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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. During this so-called research phase, you can choose from an extensive number of research groups and current projects.

 Aliaksandr Bandarenka and a Master's student in his group discuss about their research. Foto: TUM.PH/Eckert. The research phase constitutes one thematic block, culminating in the dissertation of the Master's thesis.

Research Phase

The build-up of the research phase

To the scope of the one year 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 training. 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, the defense of the Master's thesis, for which 5 ECTS are given.

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.

ModuleDescriptionCredits (CP)PL/SL*
Master's seminar Literature research and specialization 10 S
Master's training Methodology and project planning 14 S
Master's thesis 30 P
Master's colloquium Master's thesis defense 5 P
*: P="Prüfungsleistung", graded exam,
S="Studienleistung", non graded exam (pass/fail)

Finding a topic

Students have to take contact by their own with the working groups and potential supervisors, in oder to agree on a topic for the research phase/master thesis. Additionally to this, supervisors have the option to announce topics in the section below (supervisors see "Access for supervisors" on the right). However this possibility is not used by all institutes and not all topics are listed. Therefore it is recommended to ask the professors or in the institutes for topics.

Furthermore, it is recommended to start early (at least one semester in advance) to search for an appropriate topic. Having face-to-face interaction with the group, you can see if you like the topic and if you feel comfortable in the group (you will be working one year there!). We discourage you from simple e-mail exchange, as it is usually not successful.

Filtering in the offers for possible theses

You can search through the offers of Master’s thesis topics at the Physics Department.

