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Study Sociology in Mannheim and Become a Data Analysis Expert

Research oriented and international

The master's program in Sociology 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. The main research topics include Family, Education & Work, Migration & Integration, Economy & Welfare State, and Social Inequality. All classes are taught in English. According to the QS World Ranking 2019, the University of Mannheim is the best German university in the Social Sciences and Management 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 July 31, 2023.

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    What our students say about us

    After graduating from Leibniz University Hannover with a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences, I wanted to pursue a master’s degree that focuses on quantitative methods and statistics. With the master’s program in Sociology in Mannheim, I have found exactly what I was looking for! What I like most about this program is being part of a small, international group of students. Thanks to my studies and my job as a student assistant at the GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, I feel well prepared for a career in academia. That is why I’m currently planning to pursue a doctoral degree after my graduation.

    Klara Raiber, student of the master’s program in Sociology / Photo credit: Manuel Neumann

    Vieri Pistocchi, student of the master's program in Sociology from Florence, Italy (Class of 2017)


    7 reasons for pursuing your M.A. in Sociology in Mannheim

    Best German university in Social Sciences and Management (QS Ranking by Subject 2017)

    The program builds on the School‘s strength in empirical-analytical approaches, quantitative methods, and comparative research

    International campusacademic calendar aligned with the international academic year, large international group of students, and renowned international researchers, professors, and teachers

    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. Indiana University, University of Haifa, 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


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    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).

    Photo credit: Tabea Sickert
    Rankings

    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

    The program is divided into seven modules: Sociological Research Fields, Foundations of Sociological Theory, Cross-Sectional Data Analysis, Advanced Research Methods, Research Design, Research Project, and the Master's Thesis.

    Degree plan

    • Sociological Research Fields

      Within the module Sociological Research Fields, you may choose five elective seminars (1st - 3rd semester) from different areas of concentration, such as Social Inequality & Stratification, Sociology of Migration, Comparative Welfare State Analysis, Labor Relations, Organizational Theory, Networks & Segregation, Economic Sociology, Fertility & Family Formation, Sociology of Education, Labor Markets & Occupations or Ethnic Inequality & Segregation and Social Psychology.

    • Foundations of Sociological Theory

      The module Foundations of Sociological Theory (1st semester) covers central aspects of sociological theory development and its foundations based on scientific theory. It offers an overview of the methodology of sociological explanations and the central, general components of sociological theories in research.

    • Cross-Sectional Data Analysis

      In Cross-Sectional Data Analysis (1st semester), procedures for cross-sectional regression analysis (linear and categorical) are covered at an advanced level.

    • Advanced Research Methods

      The module Advanced Research Methods (2nd semester) consists of a lecture and an exercise course. While students are taught how to analyze event history data and panel data during the lecture, they learn practical research methods using secondary data and information from other sources during the exercise course.

    • Research Design

      The module Research Design (3rd semester) encourages students to develop a suitable research design for a specific research question (particularly with regard to the master's thesis), and to select and use available resources. A mandatory research internship is designed to offer hands-on experience in empirical research. Students may substitute the internship with attending a summer school program or working as a student assistant. Our Internship Office will assist students in finding internship positions and summer school programs that are in line with their interests.

    • Research Project

      During the Research Project (2nd + 3rd semester), students first attend the Seminar in Research Methods. In the seminar, they will deepen and extend their knowledge of advanced methods of empirical social research, preparing them for the subsequent Research Project Seminar. During the exercise course in Exemplary Empirical Studies, explanation approaches are evaluated using exemplary new publications, and formal and stylistic standards for academic texts are taught. In the concluding Research Project Seminar, students prepare an empirical-analytical study in a focus area of sociological research.

    • Master's Thesis

      Students complete their master's thesis during their fourth semester. The thesis is expected to have the format of a research article suitable for submission to an academic professional journal in the social sciences. Research questions, research designs, and initial empirical findings are presented during the Master's Forum Day. While they write their master's thesis, students also attend a colloquium. Our school is deeply committed to mentoring students as they take this important step toward a successful academic career.

