Master Data Science

Master Data Science

Study Course Coordinator

Prof. Dr. Frauke Liers

Student Advisory

Dr. Daniel Tenbrinck


Why apply for this program?

Data Science has become a revolutionary technology that everyone seems to talk about. It is becoming a key concept for large private businesses, public institutions and research. While it is not easy to define it in a few words, data science deals with the methods and tools needed to analyze data and draw actionable conclusions from the results gained in the process. These methods and tools, which cover big data and their analysis, data modeling, machine learning, and simulation methods, are located mainly at the intersection of three subjects: computer sciences, mathematics, and statistics. Consequently, this new Master’s program at Friedrich-Alexander University is jointly taught by lecturers from these three fields.

This program uses dynamic learning methodologies to ensure our students stand out in today’s competitive job market. Students will enjoy a wide variety of long-lasting benefits:

  • Hands-on teaching methodology.
  • A world-class institution.
  • Career-focused curriculum.

Career prospects

As a data scientist you can work in national and international companies or in the public sector. Some exemplary sectors to find exciting job positions would be:

  • Technology Industry
    Thanks to the various developments in data science, this industry is gradually evolving from an art into a science. Modern cyber security mechanisms heavily rely on data science. Data scientists are bringing probabilistic and statistical methods into the IT industry. Data collected from different disciplines can be instrumental in helping with solutions to cyber security threats.
  • Travel Industry
    Travel personalization has become an increasingly deeper process than it used to be. The possibility to create customer profiles based on segmentation, offering personalized experiences according to their needs and preferences, has its foundations in data science. Forecasting the behavior of travelers by knowing where they want to go next, what kind of prices are they ready to pay, and when to launch special promotions, hugely depends on the level of applying data scientists‘ skills and abilities.
  • Energy Industry
    The energy industry experiences major fluctuations in prices and higher costs of projects. Obtaining high-quality information has not been so important! Data scientists help in cutting costs, reducing risks, optimizing investments and improving equipment maintenance.
  • Pharmaceuticals
    Connected to human health, the pharma industry has also emerged as an industry where data science is increasing its application. For example, a pharmaceutical company can utilize data science to ensure a more stable approach for planning clinical trials. Companies need to resort to data science in order to build precision into their calculations of the potential success or failure of the clinical trials.

Undoubtedly, there are many more sectors that a data scientist can work. Data science careers are in high demand, particularly in Germany, and this trend will not be slowing down any time soon.
After the master’s degree, a scientific career is of course also possible. Definitely, you can then deepen your knowledge and develop various programming tools for scientific codes and data analysis.

Areas of specialization

At the beginning of the master’s degree, one major and minor field of study are selected from the following subject areas as part of an individual study agreement:

  • Data-oriented optimization
  • Mathematical Theory / Basics of Data Science
  • Databases Knowledge Representation
  • Machine learning / artificial intelligence
  • Simulation and Numerics
  • Mathematical Statistical Data Analysis

The courses are mainly taught in English. Every student chooses a mentor at the beginning of the study course. The mentor gives the student advice how to design the study plan in accordance with the student’s individual interests.

Structure of the degree programs

The standard time to degree is four semesters (two years). Currently, there is no part-time option for studying M.Sc. Data science. Students must acquire 120 ECTS. The program is structured as follows:

Detailed information regarding modules and study plan can be found under „Important document and further info“ paragraph in the „Module Handbook“ section.

Application subjects

In the following application subjects modules with a total of 15 ECTS should be taken:

  • Chemistry
  • Digital humanities
  • Geography
  • Geosciences
  • International Information Systems
  • Medical data science
  • Physics
  • Material Science


Admission requirements:

  • A completed B.Sc. degree in Mathematics, Industrial Mathematics, Mathematical Economy, Computer Science, or Data Sciences. Furthermore, one is eligible for admission with a completed B.Sc. degree  with a content of at least 60 ECTS in Mathematics and/or Computer Science, e.g., Physics or Engineering.
  • Applicants with a GPA worse than a 2.5 („gut“) in the German grading system, which is equivalent to a GPA of 2.5 in the US grading system, will be invited to take an oral examination to test their suitability for the M.Sc. Data science. The examination can be conducted via video conference call (Skype, Zoom, etc.). The duration of the test is 20 minutes. The topics of this examination include basic knowledge in pure mathematics (analysis / algebra) and applied mathematics (numerical mathematics / probability theory) as well as data structures and algorithms. Furthermore, knowledge in a field of specialization in data science (as chosen by the applicant) will be examined. The examination will be administered by the admissions committee of the M.Sc. programs.The examination date will be announced at least one week in advance.
  • English proficiency at level B2 CEFR (vantage or upper intermediate) or six years of English classes at a German secondary school (Gymnasium). Applicants who have completed their university entrance qualifications or their first degree in English are not required to provide proof of proficiency in English.


The application for M.Sc. Data Science is a two-step procedure :

  • Step 1: register online using the page
    Note: Applicants who have not yet an „ IdM Account “ have to register at IdM first (on ). IdM stands for Identity Management of FAU. Then, using your IdM account, you can set up your online application.
  • Step 2: The online application is just the first stage of your Master’s degree programme application. Your Master’s degree programme application is only valid once you have printed and signed the pdf version of your online application and submitted this document in duplicate by post along with all other required documents (only one print needed for these!). After submitting your online application you must then send all required documents to the Master’s Office by post:

    FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg
    Referat L4 – Masterbüro
    Schlossplatz 4
    91054 Erlangen

    For further questions concerning the process of application please contact our Master’s Office:
    For further questions on the online application portal please send an email to:

Application period: From 12th April to 15th July .
Furthermore read: Guide to the application process.



FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg is not able to offer accommodation. The University does not operate any student accommodation and is not allowed to act as an estate agent. However, information on finding accommodation is provided here.

Financing your studies and costs:

There is only one semester fee / student services fee for each student, no matter which country of origin, that has to be paid every semester. Further information regarding costs of studying such as living or food is provided here.

Important documents and further info

  • Guideline on entry from high risk areas.
    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions take place for entry into Germany from a large number of countries. Here you can find a guideline on entry requirements and regulations regarding self-isolation
  • Module handbook.
    A preliminary overview of available modules can be downloaded here (German version).
  • Examination Regulations.
    The study and examination regulations for the bachelor and master degree in Data Science can be downloaded here .
  • Information for international students.
    You will find further information for international applicants under this link .
    Studying at FAU also means getting to know everyday life in Germany as well as German and Franconian culture. An interesting video of international students talking about their experiences in Germany can be found here .
    Information about the orientation courses for international students offered by various faculties and offices at FAU is provided here .
  • Study at FAU.
    Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) is one of the largest research universities in Germany. Under this page you can find information regarding studies at FAU and joining our family.
  • Labor market for FAU graduates.
    See the QS Graduate Employability Ranking 2019 .
  • Information on the Coronavirus and its impact on FAU.
    The coronavirus pandemic had an impact on the university life too. In order to keep informed of everything that is going on, we have provided the following links: and .
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg