Thesis Procedure

Step-by-step guide for starting the thesis procedure

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 at Analytic Computing who is involved in this research field. Our team or research topics pages can help you find the right person.
  • If you do not have any idea for a thesis topic, look at our list of open thesis topics and contact the respective advisor if you are interested in a specific topic.
  • If you have any questions with regard to the procedure as a whole, make sure to read the checklist for the thesis procedure provided by faculty 5 (includes the Corona procedure).

Step 2: Write a thesis proposal

10-7 months prior to thesis submission
Before registering your thesis we want you to write a thesis proposal in which you will refine your research question, build the thesis structure, organise and schedule the tasks for your research work. It includes an abstract and is attached to the „contract“ you will sign before registering at the Examination Office (step 4).

  • Step 2.1: Your advisor from step 1 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. Download an example of a well-written proposal here. (=>this example is rather lengthy and detailed, the proposal should usually contain 5-8 pages, so try to cover only the most important things and avoid any unnecessary information).
  • Step 2.2: Make an appointment with Professor Staab as he will usually be the first examiner (supervisor) of your thesis at Analytic Computing Department. Only full professors, assistant professors („Juniorprofessoren“), and habilitated staff members can be the first supervisor/examiner. The first supervisor will either accept the proposal (=>move to step 2.3) or demand some adjustments (=>repeat step 2.1).
  • 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).

Step 3: Agree to the 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 3.2Download and read the thesis contract and the license agreement. Make sure you understand everything, complete it and sign it. If you have any questions, ask your advisor. If you write your thesis in English, but you are enrolled in a German study programme, please also download and sign the additional language agreement, stating that your final submission (thesis + abstract in English) will include a German abstract.
  • Step 3.3: Check your Campus 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 the Professor Staab. Please include a teaser in your mail to the secretary along with your agreement for publishing your abstract and teaser on our website.
  • Step 3.4: If you are enrolled in a Master programme (M.Sc.) or an older Bachelor programme (B.Sc., PO 2012), please ask your advisor and first examiner (=>Erstprüfer) to determine a second examiner (=>Zweitprüfer) in the very beginning of your thesis writing, who will do the second review and who will support or revise the grade assigned by the first examiner.

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 to the Examination Office. Your registration will be confirmed via e-mail. Once you have registered successfully, send the confirmation including submission date to the secretary.

You must submit the thesis within a 6-months-deadline. If the day of the deadline is a public holiday or weekend, the deadline will end the subsequent working day.

Step 5: Work on your thesis

6-0 months prior to submission
Once you have registered your thesis at the Examination Office, you have six months to submit your thesis.

  • You should meet with your advisor at least every two weeks so he/she can provide feedback on your work and progress. You should also attend the AC Oberseminar (a 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 consider 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, both 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!
  • If you get sick and your doctor gives you a sick note, send a copy of it to Ms. Grimminger ( and hand in the original note to the Examination Office. The office will extend your thesis and inform the secretary and supervisor (Prof. Staab).
  • If you run out of time and need an extension, inform your advisor as early as possible. Extensions can be given from one to three months and requires the approval of the first examiner and the Examination Committee. 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 need to provide both German and English abstracts along with the final thesis.
  • After submission, please ask your advisor for scheduling the final 30-minute-presentation on your thesis (e.g. in the AC Oberseminar or in a smaller round) which will 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. To submit your thesis, follow these steps:

  • Step 6.1 - Pre-Submission: Your thesis must be submitted as a printed version and a digital copy (PDF). Ask your advisor if he/she needs more than one hard copy. The printed version is for the advisor and examiner, the digital version will be published via OPUS if you agreed to it. The email with the attached pdf has to be send to the advisor, to the examiner, the second examiner (if required) and to the secretary of the examiner.
  • Step 6.2 - Signed Declaration: The submitted thesis (PDF and hard copy) must include the signed declaration that verifies that you wrote the thesis on your own, by only using the mentioned resources/literature (see personal declaration).
  • The faculty website describes the process in detail: Handing in the thesis (Faculty 5)
  • Step 6.3a - Submission (printed version):
  • Please pick up two individual front and back covers of the CS department at the secretary at least 14 days before submission. Provide them to the Kopierlädle before you have the thesis printed, so that they can add the CS covers to the two versions of your thesis during binding.
  • Requirements of the print version are:
      • The front and back covers must be included and handed over to the Kopierlädle before printing, so that they can add the CS covers to the two versions of your thesis during binding.
      • The thesis must not be bound using a spiral bounding. Any kind of adhesive binding is allowed. Please include the title page of the Computer Science Department.
      • The CS front cover is directly put over 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 back cover, you can include a transparent sheet on top of the CS back cover if you want to, but this is not necessary.
      • 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 (will be kept in our files).
      • 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 6.3a - Submission (digital version): Within the deadline you must also submit your thesis digitally (PDF), along with all abstracts (included in the thesis itself and). The abstract(s) should additionally be provided in txt-format. Send an email to Ms. Grimminger (, add your examiner(s) and advisor(s) in CC and provide the PDF file (thesis PDF with title page of the CS department, (German and) English abstract, sources and the signed declaration) along with all abstracts in txt-format.The secretary will confirm the receipt of your digital submission. (We do not need any CDs or USB sticks with code.)
  • Step 6.3c - Submission (presentation): After digital/print submission, please ask your advisor for scheduling the final 30-minute-presentation. (e.g. AC Oberseminar or in a smaller round) which will part of your final grade.
  • Step 6.4a - 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.)
  • Step 6.4b - 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

1 month after thesis submission

  • You will be invited to your thesis colloquium by your advisor. Here you will give a 30-minute-presentation of your thesis and discuss it with the audience and the examiner(s).
  • Meanwhile, your reviewers write a review, following our sheet with evaluation criteria. Both written text submission and oral presentation during the colloquium will be considered. Once they have finished their reviews, they will be uploaded to Git with your thesis and sent to the secretary and the Examination Office.
  • We will update our list of "Thesis Topics" on our website and move your thesis to the „Completed Theses“ section.
  • Your grade will be calculated (average of both reviews if there is a second reviewer) and your records on Campus will finally be updated.

Step 8: Stay affiliated as an AC alumnus

  • Please provide Ms. Grimminger ( 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

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