Frequently Asked Questions
The application for the winter semester runs from April 15 to August 15.
The application period for the summer semester runs from December 2 of the preceding year to February 15.
Candidates with a non-German Degree are recommended to prepare their documents well in advance and to apply as soon as the application period opens.
No. All courses in the Master's program of Physics are in English.
This means that you must have completed bachelor modules that provided you with thorough fundamentals in theoretical and experimental physics. The knowledge you bring must include the following basics:
- Electrodynamics and Optics
- Fundamentals of measurement and laboratory techniques
- Structure of Matter (Solid State Physics, Atomic and Molecular Physics)
- Analytical Mechanics
- Quantum Mechanics
- Theoretical Electrodynamics
- Linear Algebra
Besides, you must have worked in a laboratory and be able to set up devices. You also must know how to measure, interpret, document and report experimental data.
The admission committee checks the equivalency of the curriculum with respect to class content and credit hours. To see the compulsory and elective modules we teach in the bachelor's program at the Freie Universität please see the bachelor's website or better consult the Study Regulations (in German).
In case you are not sure if your degree is equivalent to ours please feel free to contact the program's coordinator who is responsible for the recognition issues.
For instance, with a degree in engineering or chemistry?
No. You require a Bachelor's degree in Physics that is equivalent to the Bachelor degree in Physics from Freie Universität Berlin. You can check Study Regulations for bachelor students to see what modules are compulsory for physicsts at our university (in German: Pflicht).
- your Bachelor degree with overall grade
- a certified transcript of your Bachelor studies
- proof of English language proficiency
Please upload these documents, as well as certified English or German translations if in another language, as color pdf files to Uni-Assist. More details
Yes, you can apply if you have certifications for at least 2/3 of the credit points necessary for your Bachelor’s degree. In that case the current transcript of courses can be used for the application.
Note that all modules necessary to complete the Bachelor’s degree have to be finished before the start of the Master course, and certificates have to be submitted before the end of the first semester of the Master course.
There is no limited admission.
Study - Modules, Courses, Credits
All details of the Master's program are fixed in the Study and Exam Regulations.
No. We don't provide a fixed schedule. We just recommend you a specific schedule for your studies.
You are free to design your schedule according to your interests and professional goals. For example, if you want to specialize in biophysics you may choose more electives in biophysical topics. The description of all modules can be found in the study regulations.
Any problems with designing an individual study schedule? Please contact our student advisor – he will explain to you how to set up a good study plan.
No. Usually, you will experience mixed students' communities in lectures and seminars.
Since all students have their individual schedules you will often meet new students you are not familiar with. Take the chance to make friends with different physics talents. Because this is exactly how scientific communities work - they benefit from networking and cooperation with different people.
The module is a set of courses on a specific topic. To complete a module and get your module credits you should accomplish different courses belonging to the module.
For lectures types of modules, you typically need both the lecture and the accompanying seminar.
For seminar types of modules, you typically need only one of the listed courses to complete the module.
You can find the credit points information in the Description of the Modules. Search for abbreviation CP.
- The compulsory-elective courses give 10 credits each.
- The Advanced Lab gives 10 credits.
- Special Topics and the most smaller seminars give 5 credits each.
Modern Methods is categorized into A, B, C and is giving 5, 8 and 10 credits respectively.
In the course catalog, you will see the same courses (same course ID) as components of different modules. It is not a technical error. You have to complete different courses in different modules. Thus, we provide you the maximum freedom for a personal choice.
Please note: you might not validate one course for two or three modules.
Click on image to see a full-size graphic.
Example (explanation to the graphic above)
If you have chosen 20103911 “Current topics in nanophysics” in the module “Selected Topics in Physics 2”, you may not take it again for the module “Selected Topics in Physics 3”. You rather take the 20108111 “Molecular Electronics” or other.
The compulsory module "Selected Topics 1" is not graded.
Selected Topics 2 to 5 can be taken as part of your electives. They are graded.
Yes, but only with the permission of the examination committee. The following courses are pre-approved: elective modules
Please note that courses in other departments and in the bachelor program will usually be taught in German and that you cannot take more than 15 credits in Bachelor courses in total.
All details of the Master's program are fixed in the Study and Exam Regulations.
Note: Before registering for the research phase, you must have completed the module “Advanced Laboratory Course for Master Students” (10 CP), a module of theoretical physics from the compulsory elective area comprising 10 CP and further modules of the Master’s program comprising at least 25 CP.
The registration to the research phase allows you to enter the modules „Scientific Specialization“ and „Methodology and Project Planning“ (no further registration via Campus Management, Blackboard or any other system is needed).
You need to have completed the module “Advanced Laboratory Course for Master Students” (10 CP), a module of theoretical physics from the compulsory elective area comprising 10 CP and further modules of the Master’s programme comprising at least 25 CP.
First semester of the research phasetypically, it is the 3rd semester of the Master’s program
You complete two modules – „Scientific Specialization“ (15 CP) and „Methodology and Project Planning“ (15 CP)*. For both modules, you have to prove that you have learned to work scientifically:
- For „Methodology and Project Planning“, you submit 20 first pages of your master thesis to your supervisor. For this, you will get a “passed” mark.
