Transportation Systems M. Sc.

Mobility is a human basic need. The transportation system is an important part of any modern society and economy and core element of daily human life. Nowadays, society and economy are both challenged by the growing demand for mobility as well as by the ecological and economic impacts of the increasing transportation demand. “Environment” and “sustainable development” are leading topics on the international agenda. Phenomena like the globalizing world as well as pollution and climate change require new strategies in the area of transport planning, traffic control and infrastructure design. Particularly, an efficient, environmentally friendly and safe operation of transportation systems is growing in importance.

Therefore, it requires new approaches to transportation planning and management strategies. We need experts who know how to design roads, traffic management systems and public transport networks. Experts who are familiar with the concepts of transportation demand management, integrated land-use and traffic management, freight logistic concepts and multimodal traffic management are needed. The Master of Science Program in Transportation Systems at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) provides graduates with the necessary knowledge and skills to deal with these challenges.

What to bring

The Master's Program in Transportation Systems at the Technical University of Munich focusses on applicants holding Bachelor’s degrees in transport-related area. As its courses are offered in the English language, the program is addressed to national and international graduates with a strong interest in planning, managing and optimizing of transportation systems.

Applicants should be open-minded and able to work scientifically, respectively principle-based and method-oriented. They should have a scientifically oriented interest in engineering problems from the field of transportation and in the solution of those problems. A basic academic background in transportation science (e.g. urban and infrastructure planning, transportation planning, transportation engineering and control, traffic infrastructure engineering) is a prerequisite for this degree program.

What you´ll learn

As graduate of the international Master’s Program in Transportation Systems you possess the required knowledge and skills to deal with present and future challenges in the complex area of modern transportation. You know how to design and operate modern transportation systems and multimodal transport management systems. You are able to design railways and roads, simulate traffic, apply and design intelligent transport systems as well as analyze transport data and statistics. You are capable of analyzing and evaluating the relevant economic, social and environmental aspects. Your skills allow you to consult municipalities in questions regarding transport planning strategies of today and for future demand. You can start a career as transport consultant or transport planner in all different areas of the transportation sector such as governmental agencies, public transport authorities, private and state owned transportation companies, freight and logistic enterprises or the automotive industry. Since the students of the Master’s Program come from all over the world, you are also experienced in working in multicultural teams.

Besides, the Master’s degree qualifies graduates to apply for admission to doctoral studies/ PhD-courses (postgraduate-research programs), all over the world.

Study information

The Master's Program in Transportation Systems consists of 4 semesters and starts each year in October.
The program consists of:

  • 3 semesters of course works
  • 1 project seminar with experts from industry and authorities
  • 6 months Master's Thesis

Transportation Systems students can specialize in one of the following fields of study:

  1. Transportation Infrastructure
  2. Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
  3. Transportation Demand Management

Besides, there is a broad variety of electives. The catalogue of electives is announced in TUMonline before the start of the lecture period.
The language of instruction is English.

Transportation and mobility are of central importance for any modern economy and society. The growing demand for mobility as well its ecological and economic impacts represent a great challenge and require new strategies in the area of transport planning, traffic control and infrastructure design. Because of the multifaceted connections of transport and mobility with social and economic phenomena, the transportation system must be considered as part of a complex system if there shall be provided optimal transport conditions for people and goods as well as a good quality of living in urban areas. Consequently, transport planning strategies must consider and include the various interactions between transport, economy, land-use, and the natural environment.

There is a need for experts who know about rail and road design, algorithms of traffic management systems, and the planning of public transport networks. But, those specialists also require interdisciplinary skills to successfully deal with the defiance of modern mobility. Transport engineers must also have skills in economics and project appraisal, they need knowledge about ecology and the concepts of sustainability, and they have to know about travel behavior.

The Master's Program in Transportation Systems is designed to enhance the classical training program for transport engineers towards an interdisciplinary and system-orientated education, including a shift in focus towards the basic and application research field. Taking all this into account, the degree program prepares highly qualified professionals for the dynamically growing market of transport and mobility.

