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Geoscience at the University of Göttingen

The full spectrum of geoscience

We are well equipped to teach the full spectrum of geological sciences. We possess multiple, high-tech laboratories giving us access to a suite of the most modern analytical techniques in (bio-)geochemistry, thermochronology, age dating and other fields. We have a strong tradition in field geology and run excursions to spectacular locations in Europe and beyond. The institute also has strong capabilities in modern computational methods, with both our own equipment and through access to the central resources of the university and other research institutions on the Göttingen campus.

Students working in the thermochron lab. Photo: Sedimentology department

Numerical simulations of groundwater recharge through fractures. Illustration: J. Kordilla

International feel

Even though our English master's curriculum is brand new, our university and our institute already have an international character, with a dozen or more nationalities found amongst our graduate students and faculty. We bring experience from top institutions in many parts of the world together in one place. And our master's courses are given in English, but of course, just by being here, you'll get the chance to learn German for yourselves too, with free language tuition offered through the university. Our colloquium programme runs through both semesters and we welcome top scientists from all over the world on a weekly basis.

Martin, Ali, Alexandra and Katie discussing geology. Photo: D. Hindle

A great city to be in

Göttingen sits in the middle of Germany. From here, it's easy to reach a myriad of interesting destinations across a large part of Europe including Scandinavia with a mainline railway station and high-speed trains in all directions. The city itself boasts a lively pub and club scene, oriented strongly towards students. Göttingen's centre is a historical gem with its many 'fachwerk' buildings dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. It is just a 15-minute bike or bus ride away from the north campus where we are located. The surroundings are special too. The landscape around Göttingen is covered with beautiful outcrops and believe it or not, there are remnants of 12-million-year-old volcanoes a few kilometres away. Nearby are the Harz mountains, which show both basement geology and offer the chance for skiing in winter or adventure sports in summer. The cost of living is great too, it's comparable or slightly less than in the UK. More

The geoscience buildings are on the green north campus. Photo: J. Kley

Incredible history

Our university is linked to the UK by both its name (Georg-August-University) and its founder (Georg August of Hannover, otherwise known as King George II of England). Göttingen's tradition in mathematical and natural sciences is still a source of wonder. Over 40 Nobel Prize winners are associated with Göttingen. Carl Friedrich Gauss, widely regarded as a founder of much of modern mathematics, spent his life here. But geoscience is also represented by Victor Moritz Goldschmidt and Emil Wiechert, pioneers of modern geochemistry and seismology, respectively.

No tuition fees

There are no tuition fees at the university. There is a registration fee of €350 each semester which also entitles you to reduced rates at the university´s canteens, year-round free travel on all local transport and even regional rail links as far as Hannover, Hamburg, Bremen and the North Sea coast.

How study is organised

The two-year master's programme is very flexible. In general, there are five focus areas: geology, hydrogeology, geochemistry, geobiology and geomaterials. You may choose to focus on any of these or study some of all of them. There are courses and exams through the first three semesters, including an optional three-month project on a topic of your own choice. The fourth semester is dedicated entirely to the six-month MSc thesis.

Great field trips (here: Oman) are part of the curriculum. Photo: S. Siegesmund

Application deadlines

1st June for start in the winter semester (classes from mid-October to end January)
1st December for start in the summer semester (classes from mid-April to mid-July)

More information

Application form


Matthias Deicke (Curriculum coordinator)
Email: geowissenschaften@geo.uni-goettingen.de
Phone: +49 551 39-10866

Jonas Kley (Dean of studies)
Email: jkley@gwdg.de
Phone: +49 551 39-7930

Göttingen geoscience on the web