Interfaculty Institute of Biochemistry (IFIB)

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Advanced Biochemistry exam

The Advanced Biochemistry lecture series is the main theoretical element of the Tübingen Master's Degree. In the last week of every semester, you can apply to sit the oral exam. Registering means you want to take the exam in the period until the start of the term after the next one, i.e. registering at the end of the spring term (July) means you have to take the exam before the beginning of the following spring term (April). You sign up by sending an email to biochemiespam indicating a 1st and 2nd examiner preference. Possible examiners currently are: Dodt, Feil, García-Sáez, Jansen, Rapaport, Schulze-Osthoff, Schwarzer, Stafforst, Stehle, and Suckale. We will then balance the number of students per faculty. Nevertheless, you are very likely to be assigned at least one if not both of your preferred choices. Once you know your 2 examiners, you arrange a date directly with them, and report it to the Registrar.

The oral exam takes 45 minutes. Topics can be from the entire lecture series, not just the 5 lectures given by each of the examiners. On the contrary, we try to ask questions from all parts of the course. Questions regarding basic biochemistry and common methods may be included.

To complete Advanced Biochemistry, you also have to have heard 20 research talks. Hand in the completed sheet detailing the talks to the Registrar's office. Also, select 3 talks for the oral exam and pass the information on to the examiners. They may ask you questions regarding the talks.


The 3 modules and the master's thesis are the graded practical elements of the degree. The results of your modules are sent directly by the organizer to the Registrar. If you complete more than 3 modules the 3 best grades will be used.


Labs are not graded to give you full freedom of experimentation and because practical performance cannot be distilled into a meaningful grade. Before you start a lab, you must let us know by filling in the labs form (ILIAS/Master labs) and sending it to the coordinator. Once you have finished a lab, remind your supervisor to complete the form and email it directly to the Registrar and to masterspam

Master's Thesis

Once you have completed all other elements of the master's course, start preparing for your master's thesis. If it's in the IFIB, all you need, is to ask the group leader and jointly decide on a starting date. If it's outside the IFIB, you need to find a co-supervisor in-house and get his/her written consent. In both cases, you then go to the Registrar's office and hand in the signed form with the supervisor signature(s) and the start date. Do this BEFORE you start experiments for the project. See also the FAQ.

The master thesis lasts 6 months including write up. After this half-year period you have to submit a digital and printed copy to the Registrar's office. If you are late without good reason supported in writing, you will have to redo the thesis. So, do take care. Your supervisor may give you guidelines for the format of the thesis but the Registrar's office does not impose any except to include a signed declaration that you did the work according to ethics standards. See ILIAS for a Word thesis template including writing tips. Remind your supervisor to send the registrar an evaluation of your thesis (1-2 pages plus a grade) no later then 4 weeks after handing in, preferably early to speed up the process. If applicable, it will then go to the 2nd examiner.