International Programmes 2021/2022

Biological Diversity & Ecology Biological Diversity & Ecology

University of Göttingen • Göttingen

Dr rer nat / PhD
Teaching language
  • English

English (100%)

The PhD thesis must be written in English.

Programme duration
6 semesters
Winter and summer semester
Application deadline

Winter semester: 15 July
Summer semester: 15 January

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

The PhD programme is characterised by high-level interdisciplinary research covered by the Faculties of Biology & Psychology, Agricultural Sciences, Earth Sciences, Forestry and Law.

The major research fields covered by the faculties are:

  • Faculty of Biology & Psychology: ecology and ecosystems research, evolution systematics & biodiversity, nature conservation biology, palaeoecology, sociobiology, vegetation analysis & ecology, behaviour
  • Faculty of Agriculture: agroecology, agroentomology and economics of biodiversity
  • Faculty of Earth Sciences: biogeochemistry, palaeoecology
  • Faculty of Forestry: bioclimatology, soil sciences, wood biology & ecophysiology, ecological modelling, stress physiology and forest ecology
  • German Primate Centre (DPZ): primate ecology
Course organisation

Attendance at interdisciplinary seminars and colloquia is obligatory. Each PhD student is supported by a thesis committee (three members). At least 22 ECTS credit points are required for admission to the final oral PhD examination (defence).

Types of assessment

Written and/or oral presentations, protocols, reports

A Diploma supplement will be issued
Integrated internships


Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Semester contribution

Fees amount to around 380 EUR per semester. The fees include a prepaid semester ticket that entitles students to use regional trains (in Lower Saxony and Bremen) and city buses in Göttingen free of charge. Students of the University of Göttingen receive discounts for cultural events. Meals and drinks are also available at reduced prices at all university canteens.
Semester ticket:

Costs of living

The average cost of living in Göttingen is modest compared to other major university cities in Germany. Currently, expenses for accommodation, food, health insurance and books are about 800 EUR per month. Please note that fees for health insurance may vary according to age. Living expenses might be slightly higher. For further information, please see the following link:

Funding opportunities within the university
Academic admission requirements

Prerequisites for admission:

  • eight semesters of study at a university with a successful academic qualification: a Master's degree (MSc) or a "Diplom" in the fields of biology, life or environmental sciences
  • proof of laboratory and financial resources from the supervising professor (scientific position or scholarship)
  • proficiency in English language (C1)
Language requirements

Applicants whose native language is not English are asked to submit proof of proficiency in English (level C1). Proven higher education in English or a reasonably long stay in an English-speaking country may also be accepted.

Application deadline

Winter semester: 15 July
Summer semester: 15 January

Submit application to

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Dept. Ecology & Ecosystems Research
Untere Karspüle 2
37073 Göttingen

Possibility of finding part-time employment

The university supports students in finding part-time jobs in local industries and businesses. A number of student jobs are also available at the university. They are announced on the following website:
Please note that restrictions may apply with your scholarship or work contract.

Foreign applicants should note that it is not easy to find a job in order to finance their studies, as German students are also searching for jobs. Non-EU students are allowed to work for a maximum of 120 full days (240 half days) per year.


The Accommodation Service of the International Office supports international students who are enrolled at the University of Göttingen to find accommodation in Göttingen and serves as point of contact for queries. The service works together with the private market in Göttingen and the Student Services ("Studentenwerk"). As the number of available accommodations in Göttingen is limited, it is highly recommended to contact the Accommodation Service as early as possible.
For further information, please see the following link:

Structured research and supervision
Research training / discussion
Career advisory service

The Career Service of the University of Göttingen offers individual support to facilitate your successful transition from the academic to the professional world — whether you want to work in Germany or abroad. Especially for international students aiming for a career entry in Germany, the Career Service provides topic-specific "Career Impulse Sessions", workshops, online learning modules, and a certificate programme in “Building International Careers” as well as digital career tools and a virtual community for international employment opportunities:

Specific specialist or non-specialist support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Other
Support programmes for international students

Advisory and administrative support in individual organisation of the PhD study programme

University of Göttingen

University location