Certificate of Advanced Studies

CAS 1 – Solar Cells and
Photovoltaic Systems

In scientific cooperation with

CAS 1 – Solar Cells and Photovoltaic Systems

This Certificate provides a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental physical processes of solar cells, as well as the design and function of photovoltaic systems.

Learning goals:

Target group

This Certificate is an ideal choice for you if you are a working professional with:

In addition, the following skills are particularly helpful to make your study experience a success:

Fact Sheet

Mid October
6 Months
Accredited Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS)
Fully online
Programme Fee
€ 2500
Download Brochure

Learn from Germany’s leading experts in solar energy

The Certificate “CAS 1 - Solar Cells and Photovoltaic Systems” consists of two separate courses running in parallel:

1.1 – Solar Cells (5 ECTS)
Lecturer: Dr. Uli Würfel
Researcher at the Freiburger Materialforschungszentrum – FMF and Head of the Department “Organic and Perovskite Photovoltaics” at Fraunhofer ISE.

1.2 – Photovoltaic Systems (5 ECTS)
Lecturer: Dr.-Ing. Oliver Stalter
Director of the Division “Energy Technology and Systems” in the Business Division “Power Electronics, Grids and Smart Systems” at Fraunhofer ISE.

Condensing the expertise gained over the years, this Certificate enables a scientific understanding of photovoltaic energy conversion. Participants gain an insight about the overall system of photovoltaic energy conversion and a detailed scientific foundation of the underlying principles of solar cells.

  • Experienced engineers will be qualified to design and optimize photovoltaic systems
  • Enthusiasts will be able to understand the physical principles of every type of solar cell in detail.

Participants will become proficient in explaining the physical and engineering principles; in analyzing and assessing new solar cell concepts, as well as evaluating the latest trends in photovoltaics.

ONLINE PHASE (22 weeks)









>    EXAMS




Study Format:

  • E-learning via online video lectures accompanied by readings, exercises and online meetings with tutors and lecturers
  • Two written exams (75 minutes each) in a study center close to your location
  • Join our voluntary Campus Phase week in Freiburg, Germany

You are closely monitored and supported by tutors and lecturers throughout your entire certificate studies. Various teaching styles and formats allow you to engage with the topic in may compelling ways. 15-minute e-lectures combined with a great collection of reading materials provide you the latest theoretical understanding of each topic. Our lecturers have carefully selected the most relevant publications for you. References - incorporated into the videos - point you to the most relevant sections. Your growing expertise is put into practice through exercise sheets. Regular online meetings and lively forum discussions with fellow students, tutors and lecturers will round off your learning experience.

Accredited Certificate Program:

A Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) is a subject-specific advanced training program which is compliant with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). With a scope of 10 ECTS each, our Certificates correspond to an average study-workload of 250 hours - considering that 1 ECTS is equivalent to 25 hours.

These standards secure the high quality of CAS programs, as well as their comparability and recognition across educational institutions which offer academic continuing education for working professionals.

Thus, it is possible to combine CAS programs from the same or different institutions in Germany and Switzerland to a more extensive degree in modular fashion.

asked questions

Are there any extra costs to the Summer School (on Campus Events)?

No, not except for your own travel, accommodation, and personal costs. For the Campus Phase, students come to Freiburg to meet instructors and fellow students and to get hands-on experience at our facilities.

Two times during the program, participation is mandatory. So, for travel and accommodation, you need to budget financial resources  .

Are there scholarships or financial support?

It is challenging for international students to find scholarships once in Germany. We, therefore, encourage you to begin your search for scholarships as early as possible while you are still in your home country. The international office of the university in your homeland, as well as the German embassy or consulate(s), may have information on scholarships for students specifically from your country or your field of study.

Applicants can check the following links for third party scholarship opportunities:

● www.daad.de

The DAAD is a significant German institution designed for academic exchange. They provide a lot of information concerning everything studying in Germany on their website. They also host the page www.study-in.de, which is specially designed for international students in Germany.

Maybe most interesting is their database about scholarships. Here you can find information on various kinds of DAAD funding for international students, graduates, and postdocs, as well as on funding offered by other selected organizations:

https://www.daad.de/deutschland/stipendium/datenbank/en/21148- scholarship-database/

● www.mystipendium.de

The German page https://www.mystipendium.de/ also offers a lot of information all around scholarship possibilities. But this page is only available in German.

