Laboratory class


What is the impact of human intervention on nature? How can environmental problems be curbed and contaminated sites removed? If you are interested in these questions, this is the programme for you!
Laboratory class
Image: Christoph Worsch (University of Jena)
Key facts
Bachelor of Science
6 Semesters
Teaching language
Tuition fee
Semester contribution
€ 265,60
Start of studies
Winter semester
Part-time possible
Application & Deadlines

Content of the study programme

There are so many wonderful treasures around us, and yet people hardly ever notice them. There are so many little lifeforms wriggling right beneath our feet— significantly more than on the earth. The soil is not just part of the ground; it is the basis of our very existence and is subjected to increasing levels of stress from monocultures, roads, houses and over-pollution. As a result, the diversity within and between animal and plant species, ecosystems and agricultural regions is under threat.

The contaminated sites of mining companies and manufacturing industries are also posing significant challenges to society: How can contaminated areas be restored? Environmental protection concerns us all—but especially bio-geoscientists! After all, such problems can no longer be solved by individual disciplines like chemistry, geology or biology alone—we have to establish interdisciplinary networks.

If you enrol on the bachelor’s programme in ‘Biogeosciences’, you will take a close look at nature, the environment and related changes. Over the course of six semesters, you will acquire theoretical and practical skills in the basic subjects of mathematics and physics, as well as advanced training in chemistry. You will then be able to further develop your expertise with extensive theoretical and practical content from the fields of earth sciences (e.g. hydrogeology, environmental chemistry, soil science) und biosciences (e.g. limnology, microbiology).

Digital discovery tour with free app: Would you like to find out more about our degree in Biogeosciences with fun quiz questions and puzzles? Click here for our interactive discovery tour app [in German].


The bachelor's degree is the first professional qualification. The standard period of study is a total of six semesters, during which various forms of courses (e.g. seminars, lectures or practical courses) are offered for the individual modules.

If you take a single-subject bachelor’s programme in ‘Biogeosciences’, your field of study will comprise 180 credits (ECTS for short; 1 ECTS = 30 hours for attendance, preparation and follow-up work, private study, assessed coursework and examinations).

In addition to the range of courses offered at the University of Jena, students also have the opportunity to attend certain courses at the Jena University of Applied SciencesExternal link and integrate them in their own study plan.

Special emphasis is placed on practical skills, which can be acquired through a wide range of field trips during the study programme, allowing you to observe environmental processes in nature and gain a better understanding of them. A six-week vocational internship towards the end of your studies will also give you an insight into typical areas of employment and provide you with some contacts in the world of work.

How might your study programme shape up?

Modules — semester 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Experimental Physics 8 ECTS        
Mathematics 6 ECTS          
Chemistry: Inorganic, Organic and Analytical Chemistry 6 ECTS 10 ECTS 6 ECTS 6 ECTS    
Earth Sciences: Surface Processes and Applied Geology, Hydrogeology, Environmental Geochemistry, Quaternary Geology / Soil Science 9 ECTS 11 ECTS 17 ECTS    
Biology: Botany, Limnology General Ecology, Microbiology   5 ECTS 25 ECTS    
Bio-Geo Interactions 5 ECTS   6 ECTS    
Required elective modules*         30 ECTS 10 ECTS
Vocational Internship           8 ECTS
Bachelor’s Thesis           12 ECTS

Short form: ECTS = credit points (European Credit Transfer System)

* You can choose from around 30 optional modules in the areas of Earth Sciences and Biology at the University of Jena, and in the areas of Environmental and Energy Technology at the Jena University of Applied SciencesExternal link

More detailed information can be found in the module catalogue for the study programme [in German]External link.

Why study in Jena?

  • Bio-geo interactions: You will be able to establish close connections between the areas of biosciences and earth sciences in courses created especially for the study programme.
  • Large selection of elective modules: Thanks to our teaching cooperation with the Jena University of Applied Sciences, you can also take vocational modules in the fifth semester (e.g. marketing, wastewater treatment, process engineering, environmental management).
  • Outstanding research: The relationships between plant diversity and ecosystem processes are being investigated in the Jena ExperimentExternal link, where artificially arranged grasslands are growing in trial plots on a ten-hectare site in the floodplains of the River Saale. The project is one of the world’s largest biodiversity experiments.
  • Integrated vocational internship: You can get an insight into typical areas of employment during a six-week internship.
  • Close cooperation: You can take advantage of our University’s ties to internationally renowned research institutions based in Jena, including the Max Planck Institute for Chemical EcologyExternal link.
  • Adventures abroad: You can easily realize your dream of completing a semester abroad. Our university has a global network of partner universities.

Behind the scenes

Students measure the vitality of the trees in an mining area.
As soon as you go out in the field, you will have to work in a team to dig, measure and collect soil samples.
Students dig a pit to collect soil samples.
Grab your shovels!

What can you do after your studies?

Prof. Dr. Thorsten Schäfer Prof. Dr. Thorsten Schäfer Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)

As bio-geoscientists have geoscientific and biological expertise, they combine two important disciplines in one person. Your vocational internship will help you make contacts, such as with engineering offices and environmental agencies.

Prof. Dr Thorsten Schäfer, Professor of Applied Geology

Areas of employment for graduates

  • water management, urban planning and environmental agencies
  • engineering offices for subsoil analysis, hydrogeology, clean-up of contaminated sites
  • oil and gas industry, raw material supplies
  • research coordination / research institutes
  • public relations, museums, geoparks

reports from our Biogeosciences graduates [in German] de

Postgraduate master’s programmes at our University

Master of Science
Master of Science
Master of Science
Master of Science

What are the personal requirements?

  • interest in scientific issues and interdisciplinary thinking 
  • good knowledge of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics
  • basic computer skills

Admission requirements

University entrance qualification

A university entrance qualification, such as a general secondary school leaving certificate, is required for admission onto the study programme.

More information on university entrance qualifications can be found here.

Language requirements

The study programme is taught in German. You must therefore have a very good command of German at the start of the study programme.

Good proficiency in English is required. Students must submit evidence of their language skills (except German—see above) when registering the subject of their bachelor’s thesis at the latest.


Subject-specific academic advisory service — Dr Dirk Merten
Subject-specific academic advisory service – Prof. Dr Kai Uwe Totsche
Examinations Office of the Faculty of Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Central Student Advisory Service
Office hours:
We offer consultations and the handling of your concerns in person, via video chat or telephone. Appointments can be made by phone or via service desk.

Consultation hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 to 12:20, Tuesday 14:00 to 18:00 and on Wednesday and Thursday from 14:00 to 16:00.
Video chat:
Videochat Zeiten
Monday to Friday 12.30 to 13:00
Videochat Passwort
Student Service Centre
Opening hours:
Monday 10 - 12
Tuesday 13 - 15
Wednesday 10 - 12
Thursday 13 - 15
Friday 10 - 12

Updates / adjustments may occur at any time. Thank you for your understanding!

We currently provide advice and handle your concern solely also via phone and service desk.

You can reach us by phone
Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 11:00
Postal address:
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
07737 Jena
International Office - Stay abroad
University Main Building
Fürstengraben 1
07743 Jena