Sigmund Freud Privat University

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The study programmes of Sigmund Freud PrivatUniversität (SFU) are structurally adapted to the demand for studying in Vienna and are run in the Bachelor-Master (PhD) system.  In addition to academic education, career orientation already plays an important role in the Bachelor’s degree and is further deepened in the Master’s degree. Specific expansion of knowledge and competences is possible as part-time study in the various university courses.

With this broad range of programmes, the SFU thus contributes significantly to Vienna’s positioning as a university city. The English-language programmes attract many international students who want to study psychology or psychotherapy in the city of Sigmund Freud (although, strictly speaking, the field of study is called “psychotherapy science”), and human medicine and dentistry as well as law complete the SFU’s range as a focal university.   

The path to becoming Austria’s largest private university

The Private Universities Act of 1999 made it possible for the first time in Austria for private sponsors to found universities. The prerequisite is a strict accreditation procedure, which must be carried out exclusively by foreign experts and must be renewed more frequently than is the case with state universities. In addition, the term “private” must be used in the wording to distinguish it from state institutions. Sigmund Freud University was founded in this legal form in 2003 and accredited for the first time in 2005; today it is the largest private university in the country with further branches in France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia (see “History of SFU”).

The mission of Sigmund Freud University: We not only establish careers, we promote personalities

The mission of the SFU is guided by four fundamental motives:

  • The cultivation of Sigmund Freud’s intellectual legacy.
  • The cultivation of humanistic values in an increasingly purposive social and academic environment
  • The emphasis on the personality as the basis (rather than a sideline) of education
  • The attachment and responsibility towards the university city of Vienna and its citizens

With the study of psychotherapy science, SFU was the first in the world to realise Sigmund Freud’s vision of establishing psychotherapy as an academic subject. A strongly humanistically oriented psychology degree complements the programme in this respect. However, personality development as an integral part of education is also taken into account in the other fields of study, i.e. human medicine, dentistry and law. This is already evident in the admission procedure and extends through the structure of the curricula to the didactic concepts of the individual fields of study. The university’s own clinics and medical facilities not only serve the practical training of students, but also make a contribution to the common good by providing Vienna and the surrounding area with psychotherapeutic and psychological as well as dental and ophthalmological services. Special attention is paid to the needs and possibilities of people with a migration background.    

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