Biology (Master of Science)
Were you captivated by your Bachelor's in Biology and would like to expand your knowledge in a master's program? Then you have come to the right place! The TUM Master's program in Biology enables you to deepen your knowledge in your favorite subject areas. With over 200 modules on offer, there are no limits on your freedom. Do you want to go in the direction of biochemistry and cell biology? Or do you prefer genetics, medical biology or microbiology? Ecology, plant and animal sciences are also interesting alternatives. After completing your studies, you will have a specific competence profile and be able to analyze complex interrelationships beyond your field of study, as well as plan and carry out experiments. You will be trained to respond to the challenges of the 21st century in the life sciences.
Studying Biology 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 and summer semester
Admission category: Aptitude Assessment for Master
Language of instruction: German or English
Main location: Freising-Weihenstephan (Greater Munich area)
Tuition fees: none (information about the semester fee)
Why study this particular degree program?
The TUM's Master’s program in Biology offers a wide range of subjects covering almost all areas of modern biology, from basic research to applied research. The field ranges from biochemistry to ecology. The approach always focuses on connecting factors: going, for example, from biological principles for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases to the biotechnology associated with them; from systematic approaches to individualized diagnostics and medication and the bioinformatics methods required for this; from securing the world's food supply through, for example, drought-resistant crops using modern methods of molecular plant breeding.
Of course, there are also many organism-based tasks to be performed, such as recording and maintaining biodiversity and ecosystems and dealing with neophytes and neozoans. Exciting topics include, for example, research into the human microbiome and the physiological consequences associated with it; the challenges of neurobiology at the interface between the senses,processing and control and the connection to psychophysics and human-machine communication.
The big scientific strides are more often taken in interdisciplinary areas than within the traditional subjects. That's why you choose three individual study specializations or one qualification subject and two specializations in our Master's program. The degree program offers great freedom in your choice of modules. You can choose from a catalog of more than 200 elective modules from the TUM School of Life Sciences, the Faculty of Medicine and Helmholtz Zentrum München, and build your profile accordingly. You can freely combine focus areas and modules to build a unique competence profile.
The program is primarily research-oriented – but there are also fields of activity with particular practical relevance, for example, in pharmacy, pharmacology, animal and plant production, or the food and brewing industry, as well as clinical laboratories. Graduates of the TUM Master’s program in Biology are well prepared to master the challenges of the 21st century in the life sciences.
What are your career opportunities?
The career opportunities for biologists are diverse. Depending on your choice of specialization, you will find jobs in university, applied, medical and industrial research, in the food industry, quality control, product marketing as well as in offices, authorities, and public institutions. The fields of activity that particularly relate to research are broad and can be found, for example, in molecular biology, biochemistry, immunobiology, virology, oncology and tumorigenesis, microbiology, genetics, cell biology, neurobiology, taxonomy, animal and plant physiology, and ecology. For certain positions a doctorate is recommended, which you can take following your Master's degree.
What is this study program about?
In the Master’s in Biology, you can choose from seven possible majors: Biochemistry and cell biology, genetics, medical biology, microbiology, ecology, plant sciences, and zoology/animal sciences. You must complete at least three of these specializations with 20 credits each. You are free to combine the specializations as you wish, resulting in over 35 possible and very different qualification profiles. You can therefore develop according to your interests and prepare for your desired profession. It makes sense to combine related subjects (for example microbiology, cell biology/biochemistry, and medical biology), but in individual cases an unusual combination can also lead to a profile suited to a specific role.
If you complete at least 35 credits as well as your Master’s thesis in one of the main areas of study, you can expand this into your main area of qualification. Specialization in this main area provides the broad approach and networked knowledge of different areas that are characteristic of biologists. Additional modules outside of your specialization and a general subject complement your profile.
Interest aroused? Just take a look at an exemplary curriculum!
What competences and skills will you acquire?
As a graduate of the Master's program in Biology, you will be able to understand and analyze complex biological relationships. You will have deepened and expanded the knowledge acquired in your bachelor's degree and, by choosing your specialization, you will now have more specialized knowledge, while being able to work across disciplines. Your competence profile will reflect your inclinations, interests and abilities. The various internships during your studies will enable you to plan and carry out experiments independently, to process and evaluate the data acquired from them, and to put that data into a larger context. Besides this, you will be able to plan entire research projects and develop solutions for complex biological questions. The knowledge you acquire in the Master's program, together with professional and methodological competences as well as personal and social skills, will enable you to conduct basic research, to work on applied problems, and to deal confidently with as yet unknown topics. You are thus ideally prepared to make your mark in the dynamic and interdisciplinary field of the life sciences.
How do you apply for a place of study?
During the application period you can easily apply for a study place via the application portal TUMonline. You can upload your documents for admission to the Biology program directly to the portal.
The prerequisite for admission to a master's program is a qualified bachelor's degree of at least six semesters' duration, or an at least equivalent degree in the fields of life sciences biology, biology, molecular biotechnology, biochemistry, or a comparable course of study at a German or foreign university. You can also apply if you are about to graduate – we want you to be able to continue your studies quickly! You can find more details in Appendix 2 to the academic and examination regulations.
In this aptitude assessment (link to the aptitude assessment for Master's programs) we check whether you have the necessary prerequisites and motivation for the program.
If you are then admitted, you will have to submit a few certified hard copies for enrolment.
Biology at the TUM
Already in the middle of your master's degree in Biology? Everything you need!
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 FPSO.
Selectable specialisation modules M.Sc. Biology 2020
Selectable specialisation modules M.Sc. Biology 2019
You can also create your own individual timetable, which can contain not only the dates of the selected courses but also your personal appointments.
In case of a regular course of studies, the curricula are required for the registration of the Scientific Project Planning and the Master's Thesis. In individual cases, it may also be necessary to discuss individual study progress. If you are unsure whether you have planned your studies in accordance with the statutes, you can of course always make an appointment to discuss the study plan. If you are unsure about anything, please contact the student advisory service. A final study plan is required at the latest when the certificate is issued. You have to fill out the study plan independently according to the FPSO. You can use TUMonline as database. You make the appointment with the student advisory service by phone. Before this date you have to send your study plan by mail to the student advisory service.
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.
- 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. Aurélien Tellier. 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.
Scientific Project Planning (WPP)
The Scientific Project Planning (WPP) is a compulsory examination for Master students of Biology and is evaluated with 5 credits. It must be successfully completed before beginning the Master's thesis. Registration for the WPP is possible from 70 credits and can be done either simultaneously or after registration of the Master's thesis.
- Handbook for Scientific Project Planning (WPP)
- Form for the notification of scientific project planning
- Grade notification form for scientific project planning
All information about the WPP is also available in the module description in TUMonline (module number WZ22101).
Internships & excursions, shuttlebus
A pre-study internship before the start of the course is not required for admission.
More information on practical experience during studies
In order that you can attend your chosen courses in Garching without problems, we provide a free shuttle bus from Weihenstephan to Garching.
Detailed, degree program - specific information about graduation can be found in the
Wiki Life Sciences – Study and Teaching - Graduation (TUM ID required for login)