Master programme

The Master degree program ‚Geowissenschaften‘ comprises a professional education, that enables students to attend to and solve geological and environmental problems of our modern society.

Geosciences is an interdisciplinary subject that seeks to understand the structure and history of our planet, and to predict the future of the Earth. That includes all processes of interaction between the lithosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. Social burning issues like resources, climate change, natural disasters, renewable energies, hydrogeology and material optimization are all part of geological, mineralogical and palaeontological research

We offer six areas of specialisation in the Master program Geowissenschaften of which students choose two for their individual specialisation for their study:

If you choose Palaeobiology and Earth System Research Lab your master studies are in English. The other specialisations are in German.


Palaeobiology/Palaeoenvironment (PB) (English)

The Palaeobiology analyzes the evolution of ecosystems on long temporal scales in the earth history. A focus is on the evolutionary prediction in marine ecosystems under current climate change. The research is focused on global change palaeobiology, biodiversity dynamics in earth history, carbonate sedimentology and taxonomy of marine fossils. Used methods are the combination of geological fieldwork and modern geochemical analyses and statistical methods using large databases of ancient life.


Endogene Dynamics, Magmatic Geochemistry (PG) (German)

This discipline investigates the processes responsible for generation and evolution of the lithospheric plates, i.e. the Earth’s crust and the underlying lithospheric mantle utilizing geochemical and petrological methods. Important objects of research are the formation and exploration of magmatic ore resources and the effect of volcanic eruptions on environment and climate.


Applied Sedimentology-Resources (AS) (German)

Main research topics in sedimentology are the processes responsible for the formation of sedimentary rocks and comprising mineral resources, i.e. oil and gas, coal, sand, gravel, groundwater and building stones. An important field of study is the investigation of thermal properties of rocks for application in the utilization of geothermal energy. Isotope geochemistry of oxygen and carbon allows conclusions of climatic conditions in the earth history.


Applied Geology (AG) (German)

The Applied Geology in Erlangen comprises two departments: 1) Engineering Geology and 2) Hydrogeology.
The focus of Engineering Geology in Erlangen is on the investigation of mass movements, i.e. rock falls or slope failure, in low mountain ranges and the Alps. Rock mechanics, aerial photographs and direct measurements of soil movements are important methods of research.
The hydrology in Erlangen focusses on the investigation of water cycle processes. Most important methods of research are isotope geochemistry and measurement of water chemistry.


Applied Mineralogy (AM) (German)

Mineralogy deals with the interaction of atomic design, composition and the chemical and physical properties of native and man made material. The material itself  is in the focus of scientific interests. The mineralogical research in Erlangen is focussed on the investigation of high performance ceramics, cement mineralogy and calcium phosphates. X-ray diffraction and calorimetry are the most important methods in this discipline.

The standard period of study in the Master program Geowissenschaften comprises four semesters. The program is structured in modules. Every module culminating in an ECTS-rated (European Credit Transfer System) examation at the end of each semester. Every semester comprises 30 ECTS points. That implies an entirely number of 120 ECTS points in the Master program Geowissenschaften.

The modules are structures in specialised modules (Hauptfachmodule), optional modules (Wahlpflichtmodule) and key qualification modules (Schlüsselqualifikationsmodule).

At the beginning of the Master program students choose two of the five offered areas of specification as their individual major subjects in the Master program. In the 4th semester students work on their master thesis and finally present their results in a colloquium.

For general information about enrolment of international students at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen Nürnberg please use the information provided at the homepage of the university.

Exchange students are students who study at our university for one up to two semesters, thanks to a cooperation agreement with their home universities.

Exchange students should apply for an admission approximately five months before the start of the course of studies planned. The application is to be completed online. The link to the online server will be sent directly to you as soon as we receive the official nomination from your home university. For general information visit the special homepage for exchange students of our university.

For questions concerning the Paleobiology degree program and the Earth Systems Research Lab please contact Dr. Emilia Jarochowska.

If you have questions on our Master degree Geowissenschaften please contact Dr. Anette Regelous.

Based on the experiences of the students of the Palaeobiology degree program we offer some hints and recommendations for non-locals who would like to do their Master’s degree at the FAU in Erlangen.