University of Bern

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University of Bern

Latin: Universitas Bernensis

Established 1834
Type Public
Rector Prof. Dr. Urs Würgler
Staff 3,224
Students 13,000
Location Bern, Switzerland
Address Universität Bern, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland

File:University of Bern.JPG
University of Bern

The University of Bern is a university in the Swiss capital of Bern. It was founded in 1834. As one of the German-speaking universities in Switzerland its official name is Universität Bern, although it is frequently referred to in the French form, Université de Berne. The university is regulated and financed by the Canton of Berne.


The 2006 Times Higher Education Supplement [THES] World University Rankings ranked the University of Bern as follows:

  • 7th in Switzerland
  • 178th in the world overall

The Academic Ranking of World Universities 2006 [ARWU] ranked the University of Bern as follows:

  • 6th in Switzerland
  • 57th-80th in Europe
  • 151st-202nd in the world


At the moment, the University has an enrollment of roughly 13,000 students, studying in eight different faculties:

The Philosophical-Historical Faculty is similar to the Arts & Sciences departments at American universities, with majors (Hauptfächer) in a variety of languages, history, linguistics, economics, philosophy, psychology, etc. The Philosophical-Scientific Faculty is restricted to the "hard" sciences, like chemistry or physics. The philosophic-Humanistic Faculty was founded 2005 and allows studies in Education, Sports and psychological studies. The department of Old Catholic Theology at the Faculty of Theology is the only place in the world to study theology in this kind of denomination.

The Faculty of Theology has the lowest number of students, while the Philosophical-Historical Faculty has the most students.


The University buildings are distributed throughout Bern, but most center around Länggass street, an area immediately northwest of the city center. An elevator from the main train station provides access to the terrace directly in front of the main administration building. The University as well as the City and the Canton of Berne have won many prizes for their intelligent, ecological and sustainable application of old buildings. For instance, the Faculty of Theology and parts of the Philosophic-Historical Faculty now use an old chocolate factory as their main building (the so called "Unitobler") and in 2005 the old women's hospital was rebuilt as a university centre ("UniS").


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de:Universität Bern nl:Universiteit van Bern fi:Bernin yliopisto