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 (hereinafter referred to as: M.Sc. KPPT) 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) (For now, this document is only available in German. An english version of this document is planned.).

    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.

  • Information material on the course

    Prospective students can find further comprehensive information on the degree program here.

  • Studying abroad during your master’s program

    Please note that mobility in a Master's degree program in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy is not provided for in the licensing regulations and is rather limited due to the strict curriculum. However, this does not mean that a stay abroad during the Master's program at the University of Mannheim is excluded – it just needs to be well planned in order to complete the program within the standard period of study. The creditability of courses completed at the partner university must be checked individually (conformity with the licensing regulations must be guaranteed).

    If you have any questions about studying abroad, please contact the degree program management.


  • FAQ on the application

    Before you apply for a place on the M.Sc. in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at the University of Mannheim, you will no doubt have a number of questions. Some of them are probably already answered in our FAQ. Currently the FAQ is only available in German.

  • Requirements for admission

    Prerequisites for admission to the M.Sc. KPPT for applicants of foreign universities are:

    • a degree from a foreign university that is recognized by the selection committee as equivalent to a Bachelor's degree with professional recognition. In order for the degree to be considered equivalent, the learning outcomes of the completed degree must meet the requirements of the Psychotherapists Act (PsychThG) or Annex 1 and §§ 12–15 PsychThApprO.

    If you are studying or have studied a Bachelor's degree in psychology abroad there is a possibility that your Bachelor's degree can be recognized as equivalent – as long as your degree implements the requirements of the PsychThApprO.

    To make it easier for us to check whether your degree is equivalent, please submit all of the following formswith your application:

    - Degree form

    - Enclosure 1: Contents of studies

    - Enclosure 2: Confirmation of orientation internship

    - Enclosure 3: Confirmation of professionally qualifying activity I

    Please note: The required documents/evidence must be completed in full and correctly, as incorrect information will result in the Stuttgart Regional Council refusing admission to the licensing examination and therefore not being able to issue a license to practice.

    • The previous Bachelor's degree course must comprise at least 180 ECTS or a standard period of study of at least 6 semesters or 3 years.

    The admission requirements outlined here are based on the current versions of the PsychThG and the PsychThApprO.

    Please also refer to the selection regulations for the Master's degree programs in Psychology.

  • Information for applicants with a non-reformed Bachelor's degree in Psychology (Germany and abroad): Does my bachelor’s degree program comply with the licensing regulations?

    The following information is aimed at students who have studied a non-professionally recognized Bachelor's degree in Psychology. This applies in particular to applicants from abroad, but also to students who have studied a non-reformed Bachelor's degree in Psychology in Germany, possibly with additional qualifications.

    In order to be admitted to a Master's degree program in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, you must have completed certain knowledge and internship requirements of the licensing regulations for psychotherapists as part of modules of your regular degree program or in the form of additional qualifications during your Bachelor's degree program.

    The relevant modules and internships must have been completed during the Bachelor's degree course, not after it has been completed. Accordingly, it is not possible to obtain admission despite missing (partial) achievements and then make up for them during the Master's degree program!

    The following list gives you an overview of what you need to bring with you from your Bachelor's degree in order to fulfill the professional part of the admission requirements for the Master's degree in Psychology Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy (see also PsychThApprO, §§ 12–15 and Annex 1).

    • Fundamentals area:

    Fundamentals of psychology for psychotherapists (min. 25 ECTS)
    The following areas of knowledge must be covered:
    a) General psychology with consideration of cognitive processes in the areas of language, learning, memory, emotion and motivation
    b) Differential psychology and personality psychology
    c) Developmental psychology
    d) Social psychology
    e) Biological psychology
    f) Cognitive-affective neuroscience

    Fundamentals of pedagogy for psychotherapists (min. 4 ECTS)
    The following areas of knowledge must be covered:
    a) upbringing and education
    b) the significance of social and cultural factors for educational processes
    c) pedagogical interventions and intervention settings
    d) legal as well as family and socio-political regulations with effects on educational and psychological interventions

