For First-year Students

Welcome to the School of Social Sciences at the University of Mannheim!

I am delighted that you have chosen our university. You are about to enter a new stage of your life full of opportunities, but also challenges. The dean’s office of our School will provide you with services and support during your studies, from the beginning to the end. We hope you will make the most of your time here with lots of pleasant experiences to look back to.

I wish you a great start at the university and in Mannheim and all the best for your studies!

Prof. Michael Diehl, dean of the School of Social Sciences

Who? Where? How? What?

To help you find your way around the School of Social Sciences and make life easier for you at the beginning, we have compiled important links for you. Learn more about the School’s history and organization, our teachers and our libraries and PC rooms. The buttons below link to other pages which will help you get started at the University of Mannheim.

If you are in Mannheim, you can use the free Actionbound app (only in German available) to discover our beautiful campus and the Schloss on your own.

Campus map

Understanding study-related terms

Orientation weeks

The winter semester will start on 4 September 2023. 

Der Dekan of the School of Social Sciences, Prof. Dr. Michael Diehl, will welcome all first-year students on the 4th of September 2023. 

The short speeches on the topic of “Trust” by the three subjects of the faculty (Political Science, Psychology and Sociology) address how the different subject perspectives determine what is meant by trust. The welcoming will take place on September 4, 2023 beginning at 3:30pm. Join us for the face-to-face event in Lecture Hall A 001 in Building B6 (A), 23–25.

Further information for the Political Science orientation week.

Further information for the Sociology orientation week. 

Further information for the Psychology orientation week.

On the website of the “Lerncafé” you will find information about further events for the start of your studies.

Information on the specific programs

General Information
Political Science

Information for students of all programs

After enrolling in your program at the University of Mannheim, you chose your minor subject online (Bachelor students only).

For further details, go to the  first-year students section in Portal².

Frequently asked questions

  • What is a semester / an academic year?

    A semester is approximately six months long (including semester breaks). The University of Mannheim has aligned its academic calendar with the international academic year: The spring semester starts on 1 February and ends on 31 July; the fall semester begins on 1 August and ends on 31 January. The semester break is included.

    A distinction is also made between a subject-specific semester and a semester enrolled at a German higher education institution.

    Further information on the academic calendar

  • Semester dates and lecture period

    The terms “fall semester” and “spring semester” both refer to a six-month period respectively. A semester consists of a 14-week lecture period plus a period without lectures (semester break). In the fall semester, the lecture period goes from September to December without interruption. In the spring semester, the lecture period is interrupted by a two-week easter break.

  • Why does the semester in Mannheim start so early?

    The University of Mannheim decided to align its academic calendar with the international academic year. Therefore, fall semester courses already start at the beginning of September and are concluded with exams before Christmas. By switching to a different academic calendar, the University of Mannheim has strengthened its international focus. There is no other official higher education institution in Germany where students can so easily integrate a period of study abroad into their program.

  • What will happen if I cannot be in Mannheim on time?

    We strongly recommend you to participate in the orientation week. If you cannot participate in the orientation week, you should get in touch with the departmental student representatives and your fellow students and ask them for more information.

    You can also turn to the program managers for support, who offer additional consultation hours in the first two weeks. They will give you advice on a case-by-case basis that is tailored to your personal situation. Last but not least, you should always pay attention to all e-mails we send to your new University of Mannheim mailbox since the most important information is generally sent out by e-mail, too.

  • What are examination regulations?

    There are examination regulations for each program of study, which, among other things, outline your rights and duties as a student and specify the degree requirements. This document also contains information on examination deadlines, circumstances in which an examination can be re-taken, the number of ECTS credits required, and the exact degree awarded. To view the examination regulations applicable to you, navigate to your respective degree course under Academics. If you know the examination regulations, you can answer many questions yourself. Please read the examination regulations carefully before beginning your studies!

  • How is my degree program structured?

    The recommended program structure is described in the degree plan. If you complete the modules in the time indicated in the plan, you will complete your program within the standard period of study. To view the degree plan applicable to you, navigate to your respective degree course under Students.

  • What is a course catalog?

    The course catalog lists the courses available at the university. You need it to compile your course schedule for each semester in accordance with the subject-specific attachment to the examination and study regulations and the degree plan. The course catalog for the fall semester is published on 15 May. The catalog states the title, location, and time of the course, provides a summary of the content, and indicates the number of ECTS credits available. Click here to go to the course catalog (you may need to choose the appropriate semester in the upper left corner first).

  • What are ECTS credits?

    To promote cooperation and exchange between different higher education institutions, the European Commission developed the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) to provide for a standardized basis for the recognition and comparison of courses and exams. In the context of the Bologna reforms, Germany has also committed to introducing this standardized system. One ECTS credit corresponds to an average workload of 30 hours. If you take a lecture which gives you 4 ECTS credits, you must expect a workload of 120 hours (attendance of the lecture included) to complete it. According to ECTS guidelines, one academic year is equivalent to 60 ECTS credits and one semester to 30 ECTS credits.

  • Portal² – your campus management system

    Portal² is the University of Mannheim’s campus management system. Using the portal, you can, for example, view the course catalog, choose your courses, and register for examinations.


  • Course registration

    There may be different periods to register for courses. Usually, the program managers will inform you about the registration periods for the courses in your core subject and the supplementary modules by e-mail. An additional registration period may apply to your minor, depending on the subject you choose.

    For students in their first semester there is a special registration period for the core subject from 27 August to 7 September.

    Starting with the second semester, students will usually register for courses during the semester break. In general, they can select their courses for the fall semester from early to mid-August and the courses for the spring semester in January/February.

    Registration is done via Portal².

  • Exam registration

    Each semester, you need to register online for those examinations you would like to take at the end of the lecture period. You will need to do so within a period defined by Student Services.

    Please note: The exam registration period falls within the lecture period, which means that you cannot register for your examinations via the Student Services’ campus management system before the lecture period starts. Each semester, the periods during which you can register for exams will be published on the Student Services’ website.

    Online registration is done via Portal².

Services for students

Do you have any more questions? We’re happy to advise you!

If you have any subject-specific questions regarding your degree program (course contents, program structure, stays abroad), don’t hesitate to contact our program managers. If you have any questions on organizing your studies (examinations, grades, re-registration, academic leave of absence), please contact the Student Services office II team. International students can also turn to the International Office for information on topics not covered by subject-specific academic advising. Please adhere to the consultation hours.