International Programmes 2023/2024

Master of Science Physics (MSc) Master of Science Physics (MSc)

University of Freiburg • Freiburg im Breisgau

Master of Science in Physics
Teaching language
  • English

Courses are held entirely in English (100%). Participants can choose to write their Master's theses in English or German.

Programme duration
4 semesters
Winter and summer semester
Application deadline

15 July for the following winter semester
15 January for the following summer semester

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Additional information on tuition fees

International students from non-European Union (EU) countries will have to pay a student fee of 1,500 EUR per semester. Information on student fees for international students and possible exceptions can be found at the student portal.

Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

This Master's programme provides a comprehensive scientific education in advanced physics together with a specialisation in a particular field during a final, one-year Master's thesis. The thesis gives students the opportunity to participate in a cutting-edge research project.

In the first year, participants consolidate their knowledge in advanced theoretical and experimental physics courses covering state-of-the-art topics in the institute's core areas of "Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences"; "Condensed Matter and Applied Physics"; or "Particles, Fields and Cosmos".

The programme runs over the course of four semesters (two years) and includes a final, one-year thesis, which is accomplished either directly at the Physics Institute or at one of the affiliated research institutions, e.g. the Freiburg Materials Research Center (FMF), the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), the Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics (KIS), and the Freiburg Center for Data Analysis and Modeling (FDM).

Course organisation

The Master's course of studies in physics consists of a graduate coursework phase (first year, two semesters) followed by a research phase (second year, two semesters).

In the coursework phase (first year), students intensify their knowledge by taking advanced physics lectures. In addition to the compulsory lecture course in "Advanced Quantum Mechanics", students extend their knowledge in various specialised fields in "Advanced Theory" and "Advanced Experiment" lectures as well as in elective studies offered by the institute and the university. Furthermore, they advance their presentation skills in a seminar (term paper). The first year serves as an orientation phase before the required specialisation in the final Master's thesis.
In the research phase (second year), students prepare for their Master's theses by completing a research traineeship, usually accomplished in the research group in which the Master's thesis work will be performed. The Master's thesis is the first step towards acquiring the ability to pursue independent research. It represents the final step towards the Master's degree.

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A Diploma supplement will be issued
Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Additional information on tuition fees

International students from non-European Union (EU) countries will have to pay a student fee of 1,500 EUR per semester. Information on student fees for international students and possible exceptions can be found at the student portal.

Semester contribution

180 EUR per semester:

  • Administrative fee: 70 EUR
  • Contribution to the constituted student body: 7 EUR
  • Contribution to the student union: 103 EUR
Costs of living

Participants must ensure that sufficient funding is available to finance their participation in a course of study. The average cost of living in Freiburg for one month is currently approx. 850 EUR to 1,000 EUR.

Some details:

  • Rooms in private accommodation including extra costs: 350 EUR – 700 EUR
  • Rooms in student residences: 250 EUR and 550 EUR including extra costs
  • Private expenses amount to around 350 EUR per month.
  • Health insurance (recommended) is available for approx. 120 EUR per month.
  • Transport: A special student ticket for regional transport costs approx. 89 EUR per semester.

Funding opportunities within the university
Academic admission requirements

A Bachelor's degree in physics or equivalent is required. The admission committee decides on the equivalence of the degree.

Bachelor’s degrees from non-European countries need to be from four-year programmes. You can apply if you have a three-year degree AND either a graduate diploma or Master’s degree (one to two years).

Language requirements

Applicants must have a working knowledge of English and are required to provide appropriate evidence of their language skills. An example of an adequate certification of English language skills is a school-leaving certificate from a German-speaking Gymnasium ("Abitur"). Applicants who do not hold an "Abitur" are required to have a B2 (CEFR) certificate or equivalent for the English language. Native speakers of English are not required to provide proof of language proficiency in their mother tongue.

Application deadline

15 July for the following winter semester
15 January for the following summer semester

Submit application to


As Freiburg is an attractive city, finding a suitable and affordable place to live can take a little while. The University of Freiburg offers all newly enrolled international students the possibility to apply for student housing via the International Office. In addition to these dormitories, which are run by the Studierendenwerk Freiburg (, several independent residence halls are listed on the university website ( The Studierendenwerk Freiburg and the International Office also offer a list of available private rooms.

Support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Specialist counselling

University of Freiburg

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Physics main building © M. Herrmann

The University of Freiburg was founded in 1457 as a classical comprehensive university, making it one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Germany. Awarded for its excellence in both research and teaching, the university also boasts a long history, with numerous Nobel laureates. Brilliant scholars and creative thinking distinguish it today as a modern, top-notch university, well equipped for the challenges of the 21st century. As an organisation with around 24,500 students, 288 degree programmes, and 6,536 employees (2021), the University of Freiburg is committed to family friendliness, equal opportunities, and environmental consciousness in its day-to-day operations. The structure of the university is multifaceted, ranging from 11 academic faculties – from the humanities and the social and natural sciences all the way to engineering – to 19 research centres. This goes to show that we are a dynamic, large-scale institution with a diverse educational offering. As studies, research, and continuing education are all an integral part of this offering, we maintain a close relationship with the city and the region as well as with the international academic community. Bilateral partnerships, research projects, joint study courses and memberships in international networks such as the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and of EUCOR – The European Campus are examples of the university's strong transnational relations. All our students, including those from abroad, can take courses at the Universities of Basel (Switzerland) and Strasbourg (France) without having to enrol. Via EUCOR, The European Campus mobility grant, they also receive allowances for travel expenses to their partner institutions.

University location

Freiburg im Breisgau is a city in south-western Germany on the edge of the Black Forest. Freiburg was founded by Konrad and Duke Bertold III of Zähringen in 1120 as a free market town – hence its name, which translates to "free town". Freiburg holds a central position in Europe at the trijunction of Switzerland, France, and Germany, and is the city with the most hours of sunshine per year in Germany. It is nestled in one of the oldest cultural landscapes north of the Alps, a location which has had an unmistakable influence on the town. The university plays an essential part in the quality of life in Freiburg; both in the academic sphere and in the perception of the general public, the activities of the university are of central importance. Since its founding, teaching, learning and research have formed an indivisible whole.

With approx. 230,000 inhabitants, Freiburg has a friendly size, offering the safe surroundings of a smaller city whilst at the same time excelling in terms of culture, shopping and infrastructure. Both the inhabitants and the city government of Freiburg attach great importance to ecological values and sustainable development. This "green city" atmosphere influences many aspects of city life – from the numerous cyclists on the streets to cutting-edge solar energy research. Surrounded by the beautiful landscapes of the Black Forest and the wine-growing regions of the Rhine Valley, Freiburg is a popular destination for tourism and leisure activities.

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