Minor subjects

Interdisciplinary studies (Bachelor and Master)

Bachelor’s program

In the course of the bachelor studies, one so-called “minor subject” (module “Interdisciplinary Studies”) has to be completed. The minor subject (not to be confused with the second subject of a double bachelor’s, where no additional minor subject is taken) is the attendance of some lectures in another subject which is designated for two or three semesters. This subject has to have some connection with physics (or your later profession). Which lectures these are for each subject is determined by the exam regulations.

You “choose” the subject by registering for one or the other lecture in compliance with the releveant deadlines. Since this does not happen right at the beginning of the semester, you have some weeks to look around and decide. (Note: In some subjects, e. g. psychology, the number of spots is limited or you have to register for spots in seminars at the beginning. That doesn’t mean that you actually have to complete the minor then, though.) The choice of e. g. the topic of your bachelor thesis is completely independent from this decision. The minor’s grade enters your total grade with a weight of 12 %.

The following modules for the minor are “pre-made” in the exam regulations and can directly be studied:

  • Chemistry for Physicists
  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Geophysics
  • Philosophy for Physicists
  • Theoretical Basics of Psychology
  • Introduction to Business Administration
  • Introduction to Economics
  • Spanish for Scientists
  • German as a Foreign Language (not for native speakers!)

However, you can also study any other subject if it has a “reasonable connection to physics”. In that case, you have to build the corresponding module on your own, i. e. choose appropriate courses so that you receive 18 CP in total. Such a minor must be authorized by the responsible person for the module at the corresponding department and the Dean of Studies. A preset which helps you to build your own subject can be found here (german).

During the Introduction Week, we present the rules about the minor in the exam regulations and the most common minors in info talks. Still, the peculiarities of the different subjects are also summarized here. An overview of the lectures which have to be taken for each subject can be found in the exam regulations or the info talks.

Computer Science

Computer Science is studied for 2 semesters. You take the same lectures (with tutorials) as the “regular” computer science students. Since the minor only spans 2 semesters, your schedule might be somewhat fuller in the 1st and 2nd semester. However, that also means that the 3rd semester (when the lab courses start!) is much more relaxed. Registration is without problems, i. e. you only have to sign up for the tutorials in the first week of lectures.


The minor mathematics is a special case since you normally already have to take the lectures “Mathematics for Physicists” in the bachelor’s program. If you choose this minor, you can take corresponding courses in the Department of Mathematics instead. From the Department of Physics’ FAQ section (translated):

Instead of Mathematics for Physicists I–III, you can also complete the module “Introduction to Analysis” (Analysis I and II, the corresponding tutorials and exam) and further the lecture “Linear Algebra I” including tutorials and exam. These can then be recognized as equivalent to the modules “Fundamental Mathematics” (Mathematics for Physicists I and II) and “Integration Theory” (Mathematics for Physicists III).

Furthermore, you have to attend the lecture “Linear Algebra II” including tutorials. These must be part of your module “Interdisciplinary Studies” (module 24 or 25 in the exam regulations).

A module description for mathematics as a minor subject can be found here (german).


Geophysics is studied for 3 semesters. In the geophysics minor, you attend the relevant courses together with geophysics students. While the workload is very low at the beginning, a large part of the minor is concentrated in the (already stressful) 3rd semester, so you should carefully consider if you can deal with this load. An alternative could be “stretching” the minor up to the 5th semester. However, that’s not possible if you receive your funding through BAföG, since you have to hand in a confirmation about your study performance after the 4th semester for that.


For philosophy, you can choose from different seminars. You have to register for those in advance (before the lectures start) in the course overview (HIS LSF).


Note: The number of spots for physicists who want to take this minor is limited to 6 every year. To get a spot, you have to contact Dr. Dirksmeier (Fachreferentin Psychologie, Fliednerstr. 21; tel.: +49 251 83-34135, email: dirksmc@uni-muenster.de). Shortly before the beginning of the semester (for the summer semester in the first week of April, for the winter semester in the first week of October) you have to tell Dr. Dirksmeier about the courses you want to attend. Further information about psychology as a minor for physicists.

