Study Abroad
Study Guide to Masters and Bachelors Degree Courses

MSc FOKUS Life Sciences
University of Würzburg


Address University of Würzburg, Faculty of Biology, Biozentum, Am Hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
Web address Visit the Course website
Course Master of Science FOKUS Life Sciences
Type of course Full-time
Length of course 2 years with fast track to PhD
Date of commencement October each year
Class size ~20
Accommodation Available
Cost/Fees No tuition fees for anyone! Other cost: € 104 per semester, includes ticket for public transport, reduced prices at canteen etc.
Student grants / financial assistance No
Major recruiters of graduates of this programme Academia
Admissions requirements See
Student profile 1. Ratio of National / Overseas students: Mostly international
2. Ratio of Men / Women: 50/ 50
3. Age range: 21-28
Programme Director Robert Hock
Contact for application Stephan Schröder-Köhne
Application is online only!


About the Master's Program FOKUS Life Sciences

The general idea behind the FOKUS Life Sciences is to recruit excellent prospective researchers by providing an international, comprehensive and interdisciplinary program, preparing highly selected students from all over the world for an accelerated access (fast track) to a PhD project at the Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS), University of Würzburg, obtaining an MSc degree “on the fly”. Research topics for the Master program as well as for a subsequent PhD project are grouped in the sections “Biomedicine”, “Integrative Biology”, “Infection and Immunity”, and “Neuroscience”, corresponding to the sections of the GSLS, collectively representing more than 200 independent research groups.

The students we are looking for
  • have finished their BSc -or are close to completion
  • have excellent theoretical knowledge and a solid experimental research experience
  • have solid experimental research experience (at the very least an experimental BSc thesis)
  • want to start a doctoral thesis project as quickly as possible without omitting the MSc degree
  • are willing and able to take a high work load
  • want to study in a highly international class of peers with English as the teaching language
  • are keen on working in a highly interdisciplinary environment
  • will generally be among the top 10% of their BSc peers
The Program starts with two lecture series, providing broad first hand insight into the most advanced methods, model organisms and current research topics in all areas of the life sciences. A research internship will take place in parallel. Candidates averaging B+ in the above may then immediately proceed to the MSc thesis in the second term. If achieving A- at least, candidates may directly proceed with a doctoral project (fast track). Remaining MSc credit points may then be obtained from the doctoral program. Students not qualifying for fast track may finish the two year MSc study program without a doctoral project in parallel.

About the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg

History of Success

The roots of the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg reach back as far as 1402. In that era, it was the sixth university to be founded in the German-speaking regions of Europe, after the Universities of Prague, Vienna, Heidelberg, Cologne, and Erfurt. Many eminent scholars and scientists who have researched and taught in Würzburg. Names Rudolf Virchow, Carl Siebold, and Franz Brentano are some of them. Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, discoverer of the X-rays, or Klaus von Klitzing, discoverer of the Quantum-Hall Effect, are representatives of the 14 Nobel laureates who were affiliated with the University.

The University remains clearly and strongly committed to its broad scope in teaching and research, comprising the four pillars humanities, law and economics, natural sciences and technology, and -last but not least -life sciences. With ten faculties, about 440 professors and close to 30,000 students the University continues to be one of the leading institutions of research and higher education in Germany. This is verified by a multitude of domestic and international rankings.

Research centres as a hallmark

As early as in the 1990s, the University began founding cross-faculty research centres, opening up new research areas and possibilities for innovative degree programmes. These interdisciplinary centres – the Research Centre for Infectious Diseases is one of them – have become an internationally prominent trademark of the University of Würzburg. In 2002, the University of Würzburg launched one of the three Centres of Excellence the DFG funded across Germany – the Rudolf Virchow Centre /DFG Research Centre for Experimental Biomedicine. Its teams investigate key proteins, which are especially important for sustained health, respectively in the origin of diseases. The scientific standing of the University of Würzburg also shows in its numerous Collaborative Research Centres, Research Training Groups, and Research Units, whose funding by the German Research Foundation (DFG) Würzburg's scientists have raised against heavy competition.

Promoting the next generation

The University of Würzburg regards the promotion of junior academics as an essential responsibility. Establishing its Graduate Schools in 2004 constitutes another milestone in this endeavour. These institutions provide doctoral candidates with the appropriate structures and formats to continue and enhance their education. The Graduate School of Life Sciences comprises more than 400 doctoral researchers and growing. It has been awarded national excellence status in two successive rounds of the German Excellence Initiative ever since 2007.


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