Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences, University of Mannheim

  • 240 Students (74 int'l)
  • Public University
Mannheim, Germany
The Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences at the University of Mannheim offers excellent opportunities for highly motivated students who want to pursue a doctoral degree at a leading European university!

About Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences, University of Mannheim

All of our 11 full-time three to five year PhD programs are designed to prepare you for an academic career at leading international universities and research institutions. To achieve this, we are offering an excellent and stimulating research environment featuring internationally renowned faculty members, a diversified study body and generous funding which allows you to fully focus on your research!

Our programme structure is centered on the real-world competencies and characterized by a strong and focused curriculum which provides a solid foundation for achieving excellence in the chosen research area. At the same time, it encourages to exchange ideas, methods and approaches to research across the boundaries of the economic and social sciences.

Become a part of the vibrant and international research community with currently more than 230 students from more than 40 countries!


The Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences (GESS) is unique in Germany and one of the few graduate schools worldwide which foster the exchange of ideas, methods and approaches to research across the boundaries of the economic and the social sciences. It provides students with an enlarged scientific vision in a critical phase of their academic socialization and at the same time enables them to achieve excellence in their own field of research.

The University of Mannheim is planning a new research building. Once it is available for use, all of our students will be united under one roof and will experience even stronger collaborative and supportive relationships with each other.

Taking part in one of the PhD programs at the GESS prepares students for academic positions at leading universities and institutions around the world.

Accreditations of Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences, University of Mannheim

The School is accredited by

  • Association of MBAs.


Thanks to the funding by the German Science Foundation (DFG), first-year students can be fully financed by grants. Students who have successfully passed the first year of doctoral studies, will be funded either through grants or research / teaching assistantships. Doctoral grants are in the range of 1.200 (not subject to income taxation). Additionally, all students receive their own offices and equipment (laptops, PCs, software licences for own research etc).

The university has been certified as a family-friendly work and study place (audit Family-friendly University). The GESS contributes to this task by seeking to achieve a manageable scientific-work/family balance for students who are parents.

The GESS offers the following specific support measures for doctoral students with children:

  • Parent offices: the GESS offers special work offices where parents can bring their children along to work.
  • The GESS supports the universitys emergency-childcare facility: GESS students can take advantage of childcare at no cost, whenever regular childcare options do not work out, e.g., in special evening hours or during childcare holidays.
  • Parents looking for childcare, e.g., nursery schools, receive help from the GESS for gender-issues or the Department for Gender Equality and Social Diversity.
  • Membership extension: parents who wish to intermit their studies to take care of their children can put their GESS funding on hold and are granted an extension of their grant and of their GESS membership. To bridge the phase without the scholarship, female doctoral students with children can apply for additional funding. There are also additional funds available once students have resumed their doctoral studies.

Student life at Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences, University of Mannheim

The University of Mannheim holds a leading position among German universities, not only in research and teaching, but also concerning the range of leisure activities in and around the city. The GESS is located in the heart of the city of Mannheim which is full of potential and offers a vibrant cultural life, as well as great sports facilities. In addition the city is packed with lively bars, venues and cinemas. For those who love nature, the banks of the Rhine and Neckar are in close reach of the university and make an ideal spot for relaxing or having a barbecue with friends.

There are plenty offerings for students to get involved in music and drama projects at the University of Mannheim. The University's Orchestra, the Drama group, the College Jazz Band and the Choir are glad to welcome new members. Additionally, the University of Mannheim is offering a broad range of athletic and fitness facilities. GESS students will have easy access to activities, classes and equipment.

Compared to well-known metropolitan cities as for example Munich, Hamburg and Berlin, the city of Mannheim offers similar opportunities at lower costs (e.g. accommodation): a great advantage for students living in Mannheim.

The University Welcome Center helps students to find their way in Mannheim once accepted at the GESS giving them valuable advice on issues such as immigration, housing, practical trainings and transactions with foreign governments. Furthermore, a huge selection of housing options helps students to quickly become familiar with Mannheim and its surroundings.

The University of Mannheim offers a variety of German language courses, such as preparatory intensive language courses, language courses during the semester and the International Summer Academy/Winter Academy. However, the International Summer Academy/Winter Academy are more then just language courses: apart from an intensive course in the morning, they also provide students the opportunity to attend a number of seminars. In these seminars students will learn about the culture and popular mindsets of Germany or attend language practice courses to deepen their knowledge of the German language.
GESS students enter a highly personalized and supportive academic and administrative environment. Not only do they share offices with fellow students during the course of the program phase. Students will also regularly interact with peers from other doctoral centers through classes, social events and brown-bag seminar series.

PhD Programmes at Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences, University of Mannheim

Search these programmes

Many organisations offer scholarships or grants. Some of these might help you to study for a PhD at Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences, University of Mannheim!

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS we offer you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.

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