Geography: Environmental Processes and Natural Hazards

Master of Science
Semester fee
71 Euro
Start of the program
Winter semester
Standard length of the program
4 Semester
Place of study
Part-time studies possible

Sustainable use of the planet’s resources and the resulting conflicts will become increasingly significant for humanity in the future. Students of this practice-oriented degree program learn how to analyze problems on a local and regional level and develop appropriate solutions. Samples and measurements are taken in the field using state-of-the-art technology and then analyzed in the geography laboratory or using computer-based geoinformation systems.

The program in detail


With its modern degree program at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, the Physical Geography department offers its students individual support and the opportunity to work in small groups. The program builds on the department’s research priorities and is open to applicants with a first degree in geography, hydrology, geoecology, or a related subject. Graduates of teaching degree programs in geography are also eligible to apply for this Master’s program.


Semesters 1 (Basics)

How do human activities and hydrological processes influence each other? This question is the main focus of the module "Environmental Hydrological Processes and Natural Hazards", which is part of the basic phase of the course and also provides geomorphological and climatological knowledge and introduces geoinformatics methods. For the students, this forms the theoretical framework and the introduction to the individual environmental and natural hazard processes and their complex interconnections.

Semesters 2 (Advanced phase)

The advanced phase consists of courses on humans and the environment and natural hazards, which cover analysis, monitoring, and management. A key element is the environmental monitoring project, in which students learn to recognize, document, and evaluate environmental processes and natural hazards in the field and in the laboratory. Based on current research projects, members of the Physical Geography department approach applied geomorphological, floodplain dynamic, karsthydrological or landscape ecological questions.

Semesters 3 and 4 (Specialization)

In the modules of the specialization phase, students gain key knowledge and develop important skills for research and practice, building on and applying what they have learned so far, for example in the context of a big field trip. It provides the perfect opportunity to get to know a natural and cultural area. Special characteristics and typical phenomena can be experienced in the field. On site, students and lecturers discuss the origin, effects and consequences of natural processes and their interrelation with human society. One of the modules in this semester focuses on applying digital methods for data collection and analysis. Questions are examined using modern methods: Terrain data collected through measurements and GPS-aided mapping is processed and analyzed in a geoinformation system using methods such as digital relief analysis.

Students are very welcome to make their own suggestions for their Master’s thesis, for example based on courses or research projects.

Module plan (german)


The strong methodological focus of our teaching practice and our research projects are made possible by excellent equipment for use in the field, in the laboratory and in the areas of hardware and software.

On the following pages, you can find detailed information on our equipment in the following areas (available in German):

In addition to their use in research projects, the devices are regularly used in courses (specialization modules, field internships and project seminars) and are used for final theses.

Laser scanners
Mobiler Laserscanner
Mobile laser scanners
Pollen analysis on Elba
Structure of tree rings
Investigation of lichens

Rankings and assessments

The KU is the most popular university in 2022

KU students and alumni have voted for their University to be Germany's most popular university in the 2022 ranking of the online portal StudyCheck. This is the second time in a row, as KU was also voted the most popular university in 2021. The ranking was based on over 70,000 evaluations for more than 500 higher education institutions and universities. 97 percent of students questioned for the ranking would recommend studying at the KU to others.

"There is no better praise for a university than almost 100 percent of students and alumni agreeing: I can only recommend studying at the KU! That is why we are very pleased with the ranking’s outcome, because it expresses the high level of satisfaction of our students," says KU President Prof. Dr. Gabriele Gien.

More ranking results

Studying abroad

We consider stays abroad an important personal experience and a significant factor in the competition for an attractive job. The KU maintains a partnership network with around 300 universities worldwide. The KU International Office supports students in the planning phase and provides information on different financing possibilities for stays abroad.

Practical connection

Our research projects are as diverse as the main topics of our professorships, and yet their topics can be summarized as "Environmental Research in Space" and "Environmental Geography". We conduct research in projects with varying proportions of fundamental research and applied practice-oriented research. Students can contribute to these projects through field internships, field trips and their final theses, but also as student assistants.

They gain experience and establish contacts with potential employers through an internship (available in German) in the required elective area. Students also have the possibility to complete their internship abroad; for individual advice and support in finding an internship and financing possibilities, the KU Career Service and the International Internship Service are happy to help.

Career possibilities and professional fields

Career prospects

Our modules in the different degree programs focus on the processing of environmental data (mapping, monitoring, GIS and statistics) and on approaching the topic area of natural hazards, which has to be considered from both a scientific and a socio-economic perspective.

Already during your studies, you can gain experience and establish contacts with potential employers (available in German) through an internship (in the required elective area).

