MSc Chemistry / MSc Molecular Science

Information on the Master’s programs in Chemistry and Molecular Science

For students studying according to the examination regulations 2013: If you have any questions please contact

Teaching in winter semester 2021/22

will consist of a mixture of online teaching and face-to-face teaching tailored to suit our needs (hybrid planning with prospects for returning to face-to-face teaching combined with an alternative digital track). Once we have further details you will find them here. However all students have to be present in Erlangen to attend lab courses.

Please note for lab courses and exams attendance in person at the FAU is required.

Presentations / recordings of information events can be found under “Student-Service Chemistry & Molecular Science” on StudOn

The Master degree programs in Chemistry and Molecular Science are advanced research focused study programs in the respective subjects, which run over 4 semesters (two years).

In MSc Chemistry the students obtain an in-depth knowledge and understanding in the core disciplines of chemistry according to their choice of chemistry and elective modules.

Students in MSc Molecular Science may specialize in one of two exciting fields of modern, strongly interdisciplinary molecule-based research areas:

  •  Molecular Life Science focuses on drug discovery and related subjects (e.g. molecular modelling, molecular biology), or
  • Molecular Nanoscience focuses on nanomaterials, nanoanalytics, supramolecular chemistry and potential applications.

In both programs, students attend their core modules (Chemistry, Molecular Lifescience or Molecular Nanoscience) and add one Compulsory elective module from a list of available interdisciplinary topics. For the Elective modules students are encouraged to choose courses according to their own preferences from chemistry or other science disciplines. Alternatively, language courses, law, and business studies may be considered.
Important for language courses!
A placement test has to be done before booking a language course.
Please contact the language center for details and information

A six-month Master’s thesis gives the students a chance to develop a deeper understanding in a modern scientific topic of their choice.

Applications are possible for the summer and winter terms. However, for Molecular Life Science, we strongly recommend starting your studies in the Winter Semester. This will offer the best range of options for an ideal start into your studies.

General information and helpful links


The successful completion of a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject is required for admission to both Master’s degree programs, Chemistry and Molecular Science. Since these programs build upon the basic concepts generally learned in a Bachelor’s program, the required first degree must be closely related. Most successful applicants hold a B.Sc. degree in Chemistry or a bachelor’s degrees that include content from the molecule-based CHEMICAL science disciplines. Bachelor’s programs which can be considered for an admission have at least 80% courses in the core disciplines of Chemistry from which at least 25% is fundamental lab word performed by the student.

Furthermore, a grade of 2.5 or better according to the German grading system has to be proved in the qualifiying Bachelor’s program.

A certificate of English level B2 (as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference), e.g. TOEFL or IELTS,  is required to study in our international Master’s degree programs, Chemistry or Molecular Science. In case the qualifying Bachelor’s program is fully taught in English, a confirmation on the teaching language for the Bachelor’s degree by the respective university can substitute the level B2 certificate.

The required test result has to be submitted in the electronic application via campo.


All applications have to be submitted electronically via campo , please find further information and details on:

Application and enrollment

International Master’s degree programs


The biannual application deadlines are…

  • July 15 for the upcoming Winter Semester ( opens middle of February)
  • January 15 for the upcoming Summer Semester ( opens middle of December)

International applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible to get an early decision e.g. to apply for a visa.

Please keep in mind the main start is the winter term, some modules might be easier to study when starting in the winter term.

Housing and financial support

Housing and finacial support is not provided by the FAU, general information on student life is provided on the webpage of the FAU.

The MSc Chemistry degree program includes

  • Chemistry modules (2 x 20 ECTS): choose two out of four (Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Quantum Chemistry)
    • each module consists of 10 ECTS course work (lectures and seminars) and 10 ECTS Lab practicals
  • Compulsory elective module (20 ECTS): choose one
    • Advances in Bio-Organic and Bio-Inorganic Chemistry
    • Advances in Homogenous Catalysis
    • Advances in Interface Research and Catalysis
    • Advances in Energy Materials
    • alternatively one additional chemistry module can be chosen
  • Elective modules (3 x 5 ECTS): three modules (each 5 ECTS) specialist or non-specialist have to be chosen, these can include, e.g., language courses, science courses, or others (list tba in UnivIS)
  • Research module (15 ECTS): 6 weeks full-time lab project in Inorganic, Organic, Physical or Quantum Chemistry plus seminar.
  • Master’s thesis (30 ECTS): 6 months research project including writing of the thesis

Together, all modules add up to 120 credit points.

MSc Molecular Science degree program consists of

  • Molecular Science Specialization module (40 ECTS): choose either Molecular Life Science or Molecular Nanoscience
    • each module includes 30 ECTS course work and 10 ECTS Lab practicals
  • Compulsory elective module (20 ECTS): choose one
    • Quantum Chemistry
    • Advances in Bio-Organic and Bio-Inorganic Chemistry
    • Advances in Homogenous Catalysis
    • Advances in Interface Research and Catalysis
    • Advances in Energy Materials
  • Elective modules (3 x 5 ECTS): three modules (each 5 ECTS) specialist or non-specialist have to be chosen, which may include, e.g., language courses, key skills, science courses, or others (list tba online in UnivIS)
  • Research module (15 ECTS): 6 weeks full-time  lab project in your focus discipline
  • Master’s thesis (30 ECTS): 6 months research project including writing of the thesis

Together, all modules add up to 120 credit points.

