Matter to Life - Prepared for the future

The partner universities in Heidelberg and Göttingen finalize
unique joint degree within the Max Planck School Matter to Life

Last Thursday the two university heads from Heidelberg and Göttingen, Rector Prof. Bernard Eitel and President Prof. Metin Tolan, signed an agreement for a joint Master's program based on the already close cooperation between the two universities within the Max Planck School (MPS) Matter to Life – an interdisciplinary joint degree program which is now unique in Germany.

At the signing ceremony of the now joint degree Matter to Life in Göttingen, all those involved were delighted to successfully conclude their joint effort. The MPS Matter to Life and the two universities are thus making a significant contribution to improving the overall position of the German science system in the global competition for the best young talents. Prof. Joachim Spatz, speaker of the School and director at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, was equally enthusiastic: "The opportunity to bring students to two of Germany's leading universities directly after their bachelor's degree, and to train them through our program across disciplinary and organizational boundaries all the way to the PhD level, is a clear signal for the future."

Already during the establishment of the MPS Matter to Life in 2018, the leadership of the School set the goal of establishing a new degree program together with leading universities in the interdisciplinary research field "Matter to Life". The implementation of such a joint program with a joint degree turned out to be administratively complex, as all necessary frameworks had to be coordinated between two universities, legal departments, quality assurance systems and along different state legislations. Perhaps this is why this new degree program is unique in Germany: "We learned that setting up a joint degree program between two universities in different federal states presents major challenges. In the end, we succeeded largely thanks to the tireless support of Mr. Eitel and Mr. Tolan, as well as the excellent university colleagues in Heidelberg and Göttingen," says Mr. Spatz.

With this joint degree, the School is thus directly taking up the central idea of the Max Planck Schools, to pool the scientific excellence distributed throughout Germany across locations in order to train the next generation of scientists. With a focus on "Molecular Systems Chemistry and Engineering" in Heidelberg and "Complex Systems and Biological Physics" in Göttingen, the MPS Matter to Life, one of three pilot Schools, is now providing a long-term basis for cross-location teaching in its program.

See for further information on the MPS Matter to Life and the interdisciplinary study program Matter to Life.


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