Current Offerings - HWS2018

The Finance Area will offer seminar slots for master students at the University of Mannheim in the HWS 2018. A central allocation procedure for seminar topics within a subset of the chairs of the Finance department exists. This time, the Chair of Finance (Prof. Theissen), the Chair of Banking and Finance (Prof. Wimmer), as well as the Chair of International Finance (Prof. Ruenzi) will offer topics through this centralized procedure.

On this website you can find all general information on this central allocation procedure. For more information on the topics of the different Chairs and further Chair-specific information, please visit the respective websites of the Chairs.

Future Offerings - FSS2019

The finance area will offer seminars in FSS2019. More information will be available on this website by December. For a general timeline of the process, you may refer to this document. Note that from HWS2018 on, it will be possible to write the seminar and master's thesis consecutively in one semester both in HWS and FSS.

Assignment of Topics

As for the centralized procedure, the assignment of the seminar paper topics is based on the average grade in the courses of the Finance Area and your priority list from the seminar application form. In order to ensure a timely completion of the master program, priority will be given to students with a high semester count.

NOTE: Supervision capacity is limited and the assignment of topics is competitive. It may well happen (and has happened in the past) that not all applying students will be assigned a topic. There is generally no guarantee to be able to complete the MMM program within 4 semesters with the exact course combination of your choice.

The Chair of Risk Theory, Portfolio Management and Insurance (Prof. Albrecht) and the Chair for Business Administration, Financial Systems and Development Finance (Prof. Terberger) may offer additional seminar topics, however they do not participate in the central allocation procedure. Please refer to the Chair of Risk Theory, Portfolio Management and Insurance or to the  Chair for Business Administration, Financial Systems and Development Finance for further information.


Timeline / Process Guide


DateLocationEventAdditional Information
28.05.2018Topics AnnouncementTopics will be uploaded to the individual websites of the participating chairs.


L9, 1-2, 001Topics Presentation

Topics will be presented by the participating chairs. Schedule:

2.30pm - 3.00pm: Wimmer

3.00pm - 3.45pm: Atanasov

3.45pm - 4.30pm: Ruenzi

4.30pm - 5.15pm: Theissen

01.06.2018 - 22.06.2018Preference Submission

Students should submit a preference list for the offered topics via an online application form.

Link to the application form:

02.07.2018Starting DateThe allocation of topics will be published here and the writing phase begins.
13.08.2018Submission Date (6 weeks)Submission date for topics designed to be worked on for 6 weeks.
27.08.2018Submission Date (8 weeks)Submission date for topics desigend to be worked on for 8 weeks.
Chair-specificSeminar PresentationsChair-specific seminar sessions where the work is presented and discussed.

Please note that the timeline is common within the Finance Area and thus cannot be changed individually, e.g., due to time spent abroad or internships. The choice of whether a topic should be worked on for 6 or 8 weeks is made by the respective chair.



In this course specific topics from the field of finance will be dealt with in depth. Students will have to work on the main topic of the seminar in some detail and write a term paper on a specific sub-topic that will be allocated to them. In an examplary seminar, students will present their own paper, discuss another student's paper, and participate actively in the classroom discussions. The detailed set-up of the seminar sessions is subject to the individual chairs' policies.

Learning Outcomes

Students will learn how to independently work on a research paper. Thus, the seminar paper also serves as preparation for a master thesis. Furthermore, students learn how to present research results and how to contribute to scientific discussions.


You must have successfully completed one core course (FIN 5XX) from the Finance Area (Albrecht, Maug, Niessen-Ruenzi, Ruenzi, Terberger, Theissen, or Weber) in order to participate (the exam must be in the month before the topic allocation announcement at the latest). Some knowledge of statistics and econometrics is useful and participants should be motivated to undertake empirical work.


You should write your seminar paper in English.

Stata Tutorials

If you apply for an empirical seminar topic at a chair of the Finance Area and your knowledge about STATA and financial databases is limited, you should attend the tutorials that provide you with basic knowledge about programming with STATA and the use of financial databases. Joint tutorials are offered by the Chair of International Finance (Prof. Ruenzi), the Chair of Corporate Finance (Prof. Maug), and the Chair of Finance (Prof. Theissen). Please consult the homepage of the Chair of Finance (Prof. Theissen) for updated information.

Additional Guidelines

Further guidance on the seminar paper (e.g., formal requirements) is provided by each Chair separately.


Q: Do I need to be present in Mannheim during and after the seminar?

A: Whether you need to be present physically before the submission deadline unfortunately depends on chair and advisor specific policies as well as the chosen topic. E.g. some of the databases used may only be physically accessible in Mannheim, and some advisor may only be willing to supervise in person. Not being in Mannheim for very few days right at the start of the seminar in early January typically is not an issue, as you could already start reading literature on your topic and think about the research question coneptually also from a remote location.


Q: Are there mandatory meetings after the submission?

A: Yes, typically there will be at least one major presentation session after the submission of the papers.


Q: I will still be doing an Intership (or going on vacation) for some time during the seminar writing phase. Will I still manage to write a good seminar paper?

A: We highly recommend to plan sufficient time to work on your seminar paper. Especially for emprical papers, the time constraint is generally very binding. Most students that don't work for the entire alloted time decide to not submit a paper (and thus fail the seminar) or don't manage to obtain very good grades.


Q: Can I choose to work for 6 or 8 weeks on the paper?

A: No. The specific deadline will be determined by chair and/or type of topic.


Q: I missed the application deadline. Can I still sign up for the seminar?

A: No, signing up after the deadline is not possible.


Q: What average grade do I need to surely get assigned one of the topics?

A: We cannot give information about the necessary grade in advance as we do not know it ourselves. The cut-off will depend on the number of applicants, the number of topics, the grades and semester count of the applicants and to what degree preferences spread out or concentrate accross the topics. In general, the assignment of a topic cannot be guaranteed. Also, we do not distribute the necessary grades from previous semesters, as the number is variable due to the various influencing factors described above.

Further Information

In case of further questions regarding the general timeline or topic assignment process please contact Fabian Brunner (brunner(at)

For questions related to specific Seminar topics or other Chair-specific information, please contact the respective Chair.