Step 1: Get in touch with us
10 months prior to thesis submission
- If you have a topic for your thesis in mind or interest in a particular research area, get in touch with a researcher involved in this field. Our team or research topics can help you find the right person. Please prepare a short thesis description or proposal and submit it to the researcher. Throughout the whole process, please always put the secretary in copy when going through the following steps (cc):
- when proposal writing is started (Step 2)
- when the proposal is finalized and thesis is started (=> registration of the thesis, see Step 3 and 4)
- when the thesis is finished (or abandoned) (Step 6)
- when proposal writing is started (Step 2)
- If you do not have any idea for a thesis topic, check open thesis topics and contact the respective advisor.
- If you have any questions with regard to the procedure, please read the notes for students (provided by faculty 5).
Step 2: Write a thesis proposal
10-7 months prior to thesis submission
Before registering your thesis, you will write a thesis proposal (+ abstract) in order to refine your research question, to build the thesis structure and to organise and schedule the tasks for your research work. Please send the thesis proposal to your advisor first (as soon as your advisor agrees that the quality is sufficient, you can send it to the supervisor Prof. Staab), please put the secretary in copy when you send the first draft to your advisor and when you send the proposal to Prof. Staab for the first time.
If you write a master thesis, please also make sure to find a second examiner from the faculty of Informatik and propose this to the advisor and to Prof. Staab when sending the proposal. You cannot register your thesis before your proposal has been submitted and approved and before a second examiner has been named and asked.
- Step 2.1: Your advisor will guide you through the process. Sketch a proposal and discuss with your advisor and improve it until you and your advisor are happy with it and your advisor confirms that you can submit it to the supervisor Professor Staab who will usually be your main examiner (supervisor) at AC. He will either accept the proposal (=>move to step 3) or demand some adjustments (=>repeat step 2.1).
- Download an example of a well-written proposal here. (=> usually 5-8 pages; try to cover only the most important things and avoid any unnecessary information).
- Only full professors, assistant professors („Juniorprofessoren“) and habilitated staff members with a specific authorization - a so-called "Prüfungsberechtigung" - can be the main supervisor/examiner.
- Please put the secretary in copy when the proposal is finalized and thesis is started (=> regstration of the thesis, see Step 3 and 4)
- Step 2.2: If you write a master thesis, please also make sure to find a second examiner from the faculty of Informatik and propose this to the advisor and to Prof. Staab when sending the proposal. You cannot register your thesis before a second examiner has been named and asked.
- Step 2.3: Your advisor will create a git account at the AC repository for you. Upload the proposal into it and send it to the secretary along with the forms required for the official registration of your thesis at the Examination Office (see Step 3 + 4). Please ask your advisor first if you encounter any problems filling out these documents.
Step 3: Agree to thesis contract and conditions
6 months prior to thesis submission
Scientific progress depends on open access to information and data. Without it researchers would not be able to share knowledge broadly, to replicate findings from data, and to evolve scientific insight. In addition, our work is almost completely funded by German and European taxpayers and open access fosters the reuse of software and transfer of knowledge. For these reasons we openly publish our papers, data, and program code online so that everyone can access them. We expect our students to proceed likewise with their theses; in return, we assure to advise and support our students in the best possible way during their theses.
- Step 3.1: Read through the Wikipedia article about academic dishonesty and make sure you understand everything. If you have any questions, ask your advisor.
- Step 3.2: Download and read the thesis contract and the license agreement. Make sure you understand everything (Deepl), complete and sign it. In case of any questions, ask your advisor. If you are enrolled in a German study programme and write your thesis in English, download and sign the additional language agreement, saying that you will also submit a German abstract along with your thesis and English abstract.
- Step 3.3: Check your C@mpus account and download the registration form. Your Prüfer (examiner) is the professor/assistant professor from step 2. Sign it and send all the files (approved proposal, thesis contract, license agreement, additional language agreement, Campus registration form) to the Analytic Computing secretary to have it signed by Professor Staab. For our website, please include a teaser in your mail if you agree that we can publish your abstract and teaser on our website. Please add your advisor to assist the secretary with the website.
- If you are enrolled in a Master programme (M.Sc.) or an older Bachelor programme (B.Sc., PO 2012), please ask your advisor and examiner (supervisor) to determine a second examiner (=>Zweitprüfer) in the very beginning of your thesis writing to plan for a second reviewer who will support/revise your grade in the end. Please make sure that your advisor has asked the second examiner for a confirmation by mail in which the second examiner agreed to do the part of the second examiner. Otherwise, your registration will be rejected by the secretary. (HINT: Any professor from IPVS or Informatik can do the part of the second examiner for M.Sc. Informatik students.)
Step 4: Register your thesis at the Examination Office
6 months prior to thesis submission
In this step, you must officially register your thesis at the Examination Office (Prüfungsamt). Please send the signed registration form from the secretary to the Examination Office. Your registration will be confirmed via e-mail. You must submit the thesis within a 6-months-deadline. If the deadline is a public holiday or weekend, the deadline will end the subsequent working day. Once you have registered your thesis at the Examination Office, you have six months to submit your thesis.
Step 5: Work on your thesis
6-0 months prior to submission
- Meet your advisor at least every two weeks so he/she can provide feedback on your work and progress. You should also attend AC Oberseminar (weekly series of scientific talks by AC members and guests). Regularly upload data, code, text, etc. into the Git repository your advisor set up for you in step 2.3.
