Specialized Master in Computational Science


The specialized mono/major Master's study program Computational Science (90 ECTS credits) started in fall semester 2021.

The ever increasing power of computers has made calculations that were unthinkable a decade ago tractable today. The level of complexity of scientific questions and industrial modelling that need to be tackled are met by an increasing realism that is achievable by modern computers and novel computational methods. These skills can now truly be considered as part of the technical foundation of scientists along with calculus and traditional computer science. There is a great need in science and in industry for people with competence in simulation methods, high performance computing, machine learning and data science, in short the skills of a modern computational scientist. We offer an exciting 90 ECTS Master program to prepare a new generation of such knowledge engineers.

*** The ICS does not compensate foreign or local MSc students ***

Admission requirements

The specialized mono/major study program Computational Science (90 ECTS credits) at Master's level requires one of the three UZH minor study programs Computational Science 60, Data Analysis in Natural Sciences, Simulations in Natural Sciences 30 or at least 30 ECTS credits from applied mathematics and programming modules during the bachelor's degree.

Graduates of other national and international universities may be considered with additional requirements.

Admission to the specialized Master's program is by application.


Program structure

The Specialized Master in Computational Science has a core that focuses on general principles (Methodological Foundations, Numerical Methods for Differential Equations in Simulations, Advanced High-performance Computing, Methods for Visualizing Simulation Data, Machine Learning in Science). The core courses all have a strong practical component in code development and programming. In addition, there are electives with a focus on the hands-on aspect. Possible directions include Computational Physics and Astrophysics, Computational Chemistry, Computer Graphics, Applications in Earth and Environmental Sciences.

In outline, the program is (modules in green take place in the spring semester):

Compulsory Modules   ECTS credit points
ESC203 Advanced Simulations in the Natural Sciences   5
ESC401 High Performance Computing (note)   6
ESC412 Advanced High Performance Computing   5
PHY371 Machine Learning for the Sciences   5
ESC406/413 Computational Thinking   2
ESC411 Individual seminar work on given topic   5
Master thesis   30
Elective Modules   ECTS credit points
ESC414 Practicum in Advanced Simulation Science   10
ESC204 Computational Methods for Radiative Transfer   5
ESC405 Big Data for Natural Sciences   3
AST246 Computational Astrophysics   10
PHY522 Computational Quantum Physics   8
INI427 Models of Computation   6
GEO442 Remote Sensing: Spectroscopy of the Earth System   6
CHE 747 Quantum Chemistry   2
CHE437 Surface and Interface Science   4
ESC802 Academia Industry Modelling (AIM) week   2
GEO877 Spatial Algorithms   3
MINFS520 Advanced software engineering   3
(MINF4557 Advanced computer graphics)   6
BMINF002 Computer Graphics   3
Numerical Methods for Hyperbolic Partial Differential Equations (spring '22 at ETHZ: 401-3652-00 , spring '23 at UZH: MAT827, etc.)   10
irregular (takes place in fall 2022) MAT933 Complex Networks Theory and Applications   6
irregular: MAT837 Very high order methods for hyperbolic problems   6
Note: ESC401 is a prerequisite for taking ESC412. Students that completed ESC401 during their Bachelor studies may register for ESC412 directly. Other students must first complete ESC401 or contact the instructor directly to request advanced placement if they have taken a similar course or have equivalent experience.