History and Accreditation

Named for Benjamin Franklin, the United States’ first and most illustrious ambassador to Europe, Franklin University Switzerland was founded in 1969 as Franklin College Switzerland, a non-profit, independent post-secondary institution. From the outset, then Franklin College was “dedicated to a new kind of international education, taking as its cornerstone Benjamin Franklin’s vigorous support of a universal, intellectual interchange.”

Franklin earned accreditation as an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree-granting institution from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in 1975. In the fall of 1986, the College opened the academic year as a four-year institution. In 1990, after an intensive three-year, in-depth self-study, the Middle States Commission affirmed the accreditation status of the college as a B.A. degree granting institution. In 2005, the Swiss University Conference (Schweizerische Universitätskonferenz) and the Swiss Organization for Quality Assurance (Organ für Akkreditierung und Qualitätssicherung der Schweizerischen Hochschulen) recognized all programs of study leading to the Franklin College B.A. degree. In 2012 Franklin was reaccredited by the Middle States Association, and in 2013 the Swiss University Conference accredited Franklin as a university institution. Franklin inaugurated its first graduate program, a M.S. in International Management, in 2012. Franklin College officially became Franklin University Switzerland in November 2013. Franklin’s accreditation was reaffirmed by MSCHE in 2021.

As a liberal arts institution since its foundation, Franklin University has emphasized what it has designated the “international imperative” in higher education. Today more than ever we see the growing urgency for experiential, international education. Franklin’s emphasis on cross-cultural perspectives is designed to affect the direction and meaning of a student’s university years, life and career. Accordingly, the University advocates that substantive international studies should be an integrated part of a university education as both a prelude to and a basis for the commitment to a major field of study. This commitment to providing courses of study which are international in perspective and cross-cultural in content remains the cornerstone of the educational mission of the University in the global environment of the 21st century.