M.Sc. Photonics

The Master of Science in Photonics (M.Sc. Photonics) is a two-year Master's degree course providing multidisciplinary coverage in the field of optics and photonics. The course schedule ranges from fundamental scientific subjects to application-oriented photonics engineering aspects. The program is designed to incorporate students of different backgrounds and nationalities and provides them with a solid knowledge in optics and photonics for scientific research and for its technological applications in industry. All students enrolled in the two-year program receive dedicated tutorial support and are trained for leading positions in industry and academia. Moreover, graduation in the M.Sc. Photonics program is the most direct way to enter our prestigious doctoral (PhD) program afterwards.

Paying tribute to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, we offer both:

  • the established, scholarship-supported on-campus course, where all lectures, seminars and lab courses are taught on our campus in Jena, AND
  • a limited number of slots in an adapted online course, in which all lectures, seminars and lab courses are intended to be offered fully online. In 2021, we will be constantly working on establishing this new stream. The slot limitation is due to a finite number of online practical research modules in our labs.



Study program

The two-year Master's degree program comprises four educational stages and is complemented by German and English language courses as well as ASP training courses:

  • I - Adjustment: This stage provides students with the necessary background knowledge in optics, structure of matter and in condensed matter physics.
  • II - Fundamentals: This stage provides students with advanced knowledge in the following important topics dealing with optics and photonics: laser physics, optical metrology and optical design. It also provides hands-on experience in the optical laboratory.

  • III - Specialization: This stage allows students to acquire specialized expertise selected from about 25 advanced courses from which each student can individually choose.

  • IV - Practical photonics training and Master's degree thesis: An 8-week industrial internship is scheduled for each student after the second semester of study. According to their specialization, students perform a 9-month research project based on a current topic of research. At the end of the program, the students carry out an advanced scientific laboratory course in photonics and document their results in a Master's degree thesis.

Admission requirements for the M.Sc. Photonics program

To be accepted to the Master of Science in Photonics program, applicants must have obtained or be about to obtain a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification in Physics, Natural Sciences, or Engineering. The majority of our students holds a B.Sc. in Physics, a B.Sc./B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering, a B.Sc./B.Eng. in Optoelectronics, or similar degrees. However, we are also open to consider applicants from other disciplines, who have a strong motivation to enter into the field of photonics.

Independently from the specific previous study program, all applicants should have a profound knowledge in fundamental physics, mathematics, and electromagnetic theory. Detailed knowledge in optics is however not an essential prerequisite to enter into the M.Sc. Photonics program since this will be the subject of our teaching. Nevertheless, existing experience in the field of optics will be helpful for an efficient study process.

Individualized support and transferable skills

All students of the Abbe School of Photonics receive personal and dedicated organizational support concerning e.g. personal mentoring, study-specific advices, language training, internship and job searches as well as local accommodation by our specialized ASP team. We are offering a comprehensive welcome and support program for incoming students. Further, each enrolled student is eligible to participate the following extra modules which are completely free of charge:

  • German language course for at least one semester,
  • workshops on job and internship applications in Europe and Germany (e.g. How to build your career?),
  • workshops on intercultural competences and business administration,
  • workshops on good scientific practice,
  • professional fotoshooting e.g. for the students' individual application portfolio.

Further student services

Further, the International Office of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena assists all international students with regard to individual tutors, access to our academic Language Center, international mobilities and further student services. More information is available in our FAQ section. Accomodation in student residences are provided by Student Services ("Studentenwerk"). Of course, private apartments are also available on the local market. Senior student tutors assist incoming students in a peer-to-peer manner, e.g. meet them at the train station, show them to their rooms, introduce them to the university and its facilities, show them the city of Jena and student life, and help them with paperwork. Student associations and groups offer a wide variety of joint activities and events, tandem language courses, concerts, festivals, excursions, etc., all of which help the international students to feel welcome and integrated.

Other Master's degree programs

ASP provides and coordinates the graduate studies in optics and photonics within two Master's degree programs, namely the M.Sc. Photonics and the M.Sc. Physics with focus on photonics. Both courses of study are based on the long-standing teaching tradition provided by the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. Moreover, there is the new Master's degree course M. Sc. Medical Photonics at the interface between medicine and optics/photonics offered by the Faculty of Medicine. The M.Sc. Photonics is the heart and primary education offer of our Abbe School of Photonics. Moreover, graduation in the M.Sc. Photonics program is the most direct way to enter our prestigious doctoral (PhD) program afterwards. To get support in choosing the "right" Master's degree program matching your personal and individual career development, please have a closer look at the main selection criteria of these three M.Sc.courses.