International Master Program "Molecular Sciences - Spectroscopy and Simulation"

Master of Science

iMOS is a research-oriented, interdisciplinary Master's program held in English. The program focuses on the molecular understanding of chemical and biochemical processes with a focus on modern laser spectroscopy and microscopy, computer simulation, and quantum chemistry. We welcome you to learn more!

Apply now for the next iMOS Class, starting in the Winter Semester 2024. The Application procedure is detailed below.

  • Regelstudienzeit:
  • 4 Semester
  • Studienbeginn:
  • Wintersemester
  • Art des Studiums:
  • Grundständig
  • Hauptunterrichtssprache:
  • Englisch
  • Zulassung
  • Zulassungsfrei

Umfang 120 CP* (Vollzeit)

45 CP

Vorlesung und Übung

45 CP


30 CP


Curriculum and Regulations

Students undertake research studies in the areas of physical and theoretical chemistry and join us with a sound foundation in classical & quantum mechanics, mathematics, physics and spectroscopy. The first two semesters consist of lectures taught by instructors in divisions of the Faculties of Chemistry and Biochemistry: ThC, PC, OC, TeC, AC, BPC; and Physics, as well as the research consortia RESOLV, ICAMS and PPT

The Module Handbook - 2023 contains detailed curriculum information for current and perspective students, including a 'how-to' navigate the program. Enrolled students can visit the Molecular Sciences - Spectroscopy and Simulation Moodle page for support, where interested students at RUB are also welcome to join. The program is guided by the Examination Regulations (EN), Prüfungsordnung (PO-1305), and Prüfungsordnung (AB-999) Please note, the German versions are binding.

    International Course & Focal Point Practical

    During the second year, students focus on specific projects both locally and abroad. A 10-week practical in a local research group of your choice will give you exposure to innovative research in the Ruhr area. The three-month international course will take you to a research group in a globally leading academic institution.

    Partner Institutions

    Students may formulate a spectroscopy and/or simulation focused Focal Point Project and Master's Thesis from these and other faculty members.

    As an integral part of the curriculum, iMOS students carry out a research project at one of the top institutions in the field of molecular sciences and simulation. This special feature is a part of our leadership training program for future leaders in science and industry. The next generation will undoubtedly need those that have learned to work effectively and successfully in international, multicultural, and interdisciplinary teams.

    Research Topics

    Our students have investigated a wide range of (bio)chemical systems ranging from the "assignment of tunneling motions in small water clusters" at UC Berkeley to "single-point analysis on selected frames of a CPMD trajectory file and developing Ab-initio based potentials for ions using dipoles and force fitting procedures" at ENS Paris.

    Recently at the Aarhus University Department of Chemistry, our student explains her ongoing project: "The plan was to acquire sum frequency generation (SFG) measurements of protein at air/ water interface. SFG is a surface-specific method and we can get characteristics and dynamics of our sample at different interfaces. This project aims to study and investigate the aggregation of amyloidogenic proteins at membranes which is responsible for neurodegenerative diseases."

    Another student's research project with collaborators at the Technical University Denmark (DTU) was on the "calculation of birefringence and dichroism effects induced by external and/or internal sources of magnetic field in chiral and achiral molecules using molecular and electronic structure software. This included the development of scripts and subroutines to automate the calculation of orientational averages and spectra simulation."

    With a change of scenery to refresh the mind and a vibrant exchange of ideas, the research internship is an integral part of the iMOS curriculum.

    Students should refer to the Module Handbook for planning their curriculum, and rules are provided by the Examination Regulations. Please note, the German Prüfungsordnung is the binding version. For curriculum substitutions, enrolled students should visit the Moodle Course page. Please inquire with the iMOS Office for updating curriculum descriptions, thank you!

    Curriculum summary from Module Handbook

    For Admitted and Enrolled iMOS Students and perspective students enrolled at RUB. Course and Event notifications are emailed out about once a month, and detailed information on curriculum, support for international students at RUB, choosing an international research location, alumni tips, scholarship hints are included.

    Exams - Please note, not all exam dates are required to be posted. Students must schedule and sign up for their examinations directly with the lecturers in charge. The Prüfungsamt / Examination office handles the filing of grades and regulations for failed exams. See contacts below for more information.

    The textbooks listed are suggested by graduates of the iMOS program.




