Dr. Falk Eilenberger in the laser spectroscopy lab.

Call for academic year 2021/22

Apply now for our Master's and PhD programs – the call is open now!
Dr. Falk Eilenberger in the laser spectroscopy lab.
Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

Application deadlines in 2021

Abbe School of Photonics Career Day and Counseling. Image: Anne Günther (University of 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)

NEW in 2021: study on-campus OR online and on-campus later!

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

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 hold ourselves to this standard. Yet, we acknowledge that the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting effect on global academia for years to come. Hence, we now offer both:


  • the established, scholarship-supported on-campus course, for which all lectures, seminars and lab courses are taught on our campus in Jena
  • 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. The slot limitation is due to a finite number of online practical research modules in our labs. We are dedicated to keep improving this new service for 2021 and the years ahead.

In both cases you will be awarded the academic degree of Master of Science in Photonics (M.Sc. Photonics) upon succesful 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. 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 view, giving students access to our photonics labs and training them on-campus is preferred and will lead to superior study results. We are looking forward to welcoming you to our campus once circumstances permit. 


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)

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.

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