Go to content

Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis (SynCat) M.Sc.


Master of Science

Program structure

Only a single subject is usually studied. However, individual programs can be highly interdisciplinary. This means that the contents of the program may come from different fields of study.

Special features

The international master's program Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis (SynCat) is an elite program with English language of instruction, funded by the Elite Network Bavaria. It offers a focused and international education in the field of modern synthesis and catalysis chemistry. Part of the curriculum is a mandatory approximately two-month individual research internship, outside the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, where participants gain practical research experience in an international context.


The master's program SynCat offers a focused and international education in the field of modern chemical synthesis and catalysis. Students acquire a thorough theoretical knowledge and sound practical skills that enable them to solve challenging research tasks in almost all areas of chemistry and materials science. The knowledge acquired is used to creatively solve specific questions in the research context and is thus actively available. The curriculum, which is taught entirely in English, is designed as a synergistic combination of theory and practice through challenging lectures and seminars, individual laboratory and research internships, as well as stays in industry and abroad. All graduates will be equipped with the C1 level of technical English as an important prerequisite for working in an international environment. A personal mentoring relationship, an international orientation, an emphasis on interdisciplinary research and a high degree of individual involvement in teaching and research form the special profile of the elite M.Sc. SynCat program.   

The SynCat curriculum is composed of seven modules which reinforce one another and are closely interlinked. Each module deals with the synthesis and characterization of molecules and materials in an interdisciplinary way. Students are admitted in the summer and winter semesters, as modularization allows the program to begin in any semester. The standard period of study is four semesters.                                                               
The three basic modules Synthesis, Catalysis and Techniques teach the basic principles and modern applications of synthetic and catalytic chemistry, as well as the theoretical basis of modern (spectroscopic) analytical methods. In addition, the principles of modern quantum chemical methods are taught and placed in the context of a practical application. Language training in technical English with a final C1 examination is also integrated. The basic modules each conclude with an oral module examination.                     
Students acquire methodological competence in the module Advanced Techniques, which includes structure determination using practical and modern methods on the one hand and the area of problem-oriented application of computational chemistry on the other. The External module includes a mandatory research stay at a partner university in Germany or abroad or in the chemical industry. Here, the national and international network with academic and industrial research institutes is used to place the students in an excellent scientific environment. Guest lectures and research stays by internationally renowned researchers in the field complete the curriculum of the elite program.                                                                                     
The Concluding module includes a two-day excursion as well as a research methods course to prepare for the master's thesis. The scientific master's thesis, which is accompanied by seminars, takes nine months. The overall grade of the master's degree is composed of the three graded final oral module examinations and the grade of the master's thesis.

Professional prospects / competencies

The qualification goal of the study program is the independent and creative solution of concrete chemical questions under inclusion of modern synthesis, catalysis and analysis techniques. These skills are a prerequisite for managerial activities in all occupational fields of the chemical, pharmaceutical and materials science industries and other sectors that require a deep understanding of molecular relationships. The close link between knowledge transfer in lectures/seminars and individual practical phases in research laboratories, which is anchored in the courses offered, provides students with this knowledge in the best possible way.                                                                                                                                                                                        The strongly research-oriented four-semester program therefore ideally prepares graduates for a scientific doctoral degree and challenging jobs in the chemical, materials, healthcare or energy industries.

Internships, lab courses, practical courses

As part of the master's program, laboratory internships in small groups are required to learn modern methods of structure elucidation, reaction guidance, and reaction control. Individual research internships are offered both within and outside the university. Numerous collaborations with other universities and research institutions exist for the external research internship.

Disciplines involved

Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry

Program duration / standard period of study

The length of the program depends on the progress of an individual's studies. The standard period of study, the time in which the intended program can be finished ideally is 4 semesters. The actual time taken to complete the program may vary. It is limited by the examination deadlines set out in the examination regulations.

Program scope

120 ECTS credits

Language of instruction


Program can be started

In the winter and summer semester

What qualities do I need to have?

The SynCat program is aimed at German and international applicants who have already demonstrated very good performance in a scientifically oriented B.Sc. degree course in chemistry and would now like to specialize at the highest level.                                    As with all natural sciences, interest in the way the world around us works, enjoyment of doing experiments, and a certain basic understanding of mathematics are important for success in the study program. In addition, you must have a good knowledge of English, the language of science, since the language of instruction is English. Furthermore, you should have the ability to work in a scientific and method-oriented manner, to solve complex and difficult problems, as well as an interest in application problems.     

Restricted admittance

No, this program does not have restricted admission. Please note, however, that you have to take part in an eligibility test.

Legal requirements for admission

In order to entroll in the master's program in chemistry, you must participate in a so-called aptitude test, which means that you must first apply. Further information can be found on the program website                                                       


  • A university degree or equivalent qualification with at least six semesters' standard period of study in a bachelor's program in Chemistry or a related subject, and with an average grade of 2.50 or better; for degrees obtained abroad, grades are converted using the modified Bavarian formula (modifizierte bayerische Formel).                                   
  • Certification of English language proficiency at level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).                                                                                                                                                          Further information can be found in the examination regulations.

Application deadline(s)

Applications for admission to the master's program and the aptitude test must be submitted for the summer semester in the period from September 1 to December 1 and for the winter semester in the period from March 1 to June 1.

Please send the application form and the required application documents digitally as PDF documents to the email address: apply.syncat@ur.de, contact person is Dr. Anja Stromeck-Faderl.

Information about the application

Information for international applicants

Registration dates and deadlines

After a successful application (aptitude test) you can enroll at the Registrar's Office. Information on enrollment can be found on the homepage of the Registrar's Office.

Language skills needed

Certification of English language proficiency at level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).                                          

Proof of German language proficiency is not required.

Documents needed (to apply / register)

  • Application for admission (PDF),
  • Self-declaration sheet on practical skills in chemistry (PDF)
  • Bachelor’s Degree Certificate with Transcript of Records                                     
  • if available: further high school diplomas                                                            
  • Copy of your passport / identity card (no translation required)                           
  • certificates of internships, English language courses, other relevant achievements       
  • copies of publication(s), if there are any                                                              
  • for applicants from China, Vietnam or India: In case of admission to the SynCat program, an APS certificate must been provided.                                          

Please collect the documents as simple copy of your original document. If the applied language differs from English or German, have it translated by a sworn translator.                                                                                                                                            Information on the required application documents can be found on the SynCat website

Contact within the faculty

Program Coordination

                                                                                                                                      Dr. Anja Stromeck-Faderl                                                                                              Chemistry/ Pharmacy building, room CH 03.1.86                                                           Phone 0941 943-2568                                                                                                  E-Mail: anja.stromeck-faderl@ur.de                                                                                                                                                                                                             Office Hours: by appointment


Study Programs at UR