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Check your general suitability for the EEC program

An important criterion in the selection process (see also below) is a BSc in Biology, Ecology, Evolution, Conservation or related subjects (for what counts as related, see target audience) with a good grade point average. If your BSc programme is not in such a related field, it is unliklely that you will be accepted to this programm. 

When you are in doubt about the suitability of your studies, it is highly recommended that you write an informal email with your transcript of records (list of courses) and ideally the abstract of a written thesis or research project to

We will respond to you via email if an application would likely be susccessful. This step is generally recommended for all applicants that do not come from a European university!

Selection criteria

The selection criteria for the program are:

  1. Relevant content of your BSc program to the areas of ecology, evolution and conservation
  2. Grade point average of your qualifying degree (typically your BSc degree) 
  3. Answers to a subject-specific task / entry exam question (for details, see below)

How to apply

You can apply any time, but the selection will always happen after June 15 (deadline), for starting the studies in the winter term (October). We would therefore recommend that you apply shortly before this date. For your application, you need:

  • A cover letter (1 page max.), stating at least that you are applying to the EEC program, but ideally also including a very brief summary of your background and your motivation for applying to the program. 
  • Your BSc certificate (or a certificate of an equivalent degree with at least 180 CP) including a transscript of records. If you do not have your degree certificate yet, you can also submit a transcript of records with at least 150 CP. Your degree certificate can then be submitted later if you are accepted to the program.
  • A detailed CV summarizing your education and relevant work or internship experience
  • A Certificate of English (at least level B2). For details and how to obtain this see the comments on the application procedure for the MSc Biology
  • Your solution to the entry exam question for the EEC program (details see below)

Applicants from non-German universities additionally need to supply:

  • A full transcript of records with grades for each course including a syllabus / course catalogue which specifies the content of each course. All documents must be in German or English (if the original is not in German or English, you must provide a certified translation).
  • Certificate of German language skills (at least A1). If you do not have this certificate at the time of your application, you can obtain it during your first year of study. If you are a citizen of a German-speaking country or went to school in a German-speaking country (e.g. Austria, Switzerland), we will also consider this as proof of your German language skills.

All files should be combined in one pdf file and sent to the email specified below in the section "Checklist". The deadline for applications is June 15th.

Entry exam question:

To evaluate your background knowledge and thinking in ecology, evolution and conservation, we ask you to write a scientific essay (maximum 3 pages, Arial, 11pt, references do not count towards the page limit) on the following question:

What would happen if all pollinators were removed from the terrestrial ecosystems globally?

In your answer, please address the implications for a) ecology, b) evolution, and c) conservation, using all relevant theories/models/concepts from these fields that are typically discussed in lectures, textbooks or the scientific literature. The intended audience for your essay is researchers in the field of EEC, so this should not be a superficial text that could appear in a newspaper, but a text using the relevant techncial terms and referring to ongoing discussions in the scientific literature. The more this sounds like a scientific paper, the better. Therefore, you should also cite textbooks and scientific literature wherever possible, and appropriate references to the scientific literature are considered when evaluating the essays (note that citations do not count to the page limit, so you can cite as many papers as you want).

Plagiarism and AI check: By submitting your essay, you confirm that the text was written by you alone, without the use of any other resources, people, or software. By submitting, you also grant us the right to run the text through software and databases that check for plagiarism or AI writing (e.g. chatGTP). If plagiarism or the use of AI is suspected, the selection committee will discuss the case and may ask you for an additional interview. If the selection committee is convinced that the text was not created by the applicant, your application will be rejected.

Checklist for the application

  1. When in doubt, have you asked via whether an application makes sense at all?
  2. Do you have prepared all documents as specified above?
  3. Have you written the essay on the exam question?
  4. Do you have all documents (including your essay, records etc.) combined into a single pdf file?

Then, you should be ready to go. Send your application with ONE pdf file attached before June 15th to:

Frequently asked questions:

  • Can I start the studies in the summer term? No, this is not possible. You have to apply for the winter term and start in the winter term.
  • If I am currently enrolled in the MSc Biology, how can I apply for a change in the MSc EEC? Please just follow the normal application procedure above, noting in your cover letter that you are already in the EEC.