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The course focuses on the physical properties of materials.

Compulsory course content for all students:
  • advanced solid state physics
  • theoretical solid state physics
  • lab courses: experimental methods in solid state physics
  • specialisation in a research subject leading to a Master's thesis

Students choose additional subjects from
  • general materials physics: special properties of selected materials, optical properties of materials, soft matter physics, biophysics
  • theoretical physics/computer physics
  • aspects of engineering of materials (materials science)
  • aspects of the chemistry of materials

The research topics for the Master's thesis are closely connected to the Cluster of Excellence "Engineering of Advanced Materials" (, the interdisciplinary centres "Molecular Materials" ( and "Interface-Controlled Processes" ( at Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, and to the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (

Educational organisation

The first two semesters of the course are dedicated to advanced courses and projects in materials physics. 60 credit points have to be earned in total, of which 35 come from compulsory courses (advanced solid state physics, theoretical solid state physics, lab courses on experimental methods, seminar on materials physics).
Additional courses (25 credit points) are related to materials research and can be chosen from a broad selection of advanced topics.
The third semester is dedicated to an in-depth specialisation in a subject of ongoing research. In general, this specialisation will be in the subject of the Master's thesis and will be guided by the supervisor of the thesis. Hence at the beginning of the Master's thesis (fourth semester) the student has acquired knowledge of all theoretical and experimental concepts needed to successfully work on the research project.
The course is completed in the fourth semester with the submission of the written thesis and a seminar (Master's colloquium) presenting the results.

Study abroad unit(s)

Semesters abroad can be arranged e.g. through the ERASMUS programme, but are not compulsory.



Forms of assessment

Lecture courses: assessed by written or oral exams (45 ECTS credit points)
Lab courses: the quality of the lab work and the written protocol are rated (10 ECTS)
Seminars: the grade is based on the quality of the presentation and participation in the discussion of other participants' talks (5 ECTS)
In-depth specialisation (third semester): pass/fail (total 30 ECTS, no weight in final grade)
Master's thesis: 25 ECTS (double weight in final grade)
Master's colloquium: 5 ECTS (double weight in final grade)

Course objectives

Upon completion of the course, candidates have the ability to conduct research in the area of materials physics and materials science. This ability can be used to embark on a PhD programme at a university or to seek employment in industry.

Language requirements

The required English level is "vantage or upper intermediate" level (B2) according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, or an equivalent score in an internationally recognised test.

Academic requirements

Applicants are required to have a Bachelor's degree in physics or an equivalent qualification.
A list of courses (with details on the duration of the course and hours involved) and grades must be provided, as well as a CV and a letter of motivation.
Academic records should be submitted in their original languages accompanied by English or German translations (usually prepared by the university or a government agency, unless the institution issues original documents in English). In general, records or transcripts must be issued by the school and must include the school's stamp or embossed seal and the signature of the authorising official.
If upon inspection of the above documents an interview is deemed necessary, it may be conducted either in person or by phone. In addition, proof of proficiency in English may be required.

Enrolment fees

The contribution to student services currently amounts to 42 EUR per semester. An additional charge of 65 EUR per semester covers the mandatory basic "semester ticket", a transit pass that provides students with unlimited access to public transport in the metropolitan region of Nuremberg from 7pm to 6am on weekdays and at all times at weekends. (For an additional optional charge, the validity of the pass can be extended to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.)

Costs of living

The cost of living can only be approximated very generally, as the needs and living conditions of every student are different.
Rent: 250-600 EUR per month
Health insurance, doctor, medicine: approximately 70 EUR per month
Food: approximately 165 EUR per month
Study materials: approximately 30 EUR per month (depending on the subject)
Transport: minimum 65 EUR per semester
Student services: 42 EUR per semester
For more information, see:
General information on the average cost of living in Germany is available online:

Job opportunities

Students of the Master's course can conduct tutorials and lab exercises for undergraduates (earning up to 400 EUR per month).

Funding opportunities within the university

The Central Office for International Affairs offers scholarships from Bavarian state funding to allow highly qualified international students in Master's, "Diplom", and State Exam degree courses to complete their degrees.

Arrival support

Departmental staff will provide you with individual advice and support.

Services and support for international students

The Student Advice and Career Service (IBZ) will provide you with detailed information on all important topics relating to your studies (study courses, subject combinations, application requirements, support with organising your study programme and complying with all assessment/examination requirements) and on settling in at the beginning of the semester (coping with particular difficulties, changing subjects or suspending studies). For more information, see
The Career Service of FAU will provide you with information on career opportunities and the specifics of an application procedure in Germany. For information, see:
The Student Service Centres (SSC) and student advisers in the faculties will provide you with further advice on your particular course of study. Programme coordinators organise subject-related orientation events and guide you through the entire study period.
The Central Office for International Affairs (RIA) will provide you with detailed information on accommodation, visa issues, and scholarship possibilities. In cooperation with the IBZ, it also organises information events and general orientation courses for first-semester-students.
The Alumni network provides students with many topics and events for professional advancement. See:


Erlangen and Nuremberg are attractive cities with a historic flair and modern infrastructure. Therefore, the housing market is quite tight. FAU will do its best to assist new students in finding accommodation.
Student halls in Erlangen and Nuremberg can only provide accommodation for a small number of students. Another option is the private housing market. If you extend your search to neighbouring towns, such as Fürth and Forchheim, your choice of accommodation is much larger and rents are lower, while the well-developed local public transport system ensures that you're never far away from the university. In addition, there is the option to sublet a room, or you can share a flat with other students. This option not only saves you money but also helps you settle in quickly and make friends in your new home. You can find information to help with your housing search on specialised websites and the university's notice boards.
Detailed information on finding accommodation is available at
If you need further assistance, you can also turn to the Accommodation Service of the Central Office for International Affairs (RIA). E-mail:
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