- Keep in mind the evaluation criteria your reviews will later apply for grading your thesis. We also recommend you to read Jennifer Widom’s tips on writing technical papers as well as the ACL PC chairs last-minute writing advice.
- After about three months, you should give a 10-minute-presentation on your thesis (e.g. in the AC Oberseminar or in a smaller round). After that, you, your advisor and your supervisor will have a 30-minute discussion about your thesis. Make sure to keep notes of the feedback you receive!
- Sick note: If you get sick and your doctor gives you a sick note, send a copy of it to the Examination Committee (cc email@example.com) and hand in the original note to the Examination Committee. The extension will be communicated to the examiner and the secretary (+ Examination Office).
- Running out of time: If you run out of time and need an extension, inform your advisor asap. Extensions can be given from one to three months and require the signature of the examiner. The form can be downloaded here.
- Students enrolled in an English study programme only need to provide an English abstract, students in German study programmes must provide both German and English abstracts along with the final thesis.
- After submission, please ask your advisor for scheduling the final 30-minute-presentation (in the AC Oberseminar or in a smaller round) which will be part of your final grade.
Step 6: Submit your thesis
Remember: Unless you applied for an extension and it was granted, you must submit your thesis within 6 months after registration at the Examination Office (step 4). Otherwise, it will count as failed. The faculty website describes the process in detail: Handing in the thesis (Faculty 5). To submit your thesis, follow these steps:
- Step 6.1 - Pre-Submission: Your thesis must be submitted as a printed version (2x) and a digital copy (PDF). The digital version will be published via OPUS if you agreed to it in the beginning. The submission mail must be sent to the advisor, the examiner, the second examiner (if required) and to the secretary of the examiner.
- Step 6.2 - Submission (printed version):
- CS department covers: Please pick up two individual front and back covers of the CS department (CS department cover) at the secretary asap and at least 14 days before submission.
- Title page of the CS department: Please include the AC title page (pre-filled title page).
- Signed Declaration: The submitted thesis (PDF and hard copy) must include a signed declaration that verifies that you wrote the thesis on your own by only using the mentioned resources/literature (personal declaration).
- Additional copies of title page: Please also hand in two additional copies of your title page separately, they will be stamped and signed. One is for you, one is to proof that you handed in within the deadline.
- Formal requirements of the print version are:
- Any kind of adhesive binding is allowed (spiral bounding is not allowed).
- The CS department covers must be included in your hard copies. Before printing, please provide them to the Kopierlädle so that they can add the CS department covers to the two versions of your thesis during binding.
- Transparent sheet on top:The CS front cover is directly put onto the title page and there should a transparent sheet on top of everything. If the title can be read without opening, everything should be correct.
- The very last page is the CS department back cover, you can include a transparent sheet at the back of your thesis if you want to, but this is not necessary.
- Step 6.3 - Submission (digital version): You must also submit your thesis digitally (PDF), along with all abstracts (included in the thesis itself and). The abstract(s) should be provided in txt-format.
- Send the submission mail to Ms. Grimminger (firstname.lastname@example.org), add your examiner(s) and advisor(s) in CC and provide the PDF file (thesis containing title page, (German and) English abstract, sources and signed declaration) along with all abstracts in txt-format. The secretary will confirm the receipt of your digital submission.
- Git repository: Make sure you have uploaded the final version of your datasets, code, and text to the Git repository set up for you (step 2.3). We do not need any CDs or USB sticks with code, any code should be uploaded to GitHub and you should provide the corresponding GitHub link.
- 4,0-confirmation: If you need a 4,0-confirmation (=you have passed, but the final grade is not done yet), please add this information in the submission mail. This will only be done in special cases (you need the confirmation for enrollment in a consecutive study programme or a job offer).
- Step 6.4 - Final presentation (30-minute presentation): After digital/print submission, please ask your advisor for scheduling the final 30-minute-presentation in AC Oberseminar or in a smaller round. This will be part of your final grade.
- Step 6.5 - OPUS: As soon as you have received the final grade, we will upload your thesis at the University’s publication server OPUS if you meet the general requirements and if you have agreed to the license agreement. Probably, this task will also be assigned to you. If you get stuck, check the FAQ list by the University’s library.
Step 7: Review and closing
Approx. 1 month after submission (at least two weeks should be in between)
- You will be invited to your thesis colloquium by your advisor. This is a 30-minute-presentation of your thesis including a discussion with the audience and the examiner(s). Your presentation will also be considered in the final grade.
- Next, your review is written, following our sheet with evaluation criteria. Once the review is finalized and signed by the examiner(s), your grade will uploaded to C@mpus. If there is a second examiner, both examiners have to agree and sign the report before your grade is uploaded to C@mpus.
- Your advisor will update the "Thesis Topics" on our website and move your thesis to "Completed Theses“.
Step 8: Stay affiliated as an AC alumnus
- Please provide Ms. Grimminger (email@example.com) with an email address that will exist beyond your exmatriculation. We plan to set up a Facebook or LinkedIn group (or similar) to stay in touch with our alumni.
Further information on publishing with OPUS
Further information on the procedure for dissertations
Further information on the submission