The M.A. program lasts four semesters and is oriented to the high standards of leading international graduate programs. Its seamless integration with the PhD program enables students to embark on a fast track doctoral program. The language of instruction is English. The Mannheim Department of Political Science is widely known for its empirical-analytical approach and is ranked among the leading departments in Germany and Europe.
The MA program offers courses in three modules: comparative politics, international relations, and advanced methods.
Comparative Politics: Courses focus on the comparative analysis of traditional arenas of political participation and decision-making, including parliaments, governments, and constitutional courts, individual actors, such as voters, and collective political actors, including political parties, civil society, and social movements. Other institutional arrangements of political systems that are covered in seminars include the origins and effects of electoral systems. The main empirical focus lies in the comparative analysis of democracies in Europe.
International Relations: The main themes include the causes and consequences of globalization, the analysis of conflicts, terrorism and its mediation, the transformation of statehood, and the development and reform of international organizations.
Advanced Methods: Courses provide students with the tools for rigorous and thorough theoretical and empirical analysis. Theories of rational and social choice, game theory, bayesian learning models are as much a part of this module as advanced quantitative methods, including multivariate analysis (OLS) and maximum likelihood estimation.
The two-year M.A. program is structured as follows:
First semester (Fall):
During the first semester, students take four courses: two substantive courses in International Politics and in Comparative Government, one course in Multivariate Analysis (including a lab section), and one course in Game Theory (including a discussion section).
Second semester (Spring):
Students take mandatory courses in International Political Economy and European Societies and Politics. In addition, students take courses in their chosen research module plus one course in their elective module. The two research module possibilities are International Politics and Comparative Politics. The Elective Module can be Selected Topics International Politics, Selected Topics Comparative Politics or Advanced Quantitative Methods (see table below).
Third semester (Fall):
All students take a research design course. Students who have chosen the research module (1) International Politics or (2) Comparative Politics, take one selective research seminar in their respective area. In addition, students do a research internship. This can be accomplished by doing either an internship or by participating in a Summer School. During the third semester students are also strongly encouraged to study abroad.
Fourth semester (Spring):
Students take the Master thesis colloquium and write the M.A. thesis, a research paper that enables them to embark on a professional or academic career.
Integration with PhD program:
Successful Master students are encouraged to transfer into the three-year PhD program offered by the Center for Doctoral Studies in Social and Behavioral Sciences of the University of Mannheim, a step taken by a significant number of our M.A. graduates. Credits earned during the M.A. count towards the PhD course requirements thus reducing the time needed to complete the PhD.
Accredited in 2010 by evalag (Evaluationsagentur Baden-Württemberg).
International Student Requirements:
There are no specific requirements for international students.