Master Thesis


The central focus of the master’s program is a master’s thesis. It consists of an independent research contribution within one of the research teams in physics at our university. The work required for a master’s thesis along with the preparation for the module exam corresponds to 50 credit points, usually approximately 9 months of full time work. All master’s theses must be documented in a written report, which will be graded.

External theses

Theses may also be completed with an external research team. Students must submit a written request along with a work outline to a faculty member in the UZH’s physics department, who has to be willing to accept responsibility for the thesis and designate the courses the students should attend. Such a thesis must centre on a question within the field of physics. Theses with external research groups need to meet the requirements of a master’s thesis in physics at the UZH in duration, quality, mentorship and grading. The corresponding credit points will therefore be counted as credit points earned at the University of Zurich.


The module exam for the master’s thesis consists of two parts, which each take about 30 minutes and are both graded. Firstly, students present their master’s thesis in a public presentation. In the second part, which is not open to the public, students must defend their thesis against a minimum of two faculty members. They are asked questions focusing on the field of the thesis. The overall grade for a student’s master’s thesis is composed of a weighted average of their written report (2/3) and their module exam (1/3). A student must achieve at least a 4.0 for both his thesis and his exam.


Dates for the master’s thesis and module exam are set individually in consultation with theresponsible faculty member. The forms necessary to sign up can be found at


Study guide

The Guide to Physics Studies provides comprehensive information about the Bachelor's and Master's programs.