International Programmes 2019/2020

Master of Science in Physics (International Physics) Master of Science in Physics

Paderborn University • Paderborn

Master of Science in Physics
Teaching language
  • English

All courses are offered in English (100%), but students can choose to substitute these courses with German courses.

Programme duration
4 semesters
Winter and summer semester
More information on beginning of studies
Winter semester - October
Summer semester - April
Application deadline

Winter semester:
31 May for international applicants
(21 September for applications from Germany)

Summer semester:
30 November for international applicants
(21 March for applications from Germany)

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

While the course contains advanced general lectures about experimental and theoretical physics that leave all options for subsequent career paths open, many of the specialised compulsory elective courses focus on computational physics and materials science, with a particular focus on the optoelectronic properties of micro- and nano-structures (i.e., their fabrication, characterisation, spectroscopic properties, device applications, and theoretical simulation).

Course organisation

In the first two semesters, you will attend lectures in theoretical and experimental physics as well as seminars. There is a compulsory course in advanced quantum mechanics in the first semester, but most other courses during this phase are electives and can be chosen according to your interests and desired specialisation. The lectures are accompanied by practical classes in which experiments are performed, and/or theoretical exercises in which solutions to physics problems are worked out and presented by the students. In addition, you will learn to develop a scientific topic based on existing literature and present it to your fellow students in two seminars. Finally, a few courses of general studies can be freely chosen from the university's complete lecture catalogue. In particular, this includes the possibility to attend German language classes.
In your second year, you will join one of the research groups within the department and work on a supervised individual research project that will form the basis for your Master's thesis. The special skills and knowledge required for the project are acquired during a preparatory phase in the third semester. After completion of the research project, the written thesis will be submitted at the end of the fourth semester. Usually, the thesis work is defended in a colloquium, which consists of a presentation followed by questions.

Course objectives

Degree holders have a deep understanding of the fundamentals of physics and have the qualifications for independent scientific work in research and technology. The special expertise in optoelectronics, materials science, and/or computational physics (depending on the choice of specialisation), represents a key advantage for employment in the optics and electronics industry or in relevant academic institutions. The degree also qualifies graduates to enter PhD programmes in Paderborn or elsewhere.

Types of assessment

The programme is organised into topical modules that typically correspond to 5-10 ECTS credits, and each module comprises a lecture course, associated exercises, and practical classes. Students take either an oral or a written examination for each of these course modules separately. Seminars are graded based on the performance of the presentation. The research work is assessed on the basis of a written thesis and an oral defence.

A Diploma supplement will be issued
International elements
  • International guest lecturers
Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Semester contribution
Approx. 290 EUR per semester
The fee includes a semester ticket covering all regional public transport in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Costs of living
Approx. 650 EUR per month is needed to cover personal expenses.
Funding opportunities within the university
Academic Admission Requirements

Bachelor's degree in physics (or equivalent)

The applicant's final grade should be at least 3.0 (according to the German grading system).

Language requirements

Applicants must provide proof of their English skills:

Cambridge English Certificate: Advanced (CAE) or Proficiency (CPE) or

TOEFL 550 (paper-based) or 79 (Internet-based) or equivalent (e.g., IELTS 6.0). 

Applicants holding a Bachelor's degree from an institution in Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, or the USA do not have to provide proof of their English skills.

Application deadline

Winter semester:
31 May for international applicants
(21 September for applications from Germany)

Summer semester:
30 November for international applicants
(21 March for applications from Germany)

Submit application to

Universität Paderborn
c/o uni-assist e.V.
11507 Berlin

Possibility of finding part-time employment

Students can obtain paid jobs tutoring, performing technical work, or supporting research projects within one of the research groups of the department.


The University of Paderborn offers several student halls of residence on or near the campus.
As an alternative, one can look for a room or an apartment on the private market. The typical rent is between 200 and 280 EUR per month.

Specific specialist or non-specialist support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Cultural and linguistic preparation
  • Visa matters
  • Pick-up service
  • Other
Support programmes for international students
During the week before the start of each semester, the International Office (IO) offers various orientation and information meetings for all foreign students. The IO also offers a range of German language courses, supports students from abroad in all legal and social matters, and organises excursions and social activities.


Paderborn University

University Location