Master´s Program Industrial Biotechnology

The demand for outstanding individuals who can work across a number of disciplines and have a broad and applicable expert knowledge of biosciences and process engineering is continually rising; the Technische Universität München (TUM) is meeting this increased demand by offering the Master’s Program Industrial Biotechnology (IBT) at the Munich School of Engineering (MSE). This program was launched in Winter Semester 2010/2011 .

The program, consisting of a total of 120 ECTS is accompanied by a mentoring program. Information about the structure of the program (course documentation in german), application deadlines, prerequisites and assessment procedures as well as the application documents to be submitted can be found below.

What is this course about?

The industrial biotechnology uses enzymes, microorganisms or cells as biocatalysts for the industrial material production. Special chemicals, accurate chemicals, agroceutical products, pharmaceutical products and aiding materials for the manufacturing industry are as well part of the products as increasingly high volume chemical products, materials and fuels. The industrial biotechnology uses herefor renewable resources to transform them with the help of biological Systems part by part in valueable chemical products. As an highly interdisciplinary subject the industrial biotechnology uses on the one hand bioscience (Molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiologic and bioinformatics) to achieve new biocatalysts. On the other hand it needs especially the methods of the (bio-)engineering and technical chemistry, to max out technically the potential of the new designed biocatalysts and to reach new and sustainable production steps on an industrial scale. Therefore the industrial biotechnology is considered as the technology of the future in the third millennium and an outstanding importance have been attached to it especially for the european economy.

Structure of the program

In the first two semesters, graduates with bachelor's degrees in science or engineering are taught the interdisciplinary fundamentals, based on a specially tailored curriculum. The program continues with scientific training in the foloowing four key areas: enzyme engineering, metabolic engineering, bioprocess engineering and bioseparation engineering.

The design of the IBT study program at MSE is unique in Germany and one of the first of its kind in Europe. Successful completion of the Industrial Biotechnology master's program offers graduates a seamless transition to a PhD, especially in the Research Center for White Biotechnology at TUM. Alternatively, graduates of the program can choose from a variety of challenging careers in research and development, production, manufacturing, plant and equipment manufacturing, consultancy and management. In addition to the chemical industry, key industry sectors for graduates of this program include the biotechnology sector, plant and equipment manufacturing the pharmaceutical industry and the environmental technology sector. Further more detailed information you can find at the Program Structure.

Application Deadlines

  • Application period for the Winter Semester (WS) April 1st  - May 31st
  • Application period for the Summer Semester (SS): November 1st  - January 15th

After completion of the online application, you will receive a list of the requested documents in TUMonline. Here you can see, among other things, whether these documents are relevant for admission or for enrollment.

All documents relevant for admission are to be handed out until the May 31st for the Winter Semester and January 1st for the Summer Semester.

All documents relevant for enrollment have to be submitted until 15.08. for Winter Semester and until 15.02. for Summer Semester. Please be aware that you will not be enrolled until all relevant documents are submitted.

Applicants  are informed whether they are admitted or not after the pre-selection process or whether they must enter the second stage of the application process, once complete application documents, including a printed and signed application form, have been received. The interviews (second stage) for the winter semester take place at MSE in July. For the summer semester they take place in March. Applicants will receive an invitation 7 days before the date of the interview at the latest.


Students must prove their eligibility for the Industrial Biotechnology master’s program by:

  • a Bachelor of Science degree that has been earned over at least six semesters at a university in Germany or overseas or a degree of at least equal value in biochemistry, (molecular) biotechnology, biology, bioprocess engineering, chemical engineering, energy and process engineering, engineering science, chemical biotechnology or comparable study programs.
  • upon receipt of a reasoned request, students who have earned at least 140 credits in one of the above-mentioned bachelor’s programs, may be accepted to the master’s program. Proof of graduation with a bachelor’s degree must be furnished within five weeks after the start of the lectures of the master’s program.
  • Applicants who have earned a bachelor’s degree overseas must submit a language certificate by the end of the application period

Aptitude Assessment

A two-stage assessment test procedure is used to decide on admission to the Industrial Biotechnology program. The application for admission must be submitted online during the application periods. Detailed information on the application can be found under application documents.

Note: Information on details of the procedure can be found in FPSO M.Sc. Industrielle Biotechnologie.

