Photonics, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English
This international Master program in Photonics is designed for students of different backgrounds and all nationalities. It is taught in Jena, Germany, the craddle and heart of modern optics and photonics. Students will learn the theoretical basics, experience practical lab courses and undergo research-oriented internships for scientific research and for technological applications in industry.


This Master program is highly international, fully taught in English, and provides a multidisciplinary coverage of the field of optics and photonics. Students enrolled in the two-year program are trained for technical or scientific positions in industry or academia.

Why Photonics?

The invention of the laser in 1960 paved the way for a new research era in optics and photonics. With optics and photonics acting as enablers and catalysts, the invention of photonic technologies has far-reaching consequences, triggering a revolution in many fields of science, medicine, and technology.

Prominent examples which have been affected are microscopy and imaging, spectroscopy, medical treatment, life sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, and communication technologies. Electronics, the dominant technology of the 20th century lost its position to optics and photonics in the 21st century, which is frequently termed the "century of light". Great challenges in fundamental research and a huge market for optically dominated products drive the evolution in optics and photonics.

Nowadays, photonics is one of the key enabling technologies to address great challenges of the 21st century, e.g. in the fields of energy, mobility, health, communication, environment, and security. There are few technologies, which rule and govern in our everyday life as much as photonics.

Why Jena?

Jena is the craddle of modern photonics! There is no other city where photonics is so deeply immersed into every aspect of the society and everyday life. Jena has a long-standing tradition characterized by the symbiosis between academic research and a quickly developing optical industry including high potential for innovation already documented by those Jena pioneers Carl Zeiss, Otto Schott and Ernst Abbe. In fact, Jena has been a source of innovation in humanities and science since the 17th century. This multidisciplinary approach common among Jena researchers, Jena's international reputation in top research areas, world-leading companies in the photonic technologies, as well as an extremely high liveability distinguishes Jena from every other place in the world.

Abbe School of Photonics in Jena

A broad academic education at the highest international level within a modern research environment provides a profound up-to-date knowledge in a variety of fields - from fundamental sciences and laser physics to material sciences and life sciences - that's our Abbe School of Photonics. State-of-the-art laboratories at highest international standards offer optimum conditions for research at the frontiers of photonics.

A cornerstone of our philosophy is to regard and value our PhD and doctoral candidates as true scientists in all respects. Thus, we offer an individually adjusted and highly flexible program to meet each candidate's scientific background and interests. This guarantees an optimum level of preparation for key and leading positions in science, industry or governmental positions.

Your Master of Science in Photonics from Jena

  • Our Master program is based on decades of experience in photonics education at the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy of the internationally reputed Friedrich Schiller University Jena.
  • At the same time, the program is embedded in the modern research environment of the Abbe Center of Photonics, an academic center at the forefront of European photonics science, and the local photonics institutes of the world-known German research associations Fraunhofer, Leibniz and Helmholtz.
  • The Master program is part of an entire education program at the Faculty of Physics and astronomy of the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena specialized in photonics, starting for the Bachelor level (BSc in Physics), continuing in the Master program, and culminating in a structured PhD programme (Graduate Research School in Photonics). Each module is specifically designed to provide the students with the skills necessary to fill adequate positions in industry and academia.
  • We offer special scholarships covering full financial support for the best applicants.
  • The Master program is linked with renowned international universities from all over the world, supported by various programs funded by the European Union. Thus, our students can spend up to one year of their studies at one of the partner universities. The long list of these partners includes, but is not limited to, Australian National University Canberra and University of Sydney (both Australia), CREOL – University of Central Florida, University of Arizona, University of Rochester (all USA), University of Toronto, INRS – Université de Rechèrche in Montréal, Université Laval in Québec City (all Canada), and Massey University in Wellington (New Zealand).

Programme Structure

The Master program comprises four educational stages:

  • Stage I, Adjustment: this stage provides students with the necessary background knowledge in optics, structure of matter and in condensed matter physics.

  • Stage II, Fundamentals: this stage provides students with a solid background in the following important topics dealing with optics and photonics: laser physics, optical metrology and optical design. It also provides hands-on experience in the optical laboratory.

  • Stage III, Specialization: this stage allows students to acquire specialized knowledge selected from about 20 advanced courses (e.g. biophotonics, computational photonics, micro- and nanotechnology, nanooptics, digital image processing, nonlinear optics, nanomaterials, optoelectronics, quantum optics)

  • Stage IV, Practical photonics training and Master's degree thesis: an 8-week industrial internship is scheduled for each student after the second semester of study. According to their specialization, students perform a nine-month research project based on a current topic of research. At the end of the program, the students carry out an advanced scientific labwork in photonics and document their results in a Master's Thesis.

The Master's degree program is complemented by German and English language courses as well as specialized lectures and courses provided by internationally renowned guest professors. For more details, please visit:


Our graduates are regularly appointed at key and leading positions in science, industry or governmental positions, in Germany and all over the world.


Our faculty has decades of experiences in teaching and educating students at the highest international standards. Some selected lecturers are listed here:

Detailed Programme Facts

  • More details: For more details on the application deadlines please visit

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
  • More information Go to the programme website

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Book IELTS
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

Applicants must have obtained or be about to obtain a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification in Physics, Natural Sciences, or Engineering. 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 comprehensive curriculum vitae (CV)

  • a letter of motivation (500 words at maximum)

  • a transcript of records with marks

  • a proof of proficiency in English (see below)

  • if applying for a scholarship, two additional letters of recommendation from professors are required.

Work Experience

There are no requirements on working experience.

Technological Requirements

Apart from the Bachelor's degree, there are no strict requirements on technical skills for admission. However, to strengthen your application, please list all your skills and expertises (e.g. practical experience in optics and clean room labs, IT and programming skills, etc.) in your CV.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    400 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 200 EUR per semester and a duration of 24 months.
  • National Applies to you

    400 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 200 EUR per semester and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

At the Friedrich Schiller- University Jena, no tuition fees are charged except for a minor administration fee (~200 EUR per semester). This fee will include discounts on accommodation, food, and public transport.

Living costs for Jena

  • 730 - 1100 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Students at the Abbe School of Photonics can apply for one of our scholarships during the regular application procedure. These scholarships are based on criteria of academic excellence and are granted for 24 months, thus covering the entire two-year Master's degree program time period. We offer scholarships that comprise a stipend of 400...800 EUR per month and additional German language courses. Approximately 10 scholarships are available per year.

For more information on our various scholarship programs, please visit

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.