Industrial Biotechnology

Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Manufacture plastics from carbon dioxide (CO2), silk using bacteria and renewable resources or liquid fuels from organic waste? The Industrial Biotechnology program deals with the industrial production of substances with the help of new biocatalysts and biotechnological procedures.

Munich School of Engineering

Key Data

Type of Study
  • Full Time
Required Language Proficiency Language of Instruction
  • Bilingual (German and English)
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

Industrial biotechnology (“white biotechnology”) uses microorganisms or their components (enzymes) as biocatalysts for the industrial production of substances. These include special chemicals, fine chemicals, food and food additives, intermediate products for agricultural and pharmaceutical sectors, as well as additives used in manufacturing, but also, and increasingly, high volume chemical products and fuels. In the process, “white biotechnology” relies on renewable resources and attempts to selectively transform these, with the help of biological systems, into valuable chemical products.

As a highly interdisciplinary science, on the one hand industrial biotechnology comprises the biosciences (molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology, and bioinformatics), which it draws upon in order to identify new biocatalysts. On the other hand, methodologies of (bio)process engineering and technical chemistry are required in order to realize the full potential, in both technical and industrial terms, of new biocatalysts and so as to achieve new and efficient biological production processes on an industrial scale.

From this point of view, a special feature of this non-consecutive master’s program in Industrial Biotechnology lies in the cross-disciplinary selection of students: graduates of bachelor’s programs in both the biosciences and engineering can be admitted to the course. At the beginning of the master's program in Industrial Biotechnology, complementary and discipline-specific foundational knowledge is conveyed (process engineering for bioscientists or biosciences for engineers).  

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

  • The focus of the first two semesters is on the interdisciplinary broadening out and advancement of students’ existing knowledge. To this end, a mentor assists students with compiling an individual curriculum in accordance with their bachelor’s degree.
  • Beginning in the second and third semesters, this is complemented by discipline-specific vocational education and training in the specialist areas of enzyme engineering, metabolic engineering, bioprocess engineering, or bioseparation engineering.
  • Elective modules in the first three semesters provide students with the opportunity to complement their own competency profile with content that coincides with their own interests, whether from additional offerings at the Technical University of Munich or at another scientific institution of higher education.
  • The program concludes with the master’s thesis in the fourth semester. 

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 usually German. This means that most of the modules are offered in German. Some courses may, however, be taught in English. The language of instruction for each module is detailed in the module overview. To learn more about the language of instruction for each module, contact the departmental student academic advisor of this program.  

The master's program in Industrial Biotechnology at the Technical University of Munich aims to provide scientists with a vocational education and training that incorporates broad and pertinent knowledge of methodologies and the discipline. The goal is to train highly qualified specialists able to design and implement new biological processes required in industrial production processes on the interface between the biosciences and process engineering.

Graduates will have complemented, and expanded upon, their previous knowledge of the natural sciences and of engineering and, in addition, possess advanced specialist knowledge in the areas of enzyme engineering, metabolicengineering, bioprocess engineering, and bioseparation engineering

Opportunities arise for graduates across the full spectrum of bioprocess development and optimization, from the laboratory to the industrial production. In addition to the chemical industry, potential fields of occupation also include the biotechnological sector, plant and apparatus engineering, the pharmaceutical industry, and environmental engineering.

Binding Regulations for Progression of Studies, Examinations and Application

Application and Admission

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:

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.

Application period for the winter semester: 01.04. – 31.05.
Application period for the 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.

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

The online application process takes place through our application portal TUMonline.

This degree program does not encompass a compulsory internship nor is an internship a requirement for admission. However, it is recommendable, as a rule, to gain practical experience as soon as possible.

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.