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Winter term 2017/18
- Timetable Nanobiophysics, 1st semester
- Timetable Nanobiophysics, 3rd semester

Summer term 2017
- Timetable Nanobiophysics, 2nd semester

Contents / Aims

Molecules in our cells are genetically encoded nanomachines with amazing functionalities, and they work together in fascinating ways to provide the capabilities that make all life on earth possible. On the one hand it is essential that we describe, harness and engineer cellular machines, and on the other hand we need to understand the dynamics and activities that emerge when many such machines are put together to function in cells and tissues.

This goal can best be reached by providing interdisciplinary training and introducing students with a thorough education in physics or related quantitative subjects to the fascinating fields of molecular biology, quantitative cell and developmental biology, polymer science, biophysics and biophysical theory, bionanotechnology, and the amazing world of single molecule approaches. 

The master program intends to teach students the physics of life. Our aim is to provide fundamentals in biophysics, biology and bionanotechnology in order to a) better characterize molecular machines, b) discover and understand emergent properties of molecular machines in cells and tissues, and c) harness these molecules in technological systems for bottom-up nanotechnology.

Selected students have a Fast Track option into the Dresden International PhD Program (DIPP).


Master of Science


4 semesters (3 semester coursework + 1 semester thesis)



International Students

Our Master's program is very international with students coming from all over the world, e.g. from Mexico, Brazil, India, Russia, Ukraine, the USA, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Greece....

PhD Option

Through a cooperation between the Dresden International PhD Program (DIPP) and the three Master‘s programs Molecular Bioengineering, Nanobiophysics and Regenerative Biology and Medicine, a Fast Track (after one year of study) or Early Admission (after 3 semesters) to our PhD program is possible for selected students. Decision will be made based on performance and recommendation.

Fast Track:
Outstanding students (a maximum of 6 students) in the first year (2nd semester) are invited to apply to the PhD program for a „fast track“. In that case, admitted candidates will enter the PhD program without completing the Master's degree.

Early Admission:
Outstanding students (a maximum of 6 students) in the second year (3rd semester) are invited to apply to the PhD program for an „early admission“. Admitted students may either directly enter the PhD program without completing the Master's degree or first complete the MSc, and then join the PhD.

Teaching Staff  

The teaching in the master program is covered by the professors and group leaders of the BIOTEC and their assistants as well as by teachers from the Max Planck Institute for Physics of Complex Systems (MPI-PKS), the Max Bergmann Center for Biomaterials (MBZ), Leibniz-Institutes for Polymer Research (IPF) and Solid State and Materials Research (IFW), and the departments of Physics and Materials Science of TU Dresden.


In September 2010 the Master in Nanobiophysics has been successfully accredited  for 5 years until 2015 by the national accreditation agency ACQUIN.

Career Prospects     

The course is highly research-oriented. A graduate in Nanobiophysics will have the possibility to

  • continue in basic research, conduct research in institutions of higher education, or occupy a research position in a biotech company
  • work in health biotechnology companies (for the design of new devices and medical therapeutics
  • develop new materials using cellular machines
  • develop new ways of sustainable energy production by using the molecular machinery of the cells 




Curriculum and Modules

The syllabus for the first semester comprises introductory courses in biochemistry and polymer science as well as courses on the fundamentals of biophysics and molecular modelling. In the first semester, nanotechnology is discussed from the angle of nanobiotechnology to introduce basic interdisciplinary concepts.

In the second semester, the courses focus on biophysics and nanophysics. Students gain an in-depth overview of molecular and cellular biophysics as well as molecular nanostructures and nanomachines in theory and experiments. Special emphasis is placed on modern single molecule techniques (single molecule optics, scanning probe microscopy techniques) which are of fundamental practical importance both in nanophysics and biophysics.

In the third semester, the students specialize in one field in which they choose four required elective courses from different specialization fields (e.g., biophysics, biology, nanotechnology). These courses have a strong orientation towards the latest fields of research. Furthermore, students take three big lab rotations in biophysics, nanophysics and an optional subject, in which practical skills and competences are imparted.

The fourth semester is reserved for writing the Master?s thesis.

The documents outlining the contents of each module, the kind of exams to be taken and the course of studies can be downloaded here. Please note that the current versions (see below) have been officially approved by the Scientific Board of the BIOTEC. Right now they are legally checked by the university administration. Once this is completed, they will be signed by the rector. This is English courtesy translation - only the German version is legally binding! 

For details of the track Nanoscience and Nanotechnology please refer to the website of the Erasmus Mundus program!


Living expenses in Dresden

The TU Dresden is a public university that does not charge any tuition fees. Students only have to pay a registration or service fee (called "Semesterbeitrag") of approx. EUR 260 per semester which includes a ticket for Dresden?s public transport network.

 In general, living costs in Dresden are relatively lower as compared to other German cities. Students may expect monthly expenses of minimum EUR 650. This will cover the following: 

  • Rent: approx. EUR 150-250 (in a student residence or shared flat/WG)
  • Health insurance: EUR 60-100 
  • Other expenses


GoWest Scholarship Program  for nationals from Middle and Eastern Europe, including the Community of Independent States
In cooperation with the Haniel/Klaus Tschira foundations, we offer up to 3 GoWest scholarships to very good students from Middle and Eastern Europe, including the Community of Independent States, for all 3 master programs.

The scholarship amounts to 625 EUR per month and includes a German language course. If you come from Middle or Eastern Europe, incl. the CIS states, and are interested in applying for the scholarship, you just have to state this in the online application form. The selection committee of the master program selects the eligible candidates among the admitted students and submits a shortlist to the Haniel and Klaus Tschira foundations for approval. Successful candidates are notified by the BIOTEC student office.

In cooperation with the Association of Friends and Patrons of TU Dresden e.V. (Gesellschaft von Freunden und Förderern der TU Dresden e.V.) we offer 2 scholarships of 300 EUR/month for good applicants from Middle and Eastern Europe for the master program Nanobiophysics. If you are interested in this scholarship, please tick the appropriate box in the online application form Part I Scholarship with which you also agree that your documents are forwarded to the Association of Friends and Patrons of TU Dresden e.V. In addition to the regular application documents, we also need a motivation letter and a reference/support letter by the university in your home country from you. 

TU Dresden participates in the Erasmus Mundus Action 2 project "MUNDUS ACP" with several African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. University Graduates from these countries may apply for a scholarship for their master studies at TU Dresden and other European universities. Please find detailed information on the program at the MUNDUS ACP website

The Deutsche Akademische Austausch Dienst/ German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers a limited number of scholarships to foreign graduate students interested in studying in Germany. Application forms for these DAAD grants are available at German embassies, the DAAD offices and from the educational institution itself. Scholarships may also be available from national, bi-national, or international organisations of many countries. Students interested in such scholarships should inquire at the nearest DAAD office or at their university as early as possible. 

Student Jobs

In order to earn money, some of you may look for part-time work. Students from EU member states (except Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Hungary), countries of the EEA and Switzerland do not need a work permit as the same conditions apply to them as to German citizens. This includes getting a tax card (Lohnsteuerkarte).

 Students from other countries can also work without a work permit as long as they do not work more than 90 days per year or alternatively 180 days part time up to four hours a day.

Professors of the Master Course might offer you some work as a student assistant in their lab.

Another possibility of finding a temporary job is the Studentische Arbeitsvermittlung e.V. (StAV), TU Dresden Campus, Student Council Office - Studentenrat, Room 11, 01062 Dresden (wooden house on the campus Südvorstadt, behind the Hörsaalzentrum). Please note that this last possibility might be difficult for students who do not speak German.


The application for the winter term 2017/18 is closed. Next application period: February-May 2018 for admissions in winter term 2018/19.

WHO can apply

Do you have
 1. a Diploma or Bachelor's degree or an equivalent qualification in one of the following fields:

  • Physics
  • Biophysics
  • Nanotechnology

Please note: we require a Bachelor's degree from most Asian applicants (including India, China etc.) with a minimum of four years of study or, alternatively, a three year Bachelor's degree plus one year of Master's studies.

2. a good command of English 

  •  TOEFL: minimum level 550 points paper-based OR 213 points computer-based OR 79-80 points internet-based
  • IELTS: minimum level 6.0
  •  certificates of other tests of equivalent standard will also be considered, e.g.UniCERT, CAE, CPE

 3. good knowledge in the fundamentals of physics including mechanics, electrodynamics, optics, thermodynamics and quantum theory as well as basic knowledge in chemistry and biology
If you fulfil these eligibility criteria, please apply for our master course Nanobiophysics!

