Biology (M. Sc.)

The Master's programme 'Biology' is based as a consecutive course of study on the bachelor's degree programmes 'Biology' and 'Molecular Biology' at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) or equivalent courses at other universities. The program is currently bilingual, requiring German and English languange skills.

Most of the courses offered in the Master's degree programme are project-oriented and require your independent work at an early stage in the Master's programme. The aim of the Master's programme is to qualify you for a research-active activity.
This reflects the aim of the training in this course of study, namely the ability to pursue independent scientific work, as required, for example, in a doctorate, but also in numerous occupational fields, according to the general scientific rules and with the specific repertoire of methods of selected sub-disciplines of biology.


Examination regulations can be found here (German only).

You can choose freely from the modules offered. This gives you the opportunity to study according to your individual needs and to position yourself broadly in terms of content and methodology. Alternatively, you can study focused in one or two foci/specialisations:

  • Organismal and molecular evolutionary biology
  • Developmental biology and neurobiology
  • Molecular physiology

The specialisations can be added to the Master's degree certificate, provided that you have successfully studied at least 28 LP from elective modules in this specialisation or these specialisations and have completed the project and Master's thesis in this specialisation or these specialisations.

You supplement your studies with further key qualifications, which you can in turn combine according to your personal interests and focus. In this way, they can gain practical experience or qualify for future professional tasks.

Compulsory modules: EQ, PA and MA

The programme is divided into compulsory modules and compulsory elective modules (compulsory elective modules A, compulsory elective modules B, compulsory elective modules C). Two related A and B modules as well as two independent C modules (independent of the selected A+B modules) must be selected from the range of compulsory elective modules.  The modules 4 a + b (15 + 15 LP) and 5 a + b1 or b2 (15 + 15 LP) are equivalent to one module from the compulsory elective A (11 LP) plus B (14 LP) and C (5 LP).

Students that have been enroled until winter term 2021/2022 on the old regulatons of study will receive 30 CP if they attend an A and B module.

Module-Nr. Topic Responsible Group

Module 1a/b/c

(in English)

 Protein Bioinformatics and Programming I/II/T Andrade (Bioinformatics)

Module 2a/b/c

(in English)

 Animal Evolution and Behavioural Ecology I/II/T Foitzik (Social Evolution)

Module 3a/b

(in Englisch)

Plant-Animal-Interactions I/II/T Xu (evol. Plant Science)
Module 4a Humangenetik und Molekulargenetik Zischler (Anthropology)
Module 4b Prähistorische Anthropologie Burger (Palaeo Genetics)
Module 5a Evolutionäre Anthropologie Zischler (Anthropology)
Module 5b-1 Pharmakogenetik und Populationsgenetik Zischler (Anthropology)
Module 5b-2 Bioarchäometrie Burger (Palaeo Genetics) and Huylmans (Evolutionary Genomics)
Module 6a/b/c Tierökologie I/II/T (Evolutionary Ecology)
Module 7a/b/c Molekulargenetik & Genomanalyse I/II/T Hankeln (Molecular Genetics)

Module 8a/b/c

(in English)

Molecular basis of synaptic plasticity I/II/T Heine (Functional Neurobiology)

Modul 9a/b/c

(in Englisch)

Sensory processing: neural circuits and tools II/T Silies (Neuroentwicklungsbiologie)

Module 10a/b/c

(in English)

Molecular Cell Biology I/II/T Wolfrum (Molecular Cell Biology)

Modul 10-2 a/b/c

(in Englisch)

Tumor Biology I/II/T Régnier-Vigouroux (Tumorbiologie)
Module 11a/b/c Neuronal Basis of Behavior I/II/T Strauß (Neurobiology I)
Module 12a/b/c Cellular and Molecular Principles of Motor Behavior I/II/T Duch (Neurobiology II)

Module 13a/b/c

(in English)

Molecular Plant Science I/II/T Wachter
(Molecular Plant Sciences)

Module 14a/b/c

(in English)

Chemical Biology & Molecular Biophysics I/II/T Lemke (Synthetic Biophysics)

Module 15-1 a/b/c

(in English)

Biotechnology (Fungual Molecular Physiology) I/II/T Thines (Biotechnology)

Module 15-2 a/b/c

(in Englisch)

Microbiology (a/c: Biomolecular Interactions, b: Bacterial Infection Biology) I/II/T Heermann (Microbiology)

Module 16a/b/c

(in English)

Molecular Biology of Aging I/II/T Luke (Chromosomal Biology)

Module 16-1a/b/c

(in English)

Chromatin Biology & Proteomics I/II/T Beli

Module 17a/b/c

(in English)

Molecular Medicine I/II/T May-Simera (Zellbiologie)

Note: Some modules are only offered in the winter semester, some only in the summer semester.

The compulsory elective modules 1 - 17 can be assigned to the main subject areas/specialisations as follows:

Organismal and molecular evolutionary biology: 1 - 7
Developmental biology and neurobiology: 1, 7, 8 - 12, 16 - 17
Molecular Physiology: 1, 7, 13 - 17

For more information about the organization, content and required language skills in the various modules, please refer to the relevant module description or the module manual.


Proof of a bachelor's degree in biology, molecular biology or an equivalent degree.
Students are required to have sufficient active and passive English language skills to enable them to read English-language literature and to take part in courses in English; this does not include the production of written academic achievements or examination singerities in English. (No proof is required).
For applicants who have not obtained their university entrance qualification at a German institution or a degree obtained in degree based on the German languange, proof of German language skills at the level of the "German Language Examination for the Entrance to Higher Education of Foreign Applicants (DSH)" is required.



The application process is carried out through the Student Services of JGU Mainz.
Link to: Application Portal


Winter term: 01.04. - 15.05.
Summer term: 01.10. - 15.11.

The Faculty of Biology is organized in three institutes. Some of the working groups of the iOME and the IDN are already housed in the new BioZentrum I building, some of them also at the IMB. Since end of 2020 some iMP working groups have moved into BioZentrum II, most will be located at BioZentrum II from the summer of 2021. Currently, planning for BioCenter III is under way where the remaining groups from iOME, iDN and iMP will be located from appraximately 2025.

Also on the JGU campus is the Institut für Biotechnologie und Wirkstoff-Forschung (IBWF) and the Institute for Molecular Biology (IMB), a centre of excellence in the life sciences founded in 2011, which is 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 Medicine (FB04), the Department of Chemistry, Pharmacy and Geosciences (FB08), the Department of Physics, Mathematics and Informatics (FB09) as well as with the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPIP) and the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (MPIC).

Responsible Person for Master/Recognition of certificates/courses: Prof. Dr. Edward Lemke

Stzdy Advice: Dr. Günther Ochs

Registrar's Office: Dr. Peter Schubert

Fachschaft Biologie: