Master’s Program in Political Science

I attended a higher education fair in New York City, where I came across a representative from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). She presented me with the possibility of going to Germany for my master's degree and I immediately loved this option. I chose the University of Mannheim because of its good reputation abroad and for the master’s program’s focus on quantitative methods. During my studies, I had the opportunity to develop my data science skills while at the same time conducting research as part of an international group of students. The master's program in Political Science thus was a great preparation for my current career in applications research at one of Europe's largest e-commerce companies in Berlin.

Katerina Beebe, graduate of the master’s program in Political Science / Photo credit: Hyoson Yamanaka

In the master’s program in Political Science, I learned to conduct quantitative research, to approach scientific questions from an analytical point of view, and to research the answers in a diligent and structured manner. Moreover, I was trained to communicate complex ideas in a coherent and intelligible manner – a benefit regardless of which industry you work in later. The analytical and communication skills that I acquired during my studies have provided me with a solid basis on which I was able to build additional knowledge and develop new skills in my current position as product designer at SAP.

Sara Helal, graduate of the master’s program in Political Science / Photo credit: Hamza Elnahas

I chose to study at the University of Mannheim early on because 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 the bachelor's and master’s program im Political Science / Photo credit: Farina Stock

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 the master’s program im Political Science / Photo credit: Anna Müller

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. 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 the master’s program im Political Science / Photo credit: Max Alletsee

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 the master’s program im Political Science / Photo credit: Eva Streng

If you study in Mannheim, you will not only become part of a close-knit network, but you will also be trained to a high standard in methods, which the university has received international recognition for. By learning to think analytically and making a habit of handling large sets of data, I acquired skills that have proven to be extremely useful both in my previous job at a consultancy and in my current function as a Member of the German Parliament. Being a graduate of the University of Mannheim also sends out a positive signal to potential employers, as many of my job interviews have shown. Therefore, my decision to stay in Mannheim after earning my bachelor’s degree and to pursue a doctorate here was a logical step. I particularly appreciated the many opportunities to actively contribute to the student community, and have especially fond memories of my time as a representative in the student parliament. What is more, the quality of life in Mannheim is excellent.

Dr. Jens Brandenburg, graduate of the master’s program im Political Science / Photo credit: Ye Fung Tchen
  • Program facts and information

    Degree: Master of Arts (M.A.)

    Standard period of study: 4 semesters (2 years)

    ECTS credits: 120

    Language of instruction: English

    Language requirements: English; for further information on the required proof of language proficiency see "Admission requirements and selection"

    Program start: Fall semester (September)
    Academic calendar

    School: School of Social Sciences

    Semester fee: €194.30 (further information)
    Tuition fees for international students from non-EU countries: €1,500
    Tuition fees for a second degree: €650

  • Program overview

    The two-year master's program in Political Science equips students with advanced formal and statistical data analysis methods.

    Students can specialize and apply their analytical skills in a broad range of areas including international politics, comparative politics, political economy, European societies and politics, and formal and quantitative methods.

    The language of instruction is English.

  • Why study Political Science at the University of Mannheim?

    The University of Mannheim has one of the best political science departments in Germany. Numerous independent national and international rankings, such as the Times Higher Education Ranking or the CHE University Ranking (published by the German newspaper DIE ZEIT), have confirmed the good study conditions at the Department of Political Science in Mannheim and have repeatedly ranked it at the top (take a look at the rankings).

    The Department of Political Science’s reputation for its empirical-analytical research approach transcends national borders, and it is one of the leading research institutions in Europe. This academic environment provides excellent conditions for students to gain practical research experience, for example, by contributing to research projects or by working as a student assistant.

    The University of Mannheim is part of a global network: Our ties to 450 partner universities all over the world not only impact life on campus, but also open numerous doors to those students who wish to go abroad. They can integrate a period of study abroad into their program without being set back in their studies. In cooperation with Bocconi University in Milan, students enrolled in the master's program in Political Science can even earn a double degree.

    As all our master’s courses are taught in English, our students have what it takes to be successful on the world stage when they leave the university.

