Master of Science
The Materials Science department of TU Darmstadt offers a Master of Science course “Materials Science” in English language. The program focuses on functional materials such as energy materials, magnetic materials, or electronic materials and their synthesis and characterization. Courses on theoretical materials science include quantum mechanics, non-equilibrium thermodynamics, and continuum mechanics. For further information please refer to the Study Information, the Schedule of Courses, and the Module Guide.
A prerequisite for taking the Master course is a Bachelor of Science from TU Darmstadt in Materials Science or an equivalent degree. Applicants holding a Bachelor degree in related subjects such as physics or chemistry are highly encouraged to apply. Materials, chemical, process, and electrical engineers with a strong focus on Materials Science may also be considered. Mechanical engineers will only be considered in exceptional cases. Strong focus means that you took additional elective courses in materials science. We expect a background in the fundamentals of materials science, in particular in semiconductors, functional ceramics, metals, and polymers. The admission commission may require applicants to attend additional courses to achieve sufficient equivalency.
No German language skills are necessary (and thus no German language certificate is needed), but sufficient English language skills are required. Our regulations ask for: UNIcert-Step III in English or equivalent, e.g. TOEFL test (paper 570, cb 230, iBT 88), IELTS 6.5 or CAE (Grade C1). Alternative possibilities are TOEIC 792 or the proof that your Bachelor education was in English language. Other university certificates will not be accepted. For the equivalency of other English language certificates, please contact the “International Admission office”.
“The online application process is offered for international applications on the web pages of the “International Admission office” with official university deadlines on July 15 (winter semester) and on January 15 (summer semester). For applicants with a German university entrance eligibility, the online application process is offered on the web pages of the “Studierendenservice” with an official university deadline on September 15 for the upcoming winter semester 2018/19.”
Please find our FAQ list concerning admission to our Master course below. If questions remain, please do not hesitate to contact us!
Documents and Forms
Students who enrolled in the master course Materials Science from WS 11/12 through SS 15 are studying according to the study regulations 2011. Students who enrolled in WS 15/16 or later are studying according to the study regulations 2015.
Study Regulations 2011 and 2015
Study Regulations 2011
- Study information
- Schedule of Courses
- Implementation regulations
- Schedule of Studies and Exams
- Module Guide
The Elective Courses Materials Science in the module guide of the study regulations 2011 will no longer be updated. Please look these up in the module guide of the study regulations 2015.
Study Regulations 2015
FAQ Admission to the Master’s Program in Materials Science
This FAQ list summarizes many practical aspects of the admission process. Please note that only the German version of the ‘Ausführungsbestimmungen des Fachbereichs Material- und Geowissenschaften zu den Allgemeinen Prüfungsbestimmungen der Technischen Universität Darmstadt (APB) für den Studiengang „Materials Science“ mit Abschluss „Master of Science“’ (implementation regulations) is legally binding, even though we provide an English translation.
Q1: What is the focus of the Materials Master program?
Our courses focus on structure, synthesis, analysis, and properties of structural and functional materials such as ceramics, inorganic, and organic semiconductors, thin films, energy materials, metals, or nanomaterials. Compulsory courses cover fundamental aspects such as quantum mechanics of materials, surface science, computational materials science, as well as materials analytics and engineering. A wide range of elective courses provides further insight into specialized topics (see the module handbook for more details.) For your Master thesis you will join one of the Research Groups at the department.
Q2: Which background do your students have?
We expect a background in materials science that is comparable to a B.Sc. in Materials Science at TU Darmstadt. Our students hold B.Sc. degrees for example in Materials Science, Physics, or Chemistry, and some engineering degrees. Please note, however, that study programs may vary largely between universities. Admission thus depends very much on the individual background, skills, and academic achievements. For more details please see Q4.
Q3: I have a degree in Materials Science/Engineering from another university. Can you comment on eligibility?
We will be happy to receive your application. Please make sure that you provide all requested documents. Your application will be evaluated as detailed in Q5.
Q4: I have a degree in Natural Sciences or Engineering with a focus on materials. Can you comment on eligibility?
