Max Planck School of Photonics

Max Planck School of Photonics is an interdisciplinary, nationwide graduate school offering a unique, two-phase Ph.D. program to excellent students from all over the world. 

Master's Programmes

Engineering & Technology (1)
Natural Sciences & Mathematics (1)



The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL) focuses on basic research into all aspects of the interaction between light and matter, from modern optics to photonics, quantum effects and their applications in the "real" world. It aims to extend the realm of the possible in the science and technology of light.


  • The MPSP is an interdisciplinary, nationwide graduate school offering a unique, two-phase PhD program to excellent students from all over the world. It prides itself on a wide-ranging network including highly renowned research institutes and significant establishments within the photonics industry. 
  • Students thus first benefit from foundational education at one of the supporting universities in Jena, Karlsruhe, or Erlangen, and subsequently pursue their PhD research under the supervision and mentorship of one of the highly-qualified Max Planck Fellows. 


In Germany, the best researchers in a specific field are often working at different universities and non-university research institutions spread throughout the country. The Max Planck Schools will serve as hubs gathering this distributed knowledge. Here, the brightest minds in their fields have come together from within the scientific community to interconnect in ‘faculties’ made up of active researchers.


Nowadays, this photonics discipline is serving as the main catalyst and key technology for many various research areas and innovative branches of industry. This century is the age of photonics as the 20th century was for electronics. Students (with a physics background) who have a strong passion for light, are highly recommended accomplishing their continuing education in the photonics area. Thus, they can have the chance to directly contribute to the fundamental cores of photonics, and they can benefit from numerous opportunities in their future career, in the academic or industrial perspective.

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Student services

The coordination office of Max Planck School of Photonics is located in Jena, Germany. Helpful can serve even the administration office of the respective university/research institute where your studies are taking part.

Housing services

There ae many different options of student accomodation, like university student dormitary, flat share, private apartment.

Student Life

Student clubs

We have a great network connection with OSA or SPIE Students Chapter all over Germany, especially in Jena, Erlangen, and Karlsruhe.

Jena, Thuringia, Germany

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