    • Degree plan and module catalog

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    Studying Abroad

    Gain international experience at one of our renowned partner universities worldwide! Check our database of partner universities.

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    Funding

    Do you want to know what scholarships are available to international students? This way!

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    MyUniMA Story

    In our MyUniMA Story, students from all around the world share their experiences and why they decided to study in Mannheim.

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    Career Prospects

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

      Application

    • Admission requirements

      Our goal is to accept qualified and motivated students. Applications therefore undergo a selection process that includes the following selection criteria:

      1. Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences or a degree in a related field, which was completed with a grade of at least “good” (German grade equivalent: 2.5). For international students, international guidelines for grading standards will be applied. If you have not yet completed your bachelor's program by the time of application, you must submit a current transcript of records proving you have obtained at least 130 ECTS credits (or equivalent). Your admission will be based on this document and is subject to receipt of your degree certificate by mid-October at the latest.

      2. Good English language skills certified by a higher education entrance qualification from a school with English as the language of instruction (e.g. A Levels) or a bachelor's degree from a higher education institution with English as the language of instruction and examination. Alternatively, one of the following language tests is required:

        • Test of English as a Foreign Language [Either: a) Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT) with a score of at least 90 points; b) Paper-Based Text (PBT) with a score of at least 577 points],
        • International English Language Testing System - Academic Test (IELTS) with an overall band score of at least 6.5,
        • Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with at least Level C,
        • Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) with at least Level C.

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

      1. A certificate (or transcript of records) with at least one course in statistical analysis and/or social research methods, which was completed with a grade of at least “good” (German grade equivalent: 2.5).

      Grades obtained by international students will be transferred to the German grading system by using the Bavarian Formula.

      If you fulfill these admission requirements, your application will be taken into further consideration. Please see the next item “Selection criteria”.

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

      Selection statutes (in English: not legally binding)

    • Selection criteria

      The admissions committee examines the following selection criteria and awards points for each criterion. In accordance with the awarded points, the admissions committee compiles a ranking list of all applications. Admission relates directly to the position in the ranking. The relevant selection criteria are:

      1. Final grade achieved in the bachelor's degree or the grade point average achieved at the time of application. If the institution does not provide an average grade, the University of Mannheim will calculate one providing the required documents are submitted before the application deadline. (10%)
      2. Letter of motivation in English. The letter of motivation should contain a maximum of 500 words. (30%)
      3. Sample of written work in Sociology in English or German. The sample should underline the applicant's ability to conduct research in Sociology and should not exceed 5,000 words. (60%)

      All applicants to the master's program in Sociology 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. 

      Info sheet: sample of written work

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

      Selection statutes (in English: not legally binding)

    • How to apply

      How to apply - video tutorial

      Every year, the application period starts on March 15 and ends on April 30. The Admissions Office is the central office for all applicants (German as well as foreign applicants).

      The University of Mannheim has a two step application procedure:

      1. You need to apply online

      2. You need to print and sign the application form and send it together with all supporting documents to the Admissions Office by post

      Applicants are required to submit certified copies of 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.

      Attached to the application form for admission, you will find a checklist that will help you compile all documents. Please read this list carefully since incomplete applications have to be excluded from the admissions process.

      Please note:

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

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

      The International Office also provides a variety of information for international degree-seeking students on its website.

      The Admissions Office can be contacted via e-mail or phone (+49 621/181-2222).

    • What happens after you have applied

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

      International students: 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.

    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.

    Katharina Heck, M.A.

    Katharina Heck, M.A.

    Program Manager Sociology
    University of Mannheim
    School of Social Sciences
    A 5, 6
    Building A – Room A 416
    68159 Mannheim
    Consultation hour(s):
    During the semester: Tue 3–4 p.m. and Wed 10–11 a.m.
    During the lecture–free period: Wed 10–11 a.m.
    No office hours on September, 25th. Instead, I offer an additional office hour on September 26th, 10–11 a.m.