PhD studies

The following points provide an overview of the different phases of the PhD studies.

This page covers topics that will come up during your doctoral studies. If you come across any questions that are not (or insufficiently) covered in this text, please let us know.



During your studies, you need to complete modules with the extent of 20 to 30 credits (ECTS), depending on the doctoral studies/ PhD programme.

1. Modules of the module catalogue of the doctoral studies/a PhD programme
The GFA module catalogues collect the programme specific modules. Dates and times are available through UniVZ. Usually, you do not need to register for courses. Please ask your instructors about the modalities for exam registrations. The Doctoral Certificate Programme in Agricultural Economics is an exception. Please visit their websites for information on dates and registration policy for modules. To receive credits for a GFA workshop, please hand in the certificate to the examination office, or to Jutta Hohlstamm (for the doctoral studies: "Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology" and "Wood Biology and Wood Technology").

2. Modules, courses, workshops of external hosts
Moreover, you are free to attend modules/courses offered by other faculties, universities or research institutions. To transfer module credits at the Faculty of Forest Sceinces and Forest Ecology, you will need the form transfer of courses, which you have to submit to Ms Jutta Hohlstamm. She and the persons in charge at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences can also advise you on which external courses may be eligible for transfer.

The minimum amount for the recognition of courses is one ECTS credit.

Please note that undergraduate seminar cannot be credited towards your degree. In justified cases, Master's seminars can be transferred to the extent of up to 50%, or 12 ECTS credits. You will have to include further information with your application: if the seminar is not clearly assigned to either BSc or MSc level, you will have to attach additional information. Please also submit a syllabus and indicate the credit load as well as the assessment type(s).

We recommend that you see the academic advisors right soon after enrolment to plan your course of study. At the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences a study plan is used for this purpose.

Persons in charge

Apart from attending modules, you can also, e.g., participate in workshops or attend symposiums. The GFA has a range of possible options: courses offered by GFA. Some of the workshops are organised jointly with the other graduate schools in Göttingen. The Qualifications portal for doctoral students gives you a comprehensive overview. GFA workshops can be credited towards your degree. If you plan to take courses offered by one of the other graduate schools, you should see the respective academic advisor in advance.

To receive credits for a GFA workshop, please hand in the certificate to the examination office of agriculture, or to Jutta Hohlstamm (for the doctoral studies: "Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology" and "Wood Biology and Wood Technology").

The GFA newsletter is another possibility to stay informed about workshops and courses. You can sign up for the newsletter with your application or by e-mail to gfa@uni-goettingen.de.

How to apply for the recognition of courses?

You can apply for the recognition of courses informally by email. To do so, please get in touch with Dr Nina Härter.

When should you apply for the recognition of courses?

Applications for recognition can be submitted on an ongoing basis. Changes can also be made at any time.
Note: Please do not wait until the last minute. If you are still missing credits, it will be impossible to provide them in the short term and you will have to postpone the submission of your dissertation.

What is recognisable?

All modules that are offered in the doctoral programmes at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences (but also at other faculties, universities). It is also possible to complete a maximum of 50% of the credits from the Master's programme, provided these modules were not yet credited in the previous Master's programme.
In the case of coursework without credits, 30 h of work = 1 credit.
In the case of courses that are not listed in the modules handbook of the doctoral programme of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, the assignment to the respective sections (professional knowledge, methods, etc.) must be checked individually.
Note: Please contact Dr Nina Härter well in advance, possible recognition can already be checked prior to the course.

How to apply for the recognition of courses?

Please fill in the application form for each course.
Please attach to each application a proof of the course work completed - either certificates, attestations, poster copies, lecture programmes, FlexNow proofs, etc. If there is no certificate or comparable proof (e.g. doctoral colloquium, teaching activities), please let the person(s), who is/are responsible for the course or performance record, sign on the application form.
It is preferred that you submit the applications in paper form to Jutta Hohlstamm from the Dean of Studies Office. You can use the letterbox in Büsgenweg 5, 1st floor, next to the caretaker's office (letterbox wall).
Once approved by the Graduate Committee, your courses will be stored in a file at GFA. You will not receive separate notification of this. We will only contact you if there are any discrepancies or if recognition is denied. We recommend that you make your own records or copies for your documentation.

When should you apply for the recognition of courses?

It is advisable to submit applications by semester or year.
Note: Please do not wait until the last minute. If you are still missing credits, it will be impossible to provide them in the short term and you will have to postpone the submission of your dissertation.

What is recognisable?

All offered modules in the doctoral area at our university (but also at other faculties, universities).
It is also possible to complete a maximum of 12 credits from the Master's programme if these modules were not already taken in the previous Master's studies.
Please note that each module can only be recognized once, i.e. the PhD colloquium in your research group will be recognized once with 3 credits.
At conferences and congresses, 3 credits each can be recognised for own oral or poster presentations. It is possible to receive credits for several lectures/posters at different conferences. The supervision of final theses (Bachelor/Master) is credited with 3 credits each.
For all other credits (e.g. teaching or project management), 30 h of work = 1 credit.
Note: If you would like to do courses outside colleges/universities, please discuss this in advance with Jutta Hohlstamm.


In the course of your degree, you will have to submit several progress reports to your thesis committee. You have to submit at least one report per year. The graduate committee has defined the frame and form of the report. The guideline can be found here. Please keep in mind that the progress reports should prepare you for the examination and improve your work as well as your personal network within your field of research.

Other sections of the Doctoral Degree Guideline: