M.Sc. Industrial Ecology

Erasmus Mundus Master Course


Industrial Ecology is an emerging interdisciplinary field combining natural, technical and social sciences in a systems view at scale levels from the global to the local. Its core concept is the analogy between processes in nature (biosphere) and processes in society (techno-sphere). Evolution has resulted in a highly efficient use of materials and energy in biosphere systems: waste from one process is a resource for another. In today’s society, resources are exploited, producing unusable waste streams and release of pollutants to soil, water, and air, leading to complex sustainability problems. Society might take lessons from the biosphere to solve these problems.
The MIND programme (ERASMUS MUNDUS Master’s programme in Industrial Ecology) is a new two-year programme with 120 ECTS, offering a unique Industrial Ecology education for up to 15 Third-country and up to 10 EU students per edition. Those maximal 25 students can study at two or three universities of the MIND consortium, representing seven universities.

The objective of the MIND programme is to train students

The MIND programme combines the expertise and experience of prominent groups in the area of Industrial Ecology research, within and outside the EU. MIND is the first international master programme in Industrial Ecology worldwide.

With the support of the Erasmus Mundus programme of the European Union

EACEA | The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission.

ERASMUS MUNDUS is a co-operation and mobility programme under “ERASMUS+” in the field of higher education that aims to enhance the quality of European higher education and to promote dialogue and understanding between people and cultures through cooperation with Third-Countries.

The Consortium


Specific Links

Programme description

“Industrial Ecology“ (IE) is an emerging interdisciplinary field combining natural, social, as well as technical sciences, which considers in a integrated systemic approach all different levels from global to the local. Issues related to the environment require a systemic approach so that the connections and feedbacks between industrial activity, human activity and ecological processes can be incorporated in the assessment and problem solving. The issue of “industrial ecology” encompasses physical, chemical and biological links and interrelations between several industrial systems as well as between industrial and ecological systems.

The objective of the “Erasmus Mundus Master’s Programme in Industrial Ecology” is to offer an international and interdisciplinary Master’s programme at the highest level, which allows the participants to make an essential contribution to understanding and proposing solutions to problems in order to support the transition towards a sustainable society.

Through the composition of the consortium a unique view on the field of “Industrial Ecology” on a global, European and local level is possible. In this way, the students learn a methodologically correct approach to complex interdisciplinary issues and are introduced to specific subject areas by experts of the partner universities. Thereby, a strong emphasis is set both on research and practical problem solving applications for sustainable development.
The “Erasmus Mundus Master’s Programme in Industrial Ecology” takes a leading role as an interdisciplinary study programme at the highest level with an international direction. The perspectives are in particular based on the specialisations offered by partner universities. Based on the individual Bachelor education, the selected specialisations, the study stays abroad and the topic of the master thesis foster diverse perspectives in science as well as an appropriate foundation for the implementation in practice.

Specialisation Module

The MIND Programme includes six specialisation modules:

Qualifications and skills

Students should after completing this study programme be able

Demand and Relevance of the Programme for Science and the Job Market

Occupational areas, for which the competences are developed, are highly connected to the chosen specialization and include the academic, private, public and half-public sector. Typical occupational areas of the graduates are (in alphabetical order):

The MIND Programme prepares the students for following doctoral studies and careers in the fields of scientific research. The focus on societal topics of the programme also prepares the students for careers not directly related to scientific research. They can find jobs in the private and public sector (EU, national, regional and local government- and administration level) as well in consulting companies or NGOs. In the course of their future careers, graduates will be able to obtain leading positions, especially in the fields of integration of methodology in the areas of technology and assessment tools (especially related to complex processes in a societal- or technical- industrial field with sustainability components).

Mobility and Courses


Depending on the selected university in the first year, the third semester with the specialization and the Master thesis, the courses and modules vary.

Academic calendars

The lecture dates of the MIND Programme are depending on the university where you start the programme. From the third semester on, you might also enroll at a non-European university of the MIND consortium (limited number!).

University of Graz (Austria)
Oct 1-Jan 31
March 1-June 30

Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden)
End of August – December (15 weeks)
January – June (15 weeks)

Delft University of Technology and Leiden University (The Netherlands)
1.9. – 20.12. (15 weeks)
Begin of Feb. – Mid of June (15 weeks)

Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand)
Mid of August – End of Nov.
Mid of January – End of April

Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)
End of August – 24 January
27 January - end of May

Waseda University (Japan)
End of Sept. – Begin of Feb.
Begin of April – Begin of August

Fees and scholarships

There will be no more scholarships, as the funding through the European Commission has come to an end; sorry.


The general entry requirements for MIND students are:

• Bachelor’s degree in engineering, natural sciences, environmental sciences, economics or social sciences with 180 ECTS, including courses in mathematics/statistics (minimum 12 ECTS) and courses in environmental and systems sciences (minimum 12 ECTS). For the Bachelor’s degree a minimum overall/average grade of B according to the ECTS grading system is necessary.

• For non-native English speakers: Evidence of proficiency in English language with the following thresholds to be reached: TOEFL 575 (paper-based), 230 (computer-based) or 90 (internet-based); IELTS grade 6.5; Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English grade C.

For Chalmers University, the following specific requirements apply additionally:

If you meet those requirements, you are able to apply for the MIND programme.


The MIND consortium consists of the following universities:

University of Graz as co-ordinator

Chalmers University of Technology

Delft University of Technology
(The Netherlands)

Leiden University
(The Netherlands)

Asian Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology

Waseda University


Picture below: The second MIND graduates (21 August 2014, Ameland, Netherlands)

Picture below: The first MIND graduates (23 August 2013, Seggau Castle, Austria)

MIND graduates 2023:


Q: How do you select the MIND students?

