Karlsruhe Institute of Technology logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 172
  • Foreign: $ 1.85k
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English
  • Deadline:
  • 30 April
  • StudyQA ranking:
  • 356pts.
  • Duration:
  • 2 years

    Photos of university / #kitkarlsruhe

    Optics & photonics are key technologies of the 21st century. They form, for example, the basis for today's optical communications, environmental sensing, biomedical diagnostics in the life sciences, energy efficient lighting and solar energy harvesting. This is reflected in the fact that the average annual growth of the optics & photonics market has exceeded 10% over the past five years. With a worldwide overall volume of more than 250 billion EUR annually, the field of optics & photonics is one of the most important branches of the high-tech industry.
    The five KSOP research areas are Photonic Materials & Devices, Advanced Spectroscopy, Biomedical Photonics, Optical Systems and Solar Energy. All research areas are strongly interlinked.
    The Master's program aims at attracting and educating excellent national and international students in O&P. We believe that a graduate school is most successful when it has the background and the ability to filter through an associated, interdisciplinary Master's program.
    The M.Sc. course provides an adequate education, spanning the bridge between undergraduate optics classes and the required in-depth knowledge that is essential for cutting-edge research. The best students enter the Ph.D. program and find the ideal ground for world-class research.
    40 students per year can be admitted to the Master's programme. The best students are supported by the KSOP Scholarship Program. Access to the KSOP Master's program is granted via an application procedure. In addition to this, a tailor-made study plan is developed for each individual Master's student (corresponding to his/her educational background) when entering the KSOP.

    Educational organization

    Stage I (Introduction):
    This phase comprises adjustment courses which will help to bring the inhomogeneous backgrounds of the students up to a common standard. The assignment of adjustment courses will be individually determined for each student. Together with compulsory courses on fundamental topics and first practical training sessions in a lab course, this will lay the foundations for the courses on core subjects (Stage II) and specialisation courses (Stage III).
    Compulsory Courses, e.g. Optical Engineering, Fundamentals of Optics and Photonics
    Adjustment courses: Modern Physics, Measurement and Control Systems
    Key Competencies, e.g. Business Development of Innovations in Optics & Photonics, German Language Courses

    Stage II (Core Subjects):
    The goal of this phase is to provide a comprehensive education in advanced optics and photonics, and, simultaneously, to review this wide and diverse field. The central part of this phase is a block of compulsory lectures which span the whole range from basic science to engineering. These lectures are complemented by a laboratory course and an industrial internship, for which the connection to corresponding industry partners will be made by the Karlsruhe School of Optics & Photonics.

    Compulsory Courses, e.g. Spectroscopic Methods, Microoptics and Lithography
    Industry Internship: Introduction

    Stage III (Specialization):
    Based on the knowledge developed in Stages I & II, this phase features elective courses from the main research areas of the Karlsruhe School of Optics & Photonics. Together with a seminar course and a project course, this will serve as an introduction to independent scientific work and, therefore, provide the student with the knowledge and skills required to successfully carry out research within a Master's thesis.

    Elective Courses
    Photonic Materials and Devices, e.g. Advanced Optical Materials, Solar Energy, Laser Physics
    Advanced Spectroscopy, e.g. Advanced Inorganic Materials, Nanooptics
    Biomedical Photonics, e.g. Exploring Biomolecular Interactions by Single-Molecule Fluorescence, Optics and Vision in Biology
    Optical Systems, e.g. Systems and Software Engineering, Optical Transmitters and Receivers

    Industry Internship: specialization and reporting

    Stage IV (Master's thesis):
    Within this phase, students will join one of the KSOP research groups or an industry company and utilise the knowledge and skills acquired in Stages I - III to work on an advanced research project.

    Study abroad unit(s)

    An ERASMUS Mundus Program is also available. Please see for information: www.ksop.kit.edu/erasmus.php


    An eight-week industry internship is integrated into the Master's curriculum. The KSOP offers an elaborate internship program in cooperation with well-known industry partners such as the Carl Zeiss, OSRAM, Trumpf, Karl Storz, Berliner Glas, SICK, Jenoptik, Polytec, Novaled, Agilent Technologies.

