Bachelor thesis, master thesis, doctoral thesis - everything you need to know to write a thesis

Steps for the Preparation of a Bachelor's or Master's Thesis

In the following, we describe the procedure for writing a Bachelor's thesis in the course of studies BSc Maschinelle Sprachverarbeitung and a Master's thesis in the course of studies MSc Computational Linguistics.

If there are differences between these theses, this will be indicated in the respective sections.

Where can I look for a thesis topic?

  • On the ILIAS page "Student Theses at IMS" in the working group "Studying @ IMS" you can inform yourself about possible topics.
  • You might also want to check out the projects involving the IMS or Research Groups for more topic ideas.
  • Further topics and information can be found at the Chair TCL.
  • In general, working on a topic outside of the IMS (e.g. with companies or other institutes) is possible. But, please make sure to talk about your idea with an IMS-internal examiner.

How much time should I plan for this step?

  • It depends on whether you decide to work on a given topic or want to come up with an idea yourself. It's best to contact your supervisor early (up to 3 months before you plan to start working on your thesis).
  • Note: For external thesis topics you should plan even more time.


... for your B.Sc.: ... for your M.Sc.:
  • at least 120 CP.
  • For the Bachelor's thesis, you must attend the Projektseminar Maschinelle Sprachverarbeitung, see module manual.
  • Orientation exam ("Orientierungsprüfung") needs to be passed.
  • at least 60 CP
  • For the Master's thesis, you must attend the Research Module, see brief module description and also module manual.
  • Requirement modules need to be passed prior to registering your thesis!

You must register your Bachelor's thesis and Master's thesis at the examination office; this is possible at any time during the semester, but should still be done as soon as the topic is agreed on. Registration is done with a registration form, see website of the examination office. The form can be found on C@MPUS under All applications > My requests.

Please note: Theses have to be handed in within 6 months after registration -- this will be verified at submission.

  1. Confirm that you have reached the required number of ECTS credits. For this, approach the examination office, or print the document on C@MPUS ("My Application Forms")
  2. Get the examiner's signature for "confirmation of topic assignment"
    (a signature of the head of the examination committee is not necessary)
  3. Get a seal and photocopy for the IMS at the secretary (Karin Leonte; room 02.001)
  4. Submit and confirm the registration at the examination office (via Karin Leonte)
  5. For the Master's thesis, you also need to register the "Research Module" using this form (already prepared for Research Module purposes).


  • Bachelor's theses: German ("old" examination regulations from 2009: English or German). If the supervisors and examiners agree, another language can be chosen. In that case the thesis has to contain a summary in German.
  • Master's theses: English. If the supervisors and examiners agree, another language can be chosen. In that case the thesis has to contain a summary in English.

You can also find example theses (and proposals) on ILIAS.

Please note that some supervisors can have varying specifications when it comes to style. Make sure to talk to them first. Also, you can find helpful links on how to write a thesis on ILIAS and in our Styleguide

A note on Chat GTP and similar programs: 

    • The use of ChatGPT and similar systems without identifying their use contradicts the Statement of Authorship that you have to submit as part of your thesis.
    • General guidelines on ChatGPT and similar systems in the context of university teaching are developed centrally  and will be binding for you as a student as well as for all supervisors of student theses. For the current status of this discussion, please refer to the University of Stuttgart’s ChatGPT website.

If you struggle a lot during the first weeks, you can choose a new topic via the examination office. You can deregister your thesis via E-Mail to the examination office. Then you pick another topic and register for it.

You can do so within the first month after registration for B.Sc., and within the first 3 months for M.Sc. students.

If you run into problems while writing your thesis, you can talk to your program manager or directly to the head of the examination board about getting an extension of time providing a sufficient reason.

Maximally possible are 3 months.

You'll need to fill out a form and send it to head of the examination board via this alias.

  • Number of hard (paper) copies to be handed in:
    (identical bound copies, adhesive/glued binding preferred, all with titlepage and signed declaration  - original signature, no scan or copy)
Bachelor's theses:    3 hard copies Master's theses:    3 hard copies (min.)
  • 1 for the archive (via secretary)
  • 1 for your examiner
  • 1 for your advisor
  • 1 for the archive (via secretary)
  • 2 copies for the examiners (2 examiners needed for Master's theses!)
  • if applicable, additional copies for your advisor(s)

Additionally, for bachelor's and master's theses you need to hand the following in to the secretary:

  • A copy of the title page and
  • an electronic version (CD only with thesis in PDF and abstract in TXT format; done by the copy-shop and usually also adhered to one copy)
  • submission form and licensing agreement, comp. section "Submitting the thesis"


  • Note: Some examiners and advisors may actually prefer electronic copies to hard copies, so you might want to check with them whether they expect a hard copy or not before printing. The hard copy for the archive is obligatory.
  • Note regarding costs for printing: spiral binding and grayscale printing on normal paper are absolutely sufficient (but please format graphics in a way that the gray shades are distinct enough to be interpreted, or print individual pages in color).

Hand in the Bachelor's or Master's thesis in the secretary's office (Karin Leonte; room 02.001).
Hand it in together with the signed submission form and licensing agreement, completed on your computer, but signed manually (but without the supervisor's signature; translation is available on demand: student counselling).

About the submission form:

  • Section 3 on the submission form ("Erklärung zur Veröffentlichung") only asks whether you agree to have the title of your thesis included in the IMSBib list of student theses. 
  • It does not entail publishing the entire thesis - for that, there is a licensing agreement. 

About the licensing agreement:

  • By approving the licensing agreement, students agree that their thesis can be published permanently via OPUS, the University of Stuttgart's publication server (provided the examiner also agrees and the thesis grade is "good" or better).
  • Next to "Hauptberichter*in/Betreuer*in†", the primary examiner with whom the thesis was registered must be entered. 
  • If you object to having your thesis published, complete and sign the form, but cross it out or mark "objection" on it.
  • The grade for the Thesis consist of the written submission only (check the grading criteria on ILIAS).


  • For the M.Sc. the grade for your Research Module is composed of
    • your proposal,
    • the presentation after submitting the thesis and
    • an oral exam.

The grade of the Bachelor's or Master's thesis will be entered in C@MPUS by the examiner. If all other grades are also entered, the degree certificate will be issued (usually takes 6-8 weeks).

Note: If necessary, the examination office can provide a provisional pass certificate ("4,0 Bescheinigung") if you passed, indicated by the supervisor marking your thesis as such on C@MPUS, but the grade still needs to be decided.


Since April 1st, 2019, the new dissertation regulations are valid.

PhD students who started before this date can still use the old regulations.

See also

Submitted theses

Finalised theses are available via the IMS bibliography.

Student Counselling


Student Counselling

This image shows Stefanie Anstein

Stefanie Anstein


study program manager BSc MSV & MSc CL; student advisor & contact person examination committee BSc MSV, MSc CL & MSc CS

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