Master-Programme: FAQ

Candidates should hold a Bachelor of Science degree (or equivalent) in Biological Sciences, Biochemistry or a subject related to Biological Sciences.

All principal investigators available as mentors are listed in our online application portal. Please inform yourself about the research area of the groups and indicate two possible initial mentors during online application. After an admission to the Master fellowship programme the initial mentor will be identified through personal interviews. It is possible to change the initial mentor after 6 months / 1 year in Cologne. If you have identified a suitable mentor, you are able to pick the group as your host group for your Master thesis.

Application for the Master fellowship programmes takes place via our online application portal. 

For the online application you will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Statement on past and current research interest (250 words)
  • Statement on motivation to join the Master fellowship programme (250 words)
  • Specification of two possible desired mentors (see list of possible mentors in the application portal)
  • Indication two academic advisors as referees
  • Provision of CV, certificates, transcripts and other supporting documents as separate pdf files

Application to the MSc programme Biochemistry or to one of the Biological Science MSc programmes (Computational Biology, Genetics and Biology of Aging and Regeneration or Neuroscience) is a prerequisite and an independent step.

For the relevant Master programmes in Biological Science (Computational Biology, Genetics and Biology of Aging and Regeneration or Neuroscience), please apply here:
For the Master programme in Biochemistry, please apply here:

The decision about your admission to the respective Master programme at the University of Cologne will be communicated to you by their recruitment committees in summer 2023.

Master students who have recently started their Master studies in the Biological Sciences or Biochemistry MSc programme at the University of Cologne and have received excellent grades during the first subject modules are highly encouraged to apply!

The fellowship programme starts with the Master of Science in Biological Sciences or Biochemistry programme of the University of Cologne, presumably on October 1, 2023.

Yes, all Master courses and rotations are taught in English! In addition, the CGA faculty is very international and many students have an international background.

Master fellowship holders will be supported with a monthly fellowship of €934 for max. 1.5 years and until the start of the Master thesis. During the Master thesis project, students are equipped with an equally remunerated working contract. 

Your application will also be accepted if the Bachelor degree has not yet been awarded by the time of application. However, it must be awarded before your individual start of your Master studies on October 1, 2023. If you should receive the degree after having submitted the application form, please send it to cga-coordination[at]

Please note that diffrent regulations may apply for your application to the Biological Sciences or Biochemistry Master Programmes.

We will also accept your application for the Master Fellowship programme if you already have a Master degree, in case there is an understandable reason for the acquisition of a second Master degree. However with a Master degree in a relevant field, we strongly encourage you to directly apply to our graduate programme.

Please note that diffrent regulations may apply for your application to the Biological Sciences or Biochemistry Master Programmes.

You have been asked to write a letter of recommendation? Please refer to the applicant's registration code as stated in the e-mail you received from us. Please use the link that has been sent to you, rate the applicant and submit the letter of recommendation to our online application portal in English until July 25, 2023 at the latest. Please note that applicants are not allowed to submit letters of recommendations on your behalf, they have to come from you directly.

All candidates require excellent written and spoken English skills (C1 level) for their studies.

Please mention "not applicable", in case your degree does not include a thesis. If your thesis has not been completed yet, please indicate this and submit a preliminary abstract. Please discriminate between obtained result and planned experiments. If your degree does not require a thesis, but you performed a scientific project as part of a rotation, please specify this in the abstract field then, but clearly indicate it as a rotation project.

For the initial application, we accept documents in all Germanic and Romanic languages. We can unfortunately not accept applications with foreign language characters such as Cyrillic or Chinese. Please submit an official translation of your certificates in these cases.

All candidates will be recruited in August 2023, based on the online profiles and submitted documents.

Please note that an application to one of the Master programmes at the University is a separate and independent step.
For the relevant Master programmes in Biological Science, please apply here:
For the Master programme in Biochemistry, please apply here:

We can only admit students to the Master fellowship programme that were accepted as Master students by the University of Cologne!
Admitted students can start their Master studies as fellowship holders in October 2023.

No, there is only a social fee of approx. €318 per semester for the public transport pass, student sports, student usage of the cafeteria and the General Students' Committee, the acting executive board and the external representing agency of the student body of the University of Cologne. Find more information about costs and financing here.

A single apartment at the student housing costs approx. €300/month. On the private market, depending on size, location and equipment apartments, it cost approx. €500/month.
Find more information about accommodation for international students here.

Master fellowship holders will be supported with a monthly fellowship of €934 for the duration of their studies (maximum 1.5 years). During their Master thesis project, they will be equipped with an equally remunerated working contract. All admitted students pick a principal investigator of our faculty as student mentor. Being part of the mentor's group, Master fellows actively engage in scientific and social activities of the chosen group and have regular advisory meetings with the mentor. Already at an early stage, students are thus able to identify the research field they are most passionate about for their future career as PhD student.

The German scientific education system enjoys an outstanding reputation worldwide due to its long scientific tradition and an excellent infrastructure for research work in Germany. Not only does Germany offer state-of-the-art technology and well-equipped research institutions but is also known as "Land of ideas" with a high standard of living. Find more information here.

Cologne offers an outstanding international research environment at the most prestigious ageing research cluster in Germany, including the "Cologne Excellence Cluster on Stress Responses in Aging-Associated Diseases" (CECAD), the University Hospital Cologne and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research. Cologne has emerged as leading global research centre with a stellar constellation of institutes and scientists dedicated to ageing research.

Find out more about the vibrant city life in Cologne here.

Of course, we encourage all students, who successfully finish their Master studies as Master fellow to apply for a PhD at the Cologne Graduate School of Ageing Research! But it is really up to you - with an educational background in biological science and ageing research many doors will be open for you!

Support for students with disabilities is provided at all collaborating institutes. Please indicate your disability status in your application and upload the corresponding certificates if applicable. Please inform us, if you do require additional support, so that we can make arrangements early on (such as supportive equipment or adaptation of learning material).