Institute for Neurobiology


What's special about this program?

Three good reasons to choose this program:

  1. Broad spectrum of methods, levels of abstraction and wide variety of animal models apt for comparative studies.
  2. Lot's of practical courses. In particular the third semester is a full semester of practical education in different labs and topics.
  3. Many opportunities to choose courses according to own interests.

Why is there a mandatory course on "scientific computing"?

Because being able to work on gathered data in an automated and reproducible way is essential in modern neurosciences.

The course does not expect you to already know how to program but it assumes a certain willingness to take the challenge. If you feel like you need some head start consider the courses offered by the Dr. Eberle Center.

Lecture periods

Information regarding the lecture period and the course hours can be found in the online course catalogue ALMA. This system should be used to register for courses. Application periods for the upcoming winter term are usually in July/August, and February/March for the coming summer term.

What does ECTS mean?

ECTS credits are a measure of the amount of work needed to be invested into a course. One ECTS credit point equals a workload of about 30 hours (contact hours + self-reliant work + preparations for the exam). Each year of studies usually yields 60 credits.

What is the maximum study duration.

Graduation must be achieved with the end of the ninth semester. Failing to do so voids the right to be examinated.

In case of serious illness or something such, contact the academic advisory service.

Can I take more than 120 ECTS?

Of course! Up to 30 additional ECTS can be noted on the final transcript but will not be regarded for the final grade.

Does studying neurobiology involve working with animals?

The Master in Neurobiology  is a research-oriented programme that focuses on the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system. In order to convey the scientific and didactic content, experimental work on animal preparations is indispensable. Many learning objectives can only be achieved through hands-on practical experiences. Wherever suitable alternative teaching methods and materials are available, the use of animals is avoided. Alternative methods such as computer simulations, films, and models complement the theoretical foundations of neurobiology; however, they cannot replace the practical training on the real preparations. Therefore, completing the "Neurobiology" programme entirely without the use of animal preparations is not possible.

The legal and ethical aspects of this are an integral part of the curriculum.

Application & Admission

When and where can I apply?

The programm starts with each winter term. Currently, application opens mid of April and ends May 31. Registration via ALMA.

Is there a numerus clausus?

Yes. To be eligible you must have a grade of 2.5 or less. In the past year we admitted students with an average grade below 2.3.

I am still working on my BSc thesis, can I still apply?


In case that some grades, e.g. for your BSc thesis, are missing, you can still apply. The final grade can be handed in later but MUST be provided by the 31 of December of the same year.

Master thesis

Is it possible to write an external thesis?

It is possible to write an "external" thesis. That is, that the lab you are working in is not part of the Biology, e.g. at the CIN or the clinics.

You need to find two reviewers that must be allowed to act as examiners at the university. The list of possible examiners of the Biology department is available at the "Pruefungsamt". The same rule applies to theses written outside the university.

Does the thesis topic need to be neuroscience?


In case of doubt, contact the coordinator of the Master in Neurobiology program.

When can I start to write my Master's thesis?

To start the Master's thesis, at least 60 ECTS have to be achieved. The duration is six months.

Final grade.

The final grade is made up as the weighted average of all module grades (90 ECTS) plus the thesis (30 ECTS). The grade of the thesis hast double weight.

I just handed in my thesis, when can I get my final grades?

The certification and the final transcript of records is usually available 8 weeks after the thesis has been handed in.

In cases of greater hurry, you can get a perliminary certificate if both reviewers agree that the theses will be graded better than 4.0.