Information for Students

Master's Program in Sociology

During your studies at the School of Social Sciences, we are happy to answer any academic questions you might have concerning the master's program in Sociology (structure and progress of your studies, selection of courses, stay abroad). This website will provide you with further information, for example on the examination regulations („Prüfungs­ordnung“), module catalog, degree plan, master's thesis, events & news related to the department, and FAQ.


Studying Abroad

Want to study abroad? No problem! Check out how it works.

Research Internship

You have questions concerning your research internship? The Internship Office will gladly help you.


Research Institutes
Career and Job Opportunities
Doctoral Studies
Student Organizations


  • How can I register for courses?

    Registration for courses usually takes place prior to the semester start via Portal². Master's students can freely choose from all compulsory lectures and exercise courses as well as all elective seminars. Participation in each of the courses offered as part of the master's program in Sociology is guaranteed.


  • How can I register for exams?

    Each semester, you need to register online for those examinations you would like to take at the end of the lecture period. You will need to do so within a period defined by Student Services.
    Please note: The exam registration period falls within the lecture period, which means that you cannot register for your examinations via the Student Services’ campus management system before the lecture period starts. Each semester, the periods during which you can register for exams will be published on the Student Services’ website.
    Online registration is done via Portal².


  • When and where can I complete my research internship?

    A research internship is an integral part of the master's program. To obtain the required 6 ECTS credits, you must either:

    • complete a six-week internship at a social science research institution (academic or non-academic) or
    • attend a two-week summer school with an empirical focus on the social sciences.

    In case you work as a research assistant for one of the professors at the Department of Sociology or in a related field, your work may be recognized as an internship as well.

    Every student in the master's program in Sociology must write a report: guidelines for the internship report.

    For more information on this topic or if you have general questions about the internship or the summer school, please contact our Internship Office.

  • Can I go abroad without having to extend my studies?

    It is possible to spend a semester abroad and still complete your degree program within the standard period of study. In fact, we encourage you to go abroad during your studies.

    If you would like to have the courses and examinations you take at a university abroad recognized, please contact the program managers/departmental exchange coordinators before leaving. They will discuss the courses you plan to select with you. A Learning Agreement is required to make sure the credits you obtain abroad are recognized.

  • How do I apply for academic leave of absence?

    You can apply for leave of absence during your studies citing a valid reason (section 61 subsection 1 of the Act on Higher Education of the Land of Baden-Württemberg (LHG)). A valid reason for being granted an academic leave of absence is for example:

    • an internship,
    • a semester abroad
    • maternity leave / parental leave / parenting, or
    • health issues.

    The application must be filed before the semester it corresponds to begins. Further information can be obtained from Student Services.

  • Portal² – your campus management system

    Portal² is the University of Mannheim’s campus management system. Using the portal, you can, for example, view the course catalog, select your courses, and register for examinations.



  • Master's thesis and Master's Forum Day

    Master's thesis

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

    IMPORTANT: At least 70 ECTS credits must have been obtained in order to register your master's thesis or the Master's Forum Day.

    Time frame: 21 weeks

    Length: printed master's thesis of max. 10,000 words including a bibliography

    You can register the thesis via the registration form and hand it in at Student Services. Please make sure that the supervisor is a Mannheim Professor.

    Please also take a look at the examination regulation, sections 18–19.

    Master Thesis Guidelines


    The colloquium accompanies the production of the master's thesis. Usually, you will meet with your supervisor on an individual basis.

    Master's Forum Day

    The Master's Forum Day is a simulated conference where you have the chance to present your thesis to your fellow students and professors. It is meant to re-create the atmosphere at a real conference and takes place in March.

    However, you will not present your own thesis, but the topic of one of your fellow students' thesis.

    The procedure will be as follows:

    1.) Students who are planning to write their thesis in the spring semester are asked to upload an abstract (100–150 words) of their master's thesis (~January).

    2.) Students prepare a draft paper of their master's thesis (typically, this will be (an updated version of) the paper you will have written for the research seminar; alternatively, it will be a new draft of 2,000–2,500 words) so that one of their fellow students can prepare the presentation (role: Writer) and upload it to ILIAS (~February).

    3.) Students prepare the presentation of their fellow student's topic (role: Presenter) and send the presentation to the „Writer“ for a final check. The final presentation (PDF) has to be uploaded to ILIAS (March).

    4.) During the Master's Forum Day, each student will present his/her fellow student's topic (10–15 minutes) and the audience is invited to give constructive feedback. The students will have the opportunity to comment first, the professors afterwards. Students who will write their thesis in the 5th semester also have to participate in the Master's Forum Day in the spring semester unless they are spending a period of study abroad (in that case, please contact the program managers for a solution that suits your individual situation).

  • Disenrollment

    If you have any questions on disenrollment, please contact the Student Services team.

    Disenrollment either happens

    • automatically at the end of the semester if a student has fulfilled all degree requirements, thereby completing the program, or
    • on request (completion of the program, transfer between universities during the semester).

    Please be aware that it may be favorable for you to remain enrolled until the semester ends, since this entitles you to a low-priced student health insurance plan, and your parents may continue to receive child benefit.


  • How can I enter the German labor market?

    The University of Mannheim wants to support you in preparing and planning your career. As part of the pilot project STEP by STEP, we offer workshops and information events to prepare you for your entry into the German labor market.

    STEP by STEP

  • How can I pursue a doctorate?

    The Center for Doctoral Studies in Social and Behavioral Sciences (CDSS) offers doctoral programs in Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology in close collaboration with the School of Social Sciences at the University of Mannheim. Admission is based on merit and open to excellent candidates holding either a research-oriented bachelor‘s or a master‘s degree. Students admitted to one of the programs receive a scholarship and there is no tuition fee.

    Fast track your doctoral degree

    Students interested in pursuing a doctoral degree at the CDSS have the opportunity to apply for 'Associate Membership' in the second year of their master's program. Successful applicants receive a 'Qualification Scholarship' and application is open to all second-year master's students. Calls for application are announced in spring.


    Individual doctoral studies

    In addition to the structured doctoral program offered by the GESS – CDSS, the School of Social Sciences also provides students with the opportunity to acquire a doctoral degree under the supervision of a member of the School. Prospective doctoral students interested in this alternative should consult the job announcements of the School of Social Sciences and its affiliated research institutes or consult a member of the School that might serve as a potential supervisor for the doctoral dissertation project.

    More information for doctoral candidates

    Three steps to a doctoral position

Services for students

Any questions? We're happy to help you!

The program managers are happy to answer any questions specific to the master's program (degree plan, selection of courses, structure and progress of your studies). For any administrative questions (enrollment, disenrollment, exams, etc.), please contact Student Services. International students may also contact the International Office (for questions on visas, accommodation, mentoring).

Stefanie Thye, M.A.

Stefanie Thye, M.A.

Studien­gangs­management Soziologie
Universität Mannheim
Fakultät für Sozial­wissenschaften
A 5, 6
Bauteil A – Raum A 417
68159 Mannheim
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