Molecular Biotechnology (M.Sc.)

The most important facts at a glance:


Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Standard period of studies:

4 semesters


Winter semester

Applicants with foreign certificates:

Language of instruction: English

Admission restrictions:



You find information on the application procedure for international students here.


Winter semester: April 1 - May 15

Summer semester: October 1 - November 15

Bachelor's degree:

Molecular Biotechnology (B.Sc.)


Faculty 10: Biology


The accreditation of study programmes for Bachelor and Master Degrees constitutes as a precondition for the granting of state approval.

Subject Matter

Molecular Biotechnology is the scientific study of naturally occurring biological processes and its applicability in other areas, focusing on the study of microorganisms, their communicative and metabolic processes as well as their metabolites and the effect they have on other organisms.

The goal of the degree course is to train biotechnology researchers who will possess a solid understanding of the subject matter as well as competencies in the areas of biochemistry and physiology. The term “biotechnology” is used to describe an academic focus on the identification, improvement, utilization, and application of processes and components in and around microorganisms (prokaryotes and fungi). From the start of the program, the focus will be on the close ties between pharmaceutically active substances, and the identification and development of new medicines and biological control agents for plant protection.

This course of study therefore provides the foundational skills necessary for later interdisciplinary work in a research-oriented field. The program will be attractive for anyone who has a general interest in chemical, biological, and biotechnological issues and considers the life sciences as one of their strengths.

The degree program is explicitly not oriented toward training biotechnical process technicians or mechanical engineers.


Program Structure

  • Molecular biotechnology with microorganisms; fermentation of microorganisms; heterologous gene expression; protein purification and analysis
  • Biochemistry 3 – Bioanalysis; methods of protein expression; principles and methods of protein isolation and identification; immunological techniques in biochemistry; spectroscopic methods in biochemistry
  • Microbiology I – Fungal molecular physiology, molecular manipulation of filamentous fungi; molecular biological methods of the modern microbiological laboratory; physiological studies
  • Microbiology II – Biomolecular interactions; biomolecular interactions of protein/protein; protein DNA, protein-small molecule substances; quantification of interactions
  • Further qualifications, including an internship at a partner university (Erasmus or Forthem) or in industry.
  • Two projects requiring independent research activities.

The four-semester degree program is precisely structured, with sequential modules in the first two semesters.
Specializations are developed through further qualification, projects, and finally, the master’s thesis.

The projects and the master’s thesis can be carried out in fields related to the course of study (biochemistry, biology, biotechnology, pharmaceutical sciences).


Admission requirements

Proof of a bachelor’s degree in biology, biochemistry, or biotechnology, successfully completed with a grade point average of 2.5 or better, or proof of an equivalent degree at a German university or abroad. If the foreign grade point average, when converted to the German grading system, is lower than 2.5, the applicant must submit an original certificate from their degree-granting institution certifying that the applicant was in the top 20% of their class in natural science subjects. This certificate must also contain information on how many final grades were included in calculating the percentage ranking. If the certificate is based on less than 50 final grades, it cannot be accepted.

In addition, the indicated credit points, or comparable achievements, must have been earned in the following subjects:

  • Mathematics and statistics: 12 credit points
  • Physics: 6 credit points
  • Chemistry (excluding biochemistry): 9 credit points
  • Biochemistry: 12 credit points
  • Cell biology/microbiology/physiology: 12 credit points
  • Practical exercises/internships: 30 credit points
  • as well as a written bachelor’s thesis.

Qualifications that were not part of the bachelor's degree program may also be taken into account. This is decided by the examination committee.

(2) A further entrance requirement for the master’s degree course in “Molecular Biotechnology ” is proof of English language proficiency at a B2 level or above, which will enable the student to read English-language academic literature, to participate in classes taught in English, and to complete coursework and examinations in English. Documents that will be recognized as proof are listed in section 7, subsection 5 of the enrollment regulations (Einschreibeordnung) of Johannes Gutenberg University. Submission of a German university entrance qualification (Abiturzeugnis) showing that the applicant has completed five years (four years in the G8 program) of English language study at school with a grade of at least “adequate” (4), or 5 points, will also be accepted as proof of sufficient English language proficiency.

