International Programmes 2022/2023

Environmental Governance (MEG) Environmental Governance (MEG)

University of Freiburg • Freiburg im Breisgau

Master of Science in Environmental Governance
Teaching language
  • English

Courses are held in English (100%).

Programme duration
4 semesters
Winter semester
Application deadline

15 May for the following winter semester

DAAD/EPOS scholarship applicants from developing countries: 15 October for the winter semester of the following year

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Additional information on tuition fees

The state of Baden-Württemberg implemented study fees for international students as well as students earning a second degree starting in the 2017/18 winter semester.

Here you will find further information about tuition fees:

Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

Sustainable development and accordingly sustainability in the manifold relationships between humans and the environment have become integral rules of conduct in politics and society. This is also true in economics, where for many companies a commitment to the principles of sustainability has become a central strategic competitive advantage. One of the major challenges to the implementation of the overall concept of sustainable development concerns effective governance processes between various stakeholders.

The MSc programme "Environmental Governance" (MEG) addresses this special need. Since its establishment in 2005, it has been training academics in the broader field of Environmental Governance, understood as new modes of social coordination among market, state and civil society actors. With that, the MEG aims to fill the gap between technically oriented environmental management programmes and purely disciplinary environmental politics programmes. MEG is exceptional in its highly interdisciplinary approach; at its core it is socially-scientific, but it provides students with basic "scientific literacy" in the more technical aspects of pressing environmental challenges.

The MEG programme is designed as a two-year (four-semester), full-time programme (120 ECTS). Teaching is organised in three-week block modules, comprising core and elective modules aiming at the following:

  • Realising - The development of a sound knowledge base of the most pressing environmental issues facing the planet and their underlying societal causes
  • Understanding - The reflection on human-environment interactions from a wide spectrum of disciplines, approaches and world views
  • Managing - The provision of methodological knowledge and skills for the context-sensitive design and management of environmental governance processes

Target Group:

The programme targets students from various disciplines who aspire to become leaders in the complex field of sustainable development i.e., "Sustainability Designers" with innovative ideas about environmental governance arrangements which go beyond the traditional functional, structural and territorial boundaries; and "Sustainability Managers" who embrace and understand these ideas, and who are capable of finding ways to implement them in a context-sensitive manner. Practitioners and students with a background in engineering or the natural sciences are welcome. However, they have to show high motivation and willingness to concentrate mainly on social science theories and concepts during their two years of study.

Course organisation

All teaching modules are divided into blocks of three weeks to facilitate in-depth coverage and exploration of the topics. The modules are classified as either core or elective. In addition, students can take up to two selected topics instead of a regular elective to conduct individually supervised research projects. Students earn five ECTS credits upon successful completion of each module. In total, 120 credits are required. Included is a practical training of at least seven weeks (10 ECTS) and a Master's thesis of six months (30 ECTS).

PDF Download
A Diploma supplement will be issued
International elements
  • International guest lecturers
  • Training in intercultural skills
  • Study trips
  • International comparisons and thematic reference to the international context
Integrated internships

An internship lasting for a minimum of seven weeks is to be completed during the summer break between the second and third semesters (10 ECTS credits). The MEG internship supervisor will assist students in finding an appropriate internship.

Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Additional information on tuition fees

The state of Baden-Württemberg implemented study fees for international students as well as students earning a second degree starting in the 2017/18 winter semester.

Here you will find further information about tuition fees:

Semester contribution

161 EUR per semester:

  • Student services fee (including the initial contribution for the "semester ticket"): 77 EUR
  • Administrative fees and student government fees: 84 EUR
Costs of living

Participants must ensure that sufficient funding is available to finance their participation in a course of study. The average cost of living in Freiburg for one month is currently approx. 850 to 1,000 EUR.

Some details:

  • Student accommodation costs approx. 350 to 500 EUR (monthly).
  • Private expenses amount to around 350 EUR per month.
  • Health insurance (recommended) is available for approx. 100 EUR per month.
  • Transport: A special student ticket for regional transport costs approx. 89 EUR per semester.

