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Study Physics in Germany

Study Physics in Germany

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Erudera's Complete Guide to Studying in Physics in Germany

If there is one thing Germany is known for is its expertise in science and technology. Numerous prominent researchers in disciplines such as physics, mathematics, engineering, and chemistry took their first steps in Germany. This nation of development and innovation will do wonders for your career as a physicist. Studying physics in Germany will place you in a challenging environment where you will learn from some of the best in the industry. Germany provides plenty of chances to earn hands-on experience because its universities pay special attention to the practical aspects of knowledge.

Here’s everything you need to know about studying physics in Germany:

Reasons to Study Physics in Germany

International Prestige in Physics

Germany has national and international prestige in physics. In fact, Germany is one of the best countries for physical sciences. Germany is especially recognized for its achievements and developments in scientific research and engineering. It has a highly qualified scientific community and an outstanding international reputation. As a physics major in Germany, you will have a wide range of opportunities to enhance your skills as a scientific researcher or whatever career path you decide to pursue utilizing your physics education.

Diverse Choice of Specializations

German universities deliver quality research and instruction in a wide array of specialist fields of physics. Students can choose from a broad spectrum of study areas. For example, The Faculty of Physics at LMU Munich offers specialist fields such as astronomy and astrophysics, nuclear and particle physics, atmospheric physics, biophysics, mathematical physics, laser and quantum optics, as well solid-state physics, to name a few. Studying physics at German universities will be worthwhile, both in terms of quality and affordability.

Employment Opportunities

Germany is home to a wide variety of physics facilities, among which the German Electron Synchrotron and the European X-ray Free-Electron Laser Facility. Employment opportunities for physics majors in Germany are plentiful (and they tend to be lucrative as well). Many physics majors find employment in engineering or computer science job positions, which is a great thing in Germany, especially considering that engineering is one of the in-demand industries here. As a physics major graduating from German higher education institutions, you will have plenty of employment opportunities in Germany and abroad.

Stimulating and Challenging Environment

Germany offers a stimulating and challenging environment to physics students because of its outstanding expertise and recognition in the field of physical sciences. Students learn the theoretical fundamentals of physics and obtain hands-on experience to fully understand and prepare for a career in the physics field. Some of the top professionals and academics teach at German universities, ensuring students learn from the very best. A challenging environment encourages professional development, which is one of the main reasons to study physics in Germany.

Top Universities to Study Physics in Germany

Some of the best universities to study physics in Germany include:

  • Technical University of Munich
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
  • KIT, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • RWTH Aachen University

Top Physics Master’s Programs in Germany

Some of the top master’s programs in Physics in Germany include:

  • Master Program in Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Master Program in Condensed Matter Physics
  • Master Program in Nuclear, Particle, and Astrophysics
  • Master Program in Biophysics
  • Master Program in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics
  • Master Program in Quantum Science and Technology

Requirements

Academic requirements to study physics at German universities vary from one university to another, but, generally, students must be in possession of a university entrance qualification and language requirements (German or English, depending on the language of instruction). Upon admission, students from non-EU/EEA member countries must also obtain a student visa and prove their financial stability before entering Germany.

The academic requirements for a bachelor’s degree in Physics in Germany generally include:

  • University entrance qualification (Abitur or equivalent).
  • Current Resume and Letter of Motivation.
  • Proof of professional experience (if applicable).
  • Proof of German or English language proficiency (depending on the medium of instruction).
  • Preliminary Documentation (VPD) by Uni-Assist (for international applicants).
  • Aptitude assessment (when applicable).

The academic requirements for a Physics master’s degree in Germany generally include:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Physics or related field.
  • German or English language proficiency (depending on the medium of instruction).
  • Assessment Exam/Assessment Interview (depending on the university).
  • GRE scores in Physics or Mathematics (depending on the university).

Application Process

The application process to study physics at German universities is pretty straightforward for as long as you are in possession of the required documents and fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Generally, the application process for physics programs in Germany includes the following steps:

  • Registration at the university’s online application portal.
  • Complete an application form and upload the necessary documents.
  • For international students: Apply through the university’s International Office or have your documents verified (VPD) by Uni-Assist before applying to the university.

Degree Duration: How Long Does It Take to Study Physics in Germany?

A bachelor’s program in Physics in Germany takes six semesters (three academic years) of full-time study to complete. Students learn about the main areas of modern physics during this period of study to further delve into customized research areas during the last semesters. A master’s program in Physics takes four semesters (two academic years) of full-time study to complete at German universities.

Tuition Fees: How Much Does It Cost to Study Physics in Germany?

Studying physics at most public universities in Germany will only cost approximately €250/$305 per semester. This is due to the fact that public universities in Germany abolished tuition fees in 2014. The federal state of Baden-Württemberg, however, reintroduced tuition fees in 2017 and now charges around €1,500 (~$1,800) per semester in tuition fees.

German universities either offer ‘consecutive’ or ‘non-consecutive master’s programs. The former follows a bachelor’s program (it builds on the content of the bachelor’s degree), while the latter does not build on the content of a specific bachelor’s degree. Consecutive programs usually do not charge any tuition fees. On the other hand, non-consecutive programs can charge up to €5,000 (~$6,100) in tuition fees per year at public universities.

Physics Jobs in Germany

Physics is one of the highest paying degrees in Germany, and employment prospects are satisfactory. The demand for physics majors has increased with the emergence of new sectors, like information technology or energy generation and trading. Salaries in the private sector can get relatively high, but the exact salary depends on various factors such as professional experience, industry, or the size of the company. Physicists working in the private sector can expect to earn an annual salary of around €50,000 to €55,000 after five years of professional experience.

Non-EU/EEA students in Germany have the chance to extend their residence permit for up to 18 months after graduation to find relevant employment in Germany. The skills that students obtain during their physics studies in German universities will open plenty of doors in the German (as well as the global) job market. Nowadays, these skills in physical sciences have become rather important in a wide array of occupational fields, including engineering, one of Germany’s leading sectors.