Degree focus at University of Göttingen

Master’s in Matter to Life: Complex Systems and Biological Physics

Years 1 & 2 of the 5-year MSc-to-PhD program

The Matter to Life (MtL) program at University of Göttingen focuses on the field of Complex Systems and Biological Physics. Students will learn experimental and theoretical tools and concepts which can be used to quantitatively study biological systems, and to investigate the physical and chemical principles that can either enable or constrain the emergence of life or life-like behaviors from inanimate matter.

This program will introduce students to the physical basis of biological systems, modern approaches for analyzing complex systems including living matter, as well as physical chemistry and bioengineering. The first year of the program is dedicated to a combination of core courses that establish a common ground for all MtL students plus a broad range of specialized courses which can be chosen by individual students. In the second year, the program is research based. Students will focus on lab rotations and performing research work that will be used for a written Master’s thesis. Students are encouraged to work with more than one fellow from the entire MtL network, including those in locations outside of Göttingen.

The taught courses include*:

Core Courses

  • Introduction to Biophysics
  • Introduction to Physics of Complex Systems
  • Synthetic Biology/Biomolecular Engineering
  • Synthetic Chemistry
  • Ethics in Synthetic Biology
  • Advanced Complex Systems and Biological Physics
  • Modern Experimental Methods

Specialized courses

  • Advanced Statistical Physics
  • Soft Matter Physics
  • Biophysics of the Cell
  • Statistical Biophysics
  • Biomolecular Physics and Simulations
  • Micro- and Nanofluidics
  • Computational Neuroscience

    In addition to the classes held at University of Göttingen, students will participate in an annual Summer School of the Max Planck School MtL alongside students from the other MtL programs at Heidelberg University and the Technical University of Munich.

    After successful completion of a Master’s degree at the University of Göttingen, PhD candidates will continue the last three years of the program performing research with any of the MtL fellows within the network.  

    *This curriculum is subject to change.

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