Bielefeld University

=166 th
World University Rankings 2020
=20 th
Young University Rankings 2019
151-200 th
European Teaching Rankings 2019
Postfach 10 01 31, D-33501 Bielefeld, Germany

About Bielefeld University

Bielefeld University

Research, teaching, and studying on an interdisciplinary, communicative, and inspiring campus.

Bielefeld University – founded in 1969 – hosts 13 faculties covering a range of subjects in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and technology. As an internationally oriented university, it combines a strong focus on research with a particular emphasis on top-quality teaching. More than 24,255 students are enrolled in more than 100 different course options, and the University employs approximately 2,750 staff, including 1,650 academic researchers and teachers.


Interdisciplinary top-ranking research: internationally networked and recognized throughout the world.

In relevant and focused areas covering the humanities and social sciences along with the natural and engineering sciences, Bielefeld University is one of the top research universities in Germany. Four main research fields are committed to carrying out research and promoting young academics on a top international level within the framework of first-class interdisciplinary collaborative research projects, central academic institutes, and systematic individual funding. The university’s exceptional research performance is underlined in a host of ways by, for example, the Excellence Initiative (Cluster, Graduate School), Collaborative Research Centres (SFB), DFG Research Units, ERC grants, Heisenberg Professorships, and participation in the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education‘s ‘it’s OWL’ technology network. Bielefeld University’s research strengths are confirmed regularly in rankings such as the German Research Foundation’s (DFG) Funding Atlas, the Centre for Higher Education’s CHE Research Ranking, or the Humboldt Rankings of popularity among international visiting academics.


Innovative structures and projects, platforms for exchanging information, a wide range of further training options, and an inspiring teaching climate.

Teaching at Bielefeld University is characterized by a broad, differentiated, and interdisciplinary range of highly networked courses. What makes it so special is the way in which numerous combinations are possible within a standard Bachelor degree programme framework. A broad range of Master’s degree programmes, some involving cooperations between several faculties, offer attractive options for studying one subject in more depth or linking together different subjects. The guiding principle is to offer a structure that makes it possible for students to design their own individual study course, that motivates them to become actively involved in their subjects, and that promotes independent learning and academic curiosity. Bielefeld University does not just impart the necessary specialized knowledge for future careers but teaches its students fundamental analytical skills and interdisciplinary competencies.


A range of different degree programmes, individually combinable, backed up by service and counselling – all on one modern campus.

At Bielefeld University, students can choose between a great number of courses. They can concentrate on one single subject, choose a teacher-training course, or put together their own choice of interdisciplinary subjects. Individual subsidiary subjects enable students to pursue their own personal interests. The degree programmes are supplemented by comprehensive services and counselling facilities, one of the best university libraries in Germany, a modern study infrastructure, comprehensive language courses, and a wide range of university-level sport facilities. The closely interlinked campus buildings encourage students to exchange information, meet each other, and become involved in university life. Major rankings such as the Centre for Higher Education (CHE) University Ranking repeatedly confirm the quality of studying and teaching at Bielefeld University.

Living on campus

Individual freedom and an easy-going atmosphere simply go hand in hand with the university’s unusual architecture. In particular, the central hall’s numerous recreational spaces and shopping facilities provide a lively communicative forum for daily university work. A broad range of cultural events and sport facilities offer a break from the lecture hall and the workplace. Researchers, teachers, post-grads, and students from all over the world contribute to the international flair of the campus.

Living in Bielefeld

A metropolis full of green parks with a lively and varied cultural life.

The city of Bielefeld is one of the twenty biggest cities in Germany, with a population of almost 330,000. This lively university city on the edge of the Teutoburg Forest is the region‘s cultural and intellectual hub. East Westphalia-Lippe is Germany’s fifth-largest economic area and the region is home to two million people.

What our international students say

Lilit from Armenia, student of Interdisciplinary Media Studies (M.A.)

“What I love about Bielefeld University is that we have the possibility to gain practical experience. In my study course, we produce short films and audio books. This is a really great opportunity for my future career!”

Matt from the USA, student of Inter-American Studies

"My experience in Bielefeld has been extremely positive. It has been an opportunity to understand another culture and system of education. I have been really impressed by the quality of professors and the abilities of my peers (both German and international) as well as the opportunities presented to students here."

Nora from the United States, student of Inter-American Studies

"I love studying at Bielefeld University. It was very easy to make a community, meet friends, get involved in activities, and participate in extracurriculars. The level of my study program is very high. The professors are very knowledgeable and helpful – they are always there to help or offer support to students. I was also able to become involved in sports and dance programs here and meet German students. I would highly recommend studying at Bielefeld University."

Sayandev from India, student of Intelligent Systems (M.A.)

“Bielefeld University has great research facilities and teaching staff. Bielefeld is a great place for students!”

Mailing address
Bielefeld University
Universitätsstraße 25
D-33615 Bielefeld

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Explore rankings data for Bielefeld University

All ranked institutions have an overall score and 4 pillar scores. However for each pillar, only institutions ranked in the top 500 overall or the top 500 in this pillar have a publicly visible score

Key statistics

  • 77.5
    No. of students per staff
  • 8%
    Percentage of International Students
  • 57 : 43
    Student Ratio of Females to Males
  • 24,875
    Number of FTE Students
Based on data collected for the (1) 2020 World University Rankings