Call for the academic year 2021/22 - OPEN NOW!

Apply for our MSc Photonics - the online application portal is open now!

Application deadlines in 2021:

  • 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)


NEW 2021: study on-campus OR online

Dear applicants, 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 will stick to this promise. Yet, we acknowledge that the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic will globally affect the academic system also in the next years. Hence, we now 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.offered fully online.


In both cases, the academic degree awarded after finishing the course successfully is Master of Science in Photonics (M.Sc. Photonics). The application is identical for both streams, 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.

Students accepted to our program and starting online are free to switch to the on-campus studies and to come to Jena as soon as this is individually possible. In our view, giving students access to our photonics labs and train them on-campus is the preferred solution and will lead to superior study results.


Applicants for the M.Sc. Photonics must have obtained or be about to obtain a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification in Physics, Natural Sciences, or Engineering. The final decision on granting or refusing acceptance 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 in

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

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 likewise 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 at 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;
  • a proof of English proficiency by
    • TOEFL or an equivalent English test (minimum points/grades): TOEFL PBT (550), TOEFL CBT (215), TOEFL IBT (85), IELTS (6.5), or
    • Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE) exam or Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) exam, or
    • a statement from your previous/current University confirming that relevant parts of your higher academic education were taught in English, or
    • German "Abitur".
      (due to COVID-19 we will not insist on a new test if your test has already expired).
  • language exemptions: The following students are exempted 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 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; however, the template is not mandatory to be used by the referees. Please make sure that each letter of recommendation is signed. If one or both referees rather prefer personalized, free-style recommendation letters, they 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 not applying for a scholarship but for the direct enrollment at the Abbe School of Photonics only, you do not need to provide letters of recommendation, and in doing so, there will be neither an advantage nor a disadvantage concerning your application.   

Please check the scholarship information and apply for scholarship funding if you are eligible. Please indicate for which scholarship(s) you have applied. 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.

If you have more questions, please consider our FAQs. Please note that we cannot accept applications via post or email.