Georg-August-Universität offers an integrated bi-national four-semester Master's programme in International Nature Conservation. The degree is a double degree offered jointly by Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen and Lincoln University, New Zealand, and can be held as Master of Science (M.Sc.) or Master of Science/Master of International Nature Conservation (M.Sc./M.I.N.C.). Main characteristics:

  • Course Language: English
  • Focus on international problems in nature conservation, with a broad basis in conservation biology
  • Compulsory study semesters at both Lincoln and Georg-August-Universität
  • Compulsory internship semester (including a practical project)

The next application period is from 01 April - 15 May 2021. This master program offers 10 places of study per year.
Application procedure: The registration period for applying ended on 15th May 2021. The next application window opens from 01 April 2022 - 15 May 2022. Instructions on how to apply will be announced then on this website. Applications are to be handed in as a pdf only.

Admission Criterea for the Master of International Nature Conservation

  • six semester Bachelor degree in Biology, Biodiversity, Ecology or equivalent fields (at least 150 of 180 Credit Point have to be achieved so far respectively 83,5 % of the required credit points of your study program)
  • At least half of the credits of your Bachelor Degree need to be awarded in one or several of the following fields: Agricultural Sciences, Biodiversity, Biology, Ecology, Forest Sciences, Geography, Nature Conservation, Veterinary Medicine, Wildlife Management or similar.
  • sufficient knowledge of the English language
  • motivation
  • previous special experiences and expertise in international nature conservation
  • not to have already finished or definitely failed a master program in the field of nature conservation.

Application period

  • 01 April - 15 May (Start Göttingen in October, or Start in Lincoln the following February )

  • Applicants will be ranked according to ranking scales found here: admission regulations (in German), and the best candidates will be selected. Admission at Georg-August-Universität is only possible in winter semester.

    Applicants have to submit:

    • The filled out Application form (will be available on 01 April 2021)
    • a copy of your current transcript and Bachelors certificate (in case of an admission, original copies of final parchments need to be handed in until 15th Nov 2020)
    • your CV (German or English)
    • a letter of motivation (approx. 2 pages in English)
    • letters of recommendation / job references (if available) and
    • one of the required English certifcates (can be handed in until 15 November)

    You can also apply with a Diploma.

    Applicants do not need to find a thesis supervisor for applying

  • For this master program, applicants do not need to present a thesis supervisor. Students start to prepare for their master thesis during their 2nd or 3rd master semester, which is when they start to contact possible supervisors.

  • English language certificate:

  • Applicants have to submit the result of an internationally recognized test of English as a foreign language (in case English is not mother language), either

    • a) „Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE)“: at least Niveau 4, or
    • b) Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English: at least with the grade „B“;, or
    • c) Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English: at least with the grade „C“, or
    • d) CEF („Common European Framework”): at least Level C1, or
    • e) IELTS Academic („International English Language Testing System"): at least Band 6,5 (and in each part at least 5.5 points), or
    • f) internet based Test of the „Test of English as a Foreign Language” TOEFL ibt (new internet based TOEFL): at least 94 Points, or
    • g) UNIcertF: at least level III;
    • h) at least two years stay abroad for studying or working in an anglophone country within the last three years.
    • i) sucessfull graduation of an anglophone bachelor programme

    The test of English must have been passed during the last three years.

    Application procedure: The registration period for applying ended on 15th May 2021. The next application window opens from 01 April 2022 - 15 May 2022. Instructions on how to apply will be announced then on this website. Applications are to be handed in as a pdf only.

    In case the authors of your Letters of recommendation wish to send in those directly, they shall email them as pdfs to

    Applicants who fulfill the admission criteria will be ranked and the best applicants will be selected for a 20 min interview within one month after the application deadline. This interview focuses on the existence of a background in the field of nature conservation, previous knowledge/expertise, your ideas about the content of the program, and your self-assessment of working attitudes.

    Semester start:

  • In Göttingen: Winter semester: October - March
    Period of lectures winter semester 20/21: October 25, 2021 - February 11, 2022
  • In Lincoln: Semester one: mid Feb to June
    Semester two: July to mid Oct

  • Applicants who enroll at the University of Göttingen and wish to start their studies at Lincoln University have to get admitted and fully enrolled for Winter Semester. If accepted then, they can start their studies in February in Lincoln.

    This program is offered separately by two Universities, Goettingen University, Germany and Lincoln University, New Zealand. Both programs do have a compulsory study semester at the other partner university. So you are welcome to apply only at Goettingen University or only at Lincoln University for their M.I.N.C.-program, or at both universities. In case you apply at both universities and receive an offer of place by both universities, you may freely choose where you`d like to get fully enrolled. At that university then you have to pay the tuition fees required by that University. See Homepage Lincoln University

    Study Semester at Goettingen University
    The enrollment fees for the study semester at Goettingen University for summer semester 21 are as follows:
  • Administration fee: 75 Euro 00 Cent
  • Student body fee: 9 Euro 00 Cent
  • Railway ticket: 142 Euro 92 Cent
  • Bus ticket: 50 Euro 90 Cent
  • Culture ticket: 9 Euro 84 Cent
  • Studentenwerk fee: 102 Euro 00 Cent
  • Total: 389 Euro 66 Cent
  • Semester Fees

    Internship-Semester and Master Thesis
    For each semester spent abroad, German M.I.N.C.-students only pay the administration expense of 75 € at Goettingen University and international M.I.N.C.-students are exempted from all fees at Goettingen University for that semester.
    German Students have to pay at least the administration fee each semester, that is twice a year. Since the program contains 4 semesters fees have to be paid at least 4 times.
    Lincoln University
    German M.I.N.C.-Students from Goettingen University pay the administration fees at Goettingen University for their semester spent at Lincoln University. At Lincoln University all M.I.N.C.-students pay an administration fee of about 702 NZ$ (approx. 450 €) Euro in addition to the full tuition fees for one study semester of about 9270 NZ$ (approx. 5500 €).

    Example for enrollment and tuition fees for a German M.I.N.C.-student who spends the internship abroad, but the master thesis in Goettingen

    • Study Semester at Goettingen University: approx. 384 Euro
    • Study Semester at Lincoln University approx. 10 500 NZ$ + 75 Euro
    • Internship Semester (abroad) 75 Euro
    • Master Thesis (in Goettingen) approx. 390 Euro

    Example for enrollment and tuition fees for an international M.I.N.C.-student who spends the internship abroad, but the master thesis in Goettingen

    • Study Semester at Goettingen University: approx. 384 Euro
    • Study Semester at Lincoln University approx. 10 500 NZ$
    • Internship Semester (abroad) 0 Euro
    • Master Thesis (in Goettingen) approx. 390 Euro

    Further costs:

    • Flight expenses to and from New Zealand
    • Insurance costs
    • Living expenses
    • travel and potential other expenses for the internship semester and the master thesis.

    Health Insurance By law, all students enrolled at Goettingen University have to have a Health Insurance as long as they are enrolled. Health insurance in Germany costs about 105 Euro per month or for students >30 years about 150 Euro per month. Also acceptable is a "European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)". It is not possible to take up an international health insurance instead.

    Costs of living in Göttingen The average student needs about 600-800 € per month for rent, health insurance, food clothes etc. If you stay at a students residence, you pay about 250 - 400 Euros rent each month, which is a very reasonable price. More information about living expenses in Goettingen

    Scholarships There is unfortunately no special scholarship for M.I.N.C. students, but there are databases for students to find a suitable scholarship:

    Nature Conservation is the conservation, sustainable and equitable use of nature and its goods and services. The education programme provides a platform for an international professional career in nature conservation by enhancing postgraduate comparative studies at twinned Universities through contrasting issues between the southern and northern hemisphere.

    Innovative features and rationales:

    • links to the international initiatives within the Convention on Biological Diversity
    • shared supervision based on collaborative research
    • support and endorsement by an international advisory committee
    • learning by contrasts, multi-experience and multi-location
    • different countries, different problems, different solutions
    • network of developed, developing and transformation countries
    • practical problem solving at a local, regional and global scale
    • holistic understanding of environmental management

    The main rationale of the programme is learning by contrasts between countries and circumstances to meet contemporary demands of local, regional and global nature conservation issues

    The programme consists of 4 parts:

    • 1. a study semester at Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, Germany (25%, 30 Credits);
    • 2. a study semester at Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand (25%, 30 Credits);
    • 3. an internship semester including a practical project (25%, 30 Credits);
    • 4. the Master thesis (25%, 30 Credits).

    Depending on the combination of one of the two possible Lincoln University Semesters with Winter Semester (WiSe) or Summer Semester (SoSe) at Georg-August-University, there are three principal organizational options:

    For Students, who start at Georg-August-Universität: (a) If the study semester at Lincoln University will be the second semester:

    • 1. Semester: Georg-August Universität (Oct. - Mid February, WiSe)
    • 2. Semester: Lincoln University (End of February.- Mid June, S1)
    • 3. Semester: Internship (July - Dec)
    • 4. Semester: Master thesis (Jan - Oct)

    (b) If the Internship semester will be the second semester:

    • 1. Semester: Georg-August Universität (Oct.- Mid February, WiSe)
    • 2. Semester: Internship (End of February.- Mid June, S1)
    • 3. Semester: Lincoln University (July - October)
    • -
    • 4. Semester: Master thesis (October - March)

    For Students, who start at Lincoln University: Students have to enroll at Georg-August-University in October before they go to New Zealand.

    • 1. Semester: Lincoln University (End of February - End of May, Semester I)
    • 2. Semester: Internship (May - October)
    • 3. Semester Georg-August Universität (October - February, WiSe)
    • 4. Semester: Master thesis (February - September)

    For details see appendix 3 of the study regulations

    The study semesters provide students with a basic understanding of Conservation Biology and offer insights into international conservation problems. Compulsory courses at Georg-August-Universität (Conservation Biology and Assessment, Monitoring and Conservation Strategies) focus on the stucture of, and basic theories and research approaches in Conservation Biology, reasons for biodiversity loss, the role of population biology as well as on methods to describe biodiversity and wildlife populations and practical strategies for recovery. At Lincoln, a combination of modules are compulsory among which there are Advanced Ecology and Environmental Sciences for Environmental Policy, Research Methods in Ecology, and Aspects of Sustainability.

    For details see the Course overview

    The internship semester aims to provide hands-on experienced through interaction with practitioners, and is therefore an important component of the programme. Students will acquire practical skills by assisting in field and project work at a scientific host institution or at an international nature conservation organization or NGO. The practical project will cover three months minimum.
    In the past, students have e.g. been working at the following office or field based locations:

    • IUCN World Headquarters, Switzerland
    • KfW, Germany
    • Bundesamt für Naturschutz, Bonn, Germany
    • UNEP offices in Germany, UK and Kenya
    • Conservation International, Indonesia
    • Department of Conservation, New Zealand
    • Seychelles Islands Foundation, Seychelles
    • Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama
    • WWF: Ecuador, Costa Rica, Malaysia and USA
    • Wildlife Conservation Society, Fidji

    On graduation students will

    • have learned to contrast and evaluate nature conservation issues and solutions in countries with different biogeographical, human, geological, political, cultural and historical backgrounds

    • have gained first hand practical experience of contemporary conservation issues in a new setting, enabling them to think flexibly outside their home environment and to formulate innovative and novel but practical approaches to solving conservation problems

    • benefit from the academic complementarity between different universities and lecturers, providing them with a unique breath of knowledge of different conservation issues. Students will graduate with having taken a broader range of course subjects through complementarity and will profit from speciality subjects of hosts countries not available at one single academic institution

    • be able to give broader ranges of interpretation and enriched alternative views on common and unique conservation issues

    • have taken part in nature conservation research training based on international collaboration and experience in different countries