Biology (Master of Science)
Were you captivated by your Bachelor's in Biology and would like to expand your knowledge in a master's program? Then you have come to the right place! The TUM Master's program in Biology enables you to deepen your knowledge in your favorite subject areas. With over 200 modules on offer, there are no limits to your freedom. Do you want to go in the direction of biochemistry and cell biology? Or do you prefer genetics/biostatistics, medical biology or microbiology? Ecology/Environmental management, plant or animal sciences are also interesting alternatives. After completing your studies, you will have a specific competence profile and be able to analyze complex interrelationships beyond your field of study, as well as plan and carry out experiments. You will be trained to respond to the challenges of the 21st century in the life sciences.
Type of study: full time
Standard period of study, credits : 4 semesters (6 semesters or 8 semesters in part time), 120 ECTS
Start of degree program: winter semester
Admission category: Aptitude Assessment for Master's
Language of instruction: German or English, or combination of German- and English-language teaching and examination
Main location: Freising-Weihenstephan (Greater Munich area), Munich (especially Medical Biology), Limnological Research Station Iffeldorf (especially Aquatic ecology), Research Campus Garching, Helmholtz Zentrum München
Tuition fees: none (information about the semester fee)
The TUM's Master’s program in Biology offers a wide range of subjects covering almost all areas of modern biology, from basic research to applied research. The field ranges from biochemistry to ecology. The approach always focuses on connecting factors: going, for example, from biological principles for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases like cancer and neurogenerative alterations to the biotechnology associated with them; from systematic approaches to individualized diagnostics and medication and the bioinformatics methods required for this; from securing the world's food supply through, for example, development of drought-resistant crops using modern methods of molecular plant breeding.
Of course, there are also many organism-based tasks to be performed, such as recording and maintaining biodiversity and ecosystems and dealing with neophytes and neozoans. Exciting topics include, for example, research into the human microbiome and the physiological consequences associated with it; the challenges of neurobiology at the interface between the senses, processing and control and the connection to psychophysics and human-machine communication.
The big scientific strides are more often taken in interdisciplinary areas than within the traditional subjects. That's why you choose a focus of three individual study specializations. The degree program offers great freedom in your choice of modules. You can choose from a catalog of more than 200 elective modules from the TUM School of Life Sciences, the Faculty of Medicine and Helmholtz Zentrum München, and build your profile accordingly. You can freely combine focus areas and modules to build a unique competence profile.
The program is primarily research-oriented – but there are also fields of activity with particular practical relevance, for example, in pharmacy, pharmacology, animal and plant production, or the food and brewing industry, as well as clinical laboratories. Graduates of the TUM Master’s program in Biology are well prepared to master the challenges of the 21st century in the life sciences.
The career opportunities for biologists are diverse. Depending on your choice of specialization, you will find jobs in university, applied, medical and industrial research, in the food industry, quality control, product marketing as well as in offices, authorities, and public institutions. The fields of activity that particularly relate to research are broad and can be found, for example, in molecular biology, biochemistry, immunobiology, virology, oncology and tumorigenesis, microbiology, genetics, cell biology, neurobiology, taxonomy, animal and plant physiology, and ecology. For certain positions a doctorate is recommended, which you can take following your Master's degree.
For the Master’s in Biology, you can choose from seven possible majors:
• Biochemistry / Cell biology
• Genomic / Biostatistics
• Medical biology
• Ecology / Environmental Management
• Plant sciences
• Animal sciences
You must complete at least three of these specializations with 25 credits each. You are free to combine the specializations as you wish, resulting in over 35 possible and very different qualification profiles. You can therefore develop according to your interests and prepare for your desired profession. It makes sense to combine related subjects (for example microbiology, cell biology/biochemistry, and medical biology), but in individual cases an unusual combination can also lead to a profile suited to a specific role.
If you complete at least 35 credits as well as your Master’s thesis in one of the main areas of study, you can expand this into your main area of qualification. Specialization in this main area provides the broad approach and networked knowledge of different areas that are characteristic of biologists. Additional modules outside of your specialization and one general subject complement your profile.
Interest aroused? Just take a look at an example curriculum!