For further details please refer to the admission regulations! 

Please note: The German text of the official publication is the authoritative version. The English version is a courtesy translation. In case of ambiguity, please refer to the German documents.

Self-Assessment Test


This test should assist you in finding the right Master program and in checking critically for yourself whether you have the necessary background knowledge to follow the Master in Nanobiophysics adequately. Completing the test will not take more than 1 hour. Please find the test here

Please find the solution in a separate fileBut please don't betray yourself! Our recommendations concerning the number of correct answers are:

  • more than 12: the Master course in Nanobiophysics seems to be an excellent choice for you.
  • between 7 and 11: the Master program in Nanobiophysics seems to be okay for you, but you show some missing prerequisites which can be compensated by studying - please find some study material here
  • less than 7: you might think about choosing a different Master program

Should you decide to apply, we kindly request you to send us the original draft of your solutions along with the required application documents. Please note: we are keen to know where exactly you made mistakes; this will actually help us to fine-tune the contents of the lectures a bit more according to your needs.

HOW to apply 

The application round for the winter term 2017/2018 is closed. Next application period: February-May 2018 for admissions in winter term 2018/19.

Please note that you need to complete the following steps for your application:

1. You need to apply online through our program's online application database between February and 31 May.

The following documents are required:

  • university degree certificate(s) (if already available; if not, confirmation of your university about current status and expected date of graduation)
  • latest transcripts of records
  • higher education entrance qualification (Abitur, Baccalaureate, School-Leaving Certificate, O- and A-Levels etc.), including list of grades
  • CV in English
  • motivation letter in English (part of the online form)
  • two letters of recommendation from professors of your college or university qualified to evaluate your academic achievements and your potential for graduate study
  • proof of English proficiency 
  • applicants from China, Mongolia and Vietnam must provide the APS certificate by the Akademische Prüfstelle from the German Embassy in Beijing, Ulan Bator or Hanoi. Please find more information here.

2. In addition, you need to send certified copies of the following documents and certified English or German translations (if the documents have not been issued in one of these languages) to us by post:

  • university degree certificate(s)
  • latest transcripts of records
  • higher education entrance qualification (Abitur, Baccalaureate, School-Leaving Certificate, O- and A-Levels etc.), including list of grades
  • Please also add a copy of your CV in English (simple copy, not certified)

In order to consider your application we need all the documents listed above.

Please do not send original documents; certified copies are acceptable at the time of application. However, please note that we do have to see the originals upon your arrival when you register at the TUD. 

If you want your documents back in case you are not admitted, please enclose 5 international reply coupons (international students) or a self-adressed, prepaid envelope (German students)!
Please send required documents via snail mail (not by fax) to the BIOTEC student office:

 BIOTEC - TU Dresden
 Student Office/Application for Nanobiophysics
 Tatzberg 47/49
 01307 Dresden

We will confirm the receipt of your documents at our office by email!.

3. For foreign applicants only: Please register additionally in the online registration system of the registration office (Immatrikulationsamt/Akademisches Auslandsamt) of TU Dresden:

This registration starts on April 1 so if you apply to us earlier than this, please make sure you remember to complete the registration at the TU Dresden later and send us the print-out by e-mail attachment (pdf preferred).

WHEN to apply

We offer admission only once a year, for winter term starting in October. Application deadline is May 31 (This is the date of receipt in our office - NOT the date of dispatch!).

The applications are evaluated by the Selection Board of the master course within approx. 4 weeks after the application deadline. Decisions on admittance will be based on your grade point average (GPA) and your educational and professional background.

If your application is successful, the Board is going to mail you a confirmation letter, stating that you are accepted for the program. Simultaneously, we pass on your application details to the Registration Office (for German students) and International Office (for international students) at the Technische Universität Dresden.

German students should report to the TUD Immatrikulationsamt directly if they arrive here at the beginning of the semester.

International students are going to receive an admission letter (referred to as "Zulassungsbescheid") from the TUD International Office. This letter should be used to apply for a student visa at the German Embassy of your home country. Along with the admission letter you will also receive a detailed checklist with the formalities to be completed before and after your arrival in Dresden. Please also kindly refer to the FAQ section on this website which might answer some of your related questions already!

Good luck with your application!

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