First Stage

In the first stage of the assessment test procedure, an assessment is carried out on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Average grade of bachelor's degree or performance certificate
  • Technical qualifications
  • Letter of motivation

Subject specific qualifications are assessed by a scoring system, in which the qualifications of the applicant are compared with the qualifications of a TUM graduate from a comparable program of study. Hereby, the learning objective and the workload (ECTS) of the individual modules are taken into account.

Candidates can be admitted immediately; individual others will be rejected. In cases where the result is not clear-cut at the first stage, candidates go through a second round of assessment tests.

Second Stage

In the second stage of the assessment test procedure, applicants are invited for a personal interview of about 20 minutes per candidate.

Dates for admittance and assessment tests

Applicants will be informed about whether they are admitted or rejected for the assessment interview after receipt of the complete application documents including the printed and signed application form. The assessment interviews at MSE for the winter semester take place in early July and for the summer semester in March. The invitation for the interview will be sent by e-mail one week before the interview at the latest

Application Documents

These documents have to be submitted timely:

  • Application for admission
  • Bachelor's degree or certificate with at least 140 ECTS (certified copy)
  • ID card (copy)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Current photo
  • Letter of motivation (The document is to be written 50% in German and 50% in English. Ideally the language should be swapped at the halfwaypoint of the letter of motivation. The reason for chosing the study program must be made clear on a maximum of two DIN A4 pages and is to be prepared independently and without the help of others. Ideas taken from other sources are to be characterized as such.)
  • Curricular analysis
  • Insurance certificate
  • Applicants with foreign university entrance qualification have to submit a language certificate from this list until the end of the application period

Please make sure that you supplement your online data with hard copy documents after admission into the Master course (in particular the signed application form and the certified copies of your diploma and transcript of records).

For furher information concernig applying for TUM Master´s Courses see here.

Further offers

Mentoring program: For the duration of study, the director of the study program is available as a mentor. With help of the mentor, a personal timetable (for compulsory elective modules) is created to ensure a qualifying curriculum.

Excursions to scientific conferences are part of the program, e.g. the Himmelfahrtstagung of DECHEMA.

Furthermore the students can bring in an (international) internship in the curriculum (max. 10 ECTS). Students will be supported in searching for an internship.

Specific industry internships are supported. Evonik Nutrition & Care offers a special internship for students of the IBT Master's program since Autumn 2017. Additional cooperative efforts with industry partners are underway.

Further informations can be gained in the Academic Programs Office or via E-Mail.

Students' voices

„Meine aktuelle Tätigkeit bei Evonik liegt an der Schnittstelle zwischen biotechnologischer Forschung und Verfahrenstechnik. Somit hat mich das IBT-Studium gut auf den Berufsstart in der Industrie vorbereitet, da im Studium viel Wert auf Interdisziplinarität gelegt wird - man beschäftigt sich sowohl mit naturwissenschaftlichen als auch mit verfahrenstechnischen Inhalten. Durch das Studium habe ich einen breiten Überblick über verschiedene Bereiche bekommen und sehe mich dadurch eher als Generalistin als als Spezialistin. Und genau das ist wichtig, um sowohl mit Evonik-Kollegen mit stark mikrobiologischem Hintergrund als auch mit klassischen Verfahrensingenieuren auf Augenhöhe diskutieren und arbeiten zu können.“, Dr. Xenia Priebe, Bioprocess Engineer

“My current position focuses on the development of biotechnology-based manufacturing processes. I can directly apply a lot of the course contents of my IBT studies and I am happy to have this broad and fundamental knowledge basis at hand. The multitude of insights into various aspects of biotechnology-based processes, ranging from molecular basics, upstream process control to upgrading of the desired product, are the essential basis for my daily business.”, Dr. Julia Tröndle, Principal Scientist, Cell & Viral vector Process Development

IBT in Media

Warten auf die Algenblüte (Article from FAZ, July 2016)

Industrielle Biotechnologie (Article from Berufsstart Technik, May 2015)

"Lebende Chemiefabriken" - Industrielle Biotechnologie an der TUM (Article from Karrierestart Young Professionals Technik (398-400), 2012)

Weiße Biotechnologie (Allgemeine Informationen)

Weiße Biotechnologie - Chancen für eine biobasierte Wirtschaft