    McQuarrie Statistical Mechanics 978-81-309-1893-8
    Boyd Nonlinear Optics 978-81-312-2292-8
    Hollas Modern Spectroscopy 978-0-470-84416-8(P/B)
    Sakurai Modern Quantum Mechanics 0-201-53929-2
    Tuckerman   Statistical Mechanics: Theory 
    and Molecular Simulation
    Marx & 
    Ab Initio Molecular Dynamics 978-1-107-66353-4(P/B)
    Gaskell Introduction to the Thermodynamics 
    of Materials

    Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics   

    978-0195085235 download from:

    Germany is a world leader in applied optical technologies, chemistry and pharmacology. For an overview, a sampling of professional organizations and terms is listed below. RUB Career Service offers a range of courses to prepare you for the job market.

    Statements from Industry

    Eduard Schreiner (BASF - The Chemical Company): "Proper preparation, interdisciplinary curriculum for a profound understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of modern molecular modeling, working within a network of top universities in the world and commitment are the ingredients for success in academia and industry. IMOS offers all of these ingredients by integrating the knowledge, the experience and social networks of generations of researchers."

    Nikolaj Otte (Henkel): "Molecular Simulation allows me to contribute to applied research by providing a different angle of view than the traditional chemical disciplines. At the same time it provides me with the flexibility to study a large variety of chemically distinct and complex problems, from the reactions of small molecules to enzymatic catalysis and from polymerization kinetics to the properties of materials."

    Statements from Science

    Alexander Witt (postdoc at Stanford University): "Despite sharing many fundamental principles, traditionally Chemistry and Physics classes are normally taught separately. The iMOS program is unique in the way that it brings together students from different fields to learn, and fosters connections between different research areas. This quite unique program prepares students for cutting edge research which is increasing interdisciplinary and sits at the interface between traditional fields."

    Benjamin Born (postdoc at Weizmann Institute of Science):"It is exciting to see a new generation of solvation scientists emerging. The well-established combination of a task-specific lecture series and hands-on research experience in Bochum and in selected labs abroad will be beneficial to the personal and scientific development of students of the iMOS program."

    Admission & Requirements

    This highly competitive program relies on your skills in quantum mechanics, mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Basic knowledge of classical mechanics and thermodynamics / statistical mechanics is required. The program is tailored for students of Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Biochemistry and related Engineering fields with a passion for science and wish to work in an international environment.

    Required credits and prerequisite knowledge:

    • 10 CP in Mathematics

    • 8 CP in Theoretical Chemistry, Spectroscopic Techniques, Quantum Mechanics and / or equivalent topics

    • Mathematics themes - real & complex valued vector spaces, partial differentiation

    • Quantum Mechanics - particle wave dualism, operators, solutions to simple QM problems

    • General Physics and Spectroscopy - statistical mechanics, differences of spectroscopic techniques 

    • Concepts of Physical Organic Chemistry - chemical bond theory, functional groups / reaction mechanisms / basic chemistry of reactive intermediates

    The course curriculum is designed to be accessible for students who have completed their undergraduate chemistry degree at RUB and elsewhere. Compatible degrees, containing the prerequisites above, may include: 

    Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Biology/Biochemistry, a related Engineering field 

    Students who apply for the Master of Science program must have a Bachelor (or comparable) degree in one of the following:

    • Chemistry

    • Physics

    • Mathematics

    • a related engineering field

    • Comparable specialized course and Biology/Biochemistry degree holders are encouraged to apply if they fulfill the other requirements.

    Grade equivalencies vary depending on where you come from and there is no absolute cut-off. You may include your university grading scale in your application, including degree distinction notes.

    Compared to the German rating system (where 1.0 is the best and 4.0 is the lowest grade), you should have an average of at least 2.0. For foreign equivalencies, the following rules of thumb can be applied:

    • In GPA-ratings (maximum grade 4.0, minimum grade to pass 2.0) you need at least an average of 3.0
    • In percentage-ratings (100% maximum, minimum grade to pass 40%), you need at least 70%
    • If your degree includes ratings like “first division”, “first division with distinction” etc., you should have at least earned one of the two best ratings.

    For Enrollment at RUB, the university may rely on the Anabin database. Perspective students can search for their institutions here. Usually, degrees/universities will be recognized if

    • The university from which you earned your degree is one of the top-ranking universities in your country
    • There are both three-year and four-year Bachelor programs offered in your home country.
    • Students from India, China, Vietnam, and/or Mongolia must have their foreign educational documents evaluated in their home country for authenticity through the Akademische Prüfstelle, APS. Please plan ahead, this may take several months or a year.

