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  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: n/a
  • Foreign: Free
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English
  • Deadline:
  • 15 May
  • StudyQA ranking:
  • 533pts.
  • Duration:
  • 2 years

    Photos of university / #lmu.muenchen

    We work at the interface of internally (plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions) and externally (glaciers, climate) controlled processes. Our research also addresses relevant issues in natural resources, geohazards, and climate change. Students can focus their studies on a wide range of topics, from tectonics and geodynamics, to rheology and materials science, to earth surface processes and environmental studies, to geohazards or resource geology.

    Educational organisation

    The programme is highly flexible and students can choose most of their courses, except as noted below. A Master's thesis is required of all students.

    Required courses are as follows:
    • first and second semesters: field course with preparatory seminar
    • second semester: short research lab on topic different from Master's thesis topic
    • third semester: no required courses except those listed below under "each semester"
    • fourth semester: workshop on communicating science
    • each semester: seminar on current research in one of the following fields: active tectonics, geological resources, climate and landscape, deformation and rheology, geo- and paleomagnetism, or geochronology and isotope geochemistry.

    In general, courses can be traditional lectures, labs, seminars, or field exercises. Many courses combine two types of activity (e.g. lecture and lab), and the final evaluation will reflect performance in both.

    Study abroad unit(s)

    Students can apply for the exchange programme with the Department of Geology and Geophysics of the University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA). Students can choose to spend one or two semesters there. Courses taken at the University of Utah will then be credited upon return to Germany.
    Additional exchange programmes with the University of Arizona (Tucson, USA) and with the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada) are also available.


    There are no internship requirements, although in individual cases some of the research work required during the course of studies may be based in external labs or other facilities.

    Forms of assessment

    Various forms of assessment are possible, depending on specific courses chosen by the student. In general, students should expect a mix of written exams, oral exams, homework and/or project reports (for labs and field work), and paper presentations (for seminars). All students must write a Master's thesis and defend it. The thesis and defence count for 30 ECTS altogether.
    If a course consists of two different learning activities, the exam will likely consist of tests designed to assess competence in both (i.e. expect a theoretical and a practical part).

    Course objectives

    Graduates should have a solid preparation in the general field of geology and should have developed critical scientific thinking and good skills in scientific communication. They should be proficient in geological mapping and in one or more laboratory or computer methods. They are expected to acquire enough basic knowledge and tools that an employer would not have to retrain them, but only to offer additional training in specific techniques as necessary.

    University requirements

    Program requirements

    Language requirements

    Applicants must provide proof of their English skills. Knowledge of German is not required.
    One of the following standardised tests is required, with minimum scores as indicated:
    • TOEFL with at least 570 points (PBT) or 87 points (iBT) and with no individual section below 21 points (iBT) or 54 points (PBT)
    • IELTS (Academic Version) with at least 6.0 final score, and no less that 5.0 in any sub-score
    • Cambridge FCE with minimum grade A
    • Cambridge CAE with minimum grade C
    • Cambridge CPE with minimum grade C
    TOEFL and IELTS test results older than two years at the time of application submission will not be accepted.

    "Language of previous degree" is also acceptable in place of a test, but only if accompanied by proof that the entire programme (all courses and exams) were held in English exclusively.

    More information about language requirements can be found at the programme's website:

    Academic requirements

    Relevant Bachelor's (or equivalent) degree, as specified at the programme's website:
    The website also lists all required tests and documentation and gives access to the online application form.

    Enrolment fees

    Approx. 120 EUR per semester. The fee includes a semester ticket covering public transport in the Munich metropolitan area.

    Costs of living

    Living costs (including accommodation and health insurance) in Munich range from 800 to 1,000 EUR per month at a minimum.
    In addition, studying geology requires participating in field activities for which students are expected to personally own their geologist's equipment and pay for their own travel expenses (lodging, car rentals, flights, etc.). This can amount to between several hundred and several thousand EUR, depending on course and equipment chosen.

    Job opportunities

    It may be possible to work as a student assistant in our department, depending on the availability of job openings and personal abilities. Normally, assistant jobs are not offered to students in the first semester however, and in most cases such jobs require being fluent in German.

    Arrival support

    All first-semester students are required to participate in an orientation meeting the week before the start of classes.

    Services and support for international students

    The International Office offers a support and integration programme to assist international students, doctoral students, and postdocs at LMU:


    Detailed information about accommodation is provided by LMU's International Office:
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