Volcano in Hawaii

Master Geosciences​

Structure and study contents of the master's program in geosciences
Volcano in Hawaii
Image: IGW

The master program Geosciences M.Sc. has been revised. The start of the reformed program is the winter semester 2021/22, an application is possible online ( https://www.uni-jena.de/Bewerbung_MasterExternal link) until July 15, 2021, after which the enrollment starts.
Information on the old, discontinued program MSc. Geosciences Geology (2016), Geophysics (2011), Mineralogy (2016) can be found here.

The most important innovations at a glance:

  • Students do not have to determine their field of study (geology, mineralogy, geophysics) at the beginning of their studies, but only at the end.
  • In the first year of study there are two common courses in which all students learn the most important geoscientific methods - from all three fields of study.
  • There is a new free module in which students can choose from the entire range of courses offered by the university. This makes it possible to acquire important additional interdisciplinary qualifications, for example in economics and languages.
  • In addition to the winter semester, entry for the summer semester has now also been created. In this way, longer waiting periods between bachelor's and master's studies can be reduced, which in turn enables earlier entry into professional life.

Download important documents:

What are the geosciences and what are the individual fields of study?

Ultraschall im Feldpraktikum
Ultraschall im Feldpraktikum
Image: IGW

The four-semester program offers a broad interdisciplinary education for a holistic understanding of the earth system on the one hand and the possibility to specialize in the three fields of study geology, geophysics and mineralogy on the other hand.
The handling of large amounts of data, modern analytics and field work are integral parts of the education.

Study fields:


There are several disciplines in the geology major, similar to medicine.
Applied geology includes resource geology, groundwater geology, engineering geology, bio-geo-interactions, and rock-water interactions. Many of these relationships have a direct impact on supplies , but also put people at risk.
Structural geology deals with structures of the Earth such as folds, ductile shear zones, and brittle fractures, e.g., in the structure of mountain ranges worldwide. This usually involves metamorphic, magmatic and sedimentary processes.
Hydrogeology studies the "critical zone" formed by the overlap of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and lithosphere. In addition to soils, it includes the unsaturated zone and the near-surface hydrogeosphere.
General and Historical Geology, focusing on sedimentology, stratigraphy, and Quaternary geology, studies the structure of continental sedimentary basins and the historical evolution of life and its influence on our planet.


In the field of study geophysics you will deal with the physical properties of rocks and minerals and their changes. Using state-of-the-art, geophysical measurement methods, you will investigate the subsurface space and its coupled processes.
Based on advanced methods of geophysics in the fields of technical geothermics, magnetics and electromagnetics, seismics as well as aero- and satellite geophysics and their application in field experiments, you will learn the latest methods and tools for processing and analyzing large data sets in order to be prepared for future challenges in research and especially industry.


The mineralogy course includes modules on crystallography, petrology and geochemistry, among others. The course teaches the relationships between the structure, composition and properties of geomaterials.
You will learn important scientific techniques, including methods of microscopy, spectroscopy, and thermodynamic and geochemical modeling.
You will apply this knowledge to a variety of mineralogical topics ranging from the genesis (formation) of ore deposits to meteorite research and the birth of the solar system. Likewise, you will learn materials science skills for dealing with real-world topics.

Study design

In the first year of study, you will acquire advanced knowledge of interdisciplinary geoscientific work in the compulsory area "Geoscientific Practice".
The compulsory elective area "Geoscientific specialization" comprises modules from geology, geophysics and mineralogy. Here you focus on one of the three fields of study, depending on your interests.
In the second year of study, the geoscientific project and the master's thesis follow, both of which you will complete in the chosen field of study.
In the "Interdisciplinary Elective Area" you can either take further geoscientific modules or modules from neighboring disciplines such as physics, chemistry, mathematics or biology.
There is also a free module: Here, the entire range of courses offered by the university is available to you. This allows you to acquire important additional interdisciplinary qualifications, for example in the field of economics or languages.

During your studies, you will be given a variety of opportunities to work on current research projects. The lectures and seminars are also supplemented by practice-oriented excursions, exercises and measurements. Furthermore, the Institute of Geosciences maintains close contacts with non-university research institutes and companies.

Image: Universität Jena

Entrance requirement and application

Students working through flyer
Students working through flyer
Image: Christoph Worsch (University of Jena)

The admission requirement for the M. Sc. Geosciences program is a qualified university degree in a course of study in the geosciences with study achievements of at least 180 credit points (LP) leading to a Bachelor of Science degree or an equivalent university degree in a related subject, which has been evaluated with an overall grade of "good" or better.

Graduates of related courses of study (in particular physics, chemistry, materials science, other geosciences or environmental studies) are generally admitted if their degree is equivalent. The equivalence is usually given if courses with a total of 60 LP (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, ECTS) have been successfully completed in the subjects mathematics, physics, chemistry and geosciences in the previous study program. At least 12 LP should come from the field of geosciences.
Applicants who do not meet this admission requirement may be admitted if their application documents show a special professional qualification for the Master's program in Geosciences and thus an equivalence. Equivalence is determined by means of a case-by-case examination, in which relevant professional experience is also taken into account. The decision on this is made by the examination board. In cases of doubt, a selection interview may be held. Admission with conditions is possible.

The Master's program in Geosciences requires advanced knowledge of the English language in order to be able to understand lectures in English well and to independently prepare texts on specialized topics in English. The existence of sufficient language skills is determined by the Admissions Committee. Proof can be provided in the following ways:

  • by language certificates above level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference,
  • an admission interview conducted in English, or
  • by school reports which prove at least four years of instruction in English up to the degree entitling the holder to admission to higher education.
  • International applicants must provide evidence of German language skills at the level of DSH 2 or TestDaF 4x4.

The application is possible via the online application portalExternal link of the Friedrich Schiller University.
If you have any questions regarding the application, please contact the study advisor.

Career prospects

The degree qualifies you for a practical career in many occupational fields, with geoscientists being specialists in demand both nationally and internationally.

Jobs can be found in the

  • Basic research
  • in public research related institutions
  • geo and engineering companies
  • global raw material and energy industry
  • environmental protection

Why should it be the Master's in Jena?

Alumni meeting in the garden of the IGW
Alumni meeting in the garden of the IGW
Image: IGW

Jena in particular offers a wide range of conditions and close contact with well-known companies due to its particularly interesting geological environment, but also due to its economic position as a high-industry location.

The study program itself is characterized by the deliberately personal relationship between teachers and students.
"Here the prof. still knows the names of his students".
Many excursions to the local area and the whole world, as well as numerous exercises, allow a quick and easy deepening of the theoretically learned material.
Furthermore, Jena offers a well-functioning student council. It represents the interests of the students and plans events (Geo-Grillabend, Barbarafeier, Filmnacht...), so that students can also get to know each other across disciplines and semesters.

By the way: The semester fee also includes a semester and culture ticket: This means that you can use public transportation in Jena as well as regional trains throughout Thuringia free of charge. In addition, admission to the Jena Theaterhaus, the Jena Philharmonic and the city's museums is included. This is unique throughout Thuringia!

Facts about the study program and important documents

Degree: Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Standard period of study: 4 semesters
Credits/ECTS: 120 credit points (LP)
Teaching language: German
Start of study: winter semester, summer semester
Part-time possible: yes

General study guidance and information about the new Master of Geosciences
Kilian Pollok, Dr
Room 222
Lessingstraße 14
07743 Jena Google Maps site planExternal link