Studying today at the University of Marburg: Tomorrow’s health experts

World-leading specialists advancing science and medicine: The unique combination of specialized study courses, top international research and innovative Marburg industry makes the Philipps University the ideal starting point for prospective physicians and pharmacists. Since the time of Marburg scientist Emil von Behring, this location has stood for innovation in the healthcare industry. Today, it continues to offer excellent career prospects for graduates.

Universität Marburg
The tradition and future of medical studies meet in Marburg. (Photo: Markus Farnung)

It is a small city with great impact: Students, researchers and entrepreneurs from all over the world come together in Marburg, Germany. The close cooperation of all involved traditionally forms the core of this university city in central Hessen. With exclusive courses of study, a booming pharmaceutical industry and numerous international research institutions, graduates receive top career prospects in the healthcare sector.

Unique courses of study with top career prospects

The Philipps-University of Marburg offers rare and unique courses of study. Students have the opportunity to specialize in exciting and sought-after subject areas.

History of Pharmacy: a bridge between the natural sciences and the humanities

Prof. Dr. Christoph Friedrich, head of the Institute of Pharmacy History at the University of Marburg, is well aware of the special nature of his department: “We are the only Institute for the History of Pharmacy in Europe.” Its self-conception as a bridging discipline between the natural sciences and the humanities also makes the department’s postgraduate course something special. Over three semesters, students learn to work on scientific problems using methods from the humanities, such as textual analysis. This special orientation and the dissertation students write afterwards qualify them for higher tasks in a range of professions. “Many of our graduates are active in chambers, associations and pharmaceutical journalism. Others work in leading positions in industry. In particular, pharma-historical work helps them in these professions because they have learned to work very precisely with texts,” explains Friedrich.

"Top-level research knows no national borders: Medicine has formed networks from Marburg throughout the European Union, and beyond."
Prof. Dr. Katharina Krause, Präsident Uni Marburg
Professor Dr. Katharina Krause
President of the Philipps University Marburg

Motology: The interplay of movement and psyche

Can developmental disorders of children be cured with the help of movement? In this unique master’s program in Motology, students at the University of Marburg learn how motor, social and psychological processes influence each other. Motologists are mainly concerned with children and adolescents, but their therapeutic methodology has also been successfully applied to adults in need of care. Graduates often work in academic research or serve as therapists in educational institutions, such as in child and youth welfare, as well as clinics, psychiatry or freelance practice.

Human Biology: Training for medical research

Human biology is a subject of study with rarity value and high practical relevance. It teaches students practical skills that they will later need as medical researchers and developers in the laboratory. At the University of Marburg, this program – which is offered by only three universities in Germany – is located directly in the Department of Medicine. The career prospects are extremely attractive for the students. “Graduates in human biology are in great demand on the international job market. After graduation, they do not go into health care, but really into medical research – and that has always paid off in Marburg,” says Prof. Dr. Katharina Krause, President of the University of Marburg.

Alte Universität Marburg
The old university stands for studying on the foundations of knowledge. (Photo: Rolf K. Wegst)

Marburg: stronghold of the pharmaceutical industry

Marburg’s rise to become a pharmaceutical center in Germany is closely linked to the name Emil von Behring. At the turn of the 20th century, Behring managed an extraordinary coup: He invented a vaccine against diphtheria, which was then a life-threatening disease. This achievement not only brought Behring the first Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1901; it also enabled Behring to systematically expand Marburg into a leading center for vaccine research and business. “Emil von Behring was the first major start-up founder,” says Krause. “To this day, his work is closely interwoven with the pharmaceutical industrial location of Marburg and the local successor companies of the Behringwerke.”

Behringwerke: Biotech Park unites global pharmaceutical companies

In 1904, Behring founded a pharmaceutical company to manufacture vaccines. His company, Behringwerke, supplied people all over the world with life-saving medicines until the end of the 20th century. The Behringwerke plants were then succeeded by major medical manufacturers and innovative start-ups, including such notable names in the global pharmaceutical industry as CSL Behring, Siemens, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline. Today, they are among the city’s top employers.

The city’s excellent infrastructure has not just offered companies an ideal basis. Students, also, benefit from Marburg’s concentration of pharmaceutical companies, with countless opportunities to gain professional experience during their studies. Even after graduation, the students receive excellent opportunities: Around 90 percent of trainees and student assistants at CSL Behring, for example, stay with the company after graduation.

Top international research in Marburg

If research is the art of taking the next step, then these steps are part of Marburg University’s day-to-day business. Numerous projects with international profiles represent this. “Top-level research knows no national borders: Medicine has formed networks from Marburg throughout the European Union, and beyond,” says Krause. Marburg – as its international focus illustrates – is a lively university city in the heart of Europe. Here students, researchers and entrepreneurs find a practice-oriented environment full of opportunities for current and future health experts.

Medical research projects at the University of Marburg

Together with several partners, the Philipps-University of Marburg is driving medical innovations in a variety of areas:

  • The Virological Institute of the University of Marburg continues the successful vaccine research since Emil von Behring. The Institute’s high-security laboratory – one of about 20 laboratories worldwide for research into highly pathogenic pathogens – provides the necessary infrastructure, for example for research into life-threatening Ebola viruses.
  • At the Centre for Synthetic Microbiology (SYNMIKRO), scientists from the Philipps University are researching microorganisms and their medical applications together with the Max Planck Institute. The project is part of the Hessen Excellence Program for Outstanding Research, LOEWE.
  • Together with the University Clinic of Giessen and Marburg (UKGM) – one of the largest university hospitals in Germany – the Philipps University is working on research priorities in oncology, neuroscience, cell biology and immunology.
  • The Philipps-University is linked to the Marburg Ion Beam Therapy Centre (MIT) by a million-euro funding program from the Hessen Ministry of Science and the Arts. The aim of the funding program is to advance scientific projects in the field of clinical radiation therapy.

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