Offers of Master’s thesis topics

Study areaTopicSupervisor
KTA A Comphrehensive Study of Molecular Gas Near AGN (topic is not available any more) Eisenhauer
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP, BEMP Advanced image processing for clinical darkfield chest X-ray applications Pfeiffer
BSC, KM, KTA, BIO, AEP, BEMP Advanced material decomposition using clinical dual-layer spectral CT (topic is not available any more) Pfeiffer
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP, BEMP Advanced processing algorithms for X-ray dark-field CT reconstruction Pfeiffer
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP, BEMP AI/machine learning algorithms for the automated detection of respiratory diseases in chest CT scans Pfeiffer
KTA Alarm-Software fuer Gammastrahlungs-Transienten (topic is not available any more) Greiner
KM, AEP All Solid State Batteries Bandarenka
KM, AEP Amphiphilic polymeric conetworks are mechanically more stable than pure hydrogels and are used in contact lenses. They swell both in water and organic solvents, which qualifies them for cleaning purposes. Using star block copolymers as building blocks, highly ordered gels with high toughness are obtained. In the proposed master thesis, the star block copolymers as well as the resulting conetworks shall be investigated in organic solvents using dynamic light scattering and small-angle X-ray scattering. The candidate should be interested in experimental work as well as in data analysis and molecular interpretation. Papadakis
KTA Analyse der Zerfälle B_(s)->D_(s) {K, pi} in der schwachen effektiven Theorie van Dyk
KM, AEP Anomaler Hall Torque in voll epitaktischen Heterostrukturen Back
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP, BEMP Application of Machine Learning / AI-based image processing to X-ray dark-field imaging (topic is not available any more) Pfeiffer
KM, AEP Beeinflußung der Spin-Bahn-Wechselwirkung durch die elektronische Zustandsdichte Back
KM, BIO, AEP, BEMP, M2L, TMP Biophysik der Nahrungsaufnahme im Darm Alim
KM, AEP, QST Breitbandiges dispersives Auslesen von supraleitenden Qubits Gross
KM, AEP, QST Characterization and fabrication of superconducting multi-qubit devices Filipp
KTA Characterization of the next-generation TRISTAN prototype detector Mertens
KM, AEP, QST Charakterisierung des Prototyps für ein Quantum Local Area Network (Q-LAN) Deppe
KTA ComPol - a Compton telescope inside a nano satellite Mertens
KTA, AEP Confinement of charged nanoparticles: Quadrupole Ion Trap - particle detection Eisenhauer
BSC, KM, KTA, AEP CRESST: freezing cold, deep underground, but illuminating the dark Schönert
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP Data analysis for high-resolution quantitative phase-contrast imaging at highly brilliant sources (topic is not available any more) Herzen
KTA Data analysis for the KATRIN experiment Mertens
BSC, KTA, AEP Deep neural networks applied to multimessenger astronomy: real-time neutrino astronomy. Resconi
KTA Detector R&D and data analysis with the LEGEND experiment Mertens
KM, AEP Development of a flexible sample environment for neutron scattering on multi-stimuli responsive hydrogel thin films Müller-Buschbaum
KTA Development of a theoretical model for the keV sterile neutrino search Mertens
KTA Die Physik unterschiedlicher Gammastrahlungs-Transienten Greiner
BSC, KM, AEP, QST Durchstimmung der Amplitude des Spin-Hall-Magnetwiderstands (topic is not available any more) Gross
BSC, KM, KTA Dynamik im stark korrelierten Hubbard Modell Knap
KM, AEP, QST Elektronenspindynamik in einer stark koppelnden Umgebung Hübl
BSC, BIO, AEP Entwicklung einer Mikrofluidik zur Steuerung von Organoid Wachstum Bausch
KTA Entwicklung eines neuartigen polarisationssensitiven supraleitenden Neutronendetektorkozepts Fierlinger
BSC, KTA, AEP Entwicklung eines Sub-Nanosekunden-Zeitsynchronisationssystems für sehr verteilte Experimente in der Astro- und Teilchenphysik. Resconi
BSC, KM Entwicklung selbsttriggernder, hochratenfähiger Driftrohrkammern für Experimente an zukünftigen Hadroncollidern Kortner
BSC, KTA Entwicklung und Test neuer schneller Ausleselektronik fuer kuenftige Beschleunigerexperimente Kroha
BSC, KTA Entwicklung von numerischen Algorithmen zur Integration in hochdimensionalen Räumen und Anwendungen auf physikalische Probleme Caldwell
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP, BEMP Evaluation of limited angle, sparse sampling CT algorithms for head and chest CT applications (topic is not available any more) Pfeiffer
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP, BEMP Evaluation of spectral photon-counting detectors for improvements in 2D (panoramic) dental imaging applications Pfeiffer
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP, BEMP Evaluation of spectral photon-counting detectors for improvements in 3D (cone-beam CT) dental imaging applications Pfeiffer
KM, AEP Fabrication and characterization of high-efficiency printed perovskite solar cells Müller-Buschbaum
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP Fast and dose-equivalent breast computed tomography (topic is not available any more) Herzen
KM, AEP, QST FPGA-basiertes Rückkopplungsverfahren für die Mikrowellen-basierte Quantenkommunikation Gross
KTA Freeze-in dark matter and their implications on cosmology and terrestrial experiments Harz
BIO, TMP Growing shapes: Kinetics of integrating cell wall material into the envelope of a growing cell Gerland
BSC, KM, AEP, QST Herstellung von verlustarmen Josephson-Kontakten für Quanten-Bauelemente Deppe
KM, AEP High efficiency next generation organic solar cells Müller-Buschbaum
KM, AEP High-field magnetotransport in an organic superconductor in proximity to the spin-liquid state Gross
KM, AEP, QST High frequency optomechanical devices for quantum optomechanics Poot
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP, BEMP High-resolution phase-contrast tomography at a rotating anode x-ray source (topic is not available any more) Herzen
BSC, KTA, AEP Hot Spot Population Analysis: indirect search for cosmic accelerators within the IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory. Resconi
KM, AEP, QST Imaging magnetic phases in 2D-materials Finley
KM, AEP Interaction between magnetic and conducting layers in molecular antiferromagnetic superconductors Gross
KM, AEP Interface control via plasma etching Müller-Buschbaum
KTA, AEP Interferometric imaging with GRAVITY Eisenhauer
