Master in Biology (M.Sc.)

Fact sheet for the degree program Master in Biology (M.Sc.)

As a consecutive degree program, the Master's degree program in Biology builds on the Bachelor's degree programs in Biology and Molecular Biology offered at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) or equivalent degree programs at other universities.
The Master's degree program strives to prepare students for research-based work in whatever field they choose to major in while studying for the Master’s degree.

The specialist areas at the JGU Faculty of Biology are:
1. Evolutionary biology, biodiversity research, and anthropology
2. Developmental biology and neurobiology
3. Molecular structure biology, cell biology, and biotechnology.

Any further developments of the field of Biology will be dynamically integrated in the structure of the Master’s degree program. As a rule, the modules and the Master's thesis are to be completed in one of the faculty’s specialist areas listed above. This area is then noted on the Master's degree certificate indicating the student’s specialization within the respective Master's degree program. If there is capacity, students can choose an additional special subject within the field of biology and thus complete a double module. Most of the course offerings in the Master’s degree program are project-oriented and require students to work independently early on in the program. This reflects the program’s goal of training and education, i.e. the ability to perform scientific work independently – as it is required for obtaining a doctorate or in various other careers – in accordance to the universally valid principles of good scientific practice and by making use of the specific repertoire of methods of the respective branches of biology.


• Master of Science (M.Sc) in Biology
• Doctorate (Dr. rer. nat.)
The doctorate is usually an additional qualification and requires a corresponding university degree.


Admission restriction
A requirement for admission to the Master's degree program is a qualified Bachelor’s degree in Biology according to the university standards and specifications of the subject. Details of the admission requirements can be found in the study and examination regulations. If the demand for individual specialist areas in the Master’s degree program exceeds capacity, the final grade achieved in the Bachelor’s degree program will be the most important criterion for selecting applicants (see above). The Master’s degree program has restricted admission (application via JGU Mainz).
An overview of the numerus clausus data for the last semesters can be seen
here (in German).

Start of studies
Interested students may enroll for the winter semester or for the summer semester.

Course structure

Detailed information on course structure can be found here (in German).

Standard period of study

Master of Science (M.Sc.): 4 semesters

Language skills and other information

Students should have very good (foreign language) skills in English. We also try hard to enable foreign students to enter this degree program despite potential linguistic barriers.


In contrast to other natural sciences such as chemistry or the pharmaceutical sciences, biology is open to a wide range of professional fields. Experience has shown that trained biologists embark on extraordinarily diverse fields of activity. The specialist areas offered at JGU, i.e. Evolutionary biology, Biodiversity research and anthropology, Developmental biology and neurobiology, and Molecular structure biology, cell biology, and biotechnology cover a significant number of possible professional areas for graduate biologists. Many trained biologists find appropriate and satisfying careers in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries and in the rapidly developing biotechnology sector in particular.

Traditionally, biologists, especially molecular and cell biologists, work in biomedical research and development in clinics and the research-oriented pharmaceutical industry. Well-trained biologists are also very welcome in the rapidly expanding field of genetic/molecular genetic diagnostics. In the field of agriculture and the agroindustry (breeding, "green" gene technology), geneticists and molecular geneticists are in great demand. Biologists with knowledge of morphologies and species can find interesting jobs in nature and environment protection. Trained biologists may also work for public authorities or museums or be involved in the development and implementation of clinical studies and many other tasks. Not least, many young, budding biologists seek a career in biomedical research at public and private research institutions.

Finally, it is also the overall abilities trained at JGU, i.e. self-reliant and independent scientific work, social competence, and the ability to work in a team, that qualifies graduates of the Master’s degree program for the job market, regardless of their specific subjects.

A database with current information on professional fields for trained biologists can be found :
here (in German).

Departmental advisory services

For questions about course content and structure:

Dr. rer. nat. Günther Ochs
Address: Gresemundweg 2
D 55128 Mainz
Room: 02-235 (office hours: Monday-Friday 10 am -12 noon and Thursday 3-5 p.m.) )
Phone: +49 6131 39-24673
Telefax: +49 6131 39-20352

Professor Dr. Susanne Foitzik
Address: Johannes-von-Müller-Weg 6
D 55128 Mainz
Room: 02-236
Phone: +49 6131 39-27840
Telefax: +49 6131 39-27850