The Faculties of Mathematics, Law, and Sociology commenced teaching and research in the Aufbauzentrum (AZ) at the beginning of the 1969-70 winter semester. By 1975 and 1976, the number of faculties had grown to ten, and they all moved to the main university building (UHG) on the current site. The building is designed as a centrally organized core with a range of faculty-specific attachments.
On 01.04.1980, the University was amalgamated with the Bielefeld section of the state teacher training college Pädagogische Hochschule Westfalen-Lippe with the departments at the teacher training college being matched subject by subject to those at the University. After restructuring measures and the foundation of the Faculties of Technology and Health Sciences, the University attained its current number of thirteen faculties.
The University is currently organized into the following faculties:
1. Faculty of Biology
2. Faculty of Chemistry
3. Faculty of Educational Science
4. Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology
5. Faculty of Public Health
6. Faculty of Linguistics and Literary Studies
7. Faculty of Mathematics
8. Faculty of Physics
9. Faculty of Psychology and Sports Science
10. Faculty of Law
11. Faculty of Sociology
12. Faculty of Business Administration and Economics
13. Faculty of Technology
The faculties are the "basic units of research and teaching". Responsibility for academic teaching is exclusively in the hands of each faculty.
One very special unit is the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF). Basically, it has the same status as a faculty. This is where (short-term) workshops and (long-term) research groups meet to develop, discuss, and research topics located either on the margins or on the interfaces between the increasingly more specialized single disciplines. Such topics may well be of exceptional scientific significance for precisely this reason alone. In these workshops and research groups, scientists from Bielefeld University are joined by members of other institutions both in Germany and abroad.
Further central institutions in the scientific domain are
- Centre for Biotechnology (CeBiTec)
- Cognitive Interaction Technology of Excellence (CITEC)
- Research Institute for Cognition and Robotics (CoR-Lab)
- Research Centre for Mathematical Modelling (FSPM)
- Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence (IKG)
- Institute of Mathematical Economics (IMW)
- Institute for the Simulation of Complex Systems (ISKOS)
- Institute for Research on Science and Technology (IWT)
- Interdisciplinary Centre of Women's and Gender Studies
(IFF - in German)
- Teacher Training Centre (ZfL - in German)
Further University institutions include the Aesthetic Centre, the Coordination Center for University Continuing Education (KWW), and the central service facilities. These are the University Computing Centre (HRZ), the Centre for Media Services (SCM), and the University Library. Two other state-run institutions are the Laborschule [Laboratory School] and the Oberstufen-Kolleg [high school college].