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Master of Science in Molecular Biology

The master's degree program in Molecular Biology at the Biozentrum Basel gives you direct access to cutting-edge research in many of the relevant fields of research as well as to an international community of researchers from over 40 nations. The core of the master's program is an independent research project conducted under the guidance of experienced researchers.

The Biozentrum is one of the world's leading institutes for molecular and biomedical basic research and teaching. With our wide-ranging expertise, state-of-the-art infrastructure, intensive and practice-oriented mentoring, the international community and our close-knit networking, we offer you an environment for your master's degree program that will promote your scientific, professional and personal development equally.

The major focus of the master's degree program is your independent research project. This is conducted in a laboratory, where you will learn and apply the newest techniques. You will supplement this by attending lectures to deepen your knowledge in your selected field of specialization. You can choose between biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, developmental biology, biophysics, structural biology, microbiology, infection biology, immunology, neurobiology, pharmacology and computational biology. Your master’s thesis – the presentation of your research project both in writing and orally – along with the master’s examination comprise the completion of the course of studies. As a rule, this program requires three semesters. 

You can find out first hand from two Master's students about how it is to study at the Biozentrum.

Fabienne Estermann
Good time management is very important to her. Not only because she commutes daily but also because she is actively involved in the biology student’s organization, the Summer Research Academy and in scientific communication. More

Artan Ademi
Getting to the bottom of things is something he has always loved doing. That is why Artan Ademi was drawn to basic research and to the Biozentrum in Basel. In Basel, he is already well connected, thanks to his flat mates, the team spirit in his research group and his Unisport activities. More

Research Areas
Research at the Biozentrum embraces a wide range of topics, however one main focus shared by all the research groups is a strong interest to understand the molecular organization of living organisms. The major areas of research are concerned with the structure and function of macromolecules, the wiring of regulatory circuits, and the general principles underlying complex biological systems and their dynamic interactions. More.

Research at the Biozentrum encompasses the fields of Cell Growth & Development, Infection Biology, Neurobiology, Structural Biology & Biophysics, and Computational & Systems Biology. Characteristic for its research, is the strong emphasis on interdisciplinary collaborations within its walls as well as, on a local level, with the Departments of Biomedicine, Chemistry, Physics and Medicine, the Pharmacenter, the University Hospital Basel, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering of the ETH Zurich in Basel, the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research and, on an international level, with renowned research facilities.

You will also benefit from these close cooperations in the courses offered, as the Graduate Teaching Program is jointly organized by various local partners.

Career prospects
The Master of Science in Molecular Biology opens up diverse career perspectives to successful candidates. These include a research career at a university or in industry, work in the lab or at a school, in a patent attorney firm or in consulting, biocomputing or science journalism. With your knowledge of life processes, many doors open for you in medicine, biotechnology, the pharmaceutical and food industries, at universities or in state organizations. 

Depending on the professional position, it may be recommended to  complete a PhD degree or to acquire other additional qualifications. For a career in research, a PhD is required. If you have any questions about your career entry or further education, you can contact the Student Advice Center Basel or the Career Service Center of the University of Basel.

For any questions concerning your studies, please contact the Student Office Biology

Key facts

The following degrees from the University of Basel allow direct admission to the Master’s Program in Molecular Biology: Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Biology with a major in Molecular Biology and Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Computational Sciences with a major in Molecular Biology. The admission of students with a degree from another Swiss or foreign University recognized by the University of Basel requires the approval of the Examination Board of the Faculty of Sciences. 

Course Start
It is possible to start the master’s degree program in both the spring and fall. The application deadline for the Fall Semester is April 30, and for the Spring Semester November 30. Further information can be found here

Course structure
The Master of Science in Molecular Biology is a mono course consisting of a core subject.

Duration of study
3 semesters


Credit points
Credit points (CP) are awarded for successfully completed course work, in accordance with the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). One credit point corresponds to a workload of approx. 30 hours. Evidence of the achievement of 90 CP is required for the award of a Master of Science in Molecular Biology.

  • Master thesis 50 CP
  • Master’s examination 10 CP
  • Lectures and courses 30 CP

Further information

click below for leaflet download
Bachelor & Master of Science