Frequently Asked Questions

Program, Application, and Admission

The program is open to domestic and international students holding a Bachelor's degree or higher in one of the life sciences, including Biology, Neurosciences, Medicine, Psychology, Biochemistry, Physics, Chemistry, Pharmacy, or related fields. 

You should have acquired knowledge in the subjects required as entrance requirements, such as molecular biology, cell biology, or physiology, as well as laboratory experience in at least one of the subjects.

If you have studied a motor distant field you can apply as long as you fulfill our requirements regarding knowledge and practical experience.

If you do not have finished your bachelor's studies yet, you can apply. Please upload your current transcript. The bachelor's degree has to be submitted during enrollment in October latest.

To have a realistic chance of acceptance, you need to have an average bachelor's result of at least 78% (in a grading system with a passing level of 50%).

The minimum grade for application is 2.3 in the German grading system. A Grade Conversion Tool can be found here: https://www.tum.de/en/studies/application/grade-conversion-formula-for-grades-earned-outside-germany/ (Please note, that the webpage is from Munich University and the information you find is not applied to our program.)

We cannot consider applications with a bachelor's grade that do not meet our minimum criterion.

You can apply at several Master's programs in Bonn or outside Bonn, or Germany parallel.

An English proficiency certificate is mandatory for application (TOEFL min. 550, or PC TOEFL min. 213, internet TOEFL (iBT) min. 79, respectively, or IELTS 6.0, UniCert, Cambridge, DAAD language test, or equivalent).

A minimum level of B2 related to the “Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment” (CEFR/GER) must be proven. English as the medium of instruction is not sufficient.

For German applicants, we accept the High School Diploma (Abitur) as long as the certificate states that the final grade corresponds to a level of at least B2.

Living or having studied for more than three months in or being a citizen of an English-speaking country would free you from this prerequisite.

The program is completely held in English, German skills are useful but not mandatory. It is possible to hand in the test result until May 01 of the application year.

  • CV
  • letter of motivation
  • current transcript of records
  •  bachelor’s (and Master's) certificate (if available)
  • copy of passport/ID
  • language proficiency proof (English as the medium of instruction is not sufficient)
  • 1-2 letters of recommendation (if available)

You can upload 1-2 letters of recommendation during the application, or let the letters be directly sent to neurosciences@uni-bonn.de by the referee. Letters of recommendation are not required but are advantageous.

After a first round of evaluation of the applications, prospective candidates will be requested by mail to sit a qualifying examination. It would be a written test with multiple-choice and free-text questions. We will ask for basic knowledge of neurosciences, as well as basic knowledge of Physics, Statistics, and Chemistry (high school level). We do not recommend any book chapters as the exam intends to check the applicant’s present knowledge.

We try to let the candidates sit the test in their home countries. Whether tests in all countries will be feasible and in which towns exactly is not known now.

You can do one of the two 8-week practical training/lab rotations in the third semester outside of Bonn or Germany. You should submit a short proposal stating why it is important to conduct an external lab rotation. 

Supervisors of your Master's thesis can be all teachers or lecturers who are significantly involved in our program. The second supervisor can be from outside of Bonn University. Conducting a thesis completely external is not possible.

The modules in our program will take place at Bonn University Medical School at Venusberg-Campus, Poppelsdorf-Campus, or at the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior (Ludwig-Erhard-Allee 2).

The program prepares students for future fundamental research and careers in various medical and biological fields of Neuroscience as well as for jobs in the pharmaceutical industry.

The course is research-oriented, which is why almost 75% of graduates go on to complete a doctorate. Due to the broad range of compulsory elective subjects, students can flexibly tailor their studies to their needs and also focus on application-oriented subjects.

As part of the last reaccreditation report from 2021, we investigated the career paths taken by our graduates. We are aware of the current activities of 100 graduates from the 2012/13 - 2017/18 cohorts.

74.4% of these graduates opted for a career in research; 70.5% of them are doing a doctorate or have completed a doctorate in Germany or abroad, 6.4% are currently working as postdocs, and 3.8% are conducting research at institutions without a doctoral background. 25.6% of graduates work in areas such as project management, clinical research, patent law, the chemical industry, science journalism, analytical consulting, or non-university teaching. One student went on to study human medicine, and two graduates have been looking for work.

For a PhD project, some absolvents stay in the labs in which they performed their Master’s thesis. It depends on your performance, the personal connection, and the financial capacities.
Moreover, there is the possibility to send an unsolicited application to a research group that interests you. There will be certain positions available for absolvents of the Master Neurosciences program. Please have a look at the web pages of the particular labs.
Furthermore, the Bonn International Graduate School of Neuroscience (BIGS Neuroscience) offers a structured 3-year PhD in a top-level, internationally competitive program.
The International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Brain & Behavior is a fully-funded PhD program in Bonn, Germany that offers a competitive world-class PhD training and research program in the field of neuroethology and neuroscience.
Other PhD job offers can be found on the job opportunities page from Bonn University.

The Neurosciences student council (Fachschaft) is set up to represent all master students and to promote their interests within the Master's program. This includes keeping a keen eye on the quality of the educational program, as well as improving and increasing communication between the Neuroscience board and master students. In regular meetings with the coordinators of the Master's program, the Neurosciences student council represents the student's interests to the best of their abilities.

In addition to work done concerning the Master's program, the Neurosciences student council organizes some social events at which students can meet each other.

To find out more about our student council, visit their website at http://www.fsneuro.uni-bonn.de

Usually, you will be informed after the deadline in April about the invitation to the aptitude test, which will take place in May.

The final admission or rejection will be announced End of May.

The best-ranked 80-90 applicants will be invited to the aptitude test in May. After the admission of the 20 applicants, we will have a waiting list with the test participants.

According to experience, we expect that some of those who have received admission refuse because of concurrent offers or other reasons. In case of such an event, we will invite applicants from the waiting list.

If you are studying in a Master's program in neurosciences or a related field and want to change to Bonn University, we have to check for recognition of your academic achievements.  Those gained in other degree programs, or in another degree program at the University of Bonn will be recognized if the acquired skills are deemed equivalent to those that would have been acquired at the University of Bonn.

If the recognition of the completed coursework is positive, you can enroll in the second semester.

The program does not award any scholarships. A scholarship database is available where you can get an overview of the various types of funding offered by the DAAD or of the program offered by other funding organizations for a study stay in Germany.

It is possible to apply for student assistant jobs at the different institutes at Bonn Medical School or Bonn University.

In case of admission, please apply for the visa as soon as you have received the admission letter. The visa application process might take some time and you will have to arrive in Bonn at the beginning of the winter semester. Due to the dense schedule, it is not possible to start your studies later than October each year.

For Indian applicants: Please note that the APS certificate is mandatory for all student visa applications. Find more information about the APS.

Please note that also applicants from China and Vietnam need an APS certificate for their student visa.

Prospective international students have to apply for a student visa at their respective German embassy before entering Germany. A list of embassies is available at the Federal Foreign Office.

All international students who wish to stay in Germany for more than three months must have a valid residence permit. This also applies to students from EU countries.
If you already have the required documentation or entry certifications for the period of your stay in your passport you do not need to contact the municipal immigration office. In that case, it is sufficient to get in touch with the Residents' Registration Office (Bürgeramt).
The municipal immigration office is where you can obtain a residence permit.

These are the documents you need:

a valid passport
notification of admission or the matriculation certificate
the registration confirmation of the Bürgeramt
evidence of financial cover of your studies
evidence of sufficient health insurance cover

For students coming from non-EU countries, additionally:

a visa for studying purposes

After having received the letter of admission by our program you can enroll at Bonn University. Enrollment is a matter of the student office nut by the program.

Please find information regarding the enrollment procedure on the website of the student office.

Student Life

Tuition fees for domestic and international students of the Master's program in Neurosciences are covered by the German government. Students are required to pay a Student service contribution ("Sozialbeitrag") of 325 € per semester to the university (state summer term 2023). This payment is compulsory for enrollment. The student service includes free public transport within the whole of North Rhine Westfalia and supports other student activities.

Please find more information about living expenses on the student office's website.

In Germany, enrollment in a degree program does not entitle students to accommodation; the University does not provide its students with a place to live. The University has, however, assembled the most important information on its website to help you find somewhere to live.

The International Office offers a dorm room reservation service for international students in collaboration with “Studierendenwerk”. The number of available rooms is very limited. Thus, we cannot guarantee a room for every international student. Nevertheless, the chance is higher compared to the direct application at the “Studierendenwerk”. You will be informed about the application procedure after admission.

In general, it is possible to work during your studies. Nevertheless, we do not recommend having a job in your first semester. It will be quite intensive and time-consuming.

If your schedule allows it you could work e.g. as a student assistant in one of the labs involved in our program. Please inform yourself on the web pages of the particular labs.

Other sources for student jobs are job portals by the University or Studierendenwerk.

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