The Finance Area will offer seminars for students every semester. There is a centralized allocation procedure for seminar topics in the Area of Finance. On this website you can find information on the centralized allocation procedure of seminar topics. The actual topics, formal requirements and supervision specifics are subject to the policies of the individual chairs. Please refer to the respective chair websites for more information in these regards.
To enable the common allocation procedure, there is a fixed timline when it is possible to start writing a seminar paper and when to apply for topics. For a general timeline of this process please refer to this document. Note that the timeline cannot be changed due to individual requirements, e.g., due to time spent abroad or internships. As you can see in the document, it is possible to write the seminar and the master's thesis within one semester both in HWS and FSS.
You must have successfully completed at least one finance course (FIN XXX) offered by one of the chairs of the Finance Area in order to participate. We typically can consider exam grades from the first exam date of the semester ending just before the start of the seminar. As most topics require to work empirically, 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.
The allocation of topics is carried out jointly for the participating chairs. Once the application period starts, you will be required to fill out an online application form indicating your contact details, your grades in FIN XXX courses as well as your preferences regarding the different topis offered. The assignment is competitive and based on the average grade of your FIN XXX courses and your priority list from the application form.
It can happen that some students that apply in a given semester cannot be assigned a topic. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of available seminar slots, preference will be given to students with (in this order): higher semester counts, special program requirements and better average finance grades. Note that the probability that you will be assigned a topic will depend on your semester count, your grades as well as the number and characteristics of other applicants. There is generally no guarantee to be able to complete the MMM program within 4 semesters with the exact course combination of your choice.
Most of the topics in Finance require you to work empirically. 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 also take the course FIN 604 – Stata in Finance that provides you with basic knowledge about programming with STATA and the use of financial databases. Please consult this website for more information. The tutorials typically take place around the start date of the writing phase.
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. 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.
Topics will be uploaded to the individual websites of the participating chairs.
|03.12.2020||Topics Presentation (via Zoom)|
Topics will be presented by the participating chairs. Schedule:
The Zoom-Link will be provided here.
|08.12.2020 – 18.12.2020||Online Application|
Students should submit an online application form indicating their preferences. The link to the corresponding Ilias group will be provided here.
|04.01.2021||Topics Allocation Announcement and Starting Date||The allocation of topics will be published here and the writing phase begins.|
|15.02.2021||Submission Date (6 weeks)|
Last day to hand in your paper for 6 weeks topics.
|01.03.2021||Submission Date (8 weeks)|
Last day to hand in your thesis for 8 weeks topics.
Chair-specific seminar sessions where the work is presented and discussed.
We cannot share information about the necessary grade as we do not know it ourselves in advance. The probability to be assigned a topic will not only depend on the FIN XXX grades but also on the number of applicants, the number of topics and the number of applicants with very high semester counts as well as how popular the topics on your preference list are in general. The assignment of a topic cannot be guaranteed.
We highly recommend to plan sufficient time to work on your seminar paper. Especially for empirical 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.
Whether you need to be present physically before the submission deadline depends on chair and advisor specific policies as well as the chosen topic. E.g. some databases 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 conceptually also from a remote location.
Yes, typically there will be at least one major presentation session after the submission of the papers.
No. The specific deadline will be determined by the chair and/