(3) A further requirement for admission to the master's degree program in Molecular Biotechnology is that applicants must retain their eligibility to take the corresponding degree program examination. A corresponding declaration must be submitted for verification.

(4) Applicants who are unable to submit a bachelor’s degree certificate as required in subsection 1, no. 1 by the application deadline can apply if they demonstrate that they have acquired at least 135 credit points in the form of academic achievements and examination results. The relevant certificate must be issued by the corresponding office of their current institute of higher education. Alternatively, they may also apply if they have obtained a provisional certificate of recognition issued by JGU. Proof of the total number of credit points acquired must be provided.

Before the application deadline, proof must be provided that two thirds of the credit points specified in section 1, no. 1 have been obtained.

The grade point average of the examination results up to this point is counted as the relevant grade in accordance with subsection 1, no. 1. This grade must be indicated on the transcript. In this case, the final result of the bachelor’s degree will not be taken into account.

If admission to the program is restricted, the stipulations of the university’s selection statutes in their currently valid version shall apply. In this case, the final grade of the bachelor's degree will not be taken into account in the selection process.

If an applicant is admitted on the basis of the certificate specified in sentence 1, the applicant will be admitted on the condition that they submit proof of successful completion of the preceding bachelor’s degree by the deadline stipulated in the letter of admission. It must prove that the applicant fulfills the general and subject-specific admission requirements. Failure to provide this evidence by the deadline will result in cancellation of the admission.

(5) The master’s degree program in Molecular Biotechnology does not require German language skills.

(6) Even if all entrance requirements are met, admission to the master’s degree program in Molecular Biotechnology requires successful completion of the admission procedure. If there is an entrance restriction to the master's degree program, admission will be granted on the basis of the stipulations of the selection statutes.


Selection Process

The degree program has a selective admission policy. If the number of applications is greater than the number of free spots, 80% of the spots will be allocated according to the preceding degree’s grade, and 20% according to the wait time (applies to the first academic semester). Please also note the instructions for applying before you have completed your bachelor’s degree.


Study abroad

Students usually spend either a semester or an entire year at a foreign university when studying abroad. This can be organized individually, i.e. students can select a university abroad that suits them best and either finance it themselves or apply for BAföG grants for studying abroad. Students can also choose to participate in specifically organized studies abroad in the context of educational programs. These are spent at universities abroad and are usually funded by a scholarship. You can find further information on our pages on study periods abroad.



Internships form a bridge between university and professional life. They can help you plan both your career and your studies. By completing an internship, you can become familiar with potential career fields and apply the knowledge that you learned at university. During your internship, you can decide whether or not your everyday working life suits your interests and lives up to what you expect from a career in that field. Internships also provide you with important additional qualifications, professional experience, and contacts to potential future employers.

During your third semester, you can complete an internship at a partner university (Erasmus or Forthem) or in industry.

You can find general information on internships on the Career Service website. Their advising and event offers are also aimed at helping you figure out your professional orientation as well as supporting you during the transition period from university to working life.


Language proficiency

See admission requirements


Professional fields

With a master’s degree in Molecular Biotechnology, you will have gained fundamental knowledge and competencies in the areas of biochemistry, microbiology, and biotechnology, among others. Moreover, you will have acquired a fundamental understanding of molecular biotechnical research.

As a graduate of the master’s degree program in Molecular Biotechnology, you will have a thorough understanding of the subject matter, allowing you to enter the professional field at a mid-career level. If you want to enter into the professional field at a higher career level, you should consider a doctoral program after graduation. Doctoral degree.

  • Typical professional fields for graduates of the master’s degree program include:
  • Independent academic research within the scope of a doctorate
  • Leading laboratory work in biotechnical and chemical/pharmaceutical research
  • Leading laboratory work in fundamental biotechnical research
  • Biotechnical production, analytics and documentation
  • Leading process development and validation
  • Environmental technology
  • Sales and documentation (chemicals, equipment, pharmaceuticals, consumables)
  • Work for agencies and administration (such as approval agencies, trade controls, chemical safety, gene technology monitoring, etc.)

Database with current information on professional opportunities:



The International Office offers counselling for international students about the application process and general information.

The Academic Advisory Office offers specific information on the subject (List available in German only).

The Student representatives give information from a student perspective (List available in German only).