Soft Matter and materials (M.Sc.)

The most important facts at a glance:


Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Standard period of studies:

4 semesters


Winter and summer semester

Admission restrictions:

open admission


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

Applicants with foreign certificates: Language of instruction: English and at least a C1 level is required

Winter semester: April 1 - September 1

Summer semester: October 1 - March 1

Required Bachelor's degree:

Chemistry (B.Sc.)
Physics (B.Sc.)


Student Advising Office Chemistry


Faculty 09 - Faculty of Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Geography and Geosciences

Examination Rules:

Examination regulations (in German)

Information in English on the faculties website.


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

Subject matter

The study program is offered in cooperation with the Technical University of Darmstadt (TU-Da) and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P).

The study of soft matter and soft materials requires a comprehensive understanding of physics and chemistry in this field. The goal of the Master's program Soft Matter and Materials is to provide technical knowledge and conceptual competence related to the production of building blocks (e.g. polymers, supramolecular tectons, colloids) and the structure-dynamics-property relationships of soft matter and materials. Functional concepts will be learned based on general synthetic components, in addition to biologically-relevant components.

Knowledge of the technical processing and industrial utilization of soft materials will round off the training. All teaching and learning content is in English.

Program structure
The first two semesters of the program lay the physical and chemical foundations and take place purely on the Mainz and Darmstadt campuses, respectively. This is followed by research-focused, flexibly selectable content. There is a progressive increase in practical components in all semesters.

As early as the second semester (assuming you start your studies in the winter semester), students are offered a module in which they can choose two of four main subjects, e.g. polymers at interfaces, sustainable polymer chemistry, and technical polymer science. In the third semester, students choose two research modules from a wide range of courses offered by the chemistry and physics faculties of TU Darmstadt and Mainz University (JGU) as well as the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research Mainz. In addition, a flexible module is available. Each semester, students can choose from several current offerings.

Master entrance requirements

  • Proof of a bachelor's degree in chemistry, chemical engineering, physics or materials science from a university in Germany, or a degree from a higher education institution in Germany or abroad that does not differ significantly from this degree
  • Proof of practical laboratory exercises amounting to at least 18 credits, part of which must be carried out using chemical working methods
  • Proof of achievement in molecular sciences to the extent of at least 3 credits
  • Proof of achievement in thermodynamics to the extent of at least 3 credits
    →Qualifications that were not completed in the Bachelor's degree program can also be taken into consideration. This is decided by the examination committee.
  • Proof of required language proficiency in English at least at the C1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

Language proficiency

This program is offered entirely in English. The prerequisite for this is a knowledge of English at least at the C1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Selection process

This program is non-selective: You will be granted admission if you apply correctly and in due time, while fulfilling the admission requirements. Please, also note the instructions for applying before you have completed your bachelor's degree.

Study abroad

The program is an international master's program with the aim of attracting foreign students to the Rhine-Main Universities of Mainz and Darmstadt. At the same time, there are opportunities to study abroad in the later part of the course sequence, for example in the scope of two research module internships of 12 credits each. These may be completed abroad, also as a single 24-credit module.

You can find further information on our pages on study periods abroad.


Macromolecular chemistry internship (180 hrs.)
Physical experiments & theory internship (300 hrs.)
Research module 1 (360 hrs.)
Research module 2 (360 hrs.)


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).

Professional fields

The training has theoretical (49 credits) and specifically practical parts (71 credits), partly on an individual basis and partly in small groups. The first half of the study program teaches specialized knowledge in addition to practical skills in the laboratory, which are often developed through teamwork in small groups. The second half of the program teaches the independent application of the acquired knowledge in research projects, all of which conclude with a scientific paper and a presentation. The final examination is a master's thesis, in which the student independently develops and resolves a research task and subsequently writes a scientific paper.
The program qualifies students for independent scientific work, including the necessary professional and methodological skills (e.g. specialized knowledge and expertise, scientific writing, analytical skills, presentation skills, information and knowledge management, transfer skills) as well as personal skills (e.g. self-management, time management, and the ability to work under pressure). As an international degree program that emphasizes teamwork and collaboration, both in laboratory internships and in the larger research blocks of the advanced course sequence, students also acquire intercultural skills.
Usually, the program of study is followed by a doctorate in related fields, which then qualifies the student for management positions, for example in the chemical or biotechnological industry in Germany and abroad.
Professional fields for graduates of the Soft Matter and Materials program are leading positions in large national and international (bio-physico) chemical companies. Particularly students with a stronger inclination towards the physical sciences have good prospects for senior positions in IT companies and banks. Additionally, graduates are well sought after for project management positions in companies. Foundations also frequently hire natural scientists with interdisciplinary backgrounds, such as the graduates of this program. For many of these positions, a doctorate is recommended first, in order to then obtain more responsibility in the respective companies. Especially for a career in academia, a doctorate degree is a must. Both TU Darmstadt and JGU offer many opportunities for doctoral studies, both in the field of soft matter as well as soft materials, and structurally in several research associations.