Frequently Asked Questions

Master of Materials Science

Master of Science in Materials Science

This FAQ list summarizes many practical aspects of the admission process and other study-related questions.

Important Information

Please note that although we provide an English translation of the implementation regulations for the international Master of Science Course in Materials Science, only the German version is legally binding.

FAQ Admission to the Master’s Programme in Materials Science

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 (for more details, see the module handbook on TU Darmstadt's prospective students webpage for Materials Science). For your Master thesis, you will join one of the Research Groups at the department.

We expect a background in Materials Science that is comparable to a B. Sc. in Materials Science at TU Darmstadt. For example, our students hold B. Sc. degrees in Materials Science, Physics or Chemistry, and some engineering degrees. However, please note that study programmes may vary largely between universities. Thus, admission depends very much on the individual background, skills and academic achievements. For more details, please see Q4.

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.

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 Materials 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.

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. Secondly, 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, an interview or both, taking place at TU Darmstadt. For candidates from overseas, we can offer a telephone/online interview. (For this occasion, please make sure that your technical equipment is up to date and working). 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, which will be issued by the Examination Committee. If the student fails these examinations, admission to the Master’s programme and registration at TU Darmstadt may be revoked.
  • In case of insufficient qualifications, we regret that we have to reject the application directly. “Insufficient qualifications” means that we come to the conclusion that it is not realistic that you will be able to catch up with our Masters' content within one semester. See Q6.

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 TU Darmstadt, how this fits with the Bachelor course you previously took, and how the M.Sc. programme fits into your career plans. You can also tentatively state, in which area you plan to specialize during your Master thesis. Please refer to the module handbook and the list of research groups in order 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 at TU Darmstadt, please be aware that most 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.

We expect a background in Material Science equivalent to the B.Sc. programme at TU Darmstadt. The following list provides 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:
    • Defects
    • 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 will not lose more than one semester trying to catch up with our Masters' content.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.

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 the handling of applications and subsequent time pressure, e.g. when applying for a visa.

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 still incomplete (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 as soon as possible.

Yes. But note the possibility of proving that your Bachelor education was in English language, see above.

You need the usual documents plus a transcript, which certifies that you did not finally fail in your current course. In German: “Prüfungsrecht besteht”.

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. programme. You may have to take adjustment courses up to 20-25 CPs.

Formally, a practical internship is a prerequisite, but you may be able to do an internship during your studies. The internship has to last at least 6 weeks and it has to be approved by the Examination Board. Please contact the Examination Board before the start of 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 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 at the beginning of your studies at TU Darmstadt. Please note that you need to complete your internship before you can register for your Master thesis.

We offer admission for both winter and summer semester. However, mandatory courses of the first semester are only offered during the winter semester. 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.

Your credit points will transfer only if the classes are equivalent to those classes offered within the Master’s programme Materials Science at TU Darmstadt. Please contact the Study Office or Prof. Durst after admission. Please note that credit points cannot 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.

Every semester, we offer an introduction into the M.Sc. programme. This kick-off is ususally scheduled on one of the first days at the beginning of the semester.

Furthermore, the Departmental Students' Representative Committee offers a Master Integration Week during winter semester as well as an “Orientation Week” (in German) for beginning Bachelor students, but you are more than welcome to join in!

The International Admission office sends your application list to one department at a time, according to your list of preferences. If you did not provide such a list, the International Admission office will make the decision.

You can check the current tuition fees on TU Darmstadt's Semester Fee webpage.

Please contact the International Admission office. They are the sole authority that can answer these questions as they decide about the formal completeness of your application before sending it to our department. Please note that the International Admission may be very busy and answers may be delayed during deadlines of applications.

Due to the large number of applicants, we are unfortunately not able to offer this service. Please check the answers to the other questions in order to estimate your chances.

The TU Darmstadt does not offer any scholarships that apply to our Master course.

Please contact the International Admission office and/or the Studierendenwerk.