It was founded in 1975 as a campus university focusing on international collaboration and interdisciplinarity. The university has an outstanding reputation in a broad range of disciplines and currently maintains a network of more than 450 international cooperations with research institutes and universities around the world. It is broadly organized into six undergraduate and graduate faculties, with each faculty defining its own admission standards and academic programs in near autonomy.
The university is renowned for offering several interdisciplinary courses such as Philosophy & Economics, Global Change Ecology, Theatre and Media studies, and Health Economics. The management, economics and law programs are ranked among the top degrees in Germany. In 2013 the university was ranked on place number 40 in the Times Higher Education world university ranking for universities founded less than 50 years ago.
It is a member of the Elite Network of Bavaria (Elitenetzwerk Bayern), a coalition of leading research universities jointly offering graduate programs and international doctorate programs.