International Programmes 2023/2024

Master of Science Biology MSc Biology

Freie Universität Berlin • Berlin

Master of Science
Teaching language
  • German
  • English

The introductory module is held in English, while in the wide range of elective field courses are offered in each language or in a mixture of both languages. The majority of courses will be held in English.

Full-time / part-time
  • full-time
Programme duration
4 semesters
Winter semester
Application deadline

All applicants: 24 April - 31 May

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

As a result of the wide range of research institutions in Berlin, the Master's programme Biology offers a large scope of modules from different areas in biology. This happens with the inclusion of scientists from research institutions in the course programme like Robert-Koch-Institut, Charité, Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei, Max-Delbrück-Zentrum für Molekulare Medizin, Botanischer Garten and Botanisches Museum, and Berlin-Brandenburgisches Institut für Biodiversitätsforschung. During the project phase and production of the Master's thesis, students also have the opportunity to cooperate with research institutions from the Berlin region, e.g., MPI für molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie, MPI für molekulare Genetik, Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung, Leibniz-Institut für Zoo- und Wildtierforschung, and more.

The Master's programme Biology can be completed in any area of specialisation. There are five areas: microbiology, molecular and cell biology, neurobiology and behaviour, plant science or biodiversity, evolution, and ecology.

Course organisation

A proof of 120 credit points is required for the Master's programme Biology. It consists of the following fields:

  1. Introduction field (15 CP)
  2. Extension field (50-60 CP)
  3. Project field (15-25 CP)
  4. Master's thesis with accompanying colloquium (30 CP)

The introduction field includes a course, which enables students to get an overview of the different research areas in the Institute of Biology of FU Berlin.

In the extension field, one can choose between a substantial numbers of module variants. Therefore, the area of specialisation in the course study can be made. In order to guarantee research-oriented teaching in keeping with current methods, there is a high fluctuation of module variants. Each current module variant can be found at this address:

There is a broad spectrum of module variants offered each semester.

The project field gives students the opportunity to be part of a research project in different working groups at the Institute of Biology of FU Berlin or at non-academic research centres located in Berlin. Students can participate in these research projects in up to two modules.

International elements
  • Study trips
Special promotion / funding of the programme
  • DAAD
Name of DAAD funding programme
Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Semester contribution

In total, the semester contribution amounts to 312.89 EUR. It includes a fee of 198.80 EUR for the transportation ticket contribution. This allows you to use public transportation in Berlin for free. Other costs covered by the semester contribution include a 50 EUR enrolment fee, a 54.09 EUR semester contribution to the student support service ("studierendenWERK Berlin"), and a 10 EUR contribution to the student union.

Costs of living

Compared to other European countries, the cost of living in Germany is quite reasonable. However, the cost of living has also risen somewhat in Germany in recent years. The prices for food, accommodation, clothing, cultural events, etc. are slightly above the EU average. You will need around 950 to 1,200 EUR each month to cover your living expenses. The biggest expense is monthly rent, which is between 400 and 700 EUR in Berlin.

Funding opportunities within the university
Academic admission requirements

Applicants are required to have a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in biology, geoscience, horticulture, forestry, agriculture, bioinformatics or veterinary medicine showing courses in systematics and evolution and ecology.

All applicants must fulfil the following prerequisites in order to gain admission to the Master's programme Biology:

  • One requirement is a Bachelor's degree in Biology in the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacy of Freie Universität Berlin or an equivalent professional qualification German or foreign degree of university education in Biology or any other scientific higher education with a proof of 30 credit points in a module in the area of zoology, botany, microbiology, genetic, behavioural physiology and ecology especially in the area of systematics, evolution, ecology in the Bachelor's programme of Biology in the Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Pharmacy with comparable quantitative and qualitative coverage. At least 10 credit points must cover the area organismic biology and 10 credit points in the area of molecular biology.
  • Language certificates (see below)

The degree programme is admission-restricted.

Language requirements

This is a bilingual Master's programme, which requires both German and English knowledge at a level of B2 CEFR or higher.

A language certificate is required of applicants whose mother tongue is not English and whose higher degree was not acquired at an English-speaking educational institution.

For applicants who acquired a degree at a foreign university, it is compulsory to have a proof of German language knowledge. This could be obtained by passing the German Language Examination for higher education (DSH) or a proof of an equivalent language certificate according to the German Language Regulation for foreign applicants at Freie Universität Berlin.

Application deadline

All applicants: 24 April - 31 May

Submit application to

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

Possibility of finding part-time employment

There are many ways of earning money while you study, for example as waiting staff, academic assistants, or private tutors. Knowledge of German will improve your chances of finding a part-time job, but it isn’t necessarily required. However, it is important to be aware of the legal regulations.

The student support service at the university, called studierendenWERK Berlin, and the local representative of the "Bundesagentur für Arbeit" (Federal Employment Agency) can provide information about jobs for students. When searching for a job, look at online job boards, ads in local newspapers, and notice boards on campus.


You have the option to stay in a public/private student dormitory or in a private (shared) apartment. Student dormitories are not administrated by the university itself, so Freie Universität Berlin does not have any on-campus housing. However, it works together with "studierendenWERK Berlin" regarding student accommodation.

If you do not wish to stay in a student dormitory, you can try to find a room or an apartment on the private housing market. Many students in Berlin live in shared apartments ("WGs"). You can find these offers online (e.g. WG-gesucht or Craigslist) or on notice boards on campus.

Available rooms/apartments near the university are rare. Therefore, students mostly commute from other parts of the city. The commute via public transportation usually takes between 30 minutes and an hour, which is considered a normal travel time in Berlin due to the city's size.

Freie Universität Berlin

University location

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