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
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.
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.
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 does the application process work?
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.
You must apply online using the TUMonline application portal. After completing the online application process, you will receive a list of documents you must submit to TUM in hard copy by the application deadline.
- Applying for a master’s program: Application, admission requirements and more
Which application documents do I need to submit?
- Online Application Print-out (signed)
- Degree Certificate and Diploma or Subject and Grade Transcript of Studies to Date (certified copy)
- Transcript of Records (certified copy)
- Analysis of Curricula
- Complete and Current Résumé (CV)
- Letter of Motivation
- Passport (copy)
- Most Current Photo (as for ID)
- Student Health Insurance Certificate
- Proof of German Language Proficiency (certified copy) - international applicants only
- Preliminary evaluation by uni-assist for graduate certificates (i.e. a bachelor's degree) obtained in a country outside of the EU/EEA
We may require additional documents depending on the type of secondary school diploma you earned and your country of origin. After completing the online application process, you will receive a list of documents you must submit to TUM in hard copy by the application deadline.
What application periods and deadlines do I need to meet?
Application period for winter semester: 01.04. - 31.05.
Application period for summer semester: 01.11. - 15.01.
Our online application portal TUMonline will create an application form and a checklist with the documents you have to hand in. The checklist shows which documents you need for admission and which for enrollment.
You must submit the signed application form and all documents you need for admission before the application deadline.
Please also submit the documents we need for your enrollment as soon as possible. If individual documents for enrollment are not available to you yet, you can hand them in up to five weeks after the start of the lecture period. However, we recommend that you submit all required documents well before the semester begins, as you will not be enrolled until all documents have been received.
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.
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 admitted, rejected or invited to an admissions interview.
Where can I find the online application portal?
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.