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MSc Astrophysics


General Information

Program: Astrophysik (Master) Period of Study: 4 terms (expected)
Degree: Master  (M. Sc.) Requirements: Bachelor degree
Start of Program: April or October Qualifying Exam: Yes
Language(s): Englisch Overall ECTS-Points Ein-Fach-Masterstudiengang mit 120 ECTS.

The four semester Master course which leads to the qualification of "Master of Science" is divided into two parts. The first two semesters consist of lectures in basic astrophysics and advanced courses in physics. A specialized subject area is chosen. The masters thesis is completed in the last two semesters with accompanying colloquia, tutorials and seminars.
The modular design of the Masters degree course in astrophysics allows the participants to study with emphasis in either experimental or theoretical topics. The primary goal of this course is to provide an overview into the deeper interconnections in astrophysics in a physical context. The masters degree is the professional qualification attained by examination after scientific training has been completed. In addition, it enables the student to be admitted to doctoral studies in physics.


The primary goals of the course are to impart expertise in current research topics on the basis of a deeper physical understanding. Here research methods, strategic planning, critical evaluation of the scientific results, independence as well as a career relevant qualifications are central. The ability to think astrophysically and to proceed methodically in both theory and practice are developed during the two year course of study. A mixture of lectures, exercises, seminars, colloquia, tutorials, practicals and field studies provides this training. Building on the knowledge gained in the first two semesters, these abilities will be strengthened during the year long research phase of the third and fourth semesters.


Entry Requirements

You will find details on the application and assessment procedures at Application for Admission to a Master of Science Degree Program.

Assessment procedure

Purpose of the assessment

The purpose of this procedure is to determine whether the candidate, in addition to the attainment of the first degree, is suitably qualified to meet the needs of a master's course in astrophysics. The qualifications necessary include knowledge from a first degree course in physics or astrophysics, in particular in theoretical quantum mechanics, theoretical electrodynamics, theoretical thermodynamics and statistics, atomic and molecular physics, nuclear and particle physics as well as mathematical-analytical skills and an ability to work scientifically.

Application for admittance to the assessment procedure

The application for admittance to the assessment procedure must be submitted to

Subject: Master of Science in Astrophysics
University Observatory Munich
Scheinerstr. 1
D-81679 München
(or: AstroMaster@usm.lmu.de - in this case we accept in total only one PDF-file with a size of at most 1 MB)

by the 15th July for the following winter semester and the 15th February for the following summer semester.
To send the required documents just via mail is sufficient for the assessment procedure of the Master of Science in Astrophysics, but the original documents are required to obtain the official Acceptance Letter issued by the examination office! [In a first step an 'inofficial' acceptance letter is send by the examination office to the applicants via mail. This letter should be forwarded to the International Office (IO) also via mail (note that the applicants have to contact the International Office before the 15th July for the following winter semester and the 15th January for the following summer semester to start the enrollment procedure). On basis of the latter mail sent the IO will inform the applicants how to proceed further.]

The following documents should accompany the application for admittance to the assessment procedure (in German or English):

  • a short curriculum vitae;
  • a copy of the first degree certificate (if available already) and the transcript of records (we are looking for students who have excelled in their undergraduate physics studies and also have done well in their other studies);
  • an essay of at most 1000 words explaining the candidate's interest in and abilities pertinent to the study of astrophysics at the masters level, including a description of his/her achievements in the first degree course (students with some prior research experience are especially strong candidates);
  • applicants whose first degree course was not taken at a University in a country of the European Union have to provide verification of their expertise in the form of "Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores" in physics or mathematics;
  • a questionnaire, provided by the faculty of physics, completed and signed by the candidate.

Results of the assessment

The assessment procedure will be carried out after the above mentioned dates by a selection committee of the faculty of physics and the candidates will be informed - in the first week of March and August respectively - of the results in writing.

Suggested Class Schedule

You may start studying the Master's program in Meteorology in October as well as in April. In total, students in the Master's program in Astrophysics need to achieve 120 ECTS credit points, distributed in the following manner:

1st term2nd term3rd term4th term
Courses of the Astrophysics Modules CLA Astrophysics
3 x ELA Astrophysics
each 6 ECTS
ELA Astrophysics
P/E Laboratory I
P/E Laboratory II
Preparation project for TW
CLA Astrophysics
S Advanced Seminar
2 x Attendant research seminar
each 3 ECTS
Master's Thesis Masterarbeit
30 ECTS / benotet
Supplement Courses ELP/P/S Modern Physics
Methods and tools tutorial

(*) Notation:

CLA = Course Lecture Astrophysics AM = Module of Astrophysics

ELA = Elective Lecture Astrophysics PM = Module of Physics

ELP = Elective Lecture Physics/Mathematics SWS = Number of weekly hours (the unit is 45 min)

S = Seminar L = Lecture Duration (the unit is 45 min)

E = Exercises CP = Credit Points based on the ECTS-system

P = Practical Work (Laboratory) TW = Thesis Work

Please note that this schedule is a suggestion. Further details and information are availabe at the MSc Astrophysics website.

Study and Examination Regulations

Study and examination regulations for the Master of Science degree program in Physics are currently only available in German. They may be found on the Faculty's German website.

Master's Examination and Academic Degree

The Master's degree is the professional qualification attained by examination after scientific training has been completed.  In addition, the Master's degree enables the graduates to enter a Ph.D. degree program in the field of Physics. The Faculty of Physics awards the graduates the academic degree of „Master of Science“ (M.Sc.).

Professional qualification

Graduates of the Master of Science in Astrophysics have attained a degree of knowledge in a modern specialized area of physics at the highest international level. Because of the broad range of the course they are able to apply their training to other areas and research topics in their subsequent professional careers. The Masters degree in Astrophysics enables the student to work independently as a physicist in research and university teaching, an industrial environment and the service industries. The professional qualification attained is applicable in fundamental physical research, applied research and development in natural science, technical, IT and medical areas as well as modern administration and service businesses.

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