Bachelor's and Master's theses
Writing your thesis? Continue reading if you need information on Bachelor's and Master's theses, the final oral eximination, how to extend your submission deadline and to find out if it is possible to change your topic.
Bachelor's Thesis/Master's Thesis
Each program concludes with a final assignment, the Bachelor's or Master's thesis. The time frame for writing the thesis depends on the program and topic and can be anywhere between four weeks and four months. Students may choose a thesis adviser from the pool of professors of his/her program (please refer to the examination regulations ('Prüfungsordnung') for details). The topic is determined by the thesis adviser but students have the option to suggest specific areas for the topic of their thesis.
As with any other exam you are required to register for your thesis. Please contact the Office of Student services for information on how to proceed.
Extending the Submission Deadline
There are all kinds of reasons why you may need to extend the submission deadline of your thesis. It is usually possible to request an extension if unfavorable circumstances prevent you from handing in your thesis in time. Please note that you need to apply for an extension before the original deadline.
The decision on whether your deadline will be extended lies with the chairperson of the examination board. Your thesis adviser is to be heard on the request as well.
The examination regulations of your program provide additional information on application deadlines and extension periods. These extension periods are binding and extensions beyond those time frames are not possible.
Should you deal with a serious illness for an extended period of time while working on your thesis, an extension of the submission deadline may not be enough. In this case it might be more appropriate to withdraw from writing the thesis. To do so, you need to submit a written request to the examination board. Please state the reasons for withdrawing and enclose a medical certificate. Please note that this must be done before the original submission deadline. If your withdrawal is approved by the examination board, you may register again (with a different topic) at a later date and your first attempt at writing your thesis will not count towards the maximum possible number of attempts.
Can I change the topic of my thesis?
It is not possible to change the topic of your thesis. However, if you come to the conclusion that the topic proposed by your thesis advisor is not working for you, you may withdraw from writing a thesis on this topic (without giving reasons). Please note that this can only be done once and only during the first two weeks of the assigned time frame. Your thesis advisor will assign you a new topic which must be different from the original one.
If this is your second attempt at writing your thesis you may only withdraw from a topic if you did not do so during your first attempt.
In some cases, minor changes to the title of your thesis may be possible. Please ask your thesis advisor for details.
Final oral examination ('Kolloquium')
In addition to the Bachelor's or Master's thesis students are usually required to pass a final oral examination ('Kolloquium').
The final oral examination complements the thesis and is normally evaluated as an independent examination. It is to determine whether the examinee is capable of orally presenting and independently justifying the findings of the thesis, its scientific fundamentals as well as inter- and multidisciplinary contexts, and of assessing the thesis’ significance for practice. The examinee's approach to writing the thesis is also to be discussed. The final oral examination is jointly held and evaluated by both examiners of the thesis and usually lasts approximately 30 minutes.