Study and Train to Become a Psychotherapist

The master’s program (M.Sc.) in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy is the fast track to getting licensed in Psychotherapy

The master’s program in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy will be introduced at the University of Mannheim in the fall/winter semester 2023/2024. Students of the program will have access to the new psychotherapy curriculum and can become licensed directly after their graduation. The degree program is designed for students who have completed a bachelor’s degree which complies with the licensing regulations for psychotherapists (Approbationsordnung für Psychotherapeutinnen und Psychotherapeuten).

The program

  • Study and train to become a psychotherapist

    The subject-specific focus of the four-semester master’s program is in-depth academic knowledge, profound knowledge of research methods, specific disorders and psychotherapeutic therapies as well as applied psychotherapy work. The degree program implements the requirements for master’s programs set forth in the licensing regulations for psychotherapists (Approbationsordnung) so that you are well prepared for a job in psychotherapy. With the module on health psychology, health prevention and health intervention are added to the psychotherapy-focused curriculum. Students gain valuable knowledge for their future professional activity.

    The degree program is very practice-oriented. During your studies, you are already obliged to participate in psychotherapeutic consultations in the modules reflecting the professionally qualifying activity II (berufsqualifizierende Tätigkeit II) – in-depth psychotherapeutic work and the professionally qualifying activity III (berufsqualifizierende Tätigkeit III) – applied psychotherapeutic work, in accordance with the licensing regulations.

    Cooperations with psychotherapeutic institutions, whether in inpatient or outpatient care or a partial hospitalization program, ensure the quality of and the access to suitable internship positions.

    With a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, you are entitled to submit a request for being admitted to the licensing exam (Zulassung zur Approbationsprüfung) as psychotherapist to the relevant state examination office (Landesprüfungsamt). However, your degree also qualifies you to work in diagnostics and intervention in institutions with a focus on consulting, rehabilitation, or prevention as well as in psychotherapy research and neuropsychology.

  • Program structure and module catalog

    The program structure offers you an overview on your program to help you plan. In the module catalog, you will find everything you need to know about the contents and examination forms of the individual courses and modules.

  • Professionally qualifying activity III – applied psychotherapeutic practice in accordance with section 18 PsychThApprO

    In accordance with section 18 of the licensing regulations for psychotherapists, you are obliged to carry out extensive preparatory professional activities in (partially) inpatient and outpatient care within the scope of professionally qualifying activities III – applied psychotherapy (berufsqualifizierende Tätigkeit IIII) during your master’s program. For the specific regulations, please see the regulations on professionally qualifying activity III – applied psychotherapy work (Ordnung über die berufsqualifizierende Tätigkeit III – angewandte Praxis der Psychotherapie) (still to be published).

    In order to offer you as much flexibility as possible during the third and the fourth semester, the class will be divided into two groups (A and B) for the professionally qualifying activity III (berufsqualifizierende Tätigkeit III), so that both groups complete either the (partially) inpatient or the outpatient part at the same time: While group A works in the psychological outpatient clinic of the University of Mannheim (psychologische Hochschulambulanz), group B works in the (partially) inpatient clinic at the relevant partner institutions; in the fourth subject-specific semester, the groups switch their professional activity from outpatient to (partially) inpatient care and vice-versa.


  • Requirements for admission

    In the following you will find detailed information on the admission requirements for the Master's programm in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy (M.Sc. KPPT) at the University of Mannheim.

    A checklist with the documents/evidence to be submitted with the online application depending on the degree can be found here shortly.

    You can use this form to prove the professional requirements or to prove your degree.

    You can use this form to prove that you have completed your studies in accordance with §§12–15 and Annex 1 PsychThApprO.
    Please note:  If your bachelor’s degree certificate or the transcript of records show that your bachelor’s degree is recognized under professional law, you do not need to submit this certificate.

    Prerequisites for admission to the M.Sc. KPPT are:

    • Language certificate confirming C1-level of the German language: Above all, the level and understanding of the spoken language should meet the requirements of patient contact. In the practical assignments of the master's program, the students will spend extensive periods of time in contact with real patients, therefore adequate interaction should be ensured.
    • A bachelor’s degree in Psychology obtained at an university or an institution of higher education equivalent to German universities. The bachelor's program must fulfill the requirements under professional law and/or be recognized under professional law.


