Research Phase and Master's Thesis in the Physics programs

During the last year of the Master's program you will have the unique opportunity to work on exciting research topics within the specific field of the program. During this so-called research phase, you can choose from an extensive number of research groups and current projects.

Information event about the research phase

This semester the information event abour the research phase will take place on

Friday, July 05, 2024 at 2:15 pm (in German) and
Friday, July 12, 2024 at 2:15 pm (in English)

in the lecture hall 2 of the Physics building.

For more information visit the Moodle-Course.

To the scope of the one year (12 month) research phase (59 ECTS) belong firstly, the development of the necessary special knowledge within a cutting-edge research line and secondly, the acquisition of the corresponding experimental or theoretical skills, that are necessary for the realization of the research project within the frame of the Master's thesis. Each of these steps conforms a module, the Master's seminar and the Master's work experience. Both modules belong intrinsically together and account in total for 24 ECTS. Subsequently, the independent research project can be carried out as part of the Master's thesis, which corresponding module comprises 30 ECTS. The research phase is completed with the Master's colloquium (5CP), the defense of the Master's thesis.

During the research phase, the fulfilment of an independent scientific work is tighly connected with the acquisition of additional skills, such as project management, team work as well as the depiction and presentation of scientific results.


Master' seminar

Literature research and specialization



Master's work experience

Methodology and project planning



Master's thesis




Master's colloquiumMaster's thesis defense  





*: PL="Prüfungsleistung" graded exam, SL="Studienleistung" non graded exam (pass/fail)

To find a topic, please contact the working groups and possible thesis supervisors yourself.

The thesis supervisors have the possibility to advertise topics. The list thus gives an insight into possible topics for the final thesis in the bachelor's degree program in physics. If you are interested in a topic, please contact the working group. The list is not exhaustive and the exact titles and descriptions can of course still be modified by the topic creator. So it is advisable to ask the thesis supervisors directly. Other topics may also arise during the discussion.

Furthermore, it is advisable to start searching for a suitable topic early, about one semester in advance. In a personal interview, you can quickly see whether a topic appeals to you and whether you feel comfortable in the group. We discourage you from simple e-mail exchange, as it is usually not successful.

A list of possible topics is given in the linked Moodle-Course.

The registration to all modules belonging to the research phase is done at once, normally at the beginning of the third Master's semester. After agreeing on a topic with the future supervisor, the registration takes place via an online form, for the time being still via the physics web pages (access only from the Munich science network).

Following the online registration, the registration form must be printed out and handed in at the Dean's Office Physics (Dekanat Physik). When doing this, the certificate of mentor counseling has to be included.

After six months the Master's thesis should begin. Passing the Master's seminar and the Master's work experience will be recorded in TUMonline and you are officially allowed to start the thesis.

Before handing in the Master's thesis, you must fill in the final titel of the thesis in the database and upload an electronic copy (PDF-file). For the time being, the database is still located on the physics web pages (access only from the Munich science network). Afterwards, you have to hand in two printed versions in the Dean's Office (Dekanat). Only then is the thesis considered submitted; uploading the electronic copy is not sufficient to meet the deadline.

Extension of the deadline is only possible for good reasons. See FAQ on Thesis extension.

The Master's thesis will be evaluated by the supervisor and a second examiner. The second examiner is appointed by the examination board on suggestion of the supervisor (at the earliest after official registration of Master’s thesis).

The supervisor and the second examiner will also grade the Master's colloquium, which completes the research phase. The Master’s colloquium is organised and conducted by the supervisor together with the second examiner. The Master’s colloquium takes approximately 60 minutes, consisting of a 30 minutes talk and 30 minutes examination. Naturally, the inclusion of the colloquium in a group seminar is possible.

For any examination you must be enrolled as a student of TUM. Hence you need to re-enroll for one semester more e.g. if you hand in your Master’s thesis or your Master’s colloquium takes place after the current semester ends. With a due date for your thesis or a scheduled date for the colloquium e.g. in October, you should not forget to re-enroll for the winter semester and the corresponding deadline would be August 15. For the summer semester the registration deadline is February 15.

At the end of the semester in which you reach the necessary 120 ECTS in your Master's degree program and passed all required exams you will be exmatriculated (according to §13(1) enrolment rules of TUM). In most cases the Master's colloquium will be the last exam to reach this point.

You are principally allowed to take further exams after reaching the 120 ECTS, i.e. to replace previous results in the catalog of the focus areas with better results. Therefore it is generally not possible that the final documents are generated before you are exmatriculated. In case you need the final documents (or even preliminary documents) earlier, you have to request for it explicitly. See the Remarks on end of studies and final documents for further information.

Computation of the final grade

The final grade is the ECTS-weighted average of all graded exams.



ca. %

Theoretical physics


Special courses3036
Non-Physics courses810
Master's Thesis3036
Master's Colloquium56