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Bachelor Thesis & Completion of Studies

The Department of Examinations and Auditing (Prüfungsbüro) is responsible for all administrative issues related to the completion of seminar work and the final Bachelor's degree. All relevant forms can be found on the website in the section "FAQ - Abschlussphase".

Registration Procedure

  1. Think of a thesis topic that interests you and approach potential thesis advisors accordingly, either via email or by attending their office hours. All Professors and “wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter” who hold a doctorate and who teach at the Kennedy Institute are eligible as supervisors. Decide on a thesis topic in consultation with your first supervisor. Fill out the form "Themenblatt mit Bearbeitungshinweisen" (listed in the section "FAQ - Abschlussphase") and ensure that it is signed by your first and second supervisor (Erst- und Zweitprüfer*in).

  2. Submit the form "Themenblatt mit Bearbeitungshinweisen" to the Exam Review Committee. Prof. Dr. Curd Knüpfer (Head), Prof. Dr. Sönke Kunkel and Prof. Dr. Julia Püschel may sign your form on behalf of the Exam Review Committee. Please note that the members of the Exam Review Committee may be absent during the semester break.
  3. Submit the completed registration form (both sides) of the "Antrag zur Anmeldung der Bachelorarbeit", the form "Themenblatt" (signed by both supervisors and the Exam Review Committee) and a valid certificate of matriculation ("Immatrikulationsbescheinigung", confirming that you are/were lastly enrolled in the BA program in North American Studies) to the Office of Examinations and Auditing during their office hours. In addition, you will have to provide proof that you completed the required credit points (see below) in your BA studies in form of of your Campus Management records and, if applicable, documents testifying to the conversion of classes ("Anrechnungsformulare", "Papierscheine") in case credits have not been registered on Campus Mangement.

  4. On the day you submit your paperwork to the Office of Examinations and Auditing, you will receive the official confirmation of the title/topic ("offizielle Ausgabe des Themas") as well as your submission deadline.

All relevant forms ("Themenblatt", "Anmeldung zur Bachelorprüfung") and further information can be obtained on the website of the Office of Examinations and Auditing (listed in the section "FAQ - Abschlussphase").

Requirements & Submission

Mono bachelor "North American Studies" (150cp) - Current study regulations

In order to register your thesis, you will have to provide proof that you completed a total of at least 120 credit points in your overall studies (incl. ABV) and a total of at least 100 credit points in your core field North American Studies. Upon receiving confirmation of your thesis registration ("offizielle Ausgabe des Themas"), you have a total of 16 weeks to complete your thesis. The bachelor thesis should be roughly 7.500 words. On the day of the deadline, you are expected to send a digital version of your thesis in PDF-format via email to the Department of Examinations and Auditing (Prüfungsbüro): ba-nordamerika@polsoz.fu-berlin.de. In addition, please also attach the signed form "Eidesstattliche Erklärung". You may also submit your thesis before the deadline. 

Combi bachelor "Applied North American Studies" (90cp) - Current study regulations

In order to register your thesis, you will have to provide proof that you completed a total of at least 120 credit points in your overall studies (incl. ABV and your minor) and a total of at least 60 credit points in your major Applied North American Studies. Upon receiving confirmation of your thesis registration ("offizielle Ausgabe des Themas"), you have a total of 16 weeks to complete your thesis. The bachelor thesis should be roughly 7.500 words. On the day of the deadline, you are expected to send a digital version of your thesis in PDF-format via email to the Department of Examinations and Auditing (Prüfungsbüro): ba-nordamerika@polsoz.fu-berlin.de. In addition, please also attach the signed form "Eidesstattliche Erklärung". You may also submit your thesis before the deadline. 

Old study regulations (2015): Mono bachelor "North American Studies" (150cp)

In order to register your thesis, you will have to provide proof that you completed a total of at least 120 credit points in your overall studies (incl. ABV) and a total of at least 80 credit points in your core field North American Studies. Upon receiving confirmation of your thesis registration ("offizielle Ausgabe des Themas"), you have a total of 12 weeks to complete your thesis. The bachelor thesis should be roughly 7.500 words. On the day of the deadline, you are expected to send a digital version of your thesis in PDF-format via email to the Department of Examinations and Auditing (Prüfungsbüro): ba-nordamerika@polsoz.fu-berlin.de. In addition, please also attach the signed form "Eidesstattliche Erklärung". You may also submit your thesis before the deadline. 

Formatting Guidelines

Please note that all official requirements concerning your thesis are provided on the website of the Department for Examinations and Auditing.

What follows are the agreed-upon conventions for formatting your thesis. Students are asked to consult with their advisors regarding further departmental requirements.

Please write in 1.5 spaced, 12pt standard font (Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, etc.), and use justified text, as well as 2.5 cm margins on the left and 3cm on the right. Include your last name and page numbers at the bottom of each page. Pagination begins on the first page of your prose.

A table of contents is standard but not required. Please consult with your advisor.

Citation conventions are as follows:

  • Economics, Political Science, Sociology, and History: the preferred citation method is according to the most recent Chicago Style Manual.
  • Literature and Culture: please use the most recent edition of the MLA style guide. A good resource is the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

Images and tables should be formatted according to MLA or the Chicago Style Manual, respectively.

A useful document for questions on punctuation, the usage of numbers, etc. is the University of Oxford Style Guide, which can be downloaded here.

The required word count does not include any prefatory material, such as the table of contents, bibliographies, appendices or the cover page.

You can find a sample cover page here. Please do not include official logos of the Kennedy Institute or the Freie Universität anywhere in your document.

Completion of Studies

After having finished your course work and received the grade for your thesis, you have to fill out the form “Antrag auf Feststellung des Studienabschlusses” (listed in the section "FAQ - Abschlussphase") and hand it in at the Office of Examinations and Auditing.

The official graduation ceremony takes place on the last Saturday of November.

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