University of St. Gallen

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University of St. Gallen
Universität St. Gallen
University of St. Gallen logo english.svg
Established May 25, 1898
Type Public
Endowment CHF 208.29 million annual budget (2012)1
President Thomas Bieger
Academic staff 84 Professors1
79 Assistant professors1
>400 Lecturers1
Admin. staff 285 Core administration
Students 7,325 (2012)1
Undergraduates 3,848 (2012)1
Postgraduates 2,711 (2012)1
Doctoral students 728 (2012)1
Location St. Gallen, Canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland
Coordinates: 47°25′54″N 9°22′29″E / 47.43167°N 9.37472°E / 47.43167; 9.37472
Campus Urban (Rosenberg hill)
Newspapers HSG Focus, Prisma
Colors Green, White and Black

The University of St. Gallen (in German: Universität St. Gallen) is a research university located in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Established in 1898, it is specialized in the fields of business administration, economics, law, and international affairs.2 The University of St. Gallen is also known as HSG, which is an abbreviation of its former German name Handels-Hochschule St. Gallen.

In Fall 2012, the University of St. Gallen had 7,325 students, of which 2,711 were Master's students and 728 were Ph.D. students.1

Despite being one of the smallest universities in Switzerland, the University of St. Gallen has Switzerland's largest faculty for business administration.3 According to the Financial Times, the University of St. Gallen ranks 7th among business schools in Europe and is one of the leading business schools in the world. Recently, the Financial Times ranked the University of St. Gallen's Master's program in Management (SIM) 1st worldwide and its Master's program in Finance (MBF) 10th worldwide.4

The university boasts a world-class collection of modern art including works by Gerhard Richter, Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, Georges Braque, Jean Arp, Pierre Soulages, Antoni Tàpies and Max Bill. Most works have been commissioned specifically for the various sites on campus where they are shown today.

The University of St. Gallen is a member of the CEMS and APSIA networks. It is EQUIS and AACSB accredited.56


19th and 20th century

In May 1898, the Cantonal Parliament of St. Gallen decided to establish an academy for trade, commerce, and administration in St. Gallen. The actual founding father is considered to be Theodor Curti, then the head of the Executive Department of Economic Affairs. In 1899, the business academy started with its lectures, making it one of the first institutions of that kind in the world. From 1911 on, the name Handels-Hochschule was used. In the year 1938, the former foundation under private law became a public institution and in 1939 it became the right to award doctoral degrees.

In 1963, the university moved to new buildings and changed its name to Hochschule für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften. The new buildings were planned for 900 students, but already in the winter term of 1963/64 more than 1150 students were enrolled. With the enaction of the higher education act of 1989, the university became the name Hochschule St. Gallen für Wirtschafts-, Rechts- und Sozialwissenschaften, now reflecting the actual subjects covered: Since 1978 the University of St. Gallen had its own law department. Also in 1989, the library building opened and the number of students became more than 3900. In February 1994, the Cantonal Parliament of St. Gallen approved a draft on the revision of the higher education act, leading to a renaming of the institution into Universität St. Gallen (University of St. Gallen). The acronym HSG remained.

Recent history

In winter 2001/02 the University of St. Gallen started the reorganization of its study programs. Education became classified into Bachlelor's and Master's degrees, making the University of St. Gallen Switzerland's pioneer in the Bologna Process.

Mid of 2005, people in St. Gallen voted with 66.4 percent for a construction project to renovate, reorganize, and expand the University of St. Gallen by 2011. With a project budget of about 80m Swiss francs, buildings from the sixties were renovated and the infrastructure adjusted to the new educational structure. In October 2005, also the newly founded Executive School of Management, Technologie and Law (ES-HSG) opened. The Executive School is financially autonomous and centralizes further educational activities, such as MBA and executive MBA programs.


