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Master of Arts (M.A.) in Sociology

The M.A. Sociology degree program at the School of Social Sciences offers a two-year research-oriented education in an internationally renowned research university environment. The program builds on the strength of its faculty in empirical-analytical approaches, particularly in quantitative methods and comparative research. The curriculum emphasizes training in empirical analysis that is firmly grounded in both theory and rigorous methods. Substantive areas of concentration include Family, Education & Work, Migration & Integration, Economy & Social Welfare State, and Social Inequality. All classes are taught in English.

The program begins with required courses in Sociological Theory and Methods of Empirical Research in the first semester. In the second and third semesters, courses in cutting-edge analysis techniques offer students opportunities to expand their skills in research methods.

Already in their first semester, students may choose among different areas of concentration such as Social Inequality & Stratification; Sociology of Migration;  Comparative Welfare State Analysis, Labor Relations, Organizational Theory, Networks & Segregation, Economic Sociology, Fertility & Family Formation, Sociology of Education, Labor Markets & Occupations or Ethnic Inequality & Segregation. In addition to their area of concentration, students may choose from a range of elective courses in any of the remaining areas, including further classes in Methods of Empirical Social Research and Social Psychology. A required research internship is designed to offer hands-on experience in empirical research.  Students may attend a summer school program as a substitute for the internship requirement. Our internship office will assist the students in finding internship positions and summer school programs that fit their interests.

Students complete theirMaster's thesis during their fourth semester. The expected format of the thesis is a research article suitable for submission to a professional journal in the social sciences. Our faculty is deeply committed to mentoring students as they take this important step toward a successful academic career.

Applied Research: Working in Teams

The Department of Sociology co-operates with a number of research centers in the Social Sciences. These include the Mannheim Center for European Social Research (MZES), the recently established Collaborative Research Center SFB 884 on the "Political Economy of Reforms", and the Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (GESIS). This environment provides ideal opportunities for training in applied research by practicing cutting-edge Sociology in research teams. This approach allows students to co-finance their studies and to gain first-hand experience in nationally and internationally funded projects. The Mannheim Master's program expects and encourages a high degree of independent graduate scholarship among its motivated students. Small classes and their low student-teacher ratio ensure that students benefit from close mentoring by committed faculty. Their comprehensive training during the program prepares students for leadership positions in academia and scientific research centers as well as in public administration, the media, non-profit organizations and the private sector.

Extraordinary Learning Environment

Following their Master's degree, interested students are invited to apply for the University's Graduate School of Social Science, GESS, funded by the German Excellence Initiative. Students who are admitted to the Ph.D. program may petition to receive transfer credits for their completed M.A. courses.

Repeated rankings published by the German Science and Humanities Council (Wissenschaftsrat) and the CHE (Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung) in recent years confirm the leading position of Mannheim's Department of Sociology. 

Why Mannheim?

Mannheim is a vibrant city, located in the metropolitan Rhein-Neckar region. It has much  to offer - culturally  and otherwise. Home to Germany's first Pop Academy, to one of its leading ice hockey teams, to the world's oldest communal theater and opera, and many bars and restaurants, the city is an ideal environment for studying. More information about the city is available on the website of the university's International Office.

For further information regarding the admission please visit our admission website.