Evolution, Ecology and Systematics

Study information
Key facts
Master of Science
4 Semesters
Teaching language
Tuition fee
Semester contribution
€ 272,65
Start of studies
Winter semester
Part-time possible
Faculty of Biological Sciences
Application & Deadlines

Programme summary

The Master's program Evolution, Ecology and Systematics aims at students with a bachelor's degree in biology who are interested in molecular and organismic issues. Provided are in-depth knowledge of biological systems with a clear focus to current research in organismic and evolutionary biology.

The study is interdisciplinary, so that competencies in ecology, biodiversity (including taxonomic knowledge), evolutionary biology, paleontology, systematics and phylogenetics can be acquired at different organizational levels and for different groups of organisms.

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Video: Faculty of Biological Sciences

Special features

Our mission statement is to provide all students with an individual profiling based on a well-founded basic education. The students complete the five compulsory modules on Basics in Evolutionary Research, Ecology and Diversity, Species Identification, Experimental Design and Analysis of Biological Data, as well as an Excursion. For the required elective modules, we leave a great deal of scope for individual choices from modules of the participating Institutes for Zoology and Evolutionary Research, Ecology and Evolution and Biodiversity.

Career opportunities

Our graduates will be able to carry out research-oriented activities at universities, non-university research institutions, museums, public authorities, associations or the private sector.

Our graduates acquire the communicative skills required to present scientific results to the public and can also gain international experience through the possibility of a semester abroad.
In particular, the Master's program qualifies for scientific careers and is the prerequisite for a postgraduate doctoral studies in Zoology, Botany, Systematics, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Microbiology and Functional Biodiversity Research at the FSU Jena as well as in Germany and abroad. The education qualifies for scientific work in all highly topical professional fields of the organismic biology.

Eligibility - or what we expect of you

The study program aims at students of all biological disciplines, but has a strong
focus on organismic biology. Half of the study program is devoted to elective
modules which allows individualised specialisations on specific research areas in
zoology, botany, ecology, microbiology, populations genetics, evolution and
biodiversity.The other half of the study program comprises compulsory modules that all students
have to take.

Because of that, students should fulfil some minimum requirements for
a successful application:                                                                                                                                          • a basic training in zoology, botany and ecology
• basic knowledge of concepts in evolution, biodiversity and genetics
• experience with taxonomic species determination of animals and/or plants
• experience with statistical data analysis, preferably with R

Regarding soft skills, we expect the following:                                                                                                     • advanced use of English (writing, reading, speaking, listening)
• experience with independent search and reading of primary literature
• oral presentation skills

Admission requirements

  • Undergraduate degree or equivalent

    For this master's programme you need a subject-specific undergraduate degree (minimum 6 semesters/180 ECTS-Credits) or an equivalent degree.

    ​The overall grade (CGPA) of the bachelor's degree must be GOOD or better (German and US systems: 2.7).

    Applicants from a different field of study and applicants whose final overall grade is less than 2.7 (according to the German grading system) but who meet all other admission requirements may be admitted to the study programme if their application illustrates particular aptitude for the master’s programme Evolution, Ecology and Systematics. To prove particular aptitude, a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae, proof of previous practical experiences, and the practical orientation of the training must be admitted with the application, and professional and personal commitment must be shown.


  • Language requirements

    This master's programme requires the following language proficiency:

    • good proficiency in English (a direct proof by certificate is not compulsory)

Application documents

  • CV

    Your CV should have a tabular form, containing key information on your school record and academic career.

  • Motivation letter

    A motivation letter should not exceed the size of two DIN A4-pages and normally, it should contain information on your motivation for taking up this course of studies. You should  elaborate on the following essential questions:

    • Why do you desire taking up this specific course of studies?
    • What are - in your opinion - the main features that this course of studies excels in?
    • Which features of this course have inspired your application? 
    • Why Jena?


  • University entrance qualification certificate

    Please upload at the online application system your university entrance certificate/school leaving certificate. Usually, this means the school graduation diploma (German "Abitur"), i.e. the diploma that makes you eligible for studies at an University or other institution for higher education. Be mindful of the fact that here, we do not need any University diploma but a High School diploma! 

  • Previous university degrees earned

    All previous University degrees (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, etc.) if available before the application deadline - if not, please make a note of the anticipated date of issue of your degree certificate. Please upload your University degree or the most actual, detailed transcript of records/ mark sheet of all semesters available to you, should you not hold your degree certificate at the time of application. The main document is the degree/ transcript based on which you apply for the master programme.

  • Corresponding transcripts

    Detailed transcript of records/ mark sheet of your first, subject-specific University degree, with which you apply for the master's programme (minimum requirement is the transcript/mark sheet up to the semester before the last). This trancript MUST contain an overall cumulative grade point average or average mark.

    You need at least 120 credits (ECTS) by the time you apply.

  • Proof of relevant work experience

    Should you have obtained subject-specific work experience, you can upload corresponding certificates in order to support your application. 

  • Proof of subject-specific practical experience

    Should you have obtained subject-specific practical experience (e.g. by internships etc.), you can upload corresponding certificates in order to support your application. 

Additional application documents for international students

  • Translation of foreign/external application documents

    Every mandatory application document from foreign/external countries must also be available in either English OR German translation. Such a translation has to be conducted by officially acknowledged/ sworn translators or translation offices.

  • Proof of grading system

    External/foreign degree certificates/ transcripts of records must contain information on the grading system (= description of the maximum grade possible and the minimum passing grade) used at the respective University. 

  • Certificate APS

    Applicants with degrees from India, Vietnam or China must submit the original APS-certificate issued by the German Embassy.

  • University entrance exam

    Applicants from the following countries must submit a certificate of their university entrance examination/college entrance examination:

    • Iran (College entrance examination certificate or certificate of pre-university course/year)
    • Republic of Korea/South Korea: SAT (Scholastic Ability Test)
    • People's Republic of China: College entrance examination certificate ("Gaokao")
Course Guidance Service MEES - Prof. Dr. Christine Römermann

Institute for Ecology and Evolution
Philosophenweg 16
07743 Jena Google Maps site planExternal link

Postal address:
Biodiversität der Pflanzen
Institut für Ökologie und Evolution
mit Herbarium Haussknecht und Botanischem Garten
Friedrich-Schiller Universität Jena
Philosophenweg 16
D- 07743 Jena

Student Representatives Biology/Biochemistry
Examinations Office of the Faculty of Biological Sciences
Master Service Centre

Office hours:
We offer consultations and the handling of your concerns in person as well as by Service Desk (ticket system), Zoom, live chat, post and telephone.

Telephone consultation:
Tuesday - Thursday
10 am - 11 am

Personal consultation:
Tuesday - Thursday
2 pm - 3 pm

Live chat:
10 am - 12 noon

Ticket enquiries via Service Desk at: www.uni-jena.de/service-msz

Postal address:
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Master Service Centre
07737 Jena

Video chat: Zoom – Video chat Videochat ZeitenTuesday - Thursday
3:15 pm - 4 pm
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