Zeppelin University
Zeppelin University is a highly-selective, top-ranked, privately-funded research university in Friedrichshafen
This article is about a German town. For the Danish town, see Frederikshavn, and for the Finnish town, see Fredrikshamn .Friedrichshafen is a university city on the northern side of Lake Constance in Southern Germany, near the borders with Switzerland and Austria.It is the district capital of the...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. The university was founded in 2003.


Zeppelin University has the legal form of a non-profit, limited liability organization and calls itself "university bridging business, culture and politics". Thus it stresses the multi-disciplinary character of research and teaching that is an integral part of its self-image. It is named after the German general and airship constructor Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin, whose foundation is the main financier of Zeppelin University.

Zeppelin University receives neither direct nor indirect support by either Baden-Württemberg or the federal state. Thus, at the moment Zeppelin University is the only private university in Germany that has been financed exclusively by private means, without being a burden to state or federal budgets.

The university is accredited nationally by the Academic Council of the Federal Republic of Germany (Wissenschaftsrat
The Wissenschaftsrat is an advisory body to the German Federal Government and the state governments. It makes recommendations on the development of science, research, and the universities, as well as on the competitiveness of German science...

). The undergraduate major courses are accredited by ACQUIN, a German higher education accreditation agency.

Staff & Organisation

Since its foundation the university has been managed by Professor Dr Stephan A Jansen.

Well-known professors at Zeppelin University include: Dirk Baecker, Peter Kenning, Stephan A. Jansen, Klaus Schönbach, Nico Stehr
Nico Stehr
Nico Stehr is "Karl Mannheim Professor for Cultural Studies" at the Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen / Germany and Founding Director of the ....

, Heinrich Wilms, Birger Priddat, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht
Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht
Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, best known as "Sepp" Gumbrecht, is a German-born American literary theorist and currently the Albert Guérard Professor on Literature in the Departments of Comparative Literature, French and Italian, German, and Spanish and Portuguese at Stanford University and Zeppelin...

, Guy B. Peters, Helmut Willke
Helmut Willke
Helmut Willke is a German sociologist who studies the effect of globalization on modern society. He coined the term Atopia to denote a society that exists without borders, with no national identity. He is currently professor at Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Germany.-References:...

, Joachim Behnke. In August 2007, Birger Priddat was appointed president and managing director of the Witten/Herdecke University
Witten/Herdecke University
Witten/Herdecke University is a private university in Witten, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Unlike most other German universities, it is a private enterprise with about 1100 students and 400 employees...


At the moment it has three departments:
  • Corporate Management & Economics (Business Administration and Economics)
  • Communication & Cultural Management (Communication and Cultural Sciences)
  • Public Management & Governance (Economics, Political and Administrative Sciences)

Moreover, it will start a fourth inter-departemental undergraduate degree from Spring Semester 2012:
  • Sociology, Politics and Economics

Starting from Fall Semester 2011, Zeppelin University reorganized all of their undergraduate degree programmes, converting them into 4 year programs. The additional year is intended to be used as "Humbold-year", a one-year research project at one of the partner universities. Therefore it has a cooperation agreement with University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

, with Sciences Po in Paris, with Copenhagen Business School
Copenhagen Business School
Copenhagen Business School, also known as CBS, is situated in Copenhagen, Denmark. With more than 17,000 students and 1,300 staff members, CBS is also one of the largest business schools in Europe. CBS offers a wide range of business-oriented university programmes and a research environment...

 as well as with Goldsmiths College
Goldsmiths College
Goldsmiths, University of London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom which specialises in the arts, humanities and social sciences, and a constituent college of the federal University of London. It was founded in 1891 as Goldsmiths' Technical and Recreative Institute...



Applicants are selected by the university in a two-step selection process: in addition to the written application there is a selection day with interviews, an assessment centre and language tests. Currently the university has an undergraduate acceptance rate, which is lower than 10% and a graduate acceptance rate of about 16%.

Students can graduate with the academic degree of a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and a consecutive as well as a non-consecutive Master of Arts (M.A.). The tuition for the bachelor program amounts to 3,950.00 euro per semester or 675.00 euro per month, for the master programs from 4,000.00 euro to 4,900.00 euro per semester. There are numerous merit-based scholarships by foundations and patrons as well as a student loan of Sparkasse Bodensee that is offered at a relatively low interest rate and is used by more than half of the students.

Since 2007 Zeppelin University has an additional location in the foyer of Tempelhof International Airport in Berlin, the so-called “Institute for the Art of Swimming on Air”.

In the end of the year 2007 a new university building has been finished, so that the Zeppelin University now has space for about 800 students.
It is located on the banks of the lake of Constance.


Zeppelin University is a small private university and offers fewer programs than traditional universities in Germany. Due to its young age and small size, it typically goes unranked in international comparisons. Neverthelesse, it has reached remarkable results in German Rankings: In the magazine Handelsblatt Karriere, edition 07/08 dated April 27, 2007, Zeppelin University has appeared in a university ranking for the first time. It has reached eighth place with its economic program “Corporate Management & Economics”.

In the most reputable German Ranking, the CHE University Ranking, which was published by ZEIT Studienführer 2011/12, all three programs offered by Zeppelin University are ranked among Germany's top-10. The program in Communication and Cultural Management is placed first in Germany, the program Public Management is ranked 4th and the program Corporate Management and Economics takes 6th place among all German Universities..
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