Application of multicolor holograms in the lab.

Application for the academic year 2023/24 is open now!

Apply for our Master's program starting in autumn 2023 now  - and the PhD programs are open for application at any time!
Application of multicolor holograms in the lab.
Image: Thomas Ernstling/ Gruner & Jahr.

Application deadlines in 2023

Photonics Laboratory Photonics Laboratory Image: MPSP/FSU Jena
  • January 15 (1st priority deadline for all applicants)
  • March 1 (2nd priority deadline for all applicants)
  • April 15 (3rd priority deadline for all applicants)
  • June 15 (rolling admission deadline for EU applicants)
  • September 15 (rolling admission deadline for German applicants)

Start studying online and join on-campus later!

Nonlinear optics laser laboratory. Nonlinear optics laser laboratory. Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

The MSc Photonics program was conceived as an on-campus study course. We believe that our School is one of the best places in the world to study research-oriented, hands-on photonics in high-end, research-grade laboratories - and we hold ourselves to this standard. Yet, we acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic has a long-lasting effect on global academia. Thus, on-campus teaching combined with hybrid streaming is the new standard at our school:

  • Starting in autumn 2023, 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. 

In both cases you will be awarded the academic degree of Master of Science in Photonics (M.Sc. Photonics) upon successful completion of the program. The application is identical for both options, however, during the application procedure, you will be asked to express your preferences to study on-campus or online. Once accepted, we will guide you through the enrollment process at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

Outdoor blackboard for students at the ACP plaza, 2021. Outdoor blackboard for students at the ACP plaza, 2021. Image: Mats Segbers

Students accepted to our program and starting online are free to switch to on-campus learning and to come to Jena as soon as this is individually possible. 

In our experience, giving students access to our photonics labs and training them on-campus is preferred and will lead to superior study results.


Blackboard studies in theoretical optics. Blackboard studies in theoretical optics. Image: Christoph Worsch (University of Jena)

Applicants for the M.Sc. Photonics must have obtained or be about to obtain a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualifications in Physics, Natural Sciences, or Engineering. The final acceptance decision is made by the Abbe School of Photonics evaluation committee. Students commencing their studies at our School should ideally have basic or in-depth knowledge of both

  • mathematics (complex numbers and functions, function theory, linear and vector algebra, ordinary and partial differential equations, vector analysis, integral theory) 
  • physics (electromagnetic field theory/Maxwell's equations, solid state physics)

Note: you do not need to be skilled in the German language. The whole M.Sc. Photonics program is taught in English.

Application requirements

The following documents are required for the online application:

  • Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.), Bachelor of Engineering (B. Eng.) or Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech.) degree comprising significant exposure to physics fundamentals, or an equivalent or higher degree in the same areas. A strong background either in classical physics, mathematics and/or electrodynamic theory is advantageous. If you have not yet finished your current academic degree, you may apply with a preliminary transcript of records including all completed courses thus far
  • a comprehensive curriculum vitae (CV) of one or two pages in length. (Please list all stages of your education chronologically, starting with your high school graduation or equivalent. You should also give a clear statement as to your current status and/or occupation including potential information on (un-)employment or parental leave. Chronological order also means that the CV should not leave any open or unidentified time slots. Any prizes, scholarships or extraordinary social, cultural, or sportive activities may also be listed.)
  • a letter of motivation (500 words maximum and to be typed)
  • a copy of your passport
  • your high school (secondary school) leaving certificate with marks
  • a transcript of records with marks
  • proof of your English proficiency by either of the following:
    • TOEFL or an equivalent English test (minimum points/grades): TOEFL PBT (550), TOEFL CBT (215), TOEFL IBT (85), IELTS (6.5) - during the COVID-19 pandemic we will not insist on a new test if your test has already expired
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) - during the COVID-19 pandemic we will not insist on a new test if your test has already expired
    • A statement from your previous/current University confirming that relevant parts of your higher academic education were taught in English
    • German "Abitur"
    • language exemptions: The following students are exempt from providing the proof of English proficiency:
      • Nationals from the USA, U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or Canada, or BSc and MSc graduates who obtained their qualification in one of these countries
      • BSc and MSc graduates who have been taught their previous higher academic education completely in English (language statement from the University is required)
      • holders of German "Abitur" with sufficient exposure to the English language
  • If you are applying for a scholarship of the Abbe School of Photonics, two academic letters of recommendation from two different referees (professors) are required. A template for these letters can be downloaded here;  [pdf, 439 kb]however, the use of this template is not mandatory. Please make sure that each letter of recommendation is signed. If one or both referees prefer personalized, free-style recommendation letters instead, these should contain a quantitative performance statement of yours, a date, and an official headline/stamp from the higher education institution the referee is affiliated with.
    Note: If you are applying to study at the Abbe School of Photonics, without a scholarship, you do not need to provide letters of recommendation, as they will not affect your application.   

Please check the scholarship information and apply for scholarship funding if you are eligible. Please indicate which scholarship(s) you have applied for. If you apply for a scholarship of the Abbe School of Photonics you should apply as early as possible since the decisions on scholarships will be made during the rolling admission process.

For more information, please consult our FAQs. Please note that we cannot accept applications via post or email.

EMIMEO: an Erasmus+ Multiple Master program including the M.Sc. Photonics from Jena

City Center of Limoges, France. City Center of Limoges, France. Image: Agence de Limoges/ Orientacion

ASP is a full member of the Erasmus Mundus Master (EMM) consortium EMIMEO - Erasmus Master on Innovative Microwave Electronics and Optics. In a context of increasing demand for research and industrial applications, EMIMEO is a thoroughly integrated program with a jointly developed curriculum. Areas covered range from the fundamentals of microwave electronics and photonics to their implementations with new technologies in wired and wireless communications, moving from components to system architectures for communication systems and networks.

The EMIMEO consortium comprises the University of Limoges (France), the University of Brescia (Italy), the University of the Basque Country (Spain) and the University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania). For students, the program offers the opportunity of a Joint/Multiple Master's degree with these partners.

EMIMEO offers full-scale scholarships for a 2-year Master's degree from at least two European Universities. The application is open now: