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Information on registrating and writing the Master’s thesis

When registering the Master's thesis, only authorized examiners are admitted as supervisors/examiners, which are usually professors (Prof.) or private lecturers (PD).

Please keep this in mind when looking for a supervisor for your Master's thesis, as otherwise the Examination Board may reject your Master's thesis application.

Master's theses (as well as (research) projects/project studies/laboratory internships) can be completed internally or externally upon application and approval by the examination board.

The Master's thesis, whether internal or external, must be assessed by two authorized examiners (usually professors or private lecturers).


The thesis is completed with a supervisor (="first supervisor") who belongs to the Institute of Biology at Freie Universität Berlin.

For internal Master's theses, the first supervisor (i.e. the person who supervises you on site) is also the first assessor of the Master's thesis. As a second supervisor/reviewer, you can choose either an internal supervisor/reviewer from the Institute of Biology at Freie Universität Berlin or an external, expert supervisor/reviewer from outside the Institute of Biology at Freie Universität Berlin.


The thesis is completed with a supervisor (="first supervisor") who is NOT part of the Institute of Biology at Freie Universität Berlin. This means that the thesis can also be completed abroad as long as the university reference is given by an authorized supervisor (see above) and it is a biological thesis.

 For external theses, you must submit the above-mentioned form for the external conduction of the thesis in addition to the general registration form. You must submit this form (at the latest) when registering for the Master's thesis or (if you intend to complete the thesis abroad, for example, and therefore need long-term planning security) in advance.

The processing time for the Master's thesis is 6 months.

After approval of the thesis by the examination board, we will inform you of the exact date for the latest possible deadline for submission of the Master's thesis by e-mail.

If you fall ill during the processing period, please submit a scan of a medical certificate to the Examination Office within three days. After approval by the examination board, the processing time will then be extended according to the duration of the illness. However, this is only possible for a limited period of time; if you exceed this period, the examination board may decide that the thesis must be started again.

The biological topic can be proposed by any lecturer authorized to conduct examinations (usually professors or private lecturers). The proposal of the topic is linked to the obligation to supervise the thesis. The topic, task and scope of the Master's thesis must be limited in such a way that the deadline for completion can be met.

The Master's thesis is to be written in English and should be approximately 15,000 words excluding data appendices.

Please note:

- the thesis must be submitted in electronic form as a PDF file by e-mail to the Biology Examination Office. Paper versions no longer need to be submitted. (Decision from 04.08.2021). The PDF file must contain the text in machine-readable form, not just graphically, and must not have any rights restrictions.

- The logo of Freie Universität Berlin may not be used for theses.

- Both supervisors/reviewers are usually named in the thesis.

- Included in the thesis is the so-called "declaration of independence", in which you declare that you "have written the thesis independently and have not used any sources and aids other than those specified and have identified them as such".

- The thesis must be signed by you.
Please discuss any further questions regarding layout etc. with your supervisors.

The Master's thesis must be submitted by e-mail to pruefungsbuero@biologie.fu-berlin.de as a PDF file by the deadline on the day you have been notified as the "latest deadline" (by midnight). The PDF file must contain the text in machine-readable form, not just graphically, and must not have any rights restrictions. (Examination board decision from 04.08.2021)

The thesis will then be sent to the reviewers by the Examination Office with the request to prepare the reviews.

If the Master's thesis was the last outstanding examination, please submit the completed and signed "Application for Graduation (certificate)", which you can find on our Examinations Office homepage, when you submit your Master's thesis. By submitting this application, you indicate to us that you have completed all the work required for the Master's degree and would now like to receive a certificate. (For more details, see the section "Application for Graduation and exmatriculation")