Master’s Program in Sociology

Changes to the application process

In light of the current coronavirus situation, we have to change the application process for our master's programs. Please click here for detailed background information.

However, as an applicant, you will not suffer any disadvantages as a result. The following changes apply to the master's program in Sociology:
New application deadline: May 1 to May 31, 2020                                  Qualification/ECTS: Applicants need at least 100 ECTS credits.
Proof of English language proficiency: The new deadline for submission of the required proofs is October 15, 2020.

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 M.A. Sociology / Photo credit: Manuel Neumann
  • Program facts and information

    Degree: Master of Arts (M.A.)

    Standard period of study: 4 semesters (2 years)

    ECTS credits: approx. 120

    Language of instruction: English

    Language requirements: English; for further information see Admission requirements and selection

    Program start: Fall semester (September)
    Academic calendar

    School: School of Social Sciences

    Semester fee: €190,30 (more)
    Tuition fees for international students from non-EU countries: €1,500
    Tuition fees for a second degree: €650

  • Program overview

    The M.A. in Sociology, which is taught in English, is a research-oriented program. In line with the school’s research focus, it looks at empirical-analytical approaches, particularly at quantitative methods and comparative research. 

    As early as in the first semester, students enrolled in this program can choose a sociological field they would like to explore further, such as Economy and Welfare State, Education and Work, Migration and Integration, Family, or Social Inequality. In addition, they will select an elective module, allowing them to either acquire knowledge of another sociological field or look into social psychology or learn methods of empirical social research.

    In their fourth semester, they will write their master’s thesis, which takes the form of a research paper that is suitable for submission for publication to a social sciences journal. This is meant to prepare our graduates for a career in academia. 

  • Why study Sociology at the University of Mannheim?

    The Department of Sociology in Mannheim is one of the leading departments in Europe. It is well known for its empirical-analytical research approach both in Germany and abroad. Many independent national and international rankings have confirmed the outstanding quality of research and teaching at the University of Mannheim on a number of occasions and have praised it as being the best German university to study Sociology (take a look at the rankings).

    The Department of Sociology cooperates with a variety of research institutions in the field of social sciences, such as the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), the newly founded Collaborative Research Center 884, and the GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. This is the perfect environment for you to gain practical experience, for example as a student assistant in leading research teams.

    One of the university’s great assets is its international campus. In Mannheim, you will meet students and acclaimed researchers from all over the world, and you can join one of our large international student organizations. You will also benefit from the fact that our academic calendar as been aligned with the international academic year. In addition, we will support you if you want to go abroad. One option is to spend a period of study abroad at one of the school’s prestigious partner universities, such as Indiana University, the University of Haifa, the University of Toronto, or the University of Bergen.

    The Career Support at the School of Social Sciences helps students find suitable internships and advises them on their first steps on the job market.

    Mannheim is a vibrant city located at the heart of the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. People with many different nationalities and cultures live here side by side. With more than 8,000 companies headquartered in the region, among them international corporations such as SAP or BASF, it is also a business hub. 

  • Career opportunities

    If you complete the master’s program in Sociology and subsequently earn a doctoral degree, you will be qualified for a career in academia. Many of our graduates begin a doctoral program at the Center for Doctoral Studies in Social and Behavioral Sciences (CDSS) of the Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences (GESS).

    Apart from research and teaching, sociologist are sought after in a number of different areas. You can for example work 

    • in market and opinion research,
    • at TV and radio broadcasting companies, publishing companies for books and magazines, other media outlets,
    • in public relations,
    • as an advisor in public service, the private sector, for associations, or for NGOs,
    • in organization or people development,
    • in public administration: cross-sectional functions and staff departments (e.g., HR, gender equality, organization, planning, statistics, PR, finance, quality management),
    • at educational institutions,
    • in health care.

    Read more about your career prospects

  • Required interests and skills

    Students of Sociology should:

    • have a keen interest in and a good grasp of empirical research, particularly quantitative methods,
    • enjoy working with complex texts, theories, and methods,
    • be capable of analytical and critical thinking,
    • have a very good level of English proficiency.
  • Program structure

    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. You can even earn a double degree. In the master's program in Sociology, studying abroad is optional.

    The mandatory research internship (6 ECTS credits) is an integral part of the master’s program in Sociology. 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 are encouraged to apply for the doctoral program at the Center for Doctoral Studies in Social and Behavioral Sciences (CDSS) of the Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences (GESS). This not only prepares them for an academic career, but also allows them to specialize in different fields of study. Usually, doctoral candidates will also join the team of academic staff members or teach from their second year onwards, which is a unique opportunity for them to gain valuable practical experience. In some cases, credits obtained during the master's program can be counted towards the doctorate requirements, thus reducing the time needed to complete the doctoral program. 

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

  • Admission requirements and selection

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

    • a total of 180 ECTS credits or a standard period of study of six semesters,
    • 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:

    • (current) grade average achieved in your bachelor’s degree (10 percent),
    • letter of motivation (30 percent),
    • sample of written work in German or English (60 percent).

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

    • attendance of English classes during the final years of German secondary school education with a minimum of 11 points achieved on average,
    • a higher education entrance qualification from a school with English as the language of instruction,
    • the successful completion of a program of study at a higher education institution with English as the language of instruction and examination,

    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 a specified point in time (refer to selection statutes).

    Selection statutes
    You can find the exact requirements for the program in the selection statutes, which are only available in German.

  • Application

    Application deadline
    Please note:

    In light of the current situation due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have modified our application deadline: Applications can be submitted as of May 1, 2020.
    Current information on the application procedure
    Normally, the following deadlines apply:
    The application period for the fall semester is from March 15 to April 30. It is not possible to start your program in the spring semester.

    Admission to an advanced semester
    If you want to apply for an advanced semester, please contact Ms. Dörr in the Admissions Office.


Stefanie Thye, M.A.

Stefanie Thye, M.A.

Program Manager Sociology
University of Mannheim
School of Social Sciences
A 5, 6
Building A – Room A 417
68159 Mannheim
Consultation hour(s):
In–person consultation hours are suspended!
You can reach me via email

Mon 11 a.m.–noon, Wed noon–2 p.m.