Master Programme AI

The Master Programme AI at FAU is designed to give graduates a solid understanding of artificial intelligence the is broad in application and intersection with other disciplines as well as deep and well-founded in the academic methodologies of the field. The degree course offers a broad variety of topics and specializations and a wide range of applications and research groups in the Department of Computer Science provides broad opportunities for “hands-on” project work and practical sessions. In contrast to Data Science oriented programs, AI focuses on the constructive modelling and implementation of algorithms, data structures, neural networks and their respective applications. The programme takes a minimum of four semesters. The main purpose of the last semester is the preparation of the master’s thesis. The thesis is intended to introduce students to research work at the university.


The central qualification factor for admission to the master’s programme AI is a bachelor’s degree in informatics or computer science. Applications based on degrees from related fields may also be successful, but students may have to submit to an oral entrance examination to guarantee familiarity with the material necessary to successfully participate in the master’s-level courses of this programme. It is possible to start this programme both in the summer and in the winter semester. A detailed information for the application is given under the link Application Master.


Please note that FAU University does not provide students with housing. This is common in other parts of the world, but not in Germany. This means that you will be responsible for finding housing for yourself, in Erlangen or the surrounding villages and cities. FAU works closely together with student services and has compiled a few helpful resources on this page towards the end of helping you find a place.


Due to its international orientation, most courses of the master’s programme are offered in English. Some courses and examinations may be offered in German. For successful participation, you will need a language proficiency certificate of at least B2 level (CEFR). The master’s thesis has to be written in English.

The programme does not formally require any proficiency in German. However, any international students participating in the AI Master will benefit greatly from learning German. Not only will you have a greater selection of courses available to you and an easier time in everday life in Germany, it will also give you a head start for any internships or job applications in Germany during or after your studies. We hope that many of our students will want to stay and work in Germany after completing the programme, and therefore all students who don’t already speak German should seriously consider learning it.

FAU offers various language courses for German as a foreign language (as well as other languages) that are either free or inexpensive for students (details at We are working on a course offering tailored to AI Master students.

General Structure of the Master Program

The programme encompasses 120 ECTS, usually split over four semesters at a rate of 30 ECTS per semester. This section will give some further detail. Please also see the sites on the official study regulations, especially the FPO, and the standard study progression.

Electives [50 ECTS]: The elective courses in this master’s programme are geared towards introducing students to academic research around artificial intelligence and its methodologies as well as offering every student the opportunity to sharpen their profile specifically towards their talents and interests. The electives are centred around the three central pillars of the AI master’s programme:

  1. Symbolic AI
  2. Subsymbolic AI
  3. AI Systems and Applications

Students will have to take a total of 50 ECTS credits worth of elective courses, with no less than 10 of them in each of the central pillars. Which courses are available for each of these tracks is announced on a semester-by-semester basis in the module catalogue.

Projects [10 + 10 ECTS]: The two required 10 ECTS projects are intended to hone and put to the test students’ acquired technical knowledge, research merit and self-organisation skills. They will typically be completed in the context of a work group related to artificial intelligence and will require the students to independently tackle a more complex problem or question. Both projects have to be associated with one of the central pillars discussed above and cannot both be associated with the same pillar. Each project is planned at approximately 300 hours over six months.

Seminar [5 ECTS]: The seminar will allow students to connect with a topic complex of their choice and research and interact with academic information and present their findings to a relevant audience. It is intended to fill 5 ECTS credits and can be completed in a group.

Minor [15 ECTS]: For this module, student’s will chose 15 ECTS credits worth of courses that have a practical or topical connection to artificial intelligence (but are not already included in the electives discussed above). The goal is to work on connecting the gained knowledge to a broad array of subjects that interface with artificial intelligence and may form the basis for applications in future employment.

Master’s Thesis [30 ECTS]: The master’s thesis can be registered at the registrar’s office as soon as the student has successfully collected 60 ECTS point credits. It has an extent of around 900 hours and has to be completed within six months after the registration. The topic of the thesis must be related to subjects studied by the student during the programme. A special thesis advisor is usually assigned to each student. The thesis may involve regular meetings with the thesis advisor and also the participation in a larger research group. It needs to be written in English. An oral presentation of the results of about 30 minutes as well as a consecutive discussion are obligatory.