BIO, AEP, TMP Interplay of mechanics and information processing in cell tissues Gerland
KM, AEP, QST Kalibrierung von Frequenz und Nichtlinearität in einem Bose-Hubbard-System Gross
KM, KTA, AEP, QST Kernspintomografie auf der Mikrometer-Skala (topic is not available any more) Reinhard
KM, AEP, QST Langlebiger supraleitender Quantenspeicher in Hufeisengeometrie Deppe
BSC, KM, KTA, AEP LEGEND: Are neutrinos their own anti-particles? Schönert
BSC, KM, KTA, AEP LEGEND: boost the scintillation light in liquid argon (topic is not available any more) Schönert
BSC, KM, KTA LEGEND: Deciphering the signal structure of novel germanium detectors Schönert
KTA Lepton number violating interactions as a guiding principle for the neutrino nature Harz
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP, BEMP Machine Learning (AI)-based denoising of limited angle, sparse sampling CT post-processing for head and chest CT applications Pfeiffer
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP Material decomposition using spectral dark-field imaging (topic is not available any more) Herzen
BSC, AEP Mechanische Deformierbarkeit von DNA und Erkennung durch Proteine Zacharias
BSC, KTA Modernes Rechnen, Statistik und Maschinelles Lernen Caldwell
KTA Neuronale Netze in Gamma Spektren Petry
KM, AEP Nonlinear Laser fault injection in semiconductor devices (topic is not available any more) Kienberger
KM, AEP Novel measurement setup to investigate thermoelectric materials Müller-Buschbaum
KM, AEP Novel nanostructured thermoelectric hybrid materials Müller-Buschbaum
BSC, KM, AEP Novel Nanowire Devices for the Optoelectronic Control of Color Centers in Silicon Carbide (topic is not available any more) Stutzmann
KM, AEP Novel pathways to hybrid solar cells Müller-Buschbaum
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP, BEMP Optimierung von Dual Energy CT in der Kleintier-Computertomographie am MRI (topic is not available any more) Wilkens
KM, AEP Optomechanics of coupled micro-drums Poot
KM, AEP, QST Optomechanics with Single Photons Poot
KM, AEP, QST Oxidische Heterostrukturen für Experimente mit reinen Spinströmen (topic is not available any more) Gross
KM, AEP pH-responsive Polymermizellen für den Wirkstofftransport Papadakis
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP, BEMP Pre-clinical evaluation of spectral photon-counting detectors for chest X-ray cancer and tuberculosis screening Pfeiffer
KM, AEP Printed polymer-based thin film batteries Müller-Buschbaum
KM, AEP Proteinbasierte Nanoteilchen für den Wirkstofftransport Papadakis
BSC, KM, KTA, QST Qualifizierung von Piezo Motoren by kryogenen Temperaturen für das MADMAX Experiment zur Suche nach dunkle Materie Axionen Majorovits
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP, BEMP Quantitative phase-contrast imaging at highly brillant X-ray sources Herzen
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP, BEMP Quantitative X-ray dark-field imaging Pfeiffer
KM, AEP, QST Quantum Optics on a Chip Poot
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP, BEMP Rapid kV-switiching K-edge imaging with a compact synchrotron source (topic is not available any more) Pfeiffer
BSC, BIO, BEMP Rekonstitution von aktiven Zytoskelettsystemen Bausch
BSC, KTA, AEP Search for high energy neutrino emission from blazars: stacking gamma-ray bright sources. Resconi
KTA Sehr Lange Basislinie Neutrino-Oszillation Analyse in KamLAND (topic is not available any more) Schönert
BSC, BIO, AEP, BEMP Selbstorganisationsprozesse bei der Organbildung Bausch
KM, AEP Self organization routes for nanostructuring hybrid perovskites toward high efficiency photovoltaics Müller-Buschbaum
KTA Simulation and analysis of backgrounds for the Solar Axion Experiment IAXO Mertens
BSC, KM, AEP, QST Simulation und Aufbau einer Überhöhungskavität für hohe optische Leistungen Kienberger
KM, AEP Smart nano-sensors made of stimuli-responsive polymers in solution and in thin films Müller-Buschbaum
KM, BIO, AEP, M2L, TMP Smoke in a white smoker Alim
KM, AEP Sodium Ion Batteries Bandarenka
KM, AEP, QST Spectroscopy on atomically thin materials in high pulsed magnetic fields Finley
KM, AEP, QST Spin-dynamics in magnetic 2D-materials Finley
KM, AEP, QST Strong electrostatic effects in optomechanical devices Poot
KTA Studien zur Suche nach dem Protonzerfall im zukünftigen JUNO Experiment Oberauer
KTA Studying the chemical signature of protostellar binary interactions through simulations Eisenhauer
KM, AEP, QST Study of the electromagnetically induced transparency in the rare-earth spin ensembles in the microwave regime Gross
BSC, KM Suche nach Anzeichen für neue Physik in den Kopplungen der Higgsbosons an die schwachen Eichbosonen mit den Daten des ATLAS-Experimentes Kortner
BSC, KTA Suche nach CP-Verletzung in Produktion und Zerfall des Higgs-Bosons mit dem ATLAS-Detektor am LHC Kroha
BSC, KTA Suche nach doppelt geladenen Higgs-Bosonen mit dem ATLAS- Detector am LHC Kroha
BSC, KTA, AEP Suche nach extragalaktischen kosmischen Beschleunigern: Deep learning für das Online-System von IceCube. Resconi
BSC, KTA Suche nach geladenen Higgs-Bosonen mit dem ATLAS-Detektor am LHC Kroha
KM, AEP Synchronization and nonlinear dynamics of nanomechanical oscillators Poot
BSC, KTA Test neuer Myondetektoren fuer den Ausbau des ATLAS-Detektors am Super-LHC Kroha
BSC, KM Test und Entwicklung von RPCs für das ATLAS-Experiment am HL-LHC Kortner
KM, AEP Tethering of molecular sensitizers on solar cell surfaces Barth
KM, AEP, QST Time-domain study of the dynamics of microwave spectral holes in the rare-earth spin ensembles Gross
KM, KTA, AEP, QST Tunable interlayer excitons in 2D heterostructures Finley
BSC, KM, KTA Ungeordnete Quantensysteme: Vielteilchenlokalisierung Knap
KM, KTA, AEP, QST Untersuchung der Signalantwort des MADMAX Experiments zur Suche nach Axionen als dunkler Materie Majorovits
BSC, KM, KTA, BIO, QST Vermessung der optischen Eigenschaften des PEN-Szintillatormaterials für LEGEND200 Majorovits
BSC, KM, AEP Verzerrungen in LSPS Kristallen: Einblicke durch maschinelles Lernen Reuter
BSC, KM, KTA, TMP Vielteilchensysteme mit Zwangsbedingungen Knap
BSC, KM, AEP Wie verrauscht sind eigentlich Elektronenstrukturtheorie-Daten? Reuter
KM, KTA, BIO, AEP, BEMP X-ray diffraction imaging at a compact synchrotron source Pfeiffer
KM, AEP Zeitaufgelöste Messung des Umschaltprozesses für in der Ebene magnetisierte mikrostrukturierte Elemente Back

