Transition to the Master program

Yes, without a doubt. The Master degree is built to be a consecutive study after the Bachelor degree, and only the two together offer a complete physics education that corresponds to the earlier Diploma studies. In every physics department, the Master degree is regarded as the standard of a properly completed study in physics across the entire country. This applies to most of the scientific and technical degrees in Germany.

The admission to the Master degree is possible with a Bachelor degree in physics or materials physics in a government recognized university in Germany or abroad. Also, a Bachelor degree in a technical college or in another degree program (especially a science teaching degree) can also be accepted for admission to the Master degree program. The following achievements are required for admission:
Area Physics Material Physics
Lectures/Exercises Experimental Physics 30 ECTS 20 ECTS
Lectures/Exercises Theoretical Physics 30 ECTS 20 ECTS
Lectures/Exercises Mathematical Fundamentals 25 ECTS 15 ECTS
Basic Laboratory Course 10 ECTS together
Physical Experiments 10 ECTS
Elective Lectures and Exercises 30 ECTS
Bachelor Thesis and Colloquium in Physics 10 ECTS 10 ECTS


If not all requirements are fulfilled, the admission can be given under the condition that the missing requirements be fulfilled, at the latest, within a year after acceptance to the Master degree program.

For a student-teacher in the secondary school sector with the subject combination of mathematics/physics who want to transfer to the physics Master program after their Bachelor degree, it will be required to take the missing modules of theoretical physics. This way the student would have at least TP-1 and two modules from TP-2 through TP-4 (TP-L2 and TP-L3 are also alternatives), which are required for the physics Bachelor.  Modules from the mathematics area, will, in this case, be recognized as part of the elective area. Additional requirements in the area of physical experiments will be placed, only with a large discrepancy, in the above mentioned 10 ECTS points.

The candidate can be denied only in the sense that their education doesn’t correspond to the physics Bachelor degree. This applies to applicants who have a Bachelor of Science not in physics or who come from a different educational environment (for example, universities of applied sciences or other branches from other countries that differ from the standard of education of the German/European universities). Applicants with a Bachelor physics degree from FAU in physics or material physics will usually also not be rejected if the Bachelor’s final average is lower than 2.5.

The course can begin in the winter semester as well as in the summer semester. If students need a bit longer to complete their Bachelor degree program, they don’t have to wait until the next winter semester to start their Master’s course. Both options are equally valid.

Students who expect to have completed their Bachelor degree by the following semester should already apply for the Master degree program.

The application period for a place in the program takes place every year until January 15th and July 15th (these deadlines will typically be extended until March 15th and September 15th) of the corresponding semester. The application should be submitted through the Web platform campo. This website doesn’t distinguish the listing of required documents according to the course of study. Please be aware of the information on the Master-registration-page of the FAU.  To apply for the Master degree program, the following documents must be submitted:

  1. The secondary school certificate, a transcript of records of the (current) Bachelor course, the Bachelor degree certificate, or if not available yet, a confirmation that you are registered for the final required exams of the Bachelor course of studies. Important:  if you complete your Bachelor degree at the FAU, a confirmation of registration for the Bachelor thesis is sufficient.
  2. The signed application for admission in duplicate.
  3. A complete Curriculum Vitae in English or German in tabular form.
  4. If your native language is not German or English: proof of sufficient language skills in one of these languages (scroll down).
  5. Letter of motivation (not required for applicants to the physics Bachelor degree program or for material physics at FAU).

Please be aware, that you also have to deliver these documents in written form to the secretary’s office (Masterbüro); uploading these documents for an online submission alone is not adequate.

The applications are evaluated by the Master office on formal aspects (completeness, formal rights to access of study) and then the content is evaluated by the Master admissions committee of the department of physics. Once that is done, the approval notifications are sent. If you receive this notification, you are approved for admission to the Master degree program in physics at the FAU, but not yet registered.

In accordance with the current rules, it is possible to study the Master degree in German or English. This means that the completion of the program is possible if you speak and understand one of these languages. If necessary, you have to prove your language competences in one of these languages. The examination regulations specify in Appendix 4:

The proof of English language skills (for candidates whose native language is not English) or German language skills (for candidates whose native language is not German) is required. The German language skills are to be proven through the test DSH-2 (written) and DSH-1 (oral). These tests  can also be completed right before the study begins by request, if the German language skills are demonstrated to be at an intermediate level (approx. 600 teaching hours). The English language skills can be proven through various ways:

  • At least level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages;
  • Internet Based TOEFL Score of at least 90;
  • IELTS Score of at least 6.5;
  • Cambridge Advanced Certificate (CAE) or Business English Certificate (BEC) Higher.

Students who don’t have any certificate from the above options can undergo a placement test of the Department of English HaF. They have to accomplish level 3 or better and under the resolution condition, they can be permitted to provide the proof of Level C1 or higher by the beginning of the third semester.

This regulation means that you can start your degree with moderate English skills, and during the study, you must prepare and present the English test.

The English requirements after the complete conversion of the Master study courses to English are still under discussion. While the recognition of the English Secondary School Certificate is still under consideration, it is always advisable to take English language courses during the Bachelor degree program.


There are many cases to differentiate:
  1. The enrollment in the Master course of study in person at the Student Office completed by the declared deadlines (this is common for students who did not complete their Bachelor degree at FAU and who are not enrolled in the university).
    Please be aware that students with a foreign Bachelor degree must (along with the other documents) present their Bachelor certificate. Students from other national universities who haven’t received their Bachelor certificate can hand it within a year.
  2. Students who are already enrolled for their Bachelor degree at FAU have to send the transfer application with a copy of the admission letter (other documents are not necessary) to the student’s office. There, the transfer to the Master degree program will be carried out. The enrollment certificate can be seen on the meinCampus website and printed out after eight days.
  3. Subsequent transfers in the Master course of study (only for FAU students). If you want to not yet register for the Master degree program (for whatever reasons), but initially stay enrolled in the Bachelor course of study: in this case you have to deregister from the Bachelor degree program and apply to the Master degree program, at the latest, before the beginning of the exam registration period with the Students Administration office. In addition, you must present the approval for admission and, if possible, the Bachelor certificate (this can also be subsequently submitted by the end of the following semester). Please note that both (application for transfer, and the other certificates)  must be carried out unprompted (this means you will not receive any reminder). Please also be aware that for a semester where you are enrolled in the Master program, but still complete requirements for the Bachelor program, it will count as a study semester in both courses.


This is not a problem. You just have to stay registered in the Bachelor degree program and then transfer the following semester to the Master degree program, but you will have to apply again. In this case, it is enough to complete the online application and to present the signed application form (2 times), because all the other documents were already submitted. In order for you to save time, you can, in this case, complete modules for the Master course without restrictions. Note the following information to the Federal Training Assistance Act (BAfög).

If you complete your physics Master degree after your Bachelor degree, you are eligible according to the §7 BAföG regulation. This means that in principle, you are still covered by BAföG. However, you have to be aware that, in the transition from the Bachelor to the Master study, an uninterrupted support is granted only if there is a maximum of a one month period between the end of the Bachelor and the beginning of the Master studies. The end of the bachelor degree course, in this case, is the date of the final completion of the necessary exams (this date will be documented in the Bachelor’s certificate), and the beginning of the Master program is the beginning of the semester (April 1st or October 1st), in which you are enrolled for the Master course.

Please be aware, that if necessary, you can influence the end date of your Bachelor degree, so that you can schedule the date for the exam in a mandatory module. The Bachelor colloquium is particularly useful for this.

Useful information about BAföG can be founded in BAföG-Page of the Student Union.