Behavior and Cognition

Application for admission to the PhD program Behavior and Cognition

Details about the application procedure and selection criteria can be found in the admission regulations. We here provide a brief summary:

Who can apply?
Applicants must hold a master 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 program committee. Applications are also possible if applicants are currently enrolled in a relevant Master program, have obtained at least 90 ECTs-credits and if they are among the best 10% of their cohort.

Where to apply?
The application material must be submitted to the BeCog coordination office. All information and the required documents can be found under the link "apply now" in the right column of this page.

When to apply?
Applications for the following summer semester can be submitted until January 31st; applications for the upcoming winter semester can be submitted until July 31st.

Which documents must be submitted?


  • degree certificates. If the certificates are not issued in English or German, a translation (into English or German) is required.
  • a certificate of proficiency in English (see below for details)
  • certificates of additional qualifications relevant for the program. This includes publications, practical training, teaching and work experiences
  • a CV, written in English. It shall also cover the applicant's previous scientific career
  • a declaration whether another dissertation will be or has been completed successfully or unsuccessfully
  • a letter confirming supervison by a member of BeCog
  • a confirmation stating that no commercial facilitators were involved in the application process; furthermore, a confirmation is required that no benefits conflicting with the dissertation protocol were received and that there are no grounds that may lead to a withdrawal of a doctoral degree
  • a short project proposal


In addition, the submission of a standard form is required and is available for download.

Which language certificates are accepted?
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. Otherwise, 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
  • 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 program is accepted


Certificates must not be older than three years at the time of application.

What is the selection procedure?
Suitable candidates will be invited for a panel interview, which will take place in Göttingen or via a video conference. The interview takes approximately 30 minutes and covers the candidate's eligibility, her or his previous experiences and the proposed PhD program. At the beginning of the interview, candidates shall provide a short presentation (5-10 minutes) about the proposed PhD project and (facultatively) their Master thesis.

What happens after the interview?
The panel either suggests to accept or to reject the application, and the final decision is made by the program committee. The applicant is informed about the committee?s decision in writing. If an application is accepted, the applicant has to declare whether she or he accepts. If so, the program committee provides a confirmation letter, with which the applicant is eligible for enrollment.

Is it possible to join BeCog if already enrolled in another PhD program?
Yes, a change from another PhD program to BeCog is possible, if the applicant has not been enrolled in the other program for more than one year at the time of application.
Is a scholarship provided?
No, unfortunately BeCog cannot provide funding, salaries or scholarships. Applicants should discuss funding possibilities with their prospective supervisors.