Program information and study plan
What type of degree will I obtain from this program?
Once you have successfully completed the study program and passed all of your exams, you will be awarded the degree Master of Science in Quantitative Decision Making in Economics and Management by the Department of Law, Management and Economics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.
Does the QDEM have a part-time study program?
Due to the course structure, we do not offer a part-time study option.
What is the basic structure of the Master’s program?
The program consists of 5 core modules (6 ECTS each) which provide basic methodological skills in mathematics, statistics, economic decision making, operations research, and programming, as well as an academic skills module (6 ECTS) which covers foundations of academic research and training courses of personal skills.
In addition, students should choose a number of elective modules (42 ECTS). At least 30 ECTS have to be obtained in the specialization areas, Econometrics, Management Science & Business Intelligence, and Economic Behavior & Strategy. A maximum of 12 ECTS may be obtained in the free part (i.e. modules in Management, Accounting and Finance, Epidemiology, Sociology). In two applied project seminars (12 ECTS), students apply their theoretical knowledge and obtain first research experience.
The last semester is reserved for the Master’s thesis (25 ECTS) and the research colloquium (5 ECTS), in which students carry out their own research and present their own research findings.
How long will it take me to complete the QDEM program?
The standard period of study is 4 semesters. This includes the time needed to complete the Master’s thesis and the research colloquium.
Is there a timeline that I should follow?
In order to be able to complete the QDEM program in two years, you should stick to the proposed study schedule. On average, you should achieve 30 ECTS per semester to finish within the standard period of study. However, it is not compulsory to complete the program in 4 semesters. You can therefore adapt your individual study plan to your needs.
What exactly is a “module”?
The various courses that form the Master’s program are offered as part of modules. A module is made up of one or of several courses which cover similar topics and are coordinated within the timetable.
Each module is worth a certain number of credit points. A module’s credit points indicate the amount of time you need to spend in order to complete the module. This includes time spent on going to all of the classes, preparing and revising the course materials, completing any performance-related assessments, preparing for the exam and completing the module exam. One ECTS point, i.e. one credit point, corresponds to 30 hours of student work for the course.
Do I have to register for modules and courses?
In order to attend courses and complete modules, you have to register for the modules and the courses within the set registration periods. A step-by-step-guide for the registration in JOGU-StINe can be found here: https://info.jogustine.en.uni-mainz.de/students/registering-course/
Application / start of studies
Is it possible to apply for the QDEM with a Bachelor degree achieved in a two-year (4 semester) program?
No, the QDEM requires a bachelor level degree with at least three years (6 semesters) of study.
Is it possible to start the program in summer term?
No, a start of studies is only possible in the winter term.
I have not majored in economics. Is it nevertheless possible to successfully attend the QDEM?
Yes. We also encourage students from other disciplines with a quantitative focus (e.g. Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science) to apply. Note, however, that you must have earned a certain number of credit points (18 ECTS) in the field of management and economics during your first degree. Therefore, you should have also studied Economics as a minor subject in some form.
How good do my English skills have to be at the beginning of the program?
The admission requirements set certain minimum standards in terms of English language skills (approx. B2 level). Your language skills need to be proven by one of the following options: higher education entrance qualification acquired in an English-taught institution, bachelor-level degree in a program entirely taught in English, accepted language tests (FCE, IELTS, TOEFL, Telc English, OTE). Moreover, you should enjoy reading and writing in English and you should be willing to express your arguments in English in presentations and classroom discussions.
Is it possible to apply before I can prove my English language skills with one of the required tests?
Yes. The results of the language test have to be handed in by the end of your first semester.
I have studied a similar subject at another university. Can I apply for a higher semester of the program?
If you have already completed courses at a higher education institution in Germany that can be recognized, you should obtain a notification of your semester classification (Fachsemestereinstufungsbescheid) before applying. The semester classification depends on the amount of recognition to be carried out. General information on the application process is provided by the central student counselling department, ZSB (zsb AT uni-mainz.de). The recognition of academic achievements is checked by the Study office (anerkennungen-wiwi AT uni-mainz.de).
I did not obtain my bachelor degree in Germany. Can I still apply for the QDEM?
Yes. International applicants are highly welcome. Please note that your foreign school leaving certificate or study degree needs to be recognized by the University of Mainz before you can engage in the application process. Information on the recognition of foreign certificates and diplomas can be found here: https://www.studying.uni-mainz.de/certification-of-recognition-validation-of-foreign-certificates/
I don’t have German language skills. Can I still become a student in the QDEM program?
You can study in the QDEM program without German language skills. All of our core modules, as well as a variety of elective modules, are taught in English. You may choose elective modules which are taught in German, but this is not a must. If you decide to do this, you should be aware that any assessments or examinations will be held in German.
Who can help me with questions about the application process?
The university’s International Office offers counselling for International applicants who obtained their first degree abroad and wish to study at the University of Mainz. Contact details can be found online: https://www.studying.uni-mainz.de/international-office-incoming/Master’s thesis
How do I find a supervisor for the Master’s thesis?
First and foremost, it is the student's responsibility to find a supervisor for his or her Master's thesis. It is best to approach chairs in the Faculty of Economics & Management (FB 03) whose research interests match yours. Some chairs have deadlines for master's thesis applicants. Please refer to the respective chair's website for details about these deadlines. If, despite your best efforts, you are unable to find a supervisor, you may contact the Study Office. You are then entitled to have a topic assigned to you in a timely manner.
When do I have to register for the Master’s thesis?
Once you and your supervisor have agreed upon a subject, you have to register for the Master’s thesis at the Study Office, using the registration form provided in the Study Office’s download center.
