you are here:  Prospective students  Why choose the KU?  The KU... traditional

The KU… traditional

The KU has existed in its current form for just under four decades, but its origins can be traced back to educational institutions in Eichstätt and Ingolstadt that were established several hundred years ago. It was elevated to university status by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.



Over 450 years of history

The KU is a modern university with a long tradition. It has existed in its current form since 1980, but its roots go back to the year 1564 and the foundation of the Collegium Willibaldinum, the first priest seminary north of the Alps. The seminary became a theological college in 1924. Another historical institution that later became part of the KU was the college of education in Eichstätt, which was established by the bishops of Bavaria in 1958. These two Catholic institutions were unified to form a single college in 1972 and several new degree programs were added. In 1980, the chairman of the Bavarian Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI, elevated the college to university status.

Ingolstadt as a second location

The Ingolstadt School of Management (WFI) was added in 1989. To reflect the addition of this location, the University’s name was changed to Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt in 2001. Ingolstadt also has a long tradition as a university town – Bavaria’s first university was established there in 1472 with the Pope’s approval. The patron saint of the KU is Saint Catherine, who lived in Alexandria in Egypt in the third and early fourth century. Saint Catherine’s Day is on November 25 and it is around this date that the KU celebrates the Dies Academicus, an event which commemorates the founding of the University.