As a graduate of the Master's program in Biology, you will be able to understand and analyze complex biological relationships. You will have deepened and expanded the knowledge acquired in your bachelor's degree and, by choosing your specialization, you will now have more specialized knowledge, while being able to work across disciplines. Your competence profile will reflect your inclinations, interests and abilities. The various internships during your studies will enable you to plan and carry out experiments independently, to process and evaluate the data acquired from them, and to put that data into a larger context. Besides this, you will be able to plan entire research projects and develop solutions for complex biological questions. The knowledge you acquire in the Master's program, together with professional and methodological competences as well as personal and social skills, will enable you to conduct basic research, to work on applied problems, and to deal confidently with as yet unknown topics. You are thus ideally prepared to make your mark in the dynamic and interdisciplinary field of the life sciences.
The prerequisite for admission to a master's program is a qualified bachelor's degree of at least six semesters' duration, or an at least equivalent degree in the fields of life sciences biology, biology, molecular biotechnology, biochemistry, or a comparable course of study at a German or foreign university. You can also apply if you are about to graduate – we want you to be able to continue your studies quickly! You can find more details in Appendix 2 to the academic and examination regulations.
In this aptitude assessment we ensure whether you have the necessary prerequisites and motivation for the program.
At the time of application, you must submit a transcript of records with modules totaling at least 120 credits, (for a seven-semester bachelor's degree program with modules totaling at least 150 credits and for an eight-semester bachelor's degree program with modules totaling at least 180 credits).
Proof of Language
Applicants whose language of education is not English must provide proof with a recognized language test such as the "Test of English as a Foreign Language" (TOEFL) (at least 88 points), the "International English Language Testing System" (IELTS) (at least 6.5 points) or the "Cambridge Main Suite of English Examinations".
The eligibility review process is conducted annually for the winter semester only.
During the application period you can easily apply for admission in winter semester via the application portal TUMonline. You can upload your documents for admission to the Biology program directly to the portal.
In a subsequent aptitude test, we confirm you have the appropriate qualifications and skills for the program.
++ N E W ++:
There are two different application procedures: 1) For applicants with an undergraduate degree within the scope of the Lisbon Convention and 2) For applicants with an undergraduate degree outside the scope of the Lisbon Convention. Please check which application procedure you have been assigned to by TUM!
Applicants with an undergraduate degree within the scope of the Lisbon Convention are required to complete a curricular analysis in the context of the application via an online platform, but are not required to take a TUM test in return.
Applicants with an undergraduate degree outside the scope of the Lisbon Convention (outside the EU / EEA) must take an electronic test (TUM Test) before the application deadline in order to participate in the eligibility procedure. Please note: At the latest 1 week before the test date, the application must be submitted to the TUM applicant portal.
Caution: Simply saving the application in the Portal is not (!) sufficient to generate an application number! Only 1 submission generates an application number! This application number is mandatory for taking the TUM test and must be generated by application at least one week prior to testing. Don't worry! In the application portal, it is still possible to upload additional documents after you have submitted your application.
(1) For applicants with an undergraduate degree within the scope of the Lisbon Convention, the qualification acquired in the first degree program is evaluated within the framework of the first stage of the aptitude procedure on the basis of the present grade as well as the existing specialized knowledge on the basis of a curricular analysis derived from the transcript of records.
You can find the link and the application number to fill in the curricular analysis in the online application portal.
For modules that cannot be clearly assigned to the subject groups based on their title, it is recommended to additionally upload the corresponding contents (e.g. module handbook, module descriptions).
The aptitude committee determines to what extent you have the basic competencies of the subject knowledge groups listed below from your previous studies and evaluates them on a point scale.
- Scientific basics (i.e. mathematics, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, information technology, statistics)
- Life Science (i.e. genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, ecology, plant science, animal science)
- Credits from modules belonging to the natural sciences and/or life sciences or a related field
The overall score of the first level results from the sum of the calculated score of the curricular analysis and the calculated score for the average grade.
Those who have achieved at least 80 points have passed the aptitude test.
Those who have achieved less than 70 points have not passed the aptitude test.
The remaining applicants will be invited to an aptitude interview (second stage).
(2) ++ N E W ++: For applicants with an undergraduate degree outside the scope of the Lisbon Convention, the first stage of the aptitude test assesses the qualification acquired in the first degree on the basis of the result (score) of the TUM test.
