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Biological Sciences

For prospective students

Thank you for your interest in studying biology at the University of Würzburg! Detailed information about the subject areas of the (Bachelor) biology programme, the participating departments and institutions, as well as the city of Würzburg can be found in our online self-test for biology (completion time approximately 30 min).

The most important points and useful links to our other study programmes are summarised on this page. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our student advisory service.

It's probably already occurred to you that there is no typical "biologist" job description. So what professions can you pursue after graduation? 

Generally speaking, it is already possible to start a career with a bachelor's degree. For careers in the field of research and development as well as leadership positions, a master's degree or even a doctorate is usually a prerequisite, however. Therefore, at least 50% of biology graduates remain in academic research a little longer, for example in the context of a doctorate.

There is also a wide range of possible fields of employment for biologists outside of academic research. According to VBio - the umbrella organisation for the life sciences in Germany - there is a stable and large job market in biotechnology. In addition to research and development, many graduates are employed primarily in quality management, drug approval, or marketing in large companies. Others supervise clinical studies that have to be carried out for the approval of new drugs. In this context, there is also the job of medical writer, who summarises study results and presents them clearly. Another large field of workers is distribution and sales, in which biologists act as specialists for pharmaceutical products or devices. After completing a doctorate, additional training in patenting is possible. This allows one to subsequently manage patents in patent offices, law firms, and pharmaceutical or biological technology companies.

Microbiologists fill jobs in public and private organisations, hospitals, and food manufacturers. There they work, for example, on the further development of medicines or on solutions to issues in food, water, and energy supply. The topics of quality management and hygiene are also here.

When specialising in the field of bioinformatics, there are employment opportunities in biotechnology companies, the pharmaceutical industry, or in tech startups. There, data is analysed, special software is developed, or computer simulations are carried out.

For students with an ecology/organism focus, there are now numerous job opportunities. In addition to scientific careers at universities and research institutions worldwide, graduates from this field can work in agricultural, forestry, environmental and conservation agencies, protected area administrations, and planning offices at local, regional, and global levels.

Another option for graduates involves work in species, nature, and climate protection, for example in bird observatories, national parks, landscape conservation associations and marine biological stations, as well as numerous NGOs (non-governmental organisations), EU and UN authorities, or the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

Environmental technology also offers a possible field of employment. This involves, for example, the production of fuels or plant biomass.

Bionics deals with the creative implementation of ideas from biology into technology. To this end, biologists work closely with engineers, architects, physicists, chemists and materials researchers.

Genetic diagnostics in companies, criminal investigation departments, or medical practices and clinics require qualified biological specialists who can, act as consultants for medically-indicated genetic tests.

For biologists with a special interest in communication, there are opportunities to work in public relations for private or public institutions, museums or zoos. There are also employment opportunities as a speaker for politicians and associations or as a science manager coordinating large research collaborations.

If you have a special flair for relevant topics and information and a general interest in the media, a position as a science journalist for a book publisher, a magazine or for radio and television might be suitable.

In the field of teaching, biologists are employed, at schools, vocational schools, universities, technical colleges and other educational institutions. For general education schools, a teaching degree is usually required. For teaching at universities, you need a doctorate and possibly a habilitation (post-doctoral qualification). Teachers at universities of applied sciences usually have a doctorate and professional experience outside the university.

No matter in which direction your interests lead, it makes sense to orientate yourself during the course of your studies. In Würzburg, we are happy to support you with courses, internships and personal advice at the Service Center BioCareers

Biology at the University of Würzburg is characterised by its diversity of topics and interdisciplinarity. The study programme has a strong focus on experimental work, with more than 50% of the compulsory courses being practical classes. 

All undergraduate courses combine the basics of biology, chemistry, physics & mathematics with a broad spectrum of specialist topics. This allows courses to be uniquely customised, with a focus either selected relatively early on in one's studies or at a later date. This gives all students the possibility to first acquire a broad basic knowledge of biology in order to identify their own specific interests.

Within the Faculty of Biology, a variety of specialisations are available in the context of four focus areas:

In addition, specialisations in other topics of the  Biocenter are also possible.

Some insight into the specialisation possibilities in biology studies can also be gained from these examples of project titles from recent years.

The city of Würzburg is one of the most youthful cities in Germany! A wide variety of events and leisure activities concentrated in a small area makes the city particularly attractive for young people. In addition, a mild, sunny climate and plenty of green spaces attract many visitors every year. The Würzburg Residence was declared a World Heritage Site in 1981 and is one of the city's most important cultural attractions.

