Biodiversity - Study programs

Studying Biodiversity in Göttingen

The setting in Southern Lower Saxony, right in the heart of Germany, makes Göttingen an ideal place for studying the diversity of the fauna, flora, vegetation and ecosystems of Central Europe. In the city's immediate surroundings, different geological substrates and various forms of land use have created a highly diverse pattern of ecological environments and communities. Within a radius of 150 km, distinctly contrasting regions such as the Harz Mountains, the heath land around Lüneburg, the Weser hill country, the mountain plateau of the Rhön and the Thuringian Forest with their national parks and biosphere reserves provide interesting destinations for excursions.

The Georg August University of Göttingen combines a wide range of disciplines in environmental research. Basic and applied research into biodiversity is conducted in the three "green faculties" (Faculties of Biology, Agricultural Sciences, and Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology) as well as in the Faculty of Geosciences and Geography, and has gained international reputation.

For studies in biological diversity and ecology, the University of Göttingen provides excellent conditions. The central research facilities include the following institutions:

  • the Botanical Garden with
    - The Systematics Section ("Old Botanical Garden") with more than 10,000 plant species;
    - The Section Experimental Ecology ("New Botanical Garden") with outdoor research
    facilities as well as air-conditioned greenhouses and plant growth chambers, and
    - The Botanical Garden of the Faculty of Forest Sciences with the plant-geographical
    arboretum, a collection of about 2,000 woody plant species;
  • The Göttingen University Herbarium with about 800,000 specimens of dried plants from all parts of the world, including a set of plants from the South Sea collected by Georg Forster on the second voyage of James Cook;
  • The Culture Collection of Algae (SAG, Sammlung von Algenkulturen der Universität Göttingen); with more than 2,200 culture strains, it is the largest algae collection of Europe;
  • The Zoological Museum;
  • The Museum of the Geoscience Centre Göttingen;
  • The Library of the University of Göttingen, which is one of the five largest libraries of Germany;
  • The Library of the Faculty of Forestry, the dedicated library for Forest Sciences in Germany;
  • The Corporation for Scientific Data Processing (GWDG), which provides facilities for data processing, computer-equipped training rooms, student-accessible computers at the campus and WLAN access.

Degree Programs in Biological Diversity and Ecology

Since the winter semester 2004/2005, new Bachelor, Master's and Ph.D. degree programs in Biological Diversity and Ecology are running at the University of Göttingen. The degree programs aim at offering a high-level academic education according to international standard in the fields of biological diversity and ecology, which is closely linked with research activities. The Faculty of Biology is in charge of the degree programs that are coordinated by the Göttingen Centre for Biodiversity and Ecology (GCBE). The following Faculties are also involved:

  • Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
  • Faculty of Geosciences and Geography
  • Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology (Master's and Ph.D. program)

Credits are awarded in accordance with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), which facilitates the acceptance of study results in Europe. One credit (C) is equivalent to a workload of 25 hours.