The Southern Denmark University (Danish: Syddansk Universitet, literally South Danish University, abbr. SDU) is a university in Denmark that has campuses located in Southern Denmark and on Zealand.
The university offers a number of joint programmes in co-operation with the University of Flensburg and the University of Kiel. Contacts with regional industries and the international scientific community are strong.
With its 29,674 (2016) enrolled students, the university is both the third-largest and, given its roots in Odense University, the third-oldest Danish university (fourth if one includes the Technical University of Denmark). Since the introduction of the ranking systems in 2012, the University of Southern Denmark has consistently been ranked as one of the top 50 young universities in the world by both the Times Higher Education World University Rankings of the Top 100 Universities Under 50 and the QS World University Rankings of the Top 50 Universities Under 50.
The Southern Denmark University was established in 1998 when Odense University, the Southern Denmark School of Business and Engineering and the South Jutland University Centre were merged. The University Library of Southern Denmark was also merged with the university in 1998. As the original Odense University was established in 1966, the University of Southern Denmark celebrated their 50-year anniversary on September 15, 2016.
In 2006, the Odense University College of Engineering was merged into the university and renamed as the Faculty of Engineering. After being located in different parts of Odense for several years, a brand new Faculty of Engineering building physically connected to the main Odense Campus was established and opened in 2015. In 2007, the Business School Centre in Slagelse (Handelshøjskolecentret Slagelse) and the National Institute of Public Health (Statens Institut for Folkesundhed) were also merged into the Southern Denmark University.
Princess Marie took over the role of the patron of the University in 2009.