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Bachelor’s Program in Sociology

Obtain your degree with a career-oriented and international program

Sociology deals with social behavior and the underlying structures and systems. Social scientists research how people live together in society and investigate the values and norms evident and valid in groups, social systems, or organizations. Inequalities and conflicts prevailing in social groups or the changes taking place within them can also be the subject of sociological examinations.

The bachelor's program in Sociology provides you with the basics of sociological thinking and research: you will learn to examine the various manifestations and developments of human coexistence and to analyze them applying scientific methods in order to better recognize and understand interrelationships.

Not all universities teach and conduct research in the same field of sociology – instead, they have different focuses. For this reason, choosing the right university is of particular importance.

    The bachelor's program in Sociology at the University of Mannheim

    In Mannheim, researchers at the Department of Sociology focus, in particular, on exploring European societies. Specifically, the focus is on the sociology of work, education, family, and migration, economic and organizational sociology, and social stratification.

    A special feature of the Mannheim program in Sociology is the integration of Social Psychology. In this field, students learn about and gain a better understanding of social self-concepts, group processes, and attitudes as well as their changes or stereotypes.

    The Department of Sociology at the University of Mannheim is also internationally renowned for its strong emphasis on empirical-analytical research, which is informed by theory and relies on quantitative methods such as computer-aided statistical analysis. Students therefore have the opportunity to independently carry out research projects in separate courses. 

    Verena Weihberg hat wellige blonde Haare und eine Brille. Sie trägt einen Blazer.

    For several reasons, studying the bachelor's program in Sociology at the University of Mannheim was the perfect choice for me. First of all, the combination of both Sociology and Psychology is very exciting and has opened up many interesting new perspectives for me. In addition, the University of Mannheim provides students with many opportunities to think outside the box: for example, I spent my semester abroad in Ireland and got involved in one of the more than 50 student organizations. I also gained first practical experience as a student assistant. Besides my studies, I particularly enjoyed the wide range of activities offered by university sports. My bachelor's degree now allows me to pursue a variety of specialized master's programs – from Data Science to Criminology. I have opted for the master’s program in Sociology: Social and Economic Psychology (M.Sc.).

    Verena Weihberg, graduate of the bachelor’s program in Sociology / Credit: Verena Weihberg
    Leia Braunagel hat blonde Haare. Sie trägt einen schwarzen Mantel und einen Wollpullover.

    During my bachelor's degree in Sociology, I had the opportunity to explore the various aspects of people's social coexistence from a research perspective. What particularly interested me was the interdisciplinary exchange within the subject area of Social Psychology. I also particularly enjoyed the structural comparison of different countries and cultures. Studying in Mannheim has taught me a lot that I can also benefit from during my master's degree in Liberal Arts in the USA. In addition to receiving an excellent academic education, I was also able to pursue a dual career as an active athlete and student thanks to the Spitzensport-Stipendium Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar.

    Leia Braunagel, student of the bachelor’s program in Sociology and scholarship holder of the Spitzensport-Stipendium Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar / Credit: Marlene Weiss
    Jule Schabernack trägt kinnlanges blondes Haar, eine dezente, runde Brille und einen karierten Blazer über einem weißen Rollkragenpullover.

    The well-structured bachelor's degree in Sociology introduced me to the broad range of the subject regarding fascinating and relevant current topics such as migration and family as well as educational and gender inequality. The interdisciplinary approach that the university takes was a benefit to both my core subject and my minor in Political Science. I fondly remember the respectful interaction and the close cooperation between teachers and students at the University of Mannheim. My training in empirical methods and research is a great basis for the academic research activities of my master's program in Gender & Queer Studies. After graduating, I would like to work as an equal opportunity commissioner for a company or public authority. My bachelor's degree in Mannheim paved the way for this career path. Without it, this field of work might never have occurred to me.

    Jule Schabernack, graduate of the bachelor’s program in Sociology / Photo credit: Martin Rasche
    Elisabeth Schmalz hat braun-blonde, lange Haare. Sie trägt ein helles Hemd und hat ihre rechte Hand in die Hüfte gestemmt.

