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General Structure of the Master`s Program

The master's program in Economics lasts two academic years (four semesters), and always starts in the fall semester (September). The language of administration and instruction is English. Upon successful completion of the program, students are awarded a Master of Science (M.Sc.).

Introductory Phase

After a two-week orientation phase, students can choose to take courses in the Economics module or attend the Economic Research preparatory courses, which are required to apply for the Economic Research track at the end of the first semester. The Economic Research track is a faster means of acquiring a doctorate.

Depending on your track of study, you must take either three or four courses during the introductory phase:


  • E601 Advanced Microeconomics
  • E602 Advanced Macroeconomics
  • E603 Advanced Econometrics

Economic Research preparatory courses (at doctoral level):

  • E700 Mathematics for Economists
  • E701 Advanced Microeconomics
  • E702 Advanced Macroeconomics
  • E703 Advanced Econometrics

Specialization Phase

As of the fall semester 2017/18, students can choose to study one of three study tracks (prior to this semester there were only two tracks on offer): Economics, Competition and Regulation Economics or Economic Research. The Economics track gives students the opportunity to choose their own specialization(s) from a wide range of elective modules. You can find the course catalog here. The Competition and Regulation Economics track contains specialized mandatory courses, which are complemented by a large number of electives. The Economic Research track focuses on academic research and is a fast-track path to acquiring a doctorate.

Fields of Study

After completing the first semester, students are automatically admitted to the Economics or Competition and Regulation Economics tracks. The best students (based on performance during the introductory phase) are given the chance to continue with the Economic Research track.

Economics: The Economics field of study prepares students for work in a complex, international working environment. In the second and third semesters, students have a high degree of flexibility and freedom, and can select courses that suit their own interests from a wide range of elective modules. Students can discuss their course choice with a member of the Department at the beginning of the specialization phase.

Competition and Regulation Economics: The Competition and Regulation Economics track prepares students for a professional career in an organization or governmental institution, or at a company where specialized knowledge in the field of competition and regulation economics is required or desirable (e.g. competition and regulatory authorities, companies in regulated sectors such as the energy and telecommunications sectors, and consultancies). During the specialization phase, students complete compulsory modules in Industrial Organization, Empirical Industrial Organization, Competition Law, and work on case studies together with students from the Department of Law.

Economic Research: The Economic Research track prepares students for writing a doctoral dissertation and provides the foundations for a successful academic career. Students attend courses from the doctoral program at the Center for Doctoral Studies in Economics (CDSE). At the end of the second year, they prepare a doctoral dissertation proposal in the form of their master’s thesis. After obtaining their master’s degree, graduates from this field of study can formally enter the doctoral program with a scholarship, and begin writing their doctoral dissertation.

Research Phase

The master’s thesis may be registered in the fourth semester at the earliest. Candidates must have completed at least one (block)seminar and have obtained at least 45 ECTS credits during the specialization phase. The choice of a supervisor and topic is within the responsibility of the candidate. The regular period of completion is four months.

Internship and Exchange Opportunities

There are excellent opportunities for students of the master's program in Mannheim to gain experiences in different environments:

Students of the Economics track can choose to participate in the ENTER Program, a double degree exchange program with Europe’s leading economics departments. The University of Mannheim collaborates with the Université Libre de Bruxelles, the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Stockholms Universitet, and the Université de Toulouse I. The university also has a large number of excellent Erasmus and overseas partnerships.

As part of the Competition and Regulation Economics track, we facilitate internships and collaborations with our cooperation partners. Several partners give students the option of writing their master’s thesis within the company. Cooperation agreements already exist with the Bundesnetzagentur, the German Monopolies Commission, the Competition Commission of Singapore, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Telekom, CompassLexecon, and CRA Charles River Associates. Additional agreements are under negotiation.

The Economic Research track does not directly include any exchange opportunities. Instead, students of this track have the opportunity to go abroad during their subsequent doctoral studies at the Center for Doctoral Studies in Economics (CDSE). The CDSE has a partnership with Yale University and is included in the European Network for Training in Economic Research (ENTER), a collaboration between the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, the Université Libre de Bruxelles, University College London, the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, the University of Mannheim, the University of Stockholm & Stockholm School of Economics, Tilburg University, and the Université de Toulouse 1.

Access to exchange programs is competitive and limited. The programs are subject to the ongoing approval by our partner universities and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Additionally, students can apply for a variety of other exchange opportunities (e.g. the ERASMUS+ program) at one of the University of Mannheim's partner universities.


  • Program flyer
  • Examination Regulations (available in German and English; please search the page for the term “Volkswirtschaftslehre” and select the second and third item found)