Earth Sciences

Study information to the master programme Earth sciences with the disciplines geology, geophysics, and mineralogy
Key facts
Master of Science
4 Semesters
Teaching language
Tuition fee
Semester contribution
€ 265,60
Start of studies
Winter semester, Summer semester
Part-time possible
Application & Deadlines

Programme summary

Earth sciences are futures studies that enable contributions to issues of raw material and energy supply, climate change and maintaining a habitable environment as well as georisks and geohazards by fundamental research of the “Earth System”. As quantitative sciences they combine observations with a multitude of analytical methods and model calculations in order to study processes on diverse spatial and temporal scales.

The study programme offers a broad interdisciplinary education devoted to an integrated understanding of the Earth System together with the options to specialise in the disciplines geology, geophysics, or mineralogy. Modern instrumentation, field work, as well as the handling of large data sets are integral parts of the qualification.

The compulsory part (geoscientific practice) promotes advanced knowledge in an interactive working practice of the geoscience disciplines. A corporate project of all students allows to merge and critically discuss results from field and lab work of all disciplines. The elective modules (geoscientific specialisation) from geology, geophysics, and mineralogy makes it possible to focus on one of the disciplines. In the second year, a geoscientific project and the master thesis are conducted in the discipline of specialisation. Further geoscientific module or modules from physics, chemistry, biology, or mathematics can also be taken. A “free” module allows to import additional cross-disciplinary skills like economics or languages.

Special features

The integration of the geoscientific disciplines in one study programme allows and promotes an individual emphasis which includes novel combinations (like hydrogeology and geophysics, structural geology and petrology, rock and mineral physics).

There are manifold possibilities to cooperate in current research projects during your study. Lectures and seminars are complemented by hands-on field courses, exercises, and measurements. Furthermore, the Institute of Geosciences has intimate contacts to non-university research institutes and companies.

The disciplines

I Geology

The geology modules comprise areas like hydrogeology, structural geology & tectonics, raw materials, sedimentology and Earth history. They deal with mass transport in soils, sediments and aquifers as well as with the importance of colloids for ecosystems. An advanced mapping course amplifies the knowledge on fieldwork and on the construction of a geological map with sections. The study programme enables to evaluate deposits in terms of usability and environmental impact. Methods for the classification and survey of sedimentary basins are provided and allow to discuss question about the geological past.

II Geophysics

The geophysical modules deal with the collection of physical properties of rocks and minerals and their variation due to external forces by using state-of-the-art geophysical instrumentation to enlighten the subsurface and its coupled processes. Advanced geophysical techniques are practised in areas like technical geothermal energy, magnetics and electromagnetics, seismics as well as aero and satellite geophysics. Measuring in the field is accompanied by newest methods and tools for processing and analysing big data in order to be prepared to the future challenges in research and especially in industry.

III Mineralogy

The mineralogy modules amplify topics in crystallography, petrology and geochemistry. They impart knowledge on the relation of structure, chemistry and properties of geomaterials. Important scientific working methods like microscopy, spectroscopy as well as thermodynamic and geochemical modelling are covered. These methods can be applied to variety of mineralogical topics which may range from the formation of ore deposits to the study of meteorites and the origin of the solar system. Furthermore, skills in material science are also developed in order to work on applied projects.  

Career opportunities

The study programme qualifies for a wide range of fields and there is internationally a high demand for geoscientist. Jobs can be found in basic research, and in sectors like raw material, energy,  water management as well as environmental protection. Employers are for instances companies, (geo-)engineering consultants, and geological surveys. Dependent on the specialisation, there are also options outside the classical geosciences. Competence in analytical methods or in data analysis and simulation are in great demand in other branches. Finally, the Master's degree qualifies you for a doctorate at your home university or abroad.

Admission requirements

Undergraduate degree or equivalent

For this master's programme you need a subject-specific undergraduate degree (minimum 6 semesters/180 ECTS-Credits) or an equivalent degree.

language requirements

This master's programme requires the following language proficiency:

  • English language proficiency at level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
  • international applicants: German language proficiency at minimum level DSH-2 (or a recognised equivalent)

Application documents


Your CV should have a tabular form, containing key information on your school record and academic career.

Motivation letter

A motivation letter should not exceed the size of two DIN A4-pages and normally, it should contain information on your motivation for taking up this course of studies. You should  elaborate on the following essential questions:

  • Why do you desire taking up this specific course of studies?
  • What are - in your opinion - the main features that this course of studies excels in?
  • Which features of this course have inspired your application? 
  • Why Jena?


University entrance qualification certificate

Please upload at the online application system your university entrance certificate/school leaving certificate. Usually, this means the school graduation diploma (German "Abitur"), i.e. the diploma that makes you eligible for studies at an University or other institution for higher education. Be mindful of the fact that here, we do not need any University diploma but a High School diploma! 

Previous university degrees earned

All previous University degrees (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, etc.) if available before the application deadline - if not, please make a note of the anticipated date of issue of your degree certificate. Please upload your University degree or the most actual, detailed transcript of records/ mark sheet of all semesters available to you, should you not hold your degree certificate at the time of application. The main document is the degree/ transcript based on which you apply for the master programme.

Corresponding transcripts

Detailed transcript of records/ mark sheet of your first, subject-specific University degree, with which you apply for the master's programme (minimum requirement is the transcript/mark sheet up to the semester before the last). This trancript MUST contain an overall cumulative grade point average or average mark.

You need at least 140 credits (ECTS) by the time you apply.

Proof of relevant work experience

Should you have obtained subject-specific work experience, you can upload corresponding certificates in order to support your application. 

Proof of subject-specific practical experience

Should you have obtained subject-specific practical experience (e.g. by internships etc.), you can upload corresponding certificates in order to support your application. 

Proof of language proficiency

You have to submit the following proofs of language proficiencies:

  • proof of proficiency in English (Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)
Statement about your choice of specialisation

You have to apply online for the master's programme M.Sc. Earth Sciences. In this specific document, please inform us on your preferred specializations. (Geology, Geophysics oder Mineralogy).

Additional application documents for international students

Proof of German language proficiency

For German taught master's programmes, i.e. programmes with (predominantly) German as language of instruction, a sufficient German language proficiency proof is mandatory. Please see the information on the language requirements for the master's programme of your interest on the corresponding website.

The Friedrich Schiller University Jena accepts the following certificates as German language proficiency proof exclusively:

  • the Goethe-Zertifikat C2 (GDS),
  • the Deutsche Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz (DSD II),
  • the TestDaF, minimum TDN 4 in all four parts of the examination,
  • Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH), min. level 2 (= DSH-2),
  • Certificate telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule (min. level "befriedigend"),
  • a German language examination in the framework of an assessment test at a preparatory college.

Please note: If you do not have the required mandatory German language proficiency proof at the time of applying, you may only apply if you can provide a certificate attesting your German language skills at least at level B2 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) as well as a confirmation that you have either registered for the DSH examination, the TestDaF or an equivalent examination or that you have sat it and are going to receive the results before the end of the current semester.

There is also the possibility to apply for the (chargeable) "German Language Course Preparing for the German Language Examination (DSH)" at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. Please note: Prerequisites for the application for the preparatory course are language skills at least at the certificate level B1 / GER (e.g. Goethe-Zertifikat B1, TestDaF at least 4x3 and/or 800 teaching units from a recognized language school). For detailed information on the application and further information, please visit the website of the International Office or contact the International Office directly via Mail.

Shortly before taking the DSH-2-Examination or after successfully passing it, you are welcome to apply for a German taught master's programme!

The following applicants are exempted from providing proof of their German language skills:

  • Applicants, who have obtained a German taught bachelor's degree within one of the following countries: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. This applies only to degrees that were awarded by a university in the relevant country (no satellite campuses or international branch campuses in other countries, no correspondence course degrees, no joint- or double-degrees with institutions in other countries);
  • Holders of a German, Austrian or Swiss (from school where the language of instruction is German) university entrance qualification.
Translation of foreign/external application documents

Every mandatory application document from foreign/external countries must also be available in either English OR German translation. Such a translation has to be conducted by officially acknowledged/ sworn translators or translation offices.

Proof of grading system

External/foreign degree certificates/ transcripts of records must contain information on the grading system (= description of the maximum grade possible and the minimum passing grade) used at the respective University. 

Certificate APS

Applicants with degrees from India, Vietnam or China must submit the original APS-certificate issued by the German Embassy.

University entrance exam

Applicants from the following countries must submit a certificate of their university entrance examination/college entrance examination:

  • Iran (College entrance examination certificate or certificate of pre-university course/year)
  • Republic of Korea/South Korea: SAT (Scholastic Ability Test)
  • People's Republic of China: College entrance examination certificate ("Gaokao")
Subject Advisor - Dr. Kilian Pollok
Master Service Centre
Office hours:
We offer consultations and the handling of your concerns in person as well as by Service Desk, live chat, Zoom, post and telephone. You find details at 'Consulting Services' on our website.

Please direct your enquiries via Service Desk at
Postal address:
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Master Service Centre
07737 Jena
Examinations Office of the Faculty of Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Student Representatives Earth Sciences
Central Academic Advisory Service