If you want to follow the proposed study plan, you should work on your Master’s thesis in the fourth semester. You can register for your thesis at any time during your studies, provided that you have already successfully completed 60 credit points.
You must register your thesis by the end of your 6th semester (Fachsemester) the latest. Otherwise, the first attempt will be graded with 5.0.
How long does it take to write the Master’s Thesis?
The thesis takes four months. The submission date is set at the time of registration of the thesis.
Will I work alone? Does my subject need to be approved first?
You will complete your thesis under the guidance of a supervisor. Before starting your Master’s thesis, you must first agree with your supervisor upon the subject you will address.
If your supervisor agrees, you may also complete your Master’s thesis in the form of a group work. Your own individual part of the group work must be clearly marked so that it can be assessed.
Can I write my thesis in cooperation with a company, e.g. while I am doing an internship?
In principle, writing your thesis in cooperation with a company is not impossible. However, you still have to find a supervisor within the university for your thesis. If you apply to a chair for writing your Master's thesis, inform them that you would like to write a thesis in cooperation with a company. In order to be able to write with a company, you need the approval of the chair (although there is no obligation to give approval). In addition, even in the case of writing with a company, both reviewers (examiners) of the thesis must come from the University of Mainz.
Can I change the subject of my thesis once I have registered?
The subject of your thesis can only be changed once, and if so, this must be within the first two weeks after your registration with the Study Office. You and your supervisor must then agree upon a new subject as quickly as possible; within a maximum four weeks.
What is a module exam and what does it take to pass it?
The aim of a module exam is to assess your understanding of the contents and methods covered within the module as well as your ability to apply the skills you have learnt.
A module exam can be conducted as a “Final module exam” (“Modulabschlussprüfung”) or as a sequence of “Module part-exams” (“Modulteilprüfungen”). In the case of a “Final module exam”, you will be examined about all courses of a module in one exam. You will therefore have to register for all courses in the module, before you can take this exam.
You will be awarded the credits for successfully completing a “Final module exam” if you receive a “pass” or a grade of at least “sufficient / 4,0”.
How do I know about the type of exam for each module?
The type of module exam for each module is stated in the module handbook.
How does a written module exam work?
During a written exam you are expected to complete one or several tasks set by the examiner. In order to complete these tasks, you will need to use methods that are common in the subject area, normally with limited resources. You will be given a limited amount of time to complete the tasks and you will be under the supervision of an examiner. Exam durations are usually stated in the module handbook.
Your exam could also be conducted using a computer, a so-called e-exam.
If the written exam takes the form of a term paper, you will be expected to complete a written piece of work on a subject area set by the examiner using methods common to the subject area and within a limited amount of time
How does an oral module exam look work?
You will either take your oral exam alone or as part of a group, with a maximum of four candidates. Each candidate’s exam will last between a minimum of 15 minutes and a maximum of 30 minutes
I passed an exam but I am not satisfied with the grade. Can I repeat this exam to improve my grade?
No, the repetition of an exam with the aim of getting additional ECTS or improving the grade is not possible.
I didn’t pass an exam. How many retakes do I have?
For regular module exams you have a total of three attempts. This means you still have two retakes after failing once. For the Master’s thesis you only have two attempts in total.
I didn’t succeed in passing a core module. What do I do now?
If you fail for the first or second time you can go for another exam attempt. If you fail for the third time you have run out of chances to repeat an exam for a core module. In the latter case you failed the Master’s degree as a whole and you can no longer continue your studies in the QDEM program.
I didn’t succeed in passing an elective module’s exam. Can I choose another elective module?
In case of not passing elective module exams, you can change elective modules twice during the entire MIEPP program. This is possible after the first, second or third (and final) attempt. To make use of this option, the joker form which can be found in the Study office’s download center needs to be filled in and submitted to the Study office.
If I didn’t pass an exam, is it obligatory to register for the repeat exam immediately?
It is recommended to register for the repeat exam as soon as possible, but it is not obligatory to do so. Therefore, you could wait until the course is offered again to attend the respective classes and take the exam thereafter. However, in the latter case you face the risk of having to deal with a new topic (if the lecturer adapts the course content).
How is my final grade made up?
Your final grade for the Master’s degree will be made of your grades from the three following components:
- The modules which you will take throughout the course of the program
- The written Master’s thesis
- The research colloquium
Can earn more than 120 ECTS in the program?
No. You need 120 ECTS to complete the program. Once you have reached this number, your studies are finished.
General information for students
How does the grading system work?
German universities use the following system to grade exams and any other pieces of work. (Here you should note that in Germany the comma is used instead of the decimal point so 1,3 is the same as 1.3 in English)
1,0; 1,3 = Very good = An outstanding performance
1,7; 2,0; 2,3 = Good = Performance lies significantly above the average requirements
2,7; 3,0; 3,3 = Satisfactory = Performance corresponds to average requirements
3,7; 4,0 = Sufficient = Despite deficiencies, performance still meets requirements
5,0 = Not sufficient = Due to presence of too many deficiencies, performance
You have successfully passed an exam or piece of coursework if you receive a “sufficient / 4,0” or above.
Where can I turn for financial support?
Information on financial support for German students, for example through BAföG, a student loan or scholarships can be found here: http://www.uni-mainz.de/studium/163_DEU_HTML.php
International students find more information and respective scholarships at the DAAD website and its scholarship database (https://www.daad.de/de/).
Is it possible to find accommodation in a students' residence?
Yes, application forms and further information for accommodation in a students' residence may be obtained from the Student Union Mainz (Studierenden Werk Mainz) - https://www.studierendenwerk-mainz.de/en/wohnen.