- Within „Scientific Specialization“, you give a 30 min presentation and have a 30 min discussion on the topic of the master’s thesis. For the presentation, you will get a grade.
Both results make up your midterm exam. This exam allows you to continue with the master thesis.
*Please note that you don’t need to register for the modules „Scientific Specialization“ and „Methodology and Project Planning“.
Second semester of the research phasetypically, it is the 4th semester of the Master’s program
You complete the Master’s thesis and hold a final colloquium.
No, you don’t.
The research phase can be started at any date, there is no restriction. The deadline for submission of the Master's thesis is then exactly one year after the start of the research phase.
The first supervisor of the research phase always needs to be a lecturer of the department. If the external supervisor is not an adjunct lecturer of the department, you need to find a lecturer in the department who is willing to supervise the external research phase. Besides the professors of the department, all lecturers listed here can act as supervisors of research phases.
For International Students
At the start, you will need to arrange some formalities. The Welcome Services for international Students will provide you support in explaining the required procedure. Read more
Welcome to the Freie Universität Berlin! We invite you to central orienation events where you will get more information on organisation of your studies and the online-tools we use at the university.
To be able to study in Germany and to enroll in our programs, you will need health insurance.
Some providers are, for instance, AOK, careconcept and educare24. Please feel free to search for any other insurance company that will cover you personal health needs. But please arrange the health insurance issues long in advance! The following explanations might help you:
You will be living in Berlin, an international hub for science and culture. Since everyone is moving to Berlin, you might experience difficulties to find free accommodation for living. Please start searching for a place to live long in advance!
Some accomodation services and portals
The Freie Universität Berlin does not charge any tuition fees. An enrollment fee of approx. 300 EUR per semester entitles students to use all public transport in the Berlin area.
There are no specific fellowships for physicists awarded by the Freie Universität Berlin. For scholarships and fellowships, please refer to funding agencies such as the DAAD or Deutschlandstipendium (300€ monthly).
A limited number of part-time job opportunities (40 or 60 hours per month) for students are available at the Department of Physics, but it cannot be guaranteed that a vacant part-time position will be available.
French-German Double-Degree Program
First of all, you have to be a student in the Master of Physics course at Freie Universität Berlin (see "Application procedure" above).
Applications to the Double-Degree Program have to be submitted online. In addition, you need to send pdf files by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org: informal application letter, letter of motivation, certified copies of the Bachelor degree showing the overall grade and of the transcript of the first semester in the Master course, CV, a recommendation letter by a professor, and documents that show that you possess good German and basic French language knowledge. Application deadline is June 30th (March 10th if also funding by the Erasmus program is applied for).
Good German and basic (CEFR level A2) French language proficiency (or vice versa), enrollment to the Master of Physics of Freie Universität Berlin, good grades.
Language tests are not necessary if you have documents that show your language proficiency otherwise (for example school certificates).
The purpose of the early application to the Double-Degree Program shall help those candidates that are particularly interested in such a Double Degree to decide at which university they should enroll.
If someone applies before June 30th to the Double-Degree Program along with the regular application to the Master program in Physics at Freie Universität Berlin (deadline for the latter: August 15th), and is accepted to the Master program, he/she will know about the outcome of the application to the Double-Degree Program before he/she has to enroll to the regular Master program, and thus can decide at which university he/she would like to enroll.
Successful candidates of the early application will get a provisional admission to the Double-Degree Program, which means they are admitted if their average grade in the first semester of Master studies is 2.0 or better. (If the grade is worse, they have to apply again after the first semester of the Master studies.)
It is possible that you are admitted to the (regular) Master in Physics at Freie Universität Berlin, but do not get the provisional admission to the Double-Degree Program. In that case you can start your Master studies, and either try to apply again to the Double-Degree program one year later (after your first semester in the Master course), or just finish your complete Master studies in Berlin. The reverse case will not occur, it is impossible to get the provisional admission to the Double-Degree Program without admission to the Master in Physics at Freie Universität Berlin.
Yes, you can. However, you have to consider that then you will need five semesters to obtain the Master degree. The explanation: The French-German Double-Degree Program is designed for a start of the Master program in October. The program in France is offered only on a one-year cycle.
The last possibility to apply to the Double-Degree Program is after the first semester of the Master Program, before June 30th
Yes. All students accepted in the German-French Double-Degree Program will receive a monthly mobility allowance of 300 euros/month from the French-German University for ten months during their stay in France. In addition, students can apply for financial support by the Erasmus program. The latter has to be applied for already by the end of January of the year the stay abroad is to commence. In case of an application for Erasmus support, the application for participation in the Double-Degree Program has to be submitted already before March 10th instead of the regular deadline of June 30th. Please note that while the support from the French-German University is guaranteed for every participant in the Double-Degree Program, the granting of the Erasmus support depends on offer and demand. The decision about the Erasmus application is communicated in the beginning of April.