Even though it doesn't have the international profile of universities located in Berlin, Hamburg, or Munich, Ernst Moritz Arndt University Greifswald is home to one of the longest and proudest academic heritages in Germany, a strong student community, and a solid reputation across a variety of disciplines.
Greifswald was one of the major cities of the Hanseatic League, and its status and wealth during the late middle ages led to the founding of a university in 1456 with all of the departments of a classical university: theology, medicine, philosophy and law. Over the years, the city and its university passed from the Holy Roman Empire to Sweden to Prussia and unified Germany, with each pouring in money and resources, turning the University of Greifswald into one of the top institutions of higher learning in the German-speaking world.
Today, Greifswald is considered by many to be among the most livable students cities in Germany, with low rent, lots of activities and a strong community feel. It is also the bike capital of Germany, with 44% of residents using a bicycle as their primary means of transportation. And thanks to the growth of the university, which now enrolls over 12,000 students, Greifswald is considered the youngest city in Germany.
Greifswald's long tradition of cooperation with Swedish and other Scandinavian and Baltic universities has given the university a strong area studies department, with Baltic, Finnic, Scandinavian, and Slavic Studies all available at the bachelor level. The university is also particularly strong in the physics, biology and geosciences, and recently built a new campus to house buildings for the natural sciences. In addition, its medical and dental schools are considered among the best in the country.