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Political Science at Germany’s #1

Studying in a practice-oriented and international environment

In what way does terrorism change our society? What impact do social media have on political participation? How does a government affect the life of individuals?

Carry out your own research projects and find out yourself! By cooperating with leading research institutions, you will acquire the tools to understand political processes, to analyze them and to make methodologically sound predictions about their development in the future. Our German-taught program offers a vast array of practice-oriented courses that prepare you for the world of work. We will also support you if you want to complete a period of study abroad, which is possible for up to one year. You can choose from more than 100 exchange programs. Our program has successfully undergone a program accreditation process, which was carried out on the national level by the accreditation agency evalag. The accreditation is valid until July 31, 2023.

We regularly offer webinars for prospective students

  • What is Political Science?

    Political Science at the University of Mannheim

    Political Science in Mannheim is all about political processes. This includes analyzing political systems, explaining political decisions, studying political actors, and calculating election results. Research at our Department covers a variety of areas, including:

    • European integration
    • Political violence and civil wars
    • Globalization
    • Political communication
    • Political participation
    • Voter behavior
    • Parties and political culture
    • Political actors and institutions
    • Election systems and development of democracy
    • Political economy

    In addition, the Department of Political Science has earned an international reputation for its strong focus on empirical-analytical research using quantitative methods, such as computer-assisted data analysis. That is why we offer special courses that allow you to practice carrying out your own research projects. Among other things, you will learn how to develop a concept for a survey, draw up questionnaires, devise measuring instruments, and set up research designs and schedules. The practical implementation of your study, such as data collection and analysis, is also part of these courses.

  • What is Political Science not?

    Not limited to current political affairs

    You are interested in current political affairs? Excellent! But studying Political Science means much more than just discussing the news. We teach you sound methods that you can use to scientifically analyze politics and, much more importantly, to predict what might happen in the future. Political Science studies political processes and explains why voters and politicians make certain decisions.

    No training to become a professional politician

    Many research activities focus on political parties, but this doesn’t mean that you need to be politically active to study Political Science. With a degree in Political Science, you can become anything from a civil servant to a private sector employee and from a researcher to a politician. The Internship Office offers an extensive range of career guidance services.

  • What are quantitative methods?

    Empirical social research concerns itself with the systematic collection of data on interdependences in society by way of observations, interviews, and experiments. These data are analyzed using different statistical methods.

    Quantitative methods employed in empirical social research comprise all procedures that enable the numerical representation of empirical facts. This also extends to drawing conclusions from empirical findings with the help of statistics. Quantitative methods include sample selection, data collection, and data analysis, for example, and can either be used to test the validity of previously proposed hypotheses or may result in new hypotheses.

    During the program, you will take courses from the basic modules in Methods and Statistics I and II, which cover the following topics:

    • Survey design
    • Development of questionnaires, measuring instruments, and research designs and schedules
    • Data collection in practice
    • Data analysis using simple and complex statistical methods

    In the advanced module, you will attend exercise courses in methods, which require you to carry out your own research projects.


Studying at the University of Mannheim taught me critical thinking, perseverance, and to not always go down the first route I see. Although I studied Political Science, I now work in media and fashion. I previously worked at ASOS and Refinery29 in Berlin, and now work as a social media manager at Art Dubai in Dubai.

Alexandra Stolz, graduate of B.A. Political Science / Photo credit: Elisa Berdica

I was attracted to the University of Mannheim by its learning conditions, its close links to research, and its international orientation. Like many of my fellow students, I worked as a student assistant and went abroad during my studies. My student assistant position improved my understanding of research processes and helped me to better analyze outcomes. Studying abroad was not just a valuable academic experience, it also helped me grow as a person. Now, I’m a doctoral candidate at the Department of Political Science at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Tristan Klingelhöfer, graduate of B.A. Political Science and M.A. Political Science / Private photo

Five good reasons for studying Political Science in Mannheim

Combination of theory with practice
(hands-on approach guaranteed by a mandatory internship and corporate connections).

Stay abroad at one of our many prestigious partner universities

Individual support by the program and internship managers

Courses offered by leading political scientists from all over the world


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Self-Assessment Test

Do your expectations of the bachelor’s program in Political Science at the University of Mannheim match its actual contents? Take the test (in German) and see for yourself!

Rankings

According to the QS World Ranking 2019, the University of Mannheim is the best German university in the Social Sciences and Management category.

The program

The German-taught program comprises the core subject and the supplementary modules. The supplementary modules constitute the career development module (including a mandatory internship), the social skills module, and the minor. This structure allows you to benefit from the university’s interdisciplinary orientation and to develop your own profile.

  • Political Science in Mannheim

    The bachelor’s program in Political Science at the University of Mannheim provides you with a solid foundation in the field. It comprises basic and advanced modules, which teach students research methods as well as subject-specific skills in three areas of study:

    • International Relations
    • Political Sociology
    • Comparative Politics

    Courses from the International Relations modules focus on European integration, theories of international relations, and different areas of international cooperation as well as on conflict research. If you want to learn more about the research area Human Rights and Conflict Research, you can watch this interview with Prof. Sabine Carey, Ph.D. (in German).

