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and Competence Centre for Popular Music, Music Business and Creative Industries

Pop music is a cultural asset, economic good and source of inspiration. In this spirit, creativity and innovation unite at the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg. As a university and competence centre, we offer ambitious artists and aspiring managers a platform to develop their potential.

The Popakademie Baden-Württemberg is the only public university in Germany focussed on pop music and the creative industries. That’s why we aspire to offer the best-possible customised academic education for young people who seek success as musicians or managers in the music and creative industries. For us, it’s not only about imparting knowledge and skills, but also about developing each individual’s unique personality.

All of our degree programmes are accredited through ACQUIN, the Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance Institute. Ensuring and developing a high quality of teaching is a continual process - that’s why we orient ourselves toward the latest findings in business, research and pop culture while incorporating direct feedback from our students.

"It is without question that the Popakademie has a positive impact on our state."

Winfried Kretschmann,
Minister President of Baden-Württemberg
In addition to being a university, the Popakademie as a competence centre realises numerous projects in the areas of European cooperation, regional development and business development in the media-heavy region of Baden-Württemberg. Here we engage with external artists/bands, employers and employees in the creative industries, individuals interested in music, youth in need of musical enrichment, as well as refugees looking to integrate into local communities.

The competence centre with its various departments constitutes an optimal supplement to the courses of study at the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg and is a significant contributor to our reputation in business, politics and society. This unique model allows us to bring together relevant aspects of pop music culture at various levels and create synergies for the creative and economic output of the music and creative branches in Germany and beyond.

Our ideal location in Mannheim offers the Popakademie a lively cultural scene, attractive creative industry support and institutions such as the Startup Centres C-Hub and Musikpark Mannheim.


State of Baden-Wuerttemberg
City of Mannheim
Südwestrundfunk (Southwest Broadcasting SWR)
Media Authority of Baden-Wuerttemberg (LFK)

Chair of Supervisory Board
State Secretary Arne Braun, Ministry of Science, Research and Art, Baden-Wuerttemberg

Chair of Board of Trustees
Dr. Hans Reiter, Ministry of Science, Research and Art, Baden-Wuerttemberg

Chair of Advisory Board
Prof. Rudolf Meister, President of the Mannheim University of Music and the Performing Arts

The Popakademie Baden-Württemberg is a limited liability company and a foundation. It is a public university of the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

The Popakademie Baden-Württemberg belongs to the tertiary education sector. A successfully completed degree from the Popakademie is equivalent to comparable professional degrees from public art universities (according to the Academy Act of 25 February 1992, amended on 9 November 2010).

The Popakademie Baden-Württemberg has dual leadership:
  • Prof. Udo Dahmen: President & CEO, Director of Popular Music Department
  • Michael Herberger: President & CEO, Director of Music and Creative Industries Department
The management of the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg is overseen by a supervisory board as well as a board of trustees and also has an advisory board.


By signing the WIN-Charter of the state of Baden-Württemberg, the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg declared its commitment to economic, ecological and social responsibility. The WIN-Charter of Baden-Württemberg is thus far the only sustainability management system in Germany focussed on SMEs. Companies that sign the charter pledge to develop and communicate their own initiatives within Baden Württemberg’s Sustainability Strategy.
More information about the WIN-Charter and those who have signed it can be found at www.win-bw.com.


The Popakademie Baden-Württemberg is a barrier-free building. The building has barrier-free access, the bus stop in front of the building is also barrier-free and therefore easy to reach by public transport. The Popakademie has a handicapped parking space, a handicapped accessible WC with a pull cord and emergency call switch, the doors are suitable for wheelchair users according to DIN18040 and can be operated by pushbuttons and are equipped with finger protection. A lift with Braille lettering and a stretcher are available in case of failure. In the house there are generous movement areas with turning possibilities and there are no thresholds. A pictorial description with common pictograms ensures easy orientation in the house. Ramps and fall protection are available for the stages. Additional ergonomic barriers for staff, students and visitors are available by appointment.

For all questions regarding accessibility in the house, please contact Alexandra Reiter Alexandra.Reiter@popakademie.de.