    • Successful completion of a degree at an university or a higher education institution in Germany or abroad equivalent to German universities recognized as equivalent by the admissions committee. The content of the learning outcomes of the completed program must correspond to the requirements of the Psychotherapy law (Psychotherapeutengesetz) and Annex 1 as well as sections 12–15 of the licensing regulations for psychotherapists (Approbationsordnung für Psychotherapeutinnen und Psychotherapeuten).

    Overview equivalent academic degrees:

    A) The admissions committee at the department of Psychology at the University of Mannheim recognizes a degree as equivalent if catch-up qualifications in which licensing-relevant contents with the ECTS credits prescribed by the licensing regulations were obtained at the relevant higher education institution. Please note that such catch-up qualifications must have been obtained during the regular course of the bachelor’s program and not after graduation and that it is not possible to obtain these catch-up qualifications during your master. This also applies to the study internships, which should be comparable to the orientation internship and BQT I. In addition, it would be ideal if the relevant state authority had already successfully checked the catch-up qualifications for compliance with the learning contents of the licensing regulations for psychotherapists (PsychTheApprO) or – if the relevant state authority has not (yet) checked the catch-up qualifications for compliance with the licensing regulations – the higher education institution where you completed your bachelor’s degree should confirm that the catch-up qualifications offered probably fulfill the criteria of the PsychThApprO. However, you can also use the Transcript of Records in combination with the module handbook of the first degree to prove the degree’s equivalence.

    B) Even if you have not completed a new Bachelor's degree programme in psychology recognised under professional law or a previous Bachelor's degree programme in psychology with options for subsequent qualification, you have the option of having your degree checked for equivalence – e.g. if you completed your Bachelor's degree programme abroad and may have completed additional courses there that teach content relevant to licensure. However, you should also pay attention to the conformity of your study placements with the requirements for licensure!
    Please note:If you are an applicant from an institution of higher education abroad you must hand in a proof that the instituion is equivalent to German universities!  For template see here.

    • The bachelor's degree must correspond to at least 180 ECTS credits or have a standard period of study of at least 6 semesters or 3 years.

    The admission criteria outlined here correspond to the requirements set forth in the licensing regulations. For more information, you can also refer to the amended selection statutes for the master’s programs in Psychology which will be published in time for the start of the application period. Cou can find the current version on the central website of the university at “Psychology".

  • Does my bachelor’s degree program comply with the licensing regulations?

    To be admitted to the master’s program in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, you must fulfill certain knowledge and internship requirements of the licensing regulations for psychotherapists (Approbationsordnung) in modules or in the form of catch-up qualifications during your bachelor’s degree.

    The relevant modules and internships must have been completed during your bachelor’s program and not after you have earned your bachelor’s degree. It is therefore not possible to be admitted while some (parts of) qualifications are still missing and to obtain these qualifications later on during your master’s degree!

    The following list provides an overview of the qualifications you need to obtain during your bachelor’s degree in order to fulfill the professional law requirements to be admitted to the master’s degree in Psychology Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy (for the full list of the contents/learning outcomes, please see sections 12–15 of the licensing regulations for psychotherapists (PsychThApprO) as well as Annex 1).

    • Fundamentals:

    Fundamentals of Psychology (25 ECTS credits)

    Basics of Education Studies / Educational Psychology (4 ECTS credits)

    Fundamentals of Medicine (4 ECTS credits)

    Fundamentals of Pharmacology (2 ECTS credits)

    • Specialization in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy:

    Disorders (8 ECTS credits)                                                                     

    General forms of therapy (8 ECTS credits)                    

    Prevention, rehabilitation (2 ECTS credits)                                              

    Professional ethics and occupational law (2 ECTS credits)                                                                                                                    

    • Methods and diagnostics:

    Scientific methods (without experimental psychology internship (Expra)/empirical internship (Empra)) (15 ECTS)                                                               

    Psychological diagnostics (12 ECTS)                                                                                                                     

    • Practical work / internships:

    Research-oriented internship I – Research fundamentals according to section 13 of the licensing regulations (experimental psychology internship/empirical internship, work in small groups with a maximum of 15 students and under qualified supervision) (6 ECTS credits)                                            

    Orientation internship in accordance with section 14 of the licensing regulationsin institutions witha focus on health and patient care in which licensed (child and adolescent psychologists) psychotherapists work (four weeks/at least 150 hours) (5 ECTS credits). At least one of the psychotherapists working in the institution must have obtained his or her license (“Approbation”) in Germany!
    You can also find a checklist about the requirements of the orientation internship on the website of our internship office.                                                                                          

    Professionally qualifying activity I (berufsqualifizierende Tätigkeit I) – Start into psychotherapy work in accordance with section 15 of the licensing regulations under qualified supervision in psychotherapeutic institutions providing health care, in which licensed (child and adolescent psychologists) psychotherapists work(6 weeks/at least 240 hours), (8 ECTS credits). At least one of the psychotherapists working in the institution must have obtained his or her license (“Approbation”) in Germany!                                                                                                                                                                                

  • Selection criteria

    • The final grade of your bachelor’s degree or the final grade of all modules and examination grades of the bachelor’s program taken until the application deadline.
    • If applicable: The result of an admission test.
    • Study-related additional qualifications (such as vocational training, practical experiences of at least three months, study-relevant stays abroad, prizes).
  • Degrees obtained abroad

    Starting a master’s program in Psychology with a focus on Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy in Germany after having completed a bachelor’s degree abroad is still possible but has become more difficult. The requirement for admission is that the degree program completed at the higher education institution abroad complies with the requirements and the contents of the licensing regulations and that the coursework of the bachelor’s degree obtained abroad is recognized as equivalent. Furthermore you must hand in a proof that your study institution is a university or an institution of higher education equivalent to German universities. In the end, these are questions to be answered by the relevant health authorities, in most cases the state examination offices (Landesprüfungsämter). Currently, the recognition of internships completed abroad as orientation internship and as professionally qualifying activity I may be particularly difficult, since the licensing regulations state that psychotherapists, psychological psychotherapists or psychotherapists for children and adolescents who are licensed in Germany must work in the institutions where the internships were completed (see PsychThApprO, sections 14 and 15). We are in the process of clarifying this matter with the state examination office and the recognition office for health professionals (Anerkennungsstelle für Gesundheitsberufe) in Stuttgart and will publish the results of this process as soon as possible on this website.

    In the worst-case scenario, your internships and coursework from the bachelor's program completed abroad are not recognized so that you need to complete a second bachelor’s program that complies with the new psychotherapy regulations in Germany. For more information, please refer to the frequently asked questions of the German Psychological Society (in German).

  • Admissions test

    The admission test is an optional selection criterion for the additional verification of the subject-specific capability. Knowledge acquired in a bachelor’s program in Psychology or an equivalent program are a requirement for processing. The test is offered once a year and is valid for the application year in which it was taken.

  • How to apply

    The application period for the Master's programme in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy starts on 1 April 2023 and ends on 15 May 2023. This is a cut-off deadline, i.e. all documents required for the application must be submitted in full by 15 May 2023.  In principle, an application is only possible for the respective autumn/winter semester.

    You submit your application online to the University of Mannheim.  If you have questions on the application process, the Admissions Office is happy to help.

    You can find all information about the application process in the information brochure for Master's programmes.

Academic advising

Still have questions? We are happy to help!

The program managers of the master’s program in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy are happy to answer any questions you may have on the program (for example, on the contents or the structure).

For questions on the professional activities within the professionally-qualifying activity III (berufsqualifizierende Tätigkeit III), a specific contact person will be available soon. If you already have specific questions on the professionally qualifying activities III, please contact the program managers and refrain from asking the internship manager of the School of Social Sciences.

If you have questions about the admissions process, please contact the admissions office.

Dr. Anika Skotak

Dr. Anika Skotak

Program Manager M.Sc. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
University of Mannheim
School of Social Sciences
A 5, 6
Building A – Room A 416
68159 Mannheim
Consultation hour(s):
Mondays, 1–2pm:
Open office hour in person (A 416)

Tuesdays, 11–12am:
Online office hour via Teams
Please make an appointment:

Wednesdays, 1–2pm:
Open telephone consultation hour