Sociology at Germany’s #1

Studying in a practice-oriented and international environment

The German-taught bachelor’s program in Sociology provides you with a solid foundation in the field: You will learn how you employ scientific methods to study human communities, i.e. their different manifestations and their development over time, and how to identify interdependences between them. In Mannheim, the focus is placed on quantitative social research. As a graduate of the University of Mannheim, a number of interesting career paths lie ahead of you. Numerous rankings confirm that the Department of Sociology is excellent in both teaching and research: According to the 2019 QS World Ranking, the University of Mannheim is the best German university in the Social Sciences category. 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 31 July 2023.

  • What is Sociology?

    Sociology at the University of Mannheim
    In teaching and research, each university has its own unique profile that sets them apart from one another. That is why deciding which higher education institution you would like to go to matters for your future career.

    In Mannheim, research and teaching activity at the Department of Sociology is primarily geared towards European societies. Our courses look at specific subfields of sociology relating to work and employment, education, family, migration, organization, the economy, or social classes. One of the special features of the Sociology program at the University of Mannheim is the fact that it includes Social Psychology. In these modules, students are introduced to the social self-concept, group processes, attitudes and attitude change, and stereotypes, and learn to better understand them. In addition, the Department of Sociology 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. 

    Math skills
    Statistics courses are an integral part of the bachelor’s program in Sociology. Using statistical formulas, you test the validity of your hypotheses and calculate social interdependences and influencing factors. Don’t worry, though: you do not have to be a mathematical genius to do well in Statistics during this program.

    English skills
    Much of the sociological literature is written in English. You should therefore be able to understand English texts. However, you do not need to speak English fluently.

    Usually, term papers are written in German. Some seminars may be offered in English, requiring you to hold your presentations and write your term papers in English. In most cases, participation in these seminars is voluntary.

  • What is Sociology not?

    Working with people
    People often falsely assume that by studying Sociology they will be trained to become a social pedagogue and be qualified to provide social care after graduation, e.g., in kindergartens, homes for children and young people, or institutions that provide counseling to addicts or assist disabled people. If you are interested in this kind of work, a program in Social Pedagogy or Social Work will be the right fit for you. Studying Sociology is therefore not the same as studying Social Pedagogy or Social Work. By pursuing a degree in Sociology, you will neither learn how to work with disabled people nor acquire pedagogical skills.

    Educational Science
    Sociology does not deal with child rearing and different parenting styles either. These topics are covered by programs in Educational Science.

    Principles of psychological counseling
    As a student of Sociology, you will not learn how to provide people with psychological counseling, as this falls within the area of Social Pedagogy or Psychology, too.

    Developmental Psychology
    Developmental Psychology is covered by the Psychology program and, in this form, is not part of the Sociology program’s curriculum.

  • 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, and analyzes them using different statistical methods.

    The quantitative methods employed in empirical social research comprise all procedures that enable the numerical representation of empirical facts on the one hand and that support conclusions drawn from empirical findings using inferential statistics on the other. Quantitative methods include sample selection, data collection, and data analysis, for example, and can be used to formulate new hypotheses as well as to test the validity of previously proposed hypotheses.

    During the program, you will first take the basic module Methods and Statistics. It addresses the following topics: drawing up surveys, developing questionnaires, devising measuring instruments, and setting up research designs and schedules, as well as the practical implementation of a study, such as data collection and analysis using statistical methods. Subsequently, you will team up with your fellow students to carry out your own research project, which is part of the research internship in the advanced module.

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, student of the bachelor’s program in Sociology / Credit: Verena Weihberg

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

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, family, and educational and gender inequality. The university's interdisciplinary approach was a benefit to my minor in Political Science as well. I fondly remember the respectful interaction and the close cooperation between teachers and students at the University of Mannheim. My training in empiricism and methods 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 opportunities commissioner for a company or public authority. My bachelor's degree in Mannheim paved the way for this. 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

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 B.A. Sociology / Credit: Carla Neddermeier

5 good reasons for studying Sociology 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 sociologists from all over the world

Self-Assessment Test

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


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.

Diagram: degree plan of the bachelor's program in Sociology (in German)

  • Four areas of study

    The bachelor’s program in Sociology at the University of Mannheim provides you with a solid foundation in the field. It comprises basic and advanced modules with an express focus on four areas of study:

    • General and Specific Sociology
    • Comparative European Societies
    • Social Psychology
    • Methods of Empirical Social Research

    General and Specific Sociology introduces basic sociological theories, and deals with their application in empirical analyses on a variety of topics, such as the sociology of work and employment, education, family, migration, the economy, organization, and social classes. Examples are mostly drawn from the context of German society.

    The modules in Comparative European Societies address macrosociological theories about modern societies as well as empirical analyses that compare the components of a society at an international level, such as welfare states, education systems, employment relations, labor markets, and civil society in Europe. Special emphasis is also placed on the processes of Europeanization and globalization and their impact on the nation states.

    The area of Social Psychology deals with questions and perspectives of sociopsychological research, such as the social self-concept, group processes, attitudes and attitude change, stereotypes, health psychology, and social psychology of gender.

    Apart from attending lectures and seminars, students independently carry out a research project in Methods of Empirical Social Research.

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

    The career development module is made up of three parts:

    • Lecture Sociology and Career Development I
    • Mandatory internship 
    • Exercise course Sociology and Career Development II

    In the lecture, the Internship Office of the School of Social Sciences will inform you about job opportunities for sociologists 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 mandatory internship in a sociological field, ideally during the semester break. The Internship Office will be happy to support you in finding a suitable internship. It also regularly informs all students at the School about vacancies (internships, part-time student jobs) in its newsletter and internship database.

    In the exercise course, you will discuss your experience from your internship with your fellow students, 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, they are required to take two social skills courses, one focusing on IT skills and one in another area.

  • Broadening your horizon: the minor

    When choosing their minor (approx. 32 ECTS credits), students can take courses offered by the Business School and the Department of Economics and thereby benefit from their excellent reputation. They can also opt for Political Science, Psychology, Public Law, Mathematics, or Informatics. 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. Students select their minor after enrolling in the program at the University of Mannheim.

    Sociology as a minor

  • Degree plan and module catalog


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Student Life

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

Studying Abroad

Gain international experience without being set back in your studies!

Career Prospects

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


  • Requirements

    First of all, 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 Sociology starts in the fall semester. Attention: The University of Mannheim accepts applications this year in the preliminary application period between 15 June and 31 July. You need to apply online.  If you have any questions on the application process, please contact the Admissions Office.

    The University of Mannheim participates in the so-called dialog-oriented service procedure (DoSV), a new centralized procedure coordinating the allocation of study places. 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 first.

    There, you may submit up to three (main) applications of admission to the first subject-specific semester of a selective bachelor's program 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 (only available in German), particularly subsection 3.2.1.

    Please note: International applicants from countries outside of the EU/EEA cannot take part in the DoSV. If you are an international applicant, please use the University of Mannheim’s online application only.

  • 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. Go to the Admissions Office 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.

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