FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What do I need to successfully apply to the Master Microbiology study programme?

To apply for the Master Microbiology programme at the ICBM, you need a Bachelor degree or an equivalent degree issued by a German university or a university belonging to a country that has signed the Bologna declaration.

Alternatively, an equivalent qualification from another foreign university can be handed in with your application achieved in the same or a closely related study programmes in addition to a certificate of personal and academic aptitude.

If you have obtained an equivalent qualification in a closely-related bachelor programme (subject) from a foreign university, the equivalency of your degree will be determined according to the evaluation proposals of the Central Office for Foreign Education of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (www.anabin.de).


It is of mandatory importance that you have studied biology or an equivalent study programme including the areas of chemistry, biochemistry, physics and mathematics as well as botany, zoology and microbiology. These subjects had to be included in your study programme with a scope of 90 ECTS. For more information please follow the link to our web page:

Which English proficiency do I need?

Applicants who are not native English speakers need to provide a proof of English language proficiency. The required level is C1 (CEFR). This is equivalent to 96 points in the TOEFL internet-based test (590 points paperbased or 243 points computer-based test) or 7.0 points IELTS. Students with a German “Abitur” need an average of at least 11 points for the four last advanced level half-year courses in the upper secondary school or an equivalent qualification. In case of doubt, the admissions committee will decide if an additional interview is required.

What is the minimum IELTS or TOEFL score required to apply?

You’ll need to have an English language test with at least 96 points (TOEFL internet based test), 243 points (TOEFL computer based test), 590 points (TOEFL paper), 7.0 points (IELTS), C1 (CEFR).

As an international student, which documents do I need for an application?

Applicants from foreign countries have to submit their application via the uni-assist platform.


Please submit:

  • Certification of a Bachelor degree in biology or an equivalent programme
  • List of completed courses from your university including contents, workload and marks
  • Certification of English knowledge (see above)


Where do I have to apply?

Applicants with German higher education entrance qualifications have to apply online to the Oldenburg University.

Website: www.uni-oldenburg.de/studium/bewerben-master/

Applications from foreign countries are processed by the Service Centre for International Applications for Study, uni-assist e.V. This means that All students with an international degree must submit their application and documentation directly to uni-assist e.V. The handling fees for evaluation of international certificates and the preliminary examination of the application documents are found on the following web page:


These handling fees are charged for every university and for every semester anew. You pay the handling fees only once within a semester at the same university regardless of the number of study programmes you apply to.

Note: Your application to uni-assist e.V. will not be processed before the fee has been paid.

You can find information for applicants from foreign countries concerning the education system here (www.uni-assist.de/several-countries.html). Service Centre for International Applications for Study:

E-Mail: service@uni-assist.de
fon: +49 30 666 44 345; fax: +49 30 666 44 390;
www.uni-assist.de; www.uni-assist.de./index_en

Further information and deadlines are available online: www.studium.uni-oldenburg.de/bewerben

When should I apply?

The two-year Master Microbiology program starts in the winter semester around mid of October every year.

The admission committee will start to assess applications after May 31st. However, processing of the application by the service centre for International Applications for Study, uni-assist e.V. takes several weeks. Therefore, as an international student, please apply before May 15th. Later applications will be regarded as well, but getting your visa in time might be a problem in that cases.

An admission for a start in the summer term is granted in rare exceptional cases, only. (You would need to have learned the contents offered during the winter term for having a chance to get the admission.) Apply before January 15th in that case.

Do I get an admission with a Bachelor in pharmacy, medicine, veterinary medicine, biotechnology?

Whether you can be admitted with degrees within these disciplines will depend on your background in various disciplines including botany, zoology, general biology, mathematics, chemistry and physics. These subjects had to be included in your study programme with a scope of 90 ECTS (including a Bachelor degree or equivalent).

Applicants with a background in pharmacy, medicine, veterinary medicine or biotechnology or related programs in general do not have a chance to get an admission to the Master Microbiology programme.

Therefore we can’t recommend applying for our master program.

  • www.uni-oldenburg.de/uni/amtliche_mitteilungen/dateien/AM201604_31_FKV_ZO_FMa_Microbiology_2016.pdf
  • or “Zugangsordnung Microbiology M.Sc.”: www.uni-oldenburg.de/nc/en/students/course-ofstudy/?tab=profile&id_studg=212

Do I get an admission with a Bachelor in microbiology or zoology?

This depends on your background and the subjects which were included in your bachelor programme including botany, zoology, general biology, mathematics, chemistry and physics (see above).

Am I eligible for the programme with a 3 years bachelor’s degree?

If you studied at a German university for a 3-year-study programme, you in general fulfil our requirements when you completed a Bachelor study programme with at least 150 ECTS points or you will complete the degree within the following months.

For international applicants, a three year bachelor programme is not sufficient for an application until you have completed a Bachelor study programme with a minimum grade of 1.5 or at least 150 ECTS points or will obtain the degree in the following months. International students are commonly eligible after a four year Bachelor programme.

Do I require a German language certificate at the time of application?

A German language certificate is not required for the application but we recommend German language skills.

International students are encouraged to attend German language courses offered at all levels (A1-C1) by the language centre of the University Oldenburg or German language courses for special purposes: www.uni-oldenburg.de/en/school3/language-centre/german-language-courses/

Is it possible to apply for the summer term April-July (summer semester)?

In general applicants will be admitted only for the winter term, starting in October. We recommend starting in the winter term because of the study structure and the courses. In exceptional cases (see above) an admission to the summer term is possible (proof of the contents of the lectures of the winter term).

At which time period can I apply?

Applicants are encouraged to apply before May 15th. The committee will review the applications and you might get a preliminary positive response when your application fulfils the admission criteria.

