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Humanities and Social Sciences

Study Social Sciences in Germany

Explore 512 programmes.

When you study social sciences, you learn about human coexistence. What are the foundations of this coexistence? What structures and forms exist? Which developments shape human coexistence? And how are they mutually dependent? Social science methods play a major role in these courses of study, as they are needed to answer such questions scientifically. The topics of social science overlap with many other disciplines and are therefore very interdisciplinary.


160 Higher Education Institutions

Bachelor, Master

German, English, French

2-24 Semesters

What to expect?

Human coexistence takes place on many levels: From the smallest forms, like families, to far larger examples such as companies and multinational systems, e.g., the United Nations. All these entities are of interest to the social sciences; both their effects on society and their interdependencies with society are analysed. For research in this field, you need to master the qualitative and quantitative methods of the social sciences, including statistics and empiricism. These account for a significant part of your studies.

There are various fields of study in the social sciences:

  • Gender studies
  • Sustainability sciences (social, not natural)
  • Social economics
  • Sociology

All the degree programmes in this area are very theoretical and are therefore offered mainly by universities.

Social science programmes follow a typical course of study. This means that Bachelor’s degrees usually take six semesters, while Master’s degrees normally last five, including the semester for writing a thesis. An internship is almost always a requirement in a social sciences programme. During which semester you need to complete the internship depends on the higher education institution. Internships can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Empirical projects are another possible requirement to gain practical experience. For your future, it can be wise to strategically choose your internship. If you impress, job opportunities are a little bit easier to come by.

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Are you interested in an in Humanities and Social Sciences? Run a non-binding eligibility check now.

What are the requirements to study social sciences in Germany?

A higher education entrance qualification or something equivalent is usually required to be accepted for a social sciences programme. It is also possible to apply with several years of professional experience in a related field. If you are applying with something other than a school-leaving certificate, then it is better to contact your higher education institution. Sometimes, a numerus clausus (NC), i.e., a minimum grade is required. The grade point average expected for these degree programmes varies widely from institution to institution and spans from between about 1.5 to about 3.5 according to the German grading system. Other higher education institutions don’t require them at all.

To increase your chances of getting accepted into a Master’s programme, a higher grade point average in your Bachelor’s degree will be extremely helpful. Master’s programmes for social sciences can be challenging and demanding, so having an excellent application will help you.

If you are planning on studying in a programme that conducts courses in English, proof of language skills might also be necessary. Some of the materials might also only be in English. Requirements for entry into higher education institutions can vary, so check the necessities before diving into the process.

How much will it cost to study social sciences in Germany?

The cost of attending a public higher education institution in Germany can be relatively inexpensive. In most cases, it is tuition free. A semester contribution of 100 to 400 euros will most likely be asked of you, however. Sometimes your semester contribution covers a ticket for local public transport or you can purchase a discounted ticket. Depending on where you study, this may be valid for the city, the region or even for all of Germany. Ask your higher education institution whether such an offer is currently available. Studying at a private higher education institution will cost you a lot more. This can range into the 10s of thousands of euros when it comes to tuition.

Housing expenses will be dependent on your approach and the city you live in. Just like in most countries, the bigger the city you live in, the more expensive the costs of housing will be. If you end up studying in a medium or smaller-sized town, then you can find more affordable options. In any case, student halls of residence are usually your cheapest option. As soon as you have decided on where you want to study, you should start looking, as halls of residence can fill up quickly. Here, you can find information on local halls of residence and the respective application process for most cities.

To finance your studies in Germany, you should also find out about scholarships. There are many different scholarship programmes and excellent grades are not the only deciding factor. You can learn more about scholarships here and find suitable programmes directly on My GUIDE.

Lifestyle choices are also a determinant of expenses you will incur during your time studying.

What career opportunities do I have with a degree in social sciences?

Your career path in social sciences will be heavily dependent on your focus during your studies and your interests. Social sciences can give you a wide set of options to choose from. The chances of you finding a job within a year of graduating are good. As discussed before, practical experience gained through your studies will help you find a job and a job that fits you. You will have options in politics and administration, research and science, the educational and cultural sectors, and business consulting. You can also become a teacher. However, this requires an additional teaching degree in social sciences.

Salaries are hard to pin down due to the wide variety of options. Consult with your professors or councilors to see what career options are out there.

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Check your eligibility to study at German higher education institutions (non-binding)

Run a quick and non-binding check to determine whether your certificates make you eligible to study at German higher education institutions. Depending on which educational certificates you provide, you may qualify for all degree programmes or only for certain subjects or types of higher education institutions. It is possible that you do not currently meet the requirements to be eligible to apply to a German higher education institution. In such a case, you may be able to attend a Studienkolleg. Please note that the eligibility check results apply exclusively to undergraduate programmes and are not legally binding.

Once you have completed the non-binding check, degree programmes that match your eligibility will be marked with a corresponding icon.