    The language of course instruction is English.

    Applicants must fulfill one of the following: 

    • Completion of your first degree program in English (this means that ALL lectures must have been held in English)
    • TOEFL - minimum score paper-based 600, computer-based 250, internet-based 100; the TOEFL score must not be older than two years and mailed to us directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
      • The iMOS Program TOEFL "Institution Code" is 7657. Note: this code is ONLY for the iMOS Program. If applying to other programs at RUB, the scores will not be visible to them.
    • IELTS: minimum score 6.0; the IELTS score must be mailed to us directly from ETS.
      • Hardcopies only. We do not have access to the British Council / IELTS online verification system. The post-mailing address is below and on the application.
    • If you have an Abitur from a German institution / Gymnasium or completed studies at RUB, please contact the iMOS Office for more information.

    German language skills are NOT required for admission to the program. Ruhr-Universität Bochum does offer free German language courses for enrolled students at RUB. 

    Application Process

    Admissions is open 1. December - 15. June every year for an October start date. This program is "Zulassungsfrei, Bewerbung bei der Fakultät", meaning open admissions with the Faculty's own admission process. Note this process is different from the other Chemistry and Biochemistry programs, and application documents are not shared.

    • Competitive stipends for the preparatory year of coursework are available for iGSS Track II PhD student seeking Doctoral Research in Solvation Science. In these cases, please apply before May 15, and contact the iMOS or iGSS Offices.
    • PhD Studies: integrated Graduate School Solvation Science
    • Students at RUB, TUD, and DUE please contact us.

    Please download and complete the Application 1 file, found at the website above. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

    Receipt of this file by the iMOS Office is the 15. June deadline. No further Application 1 files or edits will be accepted after promptly 8:00 AM June 16 / Berlin time. Applicants will be contacted by Monday, June 19 at the latest. If you are Step 1 approved, final applications (Step 2) should be submitted as soon as possible.

    • Upon receipt of your "Application - 1_Your_Name_Here", an email will be sent to confirm the application is complete or incomplete within one week.
    • Please, one file only and DO NOT attach or send supplementary information or other files, they will be deleted.
    • Only completed Application - 1 forms will be reviewed by the admission committee. You will be notified by email of your -Online approved- status if the committee decides that you have fulfilled the essential requirements. You will then be requested to submit supporting and certified documents as detailed in Step 2:

    After approval of Application 1, please submit Application 2 - Supporting Documents directly to the iMOS Office as indicated on the form. Incomplete applications will not be processed.

    • You may choose to send a digital PDF of your application to speed up the review process, however, a post-mailed application with your original signature and certified copies of supplementary documents must be received by the iMOS Office before a final letter of admission is issued.
    • You will be informed by e-mail when your application is received.
    • If the admissions committee has taken the final decision that you are admitted, you will again be immediately notified by e-mail. An admission letter will be issued and sent to you by post and as a scanned copy by email.
    • Please understand that in the event you are rejected, we cannot return your application documents, as we do not charge any application fees. In addition, detailed reasons will be not given in the event of a rejection.

    Your Application - 2 must include the following:

    1. Application Form 2, completed and signed
    2. 1 passport photo
    3. Curriculum Vitae
    4. Certified* copy of high school certificate or equivalent school leaving certificate
    5. Certified* copy of qualifying academic degree
    6. Certified* copy of subjects and grades
    7. A personal statement describing your motivation to apply for the program, include iMOS specific topics, such as perspective research advisors and/or research topics of interest
    8. Students from India, China, Mongolia, and/or Vietnam: the APS document will be required for enrollment and pending visa process.
      1. If you have this document already, please submit it with your application. The foreign educational documents must be evaluated at the home country's German Embassy for authenticity through the Akademische Prüfstelle, APS, e.g. Please plan ahead as, unfortunately, some deadlines are as early as February to be ready for an October program start date. Contact the German Embassy for current information on this and other study requirements in Germany.
      2. Without this document, you would not be able to enroll at RUB. RUB Enrollment states: "Please note collective APS for other universities are not accepted."
    9. Any further information that you deem relevant for your application
    10. Proof of English language skills from one of the following:
      1. Native English speaker
      2. TOEFL: minimum score 600 points paper-based, 250 computer-based or 100 internet-based; the TOEFL score must be mailed to us directly from ETS; the iMOS Program "Institution Code" is 7657. Please note, this code is not used by any other program.
      3. IELTS: minimum score 6.0; the IELTS score must be mailed to us directly. Note: we do not have access to the British Council / IELTS online verification system, so please have the BC send only hardcopies to the Course Coordinator / Mailing address below and on the Application form.
      4. Confirmation from your university that you have completed your first degree program in English (ALL lectures and examinations must have been held in English) This may be noted on your transcript or as a separate document.
      5. Other: German Abitur or for a RUB student, RUB ZFA placement test. Please contact the iMOS office for more information.
    • *A certified copy is a copy of a document that has been affirmed to be a true copy by an authorized person or authority (university, Embassy, Consulate, sworn interpreter etc.).

    • We request that certified copies be notarized by a notary or German Embassy. In rare cases, this is not possible, e.g. German University transcripts authenticated online or transcripts mailed directly from the university.

    • Upon online acceptance, if you do not have some of the above documents yet, please contact us. For example, if you have not yet completed your studies, you may apply with your current enrolment status and transcript documents. Upon admittance, you will need the final degree (the conditional document is acceptable) and transcript in order to enrol at RUB in October.

    • You do not need to submit a copy of your passport or birth certificate.

    • If you study in Germany, it is recommended you bring certified copies and/or original documents with you. This includes your birth certificate, which may be needed for job applications.

    • The average time for an admissions decision is 3 weeks, starting with the receipt of the Application 2.

    • The average time for a decision on the basis of Application 1 (Step 1) is one week.

    • Funding may be available for top qualified candidates. Please apply early via the regular admissions process outlined above, prior to May 15.

    • DAAD Scholarship applicants should contact the iMOS Office over a year ahead of time.

    • Documents will be saved (for admitted students) and shredded and deleted (for non-admitted students) in accordance with the German data protection laws / General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Legally binding information may be found in German. , the Imprint / Impress pages, and Art. 89 GDPR.

    • Open to German and non-German residents & citizens. All nationalities may apply.

    • Proof of English skills: for those who completed their high school / Gymnasium studies at a German institution, we may consider an Abitur as proof of comparable skills. Please inquire with the office, there may be other options, such as a RUB / German university language department placement test.

    • Application process at RUB: This is a "Zulassungsfreie Studiengänge" with "Fakultätseingenes Zulassungsverfahren" study program, meaning barrier free admission with the Faculty's own admission procedure. Applicants to iMOS do not use the RUB central admission online portal "Zulassung". If you are applying to other RUB programs in addition to iMOS, please note that admissions procedure may be different.

    • Note, however: upon acceptance to IMOS, students will use the RUB central enrolment "Immatrikulation" / "Einschreibung" online portal along with all other RUB students via the Studierendensekretariat / Registrar's Office. This is typically possible online from July - October.

    • Winter Semester enrollment only.

    Contact Us


    Montana Petersen

    General Coordinator

    Raum: ZEMOS 0.99

    Telefon: +49 234 - 32 29394


    Sprechstunde: Mon, Tues, Weds & Fri 8 - 12, Thurs 12 - 16:00

    Webseite: iMOS

    Ort: for Post Mail: "Ruhr-Universität Bochum, iMOS - Montana Petersen, ZEMOS 0.99, Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany"

    Ort: Please note: The office will be closed 23. March - 7. April 2024.

    iMOS Office

    Montana Petersen


    Raum: ZEMOS 0.99

    Please contact us for

    • administrative queries / admissions
    • help for admitted students / on-boarding, accommodation, visa, scholarships, navigating RUB, etc.
    • advice concerning the course program / electives, who to see if I do not pass the exam
    • where should I go for the international course, directions on course equivalencies etc.
    • curriculum scheduling

    Examination Office

    Jacinta Essling-Wintzer


    Webseite: Chemie Prüfungsamt

    Please contact the Prüfungsamt for

    Enrolled Student Assistance with

    • transcript requests & records
    • final degree paperwork
    •  'Statement of Faculty'
    • grade submissions for practicals / internships
    • What to do if I do not pass the exam?
    • thesis documentation including starting and final forms
    • diploma requests
    • external requests for proof of study/graduation. Note, written permission from the person in question is required.

    Course Director

    Prof. Dr. Havenith-Newen

    Webseite: PC2 Office

    Program Mentor

    Prof. Dr. Poul Petersen

    Faculty Mentor during the course program: what if I do not pass the exam, where should I go for the international course, electives, etc.

    Student Councelor

    Dr. Gerhard Schwaab

    Ombudsman for advice from a neutral student counselor