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Dual Degree Master & UST Korea

The University of Science and Technology, Republic of Korea (UST, and the Center for Bioinformatics of Saarland University (UdS) have established on May 6, 2016 a dual degree student exchange agreement. According to this, students can earn during a total study duration of 5 semesters the two degrees Master of Engineering of UST (in energy and environmental engineering) and Master of Science of UdS (in bioinformatics), respectively.
Scientific motivation for this program
Environmental engineering deals, for example, with water, air, and soil quality. To investigate the microbial populations growing there, modern environmental engineers apply (bio)molecular diagnostic tools from the fields of genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics. The term metagenomics stands for characterizing the entire mixed microbial community. Another important area of environmental engineering is the toxicity of natural and man-made environmental chemicals. Here, a particular challenge lies in estimating the combined toxicity of chemical mixtures. In both mentioned areas, one faces exciting challenges at the interface of environmental engineering with modern bioinformatics that are yet to be solved. Thus, the motivation behind this dual degree program is to train a new generation of environmental engineers who are also qualified in processing and mathematical analysis of biological and chemical data from environmental samples. Due to the rising importance of information technology, we expect that the graduates from this program will be well-positioned to take on other challenges beyond the two examples mentioned.
Structure of the program
The dual degree program is based on a collaboration between the two nationally accredited existing Master study programs in bioinformatics (UdS) and energy and environmental engineering (UST), each with a standard period of study of 4 semesters. In the dual degree program, the 1st and 2nd semester should be completed at one university consecutively. Then the 3rd and 4th semester should be completed at the other university consecutively. The 5th semester will be the thesis semester. Participants can choose either of both partner universities to complete their thesis semester. 
Who may apply to this program?
Students applying to this program must have a dual background with advanced knowledge comparable to the level of a BSc degree in one of the two fields and a solid basic knowledge (comparable to the first 1 to 1,5 years of a respective BSc program) in the other field. The two fields are: (1) Environmental Science/Engineering, Environmental Health, Chemistry, Biology/Biotechnology, (Eco)Toxicology, and (2) Mathematics, Computer Science, Bioinformatics. The program will be fully taught in English. Thus, all applicants must provide evidence of a proper level of English proficiency. The minimum requirement is IELTS 6.5 (overall) / TOEFL iBT 90, CBT 233, PBT 577, TOEIC 810, TEPS 773.
How to apply?
Applications for this Dual Degree program should be uploaded to the electronic application system at
Since this is a new program, we ask you to apply through the single-degree track "MSc for Bioinformatics" and state clearly at the beginning of your "statement of purpose" letter that you are applying for the Dual Degree program. Please see also the FAQ at 
Selection of applicants
Participants of the Dual Degree Program will be selected according to their academic and linguistics qualifications by the Joint Examination Board. The Program will recruit in total up to 10 students per year. 
Both universities will exempt any of the participating students from tuition payment at the Host University.
Requirements of the program
To fulfill requirements for the Dual Master’s Program at UST and UdS, students have to gain at least 18 CPs at UST and additional 60 ECTS or equivalent at UdS according to the curricula listed below. 
▶Curriculum for Environmental Engineering 
In each semester of the 2-semester environmental engineering part at UST, students should earn at least 6 CPs from 2 major lectures (3 CPs each) and 2 CPs from 1 practice (2 CPs). Mandatory is also participation in the environmental seminar (2 CPs). Thus, in total 18 CPs are required for dual master degree conferment from the UST side. Besides the courses, students will be continuously involved in a research project ("field of research") during the 2 study semesters. 
Listed below are the courses (major lectures and fields of research) offered under the themes of Environmental Engineering at KIST( and KIST Europe (KE,, and by the UST Academic Consortium for this Dual Degree Programme. 
Category Title (CPs) Campus
Major Lectures Introduction to Energy and Environment (3)  KIST, KE
Environmental Monitoring (3)  KIST, KE
Fluid Dynamics for Environmental Applications (3)  KIST
Wastewater Treatment Engineering (3)  KIST
Atmospheric Environment (3)  KIST
Environmental Physics and Chemistry (3)  KIST, KE
Water Cycle Management Engineering (3)  KIST
Advanced Materials for Water Treatment (3)  KIST
Advanced Chemical Risk Assessment (3)  KIST, KE
Eco-Toxicological Assessment (3) KE
Environmental Risk Assessment (3) KE
Computational Toxicology (3) KE
Field of Research (where practice can be conducted) Aerosol Experiment (4) KIST
Environmental Biosensor Experiment (4) KIST
Environmental Biomonitoring Experiment (2) KIST
Membrane Biofouling Monitoring (4) KIST
Characterization of Phase Change Material (4) KIST
Instrumental Analysis of Trace Chemicals by LC/MS (2) KE
Instrumental Analysis of Trace Chemicals by GC/MS (2) KE
Instrumental Analysis of Trace Chemicals by ICP/MS (2) KE
Practice of Exposure Assessment Model (2) KE
Practice of eco-toxicological Assessment (2) KE
Seminar Energy and Environmental Seminar (3) KIST, KE
Curriculum for Bioinformatics
The curriculum of the 2-semester bioinformatics part is identical to that of the Master program in bioinformatics at UdS with the following modifications: the requirement in CPs from the category "advanced lectures in life sciences" is reduced (this is replaced by the environmental engineering subject) and the master seminar is only mandatory if the thesis is conducted at UdS. Required are 60 CPs in the following categories:
19 CPs from the category of advanced lectures in bioinformatics;
  • Bioinformatics III (9 CPs)
  • special lectures in bioinformatics (5 CPs)
18 CPs from the category of advanced lectures in computer science;
  • Data structures and algorithms (9 CPs)
  • Computer graphics (9 CPs)
  • Data base systems (9 CPs)
  • Information retrieval (9 CPs)
  • Artificial Intelligence (9 CPs)
  • Optimization (9 CPs)
  • Geometric Modelling (9 CPs)
  • Introduction to Computational Logic (9 CPs)
  • Image Processing and Computer Vision (9 CPs)
  • Software Technology (9 CPs)
  • Machine Learning (9 CPs)
5 CPs from the category "practicals in bioinformatics"
  • Programming course (5 CPs)
6 CPs from the category "advanced lectures in life sciences"
  • Molecular biotechnology (3 CPs)
  • The human genome (3 CPs)
  • Systems and Synthetic Biology (6 CPs)
  • Bioreaction Engineering (6 CPs)
  • Special lecture in biosciences (5 CPs)
The remaining 12 CPs can either be obtained by completing a Master seminar (12 CPs - this is mandatory if thesis is conducted at UdS) or by taking a "seminar in bioinformatics" (7 CPs) and earning the remaining 5 CPs in additional courses from the above listed categories or from language courses for German or English.