Within the Master’s program, transportation is considered with regards to the spectrum of urban fields of action: causes (e.g. land-use, urban structure, utilization structure) and effects (e.g. exhaust and noise, congestion) as well as measures (e.g. integrated land-use and transport management, traffic control). Besides, transport planning is increasingly becoming a design and management task within an overall complex system that comprises passenger and freight transport as well as all other carriers. A functional high-performing transportation system is a prerequisite for economic development. Infrastructure design and construction is substantial and also an integral part of the Master’s Program in Transportation Systems. The main focal points of education are the optimization of construction principles, durability management, biogenic building substances and materials, reduction of emissions. For the academic field of transportation engineering, also capture, analysis and manipulation of spatial or geographical data are of great importance.

Students of the Master’s Program in Transportation Systems at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) can specialize in one of the following fields of study:

  1. Transportation Infrastructure
  2. Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
  3. Transportation Demand Management

During the first study year, students achieve the required general, sound and broad-based background in transportation engineering, but also in several related disciplines like travel behavior, transport economics or general tools for scientific work. The students deepen the theoretical knowledge of the overall concepts of transportation systems within all fields of transportation engineering: transportation planning, traffic engineering and control, as well as transportation infrastructure. The students learn about the most relevant theories, concepts and models. The general competences gained during the first semesters also include soft skills, the ability to prepare scientific presentations and to write scientific papers.

At the end of semester 1, the students decide about their specific specialization area (field of study). Consequently, in the second semester, students can start creating their own professional profile and achieve the required engineering competences. Each area of specialization contains one core module, providing them with deeper understanding of their selected specialization and skills that help them select, and make the most out of their elective subjects. Students can choose additional subjects from the elective module catalogue to strengthen their individual profile. These specialization modules are offered during the second and third semester, and they allow the students to steer the program towards their specific professional interests, potentially also helping them select an appropriate direction for their Master’s thesis.

The core of the third semester is the project seminar. During this module, students deal with real-life problems in transportation project planning and application – usually in cooperation with local authorities and companies. By working on a specific project, students explore scientific research and practical solutions in an experimental environment. In multinational and interdisciplinary groups, they work out a survey concept and realize field work. Besides, they analyze and discuss their findings with research staff, experienced practitioners and authorities involved in the respective project.

Finally, students will write their Master´s thesis on a transportation-related subject. Frequently, the thesis is done in cooperation with a company or authority, but supervised and evaluated by academic TUM professors. The students have six months to complete the thesis. They can conduct the thesis either in Germany or abroad.

Within the Master's Program in Transportation Systems, students (who started before winter semester 2021/22) have to complete an internship in companies or authorities related to transportation or transportation engineering. The Subject Examination and Study Regulations (FPSO) require an internship of at least 150 hours duration. The internship can be under­taken either in Germany or abroad and has to be supervised by a member of the TUM Department of Mobility Systems Engineering as well as by a professional of the respective company or authority. After completion of the internship, the student must submit an internship report.

Further information can be found in the Wiki [Das Praktikantenamt ist hier nicht zuständig, nur für andere Masterstudiengänge.]

An online application form is only available during the application period at the campus management platform “TUMonline”.
Application period: From 1st January until 31st May
Selection takes place through a 2-level aptitude assessment procedure. First, the grades of the bachelor’s program as well as the written documents will be evaluated, using a point system. Depending on the amount of points accumulated, applicants are either directly admitted, rejected or they enter level 2 and are invited to an interview.
The aptitude assessment process takes approx. 4 months. For several reasons (e.g. visa, housing) we highly recommend that international students apply long before the legal deadline on 31st May (to TUM and uni-assist). Interviews usually take place in June and July (early applications) and in August and early September.
Further information on the aptitude assessment procedure can be found in the Wiki.