    Political Sociology looks at how politics and society in Europe are interconnected, with emphasis being placed on voter behavior, political participation, political psychology, political communication, and theories of political decision-making.

    In Comparative Politics, students will compare political institutions in different countries and gain a profound understanding of them. Coalition governments, legislation, elections, and processes of democratization are of particular interest in this area.

  • Studying in a practice-oriented environment: the career development module

    The career development module is made up of the following parts:

    • Lecture Political Science and Career Development I
    • Mandatory internship (six weeks)
    • Exercise course Political Science and Career Development II

    In the lecture, the Internship Office of the School of Social Sciences will inform you about job opportunities for political scientists and bring you up to speed on how to write an application. Employers from the private and public sector regularly attend the lecture as well. They will tell you how you can start a career in their line of work and what different career paths there are.

    You will complete the six-week mandatory internship in a sociological field of your choosing. Our Internship Office will be happy to help you find a suitable placement. It also regularly informs all students at the School about vacancies (internships, part-time student jobs) in its newsletter and internship database.

    The exercise course enables you to think about your career goals. You will discuss your experience from your internship with your fellow students during class, and together you will research master’s programs offered by universities in Germany or abroad and find out about how you can start a professional career right after graduation.

  • Developing individual competences: social skills courses

    The social skills module offers practice-oriented courses that complement your core and minor subjects. It includes courses on presentation skills, software and statistics applications, media, and foreign language skills, which are taught at the Center for Development of Key Competencies (ZfS). Due to the interdisciplinary approach reflected in this program of study, students will learn exactly what they need to know to be successful on an ever-changing labor market. During the program, students are required to complete two social skills courses. They can choose to focus on software, presentation, communication and media skills, and/or learn a foreign language.

  • Broadening your horizon: the minor

    Your minor (approx. 32 ECTS credits) allows you to to gain expertise in another subject, which makes you fit for interdisciplinary work. You can, for example, take courses offered by the Business School and the Department of Economics and thereby benefit from their excellent reputation or you can choose Sociology, Psychology, or Public Law as a minor. In addition, the School of Humanities offers English and American Studies, German Studies, Romance Studies (French, Italian, Spanish), History, Media and Communication Studies, and Philosophy as a minor. It is also possible to opt for Informatics or Mathematics. You will choose your minor after you have enrolled at the University of Mannheim.

    All minors

    Political Science as a minor

  • Degree plan and module catalog

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Financing

You are interested in a scholarship or other financing options?

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Student Life

From cobblestone paths to stucco walls – studying in Mannheim is a unique experience!

Photo credit: Jana Caran
Studying Abroad

Gain international experience without being set back in your studies!

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Career Prospects

What can you do with a bachelor's degree in Political Science?

    Application

  • Requirements

    • Are you not only interested in current affairs, but also in long-term political trends, especially in Europe?
    • Do you have good analytical and mathematical skills? Do you like working with numbers and are you keen to learn standard statistical methods?
    • The amount of literature you are expected to read exceeds the amount typically covered in the final years of your upper secondary education. To be able to keep up with weekly reading requirements, you need to be well organized and hard working. Would you say that about yourself?
    • Are you prepared to read most of the literature in English?

    You should demonstrate your interest in learning about interdependences in society and analyzing them using statistical methods, be committed to your studies, and be able to work independently. Apart from that, your application must include the following:

    • grade average achieved in your university entrance qualification (= Abitur or equivalent qualification),
    • the final grades achieved in Mathematics and English,
    • a certificate proving you took the aptitude test,
    • optionally: proof of other achievements relevant to your application (such as experience in a federal, state or local public administration, public relations work for a political party, journalism, voluntary work for an interest group, e.g., a trade union, a social, cultural or sports organization, or a church association).
  • How to apply

    The bachelor’s program in Political Science starts in the fall semester. Therefore, the University of Mannheim accepts applications every year between May 15 and July 15. You need to apply online. After that, you need to print the application form and send it by post to the Admissions Office of the University of Mannheim. Your letter must include any other documents required for your application and arrive at the university by July 15 at the latest. The University of Mannheim participates in the so-called dialog-oriented service procedure (DoSV). If you want to apply for admission to the first subject-specific semester of a program at the University of Mannheim, you must register for the DoSV at www.hochschulstart.de first. If you have any questions on the application process, please contact the Admissions Office.

    You can submit up to three (main) applications for admission to the first semester of selective bachelor’s programs at the University of Mannheim

    For comprehensive information on the application process and the DoSV, please see the guide to applying for admission to a bachelor’s program (particularly subsection 3.2.1), which is only available in German.

    Please note: International applicants from countries outside of the EU/EEA cannot take part in the DoSV. Prospective students from these countries are requested to apply to the University of Mannheim directly via the online application process.

  • Next steps

    Please read the Admissions Office’s guide to applying for admission to a bachelor’s program carefully (and pay particular attention to subsection 3.1.7.). It includes everything you need to know about the application process and the dispatch of official letters of admission.

    Please go to the Admissions Office’s website for more information.

     

Academic advising

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

If you have any questions on your degree program (course contents, program structure, stays abroad), don’t hesitate to contact our program managers. For questions relating to the application process, please contact the Admissions Office.