A fuse group picture of M.Sc. Photonics Class of 2020

Master's degree programs

Explore our Master's degree programs, scopes, course schedules, application process and scholarship offerings. Enrolled ASP students will find important information for each semester.
A fuse group picture of M.Sc. Photonics Class of 2020
Image: RHubert

M.Sc. Photonics

He Ne laser laboratory. He Ne laser laboratory. Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

The Master of Science in Photonics (M.Sc. Photonics) is an all-English, 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 aims to provide them with a solid knowledge of optics and photonics, both for scientific research and for its technological applications in industry. All lectures, courses and modules are taught completely in English. Students enrolled in the two-year program receive dedicated tutorial support and are trained for leading positions in industry and academia. Moreover, graduating the M.Sc. Photonics program is the most direct way to enter our prestigious doctoral (PhD) program afterwards.

The MSc Photonics program was conceived as an on-campus study course.

Nevertheless, starting in autumn 2023/24, a limited number of online-only study slots for the duration of the first and second semester exist as well. Thus, the program can be studied entirely remotely during the first year of studies, and all 60 necessary credit points (CPs) can be earned during that period of time. However, in order to advance to the third semester and to finally obtain the Master's degree, each first-year online student has to move to Jena at some point before the start of the third semester. It is mandatory for all students to study on-campus during the third and fourth semesters. 

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 condensed matter physics. Thus, in the adjustment stage, students are offered courses which will directly connect to their individual state of knowledge from previous education.
  • II - Fundamentals: In this stage, students will be introduced to more advanced optics and photonics related subjects, such as laser physics, optical metrology, and optical design. It is also during this time, that students will gain some  hands-on experience in the optical laboratory.
  • III - Specialization: This stage allows students to acquire specialized expertise by choosing individually from a selection of more than 25 advanced courses.
  • IV - Practical photonics training and Master's degree thesis: An 8-week industrial internship is scheduled for each student already during the second semester of their studies. According to their specialization, students perform a 9-month research project based on a current topic of research. At the end of the program, students will carry out an advanced scientific laboratory course in photonics and document their results in a Master's degree thesis.
Main blocks of the study program of the M.Sc. Photonics course over four semesters. Main blocks of the study program of the M.Sc. Photonics course over four semesters. Illustration: Christian Helgert

Master Plus program: talent promotion by high-tech industry 

Career workshop of photonics students at ZEISS. Career workshop of photonics students at ZEISS. Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

ASP strongly supports strategic partnerships with regional photonics companies. Now, we are intensifying our long-standing cooperation with our prime partner, the Photonics Cluster OptoNet. Many of your students and graduates have already benefitted from OptoNet's major engagement in industry networking, career development and talent promotion.

From 2023 on, OptoNet will open its talent promotion "Master Plus program" also for all enrolled students at the ASP. This means, that once you have been accepted to the ASP program, you also have the chance to get one of the prestigious slots in OptoNet's Master Plus program. This will be a extra industrial training in addition to your ASP studies, and it will enhance your network with Jena's photonics industry from the first day of your studies. The program includes five so-called Master Tours where students visit companies facilities, laboratories and get insights during presentations and face-to-face talks with CEOs, R&D- and HR leaders. Additionally, Master Plucs students get prepared for their personal career with social skills trainings in presentation, leadership, team and conflict management. This gives you the best opportunity to find a Master thesis, internship or long-term position in the photonic industry.

Admission requirements for the M.Sc. Photonics program

3D facial image recognition and patterning. 3D facial image recognition and patterning. Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

In order to be accepted in the Master of Science in Photonics program, applicants must have obtained or be about to obtain a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualifications in Physics, Natural Sciences, or Engineering. The majority of our students are graduates with 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 nevertheless open to considering applicants from other disciplines, who have a strong motivation to enter the field of photonics.

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

Individualized support and transferable skills

Hackathon 2019 of the Lichtwerkstatt Jena. Hackathon 2019 of the Lichtwerkstatt Jena. Image: FSU/LichtwerkstattJena

All students of the Abbe School of Photonics receive dedicated personal and organizational support, such as personal mentoring, study-specific tutoring, language training, internship and job advice, as well as guidance on local accommodation provided by our specialized ASP team. We offer a comprehensive welcome and support program for incoming students. Furthermore, each enrolled student is eligible to participate in the following extra modules, completely free of charge:

  • German language course for at least one semester
  • Workshops on job and internship applications in Europe and Germany
  • Workshops on intercultural competences and business administration
  • Workshops on good scientific practice
  • Professional support to create individual application documents for a successful career start after graduation

Further student services

Doctoral students relaxing outdoor in Jena. Doctoral students relaxing outdoor in Jena. Image: Anna Schroll

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. Accommodation 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. meeting them upon arrival, showing them their rooms, introducing them to the university and its facilities, showing them around the city of Jena and its student life, and helping them with the initial paperwork. Student groups and associations offer a wide variety of joint activities and events, tandem language courses, concerts, festivals, excursions, etc. - making sure, in short, that our new students feel welcome and integrated.

Other Master's degree programs at our University

Entrance hall of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy in Jena. Entrance hall of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy in Jena. Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

ASP provides and coordinates 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, the Faculty of Medicine offers the M. Sc. Medical Photonics, a new Master's degree course at the interface between medicine and optics/photonics. The M.Sc. Photonics is the heart and primary education offer of our Abbe School of Photonics. Completing this program is the most direct way to continue seemlessly with our prestigious doctoral (PhD) program. For support with choosing the "right" Master's degree program for your personal career ambitions, please have a closer look at the main selection criteria of these three M.Sc. courses [pdf, 133 kb].