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The "Planetary Sciences and Space Exploration" Master's program is hosted by the three institutes of the Department of Earth Sciences, and includes professors and lecturers from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Natural History Museum (MfN) in Berlin. After a standard period of study of 4 semesters, successful students will be awarded the degree of Master of Science (M.Sc.). The language of instruction is English.

Since the program is accessible to those with a wide range of Bachelor degrees, the goals in the first semester are a) to equip all students with a ‘toolkit’ to successfully participate in subsequent coursework and b) to bring all students to a common basic foundation in planetary sciences. Depending on their previous knowledge, students will have to take two out of three synchronization modules, which provide basic geological, computational, or physical and mathematical training.


Most core modules are taught in the first two semesters and - in addition to introductory courses in planetary sciences and remote sensing - encompass planetary physics as well as planetary atmospheres and climate. Starting in the second semester students can begin to specialize with elective modules. Here they benefit from the extraordinarily wide scope of expertise at FU Berlin and can choose between courses spanning a range of fields such as: 

  • planetary exploration with space probes 

  • remote sensing of the Earth with satellites

  • planetary geology

  • planetary physics and dynamics

  • computational modeling of planetary processes

  • exoplanets and planetary habitability

  • laboratory work and excursions


Students will also gain insights into possible career paths, by attending research seminars with professional scientists and undertaking their Master’s thesis research in one of the world-leading groups at FU Berlin or nearby research institutions like the DLR Institute of Planetary Research. During an 8-week internship, students will get additional hands-on experience inside a university or non-university research institution or company in Germany or abroad. 

With this Master’s degree in hand, students are certified for independent research in planetary sciences and space exploration and, with that, are ready to find a job at research institutions, space agencies (e.g. ESA, NASA), relevant industrial sectors with a focus on (aero)space and satellite technology, and Earth remote sensing. For those graduates who want to continue with doctoral study, the unique Berlin research landscape in planetary sciences and space exploration offers the best possibilities anywhere in Germany and is one of the few world class venues in Europe.


The following information pertains to the Study and Examination Regulations of 2021 (effective from the study period starting with the winter semester 2022/23).