Funding opportunities within the university
Academic admission requirements

Applicants are required to have a BSc (or equivalent first degree) well above average in one of the following fields: Environmental Management, Environmental Sciences, Agricultural or Forest Sciences, Geography, Political Sciences, Sociology, Law, Economics, Ethnology, International Cooperation, Development Studies, Nature Conservation, Environmental Management, Land Use Planning, Natural Resource Management, among others. At least some of the courses taken in the aforementioned degree must be relevant to Environmental Governance.

Applicants for DAAD scholarships from developing countries must have two years of work experience at the time of application and the last university degree must not be older than six years.

Language requirements

Applicants must provide proof of their English skills: TOEFL iBT > 95 (Internet-based); IELTS band 7, Pearson Academic minimum score 76, Cambridge Advanced Certificate of English (CAE)

Application deadline

15 May for the following winter semester

DAAD/EPOS scholarship applicants from developing countries: 15 October for the winter semester of the following year

Submit application to

The online application portal is open from 21 March (14:00) to 15 May.

Applications for a DAAD-EPOS scholarship have to submitted to by 15 October for the following year.

Possibility of finding part-time employment

As a student, you are allowed to work up to 120 days per year and 85 hours per month. A limited number of positions as student research assistants or tutors are available in the department.


As Freiburg is an attractive city, finding a suitable and affordable place to live can take a little while. The University of Freiburg offers all newly enrolled international students the possibility to apply for student housing via the International Office. In addition to these dormitories, which are run by the Studierendenwerk Freiburg (, several independent residence halls are listed on the university website ( The Studierendenwerk Freiburg and the International Office also offer a list of available private rooms.

Career advisory service

A one-day career development workshop takes place at the end of the programme.

Specific specialist or non-specialist support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Welcome event
  • Buddy programme
  • Tutors
  • Specialist counselling
  • Cultural and linguistic preparation
Support programmes for international students

Master's thesis peer coaching groups, guided by a professional coach

Supervisor-student ratio

University of Freiburg

Content Bild

The University of Freiburg was founded in 1457 as a classical comprehensive university, making it one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Germany. Awarded for its excellence in both research and teaching, the university also boasts a long history, with numerous Nobel laureates. Brilliant scholars and creative thinking distinguish it today as a modern, top-notch university, well equipped for the challenges of the 21st century. As an organisation with around 24,500 students, 288 degree programmes, and 6,536 employees (2021), the University of Freiburg is committed to family friendliness, equal opportunities, and environmental consciousness in its day-to-day operations. The structure of the university is multifaceted, ranging from 11 academic faculties – from the humanities and the social and natural sciences all the way to engineering – to 19 research centres. This goes to show that we are a dynamic, large-scale institution with a diverse educational offering. As studies, research, and continuing education are all an integral part of this offering, we maintain a close relationship with the city and the region as well as with the international academic community. Bilateral partnerships, research projects, joint study courses and memberships in international networks such as the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and of EUCOR – The European Campus are examples of the university's strong transnational relations. All our students, including those from abroad, can take courses at the Universities of Basel (Switzerland) and Strasbourg (France) without having to enrol. Via EUCOR, The European Campus mobility grant, they also receive allowances for travel expenses to their partner institutions.

85 Percentage of international students
38 Participants per year

University location

Freiburg im Breisgau is a city in south-western Germany on the edge of the Black Forest. Freiburg was founded by Konrad and Duke Bertold III of Zähringen in 1120 as a free market town – hence its name, which translates to "free town". Freiburg holds a central position in Europe at the trijunction of Switzerland, France, and Germany, and is the city with the most hours of sunshine per year in Germany. It is nestled in one of the oldest cultural landscapes north of the Alps, a location which has had an unmistakable influence on the town. The university plays an essential part in the quality of life in Freiburg; both in the academic sphere and in the perception of the general public, the activities of the university are of central importance. Since its founding, teaching, learning and research have formed an indivisible whole.

With approx. 230,000 inhabitants, Freiburg has a friendly size, offering the safe surroundings of a smaller city whilst at the same time excelling in terms of culture, shopping and infrastructure. Both the inhabitants and the city government of Freiburg attach great importance to ecological values and sustainable development. This "green city" atmosphere influences many aspects of city life – from the numerous cyclists on the streets to cutting-edge solar energy research. Surrounded by the beautiful landscapes of the Black Forest and the wine-growing regions of the Rhine Valley, Freiburg is a popular destination for tourism and leisure activities.