The three-year undergraduate program involves six semesters of study with a total of 180 ECTS credit points (CP). The curricular structure follows an innovative and student-centered modularization scheme - the 3C-Model - that groups the disciplinary content of the three study years according to overarching themes:
Study program structure
The ﬁrst study year is characterized by a broad offer in disciplinary education that builds on and extends the students’ entrance qualification. Physics students select introductory modules with a total of 45 CP from the CHOICE area of a variety of study programs, of which 22.5 CP will be from their intended major.
Students can still change to another major at the beginning of the second year of studies if they have taken the corresponding modules of the study program in the first year of studies.
Physics students take the following discipline-specific CHOICE Modules in their first year of study:
- CHOICE Module: Classical Physics (7.5 CP)
- CHOICE Module: Modern Physics (7.5 CP)
Physics can choose between the following mandatory elective modules:
- CHOICE Module: Applied Mathematics (7.5 CP)
- CHOICE Module Introduction to Robotics and Intelligent Systems (7.5 CP)
The Classical Physics and Modern Physics modules give physics students an overview of the major field in physics such as mechanics, optics and thermodynamics (in Classical Physics) and electromagnetism and modern physics (in Modern Physics). With a focus on experimental findings and basic concepts they summarize the high school knowledge, go beyond it, and prepare students for in-depth physics studies in the second year. The modules also contain a lab where students are introduced to basic experimental techniques in physics, performing and analyzing experiments. The mathematical foundations for advanced physics studies are laid out in the Applied Mathematics module (in addition to math specific methods courses). This module is strongly recommended for physics majors, but can be replaced by the Introduction to RIS (with a MATLAB lab) to accommodate students that plan to pursue a major in ECE, RIS or CS. Students who do not take the Applied Mathematics Module may have to independently catch up on missing mathematics topics relevant for Electrodynamics and other CORE physics courses.
In their second year, students take modules with a total of 45 CP from in-depth, discipline-speciﬁc CORE modules. These modules aim to extend the students’ critical understanding of the key theories, principles, and methods in their major at the current state of knowledge and best practice.
Physics students take 30 CP from the following CORE modules:
- CORE Module: Analytical Mechanics (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Electrodynamics (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Quantum Mechanics (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Statistical Physics (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Advanced Physics Lab I (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Advanced Physics Lab II (5 CP)
Students can decide to either complement their studies by taking the following mandatory elective CORE modules (15 CP) from Physics:
- CORE Module: Computational Physics (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Renewable Energy (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Advanced Physics Lab III (5 CP)
or they may substitute these modules with CORE modules from a second field of study according to interest and/or with the aim of pursuing a minor.
The Physics CORE modules contain an advanced discussion of the major field of physics, as given in their title. They focus on the theory and mathematical description of the respective field but also include discussion of additional experimental findings and methods. In Advanced Physics Lab I, students will perform advanced experiments from mechanics and electrodynamics, whereas in the Advanced Physics Lab II, they will perform experiments related to quantum mechanics and statistical physics.
During their third year, students prepare and make decisions for their career after graduation. To explore available choices fitting individual interests, and to gain professional experience, students take a mandatory summer internship.
The 5th semester opens also a mobility window for ample study abroad options. Finally, the 6th semester is dedicated to fostering the research experience of students by involving them in an extended Bachelor thesis project.
Physics students take major-specific and major-related advanced Specialization modules to consolidate their knowledge at the current state of research in areas of their choice.
Physics students can choose four of the following Specialization Modules:
1) Dedicated physics specialization modules (10 or 15 CP recommended):
- Specialization: Condensed Matter Physics (5 CP)
- Specialization: Particles, Fields and Quanta (5 CP)
- Specialization: Biophysics (2.5 CP)
- Specialization: Atoms and Molecules (2.5 CP)
- Specialization: Nanotechnology (2.5 CP)
- Specialization: Advanced Optics (2.5 CP)
2) Alternative specialization modules from other majors:
- Specialization: Foundations of Mathematical Physics (5 CP)
- CORE: Electronics (5 CP)
- CORE: Physical Chemistry (5 CP)
As a core element of Jacobs University’s employability approach students are required to engage in a mandatory two-month internship of 15 CP that will usually be completed during the summer between the second and third year of study. This gives students the opportunity to gain first-hand practical experience in a professional environment, apply their knowledge and understanding to a professional context, reflect on the relevance of their major in employment and society, reflect on their own role in employment and society, and find professional orientation. As an alternative to the full-time internship, students interested in setting up their own company can apply for a start-up option to focus on the development of their business plan.
The Jacobs Track, an important feature of Jacobs University’s educational concept, runs parallel to the disciplinary modules across all study years and is an integral part of the study program. It reﬂects a university-wide commitment to an in-depth training in scientific methods, fosters an interdisciplinary approach, raises awareness of global challenges and societal responsibility, enhances employability, and equips students with extra skills desirable in the general ﬁeld of study. Additionally, it integrates (German) language and culture modules.
Methods and Skills modules
Methods and skills such as mathematics, statistics, programming, data handling, presentation skills, academic writing, and scientific and experimental skills are offered to all students as part of modules within the Methods and Skills area. Students are required to take 20 CP in the Methods/Skills area.
Physics students take the following Methods modules:
- Methods Module: Calculus and Linear Algebra I (5 CP)
- Methods Module: Calculus and Linear Algebra II (5CP)
For the remaining 10 CP Physics students can choose in each semester among two Methods modules:
- Methods Module: Numerical Methods (5 CP)
- Methods Module: Probability and Random Processes (5 CP)
- Methods Module: Programming in Python (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Discrete Mathematics (5 CP)
Big Questions modules
The modules of the Big Questions area intend to broaden the students’ horizon with applied problem solving between and beyond the disciplines. The offerings comprise problem-solving oriented modules that tackle global challenges from the perspectives of different disciplinary backgrounds and that allow, in particular, a reflection of the acquired disciplinary knowledge in economic, societal, technological, and/or ecological contexts.
Physics students take 2-4 modules from a broad portfolio of Big Questions modules.
Community Impact Project
In their 5th semester, students are required to take a 5 CP Community Impact Project (CIP) module. Students engage in on-campus or off-campus activities that challenge their social responsibility, i.e., they typically work on major-related projects that make a difference in the community life on campus, in its neighborhood, in Bremen, or on a cross-regional level.
Jacobs University supports its students in acquiring and improving these skills by offering a variety of language modules at all proﬁciency levels. Emphasis is put on fostering German language skills of international students as they are an important prerequisite for non-native speaking students to learn about, explore, and eventually integrate into their host country and its professional environment.
All students take four language courses in the first and second year.
The curriculum of the study program is outlined in the schematic study plan: