How is our earth structured? What environmental changes are on the horizon? And where can valuable natural resources be found? If you are interested in these questions, this is the programme for you!
Image: Christoph Worsch (University of Jena)
Key facts
Bachelor of Science
6 Semesters
Teaching language
Tuition fee
Semester contribution
€ 260,30
Start of studies
Winter semester, Summer semester
Part-time possible
Application & Deadlines

Content of the study programme

Seeing what holds the earth together in its innermost elements…

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part I

… that is exactly what drives geoscientists in their everyday work as they look for answers and explain the processes of our unique planet. Why does the earth look the way it does today? What actually happens in the ‘bowels of the earth’? What causes natural disasters like tsunamis, avalanches and earthquakes, and how can we protect ourselves against them? Long gone are the days where geoscientists would just look at dusty stones in old glass cabinets! Earth sciences is a diverse, high-tech subject with a bright future, especially given the growing importance of climate change and environmental protection.

If you study ‘Geosciences’ at the University of Jena, you will often swap lecture theatres for the great outdoors, where you will need a great deal of perseverance, curiosity and thoroughness to become a real Sherlock Holmes of our home planet. Your detective work will be required to document minute structures and fossils in rocks and examine their composition under the microscope or in the laboratory. By piecing together all these fragments of information, you will gather plenty of evidence that will ultimately lead to a result. And you might even manage to solve the case and ask yourself the crucial questions of life: How can we preserve the beauty and diversity of our planet? And how can we repair the damage caused by mankind?


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 exercises) are offered for the individual modules.

If you take a single-subject bachelor’s programme in ‘Geosciences’, 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).

The study programme will give you theoretical and practical knowledge in chemistry, mathematics, physics and fundamental sub-disciplines, as well as working methods for the laboratory and fieldwork. In the fifth semester, you will also have the opportunity to specialize in geology, mineralogy or geophysics.


The required elective modules in the ‘Geosciences’ study programme can be divided into three sub-areas, which means you can specialize in one sub-area or take courses in different fields to get a more rounded impression of the subject.

excursion to Erzgebirge
excursion to Erzgebirge
Image: Christoph Worsch (University of Jena)

I Geology

The focus of this sub-area is the investigation of the structure, physical properties and history of the earth.

Geology also deals with

  • the formation and development of continents and oceans;
  • the formation and destruction of mountains; and
  • the long-term conservation of soil and water.
field trip
field trip
Image: Christoph Worsch (University of Jena)

II Geophysics

Geophysics explores the physical properties of the earth, investigating fundamental questions about its geodynamic processes (e.g. plate tectonics, earthquakes). How are these processes driven and why do they emerge?

Another important aspect is the understanding and application of geophysical methods that enable deep insights into the earth.

fragment of a meteorite
fragment of a meteorite
Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

III Mineralogy

This sub-area is centred around experiments and analysis, focusing on the formation and properties of rocks and minerals. These investigations provide impetus for the exploration of deposits and the development of technically important solids, such as metals, semiconductors, glass and ceramics, as well as new functional materials that have become an indispensable part of everyday life.

How might your study programme shape up?

Modules — semester 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Foundations of Earth Sciences: Introduction to earth sciences, geological maps, data processing and programming in earth sciences 15 ECTS   6 ECTS      
Experimental Physics and Mathematics 15 ECTS          
Good Scientific Practice and Scientific Conduct       3 ECTS    
Compulsory Module – Geology: applied geology, surface processes, hydrogeology, structural geology, tectonics   12 ECTS 12 ECTS    
Compulsory Module – Geophysics: seismology and gravimetry, geoelectrics and magnetism   6 ECTS 6 ECTS      
Compulsory Module – Mineralogy: general mineralogy and crystallography, rock-forming minerals   5 ECTS 6 ECTS    
Required elective module*   7 ECTS 12 - 18 ECTS 9 - 15 ECTS 30 ECTS  
Vocational Internship           8 ECTS
Geoscientific Project Module           10 ECTS
Bachelor’s Thesis           12 ECTS

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

* When choosing your required elective modules, you can take modules from mathematics and chemistry in the first year of study. In further semesters, you will then be able to choose from advanced modules in basic scientific subjects and geoscientific fields. 

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

Why study in Jena?

Prof. Dr. Christoph Heubeck
Prof. Dr. Christoph Heubeck
Image: Jürgen Scheere (University of Jena)

The surrounding area makes Jena
the perfect place for fieldwork!
I can easily and effectively teach
my students in the great outdoors
and then gauge their impressions and results in lectures and exercises.

Prof. Dr Christoph Heubeck,
Professor of General and
Historical Geology

  • Close network: You will have lots of opportunities to participate in cutting-edge applied research projects de thanks to the University’s outstanding laboratory facilities, collaboration with local industry and commerce, and institutions like the Geodynamic Observatory MoxaExternal link, the Seismic Network of ThuringiaExternal link and the Mineralogical Collection de.
  • Variety: Thanks to Jena’s location at the heart of Germany, lots of interesting destinations can be included in the study programme. That is why excursions, fieldtrips and internships are often part of the study plan.
  • Adventures abroad: You can easily realize your dream of completing a semester abroad during the fifth semester without having to extend your study programme. Our University has a global network of partner universities.

Behind the scenes

Institute of Earth Sciences at Burgweg
Ohhh… How nice…
The inside of the main building is really impressive, especially the ceiling paintings by Walter Herbert in front of the lecture theatre on the first floor.

What can you do after your studies?

Areas of employment for graduates

  • geo-engineering offices and service providers (e.g. geo-advice, software applications)
  • civil service (e.g. environmental agencies and offices for water management, urban planning and mining)
  • raw materials companies (e.g. stones and soil, metal and mineral industry, exploration and extraction of oil and gas)
  • industrial research and development
  • insurance (risk assessment)
  • education and research institutions (e.g. universities and museums)

Postgraduate master’s programmes at our University

A short film on the Western US excursion taken by students on the master’s programme in ‘Earth Sciences’ in 2018 [in German].

What are the personal requirements?

  • an interest in scientific questions on the structure and processes both
    on and in the earth
  • enjoyment of fieldwork and laboratory activities
  • an interest in related fields, such as chemistry, physics, geography, mathematics and computer science

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.

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 — apl. Prof. Dr Peter Frenzel
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 - International students
University Main Building
Fürstengraben 1
07743 Jena