You can find many more reasons for studying at the University of Würzburg here.

More detailed information on the topics of studying, leisure activities and finding accommodation can be found on the corresponding pages of the city of Würzburg.

Details about each programme can be found at the student advisory service webpage and on the respective linked programme pages.

Bachelor of Science Biologie:

The bachelor's degree programme with a standard period of study of 6 semesters (3 years) ensures a solid foundation in the natural sciences alongside in-depth study of a subject of your choice. The degree qualifies you both for entry into the workplace and for further master's studies. This programme is taught in German. Students can only start their studies at the beginning of a winter semester.

Biology as minor subject for Bachelor of Arts:

You can study biology as a minor subject with 60 ECTS points. Further information, such as possible majors, can be found here.

Master of Science Biosciences:

The Master of Biosciences in Würzburg continues the concept of an integrative bioscience study programme with the possibility of highly individualised specialisation in a single field of biosciences and its related areas. The programme of 4 semesters (2 years) can be started in any semester, either winter or summer. Two subjects, each consisting of 2 theory modules and an internship unit, can be combined as desired. One subject is then the focus of an in-depth internship (12 weeks) and the subsequent final Master's thesis. In a further elective module, both general and interdisciplinary topics (such as biopsychology, bioethics and ethics of science, conservation, philosophy of science, epistemology, quality management) and other special courses in the subject can be chosen directly. This programme is taught in German. Students can start their studies in the winter semester as well as in the summer semester.

The eight courses in the BioEU Master of Biosciences programme  offer customised curricula to meet your personal interests. By choosing a specific BioEU master's programme, you can become a specialist in your chosen area of interest. This programme is taught in English. Students can start their studies in the winter semester as well as in the summer semester.

Master of Science FOKUS Life Sciences (en):

The master programme "FOKUS Life Sciences" is a very comprehensive and interdisciplinary course intended as a fast-track to a PhD project at the Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS) at the University of Würzburg. It comprises four semesters (2 years), but can be shortened to two semesters if combined with parallel entry into the doctoral programme. This programme is taught in English. Students can only start their studies at the beginning of a winter semester. More information can be found on the  course homepage.

Teacher training Biology:

The study of biology as a teaching subject (not in-depth) is possible in the courses of study for elementary schools, middle schools, and secondary schools and as an in-depth subject in the course of study for secondary schools. Biology can be studied in Würzburg as a combination with the subjects chemistry, English, computer sciences or physics as well as a didactic subject in the teacher training programme for elementary schools (DG), middle schools (DM) or special education, and as an extension subject for all teacher training programs. In the teacher training programme in biology, there is a close connection between subject-specific science and subject-specific didactics. This programme is taught in German. Students can only start their studies at the beginning of a winter semester. more information can be found on the  webpages of the subject biology didactics.

Modular studies:

Modular studies make it possible to selectively complete individual course units at a time. They are therefore suitable for applicants who are temporarily unable to study full-time while working or raising a family, or for prospective students who want to get to know a particular subject. However, academic or professional partial qualifications can also be acquired within the framework of professional and personal further education. Achievements made in modular studies can be recognised for later studies. Most modules are taught in German. Students can start their studies in the winter semester as well as in the summer semester.

Orientation studies:

In the orientation studies, modules from different subject areas can be taken in order to get to know different fields of study. They are therefore suitable for applicants who are still unsure about their choice of study programme. Achievements made in the orientation studies can be recognised for later studies.  Most modules are taught in German. Students can start their studies in the winter semester as well as in the summer semester.


Following a master's degree, there is the possibility of a doctorate. This can be carried out within the faculty or within the framework of one of the Würzburg graduate schools.

A good start to your studies in the STEM fields of biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics and physics is important. For this reason, the departmental councils and institutes or faculties have put together a coordinated programme for you as a MINT (mathematics, informatics,   natural sciences, technology) Ersti with seven MINT pre-courses and four Ersti days.

Further information is provided under "Study start checklist"


The central student advisory service regularly organises information events so that you can get to know the university and the study programmes.

Every year, there is a summer school on Modern Methods in Infection Biology organised by the Chair of Bioinformatics.

In addition, there are regular summer schools on different topics of computational biology organized by the Center for Computational and Theoretical Biology.