We will be happy to receive your application. Please make sure that you provide all requested documents. Your application will be evaluated as detailed in Q5. To estimate your chances please have a look at Q6. It is very important that you demonstrate your qualifications in material science in your documents with e.g. certificates for lab internships, relevant elective courses (e.g. in solid state physics/chemistry, solid synthesis, corrosion, tribology, electrochemistry, nanomaterials, biomaterials, …), and – if applicable – your B.Sc. thesis .
Q5: How will you evaluate my application?
We will evaluate your application in a multi-stage process. First, your documents will be checked formally by the International Admission office or the central study office (German university degrees). Checks include validation of university documents and English language certificates.Second, the department evaluates the academic background of your B.Sc.:
- Direct admission will be granted if the background corresponds to a B.Sc. in Material Science at TU Darmstadt (for more details see Q5). Additional conditions can apply, e.g. you may be obliged to register for adjustment courses.
- In case of partial equivalence and good academic qualifications the candidate can be invited to an entrance examination (Third stage). This examination can be a written test or an interview or both at TU Darmstadt. For candidates from overseas we can offer a telephone/online interview. (It is the responsibility of the candidate to take care of the technical equipment on his/her side). Admission will then be based on the outcome of the test. In case of admission additional conditions may apply, e.g. you may be obliged to register for adjustment courses. Admission may also be granted with the reservation that further examinations have to be passed within a deadline issued by the Examination committee. If in such cases the student fails, admission to the Master’s program and registration at TU Darmstadt may be revoked.
- In case of insufficient qualification we regret that we have to reject the application directly. “Insufficient qualification” means that we come to the conclusion that you realistically won’t be able to catch up within one semester. See Q6.
Q6: Do you expect a letter of motivation or a letter of recommendation?
Letters of recommendation will not be considered.
A letter of motivation will be helpful in deciding about your admission. Please state in your letter, on which topics (elective courses) you plan to focus during your studies at Darmstadt, how this fits with the Bachelor course you previously took, and how the M.Sc. program fits into your career plans. You can also state tentatively, in which area you plan to specialize during your Master thesis. Please refer to the Module Guide and the list of Research Groups to find out more about potential specializations. Your letter should provide a sketchy overview of your planned studies (should you intend to include courses of other departments of TU Darmstadt, please be aware that most such courses are taught in German language). Of course, this first study plan may be refined and adjusted later on. Once admitted, you will work on your study plan together with your mentor.
It is neither necessary nor helpful to praise Germany, Darmstadt, TU Darmstadt, or our department for their beauty, quality, or degree of famousness.
Q7: What background in Materials Science do you expect?
We expect a background in Material Science equivalent to the B.Sc. program at TU Darmstadt. The following list gives an overview of expected skills. 1 CP means 1 credit point in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
- Mathematics (24 CP)
Understanding and command of Linear Algebra, Fundamental Analysis, and Engineering Mathematics (ODE, PDE).
- Natural Sciences (30 – 40 CP)
Understanding and command of Introductory general Chemistry, Experimental Physics, Physical Chemistry (Thermodynamics, Quantum Chemistry of atoms and simple molecules, spectroscopy).
- Engineering (optional 10-15 CP)
Understanding and command of Continuum Mechanics and elementary Electrical Engineering.
- Fundamental Materials Science (25-35 CP)
Introductory knowledge on all classes of materials.
Understanding and command of:
- Solid structure, thermodynamics, properties and defects
- Solid state analytics (e.g. scattering, spectroscopy, EM, electronic testing)
- Advanced Materials Science (45 -60 CP)
Understanding and command of:
- Physical metallurgy
- Solid state physics
- Introductory numerical methods in materials modeling
- Advanced solid state analytics
- Bachelor thesis on a materials related topic (15 CP)
Your background will be compared with this list. Particularly decisive for the admission is that your graduation can be expected within a reasonable amount of time. This means that your skills, grades, and letter of motivation will be assessed. As a successful applicant we expect that you won’t lose more than one semester trying to catch up.The final decision will be based on your individual documents. In many cases it is difficult to assess from the transcript to which extent materials related topics have been taught in natural science or engineering courses. In case of doubt, please provide a module description or a link to the module description of your previous institution and the topic of your B.Sc. thesis in your cover letter.
Q8: How early before the deadline should I apply?
If you have your documents ready, please apply as early as possible, as there is always a rush close to the deadline, leading to possible delays in handling of applications and subsequent time pressure, e.g. when applying for a visa.