A: The MIND admission committee will do a ranking by looking at the following criteria: GPA (grade point average) of your BSc study; quality of your motivation letter; quality of your reference letters; English language skills (TOEFL/IELTS score); any publications/posters and/or any work experience and/or any other completed BSc/MSc/Diploma courses. The possible score for each criterion is 0, 1, 2 or 3 points. Each criterion will be assessed by each member of the MIND admission committee. Thus, the MIND applicant with the highest score will be ranked as first, the one with the second highest score as second etc. However, the requirements by the EU have to be considered, cf. the question below “Are there any regulations for the number of eligible students?” and the answer corresponded.

Q: How big is the workload per semester?

A: The workload per semester is defined with 30 ECTS credits which is equivalent from 30 to 36 hours per week, calculated for 25 weeks; see also “What is ECTS?” below.

Q: What is ECTS?

A: European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education across the European Union (EU) and other collaborating European countries. For successfully completed studies, ECTS credits are awarded. One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS-credits that are equivalent to 1,500–1,800 hours of study in all countries irrespective of standard or qualification type and is used to facilitate transfer and progression throughout the EU.

Q: Which Bachelor-Degree is required to be admitted?

A: Bachelor’s degree in engineering, natural sciences, environmental sciences, economics or social sciences with 180 ECTS, including courses in mathematics/statistics (minimum 12 ECTS) and courses in environmental and system sciences (minimum 12 ECTS) or an equivalent to those courses. The degree should not be older than five years, and a minimum grade of B according to the ECTS grading system is expected.

Q: What is the ECTS grading system?

A: The ECTS grading system framework has been defined by the European Commission. Since many different grading systems co-exist in Europe and the world, and considering that interpretation of grades varies considerably from one country to another, if not from one institution to another, the ECTS grading scale has been developed in order to provide a common currency and facilitate the transfer of students and their grades. The ECTS grade is not meant to replace the local grades, but to be used optionally and additionally in order to effectively “translate” and “transcript” a grade from one institution to another. The ECTS grade is indicated alongside the mark awarded by the host institution.
This system can be represented as follows:

Grade A 10 % percentage of students (“excellent”)
Grade B 25 % percentage of students (“very good”)
Grade C 30 % percentage of students (“good”)
Grade D 25 % percentage of students (“satisfactory”)
Grade E 10 % percentage of students (“sufficient”)
Grade FX Fail - some more work required before the credit can be awarded
Grade F Fail - considerable further work is required
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECTS_grading_scale (last access 18 October 2010)

Q: Are lessons held in English?

A: Yes. You have to prove your knowledge of English language, please check the section “Requirements” at our website.

Q: Is it necessary to have language knowledge other than English?

It is not necessary to know other languages and all courses will be taught in English. However, we advise you to attend basic courses of the languages of the countries of the respective consortium members, where you intend to study.

Q: Can I start the program only in the winter semester?

A: Yes. The master program always starts in the winter semester.

Q: Are there any regulations for the number of eligible students?

A: Yes, the MIND programme will select maximal 25 students per edition. Please note, that according to the Erasmus Mundus regulations, maximal three students per country (i.e. with the same nationality/citizenship) can be selected.

Q: Can I apply although I’m (fully) employed?

A: You can also apply for the course if you are employed. Please consider, however, that the program involves four consecutive semesters of full-time study.

Q: Is international experience relevant for the selection of the applicants?

A: Programme relevant international experience will be given consideration during the selection process.

Q: In which language do I have to hand in the required documents for my application?

A: All documents for the application procedure must be submitted in English.

Q: What is the duration of the course?

A: The duration is four semesters including the mobility semester/s, the master’s thesis and all examinations.

Q: Do you charge tuition fees?

A: Yes, we do. Please find the relevant information on our website.

Q: I don’t have my Diploma yet, can I still apply for the programme?

A: You can apply for the program, but you have to mention in your application that you will provide the admission committee with your diploma as soon as possible after graduation.

Q: When are the results of selections presented?

A: After the application deadline of year n, the admission committee will be meeting in March or April in the year n+1, and all applicants will be informed about the decision of that committee.

Q: What about my personal data and data protection issues?

A: Information relating to MIND applicants (personal data) is collected and used in accordance with Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on “the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data”. The MIND applicant is informed that if he/she is selected (proposed for a scholarship, put on the reserve list, or enrolled on a self paying basis) his/her data may be used for the purposes of evaluating the Erasmus Mundus Programme and will be made available to the Agency, the EM National Structures, the EU Delegations and the Erasmus Mundus Student and Alumni Association, acting as stakeholders of the programme.

Contact / Privacy Statement / Imprint

a) University of Graz (Austria)
Institute of Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability Research
Dr. Ralf Aschemann (academic co-ordinator)

Office of International Relations
Dr. Anja Hoffmann (administrative co-ordination)
e-mail: emmind@uni-graz.at

or anja.hoffmann@uni-graz.at

b) Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden)
Dr. Ulrika Lundqvist

c) Leiden University (The Netherlands)
Dr. Ester van der Voet, Dr. Rene Kleijn

d) Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands)
Dr. Gijsbert Korevaar

e) Waseda University (Japan)
Prof. Dr. Shinichiro Nakamura and Prof. Dr. Yasushi Kondo

f) Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand)
Prof. Dr. Chettiyappan Visvanathan

g) Rochester Institute of Technology (USA)
Dr. Callie W. Babbitt

Privacy Statement

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