Master’s Program in Sociology

Pursuing the master's program in Sociology at the University of Mannheim was the best choice I could have ever made with regard to both my personal and professional development. The fact that the entire program is taught in English helped me enormously when I was looking for a job and during my semester abroad. The proximity to the important social research institutes in Mannheim, GESIS and MZES, creates an ideal research atmosphere, while the focus on empirical methods and the Mannheim research network provide great opportunities both in research and economy.

Sophie Horneber, graduate of the master's program in Sociology / Credit: Sebastian Malzner

The master‘s program in Sociology provided me with the best possible preparation for my professional career. With the program’s focus on in-depth analytical training, access to excellent professors, and the possibility to tailor the degree program to my specific research interests right from the start, I was immediately drawn into research. Given the program’s international orientation and flexibility, I was able to spend a semester as a free mover at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and completed a research internship at the Daimler Group. Studying at the University of Mannheim thus laid the foundations for the doctoral degree that I am now pursuing at the Harvard Business School.

Leila Doumi, graduate of the master’s program in Sociology / Credit: Susan Young

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 the master’s program in Sociology / 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: € 204,30 (further information)
    Tuition fees for international students from non-EU countries: €1,500
    Tuition fees for a second degree: €650

  • Program overview

    The master's program 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 has 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.

    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.
  • 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. 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 Sociology, your job may, in certain cases, be recognized as equivalent to a research internship.

  • Continuing Education

    Certificate programs
    Strengthen your potential, deepen your knowledge, find solutions for challenges we will face tomorrow – there are many good reasons to think outside the box, get to know and try out new things even during your studies.

    At the University of Mannheim, you can do this in the “Studium Oecologicum” which focuses on sustainability. In our certificate program, you will acquire interdisciplinary expert knowledge which can help you to act ethically and to make holistic decisions.

    Continuing education services in academics

    Language courses
    Making language learning easier: No matter if you want to learn Japanese, Hebrew, Spanish or Norwegian, take the Graduate Record Examination Test (GRE), The European Language Certificates (telc) or the TOEFL test – each semester, the University of Mannheim offers language courses and language certificates in more than 16 languages for students and non-university members, online and on campus!

    Language courses at the University of Mannheim

    Studium Generale
    Are you interested in IT or communication trainings or theater, music, or drawing courses? Studium Generale has a vast range of courses available to all.

    Current Studium Generale program

  • 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

    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).

    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 (according to the selection statutes, this evidence may not be older than 5 years),
    • 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
    Under “Admission requirements” we have compiled the most important informations for you. For more detailed explanations of the legally binding requirements of the degree program, please refer to the selection statutes.

    Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need advice. We are looking forward to receiving your application!

  • Application

    Application deadline
    The application deadline for fall semesters starts on 1 April and ends on 15 May.

    It is not possible to apply for the spring semester.


Stefanie Thye, M.A.

Stefanie Thye, M.A. (she/her)

Program Manager Sociology
University of Mannheim
School of Social Sciences
A 5, 6
Building A – Room A 417
68159 Mannheim
Consultation hour(s):
Please note: Only online consultations are offered currently. Please make an appointment at
Admissions Office

Admissions Office

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

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