Bachelor Thesis & Completion of Studies
Registration: Requirements, Forms, Registration Dates
The BA thesis has to be registered with the Office of Examinations and Auditing during the office hours. The topic of your BA thesis will have to be submitted to the attention of the Exam Review Committee ("Prüfungsausschuss") at least two weeks in advance. The topic is is selected in consultation with your first supervisor. Potential thesis advisors should be approached by the students during their office hours. All Professors and “wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter” who hold a doctorate and who teach at the Kennedy Institute are eligible as supervisorss. Please use 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) before submitting it to the Exam Review Committee.
In order to register your thesis, please submit the completed form (both sides) of the "Antrag zur Anmeldung der Bachelorarbeit", the form "Themenblatt" signed by both supervisors and a valid certificate of matriculation ("Immatrikulationsbescheinigung") confirming that you are enrolled in the BA program in North American Studies.
In addition, you will have to provide proof that you completed a total of at least 120 credit points in North American Studies and a total of at least 100 credit points in your core field (2018 study regulations). The proof consists of your Campus Management records, and documents testifying to the conversion of classes ("Anrechnungsformulare", "Papierscheine") in case credits have not been registered on Campus Mangement.
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").
After successful registration, you will receive the official confirmation of the title/topic by the Office of Examinations and Auditing. Upon receiving the confirmation ("offizielle Ausgabe des Themas") you have a total of 12 weeks (study regulations 2011, 2014 and 2015) and 16 weeks (study regulations 2018), respectively to complete your thesis. On the day of the deadline you are expected to send a digital version of your thesis in PDF-format via email. The email must be send to the attention of your first and second supervisor and the Office of Examinations and Auditing (cc:). In addition, please submit one bound hard copy and a PDF-version of your thesis (stored on a CD-Rom), including the signed form "Eidesstattliche Erklärung" to the attention of the Office of Examinations and Auditing ("Prüfungsbüro"). Should you send the hard copy via regular mail, the shipment has to be postmarked on the day of the deadline or earlier (i.e. it may arrive after the deadline if it was posted on the deadline at the latest).
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.