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  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: n/a
  • Foreign: Free
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English
  • Deadline:
  • 1 April
  • StudyQA ranking:
  • 319pts.
  • Duration:
  • 2 years

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    The challenge of economic development is one of the key challenges of our lifetime. We live in a world of tremendous inequality in the distribution of income and wealth. More than a billion people live in extreme poverty, in poor health and with a lack of educational opportunities. Yet recent decades have shown that economic development and poverty reduction are possible.
    The University of Göttingen hosts Germany's largest and most internationally visible concentration of development economics researchers. They include four research groups in the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, five groups in the Department of Economics, and three groups in the Courant Research Centre "Poverty, Equity, and Growth in Developing and Transition Countries".
    The English-language Master of Arts in Development Economics is offered jointly by the two departments mentioned above and builds on the successful Master of Arts in International Economics and Master of Arts in Agribusiness; these programmes already offered a strong specialisation in development issues. This research-oriented Master's programme offers a comprehensive, four-semester course of study dedicated solely to the exploration of development economics issues. Among the key features of the study programme are:
    • courses in macro and micro development issues, econometrics, and rural development
    • specialisation in economics (including further courses in micro and macro theory) or agricultural economics
    • a wide range of optional courses in development and agricultural economics
    • supplementary courses offered by guest lecturers from other European universities or developing countries
    • opportunities to take electives from six other Master's programmes an the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and the Faculty of Economic Sciences
    • only for applicants with German undergraduate education: a compulsory one-semester stay abroad with opportunities to study at one of our partner universities, for example, in South Africa, Cameroon, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, India, South Korea,Trinidad and Tobago, or Indonesia, or field work abroad
    • opportunities for internships at institutions of development cooperation, international organisations, and research think tanks

    Educational organisation

    The duration of the Master's Programme in Development Economics is four semesters, during which 120 ECTS must be earned. There are four compulsory modules (24 credits: Development Economics I + II, Socioeconomics of Rural Development, Econometrics I). Students can then specialise in agricultural economics or economics, each requiring further 12 credits (two modules) of compulsory courses in the field of specialisation. Furthermore, students have to attend another five modules in development or agricultural economics and three elective modules are chosen freely (any course offered by the Faculty of Economic Sciences, any course from the programme "Sustainable International Agriculture", and other subjects upon formal request). The programme is completed with a Master's thesis within the field of development or agricultural economics.
    German nationals or non-residents with a German high school and undergraduate education have to spend a mandatory semester abroad or conduct field studies abroad. International students are exempt from this requirement.
    Further info can be found here:

    Study abroad unit(s)

    A one-semester stay abroad (usually during the third semester) is obligatory for students with German undergraduate education. We offer a wide range of excellent partner universities to choose from all over the world: e.g., in India, China, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Cameroon, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, or South Korea (some of these exchange programmes are funded by the DAAD). Furthermore, you can benefit for our extensive ERASMUS partnerships with more than 60 European universities.
    Alternatively, many students choose to carry out field work for their Master's theses (typically either within one of our own research projects or during an internship), which also satisfies this requirement. Students who went abroad during their Bachelor's programmes or obtained their undergraduate degree outside of Germany are exempt from this requirement.


    Internships are not a mandatory component of the programme, but are strongly recommended as useful supplements. Completion of an internship in the area of international organisations, non-profit organisations or institutions is advisable in order to gain professional experience.

    Forms of assessment

    The programme uses a credit point system in which credits can be earned throughout the degree programme (written exams, seminar paper, presentation). The sequencing of the examination is flexible.

    Course objectives

    The research-oriented Master's degree offers a comprehensive four-semester programme dedicated to the study of development economics issues. Its broad course offerings, (one-semester stay abroad,) Master's thesis, and specialisation in agricultural economics or economics will enable students to analyse current issues in development economics and will prepare them for careers in research or policy in national governments, international organisations, or in organisation of development cooperation.

    University requirements

    Program requirements

    Language requirements

    One of the following criteria must be met:
    a) Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English: at least grade A
    b) Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English: at least grade C
    c) CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference): at least proof of C1 (comparable to Association of Language Testers in Europe - ALTE - level 4)
    d) IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System): at least volume 7 with no section below 6
    e) Computer-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (computer-based TOEFL): at least 233 points
    f) Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (new Internet-based TOEFL): at least 90 points
    g) At least two years of study or work abroad in an English-speaking country during the last three years before admission application
    h) Successful completion of a study programme held entirely in the English language

    Test scores that are more than three years old will not be accepted.

    Academic requirements

    A course of study of at least six semesters in length with a Bachelor's degree comprising at least 180 credits in economics, agricultural economics or a closely related subject. At least 60 credits thereof (alternatively 1/3 of the overall study modules) in economics (such as micro- macro, development, agricultural, health economics, public finance, etc.) are required. Please be aware that subjects from the field of business administration do not qualify as "economic subjects" for admission.
    Verification of 150 of the 180 credits is required at the time of application.
    For detailed information, please see (for information on application and admission procedures of the Master's programme in Development Economics).

    Enrolment fees

    Enrolment fees are approx. 300 EUR per semester. Fees include a prepaid semester ticket that entitles students to use regional trains free of charge within the federal states of Lower Saxony and Bremen, as well as city buses. Students of the University of Göttingen receive discounts for cultural events. Meals and drinks are also available at reduced prices at all university canteens.

    Costs of living

    The average cost of living in Göttingen is modest compared to other major university cities in Germany. Currently, expenses for accommodation, food, health insurance, and books reach approx. 700-750 EUR per month. Please note that fees for health insurance may vary according to age. Living expenses might be slightly higher.

    Job opportunities

    The university supports students in finding part-time jobs in local industries and businesses. A number of student jobs are also available at the university. Please note that restrictions may apply with your residence permit, scholarship, or work contract.

    Arrival support

    The International Office provides a complimentary pick-up service ("Buddy Exchange Service") from the Göttingen railway station to the accommodation. International students registered for the programme can be matched with German students who help them adapt to the university and the city during their first weeks. There is also an orientation week for new international students, which provides valuable information about Göttingen and the university.

    Services and support for international students

    The International Office assists international students with all administrative questions regarding their stay in Germany, e.g., enrolment, visa, foreigners' registration office, health insurance, accommodation, and financing of their studies. Furthermore, it features a broad cultural programme, e.g., international cultural evenings, language workshops, theatre courses, films, dance classes, theatre and opera visits. Trips to various tourist destinations in Germany are offered throughout the year.
    At the beginning of each semester, an introductory course will be held for Master's students, providing information on course planning, language courses and study abroad programmes.
    The Faculty of Economic Sciences offers a Student Service Centre as an initial central contact point for its students for any study-related questions. The faculty offers a special tandem programme (INDIGU Programme) for its international students. Within this programme, international and German students can get together to study and learn together. Excursions and leisure activities round off this programme.


    The International Office, in collaboration with the student services organisation ("Studentenwerk"), helps students find adequate accommodation. Many international students live in student residences. These have single apartments or shared apartments with individual rooms. There are also apartments available for couples and families with children.
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