The history of the faculty

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities, together with Theology, Law and Medicine, is one of the four founding faculties of Kiel University. When Duke Christian Albrecht von Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf established the university as a state institution in 1665, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities – in the tradition of the medieval arts faculties – initially served as a precursor to the other three faculties: it provided the relevant knowledge required for admission to scientific studies in Theology, Law or Medicine.

Over time, the faculty grew beyond this preparatory function and increasingly gained independent status. The emergence of new scientific disciplines in the second half of the 18th century, in particular, accelerated this process of becoming independent, so that by the beginning of the 19th century, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities was completely on a par with the other three faculties. Since the beginning of the 20th century, it is the faculty with the highest number of members.

In 1913, political science and business science were split from the faculty and combined with law to form the Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences. In 1953, a separate Department of Humanities and Department of Natural Sciences were formed within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Ten years later, on 1 October 1963, the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences was formed from the Department of Natural Sciences. In the winter semester of 1969/1970, the Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences was split into a Faculty of Law and a Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences. As Master's degree subjects, political science and sociology (so-called “bridge subjects”), which were reallocated at the time to the new Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences, remained closely associated with the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Since 2006, political science and sociology form part of the Institute of Social Sciences, which was established as a joint institute of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.

In the winter semester of 2002/2003, the transfer of the humanities specialised didactics from the disbanded Faculty of Educational Science to the Faculty of Arts and Humanities was completed.