Friedrich Schiller University Jena - Home of the Abbe School of Photonics

Shanghai Ranking 2019 acknowledges the University of Jena among the top 400

In the current Academic Ranking of World Universities, the so-called Shanghai ranking, the Friedrich Schiller University Jena ranks among the 400 best Universities worldwide. In the 2019 ranking, the University of Jena belongs to the 22 best German universities. The Shanghai ranking is issued by the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy and consideres the number of publications and citations in scientific trade magazines, in particular in the high-level journals Nature and Science, Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals awarded to researchers and alumni as well the research performance are measured. More than 1,200 universities present themselvecs the ranking, the best 500 are regularly published sind 2003 .

>> link to the Shanghai Ranking 2019

A German university full of history and tradition

The Friedrich Schiller University Jena, with its ancient Latin name being "alma mater jenensis", is one of the oldest German universities, having been founded in 1558. At that time the classical academic areas of philosophy, theology, law, and medicine were the subjects of research and teaching. During the past centuries, many prominent scholars have been professors at this university. At the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries, Jena became famous during the classic-romantic "miraculous era" when world-renowned poets and philosophers such as Goethe, Schiller, Hegel and Fichte marked its intellectual atmosphere.

At the beginning of the 20th century, fortunate circumstances led to a collaboration that coined Jena's academic and industrial history to date. The physicist and professor Ernst Abbe, who developed the theory of image formation in microscopes, the engineer Carl Zeiss, who founded a workshop for optical instruments (now Carl Zeiss AG), and the chemist Otto Schott, who developed optical glass with tailorable refractive indices and founded the Institute for Glass Technology (now Schott AG), paved the way for Jena's economic prosperity. This close and fruitful collaboration of applied research and industrial production using state-of-the-art technology is a distinct feature of the Jena area to date.


At around the same time Ernst Haeckel, perhaps the most important protagonist of evolutionism second only to Charles Darwin, became a professor at the university and maintained this position for more than 45 years. At the beginning of the 20th century the professor of medicine Hans Berger measured an electroencephalogram (EEG) of the human brain for the first time. Last but not least, was physicist Max Wien one of the pioneers of wireless communications by developing a radio transmitter which was used, for example, on the famous RMS Titanic.

ger251205_web450City center of Jena, hosting the campus of the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität with some of its central faculties and departments.

Studying in Jena

The Friedrich Schiller University Jena is a vibrant university which continues to grow and develop. With an enrollment of more than 18,000 students (winter term 2018), it is one of Germany's fastest growing universities. Despite the fact that the number of students has quadrupled since 1989, the university is not overcrowded. More than 2,000 lecturers and researchers, about 360 of whom are professors, ensure quality teaching and training. In addition, more than 800 scientists and technical staff work on research projects financed by outside sponsors. The university is structured into ten faculties which are the

  • Faculty of Theology,
  • Faculty of Law,
  • Faculty of Economics and Business Administration,
  • Faculty of Philosophy,
  • Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences,
  • Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science,
  • Faculty of Physics and Astronomy,
  • Faculty of Chemical and Earth Sciences,
  • Faculty of Biological Sciences,
  • Faculty of Medicine.


Physics students during a lecture at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität.

No tuition is required for enrollment in regular courses! Each student must however pay a mandatory semester contribution of about EUR 200 which supports various student social services which benefit students. This contribution includes the purchase of a semester ticket, a student discount on all food offered by the cafeterias of the University, free travel on local mass transportation services (bus, tram) and on all major regional railway connections. For more details, including information in Chinese, please look at the website for International Students at the University or download the Study Guide for International Students. Please note that information on enrollment deadlines given in these two sources does not necessarily apply for students of the Abbe School of Photonics.

Excellent International Student Satisfaction Award 2014 and 2016

The Friedrich Schiller University is a member of the prestigious Coimbra Group, an association of long-established European multidisciplinary universities with high international standards committed to creating special academic and cultural ties. These ties are to promote internationalization, academic collaboration, excellence in learning and research for the benefit of its members, as well to as provide services to society.For its specific committment with respect to international students and their great satisfaction with the excellent study conditions in Jena, in 2014 and 2016 the University was awarded the "Excellent International Student Satisfaction Award". The last edition of these Awards are based on 15,965 reviews written by students. In the reviews, students can rate their experience out of 10, by assessing to which extent they would recommend this experience to their friends.

Excellent research opportunities

The fields of optics and photonics are at the heart of research, education and industry in Jena. There is hardly another city worldwide in which optics and photonics play a similarly dominant role as in Jena. The long history of outstanding research in optics and photonics has led to Jena's high international reputation as the "City of Light". In this rich tradition, "Light" is distinguished as one of the University's key research areas within the triad "Light - Life - Liberty", which represents the University's long-term institutional strategy.

The Friedrich Schiller University Jena has always enjoyed an excellent reputation for its academic potential. The most striking features of research in Jena are its interdisciplinarity, synergetic networking and innovative approaches. On a national scale, the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy in Jena receives one of the highest research funding sums compared to all physics faculties across Germany.The Abbe Center of Photonics (ACP), host of the Abbe School of Photonics and founded in 2010, is the key player of the profile line LIGHT within the University. As an interfaculty university center, ACP comprises more than 50 high-profile optical scientists from various university faculties specializing in a wide range of research fields within the areas of modern optics and photonics, as well as scientists from Jena's non-academic research institutes.


The high-power POLARIS laser system is world unique and one of the most prestigious research projects in modern optics at the University of Jena.