University of Marburg

The Philipps University of Marburg (German: Philipps-Universität Marburg) was founded in 1527 by Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse, which makes it one of Germany's oldest universities and the oldest still operating Protestant university in the world. It is now a public university of the state of Hesse, without religious affiliation. The University of Marburg has about 23,500 students and 7,500 employees and is located in Marburg, a town of 76,000 inhabitants, with university buildings dotted in or around the town centre. About 14 per cent of the students are international, the highest percentage in Hesse.[4] It offers an International summer university programme and offers student exchanges through the Erasmus programme.

University of Marburg
Philipps-Universität Marburg
Uni Marburg Siegel.svg
Latin: Schola Marpurgensis
Established1 July 1527; 495 years ago (1527-07-01)
Budget€335.6 million[1]
PresidentThomas Nauss [de]
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Location, ,
Coordinates: 50°48′39″N 8°46′25″E / 50.81083°N 8.77361°E / 50.81083; 8.77361
CampusUniversity town
AffiliationsCompostela Group of Universities
Uni Marburg Logo.svg


In 1609, the University of Marburg established the world's first professorship in chemistry. In 2012 it opened the first German interactive chemistry museum, called Chemicum. Its experimental course programme is aimed at encouraging young people to pursue careers in science.[5] The university was among the first in Germany to offer courses in gender studies.

Nazi periodEdit

20 professors were expelled in 1933, among them economist Wilhelm Röpke who emigrated and linguist Hermann Jacobsohn who committed suicide.

After 1945Edit

Since the 1970s especially the Department of Social Sciences is regarded as a leftist stronghold, with Wolfgang Abendroth being a major influence within the field of political science in post-war Germany.



The university is significant for its life sciences research, but is also home to one of the few centers that conduct research on the middle east, the CNMS (center for near and middle eastern studies). The departments of psychology and geography reached Excellence Group status in the Europe-wide CHE Excellence Ranking 2009.

Its research is illustrated by its participation in several SFBs (Sonderforschungsbereiche). These collaborative research centres are financed by the German Science Foundation DFG. They encourage researchers to cross the boundaries of disciplines, institutes, departments and faculties within the participating university. The current SFB at Philipps-University Marburg are:[6]

  • SFB/TR17 – Ras-dependent Pathways in Human Cancer (started 2004; with Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg)
  • SFB/TR22 – Allergic response of the lung (started 2005, with Research Center Borstel and LMU Munich)
  • SFB/TR81 – Chromatin Changes in Differentiation and Malignancies (started 2010, with Justus-Liebig Universität Gießen)
  • SFB-TRR 84 – Innate Immunity of the Lung (started 2010, with Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, FU Berlin, Robert-Koch-Institut, Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Genetik, Max-Planck-Institut für Kolloid- und Grenzflächenforschung, Justus-Liebig-University Gießen)
  • SFB-TRR 135 – Cardinal mechanisms of perception (started 2014, with Justus-Liebig Universität Gießen)
  • SFB 593 – Mechanisms of cellular compartmentalisation and the relevance for disease (started 2003)
  • SFB 987 – Microbial Diversity in Environmental Signal Response (started 2012, with Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg)
  • SFB 1083 – Structure and Dynamics of Internal Interfaces (started 2013, with Donostia International Physics Center San Sebastián, Spain)
  • SFB 1021 – RNA viruses: RNA metabolism, host response and pathogenesis (started 2013, with Justus-Liebig Universität Gießen)

Collections of the universityEdit

  • Alter Botanischer Garten Marburg, the university's old botanical garden
  • Botanischer Garten Marburg, the university's current botanical garden
  • Forschungsinstitut Lichtbildarchiv älterer Originalurkunden bis 1250 (Collection of photographs taken from medieval charters)
  • Bildarchiv Foto Marburg (German national picture archive of arts)
  • Religionskundliche Sammlung (Collection of religious objects)
  • Deutscher Sprachatlas (Linguistic Atlas of Germany)
  • Mineralogisches Museum (Museum of Mineralogy)
  • Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte (Museum of Arts)
  • Museum Anatomicum(Museum of Anatomy and Medical History)


University rankings
Global – Overall
ARWU World[7]401–500 (2021)
QS World[8]751–800 (2023)
THE World[9]401–500 (2022)

For 2020–21 the university was ranked as 28th nationally and 369th worldwide.[10]


Notable alumni and facultyEdit

Natural scientistsEdit


Marburg was always known as a humanities-focused university. It retained that strength, especially in Philosophy and Theology for a long time after World War II.



See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Aktuelle Zahlen auf einen Blick". University of Marburg (in German). Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Employees". Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  3. ^ (PDF) {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Uni International – Philipps-Universität Marburg". Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  5. ^ ""Chemikum Marburg" hat ein dauerhaftes Domizil". Informationsdienst Wissenschaft e.V. online. 12 February 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
  6. ^ "Sonderforschungsbereiche – Philipps-Universität Marburg". Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017". Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  8. ^ "QS World University Rankings Results". Quacquarelli Symonds.
  9. ^ "World University Rankings". Times Higher Education (THE). 18 August 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  10. ^ "World University Rankings 2020–21", Center for World University Rankings. Retrieved 13 January 2021
  11. ^ "Hessische Biografie : Erweiterte Suche : LAGIS Hessen". (in German). Retrieved 29 November 2018.

External linksEdit