Faculties of FAU
Profile and structure of the faculties
The five faculties may be very different in terms of their areas of expertise, but they are all equally committed to research and connecting research and teaching. Each of the faculties is involved in several of FAU’s Key Research Priorities and they have also established their own interdisciplinary Research Focus Areas, which often cover subjects within several different departments.
The Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology offers a comprehensive list of disciplines within the subject areas of humanities and social sciences. Its research and teaching cover a wide selection of topics from various periods and areas which are divided into eight Research Focus Areas, each of which involves elements from the key themes of culture, language and region. With around 50 different disciplines from the humanities, social sciences, economics, education sciences and theology, the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology is a rich source of both historical and contemporary cultural knowledge.
The Faculty offers a wide range of degree programmes in the spirit of universitas litterarum, including part-time degree programmes and continuing professional development Master’s degree programmes which are especially suitable for working professionals. It is also home to the teaching degrees (Lehramt) for all types of schools and a wide range of subjects. Many of its lectures and seminars are also open to guest students and mature students.
The Faculty is involved in many research institutions, including 5 central institutes, 12 interdisciplinary centres and a range of institutions supported by third-party funding, exchanging both expertise and staff. It also has many collections of historical and archaeological importance, such as the Prehistory and Ancient History Collection, the Antique and Classical Collection and the School History Collection.
The Faculty of Business, Economics, and Law is subdivided into the School of Law in Erlangen and the School of Business and Economics and Society in Nuremberg. It contributes to FAU’s research profile through its research and centres which are a part of the Major Research Area ‘Cohesion – Transformation – Innovation in Law and Economics’ which also involves the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology.
School of Law
Since it was founded it 1743, the School of Law (in German) has made a significant contribution to Erlangen’s reputation as a key location for legal knowledge and teaching. It maintains close contact with many legal bodies and professionals and companies in the region which is beneficial for its students and enriches its teaching. The School believes in a practical focus, teaching core skills and professional development, all of which are strengthened by the Institute of Notary Law and Legal Practice and an active alumni network. All members of the School are also able to benefit from its global academic network.
School of Business, Economics and Society
The School of Business, Economics and Society is one of the most well-known in Germany and is very strong in research. More than 6,000 students from many different countries are currently studying in 21 innovative degree programmes, obtaining excellent theoretical and practical skills preparing them for careers in business, public organisations and research. Top research and teaching of international renown, internationality, a strong practical focus, outstanding networks with the business world and consistent quality assurance are the success factors of the School of Business and Economics.
The Faculty of Medicine places great importance on the links between research, teaching and healthcare, allowing it to quickly put research findings into practice to benefit patients and strengthen medical training.
The Faculty’s Research Focus Areas – immunology and infection research, renal and cardiovascular research, neuroscience (including pain and eye research) and tumour research – are tied together by its expertise in molecular medicine, clinical trials and medical engineering. The objective is to ensure that research data can be transferred quickly to clinical practice. This is known as translational research. One of the Faculty’s most promising projects is the Leading-Edge Cluster ‘Medical Valley (EMN)’, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). In the area of immunology and infection research, FAU is the national leader in terms of DFG funding.
Alongside traditional degree programmes in human medicine and dentistry, the Faculty of Medicine also offers a degree programme in molecular medicine, which was the first of its kind in Germany. The Medical Process Management degree programme was added in the winter semester 2008/09 and is currently the only one of its kind in the country. The Faculty of Medicine also began offering a degree programme in speech therapy two years ago, creating a model degree programme for a subject usually studied as a vocational qualification. The Faculty is a leader in the area of general medicine and was the first Bavarian university to establish a chair in this subject in the winter semester 2013. Its goal is to encourage more students to specialise in general medicine to help counteract the lack of general practitioners in rural areas.
The Faculty of Sciences at FAU is one of the best in Germany. It is home to the departments of Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacy, and Geography and Geology, which regularly appear towards the top of a variety of rankings, and its researchers have already won many prestigious prizes and awards.
The Faculty carries out both fundamental and applied research. This research is highly interdisciplinary, involving not only researchers from the Faculty’s departments but also experts from the Faculties of Medicine and Engineering, as well as other national and international institutions. The Faculty is involved in six of the University’s eight Major Research Areas and has also established its own Research Focus Areas which cover a wide range of topics, from communication and signalling to molecular materials and geodynamics, geomaterials and georesources, representation theory, astroparticle physics and optics.
Its students receive an outstanding education in a variety of degree programmes which cover all of the key scientific disciplines, with twelve Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes and teaching degrees (Lehramt) for the subjects biology, chemistry, geography, mathematics and physics. The Faculty ensures a close interlinking of research and teaching, allowing new knowledge to be passed directly on to its students. At the same time, students are given intensive support with their final theses which are highly research-based and contribute to the research progress. The Faculty of Sciences also runs the Bavarian elite degree programme ‘Physics Advanced’. It offers nine courses for talented school students in years 11 to 13.
The Faculty of Engineering was founded in 1966, making FAU the first traditional university in Germany to offer degree programmes in engineering. Since then, the Faculty of Engineering has earned itself an outstanding reputation, both at home and abroad. This is reflected in the number of students at the Faculty, which broke the 10,000 mark in the winter semester 2013/14. The Faculty consists of five departments: Chemical and Biological Engineering, Electrical, Electronic and Communication Engineering, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. It is based on the Südgelände (Southern Campus) in Erlangen and also has facilities in Nuremberg and Fürth.
The Faculty of Engineering addresses fundamental research and also investigates areas which are of commercial and technological interest. Its Research Focus Areas are: new materials and processes, life science engineering and medical engineering, modelling and simulation, energy technology and mobility, optical technologies, information and communication technology, and micro- and nanotechnology. These areas involve a considerable amount of interdisciplinary dialogue between various subjects and institutions. Some of the outstanding projects at the Faculty of Engineering include the Cluster of Excellence ‘Engineering of Advanced Materials’ and the Erlangen Graduate School in Advanced Optical Technologies.
The Faculty currently offers more than 20 Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes. In addition to traditional subjects such as chemical and biological engineering, electrical, electronic and communication engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering, it also runs a variety of interdisciplinary degree programmes in subjects such as nanotechnology and life science engineering. These degree programmes involve a great deal of collaboration with the Faculty of Sciences, the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Business, Economics, and Law.
Deans – the heads of the Faculties
The dean is the managing director of a faculty or school. The dean makes decisions about staff and finance, signs Habilitation and doctoral degree certificates and awards them at public ceremonies. A dean’s teaching obligations are reduced to ensure that they can fulfil their managerial obligations in an appropriate manner. The dean is elected by the Faculty Council or the School Council for a term of two to four years.
The dean’s deputy is the vice dean (or several vice deans). In addition, there is a special representative for academic teaching, the dean of studies.