    Fundamentals of medicine for psychotherapists (min. 4 ECTS)
    The following areas of knowledge must be covered:
    a) anatomy
    b) structure and function of the nervous system
    c) selected clinical pictures, in particular internal, neurological, orthopaedic and paediatric clinical pictures
    d) biological components of mental disorders and symptoms
    e) Genetics and behavioral genetics
    f) Basics of somatic differential diagnostics

    Fundamentals of pharmacology for psychotherapists (at least 2 ECTS)
    The following areas of knowledge must be covered:
    a) pharmacodynamics
    b) Pharmacokinetics
    c) Psychopharmaceuticals
    d) Pharmaceuticals

    • Specialization in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy:

    Disorder Theory (min. 8 ECTS)
    The following areas of knowledge must be covered:
    (a) general and specific pathology of mental and psychologically co-related disorders in childhood, adolescence and adulthood, including infancy, early childhood and older age
    b) Epidemiology and comorbidity
    c) clinical-psychological diagnosis and classification
    d) Models of the development, maintenance and course of mental and psychologically related disorders in childhood, adolescence and adulthood, including infancy, early childhood and adulthood, taking into account the different disorder models of scientifically tested and recognized psychotherapeutic procedures and methods                                                                                                                     

    General psychotherapy procedures (at least 8 ECTS)

    The following areas of knowledge must be covered:
    a) the scientifically tested and recognized psychotherapeutic procedures and methods
    b) recognized characteristics for the evaluation of scientific evidence of scientifically tested and recognized psychotherapeutic procedures and methods as well as evidence-based new developments      

    Preventive and rehabilitative concepts of psychotherap. Action (min. 2 ECTS)
    The following areas of knowledge must be covered:
    a) characteristics and function of prevention and rehabilitation, taking into account the concerns of different age and patient groups
    b) Prevention programs and rehabilitation approaches, taking into account the needs of different age and patient groups                            

    Professional ethics and professional law (at least 2 ECTS)
    The following areas of knowledge must be covered:
    a) ethics in research and practice
    b) professional legal requirements of psychotherapeutic action
    c) social law requirements for psychotherapeutic care                                                                                                                   

    • Methods and diagnostics:

    Scientific methodology (without Empra/Expra!) (min. 15 ECTS)
    The following areas of knowledge must be covered:
    a) History of psychology and psychotherapy
    b) Methods and scientific concepts for researching human behavior and experience including epidemiological research, methods for patient observation
    c) descriptive and inferential statistics as well as statistical methods of evaluation research
    d) planning and conducting scientific studies
    e) Data collection and data analysis using digital technologies

    Psychological diagnostics (min. 12 ECTS)
    The following areas of knowledge must be covered:
    (a) general diagnostic procedures and methods
    b) diagnostic procedures and methods for behavioral observation, including procedures and methods for patient observation
    c) indications and diagnostic processes in people of all ages and patient groups
    d) characteristics of classification systems including their sources of error
    e) psychometric principles of measurement as a prerequisite for test theories and test constructions
    f) Psychological and psychopathological assessment taking into account differential diagnostic findings
    g) Language and interaction in the diagnostic process as well as interviewing methods                                                                                                                    

    • Practical work placements / internships:

    Research-oriented internship I – basics of research according to §13 PsychThApprO (experimental psychology internship/ empirical internship, min. 6 ECTS)    
    The following criteria must be met:
    a) takes place in research facilities at the university or at research facilities that cooperate with the university
    b) is carried out under qualified supervision and in small groups (max. 15 participants). The course is carried out in blocks or during the course of study.
    c) students must also actively participate in exemplary scientific studies and contribute to their planning and implementation.  

    Orientation internship according to § 14 PsychThApprO (min. 5 ECTS, min. 4 weeks/ min. 150 hours)
    The following criteria must be met:
    a) takes place in interdisciplinary healthcare facilities or
    in other facilities in which counseling, prevention or rehabilitation for the maintenance, promotion and restoration of mental health are carried out. The support or guidance must be provided by one of the following groups of people Psychotherapists, psychological psychotherapists, child and adolescent psychotherapists, psychologists, medical specialists or psychotherapists in training (PiAs).

    You can also find a checklist of the requirements for the orientation internship on the website of our internship office (currently being updated).                                                                                                                                       

    Professionally qualifying activity I according to §15 PsychThApprO (min. 8 ECTS, min. 6 weeks and 2 days/min. 240 hours)
    The following criteria must be met:
    (a) BQT I may take place in the following institutions or areas, provided that psychotherapists*, psychological psychotherapists* or child and adolescent psychotherapists* work there:
    1. in psychotherapeutic, psychiatric, psychosomatic or neuropsychological care facilities
    2. in prevention or rehabilitation facilities that are comparable to the facilities mentioned in number 1
    3. in facilities for people with disabilities
    4. in other areas of institutional care

    b) BQT I must have been carried out under qualified supervision

    c) at least 60 ECTS credits must have been acquired before completing BQT I.

    You can also find a checklist of the requirements for BQT I on the website of our Internship Office.    

    Important information for prospective students from abroad: Psychotherapists, psychological psychotherapists or child and adolescent psychotherapists licensed in Germany must work in the institutions where internships have been completed that are to be recognized as equivalent to the BQT I!

  • 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.
    • A maximum of 20 additional points can be obtained for the result of the admission test. Information about the admissions test
    • Outstanding additional qualifications relevant to studies. A maximum of 20 points will be awarded for these. Information about additional qualifications
  • 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.

  • Study-relevant additional qualifications

    A maximum of 20 additional points can be achieved for study-relevant additional qualifications. All achievements that meet the following criteria will be assessed:

    • Practical professional experience
      • Practical professional experience gained in the context of professional activities, jobs or internships in the following application areas of psychology,health care, in an educational or pedagogical field of activity or in research and teachingin these or other areas of psychology will be taken into account.
      • Time component & scoring: A maximum of 10 points can be awarded for practical professional experience. Activities are considered with the following number of points if they have been completed and proven to the following extent by the time of application:
        • At least 150 working hours: 2 points,
        • At least 300 working hours: 4 points,
        • At least 450 working hours: 6 points.
      • Evidence to be provided: Certificates and proofs such as the “Proof of extracurricular achievements” provided by the Application and Admissions Office of the University of Mannheim are accepted as proof; employment contracts and other documents declaring the intention to take up practical work experience are not accepted. All evidence must be submitted with the application.
    • Scientific conference contributions and publications
      • A maximum of 20 points can be awarded for scientific conference contributions and publications. Contributions will be considered up to the following points if they have at least been accepted for publication (not “under review”, not “revise and resubmit”) by the time of application and fall into one of the following categories:
        • Conference contribution at a scientific psychology conference  with up to 10 points; internal university conferences or conferences of university-owned research institutes are excluded;
        • Publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal  with up to 20 points.
      • The following submissions are accepted as evidence:
        • For conference contributions at a scientific psychology conference, excerpts from the conference proceedings (abstract book) and/or a confirmation of the conference contribution in text form from the conference organizer will be accepted. All other forms of proof, such as written confirmations from co-authors, a reference in the curriculum vitae, mentions in work and/or internship certificates and/or letters of recommendation are not sufficient;
        • for publications already published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, a precise description and citation of the publication must be provided as proof; for publications accepted for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals, confirmation from the editor of the journal that the publication has been published in text form serves as proof. All other forms of proof, such as written confirmations from co-authors, a picture in the CV, mentions in work and/or internship certificates and/or letters of recommendation, for example, are not sufficient as proof.
        • All evidence must be submitted with the application.
  • How to apply

    The application period for the Master's programme in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy starts on 10 April 2024 and ends on 15 May 2024. This is a cut-off deadline, i.e. all documents required for the application must be submitted in full by 15 May 2024.  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 (she/her)

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, 10–11am:
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
Office hours:
Mondays and Wednesdays, 09.30am – 2.30pm