● www.uni-freiburg.de

The Student Service Center offers advice concerning scholarships. You can contact them through the following web page:


Unique possibilities:

In many cases, the employees may finance a part of the education costs. If you need an official letter for applying for funding from your company, just let us know – we are happy to provide one.

If there is a public organization, either governmental or non-governmental, in your country which might be a potential sponsor – we also can provide you with a letter and try to support your case. But you need to initiate the contact.

Can I pay in instalments?

Partially, yes. The smaller we can go in terms of instalments is the payment per semester. This rule is due to the University’s regulations.

Payments must be made before each semester at rates of 4000 to 3500€ for Full and Expert tracks. The master’s thesis semester is 2.000 € for both tracks.

An additional matriculation fee (currently 161 €) applies for each semester; the matriculation fee is subject to change according to the Baden-Württemberg state law. For additional semesters after the official study time, a fee of 500€ per semester will be charged.

Tuition fee payments must be made on time to maintain the student status.

How can I apply for Certificate Programs?

The application process for the Certificate Program has three steps:

Step 1: Complete the application form.

To apply, please send the following documents by e-mail to application@studysolar.uni-freiburg.de

• Application form (must be filled out on a computer and signed with applicant’s original signature.)

Download application form here: https://uploads-ssl.webflow.com/5cc1bff5df4e90f196e9c3cf/5f894f90cdb514a139317578_Application Form_Certificate_v1.2.pdf

• Up-to-date CV in English

• Diplomas and degrees (in English or German - translated by a sworn translator)

• Transcript of records showing attended courses and grades (in English or German - translated by a sworn translator)

Submit all your documents by April 1st (for the April intake) or October 1st (for the October intake).

Step 2: Complete payment

After submitting your documents, you will receive information on how to enrol and pay the fees.  

Step 3: Start your journey!

That simple.

Is this program only online? What is the format of the program?

We are purely an online program consisting of asynchronous courses, virtual meetings and more; we do not host any in-presence courses.

However, Students are required to join the on-campus week at least two times during their studies. Students can freely choose in which semester they will join. For details, see the question “Is it compulsory to come to Freiburg for the on-campus events?”

The M.Sc. program Solar Energy Engineering (SEE) is designed to be studied simultaneously parallel to a full-time job, in the student’s desired location, anywhere with a sufficient internet connection. We believe in bringing the latest Solar Energy Engineering knowledge to all corners of the globe as we believe in a global energy transition for a better future.

What are the Certificates?

Certificates enable you to specialize on a particular topic in solar energy to consolidate your expertise and enhance your career opportunities without disrupting work or private life. With an accredited Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS), you earn a joint degree from two prestigious institutions: The University of Freiburg and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE.

Each subject-specific certificate provides you with a flexible opportunity to fortify your knowledge within a short period, simultaneous to your job. CAS consists of 6 different accredited certificates with a study duration of 6 months (or 12 months) and a scope of 10 ECTS each. Discover our part-time and online study offers that are tailor-made for professionals like you! To see the list of available certificates, please follow the link:


What are the admission requirements?


1. First academic degree in engineering or natural sciences (physics, chemistry, electronics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, material sciences, computer engineering, etc.).

2. One year of work experience.

3. Proof of English proficiency; minimum equal to B2 according to CEFR.

Note: Admission with an alternative bachelor’s degree will be considered if the necessary mathematical and technical expertise is proved (e.g., relevant industrial experience).


1. Eagerness to study with some of the most experienced solar energy instructors and leaders of the world.

2. English proficiency on an academic level (equals to minimum B2).

What are the benefits of the SEE programs?

Solar energy has been declared the “king of energy” and has a promising future for various applications. We are at the beginning of a critical decade; the decade of the energy transition, which will play a crucial part in the future of our planet. By studying Solar Energy Engineering with us, you can be a part of this transition and be at the heart of both academy and industry. You can be the change and bring the change, whether in your community or on a global level!

• This program is accredited according to the high standards of German public universities. The SEE diploma will be acknowledged in Germany as well as internationally.

• Our scientific cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE allows students to access the world’s leading research facilities in solar energy for hands-on experience.