Teaching language is English (English knowledge has to be proven with the admission), however some courses might be offered in German only (e.g. elective courses or alternative compulsory elective courses).

Lab course are a key component in our master’s programs – therefore a strong knowledge in the various fields of chemical lab work is required for the application. Please find the details on the extend of lab courses in the description of the respective study program.

Lab insurance

Every student who participates in a lab course in our study programs is required to have current and valid laboratory insurance before starting the course.

The lab insurance can be purchased online via

The lab insurance is valid for all lab courses, and for one semester at a time.

Safety rules in a chemistry lab

The usual safety regulations governing laboratory coursework apply to our chemical laboratories as well; these regulations especially concern wearing safety goggles, overalls, and protective gloves; additionally, it is forbidden to eat, drink, or smoke in the laboratory areas.

Detailed safety instructions are available both in the laboratory and as a handout. Students are required to familiarize themselves with the theoretical basics of residual reactions prior to each experiment. Any equipment used in an experiment must be thoroughly checked beforehand.

Assistants are responsible for ensuring adherence to laboratory safety procedures and have the authority to undertake sanctions if necessary, such as excluding disruptive students from the lab. Assistants are also expected to know and keep record of any potential risks and the relevant safety regulations of any chemicals used in the experiments as well as their products.

Chemicals and glassware need to be handled carefully to ensure a safe environment for other assistants and students using the laboratories. Damaged glassware is to be immediately fixed or disposed of, and chemicals that emit toxic vapors are only to be handled under a fume hood.

Failure to adhere to safety regulations will result in consequences, and can lead to temporary or permanent exclusion from the laboratory course.

All experiments done in the laboratory must be documented in a lab notebook. Experiment reports require documentation of both reaction equations and reaction mechanisms. Reaction equations, reaction mechanisms, and description of the chemicals involved are to be recorded prior to execution of the experiment.

The Master’s thesis, worth 30 credit points, is part of the Master’s examination in both Chemistry and Molecular Science.

Students should be able to independently investigate a subject-related problem by applying scientific research methods within a six-month time frame.

To avoid unnecessarily extending the study period, students are advised to decide on a topic for their Master’s thesis and contact the supervising professor on time. The master’s thesis is scheduled for the fourth semester. Before starting the thesis all module except the elective modules must have been passed.

Before starting work on their thesis, students are required to submit a registration form to Mrs. Petra Schmitt (Prüfungsamt / Examination Office) and to the Student Service Center (SSC) via Email.

When submitting their thesis, students are required to provide three identical copies, printed and bound, as well as en electronic version on a USB stick or similar storage device to the Examinations Office (Prüfungsamt). If the thesis is not handed in by the deadline, it will unfortunately be considered rejected and given a mark of 5,0 or “insufficient.”

The maximum time frame for your Master’s thesis is  six months (handing in the final version at the examination office).

Tentative Time frame for the Evaluation of the Master’s Thesis

Students must submit their Master’s thesis by the deadline to Mrs. Schmitt in the Examinations Office (Prüfungsamt).

The Examinations Office will notify your thesis supervisor of the date of submission. The thesis will then be evaluated by your supervisor and a second examiner.

The Master’s thesis should be evaluated within one month.

If your thesis is not graded within one month, the student has the option of either checking directly with their supervisor or contacting Dr. Ruyter at the Student Service Center (SSC).

Title Page of the Master’s Thesis

The title page must include the title and student’s name, and the second page must include a signed declaration of independent authorship. Please refer to this sample template.

For more detailed information on the legal implications of submitting your Master’s thesis, please see the examination regulations (Prüfungsordnungen)

If you need help writing a paper, report, or an application, please seek out support from the Writing Centre.

Please note! Master students studying according to the new examination regulations (MSc Start in Oct. 2020 or later) have to register for their examinations via MeinCampus during the registration period for module examinations at the FAU.

Please contact your teaching professor or module coordinator for details on the exam.

MSc Chemistry

Exams in the Chemistry modules, the compulsory elective module and the research module must have been passed before starting the master’s thesis.

Molecular Science

Exams in the Molecular Science module, the compulsory elective module and the research module must have been passed before starting the master’s thesis.

You will be informed on the details on how and when to take the exams at the beginning of a semester.

The examination regulations govern the examinations in the Master’s degree programs Chemistry and Molecular Science.

The module guide provides information as to the content, extent, aims, and prerequisites of the modules mentioned in the program and examination regulations, as well as the names of lecturers and their respective module coordinators.

The schedule shows the coming winter and summer term for the MSc Chemistry and Molecular Science (LIFE and NANO Science) courses. More information on modules and courses can also be found in UnivIS. All information on courses is preliminary.