  • www.uni-oldenburg.de/en/students/international-students/application-master/
  • www.pmbio.icbm.de/mamibi/Admission_Order_Master_Fk5.pdf
  • www.uni-oldenburg.de/uni/amtliche_mitteilungen/dateien/AM201604_31_FKV_ZO_FMa_Microbiology_2016.pdf

Which specific knowledge do I need studying Master Microbiology?

The specific knowledge which is important for studying Master Microbiology is described in the admission order, attachment 6: Microbiology:

  • www.pmbio.icbm.de/mamibi/Admission_Order_Master_Fk5.pdf
  • www.uni-oldenburg.de/uni/amtliche_mitteilungen/dateien/AM201604_31_FKV_ZO_FMa_Microbiology_2016.pdf

How competitive is the admission?

The admission committee consists of professors, scientists and students of the Master Microbiology who decide upon the criteria listed in the admission order of the Master programmes (M.Sc.):

  • www.pmbio.icbm.de/mamibi/Admission_Order_Master_Fk5.pdf
  • www.uni-oldenburg.de/uni/amtliche_mitteilungen/dateien/AM201604_31_FKV_ZO_FMa_Microbiology_2016.pdf

The study programme is challenging and in general we admit several international students every year.

Unfortunately, we have to reject many applicants each year, as the admission requirements have to be strictly fulfilled.

Which career options do I have with a Master degree in microbiology?

Many of our graduates have the opportunity to continue their career as PhD students at the ICBM in Oldenburg or at other German research institutes and universities. In addition, a wide range of attractive employment fields is available for microbiologists. Our graduates have excellent opportunities in biotechnological, chemical and food industries, as well as in environmental protection, e.g., waste-water treatment and bioremediation. Microbiological and molecular techniques are also applied in agriculture to evaluate the quality and microflora of soils and to detect potential pests. Due to the rapid development in microbiology, job opportunities are continuously growing.

  • www.pmbio.icbm.de/mamibi/index.html
  • www.icbm.de/en/information-for/scientists/junior-scientists/phd-programme/

How is the Master programme Microbiology structured?

As the students’ progress through the programme, they collect a total of 120 credit points (CP). The programme begins with two modules. They will give you a basic knowledge in relevant theories and train you in standard scientific communication. In addition, you will gain practical scientific skills during two main modules in the laboratory. Each module is granted with 12 CP. Three profile modules cover state-of-the-art applications in microbiology. These are valued with 6 CP, each. You will then undertake two independent scientific research projects, which are awarded with 12 CP. The programme is finalized with a master project and thesis, valued with 30 CP.

  • www.pmbio.icbm.de/mamibi/index.html
  • www.pmbio.icbm.de/mamibi/program_overview.html
  • www.uni-oldenburg.de/nc/en/students/course-of-study/?tab=profile&id_studg=212

Which knowledge do I gain during the four semester programme?

In the first semester (winter term), two core lectures about physiology and diversity of prokaryotes, unicellular eukaryotes and viruses are offered. In the second semester (summer term), one has to take part in two further obligate lectures about molecular microbiology and microbial ecology. The working groups involved in the study programme offer a range of broadening lectures covering a variety of subjects. In the first two semesters, two 4-week main modules are undertaken in which ambitious projects, mostly derived from current scientific programmes are carried out. The students typically work in pairs of two under the guidance of a lecturer or PhD student. In the accompanying seminars, important scientific publications of international journals are presented and discussed by the students. The results of the courses have to be presented in a written report fulfilling scientific publication requirements. In two profile modules of two weeks, selected areas of microbiology are studied in theory and practice. Presently, the following profile modules are offered:

methods in aquatic microbial ecology, sediment microbiology, bacterial physiology, fermentation, DNAsequencing, fluorescence in-situ hybridisation (FISH) and electron microscopy.

  • www.pmbio.icbm.de/mamibi/index.html

What is a research project?

As special part of the study program, two 6-week research projects have to be conducted by the student. The students can chose the working group where the projects will be conducted by themselves. Here, the students work independently on ambitious scientific questions supervised by scientists. During the course of these projects, the students learn to search for recent scientific literature and to apply it for their own work. The projects furthermore serve as preparation for the final master thesis.

Where can I get help regarding my application and enrolment?

Applicants with German higher education entrance qualifications (Abitur) have to apply at the

  • Admissions Office (Immatrikulationsamt) www.uni-oldenburg.de/i-amt

International applicants get help at the international student office:

  • www.uni-oldenburg.de/en/iso/studieren/

Applications from foreign students who wish to study at Oldenburg University are processed by the Service Centre for International Applications for Study:

  • www.uni-assist.de

Where do I get further Information?

Homepage Microbiology:


Available courses: www.uni-oldenburg.de/studium/studienangebot
Funding: www.uni-oldenburg.de/studium/finanzierung


International applicants

International Student Office

Building A12
Ammerländer Heerstr. 114-118
26129 Oldenburg
Telefon: 0441-798-2478
E-Mail: iso@uol.de
Internet: www.uni-oldenburg.de/iso

For questions regarding your course of study Student advice centre

Zentrale Studienberatung

Building A12
Ammerländer Heerstr. 114-118
26129 Oldenburg
Phone: 0441-798-4405
E-Mail: studienberatung@uol.de
Internet: www.zsb.uni-oldenburg.de

For questions regarding application and enrolmentApplicants with German higher education entrance qualifications

Admissions Office
Building A12
Ammerländer Heerstr. 114-118
26129 Oldenburg
Telefon: 0441-798-2728
Internet: www.uni-oldenburg.de/i-amt

For questions regarding your course of study

E-Mail: info.microbiology@uol.de

(Changed: 19 Jan 2024)  | 
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