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Mathematics, Natural Sciences

Study Physics, Astronomy in Germany

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Physics is an essential science that deals with the laws of nature – from elementary particles to the universe. It is a fundamental part of our lives, as insights into physics often form the cornerstone for innovation and progress and thus for the technical achievements of our time. In physics degree programmes, you explore scientific laws both experimentally and theoretically and consider the practical application of these new findings.

Facts

78 Higher Education Institutions

Bachelor, Master, State Examination

German, English

2-11 Semesters

What content can I expect?

The study of physics is theory-based and only offered at universities. Universities of applied sciences only offer classes in physics as part of other degree programmes, e.g., as part of an engineering programme, or you can study applied physics there. Courses of study purely in physics at universities cover different scientific areas of physics, including:

  • Theoretical physics: This area is primarily concerned with the development of models and theories of scientific laws.
  • Experimental physics: Here, the focus is on the quantitative measurements of these scientific laws.
  • Astronomy and astrophysics: Courses of study in this field deal with the universe and its celestial bodies.

Theoretical and experimental physics are mutually dependent. Theoretical findings are verified in scientific experiments and knowledge gained in these experiments is in turn integrated into theoretical deliberations.

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What are the admission requirements for courses of study in physics, astronomy?

Since the subject of physics and astronomy is taught exclusively at universities, you need an Abitur or a subject-linked university entrance qualification or an international equivalent to be admitted to a Bachelor’s degree programme. If, on the other hand, you would like to study physics in a more application-oriented way, for example as physical technology, you will also find what you are looking for at universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulen/Hochschulen für angewandte Wissenschaften). You can also apply to these types of higher education institutions with an advanced technical college entrance qualification (or its international equivalent). Admission restrictions, such as a numerus clausus (NC), i.e. a minimum grade, are rare in physics. The subject is offered by many institutions, but at the same time, the number of applicants is manageable and only rarely exceeds the number of open places.

Physics and astronomy are considered rather difficult fields of study for which you need a special skillset and knowledge. In all subject areas, your studies will rely heavily on mathematics. For a successful start to your studies, you should have solid mathematics skills from secondary school. Many universities offer preparatory courses in mathematics to make the first few semesters easier for you. If your chosen institution offers such a preliminary course, you should take it if possible. Many higher education institutions strongly advise their applicants to do so.

How long does a degree programme in physics, astronomy take?

Usually, you will receive your Bachelor’s degree after six semesters, rarely seven or eight semesters. After that, you can either start your career directly or opt for a Master’s programme, which often takes another four semesters and sometimes only two or three semesters. The Master’s programmes are often already specialised in a sub-field of physics, such as astrophysics or biophysics. In addition, there are also interdisciplinary programmes that train students in neighbouring disciplines. Practical phases in the form of internships are integral parts of the curricula of most degree programmes at both Bachelor’s and Master’s levels; stays abroad are usually possible, but rarely obligatory.

Of course, you can also study physics and astronomy with the view of becoming a teacher. Universities offer special teacher training programmes for this purpose, in which you usually study a second subject as well as educational theory.

Usually, it is not possible to study physics as a dual course of study. However, the application-oriented physics degree programmes mentioned above that are offered at universities of applied sciences can certainly be studied as dual programmes. If you are interested in a dual programme it is well worth taking a closer look here. Also, a purely distance-learning physics degree programme is not widely available in Germany at present, and only a few are offered.

How much does it cost to study physics, astronomy in Germany?

There are usually no tuition fees at public universities and public universities of applied sciences, which is just not very common in Germany. The situation is different, however, if you want to study at private higher education institutions, which have been founded more frequently in Germany in recent years. Here, fees can amount to several thousand euros per semester.

What you do have to plan for, however, is the so-called semester contribution, which you have to pay every semester at all public higher education institutions and also at many private ones. This contribution usually is between 100 and 400 euros per semester and is used to support the local student services and often includes a ticket for local public transport. Depending on where you study, this may be valid for the city, the region or even for all of Germany. Ask your higher education institution whether such an offer is currently available.

A significant factor in your budget will be your rent payment. The exact amount depends on your place of study as well as on your type of accommodation. In large cities, housing is often scarce and expensive, while in smaller cities it is comparatively affordable. In any case, student halls of residence are usually your cheapest option. As soon as you have decided on where you want to study, you should start looking, as halls of residence can fill up quickly. Here, you can find information on local halls of residence and the respective application process for most cities. Your other living costs depend heavily on your individual lifestyle and differ significantly between individual students.

To finance your studies in Germany, you should also find out about scholarships. There are many different scholarship programmes and excellent grades are not the only deciding factor. You can learn more about scholarships here and find suitable programmes directly on My GUIDE.

What are my career options with a degree in physics, astronomy?

You will have excellent career perspectives with a degree in physics. You can gain a foothold in many sectors, as studying physics provides you with a broad skill set that will match many job descriptions in different industries and companies. This strong demand in the labour market also affects your potential starting salary. Physics graduates earn above-average salaries.

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Check your eligibility to study at German higher education institutions (non-binding)

Run a quick and non-binding check to determine whether your certificates make you eligible to study at German higher education institutions. Depending on which educational certificates you provide, you may qualify for all degree programmes or only for certain subjects or types of higher education institutions. It is possible that you do not currently meet the requirements to be eligible to apply to a German higher education institution. In such a case, you may be able to attend a Studienkolleg. Please note that the eligibility check results apply exclusively to undergraduate programmes and are not legally binding.

Once you have completed the non-binding check, degree programmes that match your eligibility will be marked with a corresponding icon.