Who we are

Our story

The Hertie School of Governance is a private university based in Berlin, Germany, accredited by the state and the German Science Council. It prepares exceptional students for leadership positions in government, business, and civil society. Interdisciplinary and practice-oriented teaching, first-class research and an extensive international network set the Hertie School apart and position it as an ambassador of good governance, characterised by public debate and engagement. Our motto is "Understand today. Shape tomorrow".

The Hertie School of Governance was formally founded as a private, non-profit institution in December 2003 by the Hertie Foundation, becoming the first professional school for public policy in Germany.

Offering programmes that emphasised academic excellence and practical orientation in the reunified capital of Berlin, the Hertie School was, from its start, a unique educational institution in Germany.

The school began by organising panels, symposia and discussions, providing a platform for policymakers, professionals, and practitioners from the media, NGOs, and business to engage with academia.

In February 2005, the Hertie School was granted official state recognition and given the authority by the Berlin Senate to award the academic title Master of Public Policy as an institution of higher learning.

The first cohort of students in the two-year Master of Public Policy programme began their studies in September 2005, and the programme has grown considerably each year.

In September 2008, the school launched its second master's programme: the Executive Master of Public Administration. Together with the Freie Universität Berlin and the Social Science Centre Berlin (WZB), the Hertie School established the Berlin School of Transnational Studies in 2008.

In 2011, the Hertie School was one of the few private universities in Germany to receive the right to award doctorates. The Doctoral Programme in Governance started in 2012.

The first cohort of the new study programme Master of International Affairs began their studies in 2015.