All formal requirements concerning your Master’s thesis are laid out in the study and examination regulations. You can find them here.
Prior to registering the Master’s thesis, each student is required to find a supervisor. The topic of the thesis will be developed in consultation with the supervisor (see below “First and Second Supervisor”).
Each semester, the examination office offers two dates for the registration of the Master’s thesis. These dates are always set at the beginning and at the end of each semester in order to ensure that the thesis can be completed and assessed within the respective semester. Please consult with your supervisor about the best date to register your thesis.
Once you have registered you thesis at the examination office, it has to be approved by the examination board. Approximately one week after registration, the examination office will hand out a notification whether the topic has been approved. From that date, you have 5 months (22 weeks) to complete your thesis.
21 August 2017 (Confirmation of topic is handed out on 30 August 2017), 10 - 12 a.m.
19 October 2017 (Confirmation of topic is handed out on 26 October 2017), 10 - 12 a.m.
5 February 2018 (Confirmation of topic is handed out on 12 February 2018), 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
The registration takes place at the examination office during regular office hours in room 307 (Ihnestraße 21). For more information, please refer to the webpages of the Department of Political and Social Sciences. If you cannot make it on that date, you can also send someone with a letter of attorney. Please contact Ms Kauka for further information.
If you wish to register for the Master’s thesis, you need to hand in the following documents at the examination office:
You find both forms on the website of the Department of Political and Social Sciences.
Every Master’s thesis is supervised and graded by two supervisors.
Every student is responsible to find a first supervisor willing to supervise the chosen topic of the Master’s thesis. Supervisors of a Master’s thesis need to be authorised examiners. Generally, faculty members of the Master’s program holding a doctorate are authorised examiners. In exceptional cases, also external staff can serve as supervisors, if these are experts on the topic of the Master’s thesis. However, this exception has to be requested in writing. The examination board will decide on this request. Please contact Ms Graf for further information
The second supervisor of the thesis will be formally installed by the examination board. However, you should make a suggestion. In that case, please make sure you get in touch with a possible second supervisor in time before the registration of the Master’s thesis. Even if the second supervisor is assigned by the examination board, it is recommended to contact him/her for any additional, complimentary advice during the writing of your Master’s thesis.
Prior to registration, the title of your thesis must be developed in consultation with your supervisor and approved by the examination board. You will receive a confirmation of approval handed out by the examination board one week after registration. The topic of your thesis cannot be changed after that date. You are, however, allowed to rescind your registration once within the first three weeks. In that case, your thesis will count as not registered. However, this will result in exclusion from the current examination cycle and implies that you have to wait another semester before completing the Masters program.
The time of completion for the Masters thesis is 5 months (22 weeks), starting from the day you receive the approval by the examination board. The thesis has to be turned in at the examination office, in person or via postal service. It must reach the office punctually. Postal delivery relies on the post mark as evidence of timely submission. Delayed assignments will be failed. In this case, students have the opportunity to repeat.
Note: You always have 5 months for the completion of your thesis, even if you register on the date offered at the end of the summer semester. However, in that case, you do not have to (although you can) rematriculate for the subsequent semester. Please make sure that all of your modules are completed before you decide to finally exmatriculate.
Please use the advice on formatting issues which you receive from the examination office after your title has been announced. There are no further regulations regarding the format.
Extensions are only awarded in exceptional circumstances (e.g. serious illness) following an application and justification, which have to be made in advance of the submission date. An extension of up to four weeks can be granted. Your supervisor must approve of the extension.
When submitting your thesis, you must confirm that your work is original, that it does not contain any plagiarized materials and that the work of other persons has been fully acknowledged. The respective form can be obtained from the examination office.
The Master’s thesis is submitted in three bound copies and a digital copy to the examination office of the Department of Political and Social Sciences. There are two ways to submit your thesis: Either you hand in three bound copies and the digital copies (CDs/DVDs) of your thesis in person to Teresa Graf during her office hours at the examination office. Or you send three bound copies and the digital copies of your thesis by registered mail to the Study and Examination Office:
Freie Universität Berlin
Prüfungsbüro des Fachbereichs Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften
z.H. Frau Teresa Graf
Your first and second supervisors will review your thesis independently. The second supervisor has, however, the option to agree with the first supervisor’s comments. If grades differ, an average will be taken. Grades will be announced on request after they have been confirmed by the first and second supervisor. If your thesis has been marked as a “fail” you are given the opportunity to repeat once. If you fail for a second time, a Master’s degree cannot be granted.
If you are still studying based on study regulations introduced prior to 2013, after turning in your Master’s thesis, there will be an oral examination by an examination committee. Please find more details here. Students commencing their studies after 2013 do not have to sit for a final oral exam.
Once your Master’s thesis has been passed (or, for students enrolled prior to 2013, you successfully have made the final oral examination), you have completed your studies. Now you have to exmatriculate by requesting your completion of studies.
According to the examination guidelines, you are required to make a request for the completion of studies. Since we assume that you intend to finish your studies after the examination, the request for completion of your study is included in the registration for the Master’s thesis. You are only required to tick the relevant box.
A Degree Certificate and Diploma Supplement will be issued as soon as possible. You are welcome to receive the documents anytime after they have been issued.