The political changes at the beginning of the 19th century gave the town new energy. In 1817 the faculty of political science was established, and headed by Friedrich List – the first in Germany. In the same year the catholic theological faculty was added; in 1863 the first German natural science faculty was founded at Tübingen's university.
The specialization in old subjects and the institutionalization of new disciplines was the most obvious in the field of medicine. From the second half of the century on, Tübingen got over the provincial standards to which the faculty of medicine had adhered over the past centuries. Physiological chemistry had its start within Germany in Tübingen; the botanist Hugo Mohl founded the modern cytology.
Together with the nascency of new disciplines, the emancipation of individual subjects and the stronger orientation towards practical clinical medicine evoked construction and the development of a new clinical quarter in the northeast of town. Tübingen owes its fame of being the "town of poets and thinkers", as "sedes musorum" – the domicil of muses - , as "Neckar-Athens" to this rehabilitation at the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th century. Ludwig Uhland – poet, scholar and politician, Wilhelm Hauff, Gustav Schwab, Justinus Kerner, Eduard Möricke became well-known beyond the borders of Württemberg. In his publishing house Johann Friedrich Cotta from Tübingen edited works of German classics.
Town and university were changing. The gates from the Middle Ages were demolished. The new buildings of the university were followed by an expansion of the town: in 1845 in the so-called "Ammervorstadt" – outskirts of Ammer – at Wilhelmstraße the New Assembly Hall was inaugurated, in 1861 Tübingen was connected to the railroad system. In 1900 the number of students totalled 1.000 compared to 15.000 inhabitants; in 1925 the number totalled 2.500 compared to 20.000 citizens. However, the expansion of town and the increase of the number of inhabitants in comparison with other towns was restrained the due to the fact that industrial settlements were completely neglected.