Application of multicolor holograms in the lab.

Application for the academic year 2024/25 is still open!

Apply for our next Master's program starting in autumn 2024!
Application of multicolor holograms in the lab.
Image: Thomas Ernstling/ Gruner & Jahr.

This is how to apply for the M.Sc. Photonics by following the links below:

How to apply for the M.Sc. Photonics OR the M.Sc. Quantum Science & Technology in 2 steps.
How to apply for the M.Sc. Photonics OR the M.Sc. Quantum Science & Technology in 2 steps.
Picture: Friedolin 2.0

Application deadlines in 2024

  • 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 and applicants with a valid German residence permit)
  • September/October 2024: Start of the new semester in Jena.

Details of the curriculum

Please have a look at all contents of all courses taught in our curriculum as offered by our faculty:

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, on-campus teaching combined with hybrid streaming is the post-pandemic standard at our school:

  • 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 before the start of the third semester. Online-enrolled sudents are obliged to complete an attendance phase, i.e., to study on-campus during the third and fourth semesters, in order to be awarded the final Master's degree.
Outdoor blackboard for students at the ACP plaza, 2021.
Outdoor blackboard for students at the ACP plaza, 2021.
Image: Mats Segbers

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, and you will be asked for your preferences. Thus, 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.

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

Students commencing their studies at our School should ideally have basic or in-depth knowledge of

  • 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)
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)
    • 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, 274 kbhowever, 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.