Master's in Earth Sciences (Geology)

Are you that fascinated by geology that you would like to expand your knowledge of the subject in a Master program?

The "Bern-Fribourg Master in Earth Sciences" is a joint program conducted by the Institute of Geological Sciences at the University of Bern and the Department of Geosciences at the University of Fribourg. The two universities are only 22 minutes away from each other by train. Students therefore benefit from a wider range of courses and research projects, as well as from the geological expertise and special geological equipment at both universities. This consolidated expertise also makes for a fascinating and extremely educational course of study. The program takes two years to complete and has a 120-European Credit (EC) requirement. All courses are taught in English.

Master Earth Sciences
Basic information
Degrees: Master of Science in Earth Sciences der Universitäten Bern und Fribourg
Number of credits: 120 ECTS credits
Degree programs:
  • Mono 120 ECTS credits

Offer for other degree programs:

  • Minor 30 ECTS credits
Duration: 4 semesters
Language: English
Beginning studies: Fall or spring semester

The master's degree in geology includes a mandatory coursework in earth sciences and an elective coursework on a broader range. You can specialize in today's important subfields of earth sciences during the master's degree. The master's thesis is a crucial part of the master's degree. You can choose the topic from a rich offer of research fields. The MSc thesis (60 ECTS) includes field or laboratory work or a combination of both, data evaluations and writing of the MSc thesis.

The Master program has a modular structure:

Module A: Mandatory module with courses in Alpine geology; soft skills courses (6 ECTS credits)
Module B: Specialized courses in the chosen special field (30 ECTS credits)
Module C: Electives selected from among other courses (24 ECTS credits)
Module D: Master thesis (60 ECTS credits)

Further information on the Master program is available at:


For deadlines and registration, see the Core Teaching System (CTS) or on the website of the Bern-Fribourg Master in Earth Sciences.

Students must register for all examinations via the CTS. Cancellations may be made via the CTS up to two weeks before the examination date. After that, cancellations may only be made if documented proof of extraordinary circumstances is submitted.

If you have any questions, please contact the study and examination secretariat: Tel.: 031 631 87 81
(Please always provide your registration number when making inquiries)

Examination coordinators for Earth Sciences:

Frau Marina Beutler und Frau Sarah Antenen
Institut für Geologie
Baltzerstrassse 1+3
3012 Bern
031 631 87 81

Directorate of studies office hours:

by appointment
Contact Marina Beutler for appointments (please state the purpose of the appointment)

Registration for courses in Bern and Fribourg within the framework of the BENEFRI network:

Registration for students enrolled in Bern who wish to take courses in FR

Registration for students enrolled in Fribourg who wish to take courses in BE

Individual academic requirements

The following academic qualifications are required for admission to the master’s degree program in Earth Sciences (mono):

a) Bachelor's degree in Earth Sciences from a Swiss university, or an equivalent degree
b) A different bachelor's degree from a university, provided at least 60 ECTS credits were earned in Earth Sciences during the bachelor’s degree program and that the master's degree can be successfully completed with an additional maximum of 60 ECTS credits (admission requirements which must be fulfilled in order to complete the master's degree program).
Lectures and exercises at bachelor level are conducted in German.

Please enroll at the BeFri university where your master thesis advisor is in residence.

Please consult the admission requirements for the minor as presented in the plan of studies.

For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office.

Current UniBE students

Apply for a change to the M Sc in Earth Sciences, Universität Bern by self-service as part of the re-registration for the next semester.
Renewal of semester registration → Self-service
Recognition of academic achievements
Procedure and timing of the renewal of semester registration

Application with a Swiss degree

Online application
Steps from application to registration

Application with an international degree

Online application
CHECKLIST - Documents for your application / Important information
Steps from application to registration

For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office.

Once you have met the specific requirements for the degree, you can register for the completion of the degree with the Dean's Office. You will find more information on the degree completion process here.

Job prospects

Geologists from Bern have exciting and varied job prospects. The education in Bern is characterized by its high degree of practical relevance. In most research fields, there are thesis possible in cooperation with geology and environmental offices or industry. That is why three quarters of our students then immediately find a job in these areas.

Have a look at careers of geologists from the University of Bern

After you complete your Master's degree, all doors are open to you to continue conducting research and begin a Doctoral program:

  • At a Swiss or foreign university (earthquake research, glacier research, climate research, geological life evolution, petrology, mineralogy/crystallography, material science, raw materials, geochemistry)
  • At private research institutes
  • Recycling (secondary raw materials)
  • Investigation of methods for storing radioactive waste and excavated materials

You can also switch to one of the following fields:

Traditional work in a geology office:

  • Production of geological maps, danger maps, groundwater maps and raw material maps
  • Studies of contaminated sites, landfills
  • Groundwater studies, exploration and use of new water sources, groundwater protection
  • Natural hazards (landslides, rockfalls, flooding)
  • Building site analysis, building safety, road and rail construction, gas line construction, tunnel construction, dam construction
  • Geothermal analyses, heat pumps

Common activities in industry:

  • Monitoring of mineral-based and synthetic products, incl. structure analyses (marl, limestone, clay, mineral ores, recycled products, ceramics, metals, alloys, crystals)
  • Examination of substitute materials for optimizing manufacturing processes
  • Raw material searches, optimization and management of raw material extraction techniques (ores, gravel, petroleum; quarry operations, geochemical prospection)
  • Analysis and elimination of problems in production (blast furnaces, glass industry)
  • Certification of gemstones

Specialist and expert

  • jobs in federal agencies (Federal Office for the Environment, Federal Office of Topography) or in cantonal agencies (water protection, environmental protection, structural and civil engineering)
  • In the private sector (consulting firms, engineering offices, environmental organizations, industry, insurance, banks)
  • In natural history museums
  • As a scientific journalist
  • In a development organization
  • In the preservation and restoration sector
  • As a teacher or public relations specialist (secondary school, museums, geotope sites, geoparks)
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