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 25,000 students and 7,500 employees and is located in Marburg, a town of 72,000 inhabitants, with university buildings dotted in or around the town centre. About 12 per cent of the students are international, the highest percentage in Hesse. It offers an International summer university programme and offers student exchanges through the Erasmus programme.
Marburg is home to one of Germany's most traditional medical faculties. The German physicians' union is called Marburger Bund.
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.
20 professors were expelled in 1933, among them Wilhelm Röpke who emigrated and Hermann Jacobsohn who committed suicide.
The university is most famous 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 enjoy an outstanding reputation and reached Excellence Group status in the Europe-wide CHE Excellence Ranking 2009.
The strong research is also 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:
- 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 university