Bachelor of Arts in Politics, Administration & International Relations | PAIR

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Politics, Administration & International Relations | PAIR

Are you interested in global issues such as climate change, migration, international security, inequality and distributive justice, social cohesion or the consequences of digitalization? You have the desire to really understand these challenges of our time after graduating from school and to become part of the solution?

What all these problems have in common is that they are political in nature, can usually only be solved through international cooperation, and touch on fundamental ethical aspects. In the interdisciplinary undergraduate program in Politics, Administration & International Relations | PAIR, contemporary problems such as those mentioned above are addressed from all three aspects.

In this program, you will learn about political and administrative decision-making processes and institutions at the national and international level and how to analyze their social impact using scientific methods.

Located in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at Zeppelin University (ZU), you will immerse yourself in the seminars of the undergraduate program, especially in the global changes in politics, administration and society. Due to the interdisciplinary orientation, you will learn to link the global references of the above-mentioned challenges with questions of the social legitimacy of political decisions and their legal-administrative implementation.

Through profound methodological training, you will learn to analyze what really moves you in a scientific and responsible way. According to your personal interests, you have the opportunity to deepen your knowledge in an inspiring university environment and to orientate yourself professionally with the bachelor's degree.

Facts & Figures about the Bachelor in Political Science, Administrative Science & International Relations

Course facts and information

  • Qualification: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
  • Standard period of study: 8 semesters (4 years)
  • ECTS points: 240
  • Course language: German and English
  • Language skills: Good knowledge of English is necessary
  • Course begins: Spring (January) and fall semester (September)
  • Faculty: Faculty of Communication & Cultural Sciences
  • Fees per semester: 5,750 euro 

Interested? Please note the language requirements

Although quite a few courses at ZU are of­fered in Eng­lish, it is not possible to complete a bachelor´s degree in “Communication, Culture & Management | CCM” entirely in Eng­lish. Lan­guage skills in Eng­lish are preferred, while German is an absolute necessity. ZU requires very good proficiency in German lan­guage on C1 level for all degree-seeking applicants.

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Team Admissions

Dierolf, Nadine
Dierolf, Nadine

Application Advice Undergraduate  Programs

You have questions about the study programs and the application process? Then please contact our team Admissions.

Research focus & teaching content

The outstanding quality of the undergraduate program has been confirmed several times in the past by top positions inrankings. The satisfaction of our students with the study program is with approx. 80% far above the German average.

The focus of the teaching of the four-year bachelor's program Politics, Administration & International Relations | PAIR is fed by the research fields of the participating chairs.

Optionally, you can choose one of the following three tracks and specialize further in the course of your studies.

In the track "International Relations" you will deal with international security policy, international political economy, development cooperation, governance of the European Union and international organizations as well as international law.

The track "Public Management, Public Policy & Digitalization" deals with organizational theories, sustainable governance and public policy, public entrepreneurship and corporate governance in the public sector, policy field analysis, administrative law, as well as digitalization processes in business and administrative informatics.

The track "Political Behavior & Institutions" covers topics such as decision and game theory, political actors and institutions, theories of democracy and the state, and political attitudes, voting systems and voting behavior.

Look into the tracks

International Relations

  • Internat ional Political Economics
  • Inter national Organizations & Institutions
  • Governance & Development
  • International Law
  • International Security Policy
  • Governance & Law of the European Union
  • ...

Political Behavior & Institutions

  • Elections & Electoral Behavior
  • Political Attitudes & Political Behavior
  • Decision & Game Theory
  • Political Communication
  • Social Psychology
  • Political Actors & Institutions
  • ...

Public Management, Public Policy & Digitalization

  • Organizational Theories
  • Management, Leadership & Public Corporate Governance
  • Administrative Law
  • Comparative Public Policy Analysis
  • Business Informatics & Digitalization
  • Public Sector Informatics & Digitalization
  • ...

Areas of research of our professors'

Our academic chairs conduct research on a wide variety of topics. Here is a sample of our research projects:

The Open Government Institute | TOGI

Prof Dr Jörn von Lucke

  • Public Sector Informatics
  • Digitalisation of the Public Sector
  • Electronic Government
  • Open Government
  • Smart Government & Smart Cities
  • Realtime Government
  • Artificial Intelligence in the Public Sector

Chair of Economic Psychology & Leadership Ethics

Prof Dr Carmen Tanner

  • Behavioral Ethics
  • Organizational Culture

Chair of International Security Policy

Prof Dr Simon Koschut

  • International and regional security institutions
  • Emotions and international conflict
  • Regional integration and global order

Chair of Global Governance

Prof Dr Andrea Schneiker

  • International Organizations
  • Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Hybrid Forms of Governance
  • Security Governance
  • Migration
  • Humanitarian Assistance
  • Social Media
  • Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Political Communication

Chair of Political Soziology

Prof Dr Martin Elff

  • Social structure and political behavior
  • Strategic voting
  • Parties’ political positions and voters’party choices
  • Political information and public opinion
  • Measuring democracy
  • Quantitative research methods of political science

Chair of Public Management & Public Policy

Prof Dr Ulf Papenfuß

  • sustainable public corporate governance
  • integrated governance in corporate group/network structures
  • self-regulation
  • governance innovations and sustainable change in digital transformation processes
  • outcome orientated control

Chair of Comparative Politics, Focus on European Institutions

Prof Dr Christian Adam

  • Comparative Public Policy
  • Evidence-based policy making
  • Morality Policy
  • Public Health Policy
  • The political role of Courts
  • Policy Implementation
  • European Multilevel Governance
  • Judicialization of European Politics

Chair of Public Administration & Public Policy

Prof Dr Steffen Eckhard

  • (International) Public Administration and (Global) Public Policy
  • International Organizations
  • Street Level Bureaucracy
  • Policy Implementation
  • Crisis Management
  • Conflict Management

Chair of International Relations

Prof Dr Maria Debreh

  • International Dimension of Democracy and Autocracy
  • International Organizations
  • Regional Cooperation in the Global South
  • International Sanction Politics

Detailed descriptions of the research topics can be found on the relevant academic chair pages of the Political & Social Sciences faculty.