    During my bachelor’s program in Sociology at the University of Mannheim, I took advantage of the opportunity to spend a semester abroad at a Canadian university. It was a unique experience – thanks to alternative academic focal points I got to know other critical perspectives. Another distinctive feature of the bachelor’s program in Mannheim is the opportunity to explore an additional subject area by choosing it as a minor. I settled for Media and Communication Studies, which I now study in my master’s program, too. The expertise I developed in Sociology is still very useful for me whenever I work on research projects.

    Elisabeth Schmalz, graduate of the bachelor’s program in Sociology / Credit: Carla Neddermeier

    Good to know

    • What are the contents of the Mannheim program in Sociology?

      In addition to the core subject, the bachelor's program in Sociology taught in Mannheim includes supplementary modules, comprising the Career Development Module (including a mandatory internship), the Social Skills Module and the minor.

      Interdisciplinarity is an important aspect of our degree program and allows you to shape your individual profile according to your interests.

      Program structure of the bachelor’s program in Sociology (PDF file)

      Detailed information about the structure of the bachelor’s program in Sociology

    • What are quantitative methods?

      Empirical social research involves the systematic collection of data on social relationships, for example by means of observations, interviews, experiments and their evaluation using various statistical methods.

      Quantitative methods in empirical social research focus on objective measurements, i.e. countable characteristics. Data is collected, for example, with the help of questionnaires or surveys, but also through observation and in experiments, and then evaluated and analyzed using statistical, mathematical or numerical methods. This way, hypotheses can be generated and/or tested.

      During your bachelor's degree at the University of Mannheim, you will first take the basic module in Methods and Statistics, which covers the following topics:

      • designing surveys,
      • developing questionnaires,
      • selecting measuring instruments and research designs,
      • practical data collection,
      • data analysis using statistical methods.

      In the advanced methods module, you will carry out an independent research project together with your fellow students as part of the research internship.

    • How important are math skills for studying Sociology?

      Training in statistics is an essential part of the degree program in Sociology. You will use statistical formulas to test hypotheses and calculate the strength of social correlations and influencing factors.

      But do not worry: you do not need to be a math genius to cope with statistics during your studies. Basic math skills are sufficient. 

    • How important is it to know English when studying Sociology?

      Most sociological literature is written in English. You should therefore be able to read and understand English texts. However, it is not necessary to be fluent in English.

      Term papers are usually written in German. However, it is quite possible that seminars will be taught in English, which means that you will also have to write presentations and assignments in English.

    • How do I apply for a study place at the University of Mannheim?

      The University of Mannheim does not apply a numerus clausus system (grade-point average for admission to certain programs of study). Instead, we take many different criteria into account in our selection process.

    • What career options do I have with a bachelor's degree in Sociology?

      Graduates of our bachelor's and master's programs in Sociology work in various professional fields requiring profound empirical-analytical skills and in-depth knowledge of quantitative methods.  Whether in academia or in other areas, for example in the public or private sector, social scientists have many different career opportunities.

      What exactly do social scientists do for a living?

    • What does Sociology not involve?

      Working with people
      A common misconception is that studying a program in Sociology will provide you with training in social pedagogy or social education and that you will develop the skills and qualification necessary for working in the social sector, for example in kindergartens, youth homes, family support or in institutions for the disabled. If you are looking for training in this field, a degree program in Social Pedagogy or Social Work would be the right choice for you. Under no circumstances is Sociology the same as Social Pedagogy or Social Work. Degree programs in Sociology neither teach social education concepts nor impart pedagogical skills.

      Educational Science
      Neither is the education of children part of a degree program in Sociology. This is taught in the field of Educational Science.

      Psychological counseling
      Students of a degree program in Sociology do not learn how to provide psychological counseling. This aspect rather pertains to training in the fields of Social Pedagogy or Psychology.

      Developmental psychology
      Developmental psychology forms part of the subject of Psychology and is not taught in this form as part of programs in Sociology.

    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.

    Stefanie Thye, M.A.

    Stefanie Thye, M.A. (she/her)

    Program Manager Sociology
    University of Mannheim
    School of Social Sciences
    A 5, 6
    Building A – Room A 417
    68159 Mannheim
    Consultation hour(s):
    Please note: Only online consultations are offered currently. Please make an appointment at