The MEME programme consists of four semesters, corresponding to a total of 120 EC according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System.
The two-year programme begins with the annual MEME summer school where the first-year students meet and interact with MEME lecturers from all participating universities, with fellow MEME students and alumni, and with invited experts representing diverse areas of evolutionary biology.
After the summer school, the students start their first semester with a course programme in Groningen or Uppsala. During this semester, they follow a package of advanced “core courses” that provide an overview of the fundamental principles underlying modern evolutionary biology. In Groningen, the programme consists of three consecutive courses, each worth 10 EC. Each course lasts six or seven weeks. These core courses are intense; every week students have 30-40 contact hours with their lecturers and supervisors. In Uppsala, there are two mandatory courses, each worth 15 EC.
For their second semester, students typically move to either Montpellier or Munich, where they spend 15 EC on additional courses and 15 EC on a first brief research project. The third and fourth semester are typically entirely devoted to research. For their research projects, students tend to go to the two partner universities from which they want to obtain a degree. Eight students of each MEME cohort get the opportunity to conduct a research project at Harvard University, which is an associate partner of the MEME consortium.
However, after the first semester the programme is quite flexible. In principle, students can start their first semester in Groningen, spend the second semester on a 30 EC research project in Uppsala, go to Harvard for a second 30 EC project in the third semester, and spend 30 EC on courses and a secondment in Munich in the fourth semester.