Thesis Procedure

Step-by-step guide for starting the thesis procedure.

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 can help you find the right person. Please prepare a short thesis description, so we can guide you efficiently.

10-7 months before thesis submission

Before makind the registration your thesis, you will have to write a thesis proposal (+ abstract). This will help you refine your research question, build the thesis structure, organize and schedule the tasks for your research work.

This proposal must be approved by your Advisor first and, after that, you can move forward with the registration process. A good proposal usually contains 5-8 pages and covers only the most important things. So keep in mind to avoid unnecessary information.

  • Step 2.1: When sketching the proposal, ask your Advisor for help. Get their feedback and work on improvements until you are both happy with it. Once you get the confirmation that your proposal is ready to be registered, create an Overleaf project for your thesis proposal. We recommend using the widely used Latex Template, as this will also be the template you will have to use for the Master thesis itself.
  • Step 2.2: Submit it to Prof. Niepert, who will usually be your Main Examiner at MLS. He will either accept the proposal (→ move to Step 3) or demand some adjustments (→ repeat Step 2.1).

Important: Only full professors, assistant professors („Juniorprofessoren“) and habilitated staff members can be the Main Examiner.

If you are enrolled in a Master program (M.Sc.) or an older Bachelor program (B.Sc., PO 2012), you will need a second Examiner, who will support/revise your grade at the end. You can either invite someone directly and inform your Advisor and Main Examiner about it, or kindly ask them for a suggestion.

6 months before 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. For these reasons, we openly publish our papers and data 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 them 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. If you are not a German speaker, we recommend to use the Deepl translator, so you can understand the document, complete it and sign it. In case of any questions, ask your Advisor. If you are enrolled in a German study program 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, download the registration form and sign it.

Hack: To avoid any format issue when submitting the above-mentioned documents for signature, please download them first and only then fill them out. 

  • Step 3.4: Send all the files (approved proposal, thesis contract, license agreement, additional language agreement, C@mpus registration form) to the MLS Secretary to have them signed by Professor Niepert. Please also include a teaser of your work in your e-mail if you agree to its publication along with your abstract on our website.

6 months before thesis submission

In this step, you must officially register your thesis at the Examination Office (Prüfungsamt).

After the MLS Secretary provides you with the registration form signed by Prof. Niepert, send it via e-mail to the Examination Office. Your registration will be confirmed also via e-mail. After this happens, you have six months to submit your thesis. If the deadline is a public holiday or weekend, it will end on the subsequent working day. 

6-1 months before the submission

Meet your Advisor at least every two weeks so he/she can provide feedback on your work and progress.

Keep in mind the evaluation criteria, since 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.  

Very important:

    • Submission of a draft of your thesis: one month before your deadline expires, you need to submit a draft of your work to Prof. Niepert.
    • Sick note: If you get sick and your doctor gives you a sick note, the Examination Committee (EC) must be aware of it. To do so, send them the original sick note via internal post, along with a copy of it via e-mail (with the MLS Secretary in cc). The extension of your deadline will be communicated to your Examiner(s) and the Secretary (+ Examination Office).
    • Running out of time: If you run out of time and need an extension, inform your Advisor as soon as possible. Extensions can be given from one to three months before the deadline expires, and they require the signature of the Examiner. The form can be downloaded here.

Remember that students enrolled in an English study program only need to provide an English abstract, while students in German study programs must provide both German and English abstracts along with the final thesis.

After the submission, please ask your Advisor to schedule the final 30-minute-presentation, which will be part of your final grade.

1 month before the submission

Also one month before your deadline expires, you need to make a presentation of your thesis at the Department's Colloquium.

The point here is for you to receive feedback and have time to incorporate that into the thesis. However, your experiments and results should already be available. The main focus from this point on should be on the writing.

To schedule your time slot in advance, please send an email to Mr. Andrei Manolache (with Prof. Niepert and the MLS' Secretary in cc) with the subject "Master Thesis Presentation - MLS Colloquium - Your Name".

Unless you applied for an extension, and it was granted, you must submit your thesis within 6 months after the 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).

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.


  • Step 7.1 - Submission of the printed version

Covers from the Computer Science (CS) department: Please pick up two individual front and back covers of the CS department with the Secretary as soon as possible, and at least 14 days before submission.

Title page of the MLS department: Please include the MLS title page (pre-filled title page). Please have in mind that this is the only template accepted. If you are developing your work with the support of a company, we ask for your understanding that logos cannot be inserted.

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 prove that you handed in within the deadline.

The formal requirements of the printed 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 it pleases you, but this is not necessary.


  • Step 7.2 - Submission of the digital version

To submit your thesis online, write an e-mail to the MLS Secretary and put your Examiner(s) and Advisor in cc. This e-mail must contain the full version of your work in PDF. This means: title page, English (and German) abstract, sources and signed declaration. Also attach to this e-mail the abstract(s) in txt.format.

The secretary will confirm the your digital submission.


    • 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).


After the sumbmission of your thesis, your review is written, following our sheet with evaluation criteria. Once the review is finalized and signed by the Examiner(s), your grade will be uploaded to C@mpus.

Your Thesis will be uploaded to our website (if you have agreed to that in the Thesis Contract).


Further information on publishing with OPUS

Further information on the procedure for dissertations

Further information on the submission

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