Master of Science


Important! New application deadlines!
Please note that applicants who hold a Bachelor degree from outside Germany must apply well ahead of the deadlines applicable to candidates with a German Bachelor degree.

Study and Examination Regulations before 2013*

Study and Examination Regulations since 2013*

List of non-physics courses in elective area

Zugangssatzung (in German)

List of additional modules for the elective part (in German)

List of frequently asked questions

Form for registration to the research phase (according to examinatin regulations from 2013) (Please print double-sided!)

Form for examination "Scientific Specialization"

Link to website of advisory service for international applicants and students

*Legally binding are the German versions, which can be found here (before 2013)
and here (since 2013).


Since winter semester of 2009/2010, the Department of Physics offers a Master’s Course in Physics. Its essential features are:

  • It is consecutively ordered and research-orientated
  • It leads to the degree of `Master of Science in Physics´
  • The course language is English
  • It comprises a total of 120 Credit Points (CP)
  • The length of the course is 2 years
  • 1st year – advanced coursework
  • 2nd year – research phase

This consecutive, research-orientated Master’s course builds upon the Bachelor course in physics and is intended to impart to the student a deeper level of professional knowledge and an understanding of the scientific methods of physics, and – depending on the choice of elective courses – of related subjects. The goals of the course are the deepening and specialisation of the student’s physics knowledge and capabilities, as well as the development of the ability to perform independent research work. The course participants in particular should acquire the ability to deal successfully with problems from a variety of scientific and technical areas as generalists in natural science. The Master’s degree provides entry into doctoral programmes, especially in the natural sciences and technological areas. The prescribed period of study is two years (120 CP). Entry into the course is possible either at the beginning of each winter semester or also in the summer semester.

Admission requirements

The requirement for admission is a professionally-qualifying German or equivalent non-German degree at the university level in physics, corresponding to the Bachelor of Science in Physics at the Freie Universität Berlin. Applicants whose native language is not English and who have not acquired their qualifying degree at an educational institution where English is the language of instruction will need to present in addition a certification of their proficiency in English at or above the level B 1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF). The verification of language proficiency can be through generally-recognised language tests (for example TOEFL iBT: min. 70 points, IELTS: min. 5.5).


For application deadlines and information on the application procedure, do not contact the Physics Department but see at the websites of the Free University. Applicants who hold a german university degree apply directly to the Präsidium der Freien Universität Berlin - Bereich Bewerbung und Zulassung; see

Foreign prospective students who have not received their university degree in Germany have to apply via Uni-Assist. Uni-Assist checks the applicant’s documents but the decision about admission is only made by the Freie Universität. The Online-Application form, information about the address, procedure, and fees can be found on the web pages of Uni-Assist. The online application to UniAssist should be submitted well ahead of the general deadline for applications, recommended is six weeks before. If at the time of application the certificate of the qualifying degree (Bachelor) cannot yet be furnished, a current transcript can be submitted instead. The precondition is that at least 2/3 of the credit points required in the major subject as well as at least a total of 2/3 of the credit points required in other subjects have been completed. The provisional overall grade towards the Bachelor degree should be also certified. Please note that all courses of the Bachelor program need to be completed during the semester before the start of master program.

Language of instruction

The language of instruction in the Master’s course is English. By arrangement with the responsible instructor, written reports, lab reports, examinations and the Master’s thesis can also be submitted or taken in German.

Applicants with very good German and basic French language skills have the possibility to take part in a French–German double degree program.

Course organisation (study regulations 2013)

The Master’s course in physics consists of a graduate coursework phase and a research phase. The coursework phase serves to deepen and broaden the student’s knowledge of physics and – depending on the elective courses chosen – of related disciplines, and it leads up to the level of current topical research. The second year of the course is designed to be a continuous research phase in which the students learn to work independently in a specialised field of physics and to gain access to new areas. This includes carrying out research and presenting it in the form of a Master’s thesis.

The coursework phase is composed of a compulsory part, a compulsory-elective part, and an elective part. The research phase consists of the two compulsory modules ``Professional Specialisation´´ and ``Methodological Skills and Project Planning´´ (15 CP each), as well as the Master’s thesis.

In the compulsory part, the advanced fundamentals of modern experimental and theoretical physics are taught. Within this part, the following modules are to be completed:

  • Physics laboratory practical course for Master’s students (8 one-day experiments + seminar (2 SH), 10 CP), offered every semester;
  • Seminar ``Selected Topics in Physics´´ (2 SH, 5 CP), offered every semester, but with varying topics.

(SH = semester hours, i.e. hours per week during the semester; CP = credit points (ECTS))

In the compulsory-elective part, two modules of 10 CP need to be completed. One of them must be taken from the field of theoretical physics (4 SH lectures + 2 SH problem sessions each, 10 CP):

  • Advanced Quantum Mechanics (10 CP),
  • Statistical Physics and Thermodynamics (10 CP),
  • Advanced Statistical Physics (10 CP),
  • Quantum Field Theory and Many-Body Physics (10 CP).

If the student has not selected two modules from the field of theoretical physics, one of the following modules from the field of experimental physics must be selected:

  • Advanced solid-state physics
  • Advanced atomic and molecular physics
  • Advanced biophysics

The elective part offers the students the opportunity to obtain an insight into the current state of the art of research in other fields of physics, a further advanced education in modern research areas of physics, or an overview of methods. Modules can be chosen from the lectures offered each semester in the department, of which at least seven different subjects are covered each academic year, or from the course offerings of related subjects in other departments, or from among the compulsory-elective courses listed above. All together, modules totalling 25 CP are to be completed within this elective part.

Within the research phase, the students specialise to a current research field of modern physics, learn the corresponding methodology, and write their Master’s thesis in this field. In the first half-year, the two compulsory modules ``Professional Specialisation´´ and ``Methodological Skills and Project Planning´´ (15 CP each) are to be completed. This is followed by the Master’s project (also six months, 30 CP). The research phase is accompanied by a seminar (2 SH). During the entire research phase, every student is assigned to a professor in the department, his or her research advisor.

The Master’s course would typically follow the following schedule:




Master Thesis


Advanced Quantum Mechanics1

Advanced Laboratory Course for Master Students1




Selected Topics in Physics1

Elective 1


Scientific Specialization

Methodology and Project Planning



Master Thesis

1The sequence of modules of the first and second semester can be exchanged


Please see also the list of frequently asked questions!

Studentic Study advise and help with overall questions:

Leveke Holler

Office hours: Wed 2:00 - 4:00 pm and Fr 10:00 - 12:00 am (Examinations Office Physik (Arnimallee 14, Room 1.1.14a))

Responsible for the program: Prof. Dr. K. Franke