The departments of the Institute have different thematic orientations and are divided into separate working units.
Department 1 contains the working units Competencies, Learning Environments, Personality, and Early Childhood and School Education, which are the pillars of NEPS with an essential reference to psychological and pedagogical research traditions. The department is currently led in an acting capacity by Dr. Ilka Wolter.
Department 2 includes the working units Educational Decisions and Social Inequality, Migration, Returns to Education, as well as Structures and Systems; here, the NEPS pillars can be found with a mainly sociological and economic background. The department is led by Prof. Dr. Corinna Kleinert.
Department 3 encompasses the Research Data Centre (RDC), Methods Development, as well as Software Development. The department is led by Prof. Dr. Christian Aßmann.
The Center for Study Management (ZSM) consists of four working units: Study Administration and Controlling, Survey Coordination, Study Communication and Survey Technology. The department is headed by Dr. Jutta von Maurice.