  • Career opportunities

    Graduates of the master's program in Political Science are ideally positioned for jobs requiring the theoretically and analytically rigorous analysis of social problems. Examples of jobs of recent graduates include also careers outside of academia, in such diverse fields as management or policy consulting, market or media research, journalism, government, international organizations, and NGOs.

    Our successful master's students are encouraged to continue their studies in the three-year doctoral program offered by the Center for Doctoral Studies in Social and Behavioral Sciences, a step taken by a significant number of our graduates. Credits earned during the master's program count towards the doctorate requirements, thus reducing the time needed to complete the doctoral program.

    Read more about your career prospects

  • Required interests and skills

    • a very good level of English proficiency,
    • pronounced interest in empirical-analytical research, including instance measurement, game theory, causal inference and software-based data analysis,
    • analytical and critical thinking.
  • Program structure

    The teaching in the master's program in Political Science (M.A.) is divided into modules which take place in the first three semesters: methods modules, basic modules in international politics, comparative politics and advanced methods as well as the equivalent research modules. In the second semester, one out of three research modules must be selected. They include three seminars or a lecture, the corresponding tutorial and two seminars.

    During the fourth semester, students write their master's thesis and attend the colloquium.

    Module catalog
    The module catalog gives you an overview of the courses and their content.

    Studying abroad
    The University of Mannheim is partners with 450 universities around the world. In collaboration with the International Office, the school can help you plan a period of study abroad. In the master's program in Political Science, studying abroad is optional.
    You can also choose to spend your second year at the University of Bocconi in Milan, Italy, thereby earning a double degree. Application for the double-degree program is possible only after completion of the first semester.

    The mandatory research internship (8 ECTS credits) is an integral part of the master’s program in Political Science. You can choose between a six-week internship at a research institution for social sciences or a two-week Summer School course with an empirical focus on social sciences. If you work as a student assistant at one of the chairs of the Department of Political Science, your job may, in certain cases, be recognized as equivalent to a research internship.

  • Doctorates

    Successful graduates of the master’s program in Political Science are encouraged to apply for the

    doctoral program

    at the Center for Doctoral Studies in Social and Behavioral Sciences (CDSS). Credits obtained during the master’s program can be counted towards the doctorate requirements, thus reducing the time needed to complete the doctoral program.

    If you strive for an academic career at the Center for Doctoral Studies in Social and Behavioral Sciences (CDSS), you can qualify for Associate Member status in the second year of your master’s program.

    It is also possible to pursue a doctorate at a chair of the School of Social Sciences.

    Doctoral programs and opportunities at the School of Social Science
    General information on doctoral studies at the University of Mannheim

  • Admission requirements and selection

    Applicants need to have a bachelor’s degree in Political Science to be admitted to the master’s program in Political Science (M.A.). A degree in a different field is sufficient if it is recognized as equivalent. The following requirements must be met:

    • a final grade of 2.5 or better,
    • sound knowledge of methods of empirical social research and statistics (grade: 2.5 or better). 

    We take a variety of criteria into account in our selection process:

    • a sample of written work in German or English with a maximum of 5,000 words (60%),
    • a letter of motivation with no more than 500 words in English (30%),
    • grade average achieved in your first degree (10%).

    Language requirements
    You must be very proficient in English. We accept the following as proof of language proficiency:

    Conditional admission
    If you have not yet completed your bachelor’s program by the application deadline, you may still be admitted to the master’s program as long as you provide proof that you have obtained at least 130 ECTS credits. In this case, your admission to the program is subject to receipt of your degree certificate by mid-October at the latest (refer to selection statutes).

    Selection statutes
    Under “Admission requirements and selection” we have compiled the most important selection criteria of the program for you. For more detailed explanations of the selection process and the legally binding requirements of the degree program, please refer to the selection statutes.

  • Application

    Application deadline
    The application deadline for fall semesters starts on 1 April and ends on 15 May (subject to approval).

    It is not possible to apply for the spring semester.


Gledis Londo

Gledis Londo

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:
Admissions Office

Admissions Office

University of Mannheim
L 1, 1 – Room 157, 158
68161 Mannheim

The University of Mannheim is the most popular university in Germany
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