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University Observatory Munich

Faculty of Physics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University

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deutsche Version

Master of Science in Physics
with an Astrophysics Master Certificate (M.Sc.-AMC)


The Master’s degree can be commenced following the successful completion of a Bachelor’s degree in physics or astrophyics. The four semester Master’s course which leads to the qualification of “Master of Science” is divided into two parts. The first two semesters consist of lectures in advanced courses in physics and basic astrophysics. A specialized subject area is chosen. The Master’s thesis is completed in the last two semesters with accompanying colloquia, tutorials and seminars.

The modular design of the Master’s degree course in physics with main focus on 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 Master’s 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.


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, and practicals 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 Physics with main focus on 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 Master’s degree in Physics with main focus on 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.

Requirements for the LMU Astrophysics Master Certificate

27 (9+3×6) CP Astrophysics lectures (lecture “Essentials of Astrophysics” + 3 elective lectures) and 9 (3×3) CP from Astrophysics lab classes (this adds up to the required 36 CP) and a Master’s thesis supervised by one of the Astrophsics professors. For a profound Astrophysics education we further recommend to add additional 3 CP with the astrophysical advanced seminar (this seminar is however only recommended and not required). The certificate is issued by the examination office.

Curriculum summary

  • Essentials of Astrophysics (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 Laboratories (in total 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.
  • [Astrophysics “Hauptseminar” (3 ECTS)]
    Astrophysical advanced Seminar “Tools in modern Astrophysics”
  • Three Elective Lectures (each 6 ECTS) from the fields of
    • 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 Astrophysics / Elective Lectures Preparation for Master’s Thesis
and Master’s Thesis
A: P4 CP A: P5/P6/P7 CP A: P8/P9 CP
ELA Astrophysics I
L 4 + SWS 2
(P4.0.1 + P4.0.2)
9 ELA Astrophysics
L 2 + SWS 2
(P4.0.3 + P4.0.4)
6 TW research project
preparation phase
26 weeks work
  ELA Astrophysics
L 2 + SWS 2
(P5.2.3 + P5.2.4)
ELA Astrophysics
L 2 + SWS 2
(P6.0.3 + P6.0.4)
P Laboratory A/B/C
SWS 2+2+2
(P5.2.7 + P6.0.7 + P7.0.7)
Courses of Physics A: P10 CP
P: P1/P2/P3 CP P: P5 CP TW research project
production phase
26 weeks work
CLP Advanced
Experimental Physics (P1)
L 4 + SWS 2
9 CLP/S Physics –
Qualification II (P5.1)
CLP Advanced
Theoretical Physics (P2)
L 4 + SWS 2
CLP Physics –
Qualification I (P3)
Total Number of CP: 30 Total Number of CP: 30 Total Number of CP: 60


CLA = Course Lecture Astrophysics A = Astrophysics
ELA = Elective Lecture Astrophysics P = Physics
CLP = Course Lecture Physics SWS = Number of weekly hours (the unit is 45 min)
ELP = Elective Lecture Physics/Mathematics 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
S = Seminar
Last updated 2023 February 07 16:34 UTC by Webmaster (webmaster@usm.uni-muenchen.de)