Schiller International’s history: a university conceived to learn through global experience

Since its foundation, our goal has been to provide you with the highest standards of international education.

Our History

Schiller International University was founded in 1964 by Dr. Walter Leibrecht for the purpose of providing American students with an educational experience in Europe while continuing their studies within the American educational model.

Over time, this unique concept was broadened to include students from all over the world seeking an American study program in an international setting.

Since its founding, the institution has focused on the value of a globalized educational environment, recognizing that international perspectives are crucial to solving contemporary problems and developing globally literate, interculturally competent citizens.

Schiller International University Milestones

  • 1964
    Foundation of Schiller International

    Dr. Walter Leibrecht founded and established the first campus of Schiller International in Kleiningersheim, Germany.

  • 1967
    European expansion

    We opened two more campuses in Europe, located in strategic cities that were (and continue to be) highly beneficial to your professional growth and career: Madrid and Paris.

  • 1969
    Move to the center of Germany’s academic landscape

    5 years after SIU’s foundation, we decided to move to Heidelberg, considered one of the most important European cities for scientific research and a technological hub.

  • 1983
    ACICS Recognition

    We received US accreditation as an Independent College, validating our educational excellence as an independent and non-public school and career organization both in the US and abroad.

  • 1991
    Worldwide presence

    We opened our first American campus in Tampa Bay, a hub for important industries in a great multitude of sectors.

  • 2010
    Schiller International is acquired by The Palmer Group

    This esteemed group led by Mr. Russell Palmer, former Dean of Wharton School of Business, acquired Schiller International University.

  • 2014
    Partnership with Roehampton

    We established a dual-degree program agreement with the University of Roehampton, London, to offer an American and European degree in one program.

  • 2016
    Adding recognitions

    Schiller International University became the first American University to receive German Programmatic Accreditation.

  • 2020
    Schiller Revamp

    SIU is acquired by a group of private investors with sound professional backgrounds in international law firms and financial institutions, who are committed to long-term quality and innovation in Higher Education.

  • 2021
    Future-Forward Education

    SIU incorporates new programs, expanding students’ perspectives in potential areas such as Digital Business and Sustainability.

The Schiller International shield: our roots and values

If you are wondering about Schiller’s philosophy, what we represent as an institution and the reason behind the choice of locations for our campuses, you have only to look at our university's coat of arms.


The symbols in the shield were mainly connected to the two initial Schiller campuses located in Germany:

  • The wings, looking like deer antlers were chosen to symbolize the first campus, Kleiningersheim, as well as the anchor, from the crest of the village of Ingersheim.
  • The three roses were taken from an eminent 17th-century scholar and ancestor of the Leibrecht family.
  • The black cross comes from the coat of arms from the Baron von Radowitz, from whom our founder bought the castle to house the first campus.
  • The three pine cones represented the palace where the second Schiller campus was installed.

Furthermore, the Pegasus represents the strength of honour of our institution. We want to show that you are coming to the best place to learn, both as a person and as a professional.

The rest of the symbols represent the most recent history of our university and its current values:

  • Internationalization 
    Each of our campuses has been strategically placed in urban settings that offer you the richness of multicultural diversity. We know that giving you the possibility of studying among others of diverse cultures enriches your learning experience and promotes your personal growth.
  • Diversity
    Schiller International is an equal opportunity institution and will not discriminate against any applicant on the basis of race, colour, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, country citizenship or ability/disability.  Values represented in the phrase "One world, One university".
  • Employability
    Double degree benefits for students as Schiller opens the doors to worldwide employment opportunities. Our graduates possess a working level of a foreign language and are fluent in two or more languages, giving them a great advantage and increased opportunities for employment.  You will learn how to network proficiently with local and international contacts.
  • Academic Excellence
    Our Instructional Delivery is focused on quality rather than quantity. Therefore, you will learn key concepts in-depth to develop your career by the best professors and experts within each field.  Our belief of what Academic Excellence is can be understood in our University’s motto "Multum non-multa". This concept reinforces the idea of quality over quantity and represents the positioning of our instructional delivery and individualized learning of each of our students.

Our locations, essential building blocks towards your growth

We currently have urban campuses in four strategic locations around the world. You have the opportunity to study in one, several, or all of them without having to make any extra arrangements. You can even carry out your entire program online while visiting any of the campuses. But why did we choose these cities for our campuses?

campus madrid schiller university
  • Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the world.  
  • One of the most affordable cities in Europe.  
  • One of the top 5 centers of commerce in Europe

Madrid is a vibrant metropolis that immediately accepts you no matter where you are from, making you feel like you belong there. It is a city for you to discover a great mixture of culture, art, history, nature and social life.

  • The 4th largest economy in the US
  • A tourism attraction with close to 100M visitors A gateway to Latin America

This semi-tropical area has a thriving hotel and tourism industry. It has a cosmopolitan mixture of inhabitants from all over the US and other parts of the world and is a beautiful beach town with lively activities and a great place for water sports and recreation.

  • A city in the heart of Europe
  • Recognized as a hub for the latest high-tech industries and scientific research  
  • Strategically located between major German centers of finance and manufacturing

International corporations are located in the greater Heidelberg area, providing you with a great opportunity to start your career as local corporations and businesses are constantly looking for international and multicultural candidates.

  • The International Relations and Diplomacy center of Europe
  • The world’s fashion capital
  • Europe’s largest business district “La Defénse”

Paris has the sixth-largest world economy and is also the fifth most popular city in Europe. Several international organizations have their headquarters there, making it a great opportunity for you to immerse yourself in one of the most important political, diplomatic, economic and cultural capitals of the world.

Who has been through our classrooms?

A multitude of personalities from all fields are already part of Schiller International’s community: politicians, diplomats, cultural figures such as actors, writers, sportspersons... You'll be surprised!

  • Sylvester Stallone. American actor
  • Andy Murray. Professional Tennis player
  • Otto Sonnenholzner. 50th President of Ecuador
  • Simon Bowthorpe. English entrepreneur and grandson of Jack Bowthorpe- Amy Sewell, Author and North American filmmaker