Horticultural Science (Master of Science)
The international Master's program Horticultural Science trains experts in the breeding and production of horticultural crops, addressing one of the key challenges of our time: guaranteeing the quality and quantity of food for the human population worldwide, while simultaneously protecting ecological, economic and social resources. The program covers the entire field of horticultural production. Theoretical lectures are supplemented to a large extent by practical modules. The research-oriented teaching strengthens your bioscientific methodological competences and prepares you for national and international research and development positions in the field of plant science. The international Master's program in Horticultural Science is carried out by a teaching and research consortium of six European universities with location-specific research and teaching skills. Thanks to this cooperation students can develop an individual competence profile during their studies.
Studying Horticultural Science 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 / summer semester
Admission category: Aptitude assessment for Master’s
Language of instruction: English
Main location: Weihenstephan (Freising)
Tuition fees: none (information about the semester fee)
Why study this particular degree program?
The Master’s program Horticultural Science with English as language of instruction is conceived as a special branch of studies with emphases in aspects of the natural, technical and economic sciences. It offers you a scientific and primarily research-oriented training for the horticultural industry, as well as for its upstream and downstream sectors.
The Master’s course is carried out by a teaching and research consortium composed of six European universities. The course has a unique structure since you can perform part of your training at a partner university. This enables you to freely select courses out of a large course pool, assembled by all partners, and thereby specialize in many different areas of the horticultural sciences including research into all major horticultural crop classes (vegetables, fruits, ornamental plants, viticulture, medicinal and aromatic plants) as well as in higher-level areas such as horticultural economics, production technologies, ecophysiology, product quality or plant breeding.
At TUM in particular the thematic complex of applied, modern plant sciences is strongly represented in research and teaching. Based on the current understanding of plant biological principles, students are educated in the areas of plant breeding, phytopathology, plant nutrition, growth and yield physiology, plant growth regulation, plant biotechnology and population genetics.
Double degree options exist with the Humboldt Universität Berlin and the Szent Istvan University in Budapest.
What are your career opportunities?
Job perspectives with a master’s in horticultural sciences are excellent. The degree qualifies you for executive positions in horticulture and related industries, such as sectors of the pharmaceutical industry active in agricultural and horticultural plant production. Its scientific content prepares you in particular for research and development activities in the area of plant breeding, plant production, plant protection, plant nutrition and quality management.
Moreover, a master’s in horticultural sciences qualifies you for research positions in academic or non-academic research institutions, in federal research facilities such as the 'Landesanstalten' in Germany, but also for research and teaching positions at colleges or universities active in horticulture or related fields.
Also, positions in federal ministries, governmental agricultural departments, horticultural associations, or international organizations such as the EU, the UNO or the WHO are employment possibilities. Other examples of job opportunities for graduates are positions in research funding organizations, in the area of scientific or agricultural/horticultural journalism, or in the field of intellectual property right or plant variety protection.
What is this study program about?
All partner universities provide a comparable range of courses in the first semester to provide students with a standard knowledge base for the following semesters. At TUM, two compulsory modules convey key competences in the areas of Crop Physiology and Crop Quality with a focus on horticultural crops. This includes the genetic, molecular and biochemical basis of plant physiology, especially the pre- and post-harvest physiology of horticultural plant species and their fruits, but also of stress physiology (abiotic and biotic). In addition, the compulsory modules provide knowledge in material flows in horticultural culture systems and an understanding of those factors that affect physiology and quality.
Besides the compulsory modules, the program offers you a large number of elective modules, which enable you to specialize in various fields during the course of your studies, but especially in the second and third semesters.
Mobility is an integral part of the program that is characterized by our institutionalized cooperation with partner universities in Germany, Italy, Austria and Hungary. In the second and third semester students can complete part of their lectures (max. 30 ECTS) at one of our partner universities.
At TUM, specialization is possible in the fields of molecular plant sciences, biotechnology and population genetics with relevance for horticulture, phytopathology and plant-pathogen interactions, biology, biotechnology and analytical chemistry of secondary metabolites of fruits and vegetable crops as well as human resource management in horticulture.
Semester four is a research semester in which students complete their Master’s thesis. The thesis shall include experimental and analytical aspects and refines the students' professional profile. Due to its international reputation for scientific excellence, a rich spectrum of possibilities for thesis projects at the bachelor, master or Ph.D. level is offered at TUM.
The thesis may be co-supervised by a lecturer of one of the partner universities. The course concludes with a Master's Colloquium after the Master's thesis.
Information about the partner universities: hortscience.eu
Interest aroused? Just take a look at an exemplary curriculum!
What competences and skills will you acquire?
The Master's program Horticultural Science at TUM is conceived as a special branch of studies with emphases in aspects of the natural, technical and economic sciences. Its content forms the basis for the whole of the horticultural sciences. Teaching includes in particular research findings and methodology with relevance for the production of plants and plant-based products, from the test tube to the field and to protected cultivation in greenhouses or other closed production systems.
The thematic complex of applied plant sciences is a main focus of this study program. It reaches from classical agricultural chemistry, to methods and principles of investigating the molecular make-up of plant cellular biological systems, to biotechnology and population genetics. This covers for example the biological, genetic and molecular basis of plant growth and development, of plant disease and plant-pathogen interactions as well as the understanding of their coevolution. Concepts and methods of plant breeding, of the genesis and typology of soils, mechanisms of nutrient transport and kinetics of uptake as well as their biochemical functions in plants are also taught. Thereby, the course enables an understanding of material and energy flows in horticultural cropping systems a perception of external factors that impact on crop quality.
Students benefit from the international structure of the study program and can develop their own individual competence profile through the different specialties of the participating universities.
How do you apply for a place of study?
Unfortunately an application is no longer possible! The international Master's program in Horticultural Science is being phased out and will be incorporated into the new Agricultural Biosciences program.
Already in the middle of your master's degree in Horticultural Science? 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).
- 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. Brigitte Poppenberger-Sieberer. 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