Master of Science in Soft Matter and Materials
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU)
EUR 360 / per semester *
01 Mar 2024
Earliest start date
* this organisational fee applies to all students - costs cover a ticket for public transport in the region and the student services. If you apply with international certificates, you will be informed in your letter of admission whether you are subject
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.
The Master’s Program is a cooperative degree course of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz with the Technical University of Darmstadt. In addition, courses will be held at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research Mainz. The application and enrolment are carried out by the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (see also “Curriculum”).
Please kindly note that the locations of the modules are determined by the study plan and cannot be chosen by the students.
All teaching and learning content is in English.
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.
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.
- Macromolecular chemistry internship (180 hours)
- Physical experiments & theory internship (300 hours)
- Research module 1 (360 hours)
- Research module 2 (360 hours)
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.