• The TUM test for the Master's program in Biology is offered once per application phase and will take place for the application for the winter semester 2023-24 on Thursday, 11 May 2023 at 2 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST)!
• At least 1 week before the appointment, you will receive an invitation to the TUM test by e-mail with all information about the test procedure.
• The TUM test takes place in written form and in English as an online test. It lasts 30 minutes and consists of about 20 questions. In total, a maximum of 100 points can be achieved.
• The TUM test covers the following topics:
Genetics and Biochemistry
Fundamentals of Natural Sciences
• Those who achieve 80 or more points in the TUM test will receive admission.
• Those who achieve less than 70 points in the TUM test will receive a rejection. Those who achieve between 70 and 79 points in the TUM test are invited to an aptitude interview (second level).
• You will receive a confirmation of participation in the TUM test with the number of points achieved, which serves as proof during the application process and must be uploaded to the application documents.
• The test is valid for a maximum of 2 years.
Details of the online application process here.
The application procedures are described in Appendix 2a (without test) as well as 2b and 3 (with test) of the Academic and Examination Regulations of the degree program.
If you receive admission, you must submit your certified copies in paper form to the TUM Center for Study and Teaching for enrollment.
Other degree programs that might also interest you:
- Degree program documentation
- Module Catalog
The Module Catalog is effective as of the date indicated and is updated on a semester-by-semester basis.
The curriculum gives you an overview and recommendation, which modules you should take in which semester according to academic and examination regulations (FPSO).
- Timetable (TUM ID required for login):
This timetable is intended to give you an overview of the planned compulsory and elective modules of a semester. It is for orientation purposes only and will not be updated during the semester!
Via TUMonline you can have a timetable created for each semester according to FSPO.
You can also create your own individual timetable, which can contain not only the dates of the selected courses, but also your personal appointments.
First steps with TUMonline
Your individual curriculum is for your statutorily correct study planning (coordination with your study advisor and for certificate issue). Please edit exclusively with Windows PC and exclusively with MS-EXCEL!
- General Academic and Examination Regulations at TUM (APSO)
- Academic and Examination Regulations (FPSO)
- Examination dates & registration via TUMonline
In TUMonline you can register for the module examinations that accompany your studies.
Important: You can only take most of the exams if you have actively registered yourself via TUMonline within the registration period. The registration and deregistration period will be displayed at the exam date.
- Further examination matters
- Board of Examination
The examination board is a committee of university lecturers including lecturers of the degree program. The chairperson of the examination board of your degree program is Prof. Dr. Philipp Benz. Applications to the examination board are accepted by the secretary and submitted to the examination board for decision. You can reach the secretary via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scientific Project Planning (WPP)
The Scientific Project Planning (WPP) is part of the thesis and should be successfully completed before the start of the actual thesis (for students starting the Master's program from WiSe23/24).
For students who started their studies before the winter semester 2023/24:
The Scientific Project Planning (WPP) is a compulsory examination for Master's students of Biology and is evaluated with 5 credits (independent module!). It must be successfully completed before the start of the Master's thesis. Registration for the WPP is possible from 70 credits and can be done either at the same time or after registration of the Master's thesis.
- Handbook for Scientific Project Planning (WPP)
- Form for the notification of scientific project planning
- Grade notification form for scientific project planning
All information about the WPP is also available in the module description in TUMonline (module number WZ22101 or from the beginning of studies 23/24 module number LS90000).
Important information on the submission of theses
A pre-study internship before the start of the course is not required for admission.
Bus connection Weihenstephan – Garching
More information about
Detailed, degree program - specific information about graduation can be found in the
Wiki Life Sciences – Study and Teaching - Graduation (TUM ID required for login)
Your personal student adviser
Dr. Michael Scharmann
ground floor, room 07
Tel. +49 8161 71 3804
Consultation hours: Mon-Fri from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., open presence hours Thu 2:30 p.m.-4 p.m. and by arrangement
Inquiries please via our contact form
Everything you need to know!
Many general questions can already be answered by the FAQs.
FAQs about studying
Current and course-specific information for students of the TUM School of Life Sciences
Wiki Study and Teaching (with TUM login only)
Follow your student council, the Fachschaft Biowissenschaften on