eleven domestic and foreign Heads of State or Heads of Government.