Study Program & Course

The degree structure of the four-year undergraduate program in Politics, Administration & International Relations | PAIR consists of four phases - the Zeppelin Year, the Major Phase, the Humboldt Year, and the Bachelor Phase.

Zeppelin Year

  • The Zeppelin Year is unique in Germany and gives you enough time for your personal orientation during the first two semesters of your studies. It gives you the opportunity to gain your first research experience and provides you with the necessary methodological knowledge and scientific basics.

Major Phase

  • The major phase starts with your second year of study. In the compulsory modules you build on the scientific foundations for your further studies. With the elective modules and the possibility to focus on one of the three tracks, the program offers you a maximum of flexibility.

Humboldt Year

  • During the Humboldt Year, starting in the sixth semester, you have the opportunity to work on a research project supervised by a lecturer or to deepen your knowledge in a special area of the program. Our students also deliberately use this study period to spend time abroad at one of our partner universities around the world.

  • 1st - 2nd Semester | Zeppelin Year
    to the extent of 60 ECTS-Credits
  • 3rd- 7th Semester  | Major Phase
    to the extent of 120 ECTS-Credits
  • 6st - 7th Semester | Humboldt Year
    to the extent of 30 ECTS-Credits
  • 8th Semester     | Bachelor Phase
    to the extent of 30 ECTS-Credits

Practical orientation, study abroad & connections

The undergraduate program in Politics, Administration & International Relations | PAIR is characterized by its interdisciplinarity. On the one hand, the program combines the three sub-disciplines International Relations, Political Behavior & Institutions, as well as Public Management, Public Policy & Digitalization.

On the other hand, you can take up to four modules from the other ZU degree programs. In this program, you will learn why it is so important not only to apply the methods and theories of a scientific discipline, but also to study in a problem-oriented, interdisciplinary manner. Our aim is that after your studies you will be able to fundamentally grasp social problems and find interdisciplinary solutions for them. Our special track concept also helps you to take personal preferences into account and to orient yourself concretely in different professional fields.

Exciting courses or internships at home or abroad, or a semester abroad at one of our worldwide partner universities, also open up new academic and professional perspectives and the chance to expand your language skills.

With the research-oriented perspective of the Bachelor's program and the acquired methodological skills, the possibility of an academic career with a subsequent gradiate program is also open to you.


In the PAIR study program, approximately 40% of the seminars are held in English.

In addition, we offer students outstanding partner universities around the world.

Here is a small selection:

Scholarships & Funding

The tuition fees for the four-year bachelor's program in Politics, Administration & International Relations | PAIR are €5,750 per semester. Monthly payment of tuition fees is also possible, please contact the Admissions Team.

We award scholarships not only for exceptional achievements, but also to applicants with a strong commitment to cultural, political or social issues.

Financing options

Individual financing options are available to you for your studies at ZU:

Selection procedure

Your grade point average is not a determining factor in our selection process - what our university community really focuses on is getting to know your curiosity, thirst for knowledge, ways of thinking, and talents.

To find out if you are a good fit for us, we have developed our own selection process (Pioneers Wanted). Here you will have the opportunity to answer our questions on the selection day and to exchange ideas with professors, students and staff during the selection interviews.

A prerequisite for your participation in one of our selection days is an online application in our application portal. If your application is evaluated positively, you will receive an invitation from our applicant advisory service.

Application & Deadlines

For your online application for a place on the undergradute program in Politics, Administration & International Relations | PAIR, we require a written CV and a letter of motivation.

You also need to upload your most recent school and graduation certificates so that we can check whether your certificates meet our admission criteria.

In our application portal you choose the selection day that suits you best. Please note that you must meet the relevant application deadlines so that we can consider your application documents in good time.

You can find all the necessary application documents for your online application and the exact procedure for applying for a study place as well as the FAQs here.

What our alumna says

"I decided to study PAIR at Zeppelin University after graduating from high school in order to pursue my fascination for European and international cooperation and to lay the foundation for a career in this field. What I particularly liked about my studies - apart from the unique location by the lake - were the small course sizes, the engaging discussions and the great inspiring people who helped me to grow beyond myself.

Today I work as a consultant at the Federal Foreign Office."

Louisa Singer, graduate 2019

Program Responsibility | Academic Contacts

Behnke, Joachim
Behnke, Joachim Prof Dr rer pol
Academic Program Director Politics, Administration & International Relations | BA/MA PAIR | MA IRPG | MA PMD
Phone:+49 7541 6009-1431
Room:Semi 0.02
Bürgin, Alexander
Bürgin, Alexander Dr
Program Director of the study programs in the fields of Politics | Administration & International Relations I BA/MA PAIR | MA IRPG | MA PMD
Phone:+49 7541 6009-1405
Room:FAB 3 | 0.71
Time to decide

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