Prospective Students

Geoscience in Erlangen

Together with our students, we explore the Earth system for the challenges of the future.

  • Causes and consequences of climate change
  • Securing and sustainable use of resources
  • Development and optimization of materials
  • Geodynamics and evolution
  • Geoscientists investigate the interrelationships and interactions of the “System Earth”, the geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere. They are concerned with the structure and evolution of the earth and its habitats. The results of geoscientific research are of great importance, e.g. for the protection against natural disasters or for the sustainable use of our finite resources. Geosciences are therefore essential in a society that cares about sustainable management in order to preserve our earth for future generations.

    Information on the diffrent online platforms to help organise your studies can be found here.

    Application information for the Bachelors Degree in Geoscience

    New enrolment for summer semester is only possible for students changing universities within a Geoscience Bachelors Degree Programme. Next possible start is winter semester 2020/21.

    The application is submitted in two halves:

    1) Online via the portal; the online portal is open from the start of June (German).

    2) In person at the Student Record Office, located in the Halbmondstraße 6, Room 0.034. Here you will find the date for the enrolment in person at the Student Record Office.

    Information on the kick-off event at the FAU for the winter semester 2020/21 can be found here.

    Information on review courses (crashcourse chemistry) can be found here (German).

    There is currently no numerus clausus on the Bachelors Degree in Geoscience at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.

    The course starts in winter semester.

    Bridging Course for Chemistry as a Minor Subject

    The Department of Chemistry offers a bridging course for undergraduates who take chemistry as a minor subject. The aim is to refresh the fundamentals of chemistry. The course will be held in German.

    Registration is not required.

    Date: 07. October 2019 – 11. October 2019
    Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
    Location: Lecture hall “Großer Hörsaal”, OC, Henkestraße 42, 91054 Erlangen

    Mathematics for Freshers – Online-Preparation Course

    A fundamentals of mathematics refresher course is offered online freshers of a MINT degree programme. This course is recommended.

    Introductory event for the first semester students

    The introductory event for the freshers of the Bachelor Geosciences will take place at 2 pm on 29th of Oct 2020 via Zoom.

    Geoscience investigates the composition, structure and evolution of Earth, alongside the geological, chemical, physical and biological processes that occur within it. Plate tectonics, volcanism and the ever changing climate important within this field. 

    Geoscientists look not only into the past, but also to the future. Modern research focuses on contemporary geoscience problems and earth processes, such as climate change, natural disaster prediction and changing biomes.

    Applied geoscience investigates mineral resources (metals, geothermal energy, fossil fuel), the development of new materials (cements, high-performance ceramics and bone substitutes), geological engineering and hydrology (foundations investigation, slope stability and aquifer protection).

    Early geoscience involved detailed discriptions of rocks, fossils and the appearance of Earth. Today however, geoscientists work with specialised, high-precision chemical and physical lab and field analysis. This makes the geosciences are a diverse discipline where new findings and methodical developments are always occurring, with the aim of better understanding of the earth system.

    The Geoscience Bachelors Degree is designed to impart a good understanding of the geological processes and their interactions. Students learn various methods to answer geoscience questions, which are applied in their first scientific work – the Bachelor’s Thesis.

    The Geoscience Department of the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg offers a broad range of field trips. Students get the opportunity to learn about geological interesting areas home and abroad, whilst practically applying what they have learnt in lectures. Recent fieldtrip destinations include the UK, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Greece, India, Portugal and of course lots of interesting areas within Germany.

    At the GeoCenter Northern Bavaria we actively research on
  • Causes and consequences of climate change
  • Securing and sustainable use of resources
  • Development and optimization of materials
  • Geodynamics and evolution
  • We actively involve our students in this research – and communicate the latest research results in our teaching.

    Petrology – Geodynamics – Georesources (PG)

    This major focuses on geodynamic processes in the Earth’s crust and mantle, which are fundamental in understanding the evolution of our planet. The formation of magmas in Earth’s interior and at active continental margins (mid-oceanic ridges and subduction zones) play an important role. Furthermore, the consequences of magmatic activity, such as volcanic eruptions, and the impacts on society are covered in this field. The formation mechanisms of magmatic ore deposits is an important subject, fundamental for exploration geology. The main methods of investigation in this specialism is isotopic and chemical analysis of rocks.

    Applied Sedimentology – Georesources (AS)

    The processes that lead to the formation of sedimentary rocks and related non-metallic natural resource deposits, alongside methods of exploration are the main focus of this major. This includes fossil fuels (crude oil, natural gas, coal) and construction materials (sand, gravel, natural rock). A second important topic in this field is geothermal energy as a renewable energy resource. Here the study focuses on the thermal properties of rocks with respect to their use for heat and electricity generation, for both near-surface and deep geothermal engineering. In addition, the isotopic geochemistry laboratory is in this department, focusing on stable carbon and oxygen isotopes for the reconstruction of climatic conditions and changes of Earth’s past.

    Applied Geology (AG)

    Applied geology is divided into two departments: Engineering Geology and Hydrology.

    Engineering geology focuses on the investigation of geohazards, such as landslides, in the upland areas of central Germany and the Alps. Most importantly, analysing potential locations, dimensions and time frames of these often catastrophic events is covered. Investigation methods include aerial photograph interpretation, geodesic measurement, direct measurement of movement alongside soil and rock mechanics. Other topics in engineering geology are tunnel and dam construction, contamination investigation, subsoil investigation and landfill construction.

    Hydrology is the study of water cycle processes. It covers ground and surface water dynamics, preservation and safety of regional water supplies, karst hydrology and water chemistry. Main methods of this area are isotope analysis and the  chemical composition of waters. This research group also investigate possible ground storage of CO2.

    Applied Mineralogy (AM)

    The mineralogical institute covers the applied field of building chemistry (cement mineralogy), high-performance ceramics (e.g. phosphorecent materials) and calcium phosphate as bone substitutes. The focus is on reaction processes in mineralogical substances and their influence on material properties. The methods used are primarily x-ray diffractometry, calorimetry and microprobe analysis.

    Palaeobiology – Palaeoenvironment (PB, in English)

    Palaeobiology covers the evolution of life and ecosystems, with a focus on environmental conditions and processes. It ranges from the early history of life to recent history and the effects of anthropogenic climate change. Important topics are carbonate sedimentology, marine fossils and taxonomy alongside palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. Methods include geological field and laboratory work, chemical analytical methods and statistical analysis of large datasets (primarily the Palaeobiology Database, PBDB).

    This major can be combined with one of the other four majors, or studied with the Earth System Research Lab major. Additional information is available on the Palaeobiology homepage.

    The career prospects for geoscientists are very good – no wonder! – Every day, the press writes about climate change, natural disasters, energy supply, raw materials and water scarcity. With all these societal challenges, we need geoscientists who face these problems in a responsible and future-oriented way.
    It is about understanding climate change, predicting natural hazards or making optimal use of our dwindling resources.

    Jobs are available, for example, in the field of

  • geothermal energy/renewable energies
  • Engineering offices and consulting firms, e.g. contaminated site disposal, building ground development
  • Industrial and commercial companies, e.g. raw materials, material development
  • Research institutions and universities, e.g. climate change, prediction of natural disasters
  • Educational institutions and museums
  • Authorities and ministries, e.g. groundwater protection, environmental protection
  • 1. open UnivIS
    2. click on “course list” (list of lectures and modules)
    3. under the tab of the Faculty of Sciences (Nat) select the study program “Geowissenschaften”
    4. open the “Lehrveranstaltungsverzeichnis” of the respective study program (Bachelor, Master, Lehramt)
    5. select the appropriate semester
    6. add the desired lectures to the individual collection: Activate the checkbox and then the “Auswahl zur Sammlung hinzufügen” (at the very bottom of the page).
    7. open the personal timetable via “Collection/ Classschedule” in the upper left corner
    8. click on “Timetable” in the left column
    9. via “PDF Querformat” in the left column the personal timetable can be saved