The Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich (German: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), also known as LMU, is a university in Munich and, with more than 44,000 students, is the second-largest university in Germany. The majority of foreign exchanges at the University of Munich are with European universities. The main building is situated in Ludwigstrasse. The university's main campus is served by the Munich U-Bahn's Universität station.
According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (2006), the LMU is the highest ranked German university (51st), and according to the German FOCUS ranking, the LMU is the second highest ranked German university (behind the Technical University of Munich).
The university originally existed as the University of Ingolstadt from 1472 (foundation right of Louis IX the Rich) to 1802 in Ingolstadt and was then moved to Landshut by Maximilian IV Joseph (the later Maximilian I King of Bavaria). After a short time it was moved to the capital of Bavaria, Munich, in the year 1826, by Louis I. It is named after Louis IX, Duke of Bavaria and Maximilian I, King of Bavaria. The university was situated in the Old Academy until a new building in the Ludwigstraße was completed.
In 1943 the White Rose group of anti-Nazi students conducted their campaign of opposition to Hitler at this university.
Nowadays the University of Munich is part of 24 Collaborative Research Centers funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and is host university of 13 of them. It also hosts 12 DFG Research Training Groups and three international doctorate programs as part of the Elite Network of Bavaria. It attracts an additional 120 million euros per year in outside funding and is intensively involved in national and international funding initiatives.
LMU Munich has a wide range of degree programs, with 150 subjects available in numerous combinations. 15% of the 45,000 students who attend the university come from abroad.
In 2005, Germany’s state and federal governments launched the Excellence Initiative, a contest among its universities. With a total of 1.9 billion euros, 75 percent of which comes from the federal state, its architects aim to strategically promote top-level research and scholarship. The money is given to more than 30 research universities in Germany.
The Initiative will fund three project-oriented areas: Graduate schools to promote the next generation of scholars, clusters of excellence to promote cutting-edge research and “future concepts” for the project-based expansion of academic excellence at universities as a whole. In order to qualify for this third area, a university had to have at least one internationally recognized academic center of excellence and a new graduate school.