Master of Physics - frequently asked questions

Application Procedure

    • Q: Where do I have to apply?
    • A: Candidates who hold a Bachelor’s degree from a German university apply directly to the Freie Universität Berlin, through the online portal. Candidates who hold a Bachelor’s degree from a foreign university should visit the central application website (link)
    • Q: What are the deadlines for application?
    • A: For deadlines and further information, see at the corresponding website of the Freie Universität Berlin. Candidates who hold a Bachelor’s degree from a foreign university should visit the central application website (link)  well ahead of these deadlines in order to allow processing of the applications; recommended are six weeks in davance of the application deadline.
    • Q: According to which criteria are the places for the Master course assigned?
    • A: This follows a complicated procedure, details of which are published in the Vergabesatzung. Briefly, the most important criterium is the final grade of the Bachelor’s degree. There is no general cutoff threshold for admission; the cutoff grade results from the balance between supply and demand.
    • Q: Do I need to know German in order to apply?
    • A: No, knowledge of German language is not required. All courses offered in the Master program by the department of physics are taught in English. (Some optional elective courses offered by other departments may just be taught in German.)
    • Q: Which documents do I have to submit with the application?
    • A: Please visit the university homepage, respectively, please do not forget to provide the following documents:
      • your Bachelor degree with overall grade, if your Bachelor studies are finished;
      • a certificate that you have already achieved more than 2/3 of the credits towards the Bachelor degree, if your Bachelor studies are not yet finished; important is that the actual overall grade is contained (if no grade is certified, you will be ranked with just the passing grade);
      • a certified transcript of your Bachelor studies;
      • proof of English language proficiency.


Transition from Bachelor to Master

    • Q: I will not have the Bachelor’s degree issued until the deadline for application. Can I nevertheless apply?
    • A: 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.
    • Q: Can I take modules from the Master course even while still inscribed as a Bachelor student?
    • A: If the docent of the module has no objections and there are no capacity restrictions for that module, as for seminars or practical courses, you may do so. After successful examination, please ask for a paper certificate, which you later can use for your Master studies. Note, however, that no legal claim for admission to the Master course can be founded on that.
    • Q: As a Bachelor student at the department of physics of the Freie Universität Berlin, should I do the re-registration ("Rückmeldung") during the last semester although I plan to apply for the Master course at the same time?
    • A: It is recommended to re-register. In the case of a successful application to the Master course, the inscription can just be changed from "Bachelor" to "Master". In the case your application is rejected, you can still uninscribe in order to get full or partial refund of the paid fees, depending on the date of exmatriculation.


Financial

    • Q: Which kind of fees do I have to pay to participate in the Master program?
    • A: There are at current no tuition fees. An enrolment fee of approx. 270 EUR per semester entitles students to use all public transport in the Berlin area. (Details)
    • Q: Are there fellowships or stipends available?
    • A: There are no fellowships awarded by the Freie Universität Berlin. For stipends and fellowships, please refer to funding agencies such as the DAAD. A limited number of part-time job opportunities (40 or 60 hours per month) for students is available at the Department of Physics, but it cannot be guaranteed that a vacant part-time position will be available.


Modules in the Elective Part

        • Q: Which modules from other departments can I select for the elective part of the Master study?
        • A: The Studienordnung, § 3 (6) contains a list of modules from other departments that are suggested for the elective part. Note that most of these modules are taught in German. You may select any of these modules for the elective part, but no more than 15 credit points from modules that are from Bachelor courses of other departments will be accepted.
        • Q: Can I select a module from another department that is not listed in the “Studienordnung”?
        • A: If the examination committee agrees, yes. You have to obtain written consent from the examination committee. For that, please send a description of the module along with a statement how it would complement your studies to the head of the examination committee.
          The following modules from nearby universities are usually acceptable:
          • "Statistische Physik" from the master course in physics of the Humboldt University Berlin is usually acceptable instead of the module „Advanced Statistical Physics“ in the compulsory elective part;
          • "Theoretische Physik V - Quanten II" from the master course in physics of the University Potsdam is usually acceptable instead of the module „Advanced Quantum Mechanics“ in the compulsory part;
          • "Theoretische Physik VI: Vertiefung (Theoretische Optik)" from the master course in physics of the Technical University Berlin is usually acceptable as 10 credit points in the elective part.
        • Q: Can I select a module that is part of the Bachelor of Physics study at our department? (Example: Solid State Physics from our Bachelor course.)
        • A: If you did not have that module during your own Bachelor studies and if the examination committee agrees, yes. (Solid State Physics from our Bachelor course is usually acceptable.) Note that in all, you can not include more than 15 credit points from modules that belong to Bachelor courses.
        • Q: I would like to include Bachelor modules in the elective part which together sum up to slightly more than 15 credit points. Is that possible?
        • A: No, it is not. However, if you are taking Bachelor modules that sum up to more than 15 credit points, you may include a fraction of one of those modules in order to reach in total the maximum of 15 credit points. Note that no module can be included which is equivalent to a module you already had during your Bachelor studies.


Registration for the Research Phase

        • Q: What are the conditions for registration to the research phase?
        • A: You need to have successfully taken 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.


French-German Double-Degree Program

        • Q: How do I apply for the French-German Double-Degree Program?
        • A: 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 paper documents (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) to the person responsible for the program (see http://www.physik.fu-berlin.de/studium/master/Doppelmaster_Info). Application deadline is April 30th.
        • Q: What are the requirements for admission to the Double-Degree Program?
        • A: Good German and basic (CEFR level A2) French language proficiency, enrollment to the Master of Physics of Freie Universität Berlin, good grades.
        • Q: Do I have to take language tests to proof my French and German language knowledge?
        • A: Language tests are not necessary if you have documents that show your language proficiency otherwise (for example school certificates).
        • Q: I have read that I can also apply to the Double-Degree Program before getting enrolled in the Physics Master at Freie Universität Berlin. What is this good for?
        • A: 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 April 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: May 31st), 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.)
        • Q: Is it possible that the application to the Master in Physics at Freie Universität Berlin is successful, but not the early application to the Double-Degree Program, or vice versa?
        • A: 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.
        • Q: My early application to the Double-Degree Program was successful, and I have got the provisional admission. What if I change my mind later?
        • A: No problem. Just inform the person responsible for the Double-Degree Program (see http://www.physik.fu-berlin.de/studium/master/Doppelmaster_Info). You may continue with your studies in Berlin, and later receive your Master degree form here.
        • Q: I plan to enroll in the Master program in April. Can I still apply to the French-German Double-Degree Program?
        • A: This is in principle possible. However, since the program in France is offered only on a one-year cycle, in this case the final degree cannot be obtained within the usual period of study of four semesters, but only after five semesters.
        • Q: I am enrolled in the Master Program in Physics at Freie Universität Berlin, but do not yet know whether I would like to pursue a Double Degree. Can I decide this later?
        • A: The last possibility to apply to the Double-Degree Program is after the first semester of the Master Program, before April 30th.