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The University of Rostock ( ) is the university of the city Rostockmarker, in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommernmarker.

Founded in 1419, it is the oldest and largest university in continental northern Europe and the Baltic Seamarker area as well as the second oldest in northern Europe after the University of St Andrewsmarker. It is the third oldest university in Germanymarker in continuous operation.


It was founded in 1419 by confirmation of Pope Martin V and thus is one of the oldest universities in continental Northern Europe. In Germanymarker, there are only five older universities: Heidelbergmarker (1386), Colognemarker (1388), Erfurtmarker (1392/1994), Würzburgmarker (1402/1582) and Leipzigmarker (1409).

Throughout the 15th century, the University of Rostock had about 400 to 500 students each year, a large number at that time. Rostock was among the largest universities in Germanymarker at the time and many of its students also came from Hollandmarker, Scandinavia or other states bordering the Baltic Seamarker.

In the course of political struggles and pressure from the church, the university moved to Greifswaldmarker in 1437 and remained there until 1443. From 1487 to 1488 teaching took place in Lübeckmarker.

A few years later the city of Rostock, its university also became Protestant in 1542. Humanism and Lutheranism were defining characteristics of the university. After the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), the University of Rostock played only a regional role. When the "ownerhsip" of the university moved from the city to the state (Grand Duchy Mecklenburg-Schwerin) in 1827, however, things changed for the better. The end of the 19th century saw generous building activity in Rostock's alma mater and the university soon regained its old reputation amongst German universities.

On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the university, Albert Einstein and Max Planck received honorary doctorates on 12 November 1919. This made the University of Rostock the world's first institute of higher learning to award this honour to Einstein. Interestingly enough, the doctorate was not revoked during the Nazi rule in Germany (1933-1945), despite such orders by the Nazis. The reason for this remains unknown.

The end of the Second World War in 1945 brought many changes. The university, now finding itself in the Soviet Zone of Germany (the later German Democratic Republicmarker), was re-opened on 24 February 1946. The Faculty of Law was closed in 1951, a Faculty of Agriculture was introduced in 1950 and in 1951 saw the opening of a Department of Shipbuilding (renamed Faculty of Technology in 1963). The University of Rostock was the first traditional university in Germany to open a technical faculty. In 1952, the Faculty of Aviation was opened, but eventually relocated to Dresdenmarker.

The university was named after Wilhelm Pieck in 1976. This was annulled after the German reunification.


In nearly six centuries numerous notable students and professors have had ties with the university, for instance:


Zoologisches Institut (Dept of Zoology)
Institut für Chemie (Dept of Chemistry)
Like many continental European universities, the University of Rostock is divided into academic faculties (German: Fakultät). Those can be sub-divided into academic departments (German: Institut) and chairs (German: Lehrstuhl).


It is divided into the following nine faculties:
  • evangelical theology
  • philosophy (and arts)
  • mathematics and natural sciences
  • law
  • engineering
  • agriculture and environmental sciences
  • medicine
  • economic and social sciences
  • electrical engineering and informatics


The university co-operates with several independent research centres. Among those:

Points of interest

Partner Universities

university restaurant/cafeteria
university library

Although cooperation and student exchanges are possible with many more institutions, the university has signed cooperation agreements with the following international universities:




External links

See also

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