• During the program, students will be guided by renowned academic instructors. Our instructors are international experts and scientists who are dedicated to our students’ development.

• The online learning environment gives the freedom to study wherever and whenever students want. Students will be able to learn online, at their pace, without disrupting their professional or private life.

• Students will receive comprehensive, interdisciplinary, technical, and scientific training in the solar energy field. They will acquire subject-relevant skills, from developing and designing photovoltaic and solar thermal systems to the assembly of complex plants, power stations, and energy networks.

• Tutors will closely support students in small and individual groups throughout their studies.

• Students will become a part of our international solar community with students and alumni from all over the world.

What are the fees?


The fees for the full track are 25.000 € (7semesters). For the expert track, the costs are 18.000 € (4-5 semesters). The type of track you can follow depends on your previous background and whether you have relevant knowledge of any of our Fundamental Modules.

Payments must be made before each semester at rates of 4000 to 3500€ for respective tracks. The master’s thesis semester is 2.000 € for both tracks.

An additional matriculation fee (currently 161 €) applies for each semester; the matriculation fee is subject to change according to the Baden-Württemberg state law. For additional semesters after the official study time, a fee of 500€ per semester will be charged.


The cost of each Certificate Program is 2500 €. An additional matriculation fee (currently 161 €) applies for each semester; the matriculation fee is subject to change according to the Baden-Württemberg state law. For additional semesters after the official study time, a fee of 500€ per semester will be charged. Payments have to be done before each semester.

What do I need to prove my English proficiency?

Due to the admission regulations, students may only be admitted if they know the English language of at least level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

English certificates must be handed in as officially notarized copies. Online versions - like, for example, the TOEFL “Test taker report” will not be accepted.

Accepted English certificates are:

 Cambridge FCE, CAE, and CPE,

 IELTS - only valid for two years (min. 5.5 Points),

 PTE Academic (min. 59 Points),

 TOEFL - only valid for two years (72 Points “Internet” / 525 Points “Paper”),

 OOPT (min. 61 Points),

 telc B2-C1 University, telc C1,

 TOEIC (min. 400 Points “Hear”, and 385 Points “Read”).


- Students from a country with English as an official language;

- Students holding a German or Luxembourgish “Abitur” with at least 7 Years of English;

- Students holding a previous degree (BSc) which was taught entirely in English (must be mentioned in the official transcript);

What does an official certification look like?

An official certification can be provided by any public body or government agency with an official seal or stamp (Dienstsiegel). Examples include registration offices (Bürgerbüros) or the local registration offices of the State Residents’ Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt), as well as embassies and consulates if foreign academic records are to be certified. German notaries are, of course, also authorized to perform certifications. The institution (school, higher education institution) that originally issued the record in question can also certify a copy of that record, as well as sworn translators.

Certifications issued by attorneys, certified auditors, associations, health insurance companies, and DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) or from AStA (Allgemeiner Studierenden Ausschuss) are not recognized.

Every official certification must include at least:

1. Certification notice (this is a notice stating that the copy is as per the original);

2. Signature of the party certifying the document;

3. Official seal or stamp. (An official seal or stamp generally includes an emblem. A simple inked text stamp is not sufficient).

If the copy consists of several pages, proof must be provided showing that each page comes from the same document. It is sufficient if only one page bears the certification notice and signature if all pages are stacked up, stapled together, and stamped or sealed in such a way that a part of the official seal or stamp appears on each page (see depiction in the upper left-hand corner of the sample).

Sample certification:

What if I do not have an engineering background?

For M.Sc. SEE the knowledge of an engineering bachelor’s graduate is assumed and is required in most lectures. Our experience over the previous years showed that the study is challenging, as the student must find time for it part-time in about 3h/day for 5 days per week. Lack of technical training is an additional challenge. Therefore, the admission restriction is a protection of the freshman from too much challenge.

For students without a strong engineering background, we recommend looking at Certificates Programs, especially: “Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic” and “Solar Thermal Energy Technology”. These programs still have a bit of Physics, Math and Engineering but could be handled by students without deep knowledge in those areas.

The description of these Certificates Programs can be found here: https://www.study-solar.com/solar-energy-engineering-certificates

What is the language of this program? Do I need to know German?

The courses are only taught in English.  Participants may also choose to write their master’s thesis in German or French after the University committee’s approval.