Registering the research phase

The registration to all modules belonging to the research phase is done at once in the Dean's Office (Dekanat), normally at the beginning of the third Master's semester. When doing this, the certificate of mentor counseling has to be included. After agreeing on a topic with the future supervisor, students can print out the registration form in the student access.

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

Handing in the thesis and getting the grade

Before handing in the Master's thesis, you need to update the final titel of the thesis in the database (student access) and upload an electronic copy (PDF-file). Afterwards, you have to hand in two printed versions in the Dean's Office (Dekanat). Alternatively you may hand in the rpinted copies via postal mail – use the submission letter you may generate on the status page after uploading the thesis PDF for this. The submission letter (as well as the submission form at the Dean’s Office) especially contains the required statement according to §18 paragraph 9 APSO.

You have to hand in the thesis at the latest on the deadline, please keep this on mind. The thesis is not handed in until the two paper copies and the signed submission form (or the signed submission letter for postal submission) physically arrived at the Dean’s Office! If the two copies and the submission letter are given into the mail without any delay we can interpret the date of uploading the PDF file as submission date retroactively.

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 (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.

Re-enrollment during the research phase

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. According to APSO, coursework and examinations until the first week of the lectures of the next semester are counted for the current semester – but for the Master's Thesis the rule is: you must be enrolled at the date you hand in your thesis (meaning handing in after 1st of April or 1st of October is impossible if your are not re-enrolled in summer or winter semester respectively)

With a due date for your thesis e.g. in October, you should not forget to re-enroll for the winter semester and the corresponding deadline would be August 15.

Organization of the colloquium

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.

Completing your Master studies

At the end of the semester in which you reach the necessary 120 ECTS in your Master's degree program 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.

Taking further exams and final documents

You are principally allowed to take further exams after reaching the 120 ECTS, i.e. to replace previous results in the catalog of special courses or non-physics courses 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.

Deriving the final grade

The final grade is the ECTS-weighted average of the graded exams, which are used to fulfill the 120 ECTS. These are the elective course in theoretical physics, the special courses, the non-physics courses, the Master's thesis and colloquium.

If you have taken more than 30 ECTS in the special courses or more than 8 ECTS in the non-physics elective courses, then TUMonline will try to find the combination, which results in the best final grade. Redundant courses will be listed as "additional courses" in your transcript. If you want a different combination than the one TUMonline is suggesting, please contact the coordinator of the Master's degree program before the final documents are printed.

Nr.ModuleCredits (CP)ca. %
1 Theoretical physics 10 12
2 Special courses 30 36
3 Non-Physics courses 8 10
4 Master's thesis 30 36
5 Master's colloquium 5 6
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