The University of Ingolstadt was founded in 1472 by Louis the Rich, duke of Bavaria at the time, and its first Chancellor was the Bishop of Eichstätt. It consisted of five faculties: humanities, sciences, theology, law and medicine, all of which were contained in the Hoheschule ('high school').
The 1700s gave rise to the Enlightenment, a movement that was opposed to the church-run universities of which Ingolstadt was a prime example. The Jesuits gradually left the university as it sought to change with the times, until the university finally had become so secular that the greatest influence in Ingolstadt was Adam Weishaupt, founder of the secret society of the Illuminati.
On November 25, 1799, the elector Maximilian IV announced that the university's depleted finances had become too great a weight for him to bear: the university would be moved to Landshut as a result. The university finished that year's school term, and left Ingolstadt in May of 1800, bringing to a quiet end the school that had, at its peak, been one of the most influential and powerful institutes of higher learning in Europe.