Frequently Asked Questions M.A. Political Science and M.A. Sociology

Admission Requirements

Is it possible to apply early?

No. You will find the dates of the recent/next application period under the point 'Admission'.

At the time of the application period, I have not finished my Bachelor studies. Is it possible to apply?

Yes, it is. You have to submit the latest Transcript of Records within your application. The official Bachelor degree/diploma has to be handed in at the time of examination registrations in the first semester of your Master's studies.

Do I need German language skills to enroll in the program?

No. All courses are taught in English, and German language skills are not required to be eligible as a candidate for the program.

During my bachelor degree, all of my courses were taught in English. Do I still have to present a language skill test?

No. If your transcript or any other document you hand in clearly states that the language of instruction was English, you do not need to submit anything else.

How do I proof "good performance in the field of methods of Empirical Social Research and Statistics"?

The Selection Committee looks at each Transcript of Records individually. On the basis of finished and graded courses in the field of Methods of Empirical Social Research and/or Statistics, it evaluates your performance. The mean value/average of all courses fitting these criteria is calculated. If this value corresponds to a German grade of 2.5 or better, you fulfil this requirement.

What is the "sample of written work"?

In the sample of written work (maximum length: 5000 words), applicants should prove that they are able to work and write scientifically. The topic can be chosen freely. The sample of written work might be a shortened paper you wrote during your studies; so you do not necessarily need to write a new one. The sample of written work should be a current scientific text you wrote, e.g. assignments, term papers, Bachelor thesis. The following types of texts will be accepted:

- Complete paper which does not exceed the defined number of words
- A summary of the paper
- An extract of the paper which may include a new introduction and conclusion
- The extract should be comprehensible for the selection committee

The following types of texts will NOT be accepted:
- Records
- Reports
- Presentations
- Newspaper articles
- Book reviews
- Content analyses

Formal guidelines:
- The written sample must be composed independently and only by the applicant (NO group
       work!). A plagiarism software may be used for verification.
- A table of contents is not required.
- A reference list, which contains the literature used in the sample of written work, must be
       submitted. It is not part of the required amount of words.

What is the "University Entrance Qualification" (UniEQ)?

In general, a University Entrance Qualification is a document stating your permission to study at a University. In most cases, a high school diploma is sufficient.

I have not done a statistics/methods course during my previous studies. Can I make up by doing a course at the University of Mannheim during my first semester there?

No. You must fulfil all criteria at the time of application. If you have not done a course we can count as an equivalent of "research methods in the social sciences", we cannot accept you.

How many students get accepted in the Master program in Political Science?

Please be aware that the number of applications changes every year. In general, the M.A. Political Science is a small program for 25-30 students.

When do students receive acceptance/rejection letters?

The Admission Office and the Selection Committee try to assess all applications in decent time. You will be informed about the decision in June.

Does the School of Social Sciences require applicants for the M.A. to have working experience and/or a certain age?

No. We do not require our students to have working experience to join our program. There also do not exist any age requirements.

Coursework

Between what kind of courses can I choose?

The Modulkatalog (module catalogue) of each program (Political Science, Sociology)  provides you with information about lectures and seminars. You can also find some courses of the last years in Political Science here.

Our programs in Political Science and Sociology emphasize quantitative-empirical methods of Social Sciences. In Political Science you can focus on Comparative Politics and International Relations, with emphasis on Political Behavior, Political Economy, International Conflict, and German and European Politics. In Sociology, you can deepen your knowledge in the fields of Family, Education & Work, Migration & Integration, Economy & Social Welfare State, Social Psychology and Social Inequality.

Can I transfer my previous graduate work?

It is possible to incorporate courses taken at another graduate program into your degree requirements in the M.A. program in Mannheim. A petition should be submitted to the student advisor. For forms and detailed information, please contact  the proper program manager.

Can I study abroad?

Students in the Master's program have the possibility to participate in high-profile international exchange and Double Degree programs. If you are planing to go abroad you will find useful information the homepage of the International Office of the University of Mannheim or you can contact the program manager. We have numerous partner universities all over the world.

The M.A. Sociology has a special program in cooperation with the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). When you are participating in this program, you can spend one year in the U.S. (Indiana University). You can apply until January 31st in your first semester to spend the second your of your Master studies in the U.S.

In Political Science you can apply for one of our Double Degree programs (you spend one year in Mannheim and one year either at the University of Nottingham or the University of Essex, UK) and receive two Master's Degrees, one from each university. We also have special partnerships only open to with renowned universities like New York Univeristy, Washington University in St. Louis, Rice University in Houston and many more. Application date is 31st January during your first semester in Mannheim.

Finances

Are there tuition fees? How much are they?

Tuition fees affect all international students who are about to study in Germany at one of the universities in Baden-Württemberg. The tuition fee amounts € 1,500 per semester. For further information see the homepage of our International Office.
This does not apply to students who are EU citizens or citizens of a member state of the European Economic Area (EEA) as well as to refugees. If you are an EU citizen, a citizen of a member state of the European Economic Area (EEA), or a refugee you do not have to pay tuition fees to participate in the M.A. program. However, you have to pay an administration fee of  € 139.35 per Semester. For further information see the homepage of our Student Services. Moreover, this does not apply to foreign students who hold a German university entrance qualification (e.g. Abitur) nor students with established living conditions in Germany.

International students who fulfill certain criteria are not obliged to pay tuition fees. If the exception criteria apply to you and you provide the necessary documents of proof in due time before enrollment or reregistration, you do not have to pay tuition fees.


How can I finance my postgratuate education?

There are many scholarships available for postgraduate students at the University of Mannheim. Please visit the pages of the International Office of the University of Mannheim. Another great provider of information is the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Auslandsdienst - German Academic Exchange Service). Their scholarship data bank gives you the possibility to search for scholarships specifically fitted for you.
We are not able to hand out acceptance letters as needed for some scholarships before the end of our application deadline.

Another possibility for funding is to take on a job as a research assistant. The chairs of Political Science and Sociology at our department offer a broad range of interesting and challenging work opportunities. You can also apply at the Mannheim centre for European Social Research (MZES), the Collaborative Research Center SFB 884 on the "Political Economy of Reforms" and the GESIS - Leinbiz-Institute for the Social Sciences. These institutes employ students of the University in fascinating research projects where you can practice your scientific skills on a daily basis.

What are the costs of living in Mannheim?

Our International Office offers detailed information about all financial aspects of studying in Mannheim (cost of living, scholarships etc.) on their website.

Does the University of Mannheim provide any living arrangements?

You can find information on accommodations provided by the student services here. Altough there is a high demand for rooms and flats in August and September because our freshmen start their studies, you can apply for a room in a dormitory. Unfortunately, we cannot provide rooms for all incoming students, however, the personnel of the student services will help you find flats in downtown Mannheim to rent it privately.