Philipps University of Marburg

Philipps University of Marburg

Philipps University of Marburg Details

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hilipps-Universität is not only a German university steeped in tradition, it is also the oldest university in the world that was founded as a Protestant institution in 1527. It has been a place of research and teaching for nearly five centuries. More information about the profile of Philipps-Universität, its history and a virtual sightseeing tour can be found under Profile.

Nowadays there are nearly 25,700 students studying in Marburg – 12 percent from all over the world. If you are interested in studying at Philipps-Universität the information you require is available under Student Life. If you are a visiting academic, you will find information under International.

Almost all scientific disciplines, with the exception of the engineering sciences, are represented at Philipps-Universität Marburg. The different disciplines are assigned to different faculties, which are to be found under Faculties.

Numerous organizations complement and enrich the university’s range of services. For example, such organizations may carry out special research activities or support Philipps-Universität Marburg in the areas of communications, IT and foreign languages

10 Good Reasons to Study at the Universität Marburg

From archaeology to Tibetology, you can study almost anything in Marburg: 16 faculties offer approximately 20,000 students both traditional and innovative opportunities for studies. Of the numerous reasons why you should choose to study at the Philipps-Universität Marburg, we’ll list the first 10 for you here:

1.    Our students graduate in a timely manner

The most recent  Wissenschaftsrat study confirmed once again that Marburg students complete their degrees much faster than fellow students at other German universities.
2.    Excellence in teaching
From medicine and biology to peace and conflict research, teaching at the Uni Marburg placed first and second.
3.    Best conditions for pursuing studies
The Uni Marburg is not only successful due to the fact that the main university library is open until midnight: in the current “Centre for Higher Education” university rankings, conditions for studying in Marburg, particularly in the natural sciences, received the highest markings.  Geography was even ranked #1.
4.    Always well advised
In Marburg there’s not just advising about studies on a general level, but also extra support at the beginning of your academic career:  orientation weeks with scavenger hunts, freshman parties and the festive first-year students dinner, all a part of the University’s welcome package.
5.    Professors who excel in research
You’re interested in getting involved with research projects while pursuing your studies? You’ll be in good hands with Marburg’s numerous, internationally recognized scholars and researchers:  the Leibniz Prize, the German Nobel Prize, so to speak, has frequently gone to Marburg.
6.    At home around the world
With 120 partnerships, Marburg provides the best opportunities for spending a semester at a partner university anywhere in the world! Marburg even received the European quality seal “E-quality” in 2005 for its particularly noteworthy success in international student exchanges. By the way: 2,600 students from 100 countries give studying in Marburg an international touch.
7.    Typical university town
Unlike at universities in large cities or urban centers, Marburg students come from all over Germany and settle in Marburg:  so in this “capital of shared apartments,” everything is centered around the University:  characterized by the short distances between places, quick personal contacts between the students and scholars, and a lively student scene.
8.    Man does not live on studying alone…
Eating and drinking, going out and having fun:  prices in Marburg are reasonable – and what the pubs, alternative culture scene and movie theaters have to offer is all the more diverse. On top of that, there’s one outdoor film festival after another during the summer months.
9.    Sports and free time activities
There are numerous cultural activities for a change of pace from everyday student life:  in addition to 130 intramural sports options and a music house, an orchestra, big band and a University choir, there are around 50 student initiatives, ranging from the debate club to the teddy bear clinic and Campus-TV.
10. Successful for nearly 500 years and counting
People have been studying and performing research in Marburg for nearly 500 years. At every turn you’ll come across predecessors like the Grimm Brothers, the first Nobel Prize Winner Behring, the chemist Bunsen, the physicist Braun, the geographer Wegener, and a hundred other notorieties.

Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties

  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Business Administration and Economics
  • Faculty of Social Sciences and Philosophy
    European ethnology / humanities; philosophy including ethics; political science including social studies, politics and economics; religious science; sociology; cultural and social anthropology; peace and conflict research.
  • Faculty of Psychology
    Methodology and IT; general and biological psychology; pedagogical and development psychology; differential psychology and psychological diagnostics; clinical psychology and psychotherapy; social, work and organizational psychology
  • Faculty of Protestant Theology
    Old Testament; New Testament; church history (including Christian archaeology and Byzantine art history; history of the Eastern Church); systematic theology, social ethics, history of religion; practical theology (including the Institute for Church Construction and Contemporary Ecclesiastical Art).
  • Faculty of History and Cultural Studies
    Prehistory and early history; classical archaeology; ancient history; medieval history; recent history; Eastern European history; social and economical history; historic auxiliary sciences and archive science; Japanese studies; sinology.
  • Faculty of German Studies and History of the Arts
    German language studies of the Middle Ages; modern German literature and media; German linguistics; Linguistic Atlas of Germany; musicology; history of art; Foto Marburg graphic archive; graphic design and painting.
  • Faculty of Foreign Languages and Cultures
    English and American language studies; classical language studies; oriental studies and linguistics (ancient oriental studies, Indology and Tibetology; Semitic studies; comparative linguistics); Roman language studies.
  • Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
    Pure mathematics; applied mathematics; computer science
  • Faculty of Physics
    Astronomy; Biophotonics; Biophysics; Complex Systems; Experimental Semiconductor Physics; Many Particle Physics; Molecular Solid State Physics; Neurophysics; Optics; Quantitative Biology; Quantum Chaos; Surface Physics; Theoretical Semiconductor Physics
  • Faculty of Chemistry
    Analytical chemistry; inorganic chemistry; biochemistry; chemistry for teaching professions and sciences; macromolecular chemistry; organic chemistry; physical chemistry and radiochemistry; theoretical chemistry/computer applications in chemistry.
  • Faculty of Pharmacy
    History of pharmacy; pharmacology and toxicology; pharmaceutical biology; pharmaceutical chemistry; pharmaceutical technology.
  • Faculty of Biology
    Cell biology; microbiology; genetics; environmental protection; ecology; special botany and mycology; plant physiology and photobiology; animal physiology; special zoology and the evolution of animals; developmental biology and parasitology.
  • Faculty of Geography
    Cartography; cultural geography; physical geography; geology
  • Faculty of Medicine
    Human medicine; dental medicine; human biology; physiotherapy.
  • Faculty of Education
    Education; theory and methodology of education in schools; sports science; motology.


The University of Marburg is one of the most historic of German universities. It was founded in 1527 during the Reformation by the 23-year-old Landgrave Philipp the Magnanimous as the second Protestant university (the oldest Protestant university existed from 1526 to 1530 in Liegnitz in Silesia). On July 1, 1527, the universale studium Marburgense commenced with 11 professors and 84 students in the former monasteries of the city. The goal of the institution was to educate “learned, able, and God-fearing persons, preachers, and officials for Christian benefit and the good of the common land.” In addition to the leading theological faculty, faculties for jurisprudence, medicine, and philosophy were also established from the beginning.

Throughout the first three centuries of the university’s changeful history, the number of students vacillated between 30 and 300. In 1866, both the university and the city of Marburg experienced a renascence when the province of Hesse was annexed by Prussia and the Philipps-Universit„t became a royal Prussian university. Within twenty years, the number of students in Marburg quadrupled, while the university premises expanded to include the clinics and institutes for natural science and medicine in the north quarter of the city. The so-called Alte Universit„t (Old University) on Rudolphsplatz, designed in the neo-Gothic style, was completed in 1879 on the site of the former Dominican monastery. A decade later, the Aula was added with its wall paintings depicting the history of the city and university. Over 1000 students were registered in 1887, 2000 in 1909, and 3000 immediately following World War I.

Like most universities in Germany, the Philipps-University underwent a decisive expansion after 1960 as increasing numbers of secondary school graduates sought to pursue a university education. At the same time-if not in the same proportion-the teaching staff was augmented and new buildings erected, including the auditorium and lecture hall building, the humanities complex on the Lahn river, and the university library, as well as the central Mensa (cafeteria), the Studentendorf dormitory, and the Konrad-Biesalski-Haus as the first dormitory for disabled students in the Federal Republic of Germany. In addition, the new complex on the hills above Marburg (the Lahnberge), built to accommodate most of the natural science institutes and the university clinic, was established as a second center for the university.

The long list of significant scholars and scientists associated with the University of Marburg throughout its nearly 500-year history includes the following:

  • Denis Papin, the French naturalist and inventor,
  • Christian Wolff, der Aufklärer, the Enlightenment thinker whose lectures in all branches of knowledge drew many students to Marburg even from abroad,
  • the Renaissance man Johann Heinrich Jung,called Stilling, founder and member of the institute for political science,
  • the legal historian Friedrich Carl von Savigny,
  • the chemist Robert Bunsen,
  • the neo-Kantian philospher Hermann Cohen,
  • der physicist Karl-Ferdinand Braun, inventor of the Braun tube (oscilloscope),
  • der geophysicist Alfred Wegener, who developed the theory of continetal drift during his time in Marburg,
  • Emil von Behring, founder of serology and recipient of the first Nobel Prize for medicine (1901),
  • the existential philosopher Martin Heidegger and
  • the New Testament scholar Rudolf Bultmann, leading proponent of the demythologization of Christianity.

Among the numerous students who attained notoriety are the following:

  • the composer Heinrich Schütz,
  • Michail Lomonossow, Russian Renaissance man and founder of the univeristy of Moscow, who married a woman from Marburg in 1740,
  • the Brüder Grimm,
  • the Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset,
  • the poets Boris Pasternak and Gottfried Benn,
  • the philologist Konrad Duden, pioneer of German unified orthography,
  • the chemist Otto Hahn,
  • the surgeon Ferdinand Sauerbruch,
  • the theologian Karl Barth, as well as
  • the statesman Wilhelm Liebknecht,
  • Rudolf Breitscheid and
  • Gustav W. Heinemann, friend of the later much-respected political economist Wilhelm Röpke.
  • One of the first women admitted to the university in 1908 was Gertrud von Le Fort. Today, over 56 % of students in Marburg are female.

“I owe Marburg an der Lahn at least half of my hopes and perhaps all of my intellectual discipline,” wrote Ortega y Gasset regarding his studies at the Philipps-University. Today, his words continue to motivate the alma mater philippina to develop and improve its scientific and scholarly profile.

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