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Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Specialization in at least three of seven possible focus areas (biochemistry and cell biology, genetics, medical biology, microbiology, ecology, plant sciences, zoology/animal sciences), with the option to develop a focus area into a primary focus.

TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan

Due to the current situation, the application deadlines for Master's programs for the winter semester 2020/21 will be extended once until June 30, 2020.

Key Data

Type of Study
  • Full Time
Required Language Proficiency Language of Instruction
  • German
Main Locations
Admission Category Start of Degree Program
  • Possible for both winter and summer semester
Standard Duration of Studies
(Number of Semesters)
  • 4 semesters fulltime
Credits Costs

Information on Degree Program

What does this program cover?

The work of biologists overlaps that of pharmaceutical chemists, biochemists, veterinarians, agronomists and other graduates in subjects closely related to biology, and biological research is conducted in a wide range of fields, such as molecular biology, biochemistry, immunobiology, microbiology, genetics, cell biology, morphology, taxonomy, animal and plant physiology, behavioral biology, ecology, neurobiology or neuronal foundations of behaviour.

For a comprehensive description of the program, please refer to the degree program documentation:

How is the program structured?

Around 200 modules in the life sciences and 65 professors enable students to tailor their studies to their own interests. As regards content, the modules offered correlate to one of seven focus areas: biochemistry and cell biology, genetics, medical biology, microbiology, ecology, plant sciences, zoology/animal sciences. Lectures, seminars, exercise modules, internships and excursions for students in advanced semesters build upon the qualifications obtained in previous studies (in a primarily life sciences-oriented degree program).These courses are largely research-oriented. Emphasis is placed on hands-on experience in small and very small groups, particularly as regards research internships within groups of scientists, where there is 1:1 supervision and the opportunity to make use of tools currently utilized in research. The program offers modules in zoology/animal sciences, such as animal neurophysiology, or biotechnology; modules in plant sciences, such as plant physiology, developmental genetics, stress resistance, molecular plant breeding and biodiversity; aquatic and terrestrial ecology, such as research diving or restoration ecology; microbiology modules concerning, for example, extremophile microorganisms, food biotechnology, or ecological microbiology; medical biology modules concerning inter alia virology, immunology, oncology or, in the area of biochemistry and cell biology, modules, such as protein design, molecular biotechnology and cell culture technology. The program concludes after 4 semesters (standard duration of study) with a research-oriented thesis completed over a six month period. 

What is the language of instruction?

Required language skills for admission:

You need sufficient German language skills if you wish to apply for this program. Evidence of your language proficiency has to be submitted before the end of the application deadline. Learn more about recognized certificates and other ways to prove your German language skills.

This evidence of your language proficiency confirms that you comply with the minimum language requirements for admission to the program. Depending on the program and your individual background, it may be necessary for you to keep working on your language skills during your studies. Be sure to take a look at the services of our Language Center.   

Language of instruction:

The language of instruction for this program is German.

Which further expertise and skills will I acquire?

Graduates will have deepened and supplement the fundamental skills relating to the life and natural sciences acquired during the bachelor's program. In accordance with their choice of focus areas, moreover, they have at their disposal specialist knowledge relating to at least three of the seven focus areas offered, whereby there is an option to expand a focus area into a primary focus. In the case of the primary focus, around 60% of the work and learning accomplished in the relevant focus area is invested in the identically, or similarly, named specialist master's program chosen as the primary focus, and thus comparable competencies are acquired. Given the freely combinable focus areas and the individual and freely combinable modules within each focus area, all graduates have a very specific competency profile that reflects personal inclinations, skills and interests. Having diversified into at least three focus areas as stipulated, graduates are able to understand and analyze complex biological contexts, including when these extend beyond their subject. Competencies acquired in internships enable graduates to independently plan and conduct experiments, as well as process the resulting data and place it in a broader context. They are in a position to plan research projects of greater complexity with precision and develop original solutions to existing and new biological problems. Furthermore, graduates will have further developed and refined their professional and methodological, as well as personal and social competencies. 

Which professional opportunities can I take up with this qualification?

The occupational profile for biologists is extensive. In accordance with their chosen specialist areas of study, graduates find positions in, for example, pure research at a university, applied and industrial research and development, the food industry, quality assurance or product marketing, as well as in government offices and authorities, and public institutions. For certain positions, a doctorate is recommended.

Binding Regulations for Progression of Studies, Examinations and Application

Application and Admission

How do I apply?

Minimum requirements to apply for a Master's program at TUM are a recognized undergraduate degree (e.g. a bachelor’s) and the successful completion of the aptitude assessment procedure. Aptitude assessment allows the TUM school or department to which you are applying the opportunity to evaluate your individual talents and motivation for study.

During the application period, you must apply through the TUMonline application portal and upload your application documents.

If you receive an offer of admission, you will additionally have to submit individual documents as notarized hardcopies by post to be enrolled.

Generally, applicants with a qualification for postgraduate studies (e.g. a bachelor’s) obtained outside of the EU / EEA must have their documents reviewed in advance through uni-assist.

In detail:

Which documents do I need to submit for enrollment?

We may require additional documents depending on the type of educational background you earned and your country of origin. After accepting an offer of admission in TUMonline, you will receive a list of documents you must submit to TUM in hardcopy for enrollment.

What application deadlines do I need to meet?

Application period for winter semester: 01.04. - 31.05.
Application period for summer semester: 01.11. - 15.01.

During the application period, you must apply through the TUMonline application portal and upload your application documents. Please be aware that we can only process your application if you upload all required documents within the application period.

We will review your application as soon as it is complete. Please check your TUMonline account regularly, to see if we have any queries to your documents or if you have to amend one or more documents.

After receiving admission, you will see in TUMonline which documents you have to submit for enrollment, and in which form. Please note that you always have to send the signed application for enrollment and all notarized hardcopies by post.

We recommend that you submit the documents for enrollment as soon as possible after receiving admission. If individual documents are not available by then, you can submit them up to 5 weeks after the start of the lecture period. You will, however, only be enrolled once we have received all documents.

You can check the status of your application at any time in your TUMonline account.

On what basis does TUM select applicants for admission?

Selection takes place through an aptitude assessment procedure. Aptitude assessment is a two-part procedure after the submission of an official application to a program. In this procedure, the TUM school or department determines whether you meet the specific requirements for its master’s degree program.

In the initial stages, the grades you obtained during your bachelor's program, as well as your written documents, will be evaluated using a point system. Depending on the amount of points accumulated, applicants are either immediately admittedrejected or invited to an admissions interview

What are my options after earning this degree?

You have earned your master’s degree and are ready to start your career? TUM Alumni & Career can assist you with questions regarding professional orientation, job search and job application.

If you are interested in continuing your studies, you will find information of doctoral studies at TUM, here.