For more information about Evolutionary Biology at University of Groningen, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
MSc

How long you will study
24 months

Domestic course fees
EUR 2060

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
September

International course fees
EUR 14350

All study options

About Evolutionary Biology at University of Groningen

The Top Programme Evolutionary Biology is part of the Master's programme in Ecology and Evolution. It provides an optimal preparation for excelling students pursuing a career in academic research.

As a student of the Top Programme you will be involved withresearch within the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary LifeSciences (GELIFES; http://www.rug.nl/research/gelifes/)that harbours research groups of international excellence. Thehallmark of the programme is to explore the interface betweenecology and evolution. In line with the mission of GELIFES, theprogramme also strives to integrate mechanistic 'proximate'approaches (how does a biological system function?) withevolutionary 'ultimate' approaches (why does the system function the way it does?).

Research projects can be found in a broad variety of areas,ranging from community ecology to evolutionary medicine, and frombehavioural ecology to evolutionary genetics. Research can beconducted in the field or in the lab and theoretically as well asexperimentally.

Since the Top Programme is highly demanding and challenging,only the top 10-15% of a cohort can be admitted. During theseprojects, students are fully embedded in a research group wherethey work on their own research questions. The label 'Top Master'programme to a limited number of selective, international programmes that are strongly research oriented and specificallydesigned to provide an optimal preparation for a subsequent PhDproject and eventually a career in academic research.

We also offer the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master's Programme inEvolutionary Biology (MEME; www.evobio.eu), which is a jointinitiative of the universities of Groningen, Montpellier (France),Munich (Germany), Uppsala (Sweden) and Harvard (USA). MEME is basedon the same philosophy as the Top programme, but students haveextra mobility requirements, since they are supposed to obtain adouble degree from two different universities.

The Top Programme Evolutionary Biology is part of the Master's programme in Ecology and Evolution. It provides an optimal preparation for excelling students pursuing a career in academic research.

As a student of the Top Programme you will be involved withresearch within the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary LifeSciences (GELIFES; http://www.rug.nl/research/gelifes/)that harbours research groups of international excellence. Thehallmark of the programme is to explore the interface betweenecology and evolution. In line with the mission of GELIFES, theprogramme also strives to integrate mechanistic 'proximate'approaches (how does a biological system function?) withevolutionary 'ultimate' approaches (why does the system function the way it does?).

Research projects can be found in a broad variety of areas,ranging from community ecology to evolutionary medicine, and frombehavioural ecology to evolutionary genetics. Research can beconducted in the field or in the lab and theoretically as well asexperimentally.

Since the Top Programme is highly demanding and challenging,only the top 10-15% of a cohort can be admitted. During theseprojects, students are fully embedded in a research group wherethey work on their own research questions. The label 'Top Master'programme to a limited number of selective, international programmes that are strongly research oriented and specificallydesigned to provide an optimal preparation for a subsequent PhDproject and eventually a career in academic research.

We also offer the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master's Programme inEvolutionary Biology (MEME; www.evobio.eu), which is a jointinitiative of the universities of Groningen, Montpellier (France),Munich (Germany), Uppsala (Sweden) and Harvard (USA). MEME is basedon the same philosophy as the Top programme, but students haveextra mobility requirements, since they are supposed to obtain adouble degree from two different universities.

After your studies

Job prospects

These programmes are specifically designed to prepare you for asubsequent PhD and eventually a career in academic research.Accordingly, >90% of all Top Programme students continue theircareer by starting PhD research.

These programmes are specifically designed to prepare you for asubsequent PhD and eventually a career in academic research.Accordingly, >90% of all Top Programme students continue theircareer by starting PhD research.

Job examples

  • PhD research position
Download brochure

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMScHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study24 months
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course feesEUR 2060International course feesEUR 14350

Notes about fees for this course

EU/EEA

€ 2060 per year

non-EU/EEA

€ 14350 per year

Entry requirements

Bachelor-Master connections

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
BiologyAll Research universities

Deficiency program

Additional requirements:
  • knowledge minimum
  • assessment interview
  • additional subject
More information:

Admission is highly selective. Every applicant is screened bythe Admissions Board of Evolutionary Biology. Applying shouldinclude CV, 3 qualified referees and proof of Englishproficiency.

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
additional subject

The Admissions Office will advise the Admissions Board on yourapplication, after which the board will decide if you meet theadmission requirements in terms of general level of previouseducation and specific background knowledge.

grade average

Marks that clearly identify the candidate as belonging to thetop 10% of their cohort.

language test

Make sure to visit http://www.rug.nl/(...)anguage-requirementsfor all the necessary information about required language tests.

previous education

Bachelor's degree in Biology or equivalent. This is merely anindication of required background knowledge. The admissions boarddetermines whether the specific contents of this/these course(s)meet the admission requirements of the master programme for whichyou applied.

other admission requirements

The top programma Evolutionary Biology is an advanced trackwithin the MSc programme Ecology and Evolution. You can apply viaStudielink by selecting the MSc programme Ecology and Evolution andadd the notification or remark Evolutionary Biology.

If you wish to apply for the MEME programme you should applybefore the 1st of February http://www.evobio.eu/admissionA full description of the admission criteria and selectionprocedure for the MEME programme is provided at the followingwebpage: http://www.evobio.eu/admission

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
grade average

Marks that clearly identify the candidate as belonging to thetop 10% of their cohort.

previous education

Bachelor's degree in Biology or equivalent.

reference letter

Recommendations by qualified referees.

other admission requirements

The top programma Evolutionary Biology is an advanced trackwithin the MSc programme Ecology and Evolution. You can apply viaStudielink by selecting the MSc programme Ecology and Evolution andadd the notification or remark Evolutionary Biology.

In parallel we ask you to send your application documents (PDFsonly!) to the secretary of the Admissions Board of Ecology andEvolution via email: r.s.etienne@rug.nl

If you wish to apply for the MEME programme you should applybefore the 1st of February http://www.evobio.eu/admissionA full description of the admission criteria and selectionprocedure for the MEME programme is provided at the followingwebpage: http://www.evobio.eu/admission

Registration procedure

The Admissions Board will decide whether you can be admitted to the Master's degree programme. Applications are evaluated on a continuous basis. You do not have to wait until the application deadline to apply.

Language requirements

ExamMinimum score
IELTS overall band6.5
TOEFL paper based580
TOEFL computer based237
TOEFL internet based92

What students think about University of Groningen

    If I had to choose a Master's programme again, I would be on a flight to Groningen.

    Ana Quintana, Mexico, Strategic Innovation Management

    I gained a Bachelor's degree in Management & Marketing in Mexico City before I came to the Netherlands to undertake my Master's programme. During my Bachelor's studies, I spent a semester in Canada and I wanted to expand my international (study) experiences before starting work. I was keen to focus on innovation which is not usually offered in Mexico hence the combination of Innovation and Strategy in one programme directed me to Groningen.

    My Master's thesis dealt with Innovation in family businesses and I now benefit from the intense research modules offered during the programme. Now I am working as a Promotion Manager in charge of the several customer loyalty programs offered by one of Mexico's biggest hotel chains. Although the Master's program was rather theoretical, I feel that it prepared me very well for my current job. 

    There was nothing about Groningen that I did not like: the city is just beautiful. I especially enjoyed going everywhere by bike, the variety of offers for students and, of course, the Queensday (now Kings Day) celebrations. Groningen has everything to make (foreign) students feel at home.

    Looking back a year after my return to Mexico, I feel that I especially enjoyed getting to know Dutch culture. In addition, the courses offered and the beauty of the city made my stay in Groningen an unforgettable experience. If I had to choose a Master's programme again, I would be on a flight to Groningen.

    I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand my knowledge in the field of law

    Lejla Terzimehic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Global Criminal Law

    Thanks to the European Commission Scholarship and the Talent Grant from the University of Groningen, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand my knowledge in the field of law that I am most passionate about, at one of the oldest and most prestigious European universities.

    Being very intellectually challenging, the master programme truly met my expectations. Sharing knowledge with my colleagues, all coming from different legal traditions, and learning from inspiring professors enriched me with the skills I hadn't attained during my previous education.

    What I found to be the most beneficial is that the Dutch education system which, taught us to develop a critical opinion on law-related issues. Moreover, this master programme had a unique approach in tackling controversial contemporary legal issues. Due to its strong comparative emphasis, it encouraged us to keep at constant track with our national law, which is of a huge significance.

    Both the master and a 6-month long internship at the International Criminal Tribunal for The Former Yugoslavia strengthened my belief in Justice. Furthermore, besides this academic benefit, I believe that studying abroad unequivocally broadens our horizons and tests prejudices we even are not aware of.

Ask a question

Ask University of Groningen for more information by completing this form

Desired Start Year

Your question will be sent directly to University of Groningen. Your question is subject to the StudyLink terms and conditions. On submitting this form you are consenting to us sharing the information you have supplied with University of Groningen inline with the StudyLink privacy policy.

Location of University of Groningen

University of Groningen main campus is shown on the map below:

Explore University of Groningen

Click the following videos and images to expand or play