Spanish for Scientists

Spanish can be especially interesting if you want to do the double degree at the universities Münster and Sevilla for your master’s.

In the following, we paraphrase an email from 2011-10-05 which we received from Ms. Solsona, coordinator for Spanish and Portuguese at the Center for Languages.

  • General: The Center for Languages has no access to information about the students, which is why they have to register once with us (matriculation number, date of birth etc.). The registration takes place online in the section “Registration”.
  • Students without prior knowledge: Students without prior knowledge are required to attend one of the parallel courses “Spanish for beginners without prior knowledge (Doppelkurs) (4 SWS)” during the WS. They also have to inform me which course they registered for so I can tell exactly where they are.
  • Students with prior knowledge: Students with prior knowledge must complete the C-Test and, depending on the result, register for one of the following courses: a) “Spanish with prior knowledge 1+2 (4 SWS)” (we offer 2 groups; above 30 points in the C-Test) or b) “Español para avanzados 1+2 (4 SWS)” (above 45 points in the C-Test).

You can reach Ms. Solsona via this contact form.

Betriebswirtschaftslehre und Volkswirtschaftslehre

In the economic sciences, you do not register for the lectures/exams in QISPOS as usual, but instead in the FlexNow system. You can get a password for the registration during the office hours at the exams office for the Faculty of Economics.

Master’s program

The master’s also has a module for interdisciplinary studies (called “General Studies” in the exam regulations). It encompasses 12–15 CP, or 24 CP for business administration or economics. The details are again specified in the exam regulations. The minor is intended for the first year of master’s studies (1st–2nd master’s semester). It enters the total grade with a weight of 1/6.

The pre-made modules for the master’s are:

  • Geophysics
  • Molekular Biophysics
  • Psychology
  • Business Administration
  • Economics
  • German as a Foreign Language (not for native speakers!)

As in the bachelor’s program, other modules can be put together beyond these. Again, this has to be coordinated with the Dean of Studies. A preset you can use can be found here (german).


For geophysics, no prior knowledge is necessary. Depending on the level of knowledge, some of the same courses as those which are part of the geophysics minor in the bachelor’s (Fundamentals of Geophysics I & II) can be taken.

Molecular Biophysics

There are no admission requirements. The Department of Medicine is responsible.


Philosophy as a minor subject will soon be available as a pre-made module in the exam regulations for the master’s program. Until then, you can use the following template if you want to minor in philosophy (with or without prior knowledge): download module description „Interdisciplinary Studies: Philosophy for Physicists“ (PDF), DOCX.

Additional information:

  • “Aufbauseminar Wissenschaftsphilosophie”: Seminar offered in the master’s program Philosophy of Science
  • “Aufbauseminar Philosophie”: seminar from the master’s program Philosophy
  • “Basisseminar Philosophie”: seminar from the bachelor’s program Philosophy
  • The seminar can be freely chosen from those available in the respective programs as long as a connection to physics can be established. (The competence description offers some good orientation on this.)

Business Administration and Economics

These minors have a larger scope (24 CP) than the others. For business administration, prior knowledge to an extent of 18 CP (e. g. from the corresponding minor in the bachelor’s in physics), and for economics, “basic knowledge of economics from bachelor’s studies” are required.

Templates for your own minor

A few members of the Student Council study computer science as a minor in the master’s and have created a template for a corresponding module; this template can be modified to create a custom module for any subject.

Template for Computer Science (Parallel and Distributed Systems)

This module is largely based in the lectures by the working group “Parallel and Distributed Systems” and is already being studied by some students/has been successfully completed. In the current form, there are two small written exams corresponding to one lecture each: download template for a module “Interdisciplinary Studies: Computer Science” (TeX), preview (PDF).