Springe direkt zu Inhalt

M.Sc. Geological Sciences

The master's program "Geological Sciences", which is hosted by the Institute of Geological Sciences and has a prescribed period of study of 4 semesters, will award the degree Master of Science (M. Sc.) to the student, if completed successfully. The languages of instruction are German or English.

Links to further information you find here:

Notices for aspiring M. Sc. students

Information regarding the areas of concentration in the M. Sc. Geological Sciences

Letter of motivation for the area of concentration "Geodynamics and Geomaterials"

The following information pertains to the Study and Examination Regulations of 2012 (effective from the study period starting with the winter semester 2012/13).

The master's program's goal is to enable students to autonomous activity in geoscientific research and development. This qualification shall be attained both by successful attendance of courses of the geociences and by supervised research. To gain a broad scientific qualification as a basis for in-depth studies in a research- and implementation-orientated area, compulsory and compulsory optional modules are offered which are to enhance the understanding of modern experimental and theoretical developments in the geological sciences or are to introduce the student to those areas of the geological sciences which were not taught during undergraduate studies.   

At the program's outset one of four focal areas is to be chosen. Its courses convey basic and advanced knowledge and skills of the particular area. Additionally, interdisciplinary geoscientific contents of teaching are offered as a part of the geoscientific core-curriculum's course offerings.

Through the compulsory M. Sc. thesis students are able to gain expertise in the autonomous and supervised execution of a research project.

The master's program encompasses a total of 120 credit points (abbr. LP) and subdivides into modules which as a rule comprise several interconnected forms of teaching and learning.

Modules of a total of 90 LP are to be completed successfully, comprising

  • modules of a cross-disciplinary curriculum (24 LP)
  • modules of an area of concentration of choice (66 LP) (see below).

The M. Sc. Geological Sciences offers four areas of concentration, only one of which is to be chosen:

1) Geodynamics & Geomaterials

2) Geophysics

3) Hydrogeology

4) Paleontology

Each of these areas of concentration subdivides into the following two areas of study and the master's thesis:


1. Area of study: „Comprehensive Core Curriculum“ (24 LP)

  • equal for all M. Sc. students
  • deepens the general geoscientific education beyond personal specialization

a) Compulsory module „Geowissenschaftliche Themen“ (12 LP) of two semesters duration: Students attend the institute's colloquium and work group seminars.

b) Two modules of 6 LP each from one of the four areas of concentration (see above) which is not identical to the chosen area of concentration

   Eligible modules of the areas of concentration are listed under § 6 section 2 no. 2 of the

   current Study and Examination Regulations of 2012 here.

2. Area of study: „Concentration“ (66 LP)

  • Consists of compulsory and compulsory optional modules which are to be chosen from the course offer of the four areas of concentration mentioned above.
  • These modules are listed in the respective study plan.

   Eligible modules are listed under §§ 7 - 10 of the current

   Study and Examination Regulations of 2012 here.

3. Master's thesis (30 LP)
Students write their master's thesis in the fourth and final semester. It can be written either in German or in English. It is to be defended orally. If scientific supervision is provided for, the master's thesis can be written in an apt cooperation or in a scientific research facility outside Free University Berlin. The duration for the thesis' composition is 21 weeks.


Study and examination regulations, study plans

Contents and qualificational goals of individual modules are regulated in the study and examination regulations.

The master's program's structure is illustrated additionally by the exemplary study plans.

   Both are to be found here (in German only).

  • Application deadline

For the first semester only: 15th of April until 31st of May (for the winter term)

For higher semesters only: 1st of July until 15th of August (for the winter term) and

                                            1st of January until 15th of February (for the summer term)

Here adresses and information across the topic of matriculation are to be found.

(Applications are to be made centrally, not via the DES).

  • Prerequisites for admission

Admission requires

  1. a bachelor's degree in Geological Sciences from a university or a college equated by federal state law or
  2. a comparable degree in a subject pertinent to the Geological Sciences from a university or a college equated by federal state law
  3. a degree with an above-average final grade
  4. With a not-above-average final grade admission is nevertheless possible, if the student's aptitude for the field of study is proven by achievements related to this field, such as publications or relevant professional experience. 
  5. The examining board decides whether the admission criteria are met. The board can schedule a hearing with the applicant before reaching its final decision.
  6. While the B. Sc. offers a broad basic education, the M. Sc. provides a distinctive specialization. Therefore successful applicants for this study program must have excellent capability of oral and written expression as well as a basic acquaintance with contents and methods of all of the geoscientific subdisciplines and the ability for autonomous learning and scientific research.

Further information and access to the admission process are to be found in the articles of admission (in German only).

  • Tuition fees

Fees to be paid during the course of study you find under matriculation fees.

  • General information and adresses regarding your application you find here.

  • For all study programs of the Geological Sciences (including areas of concentration) departmental academic advising is offered by lecturers. Additionally academic advising and support from students for students (mainly for beginners) ist offered by the mentors.

  • Contact to lecturers and mentors here.

The overall concept of the geological sciences at Free University Berlin is an education as comprehensive as possible combined with exemplary fundamental research in all areas of the geological sciences. Since this goal cannot be attained solely by the geological sciences' own faculty, the institute has networked with a multitude of other geoscientific institutions in the metropolitan area of Berlin and Brandenburg forming relationships of various kinds in teaching (joint courses, reciprocal supervision of master's theses etc.) and research (e.g. combined research proposals).

Research in the individual work groups emphasizes diverse focal points:

  • The DFG collaborative research center "Nanoscale Processes and Geomaterials Properties“ and "The Precambrian-Cambrian Ecosphere (R)evolution: Insights from Chinese microcontinents“ are located at the institute und represent parts of focused research in mineralogy/petrology and geology/paleontology/geochemistry.
  • Research in the field of hydrogeology has an applied focus and stresses on the one hand regional aspects of groundwater research on the other hand regionally independent deep aquifers.
  • The interdisciplinary research center "Ecosystem dynamics in Central Asia" analyzes geomorphological, climatic and biodynamic effects of climate change.
  • Research conducted on modern devices in the work group geochemistry contributes to understanding material flow, age determination and meteorites.
  • The work group planetology is involved in several international programmes of planetary exploration (Mars, Saturn), to some extent in a leading role

Graduates of the Master's program are qualified to pursue either a professional career or a doctoral program. Possible fields of occupation are to be found in the areas of geological surveying and land use, raw material supply and planning, energy supply via exploration and production, water supply, landfill planning and security, legacy of pollution, environmental protection and risk evaluation, technical mineralogy and material science. Graduates are qualified to work in the public sector, especially in higher education, research institutions and subject-related federal and state offices. Many employment opportunities are also offered by international research institutions and organisations