The KU

Sommerresidenz Luftbild


Short distances on campus at the KU save time and avoid stress. The KU is a campus University with modern facilities. The buildings on campus are located close to the Eichstätt old town. Although the University and its campus has grown, it is still characterized by short distances: In Eichstätt, everything can be reached within ten minutes’ walking distance. On campus, green spaces such as the Hofgarten are the perfect places to relax. The garden of the Kapuzinerkloster is also used by different student initiatives for their projects. The canteen is located at the heart of the Eichstätt campus and has a sun deck and cafeteria that leave nothing to be desired.

Studierende vor der Zentralbibliothek

What sets the KU apart

Studying at the KU is more than just acquiring specialist knowledge. We broaden our horizons together and take on responsibility in and beyond the individual degree programs. The KU has a particular focus on topics such as personal development, sustainability, social skills and social commitment.

It offers its students the possibility to study and work in a welcoming atmosphere and benefit from outstanding support and comprehensive service offers, a well-stocked library, a broad range of sports and leisure activities and a large global network of approx. 300 partner universities. Our team at the International Office helps you to plan your semester abroad and the KU Career Service provides comprehensive advice and support for embarking on your professional career.

Do I have to be Catholic in order to study at the KU? Do I have to deal with Catholic contents during my studies?

No, the KU is open to students of all faiths and beliefs.

At the KU, just as at all state universities, there is freedom of research and teaching. This means that our degree programs focus on the subjects for which you have enrolled – free from external influences.

As a student at our University, you will notice what our understanding of being a Catholic University means for us in one thing in particular: The University’s focus is on the individual person. The talents and potential of all those who teach, study, work and carry out research at the KU form our most important foundation – regardless of their religion or beliefs, nationality, ethical, cultural or social background, disabilities, gender, sexual orientation or age.

This is why we promote your best possible academic education through personal support and an ideal staff-to-student ratio. At the same time, the KU is more than just a place for earning your degree: We attach particular importance to imparting social skills and advancing our students’ sense and value orientation in addition to providing them with a high level of academic and methodical qualification.

Our aspiration for our University is to build bridges between science and society and to make knowledge available for society as well as to integrate impulses from outside the University into our research and teaching practice. We aim to make a valuable contribution to social coexistence, to the free democratic basic order and to preserving creation. 

Isn’t Eichstätt quite small for a university town?

With a population of around 15,000, it is probably the smallest university town in Europe. For our students, this means living and learning in a friendly and informal atmosphere. Whether it is on the way to a lecture in the morning, at the canteen for lunch or in the pub in the evening, you will often come across people you know. It is easy to meet people in Eichstätt! By the way, the KU’s “living room” is the Theke, a bar run by students for students. Here, people meet for parties, jam sessions, karaoke evenings or a cozy round of table football.

A small town also means short distances: The library, the swimming pool, the cinema or the supermarket – everything can be reached in a few minutes on foot or by bike. The town is located right in the heart of the Altmühltal natural park – a real paradise for climbers, canoeists, hikers and cyclists just around the corner.

Should you still reach a point when you feel too cooped in, you can breathe big city air easily near Eichstätt. Ingolstadt with its 135,000 inhabitants is only a few kilometers away and offers a variety of shopping and nightlife options.

The location

Ortsschild Eichstätt
University town of Eichstätt
Bootsfahrer auf der Altmühl
Canoeing on the Altmühl river
[Translate to Englisch:] Biergarten
Relaxing and celebrating in beer gardens

Eichstätt and the surrounding Altmühltal natural park are not only a popular destination for culture enthusiasts and nature lovers, but also for cyclists, climbers, canoeists and fossil collectors. Located between Munich and Nuremberg, the city impresses with its Baroque setting and southern flair combined with modern and prizewinning architecture as well as a broad variety of cultural offerings and leisure activities. 

The Baroque park at the heart of the campus and the nearby banks of the Altmühltal river are the KU’s “green living room”. Another big advantage: all University facilities are just a short walk away from each other.

More on the study location Eichstätt

Advisory Service

Some offers and study conditions are different for international students – our International Office is happy to provide help and support. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our team. We are happy to accompany you on your way to the KU and hope that we can welcome you in person soon!

David Guevara
David Guevara
Coordinator Welcome Services and International Campus
Building Domplatz 8  |  Room: DP8-203 | Campus Eichstätt


Letter of motivation; oral examination
Language requirements
Application period winter
May 01 - Jul 15
Admission restriction
Selection procedure

The application process for international applicants is now completely digital. You can register online in our application portal and carry out and submit your application. After you have carried out the application and uploaded your documents, you do not need to send your documents to us again by post. You do have to submit certified true copies only if you are admitted at the time of enrollment.

Depending on the course of study, you may be asked for information on internships, professional experience, etc. Please upload the relevant documents in the upload area for all the information you provide, even if these are not mandatory fields!

Before you start the application process, please read the additional information on this page, in particular the information on the respective (German) language requirements and university entrance qualifications.