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Mathematics | Master

Collage with pictures relevant to Mathematics
Photo: ZIM | Chair of Probability Theory and Statistics

Modern mathematics stands out among the sciences because of its abstract beauty and its enormous variety of applications. The list of applications ranges from computer tomography and mobile telephony to image processing and financial mathematics. Studying mathematics provides the tools both for the  application of mathematical methods and for the further development of mathematical theories and concepts. The Department of Mathematics at the University of Potsdam offers students friendly, custom-tailored and comprehensive support in every phase of their studies. Studying a related field (such as e.g. physics or computer science)  as an additional subject also gives you the optional opportunity to apply your mathematical knowledge in a related discipline. This might require additional knowledge of German.

DegreeMaster of Science
Standard period of study4 semesters
Credit points120
Language of instructionEnglish
Start of study (1st semester)Summer & winter semester
Fees & ChargesSemester fees and charges: yes
Tuition fees: no

Program Content

The master's program builds on the bachelor’s degree and introduces students to current research questions through individual specialization. The department’s prominent research priorities might be grouped in two distinctive sets of lectures which, however, do have an interesting overlap:

  1. Structures in mathematics related to a physical background
  2. Mathematical modeling and data analysis

These profiles complement each other and ensure consistent, reliable and research-oriented teaching in the department. You can choose from the following specializations within these profiles:

  • Algebra and number theory,
  • Analysis,
  • Applied mathematics,
  • Discrete mathematics,
  • Geometry,
  • Geometric analysis,
  • Mathematical modeling and systems biology,
  • Mathematical physics,
  • Numerical mathematics,
  • Partial differential equations,
  • Statistics,
  • Probability theory,
  • Applied Geometry and Topology,
  • Data assimilation,
  • Graph Theory,
  • Uncertainty quantification,
  • Machine Learning.

The close connections to non-university research institutions on campus further enrich this offer. On the other hand, a high degree of flexibility is possible, allowing courses from both profiles to be combined or replaced by other courses. In an additional subject such as physics, computer science, life sciences (bioinformatics or animal physiology), cognitive sciences, chemistry, geosciences, economics or business administration, you can acquire additional knowledge with a view to your future professional orientation. Please note that not all additional subjects have a continuous range of courses in English. Mentors will always be available to assist students with any questions they may have regarding the composition of the courses.

Course Objective and Future Career Options

The aim of this research-oriented master's program is to provide you with sound, application-oriented knowledge of mathematical concepts and methods on the basis of analytical and structural thinking. You will acquire knowledge in your chosen field that will introduce you to state-of-the-art research.

The career prospects for mathematicians are excellent and diversified: They work in industry, banks and insurance companies, in the field of ecology, in administrations, research institutes and universities. The fields of application are very diverse: Data processing, development and application of algebraic, analytical, geometrical, numerical and stochastic methods, solution of optimization problems as well as modeling and the simulation of complex issues. Future employers value not just mathematical knowledge, but also the analytical skills that students have acquired during their studies, along with the stamina to solve complex problems.

The facilities at the University of Potsdam provide you with ideal preparation for the professional world. You also have the opportunity to continue your academic education with a doctorate in mathematics.

Prerequisites for Admission to the Master’s Program

Applying for a master’s degree generally requires you to hold an undergraduate degree, such as a bachelor’s degree. Preferably, you should have obtained this first degree in mathematics. Physics is also an accepted default. You may apply for our program also with a university degree in another scientific discipline if you can document knowledge in mathematics  (worth at least 70 credit points) in modules that are exclusively or predominantly mathematically oriented.

For the master's program, you will also need English language skills at B1 level of the Common European Reference Framework for Languages if you are not a native English speaker. This condition is considered fulfilled for students (German or not German) possessing a higher education entrance qualification with English as a foreign language. Exceptions are possible on a case-by-case basis.

You can read more about the subject-specific admission requirements in the respective Admission Regulations.

Program Structure

In the four-semester master’s program, you earn a total of 120 credit points, consisting of the following modules and your master’s thesis. The master’s degree program is geared to individual specialization and offers the necessary flexibility. Only a few specific courses in the elective module area are obligatory.

For additional information, please consult the subject-specific Degree Regulations or the Departmental Advisory Office.



Credit Points

6 CP
Academic Reading and Writing6 CP

Elective Modules

Students can choose from among the following areas. Please note the restrictions on selecting elective modules as explained in the subject-specific study and examination regulations.

66 CP
Algebra, Discrete Mathematics, Geometry
Analysis and Mathematical Physics
Probability Theory and Statistics
Applied Mathematics and Numerical Mathematics

Additional Subject

An additional subject can be completed. Alternatively, an additional subject need not be completed; in this case, an additional 18 CP of elective modules must be completed

18 CP
Computer Sciences (language of instruction: German)
Physics (language of instruction: English and German)
Economics (language of instruction: German)
Business Administration (language of instruction: German)
Cognitive Sciences (language of instruction: English)
Life Sciences with focus on animal physiology (language of instruction: German)
Life Sciences with focus on bioinformatics (language of instruction: English)
Master’s thesis30 CP
Total120 CP


Institute of Mathematics

Prof. Dr. Alexandra Carpentier | Departmental Student Advisor


Campus Golm
Building 9, Room 1.16

Advantages at a Glance

The master's program in mathematics can be custom-designed and is very research-oriented. The additional subject option enables you to pursue career-related interested while you study for your degree.

In addition to a favorable supervision ratio between instructors and students, the master's program in mathematics offers a mentoring program. From the start of your master's program, you will receive support from a mentor that comes from a group of authorized examiners. In this way, you receive individually tailored advice on degree planning and study organization.

Through close relations with Potsdam's research institutions, you can also establish contacts with research groups and companies at an early stage and take advantage of them for your further training.

The University of Potsdam takes into account the actual living conditions of its students and has introduced the possibility of part-time study for many degree programs. This also applies to mathematics. Find out more under part-time studies at the University of Potsdam.


Have you decided to study the master’s degree in Mathematics at the University of Potsdam? Then you should take the next step and get more information about the current application and immatriculation procedures at the application website.


Institute of Mathematics

Prof. Dr. Alexandra Carpentier | Departmental Student Advisor


Campus Golm
Building 9, Room 1.16

This description is based in part on the information provided by the Program-Specific Regulation for the Master's Program in Mathematics at the University of Potsdam, dated February 26, 2019 (AmBek No. 11/19, p. 693).