The “Free Academy for Cognition and Design,” as the Merz Akademie was called in 1918, the year it was founded, already sought to integrate intellectual and physical work into a single process. In 1985, three years after the academy was taken over by Markus Merz, the Merz Akademie was granted state accreditation as a college of higher education [Fachhochschule] by the Ministry for Sciences and Art.
Today, with the Merz Akademies clear interest in the disciplines of the humanities, social, and cultural studies, design, and art, as well technology, the university positions itself between a classical art academy, a technical college, and a humanities faculty. The fields of study are: Crossmedia Publishing, Film and Video, New Media and Visual Communication with special interest in theory and cultural studies.
The university, administered by the Merz Akademie GmbH as a non-profit organization, was institutionally accredited by the German Council of Science and the Humanities in 2008.
The Merz Akademie is operated by the Merz Bildungswerk, a free and non-profit educational organization, which also operates the Merz Kindergarten, the Merz Schule, the Merz Internat and the Merz Berufskolleg für Grafik-Design.