Master's in Ecology


First enrollment

Please, arrange your residency affairs in time and start gathering all required documents as soon as possible (even before admission). Note that your admission cannot be completed until we receive an apropriatelly authenticated copy of your Bachelor's certificate. Even a smooth visa procedure takes months, and late delivery of required documents hinders the process.


Winter semester

Summer semester

registration of new students

4 – 15 September 2023

5 – 7 February 2024

field trip (optional)

10 – 15 September 2023


start of lectures

25 September 2023

12 February 2024

  • Postponed enrollment is allowed in case of prolonged visa procedure, but you are to apply for this in advance (or within 5 days after the set date at the latest), otherwise you would be expelled.
  • The dates for next academic year are announced in April. Before the update is done, you can expect similar dates as in last year.

See all dates in academic calendar.
Most information can be found on the faculty website.
STAG is a University database of courses, their lecturers, schedule, theses etc. You will be provided password to enroll or see your study details, but you can browse almost all parts (except students' details) without login.


There is no tuition fee*, but there are several administrative fees:

  • application fee: 700 CZK
  • fee for study in foreign language (i.e. in English): 500 CZK* per year (~21 EUR or USD)
  • a few additional minor fees not exceeding the above mentioned fees (e.g. 100 CZK for issuing the University ID card etc.)
  • fees for chargable administrative acts (i.e. for your non-standard requests, e.g. making changes in your course list after the standard time of enrollment etc.)

* The fees will considerably increase since September 2024. Details will be announced before opening the applications. Students study according to the rules valid at their admission, therefore there is no change in the fee for the current students and for students admitted in November 2023.

The main fees are given by the Statutes of the University (Articles 27 and 28).

Scholarships and grants

As there is no tuition fee, there is no significant regular scholarship. We mainly provide an accommodation scholarship/bursary which covers the administrative fees and contributes a little to cover your living costs.

  • Accommodation scholarship about 540 CZK monthly (~22 EUR or USD) (paid quarterly) is intended for all students with permanent residence outside the České Budějovice district. There are a few other conditions (e.g. students whose living costs are already covered by other scholarships are not eligible), but usually all students of this programme receive it.

Excellent students can reach premium scholarships in the second year of study depending on the achievement in the first year:

  • Students with excellent study results can get "achievement scholarship" of 1,500 CZK monthly (~62 EUR or USD) during their second year. Eligible students must reach 60 credits and GPA<1.2 in their first year. This scholarship is awarded automatically.
  • Top 20 students across all Bc. and MSc. programmes of Faculty of Science also get a bonus of 1,200 - 3,000 CZK monthly (~50 - 125 EUR) for publishing in Impact Factor journals or presenting at a conference while maintaining very good study results (60 credits in last year, GPA<1.5). Apply by 15 October or 10 March.
  • There is also Dean's price for the best Master thesis of 5,000 CZK (~ 210 EUR).

Applicants from some countries can also apply for a scholarship of Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. This scholarship is out of our control, see detailed information on the ministry website or contact Czech consulate in your country.

Students' research can be supported by several grant agencies; the most relevant for this study programme is Student Grant Agency (SGA) of the Faculty of Science.

Study plan

You are to enroll for courses before the start of each semester. You need to get min. 120 credits during your study, which implies you should aim at min. 30 credits per semester to finish your study in time. It is usual to enroll a bit more courses in the first semesters to have more time for your thesis in the last semester.

There are two obligatory courses (type A) in this Master's programme: "Master Thesis, Practical Part" for 13 credits (in each semester except the first one when it is facultative-obligatory - type B) and "Ecology Colloquia" for 2 credits (once per year, recommended in 2nd and 4th semester). In addition, you are to enroll any courses to get over the 30 credits per semester. When compiling your study plan, remember that you are to enroll facultative-obligatory courses (type B, "core courses") for min. 53 credits during the whole study. (There was a recent change in the study plan: the old plan until 2021/2022 defined Master Thesis as type A in all four semesters and min 40 credits from B courses, while in the new plan since 2022/2023 the Master Thesis in the first semester was changed to type B and therefore the min number of credits from B courses increased.)

See Study and Examination Regulations of USB and Provision of the Dean for more details.

Enrollment takes place in two steps (see the dates in academic calendar).

  • Electronic enrollment (Jun, Jan) - You select in STAG which courses you would like to attend in the next semester. Courses where too few students enrolled may be cancelled, which is announced in the news on the main faculty website short after the end of enrollment.
  • Confirmation of enrollment (Sep, Feb) - You are to present yourself at the department of study affairs to confirm the list of your courses. You can make minor justified adjustments, e.g. remove or replace courses that were cancelled.
Thesis topic and supervisor

You are to find a supervisor and agree on a topic of your thesis preferably during the first semester (or by the middle of the second semester at the latest). Take your time to browse websites of academic departments of the Faculty of Science (mainly Botany, Zoology, Biology of Ecosystems) and institutes of Biology Centre CAS (mainly Entomology 1, 2, Hydrobiology), or Institute of Botany CAS in Třeboň. Talk to several people. Finally, the supervisor will confirm you have successfully passed the course "Master Thesis, Practical Part". Find your supervisor in time, so that you can start working soon and the supervisor is happy to confirm your work.

You need to fill a form for assigment of Master thesis and submit it to the Department of Student Affairs.

Links to working groups

University of South Bohemia, Faculty of Science:

department of Botany

Functional Plant Ecology - Jan Lepš

Restoration Ecology - Karel Prach

department of Zoology

Centre of Cognitive Ethology - Roman Fuch, Petr Veselý

department of Biology of Ecosystems

Czech Academy of Science, Biology Centre in České Budějovice

institute of Entomology

Department of Ecology - Kateřina Sam

Laboratory of Multitrophic Interactions - Kateřina Sam
Laboratory of Evolutionary Ecology - Martin Volf
Laboratory of Tropical Ecology - Vojtěch Novotný
Laboratory of Experimental Ecology - Jan Hrček
Laboratory of Molecular Ecology and Phylogenetics - Pável Matos-Maravíi
Laboratory of Integrative Ecology - Jan Klečka

Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology - Lukáš Čížek

Laboratory of Woodland Ecology - Lukáš Čížek
Laboratory of Aquatic Insect Ecology - David Boukal

institute of Hydrobiology

institute of Botany in Třeboň

Department of Functional Ecology - Jiří Doležal

Submit your thesis

The thesis is submitted to STAG about 1 month before the end of teaching period of your last semester. Please, check the exact date in the academic calendar in advance. Other requirements (format, mandatory sections...) are described in detail in Provision of the Dean. Your supervisor will advice you not only on the content but also the form of the thesis. You should also see several submitted theses to see examples of the form (freely available in STAG). Hardcopies are not required since 2021. Together with submission of your thesis (on-line in STAG), you are to visit the Department of Student Affairs to apply for the State Final Exam.

End of study

At least three days before the final state exam, you are to come to the Department of study Affairs to check your study results and close your study (make sure in advance that you have got all grades in STAG).

The study ends with state final exam, which has two parts. First, you are to defend your Master thesis at a committee of lecturers. Second, a similar committee of lecturers will examine you at an oral theoretical exam, which has three parts:

  • Fundamentals of Ecology
  • a field of student's choice: Plant Ecology, Animal Ecology or Ecological Statistics
  • Theoretical Background of the Master Thesis Topic and Methodology

The diploma (Master's degree certificate) is handed over the students at a graduation ceremony, which usually takes place about 1.5 months after the final state exam. In case you need to leave Czechia or apply for PhD earlier and/or do not want to take part in the ceremony, ask the Department of Student Affairs when you can pick it up.

  • Ecology Seminar - Tuesday 16:20 in B2 - info at Department of Botany
  • Kokomo Seminar - Wednesday 12:00 in seminar room of the Entomology institute - ask Kateřina Sam (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to add you in the mailing list (may run online on zoom).
  • Zoology Seminar - Students - Wednesday 13:15 in B3; hosts - Wednesday 15:00 in B3; some students and most hosts present in English, info at Department of Zoology
  • Ecology Colloquia - obligatory course, not scheduled. You are to attend the previous seminars as well as present the plan of your thesis (in 2nd semester) and results of your thesis (in 4th semester).
Non-standard situations

The standard procedures were briefly mentioned above, but you may encounter exceptional situations. Please, always refer to the official documents of the Faculty and University or contact the Department of Student Affairs. Here is just a brief outline:

  • Enrollment: You are to enroll every semester in a standard date. If you missed enrollment, your study would be terminated. You can enroll later but you have to apply for it in time and justify it properly. You may also want to enroll earlier (e.g. in case a field trip overlaps with the standard date of enrollment).
  • Courses: You register for courses at enrollment, but you can make changes later. Changes done within three weeks of the study period are easy (simple application, low fee). A properly justified application and a bit higher fee is required after the third week. You cannot unregister from block courses (e.g. field trips) after the course has finished.
  • Credits: You need to get min. 120 credits during your study, which implies you should aim at min. 30 credits per semester. However, the minimum number of credits per semester is 20, not to get expelled. You are allowed to have less only in case you have already more than 120 credits (typically last semesters of "longer study"), and in case of a special study plan (e.g. in case of serious health reason). Also, remember you must get min. 53 credits from the facultative-obligatory courses (type B).
  • Failed courses: If you fail a course, you do not get the credits. It has no other implications, if you still meet the minimum criteria on the credit gain by other courses, unless you fail an obligatory or facultative-obligatory course (i.e. type A or B) when enrolled for the second time.
  • Length of study: The study takes two years. Most students finish in time, but various life situations may lead to longer study.
    • study longer by <1 year: no application needed, no tuition is paid (just the usual 500 CZK/year fee for study in English). You simply do not register for the final state exam at the end of your second year and regularly enroll for the next semester. You keep the student status and you must follow usual study rules.
    • study longer by >1 year: similar to previous point, but you pay a real tuition (more than 20.000 CZK/semester)
    • suspended study: you can apply to suspend your study for up to two years. During this time, you lose the student status, i.e. you do not need to follow any study rules, as well as you have no advantage related to your residency in this country. After solving your life situation, you can continue in the study. You need to apply for suspension and termination of suspension, usualy before start of semester.
  • Pregnancy/maternity: you can apply for a special study plan or you can suspend your study (in that case, your study can be suspended for longer than the usual 2-year limit).

Stay in touch
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Branišovská 1645/31a, 370 05 České Budějovice Tel. 387 776 201 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Branišovská 1645/31a, 370 05 České Budějovice Tel. 387 776 201 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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