    Forms of assessment

    Written and oral exams, Master's thesis

    Course objectives

    The mission of the Karlsruhe School of Optics & Photonics (KSOP) is to provide a multidisciplinary environment for first-class research and education as well as for the generation of knowledge and innovation in optics & photonics.
    The KSOP educational concept is designed to qualify our graduates for accelerated careers at world-leading academic institutions and in high-tech industries. We actively promote the thesis work of our doctoral researchers and Master's students through dedicated supervision, mentoring and networking as well as through scientific and technical training. Accordingly, we augment the professional skills of our graduates through tailored personal and management training. A strong pillar of the KSOP concept is the individual coaching of doctoral researchers by one mentor for each research area.
    Building on this excellent basis, the KSOP aims to become a world-leading institution for education, research and innovation in the field of optics & photonics.

    University requirements

    Program requirements

    Language requirements

    Since courses are presented in English, foreign applicants must pass the TOEFL Examination with a minimum of 570 points pbt, 260 points cbt and 88 points ibt, or IELTS band 6.5.

    Academic requirements

    Are you interested in applying for the KSOP Master's program? Then please note the following steps:
    1) You need to fulfil the admission requirements for the KSOP Master's program:

    • KSOP application form
    • Certified copy of your qualification for university entrance (e.g. "Abitur", high school diploma, baccalaureate, etc.)
    • Certified copy of your Bachelor's degree (if the Bachelor's degree is not yet available at the closing date for applications but will be completed before the registration, candidates can apply with a preliminary transcript of records)
    • CV
    • Letter of motivation
    • Letters of recommendation letters (at least one)
    • Proof of English language proficiency: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with a minimum of 570 pbt, 260 points cbt and 88 points ibt or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) band with a minimum of 6.5. (The TOEFL or IELTS score is mandatory for your application and cannot be replaced by another certificate!)
    • Chinese applicants: please insert an APS certificate

    2) The application procedure for the Master's programme in Optics & Photonics varies depending on your nationality. Please follow the corresponding link: German and EU Applicants (http://ksop.idschools.kit.edu/german_applicants.php), and non-EU Applicants (www.ksop.kit.edu/international_applicants.php)

    3) After having received an admission for the KSOP Master's program, candidates with outstanding study results can apply for the KSOP scholarship programme.

    For the ERASMUS Mundus Europhonics Programme, apply online via http://www.europhotonics.org/wordpress/master/future-students/master-application-procedure

    Enrollment fees

    EU-Students: Approx. 153,69 EUR per semester, including a semester ticket for public transportation in Karlsruhe from 6pm to 5am on weekdays and all day on Saturdays and Sundays.

    Non-EU Students: Approx. 1,653.69 EUR per semester, including a semester ticket for public transportation in Karlsruhe from 6pm to 5am on weekdays and all day on Saturdays and Sundays.

    Costs of living

    Personal expenses vary depending on the chosen accommodation. In general, approx. 250-400 EUR for accommodation, 200-400 EUR for other personal expenses (food, books, transport, etc.)

    Job opportunities

    All KSOP institutes at the university offer interesting assistant jobs for students. In Germany these are called "Hiwi" and are very common and popular with students. They provide an opportunity to get to know professional life at the university and/or work in your research field of interest.

    Funding opportunities within the university

    KSOP scholarships up to 9,600 EUR per year (800 EUR per month) are available for a maximum duration of two years. Part of the scholarship is a research assistantship at one of the KSOP institutes.


    Arrival support

    Orientation week for all M.Sc. students one week before the start of the first semester, including tours around the campus, the library, the city, and much more.

    Services and support for international students

    The KSOP office offers assistance with questions concerning your studies, the internship and all organisational issues. Additionally, the international office of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) offers assistance regarding enrollment issues.


    The Karlsruhe School of Optics & Photonics is located in the International Department, a prime location in the bustling city centre area of Karlsruhe, near the baroque "Schloss Karlsruhe" and the university campus. All offices relevant to student activities are within easy walking distance.
    Various student accommodation options are available in Karlsruhe.The International Department itself hosts 120 single apartments in a three-story, historical dormitory building, each equipped with a private bath, a computer and a telephone connection. Adjacent to the single apartments is a kitchen and a living area shared by four to six students. Looking out upon a bright courtyard used for student activities, the dormitory also provides a cafeteria with a terrace that is open to the public. KSOP M.Sc. students will be entitled to special accommodation rates in one of the International Department's campus dormitories. Students enjoy the privilege of living right in the middle of the city by taking advantage of the accommodation provided. Solidarity is fostered when students spend time studying and living together in the 120-room dormitory, where they also make friends for life.
    Furthermore, various other dormitories provide rooms for students of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

    Similar programs:
    See all of the 73 similar programs