Political Science in Mannheim

Research oriented and international

The master's program in Political Science offered by the School of Social Sciences provides students with the opportunity to study in an international environment at a renowned university. The program, with a duration of two years, is research oriented and builds on the School's strength in empirical-analytical approaches, particularly in quantitative methods and comparative research. Substantive areas of concentration include comparative politics, international politics, political economy, European societies and politics, and formal and quantitative methods. All classes are taught in English. Mannheim has repeatedly been rated as Germany's leading university for Political Science in Germany according to the QS World Ranking, the Times Higher Education Ranking (THE) and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Ranking).

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    During the masters program I acquired extensive knowledge of quantitative methods which significantly helped me to improve my research skills. I currently work as a student assistant at the German Internet Panel where we study the impact of the Corona-Crisis on social and political life. As part of this study I had the chance to participate in an internationally renowned research project with many publications worldwide, so the focus on methods during my studies not only helped me gain a deeper understanding of the subject beyond the scope of theories, it also opened a new perspective on research opportunites within academia and their relevance towards social development. Additionally, the University of Mannheim offers a welcoming and international environment and a high standard of teaching. Small classes and dedicated professors allow students to focus on research areas close to their heart.

    Lisa Wellinghoff, graduate of M.A political Science / Private photo

    I chose to study at the University of Mannheim early on beacuse of its quantitative focus and the variety of research centers associated with it. This gave me a very early start as a bachelor student to participate in high-quality research in institutes such as GESIS and MZES. My academic experience has been shaped by the international cooperation with other world-renowned universities that allow academic exchange between researchers. In Mannheim, I have met distinguished professors, mentors, and co-authors from whom I have learned a lot. That is something I am very grateful for. Taking full advantage of the opportunities at the University of Mannheim made it possible for me to start pursuing my doctoral studies at the University of Oxford.

    Ashrakat Elshehawy, graduate of B.A Political Science and M.A political Science / Photo credit: Farina Stock

    I chose this master’s program because it allowed me to acquire advanced knowledge of quantitative methods. As the groups are small, it is easy to actively take part in and contribute to the courses, which are taught by excellent staff members and focus on current research questions. This makes for an intense, but rewarding experience. While for me the city of Mannheim was not exactly love at first sight, I quickly learned to embrace its working-class mentality and its vibrant mix of cultures. During my studies, I worked as a student assistant at the Chair of Quantitative Methods at the Social Sciences. I am now a market researcher and data analyst at Ipsos, where I coordinate international projects. The skills I learned during the master’s program continue to be part of my daily routine, and are thus extremely valuable for my career.

    Max Alletsee, graduate of M.A. Political Science / Private photo

    The master’s program at the University of Mannheim focuses on advanced methods of formal and statistical data analysis, and provides students with many options to specialize. What makes the university even more attractive, and the reason why it was my first choice, is its international orientation. If you study here, you not only become part of Mannheim’s unique international research community, but you can also go abroad by taking part in a high-profile exchange program. I now work in market research as a project manager, and continue to live in Mannheim. I like the city for its special atmosphere and its many beautiful places as well as the broad range of events and activities it has to offer, ranging from music and the arts to sports and food. After spending some time here, you even become attached to the odd system that divides the city center into squares.

    Eva Streng, graduate of M.A. Political Science / Private photo

    During my studies, I acquired valuable methodological skills that I use daily in my current job: As Head of Mobilization, Elections & Analysis of the SPD Rhineland-Palatinate, I handle and analyze large amounts of data. I have very fond memories of my time at university: Not only did I spend a semester abroad in Norway and England respectively, I was also awarded the Bronnbach Scholarship, a cultural scholarship that provides outstanding non-material support. What I find most appealing about the University of Mannheim is its excellent reputation and the extensive network it is a part of. I also like the city of Mannheim a lot and still live here.

    Daniela Hohmann, graduate of M.A. Political Science / Photo credit: Anna Müller

    7 reasons for pursuing your M.A. in Political Science in Mannheim

    Best German university in Social Sciences and Management

    Strong emphasis on empirical-analytical approaches, quantitative methods, and comparative research

    Integrated doctoral program: become an associate member at our graduate school and start your doctoral studies while still pursuing your master's degree

    Close relationship with the GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), the largest research institution for social sciences at a German university

    Opportunity to study abroad at one of our renowned partner universities worldwide, e.g. New York University, Washington University, University of Toronto, University of Bergen

    Career support through the School's Internship Office: you can be involved in a research project as a student assistant or as an intern and gain work experience while increasing your income

    Mannheim is a vibrant city, located in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region. It is home to over 8,000 businesses, including several successful international companies, such as SAP and BASF

    Research Institutes

    Our School has a particularly close relationship with the GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES).


    According to the QS World Ranking 2019, the University of Mannheim is the best German university in Social Sciences and Management. In the THE Ranking, Mannheim has been ranked number 1 for the Social Sciences in Germany and number 31 worldwide.

    The degree program

    Double Degrees

    It is possible to receive an additional master's degree from another university when pursuing an M.A. in Political Science at the University of Mannheim. Find out more about our double degree programs!

    Studying Abroad

    Gain international experience at one of over 70 renowned partner universities!



    Looking for scholarships or jobs? This way!

    Career Prospects

    Our students are very popular with employers as they are highly skilled experts in the Social Sciences, especially in quantitative methods.


    • Admission requirements

      1. Bachelor's degree in Political Science or a degree in a related field, which was completed with a grade of at least “good” (German grade equivalent: 2.5 or better).

      2. Good level of English. The following proof of language proficiency is accepted:

        • a university entrance qualification from a school with English as the language of instruction,
        • completion of a degree in a program of study taught to at least 90 ECTS in English,
        • test results, such as TOEFL iBT (90 points) and PBT (577 points) or IELTS (6.5 points). Please find more specific information in the guide to applying for admission to a master's program.
      3. Proof of good performance in the area of methods of empirical social research, data analysis and statistics as indicated through previous course grades of classes in this area (German grade equivalent of 2.5 or better). Basic working knowledge in data analysis software (e.g., R, Stata, SPSS) is an asset. Good performance in previous courses in this area is a prerequisite and will be assessed in the following way: The admissions committee looks at each transcript of records individually and evaluates a student's performance on the basis of graded courses taken in this area. If the average grade of all courses in this area corresponds to a German grade of 2.5 or better, you fulfil this requirement. You may submit also for each course in this area a syllabus or an official course description such as a course catalog that documents that the content of this class actually fits the area of methods of empirical social research, data analysis and statistics.

      You may also take a look at the official selection statutes (in German only). 

      All grades will be converted into the German equivalents using the Bavarian Formula.

    • Selection criteria

      On the basis of the criteria listed below, applicants are awarded points and ranked accordingly. The percentage in parentheses tells you what influence each criterion has on the final score.

      1. The final grade or – for students still completing their degree program – the current average grade achieved in their bachelor's program (10%).

      2. letter of motivation in English with a maximum of 500 words (30%).

      3. A sample of written work in Political Science in English or German. This sample should underline the applicant's ability to conduct research in Political Science and should not exceed 5,000 words (60%). All applicants to the master's program in Political Science are required to submit a sample of their scholarly work. This sample should reflect original work that provides evidence of both writing ability and the capacity for social science research, analysis, and original thought at the graduate level. A plagiarism software may be used for verification.

      You may also take a look at the official selection statutes (in German only).

    • How to apply

      This year, subject to the approval of the committees and bodies, the application period starts on 10 April and ends on 15 May. The Admissions Office is the central office for all applicants (German as well as foreign applicants).

      You will only need to apply online.

      Applicants are required to submit official documents, such as the university entrance qualification or the bachelor's degree certificate, as specified in the online application. International guidelines for grading standards will be applied.

      Please note:

      If you have not yet been awarded your bachelor's degree by the time of application, you may submit a current transcript of records.

      English language certificates may also be handed in later, until 15 August at the latest.

      Guide to applying for admission to a master's program

    • What happens after you have applied

      Usually, applicants to a master’s program receive the decision shortly after the close of the deadline.

      If you wish to accept your offer, please confirm the Declaration of Acceptance. Afterwards, you will receive an e-mail containing your log-in details for myUniMA – an online portal that provides you with comprehensive information on enrollment. Furthermore, it contains information on visas as well as on accommodation.

      Guide to applying for admission to a master's program


    Services for students

    Any questions? We're happy to help you!

    The program managers are happy to answer any questions regarding the master's program (degree plan, selection of courses, structure and progress of your studies). For any questions relating to admission or application, please contact the Admissions Office.

    Dr. Gledis Londo

    Dr. Gledis Londo (she/her)

    Program Manager B.Ed./M.Ed. and M.A. Political Science
    University of Mannheim
    School of Social Sciences
    A 5, 6
    Building A – Room A 418
    68159 Mannheim
    Consultation hour(s):
    Please book an appointment: