Distance-Learning Master's Degree

MSc Solar Energy Engineering

In scientific cooperation with

In scientific cooperation with

MSc Solar Energy Engineering

Join our multinational solar community where world-renowned research advances and combines with your studies. Continue studying. Be inquisitive. And get ready to BE THE CHANGE.

Study without borders

Fully taught in English and online, this duly accredited German Master of Science programme caters to professionals, who want to study online at their own pace without disrupting work or family life. Whether you are looking for a new career or already have a busy professional schedule; our master programme shapes around you. We offer part-time, flexible and online learning environment which gives you the freedom to study wherever and whenever you want. Examinations do not require travelling abroad since they are arranged by us in a study centre close to your location.

Collaboration in excellence

The University of Freiburg partners with one of the world’s top research institutes in solar energy - Fraunhofer ISE - to provide innovative, insightful and tailored training, so you can be assured that our MSc in Solar Energy Engineering will broaden your knowledge, widen your skill set and greatly improve your future career prospects.

Fact Sheet

Start
Mid October
Format
‍‍
Online | Part-time
Language
English
Degree
Duly accredited German Master of Science Degree
Credits (ECTS)
Full Track: 120
Expert Track: 90
Duration
Full Track: 7 Sem.
Expert Track: 5 Sem.
Programme Fee
Full Track: € 25,000*
Expert Track:€18,000*
* plus matriculation fees
Download Brochure

Solar energy experts - Made in Germany

Our instructors are not only international experts and working scientists who lead the way in their fields; they are also dedicated to your studies and professional development. 20-minute e-lectures combined with a great collection of reading material provide you with the latest theoretical understanding of each topic. References -  incorporated into the videos - point you to the most relevant sections in the reading material. Your growing expertise is put into practice through case studies in exercise sheets, quizzes and self-assessments. Regular online meetings and lively forum discussions with fellow students, tutors and lecturers will round off your ideal distance-learning experience.

A particular gem in this programme are two obligatory 2-day workshops on campus, in Freiburg, where you get to use the state-of-the-art facilities at the Fraunhofer ISE institute for hands-on practice and research. And if you would like more of that, we are happy to welcome you for a whole research semester, which can be arranged in preparation for your master thesis. On top of that, you are cordially invited to come and visit us during the Campus Phase week which are organized twice a year.

The MSc in Solar Energy Engineering offers you comprehensive, interdisciplinary, technical and scientific training in the field of solar energy production. You will acquire subject-relevant skills, from developing and producing photovoltaic and solar thermal systems to the assembly of complex plants, power stations and energy networks. In particular, you will be able to optimize parts, systems and plants while considering aspects such as innovation, efficiency, cost and service life. This programme offers the opportunity to specialize in one or more sub-areas of solar energy production, such as solar cell technologies, photovoltaic systems, solar thermal technology, material and cell characterization, systems integration, and electricity networks.

The modules offered in the Master programme are repeated annually and are divided into Preparatory, Mandatory and Elective Modules, as well as Research Projects. Your final semester is reserved for the preparation of your Master Thesis.

Certain courses in the Preparatory Modules and the Research Projects can be credited if candidates can provide proof of prior specialized knowledge.

For more detailed information on the course structure and content, please download our List of Modules and the Module Handbook.

The student experience

Study online and benefit from a real student experience.  Throughout your studies you are closely supported by tutors and lecturers in each module. Regular online meetings with your tutors and lively forum discussions give you plenty of opportunity to exchange views and ask questions.

Every six months, you are invited to join our voluntary Campus Phase here in Freiburg, where you get to meet lecturers and students face-to-face. The Campus Phase is a real highlight of the programme and it poses a unique networking opportunity for participants. During this week, students will gain valuable hands-on experience in lab trainings at the high-end facilities of Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy ISE. Invited speakers from scientific field and industry will deepen your understanding and connect you to the growing global community of solar energy practitioners. In addition, you have the chance to explore Europe’s Solar City - Freiburg im Breisgau.

You are not able to attend the Campus Phase in person? No worries. Most of the events are transmitted live online and are also available for later streaming.

During the last year of your studies, you have the tremendous opportunity to join us in Freiburg for a research semester, which will provide the basis for your Master Thesis. For the duration of 3-8 months you will team up with one of our research groups and develop your expertise and scientific dexterity.

Of course, you are welcome to prepare your thesis in your home country too - we will find the option that suits you the best. And - whichever way you decide - we will support you along the way.

APPLY FOR A RESEARCH POSITION AT FRAUNHOFER ISE

Every year some lucky students are presented with the tremendous opportunity to relocate to Freiburg and join one of the scientific research teams at Fraunhofer ISE. Here, you will acquire a special skill-set that will set you in high demand of the industry.

The earnings you receive can cover the living costs and support you to pay a part of your tuition fees. However, there is no guarantee for a position, and you can only apply once you have enrolled as a student in our programme. If you are interested in this option, please talk to us and send us a cover letter and CV.

    ONLINE PHASE (22 weeks)


    >    E-LECTURE

    >    READING MATERIAL

    >    EXERCISES

    >    ONLINE MEETINGS

    >    DISCUSSION FORUMS

    >    SELF-STUDY
    CAMPUS PHASE (1 week)


    >    VOLUNTARY WORKSHOPS

    >    SEMINAR PRESENTATIONS

    >    EXAMS

    >    LAB-WORKSHOPS

    >    OPENINGS LECTURES

    >    SOCIAL PROGRAM

    DURATION & COSTS

    In the German University system an academic year consists of two terms: the Winter Semester (WS) and the Sommer Semester (SS). The duration of the master studies varies from 4 to 6 semesters depending on the applicant’s previous degrees and knowledge in the fields of semiconductors physics and electrical engineering. An individual assessment acquired before registration to the program provides the basis to determine the individual study plan for each applicant. The costs for one semester consist of:

    • 500 € of administrative semester fees
    • 200 € per credit point for regular modules
    • 100 € per credit point for Research Projects and the Master Thesis

    In total, students are expected to earn 60, 90 or 120 credit points (ECTS) - depending on their previous degrees. Hence, the total costs range between 12,500 € up to 22,500 € assuming a regular study period (without major breaks in between).

    Currently, we don’t run any scholarship programmes ourselves. But you can check out the following links for third party scholarship opportunities:

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    Frequently
    asked questions

    Are there any extra costs for the on-campus events?

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

    Two times during the program, participation is mandatory since you will be attending the SEE Lab Workshops exclusive to the SEE students. So, you need to consider the expenses for travel and accommodation.

    Are there scholarships or financial support?

    We encourage you to begin your search for scholarships as early as possible while you are still in your home country, as it might be challenging to find scholarships once you are in Germany. 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 an important German institution created for academic exchange. They provide a lot of information on their website about everything related to studying in Germany. They also have a database about scholarships; 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 here. They also host www.study-in.de, which is a website for international students in Germany.

    www.mystipendium.de

    The page offers a lot of information about scholarship possibilities. But this page is only available in German.

    www.uni-freiburg.de

    The Student Service Center of the University of Freiburg offers advice concerning scholarships. You can find the page here.

    Unique possibilities:

    In some cases, 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 the tuition fee in instalments?

    Partially, yes. The smallest instalments are semesterly payments; this is due to the University’s regulations. So, you don't have to pay for the whole program in advance.

    Payments are to be made before each semester at rates of 4000 to 3500€ for Full and Expert tracks. The master’s thesis semester is 2.000 € regardless of the study track.

    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 exceeding the official study duration, a fee of 500€ per semester will be charged.

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

    Do I have the right background?

    The M.Sc. in Solar Energy Engineering is suitable for highly qualified students who already have an academic background in STEM subjects (physics, chemistry, electronics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, material sciences, computer engineering, etc.).

    Specialists with a production or sales background in solar energy systems or even beginners in the solar energy field can gain in-depth knowledge from this program. This program is also suitable for teachers, researchers, and committed young scientists who want to further specialize in their topics. For prospective students who want to expand their knowledge and skills in the solar energy field, this program is the right choice.

    How can I apply for the M.Sc. in Solar Energy Engineering?

    The application process for the master’s degree is five steps:

    Step 1: Initial Assessment

    For an initial assessment, please send a filled-in self-assessment form, the transcript of records and certificates of previous degrees, a short statement of purpose, and your CV to contact@studysolar.uni-freiburg.de.

    Download the assessment form here

    Step 2: Application

    To apply for admission, please send the following documents by post to the correspondence address:

    University of Freiburg, INATECH, Solar Energy Engineering,

    Georges-Koehler-Allee 10, 79110 Freiburg, Germany

    • A filled-in and signed application form;

    • Notarized copies of degree transcripts and certificates;

    • Proof of work experience;

    • Notarized copies of your IELTS result or similar ;

    • Notarized university entrance qualification.

    Submit a complete, hard copy application by August 31st for the October intake.

    Download the application form here

    Step 3: Admission Committee

    About 20 students are admitted to the program each year. A committee of five professors evaluates each application individually. Personal interest, motivation and educational background are considered in selection process.

    Step 4: Document Check

    Once the Admissions Committee has accepted you, your hard copy documents will be checked for validity at the International Admissions and Services Department of the University of Freiburg.

    Step 5: Unconditional Offer

    With your unconditional study offer, you will receive further information on how to enroll in the program and how to pay your study fees.

    How long does it take for the enrolment to be complete? Will I get a notification once I am enrolled?

    Each autumn, the Student Service Center processes the enrolment of hundreds of new students, which is a time-consuming bureaucratic operation. Please consider that due to this, it may take several weeks until your matriculation is finished.

    Once the enrolment is done, you will receive an email notification. In the second step, you will receive an email with your Uni-Account.

    Is it compulsory to come to Freiburg for the on-campus events?

    Students are required to participate the on-campus week at least two times during their studies. They can freely choose which semester they will join.

    Each year, in mid-September, we offer an on-campus week in Freiburg. Two laboratory workshops are among the highlights of these on-campus events. Each laboratory workshop is 2 ECTS.

    Throughout the on-campus week, students can deepen their understanding of solar energy topics thanks to invited speakers from the scientific field and industry. They also connect to the growing global community of solar energy. Besides, they have the chance to explore Europe’s Solar City - Freiburg im Breisgau. There are engaging and fun activities each semester in addition to educational and scientific events.

    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.

    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.

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

    What are the admission requirements for the M.Sc. in Solar Energy Engineering?

    M.Sc. in Solar Energy Engineering 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.

    (You can find the list of accepted English language certificates under the question “What do I need to prove my English proficiency?”)

    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).

    What are the benefits of the SEE programs?

    Whether you choose the M.Sc. or the Certificate programs, you are in for an exciting journey! Solar energy has been declared the “king of energy” and has a promising future. 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 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! Some specific benefits of our programs are:

    • Accredited according to German universities' standarts. Your degree or certification will be acknowledged in Germany as well as internationally.

    • Our scientific cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems 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?

    M.Sc. in SEE

    The fee for the Full Track is 25.000 € (7 semesters). 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 (see the admission requirements for the backgroung and the Module Handbook for the Fundamental Modules).

    Payments are to 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 that exceed the official study time, a fee of 500€ per semester will be charged.

    M.Sc. fees per semester

    Certificates

    The cost of each Certificate Program is 2500 €.

    What do I need to prove my English proficiency?

    Due to the admission regulations, students may only be admitted if they have the English language certificate of at least level B2 according to 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”).

    Exceptions:

    - 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 are registration offices (Bürgerbüros) or the local registration offices of the State Residents’ Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt), as well as embassies, consulates and sworn translators if foreign academic records are to be certified. German notaries are 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.

    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 below at the upper left-hand corner of the sample).

    A sample certification
    What if I do not have an engineering background?

    For M.Sc. in SEE, the knowledge of an engineering bachelor’s graduate is assumed and required in most lectures. Our experience over the previous years showed that it is better to have this knowledge for students, so that they don't feel overwhelmed with additionally having to learn the fundamental engineering topics.

    For students without a strong engineering background, we recommend checking out the certificate programs, especially: “Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics” and “Solar Thermal Energy Technology”. These programs still have a bit of Physics, Mathematics and Engineering content, but could be handled by students without deep knowledge in those areas. The description of these programs can be found here.

    What if I do not have previous relevant work experience?

    One of the application criteria is one year of professional experience after the first degree. This professional experience is required, but it does not need to be in the field of Photovoltaics (PV).

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

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

    What is the re-enrolment procedure?

    Usually, the re-enrolment is done some days after you pay the fees. If the re-enrolment for the upcoming semester is not done within 7-10 days after your payment, please write an email to the corresponding contact person for enrolment at the Student Service Center.

    Please search for the responsible clerk at „Student Affairs“ list based on your last name.

    What is the university entrance qualification document?

    The university entrance qualification document is a school leaving qualification document that is awarded for the completion of high school (the exact name changes depending on the country). This document is usually obtained before Bachelor studies. In Germany, the university entrance qualification is the „Abiturszeugnis“.

    When do I obtain my Uni-Account?

    Once the Student Service Center finalizes your enrolment, you will receive a system-generated email from the University IT department (RZ= Rechenzentrum) with your personal Uni-Account and a single-use password with a link to „myAccount“.

    Please change your password on this platform and inform our IT support Daniel Sassiat (daniel.sassiat@rz.uni-freiburg.de) about this. He will then modify your Uni-Account as the last step. Afterwards, the account is fully usable (including VPN).

    Where can I get my enrolment certificate?

    You can easily download the enrolment certificate from this website. Please make sure that you have paid your tuition fee to see the enrolment certificate of the current semester. You can also print out certificates of enrolment for all previous semesters in which you were enrolled.