Unity of Research and Teaching
No matter of the perspective of looking at the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy in Jena, may it be the one of students, of scientists, or of interested citizens, one will see a department comprehending and living university as the unity of research and teaching. We strongly believe that outstanding achievements in research are not possible without excellent education and the ideas of our young researchers. In the same way, education on the highest international level is not thinkable without research of equal rank. We are one of the best physics departments in Germany and we are delighted of the exemplary commitment of our staff and students in research, teaching, and service.
Unlike at most US universities, students at German universities have rights of participation in all university and faculty bodies. This may not be appreciated everywhere, at our faculty it is. Our students play a vital role in all matters concerning teaching, including hiring of new faculty. We highly appreciate their contributions to the organization of events of all kinds, most notably the Physiker-Ball which gloriously dates back to the dark communist times. Particularly appreciated is our students' service to incoming students for whom they organize all kinds of tours and courses for a smooth start. We also have an Alumni Club that keeps contact to our alumni and supports activities that cannot be funded by the university.
Flexibility and Alternatives
Physics is a subject for the ambitious. Students at no other department of this university feel as challenged as ours. On the other hand, students at no other department are as satisfied as ours! This seems to be a result of continuous consultation with students and steady optimization of the courses. Recently, we considerably expanded the possibilities to take elective courses. Our spectrum of courses is tailored to our key research areas: optics, solid-state physics, gravitation- and quantum theory, and astronomy. A cross-sectional offer that has been significantly expanded recently is computational physics due to its increasing importance for science and engineering.
Our benchmark in research and teaching is the standard set by the top universities in the world. Accordingly, internationalization has become general practice not only in research, but also for teaching. An important milestone has been the creation of our M.Sc. course in photonics which is taught in English. The transition of the M.Sc. program in physics to English language is in preparation. We are proud to welcome an increasing number of foreign students at our university in the city of Jena.
Science City Jena
In this way, we will carry the century-old traditions of Jena into the future. We draw our inspiration from the beauty of a picturesquely situated vibrant high-tech city, a great cultural heritage, fast technological progress as well as our commitment to understand excellence in teaching and research as a unity.
Prof. Dr. Gerhard G. Paulus