University of St. Gallen

University of St. Gallen
Universität St. Gallen
Type Public
Established May 25, 1898
Budget CHF 212.03 million (2014)[1]
President Thomas Bieger
Academic staff
81,7 Professors[1]
62 Assistant professors[1]
Administrative staff
Students 8,020 (2014)[1]
Undergraduates 4,130 (2014)[1]
Postgraduates 3,143 (2014)[1]
719 (2014)[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
Affiliations CEMS, APSIA, EQUIS, AACSB Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs

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 2013, the University of St. Gallen had 7,666 students, of which 2,986 were Master's students and 725 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 4th among business schools in Europe and is one of the leading business schools in the world. For the past four years, the Financial Times ranked the University of St. Gallen's Master in Strategy and International Management (SIM) 1st worldwide, while its Master's program in Finance (MBF) was ranked 6th worldwide in 2014.[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.[5][6]


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 gained 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 Altstadt 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 picturesque Altstadt 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 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's 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 Bachelor 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.[12][13]

Bachelor of Arts programs

Master of Arts programs

Doctoral programs

MBA programs and executive education

Main article: St. Gallen MBA-HSG

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 International 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. The largest club at the University of St.Gallen and the largest of its kind in Switzerland is the HSG Investment Club, a finance-focused career club counting over 1,300 members.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17]


Rankings by the Financial Times (FT)[18]

Rankings by Handelsblatt

Rankings by CHE, published by Die Zeit[24]

Rankings by The Economist:

Rankings by Bloomberg Businessweek:

Rankings by Wall Street Journal:

Ranking by the Mines ParisTech : Professional Ranking World Universities:

Rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds

Notable people


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 Deutsche Bank Chairman Paul Achleitner,[31] former Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann,[32] Commerzbank CEO Martin Blessing,[33] former Julius Baer Group CEO Alex Widmer,[34] former UBS CEO Peter Wuffli,[35] and Ulrich Körner, current member of the Group Executive Board of UBS, Dr. Daniel Ritz joined as President & CEO of the PTCL Group of Pakistan.

Business leaders in other sectors who attended the University of St. Gallen include Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek, Jr.,[36] IWC CEO Georges Kern,[37] Qiagen CEO Peer M. Schatz,[38] Fresenius SE CEO Ulf Mark Schneider,[39][40] Thomas Cook Group CEO, Peter Fankhauser,[41] and BASF board member Margret Suckale.[42] 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,[43] Sovereign Monarch and Head of State of Liechtenstein Prince Hans-Adam II,[44] Swiss politician Hans-Rudolf Merz,[45] Swiss politician and Stadler Rail CEO Peter Spuhler,[46] as well as Adrian Hasler, and Klaus Tschütscher, current, and former Prime Minister of Liechtenstein, respectively,[47] Daniel Jositsch, law professor and SP politician.[48]

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,[49] corporate communication professor Miriam Meckel,[50] Walter Hunziker, developer of Tourism Science, and Ota Šik, Professor of Economics and one of the key figures in the Prague Spring.[51]

See also

Notes and references

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "". University of St. Gallen website. Retrieved June 23, 2015.
  2. "University of St.Gallen - University - University of St.Gallen: portrait". Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  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 September 15, 2014.
  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. "University of St.Gallen - Services - Guided art tours". Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  8. de:Penalba
  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. "University of St.Gallen - University - University of St.Gallen – structure". Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  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. "University of St.Gallen - Studying - University of St.Gallen, exchange programmes, Student Mobility". Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  15. "Home". HSG Investment Club. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
  17. "Universität St.Gallen". 2012-09-26. Retrieved 2013-08-04.
  18. "Financial Times Ranking". Financial Times. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
  19. "FT European Business School Rankings 2015". Financial Times. Retrieved 2015-12-07.
  20. "Financial Times Ranking". Financial Times. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  21. "Business school rankings from the Financial Times -". Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  22. "BWL-Ranking 2014". Handelsblatt. Retrieved 2015-02-10.
  23. "Die Top-Fakultäten für VWL". Handelsblatt. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
  24. "CHE Hochschulranking". Die Zeit. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
  25. "2014 MBA & Business School Rankings - Which MBA? - The Economist". The Economist. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  26. Louis Lavelle. "Top European B-Schools". Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  27. "The Wall Street Journal Online - Interactive Graphics". Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  28. QS Jobs & Salary Trends Report
  29. "QS Global 200 MBA Rankings 2014/15: Europe". Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  30. 2015 QS Return on Investment Report European Full-Time MBA
  31. "Deutsche Bank – Aufsichtsrat". Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  32. "Deutsche Bank – Vorstand". 2013-04-17. Retrieved 2013-08-04.
  33. "Commerzbank AG - Commerzbank Board of Managing Directors". Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  34. "CEO of top Swiss bank dies suddenly, sparking rumours of suicide". Daily Mail.
  35. "Peter Wuffli". Retrieved 2013-08-04.
  36. "Profiles". European CEO. Retrieved 2013-08-04.
  37. "Roger Dubuis Watches, Collections, History & News". WorldTempus. Retrieved 2013-08-04.
  39. "Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA - Vorstand". 2013-07-18. Retrieved 2013-08-04.
  40. Ulf Schneider Dr. "Köpfe: Ulf Schneider - Köpfe - Wirtschaftswoche" (in German). Retrieved 2013-08-04.
  41. "Peter Fankhauser". Businessweek. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  42. von Claudia Tödtmann. "Köpfe: Margret Suckale - Köpfe - Wirtschaftswoche" (in German). Retrieved 2013-08-04.
  44. "Prince Hans-Adam II". Retrieved 2013-08-04.
  45. "Index of Federal Councillors since 1848". Retrieved 2013-08-04.
  46. PCS Holding. "PCS Holding". Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  47. "Regierung des Fürstentums Liechtenstein: Äusseres". Retrieved 2013-08-04.
  48. Susan Boos and Kaspar Surber (2007-11-22). "Die Linke und der Ruf nach dem Sheriff" (in German). WOZ Die Wochenzeitung 47/2007. Retrieved 2015-10-19.
  50. "Universität St.Gallen - Forschungsplattform: Miriam Meckel". Retrieved 2013-08-04.
  51. "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. 
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