Agricultural Biosciences (Master of Science)
How can we secure the world's food supply? How can we preserve natural resources and mitigate the effects of climate change? By studying Agricultural Biosciences at the TUM School of Life Sciences, you will become an expert with a set of skills needed to address these and other important challenges of our time.
This international Master’s program offers courses in biological disciplines relevant for an efficient and environmentally friendly production of agricultural and horticultural crops and livestock. It integrates molecular, biochemical, physiological, genetic and genomic knowledge and quantitative and computational approaches in a unique, interdisciplinary agricultural science program. Upon graduating, you will be a specialist in biological research and data science. You will be well versed in a comprehensive range of methods that enables you to address and implement key innovations in agricultural biosciences. Are you interested in enhancing your knowledge and skills for a future in the fast-evolving field of agricultural sciences?
Get to know the Master's program in a webinar!
In our webinar recording you can learn more about the English-language Master's program: from the content, goals and job perspectives of the program to the application modalities. Students give you a lively insight into the program and campus life.
Studying Agricultural Biosciences successfully: What can you expect?
Type of study: full time
Standard period of study, credits : 4 semesters, 120 ECTS
Start of degree program: winter semester
Admission category: Aptitude assessment for Master’s
Language of instruction: English
Main location: Freising-Weihenstephan (Greater Munich area)
Tuition fees: none (information about the semester fee)
Why study this particular degree program?
Agricultural biosciences offer solutions to major societal challenges. They can make significant contributions to securing food supplies, preserving natural resources, and mitigating the effects of climate change.
This international Agricultural Biosciences program focuses on fundamental biological research for an efficient and environmentally friendly agricultural production of crop and livestock species. It aims to understand crop and livestock species from the level of cells up to the whole organism and population.
In contrast to other master’s programs that have a specialized view on basic research and distinguish between plant and animal science, we at TUM believe that a generic approach is more timely as many biological mechanisms are shared between plants and animals. A strong focus on molecular as well as computational methods reflects the TUM strategy to value innovation as the basis for knowledge.
The M.Sc. Agricultural Biosciences deals with different organisms, namely plants, animals and microbes. The program takes advantage of the synergistic effects created by integrated studies on plant and animal species, teaching general as well as specific biological concepts, methods and tools. It reflects the high level of innovation in agricultural biosciences and prepares graduates for a multi-path career allowing for flexibility and migration in the job market.
What are your career opportunities?
Upon graduating, you can find employment in the national or international job market, for example at universities, research institutes, in the public sector or in biotech, breeding and life science companies.
Career opportunities also open up in international organizations such as the CGIAR centers, the FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Furthermore, more and more young scientists with expertise in agricultural biosciences are finding employment in smaller companies and startups in areas such as biotechnology and machine intelligence providing technologies or services to the agricultural sector.
Graduates with combined expertise in molecular biology and quantitative and computational methods are highly sought after in the job market, as the number of graduates does not meet the demand for qualified personnel. The demand is expected to increase as molecular methods and machine intelligence will fundamentally change the agricultural sector and increase the demand for research and development.
What is this study program about?
In line with the vision of the TUM School of Life Sciences, the M.Sc. Agricultural Biosciences provides you a fundamental mechanistic understanding of biological processes on which the production of agricultural and horticultural crops and livestock is based – always combined with expertise in handling data-rich challenges and quantitative data analysis.
During the first and second semesters, you will complete five compulsory modules:
- Plant and Animal Cell Biology
- Immunology: Crop and Livestock Health and Disease
- Genetics and Genomics
- Statistical Computing and Data Analysis.
After passing these core courses, you will possess solid knowledge in fundamental biological concepts relevant for agricultural production.
Elective modules are very important in the program. You can choose from a range of different lab courses that cover either molecular or computational techniques. In addition, the program offers research tool modules that allow for independent study and enable you to conduct research in the field of Agricultural Biosciences.
