The Free University of Berlin (German: Freie Universität Berlin, often abbreviated as FU Berlin or simply FU) is a research university in Berlin, Germany. The Free University of Berlin is one of eleven elite German research universities in the German Universities Excellence Initiative. Free University of Berlin is consistently ranked among Germany’s top ten universities overall, with particular strengths in the arts & humanities followed by the social sciences internationally. These programs are highly competitive, such as the program in Political Science is ranked number 19 worldwide according to the QS ranking.
The Free University was founded in West Berlin in 1948 with American support during the early Cold War period as a de facto western continuation of the Frederick William University, which was in East Berlin and faced strong communist repression; its name refers to West Berlin’s status as part of the Western Free World, in contrast to the communist-controlled university in East Berlin.
In 2008, in a joint effort, The Free University of Berlin, along with the Hertie School of Governance, and WZB Social Science Research Center Berlin, created the Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies.