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General Structure

The master's program in economics lasts two academic years (four semesters), always starting 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.) degree.

The program is structured as follows:

  • 1st semester: introductory phase
  • 2nd to 3rd semester: specialization phase
  • 4th semester: research phase


Introductory phase

After a two-week orientation phase, students can choose between the module combination “Economics” and the module combination “Economic Research Preparatory Courses”, which is compulsory in order to apply for the field of study “Economic Research” at the end of the first semester. “Economic Research” is a fast track option to acquiring a PhD degree.

The first semester consists of three/four compulsory core modules depending on the chosen module combination:


  • Advanced Microeconomics
  • Advanced Macroeconomics
  • Advanced Econometrics

"Economic research preparatory courses":

  • Mathematics for Economists (PhD level)
  • Advanced Microeconomics (PhD level)
  • Advanced Macroeconomics (PhD level)
  • Advanced Econometrics (PhD level)


Specialization phase

From fall semester 2017/18 the master program offers three study tracks (before fall semester 2017/18 there were two tracks on offer). At the end of the first semester, students either choose between the tracks Economics and "Competition and Regulation Economics" or apply for the "Economic Research" track. "Economics" offers the opportunity to choose their own areas of specialization from a wide range of elective courses. "Competition and Regulation Economics" contains specialized mandatory courses complemented by a large number of electives. The field of study “Economic Research” is focused on academic research and offers a fast track option to acquiring a PhD degree.


Research phase

All master students conclude their studies with the writing of a master thesis.


Fields of study

After the first semester, students are automatically admitted to the tracks "Economics" and "Competition and Regulation Economics". The best students (according to their performance in the introductory phase) are offered to continue in the field of study "Economic Research", which is a fast track option to acquiring a PhD degree.

Economics: The field of study "Economics" prepares students for working in a complex international work environment. In the second and third semester students have a high degree of flexibility and liberty and can pursue courses according to their own interests, choosing from a wide range of elective courses. Students discuss their course choice with a faculty member who advises them at the beginning of the specialization phase. In the fourth semester students prepare their Master thesis.

Competition and Regulation Economics: The "Competition and Regulation Economics" track prepares students for a professional career in organizations, governmental institutions, as well as companies 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 energy and telecommunications, and consultancies). During the specialization phase students complete the mandatory courses "Industrial Organization: Markets and Strategies", "Empirical Industrial Organization", and Competition Law", as well as a tailor-made lecture series with talks by leading practitioners and an interdisciplinary seminar on competition economics and law. The compulsory courses are complemented by a large offer of electives. Students finish their studies in the fourth semester by writing their master thesis.

Economic Research: The field of study "Economic Research" prepares students for writing a PhD thesis and builds the foundation for a successful academic career. Students attend courses from the PhD program of the Center for Doctoral Studies in Economics (CDSE). At the end of the second year, they prepare a dissertation proposal as their Master thesis. After obtaining the Master degree, graduates from this field of study can formally enter the PhD program with a scholarship and start writing their doctoral dissertation.


Internship and exchange opportunities

Students in the Mannheim master's program have excellent opportunities to gain experiences in different environments:

In the "Economics" track we offer the ENTER Master Program, a double-degree exchange program with leading European economics departments. Our partner universities are the Universite Libré de Bruxelles, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Stockholms Universitet, and Université de Toulouse I Capitole. Additionally there is a wide range of excellent Erasmus and oversea partnerships.

In the "Competition and Regulation Economics" track we facilitate internships and interaction with one of our cooperation partners. Several partners offer the possibility to be the host to write the master thesis. Cooperation agreements already exist with Bundesnetzagentur, German Monopolies Commission, Competition Commission of Singapore, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Telekom, CompassLexecon, and CRA. Additional agreements are under negotiation.

The "Economic Research" track does not directly include exchange opportunities. Students in this track will have opportunities for a stay abroad during their subsequent PhD 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 (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Université Libre de Bruxelles, University College London, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, University of Mannheim, University of Stockholm & Stockholm School of Economics, Tilburg University, and Université de Toulouse 1).

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