By opening a mobility window in the third semester, students are encouraged to gain international study experience through exchange programs such as Erasmus+ or TUMexchange. You can also take up a research internship outside TUM, e.g. with a qualified industry partner or an external research organization.
The fourth semester is devoted to preparing the Master's thesis that concludes the study program. In your thesis, you identify and address a research question in the Agricultural Biosciences by choosing and implementing appropriate molecular, experimental or data methods. The thesis raises your professional profile.
Interest aroused? Just take a look at an exemplary curriculum!
What competences and skills will you acquire?
As a graduate in Agricultural Biosciences, you will have a profound knowledge of molecular, biochemical and physiological processes for agricultural production. You will be able to optimize these processes and to understand their genetic basis in crops and livestock. Knowledge of the genotype-phenotype relationship will enable you to design production environments effectively. Graduates have learned how to integrate heterogeneous data from different disciplines, handle large experimental data sets and have knowledge in predictive analytics. You will be able to assess molecular and computational methods with respect to their impact and trade-offs in practice and communicate their relevance for agricultural production in a livable environment.
As a graduate, you will...
- have a profound understanding of the scientific basis of biological processes relevant for agricultural production.
- be able to conduct research in the field of Agricultural Biosciences and link your knowledge and results to other disciplines.
- be aware of societal challenges and demands in the context of Agricultural Biosciences and possess the soft skills to communicate across disciplines and cultures.
- have developed your self-competence for navigating a changing environment and managing complex projects.
For a comprehensive description of the program, please refer to the program documentation.
How do you apply for a place of study?
During the application period you can easily apply for a place in the winter semester via the application portal TUMonline. You can easily upload your documents for admission to the Agricultural Biosciences course directly from the portal.
Prerequisite for the program is a bachelor's degree of at least six semesters awarded at a German or foreign university, or at least an equivalent degree in the field of life sciences with a focus on plant and/or animal sciences. These are in particular the programs Agricultural Sciences, Horticultural Sciences, Life Sciences Biology and Molecular Biotechnology or comparable programs.
This entirely English-language study program is aimed at national and international students with the best bachelor's degrees. Moreover, we expect an English language proficiency, proved by TOEFL with at least 88 points or IELTS with at least 6.5 points.
In a subsequent aptitude assessment, we will check you have the necessary prerequisites and motivation for the program.
The admissions process is described in the appendix to the Academic and Examination Regulations of the program.
If you are subsequently admitted, you will have to submit a few certified paper copies for enrolment.
Agricultural Biosciences – What makes this international master's program so unique?
Already in the middle of your master's degree in Agricultural Biosciences? Everything you need!
Degree program documentation, module catalog
The degree chart gives you an overview and recommendation, which modules you should take in which semester according to academic and examination regulations (FPSO).
- Timetable (TUM ID required for login):
This timetable is intended to give you an overview of the planned compulsory and elective modules of a semester. It is for orientation purposes only and will not be updated during the semester!
Via TUMonline you can have a timetable created for each semester according to FSPO.
You can also create your own individual timetable, which can contain not only the dates of the selected courses but also your personal appointments.
First steps with TUMonline
- General Academic and Examination Regulations at TUM (APSO)
- Academic and Examination Regulations (FPSO)
- Examination dates & registration via TUMonline
In TUMonline you can register for the module examinations that accompany your studies.
Important: You can only take most of the exams if you have actively registered yourself via TUMonline within the registration period. The registration and deregistration period will be displayed at the exam date.
- Further examination matters
Board of Examination
The board of examination is a committee consisting of university professors and lecturers of the degree program. The chairperson of the board of examination of your degree program is Prof. Dr.sc.agr. habil. Chris-Carolin Schön. Applications to the board of examination are received by the secretary and submitted to the board of examination for decision. You can reach the secretary by sending an email to recognition.wzw[at]tum.de.
Internships & excursions
A pre-study internship before the start of the course is not required for admission.
More information on practical experience during studies
Detailed, degree program - specific information about graduation can be found in the
Wiki Life Sciences – Study and Teaching - Graduation (TUM ID required for login)