Application and Enrolment

The following points provide an overview of the different phases of the degree.

In the first section you can find all relevant information on the application procedure and enrolment. If you come across any questions that are not (or insufficiently) covered in this text, please let us know.


To assess whether you meet the admission requirements for PhD studies, you can view the current admission regulations. Please understand that we can only carry out an exact check after receiving a complete application.

If you want to pursue a PhD, you have to find a professor who is willing to supervise your research. If you apply for advertised salaried positions at a chair, the chairholder will usually be your supervisor by default. If you have an idea for a project but no salaried position, you will have to contact potential supervisors and convince them of your project. You can only apply for admission to the GFA once you have found a supervisor. The GFA cannot help you with this.

For information on the foci of research, current projects, and contact details, please go to the individual departmental websites:

The confirmation of supervision is required for your application. It is also possible to agree upon a "conditional confirmation of supervision" instead, which only comes into full effect once you have secured funding (usually a scholarship) for your project.


Once you have found a supervisor, you can create your application online using our application form. If you have been enrolled at the Georg-August-Universität within the last 13 month, you can register at the eCampus and use a partially pre-filled version of the application form under "More" → "Forms" → "Public Forms" → " Application for admisson - ...". Please note that you have a total of one hour to complete the application form. Below you will find an overview of the documents required for your application. It is best to ensure in advance that these are available in digital form.

  1. A photocopy of your passport

  2. A tabular Curriculum vitae

  3. If applicable, evidence of your proficiency in German or English:
    Applicants whose native language is not English are asked to submit a proof of proficiency in English (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, GRE Scores).

  4. Copies of your degree certificates:
    Please upload a copy of your certificate(s) from (all of) the university (universities) you attended. Your certificates have to be in either English or German. If you have not yet finished your Master’s degree at the time of application, you can submit the certificate later. In addition, the examination office will need officially certified copies of your certificates. You can either submit the certified copies or bring the originals with you, which will then be copied and certified at the office.

    Please note that certificates issued in Mongolia will only be accepted if they are accompanied by an APS certificate. Nigerian certificates have to be sent by airmail directly from your university’s registrar’s office in a sealed envelope to the following address:

    Geschäftsstelle der Graduiertenschule
    Forst- und Agrarwissenschaften (GFA)
    Büsgenweg 5
    37077 Göttingen
    Germany

  5. A preliminary draft of your research proposal:
    Please note our guideline.

  6. Declaration according to § 6 (2) GFA doctoral regulations:
    You can download the form here. Please fill it in, sign and upload it to the application portal.
Your application to the GFA has as its aim to be accepted as a doctoral student and gain admission to doctoral studies. It does not entail a job contract or entitle you to a scholarship. Rather, it is the basis for enrolment.

You can submit your application through the online portal all year round. Before filling in the application, you should decide on the semester in which you would like to start and be admitted. We can only issue renewed admissions for later semesters in justified individual cases (e.g., delays due to visa issues). Please bear in mind that, in particular cases, processing your application may take up to three months.

If you have previously been admitted to a programme which is now under the umbrella of the GFA, you can apply to change to the new doctoral degree regulations. This may come with a couple of advantages: For example, under the new regulations, it is now easier to graduate with a thesis by publication (kumulative Dissertation), and it is also possible to obtain the degrees of "Dr. rer. nat." or "Dr. rer. pol". You can compare the different doctoral degree regulations.To continue your studies under the new doctoral degree regulations, please fill in the application form.

Once you have completed and submitted your application, it will be assessed by the graduate committee. In "easy" cases (e.g., if you hold degrees from German universities), this can be done by one representative of the graduate committee. In these cases, applications are pooled and assessed about once a month. The full graduate committee usually meets once every three months. When you have received your letter of admission, please remember that you now have to file certified copies of your degree certificates and transcripts with the GFA, or have the originals copied and certified at our office. You are further expected to accept (or decline) the offer of a place within 4 weeks. To do so, a short note via e-mail to gfa@uni-goettingen.de is sufficient.
Admissions to the PhD programme "Molecular Sciences and Biotechnology of Crops and Trees" go through the dean's office of the Faculty of Forest Sciences and are assessed by a different committee.

After you have received your letter of admission, you can enrol. You can enrol at any time during the semester. A comprehensive guideline to enrolment in five steps can be found on the website of the Office of Student Affairs. You have to start with "step 2".
If you have questions concerning enrolment, semester fees, possible exemptions, and the like, please contact the service and counselling facilities of the Office of Student Affairs.
If you are still enrolled in the master's programme at the University of Göttingen, you can easily change to the PhD programme without a new enrolment. There will not be any additional costs. For this transfer you need the document "Application for change of course of studies (subject change)", which you can find at the pdf-download section of the Office of Student Affairs' websites. Please hand in the filled in document to the Office of Student Affairs.

In order to prepare you for the demands of the coming years, we would like to give you important information in an introductory event. Participation is optional and serves your information as well as a first acquaintance.

Current event dates can be found at the introductory event webpage.

3 months at the latest after you have been admitted to doctoral studies/a PhD programme, the graduate committee will appoint your thesis committee which you have to nominate within 2 months after admission. The thesis committee must have at least three members. Please also note the information on the formal requirements and the additional details which you need to provide about your nominees. You can already submit the nomination of your thesis committee together with your application. The document also includes the supervisory agreement which comes into effect as soon as the graduate committee appoints your thesis committee. The agreement formalises the relationship between the supervisors and the supervisee.
Those members on your thesis committee who are authorised examiners will automatically be on your examination board. The examination board comprises at least three authorised examiners. If there are only two authorised examiners on your thesis committee, you will have to nominate another member for your examination board who is authorised to examine. If you are not sure whether a member on your thesis committee holds the authorisation to examine, please remember to clarify their status well in advance of your scheduled examination date: Applications to be granted examination authorisation restricted to your doctoral process (Einzelprüfungsberechtigung) may be quite time consuming for everyone involved.

Other sections of the Doctoral Degree Guideline: