International Programmes 2021/2022

Behaviour and Cognition (BeCog) Behaviour and Cognition (BeCog)

University of Göttingen • Göttingen

PhD or Dr rer nat
Teaching language
  • English

English (100%)

Programme duration
6 semesters
Winter and summer semester
Application deadline

31 July for the following winter semester
31 January for the following summer semester
Please see for further information.

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

The focus of this study programme is on the foundations and the evolution of non-human and human primate behaviour. Research projects are undertaken in the fields of psychology, anthropology, cognitive sciences and evolutionary biology, with an emphasis on comparative approaches. Core areas are the evolution of social behaviour, group behaviour and group coordination, developmental psychology, as well as the cognitive, neurobiological, and physiological foundations of behaviour. The programme is run by the Faculty of Biology and Psychology of the University of Göttingen and is supported by the German Primate Center.

Course organisation

Doctoral students are affiliated with one (or sometimes two) of the research groups of this programme. Each project is supervised by a three-member thesis (dissertation) committee that advises on research questions and study content. A research colloquium provides a platform for progress reports and discussions. The core of the dissertation is the student's own research project. In five different modules, a moderate amount of additional course work and teaching is required (total number of ECTS points: 20). To prepare for a variety of future activities and a diverse job market, these modules are broadly defined and go beyond the scope of the actual research project.
Modules require participation in seminars, colloquia, and methods courses, contribution to teaching, presentation of own research work at international conferences and meetings, and acquisition of soft skills and key qualifications.

International elements
  • International guest lecturers
  • Projects with partners in Germany and abroad
  • International comparisons and thematic reference to the international context
Integrated internships

None, except for the required methods courses

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

Applicants must hold a Master's degree (or equivalent) in mathematics or the natural sciences (incl. psychology); the degree must have been obtained in a field relevant for BeCog. Degrees which have been obtained in a country not signatory to the Bologna declaration must be formally confirmed to be equivalent and be accepted by the programme committee. A fast-track option for particularly successful students enrolled in a relevant Master's programme is available.

A confirmation of supervision, signed by a member of the study programme must be submitted upon application.

Please visit our website ( for details on the application process.

Language requirements

Applicants whose native language is not English are asked to submit proof of proficiency in English; the following certificates are accepted:

  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English, at least grade "B"
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English at least grade "C"
  • IELTS Academic: at least band 6.0
  • TOEFL iBT: at least 80 points
  • TOEFL PBT: at least 550 points
  • CEF ("Common European Framework"): at least C1
  • UNIcertF: at least level III

The successful completion of an English-speaking study programme is accepted; certificates must not be older than three years at the time of application.
Native English speakers and applicants who spent at least two of the last three years in an English-speaking country for professional or study reasons do not need to provide a certificate.

Application deadline

31 July for the following winter semester
31 January for the following summer semester
Please see for further information.

Submit application to


Please see for further information.

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.


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 a point of contact for queries. The service works together with the private market in Göttingen and the Student Services ("Studentenwerk"). As the amount of 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
Specific specialist or non-specialist support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Specialist counselling
  • Visa matters

University of Göttingen

University location