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1997 - 2019
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Master of Science in Organismic Biology, Evolutionary Biology and Palaeobiology

Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

The M.Sc. OEP-Biology is a research-oriented, international 2-year study programme at the university of Bonn, with more than 35 elective modules (modularized according to the ECTS). The programme provides a broad understanding of all aspects of Organismic Biology in an evolutionary context.


The M.Sc. OEP-Biology is a research-oriented, international study programme taught in English, which aims at providing students with a broad understanding of all aspects of Organismic Biology. Evolutionary biology and biodiversity research connect various disciplines such as Systematics, Phylogeny, Palaeobiology, Physiology, Ecology, Molecular Biology, Ethology and many more. Strong emphasis is given to practical research experience in the field and in the laboratories of the participating research groups and in the large collections of the Zoological Museum Alexander Koenig, the Goldfuß-Muse­um of Palaeontology and the Botanical gardens of the University of Bonn. Teaching in OEP-Biology is theory-oriented aiming at enabling students to think critically, analytically and strategically.


Students will finish the OEP Biology Master's program within 2 years: 3 semesters of study and 1 semester of master thesis. During the first 3 semester students have to collect 90 credit points (CP). In each semester there is one obligatory course, which is worth 10 CP. The other courses are elective (3-6 CP). However, students have to finish at least 7 courses from the 'Core courses' program. Please keep in mind that the 4th time block will take place during the summer and winter holidays. Here, it is possible to visit more than one elective practical course during this time. Additional to the elective pratical courses there are combined lecturers and seminars in the morning and late afternoon, which are also worth 3-6 CP. Finally, in each semester students have the possibility to deepen their knowledge in 1 course, which will count additional 4 CP. This is a good opportunity to deepen the knowledge in a special area, which might be the initiation of a later Master thesis.

Working schedule

The M.Sc. OEP-Biology course programme is consequently modularized according to the ECTS. A total of 120 credit points (CP), app. 30 per semester, will be accumulated during 2 years of study. During each of the first 3 semesters, an obligatory module (10 CP each) provides basic knowledge in causal and historical Evolutionary Biology, Biodiversity Research and general principals of Scientific Communication. Each semester, students additionally have to choose 3 to 4 elective modules (6 CP each) out of various areas. In the 4th semester, students work on their Master Thesis in one of the participating laboratories or collaborating institutions.

Competences to be acquired

OEP-Biology provides basic competences in Organismic Biology and the fundamental understanding that evolutionary research is the link between its various sub-disciplines. A broad spectrum of methodical skills in scientific research is imparted to the students, giving them the ability to solve scientific problems within international and interdisciplinary research groups and networks.  

Disciplines involved:

  • Evolutionary Biology and Ecology
  • Morphological and Molecular Systematics
  • Phylogeny
  • Palaeobiology
  • Physiology and Ethology

Institutions involved:

  • Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Ecology
  • Institute of Zoology
  • Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig
  • Steinmann Institute, Div. of Palaeontology
  • Goldfuß-Museum of Palaeontology
  • Botanical Institutes and Botanical Gardens

Your profile:

  • Interested in the evolution of organisms and biodiversity
  • Interested in broad and  interdisciplinary research
  • Interested in field and laboratory work
  • Good standard in the English language

Academic requirements:

B.Sc. in Biology or Geosciences (with emphasis on Palaeontology).
Interested? Have a look at
M.Sc. OEP-Biology >

How to apply:

To apply you must hold a Bachelor's degree in Biology or in Geology with a strong focus on Palaeontology. If you have not finished your Bachelor before the end of the application deadline you have to proof that you can realistically expect to finish it before the start of the Masters's program. Furthermore you need a proof of profiency in English (TOEFL 550 or computer TOEFL 213, IELTS 6.0 or equivalent proof of proficiency, e.g. seven years of Englisch at an European high school).

To apply send your CV together with your high school diploma, Bachelor's degree, proof of profiency in English and a short letter of motivation (1-2 pages) to:


Dr. Ingolf Rick
Programme Coordinator
Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Poppelsdorfer Schloss
53115 Bonn/Germany
Phone: +49 (0)228 73 5455/5758
Fax: +49 (0)228 73 2321

For further information visit the following website.
M.Sc. OEP-Biology >