The University of St. Gallen with the picturesque old town of St. Gallen and its Abbey of Saint Gall in the background
Giacometti sculpture in the Main Building of the University of St. Gallen
The convention and executive education center opened in 1995

The University of St. Gallen is located on top of Rosenberg hill, overlooking the old town of St. Gallen and the Alps. A remarkable feature is the integration of art and architecture throughout the campus.7

In the Main Building, designed by Walter Foerderer and regarded as a significant exemplar of 1960s architecture far beyond Switzerland's borders, art tends to play the role of a counterpart to the architecture, whereas in the Library Building of 1989, the works of art complement the diversity of architectural forms in a narrative fashion. There are works by Burckhardt, Mastroianni, Kemény, Penalba,8 Arp, Braque, Hajdu, Soniatta, Miró, Calder, Soulages, Giacometti, Tàpies, Coghuf, Valentin, Otto Müller, Stahly, Baier, Bodmer, Oertli, Gehr, Gubler, Prantl, Baumgarten, Disler, Bill, Josef Felix Müller, Paladino, Richter, Fabro, and Cucchi.

The University's attractive location between Lake Constance and the Alps makes St. Gallen an ideal setting for all kinds of leisure activities such as skiing, hiking, or sailing.

In 1995, a convention and executive education center opened a few minutes walk from the main university campus. Extended in 2007, it today comprises several plenary halls as well as 54 business rooms.9 The University of St. Gallen also maintains international hubs in Singapore and São Paulo to connect local faculty, students, alumni, and companies with academic activities.10


Schools, institutes, and research centers

The Central Institute Building, designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron
The Institute of European and International Business Law

Following a restructuring in 2011, there are five schools at the University of St. Gallen: the School of Management (SoM-HSG), the School of Finance (SoF-HSG), the Law School (LS-HSG), the School of Economics and Political Science (SEPS-HSG), and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS-HSG). Study programs are typically associated with a specific school but are taught jointly by faculty members from several schools. A special role plays the Executive School of Management, Technology and Law (ES-HSG) which has the status of an Institut mit besonderen gesamtuniversitären Aufgaben and which runs the MBA and executive education programs.11

The crystallization points of research at the University of St. Gallen are about 40 institutes and research centres, which are an integral part of the university. The directors of the institutes double as professors of the University of St. Gallen. Bringing theory and practice together, the institutes provide an important input for teaching at the University and play a significant role in furthering the careers of young academics. 80 tenured professors, 60 assistant professors and senior lecturers, and more than 300 lecturers and 300 assistants, plus distinguished visiting professors cultivate the scientific discourse with the students.

The University of St. Gallen is a member of the European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS) and the Auto-ID Labs network.

Study programs

A new structure of Studies became operational as of winter 2001/2002. Degrees are now divided into Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral programs in accordance with the Bologna Process. Courses at the Bachelor level are typically given in German, while many Master's programs and most Doctoral programs are taught in English. The Bachelor degree programs begin with an Assessment year for all students. Upon successful completion of this year, students can then choose one of five majors for their remaining two years of study as listed below. The majority of Bachlor students are enrolled in Business Administration. Besides the University of St. Gallen only the University of Geneva offers an International Affairs program within Switzerland. The Master's programs cover the same range of studies, but are more specialized. The Masters programs typically run from 1.5 to 2 years. Besides the CEMS Master’s in International Management, further double degrees may be obtained in cooperation with partner universities such as Bocconi University, ESADE, HEC Paris, Nanyang Technological University, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Rotterdam School of Management, or Sciences Po Paris.1213

Bachelor of Arts programs

  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (BWL)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Economics (VWL)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Law (BLaw)
  • Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs (BIA)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Law and Economics (BLE)

Master of Arts programs

  • Master of Arts in Business Management (MUG)
  • Master of Arts in Strategy and International Management (SIM)
  • Master of Arts in Quantitative Economics and Finance (MiQE/F)
  • Master of Arts in Banking and Finance (MBF)
  • Master of Arts in International Affairs and Governance (MIA)
  • Master of Arts in Business Innovation (MBI)
  • Master of Arts in Marketing, Services and Communication Management (MSC)
  • Master of Arts in Accounting and Finance (MAccFin)
  • Master of Arts in Economics (MEcon)
  • Master of Arts in Management, Organization Studies and Cultural Theory (MOK)
  • Master of Arts in Law (MLaw)
  • Master of Arts in Law and Economics (MLE)
  • Master of Arts in International Law (MIL)

Doctoral programs

  • Ph.D. Program in Economics and Finance (PEF)
  • Ph.D. Program in Management (PMA)
  • Ph.D. Program in Finance (PiF)
  • Doctoral Program in International Affairs and Political Economy (DIA)
  • Doctoral Program in Organization Studies and Cultural Theory (DOK)
  • Doctoral Program in Law (DLS)

MBA programs and executive education

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA-HSG) Full-time
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA-HSG) Part-time
  • Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA-HSG)
  • Executive Master of Business Administration in Financial Services and Insurance (EMBA-FSI)
  • Omnium Global Executive Master of Business Administration (GEMBA)
  • Programme for Leadership Development (PLD)
  • Executive Master of European and International Business Law (EMBL-HSG)
  • Open enrolment and custom executive education programs

Student life

Aerial view of the campus during the 41st St. Gallen Symposium

The University of St.Gallen hosts 25% international students, an upper limit which has been fixed by the government.14

There are about 80 clubs at the University of St. Gallen. Particularly well-known is the Internation Students' Committee, an organization which plans and coordinates the annual St. Gallen Symposium. Since 1970 the St. Gallen Symposium brings together leaders from business, science, politics and society with students from all over the world. AIESEC St. Gallen is a club that was founded in 1951 and that provides an international internship program. One of the largest clubs with more than 600 members is DocNet, the doctoral students' club at the University of St. Gallen. Founded in 2001, a major event of DocNet is the annual DocNet Management Symposium. Also a chapter of Oikos International, a student organization for sustainable development, plays an active role at the University of St. Gallen. Other clubs are mostly sports clubs, cultural clubs, or associations of students of different countries or cantons, subject specific clubs related to specializations at the University of St. Gallen as well as fraternities.15

The official organization of former students of the University of St. Gallen is HSG Alumni. With more than 19,000 members and 80 alumni clubs on 4 continents, it is one of Europe's leading associations of its kind. Since 1930, the club has been reinforcing the alumni's lifelong bonds with the University, as well as the networks among its members, by means of numerous events and information platforms.16


  • In the Financial Times Executive Education Ranking 2009, the University of St. Gallen is ranked 30th globally and 13th within Europe. Within the German-speaking area, St. Gallen takes the lead. The St. Gallen MBA is ranked 23rd in Europe and 93rd worldwide and the EMBA is ranked 60 worldwide and ranked 21 within Europe.17
  • The St. Gallen MBA was ranked 18th among the Global Top 200 Business Schools in QS Quacquarelli Symonds 2011 ranking.18
  • The Masters of Arts program in Strategy and International Management (SIM) has been ranked 1st and the Masters of Arts program in Banking and Finance (MBF) has been ranked 5th globally by Financial Times in the 2012 ranking.19
  • The Wall Street Journal has ranked St. Gallen MBA 13th globally for accelerated MBA program.21 MINES ParisTech has ranked University of St. Gallen 18th among The 392 leading higher education institutions in 2011.22
  • Handelsblatt, a German business newspaper, has ranked the University of St. Gallen 1st in Business Administration in 2012 and 9th in Economics in 2011 for its research output among universities in Germany, Austria, and the German-speaking part of Switzerland.2324
  • According to a 2009 ranking by the Centre for Higher Education Development, a German think tank, the University of St. Gallen belongs to a top group of only six universities in Europe that provide an outstanding overall study situation for Master's and doctoral students in Economics.25

Notable people

Prince Hans-Adam II in 1974, five years after graduating from St. Gallen


Josef Ackermann graduated from the University of St. Gallen with a doctoral degree in economics in 1977

Notable University of St. Gallen alumni in the financial sector include Allianz CFO Paul Achleitner,26 former Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann,27 Commerzbank CEO Martin Blessing,28 former Julius Baer Group CEO Alex Widmer,29 and former UBS CEO Peter Wuffli.30 Business leaders in other sectors who attended the University of St. Gallen include Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek, Jr.,31 IWC CEO Georges Kern,32 Qiagen CEO Peer M. Schatz,33 Fresenius SE CEO Ulf Mark Schneider,3435 and BASF board member Margret Suckale.36 In the intellectual space, notable alumni include novelist and bestselling author Rolf Dobelli. In the field of law and politics, notable alumni include Swiss politician and former President of the Swiss Council of States Christoffel Brändli,37 Sovereign Monarch and Head of State of Liechtenstein Prince Hans-Adam II,38 Swiss politician Hans-Rudolf Merz,39 Swiss politician and Stadler Rail CEO Peter Spuhler,40 as well as Adrian Hasler, and Klaus Tschütscher, current, and former Prime Minister of Liechtenstein, respectively.41

Faculty and staff

Notable current or former faculty members of the University of St. Gallen include the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union Juliane Kokott,42 corporate communication professor Miriam Meckel,43 Walter Hunziker, developer of Tourism Science, and Ota Šik, Professor of Economics and one of the key figures in the Prague Spring.44

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "HSG in figures". University of St. Gallen website. Retrieved March 25, 2013.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Die Top-Fakultäten: Deutsche Betriebswirte fallen zurück - Ökonomie - Politik" (in (German)). Handelsblatt. 2012-09-17. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  4. ^ "Business school rankings from the Financial Times - List of Rankings". Financial Times website. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  5. ^ "EQUIS Accredited Schools". European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) website. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
  6. ^ "AACSB International Educational Members". Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) website. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Peñalba – Wikipedia" (in (German)). 2013-07-10. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  9. ^ "University of St.Gallen | Executive Education | University of St.Gallen - Convention and Executive Education Center". Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  10. ^ "University of St.Gallen | University | HSG branches around the world". Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Universität St.Gallen | Studieren | Master-Stufe". Retrieved 2013-11-04. 
  13. ^ "University of St.Gallen | Studying | Ph.D. Programme". Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Universität St.Gallen". 2012-09-26. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  17. ^ "Business school rankings from the Financial Times". Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  18. ^ "Top Business Schools, Europe" QS Quacquarelli Symonds website. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  19. ^ "Business school rankings from the Financial Times - Masters in Management 2012". Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  20. ^ "Europe's Top B-Schools 2010: The St. Gallen MBA, University of St. Gallen - BusinessWeek". Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  21. ^ "The Wall Street Journal Online - Interactive Graphics". 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  22. ^ "Classements de l'école d'ingénieurs - MINES ParisTech". 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  23. ^ "Betriebswirtschaft - Ökonomen-Ranking - Handelsblatt Online" (in (German)). Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  24. ^ "Volkswirtschaft - Ökonomen-Ranking - Handelsblatt Online" (in (German)). Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  25. ^ ZEIT ONLINE GmbH, Hamburg, Germany. "The Best European Universities | Excellence Ranking - ZEIT ONLINE". Excellence Ranking. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Deutsche Bank – Vorstand". 2013-04-17. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  28. ^
  29. ^ "CEO of top Swiss bank dies suddenly, sparking rumours of suicide". Daily Mail. 
  30. ^ "Peter Wuffli". Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  31. ^ "Profiles". European CEO. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  32. ^ "Roger Dubuis Watches, Collections, History & News". WorldTempus. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  33. ^
  34. ^ "Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA - Vorstand". 2013-07-18. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  35. ^ Ulf Schneider Dr. "Köpfe: Ulf Schneider - Köpfe - Wirtschaftswoche" (in (German)). Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  36. ^ von Claudia Tödtmann. "Köpfe: Margret Suckale - Köpfe - Wirtschaftswoche" (in (German)). Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  37. ^
  38. ^ "Prince Hans-Adam II". Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  39. ^ "Index of Federal Councillors since 1848". Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  40. ^
  41. ^ "Regierung des Fürstentums Liechtenstein: Äusseres". Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  42. ^
  43. ^ "Universität St.Gallen - Forschungsplattform: Miriam Meckel". Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  44. ^ "Ota Sik - Reforming Czech economist and politician". The Independent. August 27, 2004. 


  • Boller, Gabrielle (1998). Kunst und Architektur im Dialog: Universität St. Gallen (in German). Benteli. ISBN 3-71651-076-9. 
  • Burmeister, Karl Heinz (1998). 100 Jahre HSG: Geschichte der Universität St. Gallen, Hochschule für Wirtschafts-, Rechts- und Sozialwissenschaften (in German). Bern: Stämpfli. ISBN 3-72729-248-2. 

External links

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