LMU logo

University Observatory Munich


Faculty of Physics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University

USM logoLMU seal
Home
Visitor Information
Staff/Guests
Research
Current Teaching
Physics Bachelor plus Astronomy
Bachelor’s Theses
Master of Science
Master’s Theses
PhD programme
Doctoral Theses
Max-Planck Research School
Talks, Workshops, and Colloquia
Wendelstein Observatory
Telescopes/Instruments
Collaborations
History of the USM
Friends of the Observatory
Internal
Job Offers
Relevant Links

deutsche Version

Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Astrophysics

Structure
The Masters degree can be commenced following the successful completion of a Bachelor's degree in physics or astrophyics. The four semester Master course which leads to the qualification of "
Master of Science" is divided into two parts. The first two semesters consist of lectures in basic astrophysics and advanced courses in physics. A specialized subject area is chosen. The masters thesis is completed in the last two semesters with accompanying colloquia, tutorials and seminars.
The modular design of the Masters degree course in astrophysics allows the participants to study with emphasis in either experimental or theoretical topics. The primary goal of this course is to provide an overview into the deeper interconnections in astrophysics in a physical context. The masters degree is the professional qualification attained by examination after scientific training has been completed. In addition, it enables the student to be admitted to
doctoral studies in physics.

Goals
The primary goals of the course are to impart expertise in current research topics on the basis of a deeper physical understanding. Here research methods, strategic planning, critical evaluation of the scientific results, independence as well as a career relevant qualifications are central. The ability to think astrophysically and to proceed methodically in both theory and practice are developed during the two year course of study. A mixture of lectures, exercises, seminars, colloquia, tutorials, practicals and field studies provides this training. Building on the knowledge gained in the first two semesters, these abilities will be strengthened during the year long research phase of the third and fourth semesters.

Professional qualification
Graduates of the
Master of Science in Astrophysics have attained a degree of knowledge in a modern specialized area of physics at the highest international level. Because of the broad range of the course they are able to apply their training to other areas and research topics in their subsequent professional careers. The Masters degree in Astrophysics enables the student to work independently as a physicist in research and university teaching, an industrial environment and the service industries. The professional qualification attained is applicable in fundamental physical research, applied research and development in natural science, technical, IT and medical areas as well as modern administration and service businesses.

Concise Curriculum:

  •  Essentials of Astrophysics (P1 - 9 ECTS)
    Principles of radiation and radiative transfer, stellar atmospheres, potential theory,
    stellar astronomy, stellar structure and evolution, stellar remnants, interstellar medium
    and star formation, exoplanets, observational methods and observational instruments .
    Principles of chemical evolution, stellar dynamics, structure and dynamics of galaxies,
    dark matter, active galaxies, super massive black holes, large scale structure,
    groups and clusters of galaxies, cosmology, early universe, galaxy formation.
  •  Astrophysical Laboratory I+II (P2 + WP1 or WP2 - each 9 ECTS)
    Interpretation and analysis of absorption and emission line spectra with respect to atmospheres,
    gaseous nebulae, galaxies and quasars, and of photometrical observations with respect to galaxies,
    stars, stellar clusters, and planets.
    Methods of Integration, Matrix-inversion, Ordinary differential equations, N-body simulations,
    Random numbers and Monte Carlo Simulation.
  •  One Lecture of Essential Astrophysical Tools (P2 - 6 ECTS)
    •  Statistics
    •  Quantum Mechanics
    •  Hydrodynamics
    •  Plasmaphysics
    •  Observational Instruments
  •  Astrophysics "Hauptseminar" (WP1 or WP2 - 3 ECTS)
    Astrophysical advanced Seminar "Tools in modern Astrophysics"
  •  One Lecture of the (Modern) Physics curriculum (P3 - 6 ECTS)
  •  Four Elective Lectures (P4 or P5 - each 6 ECTS) of the fields:
    •  Observational Techniques
    •  Interstellar Medium
    •  Radiative Processes
    •  Stellar Structure and Evolution
    •  Star- and Planet Formation
    •  Gravitational Dynamics
    •  Galaxy Evolution
    •  Cosmology
    •  Theoretical or numerical methods of astrophysical topics
    •  Experimental or observational methods of astrophysical topics

Outline of Studies:

1st Semester

2nd Semester

3rd and 4th Semester

Courses of the Astrophysics Modules

Preparation for Master’s Thesis
and Master’s Thesis

AM: P1

CP

AM: P4

CP

AM: P5

CP

CLA Astrophysics L4+SWS 2

9

ELA  Astrophysics   L2 + SWS 2

6

ELA  Astrophysics L2+SWS 2

6

AM: P2

CP

ELA  Astrophysics   L2 + SWS 2

6

AM: WP3…WP8

CP

P/E   Laboratory I SWS 6

9

ELA  Astrophysics   L2 + SWS 2

6

Attendant research seminar
SWS 2+2


Preparation project for TW
SWS 4+4

3


9

 

CLA Astrophysics  L2+ SWS 2

6

AM: WP1 or WP2

CP

 

 

P/E   Laboratory II SWS 6

9

 

 

S   Advanced Seminar  SWS 2+2

3

AM: WP9…WP14

CP

Supplement Courses / Elective Lectures

Methods and tools tutorial
SWS 4+4

9

PM: P3

CP

 

 

AM: P6

CP

ELP/P/S Modern Physics
      (P4/ P5/P6/P7) L2+SWS 2

6

 

 

TW research project
 26 weeks work

 

Attendant research seminar
SWS 2+2

30


 

3

Total Number of CP

30

Total Number of CP

30

Total Number of CP

60

Notation:

 

CLA = Course Lecture Astrophysics   AM = Module of Astrophysics

 

ELA = Elective Lecture Astrophysics   PM = Module of Physics

 

ELP = Elective Lecture Physics/Mathematics   SWS = Number of weekly hours (the unit is 45 min)

 

S = Seminar   L = Lecture Duration (the unit is 45 min)

 

E = Exercises   CP = Credit Points based on the ECTS-system

 

P = Practical Work (Laboratory)   TW = Thesis Work
 

Subordinate concept: Main focus on Astrophysics

Last updated May 2015 by A.W.A. Pauldrach uh10107@usm.lmu.de