The curricula of the three masters programs comprise some 55 different neuroscience courses, all taught in English and offered periodically every academic year. The courses range from broadly-based neuroscience topics to demanding, specialized courses, as well as two longer-lasting laboratory rotations and a final masters thesis.
The masters programs have an explicit ‘research orientation’ with the goal of optimally preparing graduate students for demanding doctoral projects. This goal is achieved by two means: first, by recruiting active researchers as instructors who incorporate state-of-the-art neuroscientific questions and methods in their courses and, secondly, by implementing extensive periods of laboratory training where students engage in current research projects. The same is true for the experimental masters thesis of 6 months, which often serves as ‘seed crystal’ for a subsequent doctoral dissertation.
The masters programs of the three graduate schools are basically designed alike regarding the overall requirements, the curricular and semester structure, the format of the study regulations and the ECTS-credits and degree earned (for details, see ‘Module Handbooks’). However, regarding the course content they differ considerably.
The masters programs consist of four semesters (2 years). The 1st year covers the theoretical training that provides the required competences needed in the 2nd year of study, which comprises the practical training.
Semesters 1 + 2 comprise the theoretical parts of the masters training, including the exams at the end of each semester. Course types include lectures, lectures with exercises, journal clubs, tutorials and seminars. In addition, two one-week block practicals will be offered and a retreat in the summer term.
Semester 3 comprises two 10-week long laboratory rotations where students work on small research projects in laboratories of their choice. Students will acquire practical skills in state-of-the-art methods and, furthermore, will get to know current scientific questions and research projects embarked on in Tübingen. Each lab project will be concluded with a written report and an oral presentation of the project in a final seminar. The lab work, together with the written and oral performance, will be marked and makes up a considerable part of the final grade.
Semester 4 represents a six-months period where students conclude their studies with an experimental masters thesis. After graduation, students may either leave the program with a M.Sc. degree to pursue further studies elsewhere or they may continue with their project and enter the GTC’s doctoral program (for details, see ‘Doctoral Program’).