Q9: Is the deadline strict? Does my application have to be complete?
Case 1: Your application has to proceed through the International Admission office (i.e., your qualification for university entrance was obtained at a non-German school outside of Germany or at an international school within Germany). Then the deadline is strict and your application will only be considered if the International Admission office of TU Darmstadt decides that it is complete. This includes proof of English language skills. If the final graduation certificate is still missing, at least a provisional certificate stating the fulfillment of all requirements for your degree needs to be included. If your application is received too late or considered incomplete, it will be turned down by the International Admission office and you need to reapply if you are interested to join our Master course at a later date.
Case 2: Your application proceeds through the Student Services/Office of Student Affairs (i.e., your qualification for university entrance was obtained through a German school in Germany or a German school abroad). Then the deadline is still strict but you may apply even if your documents are only close to complete (e.g. still some grades are missing because exams are not yet graded or your supervisor has not yet looked into your B.Sc. thesis) and you hand in final documents later.
Q10: You ask for English language certificates such as TOEFL or IELTS. Are the limits strict?
Yes. But note the possibility of proving that your Bachelor education was in English language, see above.
Q11: I study towards a M.Sc. in Materials Science at another German university and want to continue in Darmstadt. Which documents do I need?
You need the usual documents plus a transcript certifying that you did not finally fail in your current course. In German: “Prüfungsrecht besteht”.
Q12: What is an adjustment course?
An adjustment course is an obligatory course you have to take instead of an elective course. The idea behind adjustment courses is to give you the opportunity to catch up with essential topics in materials science you may not have had in your B.Sc. program. You can be asked to take adjustment courses up to 20-25 CP.
Q13: Do I need a practical internship beforehand?
Although formally a practical internship is a prerequisite, you may do the internship during your studies. You need an internship of at least 6 weeks. It has to be approved by the examination board. Please contact the examination board before you start your internship. The internship has to have its focus in an area related to Materials Science (e.g. working in an industry research lab is usually O.K., working in an administration is not). A written documentation is required. A pertinent apprenticeship or work experience may replace the required internship. Suitable documents have to be provided to the study office after arriving at TU Darmstadt. You need to complete your internship before you can register for the Master thesis.
Q14: When to start? Winter or summer semester?
We offer admission for both winter and summer semester. The mandatory courses of the first semester, however, are offered in the winter semester only. They are an essential basis for all subsequent courses. Thus, we strongly recommend international students and transfer students from other German universities to start in the winter semester.
Q15: Will my credit points transfer if I attended another university before attending TU Darmstadt?
Your credit points will transfer only if the classes are equivalent to those classes offered within the Master’s program Materials Science at TU Darmstadt. After admission, please contact the Study Office or Prof. Stark. Please note that no credits can be transferred from a Bachelor course that qualified you for admission to the Master course in Materials Science at TU Darmstadt, even if the total number of credit points of your Bachelor course exceeded that of a Bachelor course in Materials Science at TU Darmstadt.
Q16: Do you have an orientation program?
Each semester, we offer an introduction into the M.Sc.-program. This kick-off is ususally scheduled on one of the first days of classes. There is also an “Orientierungswoche” (in German) in the week before the start of lectures in the winter semester. It is mainly geared towards beginning Bachelor students and organized by the student’s committee (Fachschaft).
Q17: What if I apply for more than one course of studies at TU Darmstadt?
The International Admission office sends out your file to one department at a time, according your list of preferences. If you don't provided such a list, the International Admission office is free to decide.
Q18: What is the total of fees and/or tuition per semester?
The total amount is currently at about 265 € per semester. If you register late (after March 15 for the summer semester or after September 15 for the winter semester) there is an additional 30 € late fee.
Q19: Where can I ask questions of formal nature regarding my application?
Please contact the International Admission office. They are the sole authority of answering such questions as they decide about the formal completeness of your application before sending it to the department. As the deadline approaches and after the deadline, they may be very busy and an answer delayed.
Q20: Can I obtain a preliminary estimate from the department about my chances of admission?
Due to the large number of applicants, we are not able to offer this service. Please check the answers to the other questions to estimate your chances yourself.
Q21: Are scholarships available?
The TU Darmstadt does not offer any scholarships that apply to our Master course.