Thesis | Internship

At the beginning of the master thesis (i.e. as soon as the topic and formalities have been clarified) the Master thesis tracking form (PDF, 284KB) and a short master thesis proposal (about 4-6 pages, including a timeline) has to be sent to the studies coordinator. The master thesis is typically written in English.  As an option, the master thesis may be written in the form of a research article (ready for publication; see Art. 15, Para. 9 of the studies program 2011). In this case, the thesis must contain framework chapters analogously to a PhD thesis , i.e., an additional introduction and conclusion / outlook chapter summarizing the context of the thesis and an annex with supplementary material explaining what is not documented in the research article. In all cases, the thesis must contain the master thesis declaration signed by the author, and the title page must at least contain the elements given in the template.

As a general rule, two or more persons are needed to supervise a master thesis (single supervisors are also possible, typically for PhD theses). They form the supervising committee:

  • The first person is the supervisor. She/he needs to be a member of the supervising faculty (see list, refer also to RSL 05, Art. 16).
  • The second person is the co-supervisor or an advisor. Co-supervisors must also be members of the supervising faculty, advisors can be any other person (e.g. a PhD student or a PostDoc from the supervisor's group).
  • The third and even more persons are optional. They can only be advisors.

It is possible to propose persons from outside the supervising faculty as co-supervisor. They need a special appointment from the Dean of the Faculty of Science; the studies director will organize this. Eligible are only persons with qualifications equal to those of the supervising faculty; i.e. they must have teaching experience, conduct research, head a research group, or similar. Please send the Application (PDF, 326KB) form provided by the Faculty of Sciences to the studies directorate of the Graduate School.

The master thesis evaluation must be signed by the supervisor and the co-supervisor (if applicable), but not by the advisors (cf. FAQ on the master thesis evaluation). Also note that the thesis supervisors can be examiners at the examination, but cannot be the chair of the exam.

Once you have finished the master thesis, your supervisor and co-supervisor write the master thesis evaluation including the grade (see next FAQ). It is their duty to send (i) the evaluation (scan) to the Dean's Office and to the deputy studies director and (ii) an authorization for publication of the master thesis on the internet to the deputy studies director. It is your duty to send a PDF of the master thesis to the deputy studies director and to hand in 1 hardcopy of your master thesis to the Dean's Office for ratification. The deputy studies director will insert the grade into KSL/CTS. The thesis is then ratified by the studies commission of the faculty (1–2 weeks) and the student is informed by the Dean's office about the outcome. Important: The master thesis declaration as provided on the documents webpage must be included in the master thesis.

The master thesis evaluation is written by the thesis supervisor and the co-supervisor. The length of the evaluation is typically one page and the text consists of a short summary of the thesis, of an assessment of the scientific and formal quality of all parts, and of the final grade. The preferred language of the evaluation is English. Optionally, a leaflet for the evaluation can be found here. Important: Both supervisor and co-supervisor must sign the evaluation, but not any other person (e.g. the advisor).

The internship (30 ECTS, see guidelines) is part of the studies program and replaces half of the MSc thesis work (30 ECTS of 60 ECTS). The internship does therefore not extend the duration of the studies. No salaries are paid for the MSc thesis. The same holds for the internship (from the side of the Graduate School) unless the 'employer', i.e. the 3rd party partner has other regulations or funding opportunities.