Microbiology (M. Sc.)

Double degree program

As a consecutive course of study, the international Master's program in Microbiology builds on the Bachelor's programs in Molecular Biotechnology, Biology, and Molecular Biology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) or equivalent programs at other universities.

The double degree programme is offered exclusively in English and consists of courses at JGU and the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon (France). Applications are submitted exclusively through the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon (France).

Microbiology is the science and study of microorganisms, i.e. organisms that cannot be studied with the naked eye as individuals. These include bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi, protozoa and algae, collectively referred to as "microbes". These microbes play a key role in the areas of nutrient cycle, biodegradation/bio-degradation, climate change, food spoilage, disease cause and control, and biotechnology. Thanks to their versatility, microorganisms can be used in a wide range of applications: to produce life-saving medicines, to produce biofuels, to eliminate pollution and to produce and process food and beverages.

Microbiologists study microbes and study physiology, ecology and the interaction of microorganisms. Their findings are among some of the most important discoveries in recent human cultural history — Jenner and his vaccine against smallpox, Fleming, and the discovery of penicillin, Marshall, and the identification of the link between Helicobacter pylori infection and stomach ulcers.

Students of the international Master's programme in Microbiology (FortheMicrobes) acquire in-depth knowledge in the field of microbiology, in particular in the fields of molecular microbiology, microbial physiology and biotechnology as well as microbial ecology.

There is a clear research-oriented focus with regard to the diverse fields of application in industry, biotechnology, medicine, pharmacy, food technology, waste management, soil remediation or materials research.

Further information on the subject matter, structure and examination regulations, etc. can be found here.

The degree programme is highly practice-oriented and is mainly based on laboratory and research internships, which are accompanied by lectures and seminars. Students therefore acquire not only in-depth theoretical knowledge in the various sub-areas of microbiology, but above all practical knowledge. The clear learning objective of the degree programme is to guide students independently in scientific work in practice and theory, which optimally qualifies them for various occupational fields in science and industry on the international labour market.

Students complete the modules of the first semester at JGU and the Modules of the second semester at the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, France (uB). The courses offered for the third semester are offered at both JGU and uB. In the fourth semester, students choose whether they want to complete their master's thesis at uB or JGU. At the end of the fourth semester, there will be a symposium with presentations of the master's thesis as well as an oral examination.

Module manual (in German only)

The module handbook serves as an overview of the content and organization of the entire course of study.
This manual provides information on the following points:
  • prerequisites for completing a module,
  • when are a module and its courses offered,
  • contents and learning objectives of the individual module or courses,
  • type and degree of commitment of the module or courses,
  • contact time (SWS) and workload per module and event,
  • proof of performance of the individual events to be provided,
  • type of module examinations and composition of the module grade,
  • Number of credit points (CP) that students receive after successful completion of the module,
  • those responsible for each module,
  • the further usability of a module in other degree programmes.

The module handbook contains a module overview.

Admission requirements:
The legally binding admission requirements are laid down in the examination regulations of the degree programme (see downloads) and are presented here in abbreviated form for a better overview.
Proof of a Bachelor's degree in the field of biology or a degree at a university in Germany or abroad, which does not differ significantly from this.

If a final certificate is not available for proof of a Bachelor's degree by the end of the application deadline, an application is possible on the basis of a certificate of examination and study achievements already completed to the extent of at least 120 credit points, which must have been issued by the responsible body of the previous university. A total sum of the credit points must be shown. Enrolment in the international Master's programme "Microbiology" requires the submission of proof of the Bachelor's degree obtained.

Proof of required language skills in English at least at level B2. Proof of language proficiency is deemed to have been provided by admission to the "International Master in Microbiology - ForTheMicrobes" degree programme at the uB. No German or French language skills are required for the international Master's programme "Microbiology".

Application procedure:

The degree programme has restricted admission. Selection and admission take place only through the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon.


Winter term: 26.02. - 24.03.

The Faculty of Biology is organized in three institutes. Most of the working groups of the iomE, the iDN and the imP are already accommodated in the new buildings BioZentrum I and II, others partly still in the NatMed building, anthropology, former genetics and at the IMB.

Also on the JGU campus is the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB), a center of excellence in the life sciences founded in 2011 and funded by the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation and the State of Rhineland-Palatinate. The IMB focuses on innovative research fields of modern biology such as epigenetics and developmental biology.

There is also close cooperation with the University Medical Center (FB04), the Faculty of Chemistry, Pharmacy and Earth Sciences (FB09), the Faculty of Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science (FB08) as well as with the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPIP) and the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (MPIC).

Research at the Faculty of Biology and in Mainz

It is to be expected that most graduates of the international Master's programme in Microbiology will follow up with a doctorate. There are a wide range of doctoral opportunities at the Faculty of Biology, the Institute of Molecular Biology, the University Medical Center, the other scientific departments and affiliated research centers such as the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research or the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry.

General contact, information: For_the_microbes@uni-mainz.de

Responsible for Studies course/Recognition of certificates: Prof. Dr. Eckhard Thines/Prof. Dr. Ralf Heermann

Academic Counseling: Dr. Günther Ochs

Examination Office: Dr. Peter Schubert