Can a mathematician work in theoretical physics

Theoretical physics studies: content, courses, professions

Theoretical physics deals with the study of natural phenomena with the help of mathematics and logic. It leaves all experimental work to experimental physics and explains only on the basis of theoretical research. The spectrum of theoretical physics ranges from mathematical physics to diagrammatic perturbation theory and the development of approximation methods to computational physics and phenomenology.

Theoretical physics studies in numbers: degree, job prospects, salary


In the Theoretical Physics graduate examination 2021, the average starting salary after the master’s degree was € 41,100.


77% of all students who begin theoretical physics studies at a university also graduate.


Even up to 10 years after graduating from theoretical physics, 90% of all graduates have a job.


85% of all theoretical physics graduates state that they are satisfied or very satisfied with the content of their job.

Entry-level sectors for theoretical physics graduates

The majority of Theoretical Physics graduates work in education and research

Salary development of theoretical physics graduates

After 10 years, the starting salary of theoretical physics graduates doubles

Theoretical physics graduation class 2021

Where can I study theoretical physics?

It is a fairly small course that you can currently only complete at four universities in Germany. With our course search you can find out which cities offer the theoretical physics course.

What is the content of a theoretical physics course?

The course builds on the content already learned in the Bachelor's degree. Theoretical Physics takes on the task of tracing empirical results of experimental physics back to basic theories and forming hypotheses for new theories. The typical subjects that you will encounter include, for example:

  • Mathematical quantum physics
  • Theoretical solid state physics
  • topology
  • Quantum optics
  • Statistical Physics
  • General math
  • General physics
  • Technical English

You will also come across content from other natural sciences again and again during the course of your studies. Compulsory internships are also planned at some universities.

What professions are there with a theoretical physics degree?

Would you like to study this subject but don't know what to do with it later? We know what careers you can take after your master's degree!


After graduating, you can work here:

  • Public service
  • Banks
  • Insurance
  • IT
  • Consulting
  • Patent system
  • Financial service providers
  • Science journalism
  • Universities
  • Universities of applied sciences
  • Research institutions


As a theoretical physicist, you will probably not have any financial worries later, because the average annual salary is 41,100 euros.

What requirements do I need to study theoretical physics?

The course is only offered as a master’s degree. The basic requirement is a completed bachelor's degree in a related field. These can be, for example, these subjects:

  • physics
  • mathematics
  • Environmental physics
  • Photonics
  • Medical photonics
  • Biomedical Physics
  • Medical physics

A specific numerus clausus is not known, but a good to very good bachelor's degree is generally required in order to be able to complete a postgraduate master’s course. It may also be that you have to pass an additional aptitude test and have a good command of English in order to be admitted to the course.

How does the theoretical physics course work?

Similar to the bachelor's degree, you will also attend seminars and lectures, write term papers and exams, and at the end of your studies you will write a master's thesis on which you will receive a grade. The master's in theoretical physics takes a total of four semesters.

How should I pay for the theoretical physics course?

Have you ever considered applying for a scholarship? Our online scholarship search will be happy to help you! You should also use the BAföG calculator to check how much money the state is paying you for your studies. Further financing options are a student job and a student loan.

Find scholarships that suit you.
Free in two clicks.