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Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen (German: Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen) is a state-supported university located on the Neckar river, in the city of Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Tübingen is one of four major university towns in Germany; the other three are Marburg, Göttingen, and Heidelberg.

The University of Tübingen was founded in 1477 by Count Eberhard VI (Eberhard in the Beard, 1445 - 1496), later the first duke of Württemberg, a civic and ecclesiastic reformer who established the school after becoming absorbed in the Renaissance revival of learning during his travels to Italy. Its present name was conferred on it in 1769 by Duke Karl Eugen who appended his first name to that of the founder (Karls = genitive of Karl).

The University of Tübingen has a history of innovative thought, particularly in theology, in which the university and the Tübinger Stift are famous till today. Philipp Melanchthon (1497 - 1560), the prime mover in building the German school system and a chief figure in the Protestant Reformation, helped establish its direction. Among Tübingen's eminent students (and/or teachers) have been the astronomer Johannes Kepler, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI (the Present Pope), poet Friedrich Hölderlin, and the philosophers Friedrich Schelling and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. "The Tübingen Three" refers to Hölderlin, Hegel and Schelling.

The university rose to the height of its prominence in the middle of the 19th century with the teachings of poet and civic leader Ludwig Uhland and the Protestant theologian Ferdinand Christian Baur, whose beliefs and disciples became known as the "Tübingen School" which initiated historical analysis of Biblical texts, an approach also generally referred to as the Higher criticism. The University of Tübingen also was the first German university to establish a faculty of natural sciences, in 1863. DNA was discovered in 1868 at the University of Tübingen by Friedrich Miescher. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, the first female Nobel Prize winner in medicine in Germany, also works in Tübingen.

In the 20th century, at Tübingen as in most other German universities the faculty, and the student body's activities, became dominated first by nationalist / right wing politics and then by Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime until the beginning of the Allied occupation in 1945.

In 1970 the university was restructured into a series of independent departments of study and research after the manner of French universities.

Currently, about 22,000 students are enrolled, roughly one quarter of the total population of the city. The 17 hospitals in Tübingen affiliated with the university's faculty of medicine have 1,500 patient beds, and yearly cater to 66,000 in-patients and 200,000 out-patients.

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