The international Master's/PhD/MD-PhD Neuroscience Program is member of the Göttingen Graduate School of Neurosciences and Molecular Biosciences (GGNB), funded by the German Excellence Initiative, under the umbrella of the Georg-August University School of Science (GAUSS). It is conducted jointly by the Georg-August University Göttingen, the
Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry,
Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine, the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, the German Primate Center
and the European Neuroscience Institute Göttingen. The intensive, research-oriented education qualifies the students for professional work in the fields of the neurosciences.
The Neuroscience Program is also recognized and funded as an International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS).
The program is open to students from Germany and from abroad who hold a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent degree) in the biosciences, psychology, medicine, physics, or related fields. All courses are held in English. Scholarships are available. The academic year starts in mid-October, preceded by three weeks of orientation. Applications are welcome until January 15 of the year of enrollment.
Admission is only possible to the first segment, not directly to the PhD program. Applicants interested only in a PhD program should consider applying to one of the Göttingen PhD Programs (see participating institutions).
The first segment takes one year and comprises lectures, tutorials, seminars, methods courses, and independent research projects (laboratory rotations). Because teaching in the first year follows an intensive schedule without semester breaks, it is possible to accumulate 90 credits (ECTS) in a single year, allowing admission to the Master's exams in the end of this year. Subsequently, two separate segments are offered:
- PhD Program: Good to excellent results after the first year qualify for direct admission to a three-year doctoral project in one of the participating research groups. The Master's thesis requirement is waived. After successful defense of a doctoral thesis, the degree Doctor of Philosophy
(PhD) or the equivalent title Doctor rerum naturalium (Dr. rer. nat.) is conferred. Students who completed Medical School before entering the program may apply for an MD-PhD-degree. The MD-PhD title requires the German Approbation or equivalent. Recognition of foreign medical diplomas is handled by the 'Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen' in Bonn in co-opeartion with the 'Niedersächsisches Landesprüfungsamt für Heilberufe' in Hannover.
- MSc Program: Alternatively, students may conclude the program with a Master's thesis, based on six months of experimental, scientific research. The degree Master of Science (MSc) is awarded upon successful completion of the Master's thesis.
Special emphasis is placed on an all-round advisory service in both academic and extracurricular activities. For this service concept, the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs awarded the program with the 2004 prize for excellent support services for foreign students at German universities.
In October 2006, the Neuroscience Master's program was awarded the label "Top 10 International Master's Degree Courses made in Germany". The award was granted by "Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft" together with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in a national contest, in which 121 Master's programs of 77 universities participated. Criteria for the award were the innovative concept, a high degree of internationalization, scientific excellence of teaching, measures of quality assurance, services and counselling, and the alumni record. Together with the Göttingen Molecular Biology Program, the Neuroscience program was the only Master's program in the natural sciences and medicine that received this award.
The MSc/PhD/MD-PhD Program in Neurosciences closely collaborates with the MSc/PhD . Students interested in molecular biology and neurosciences are welcome to apply for both programs.