Guidelines for your Master`s Thesis

In the following, the most important steps and necessary formalities related to the compilation and submission of the Master’s thesis are described. The description comprises the closely interlinked modules “Specialization Phase” and “Master’s Thesis”, thus two semesters or a 12-month period. It is a guideline, not a legally binding regulation document. Questions can be directed to Andreas Fink or Kathi Maurer.

Finding a topic and supervisor

The “standard” case is that you will obtain a topic and supervisor from the list 'Topics'. Please approach the respective supervisor(s) for more details in case you are interested. Please note that it is possible to chose topics that were not listed under the above-mentioned URL. In this case, approach professors, “Privatdozenten”, and group leaders directly.

In this context, it shall be noted that the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK) has three departments: TRO focuses on the troposphere, AAF on aerosols, ASF on atmospheric trace gases and remote sensing. Master theses can be written in all three departments.

In collaboration with all instructors, we have developed general evaluation criteria that make the requirements and evaluation transparent.

Registration and Deadlines

Before the start of the module Specialization Phase, students need to personally visit the Examination Office of the KIT Faculty of Physics to sign up for the thesis:

             Prüfungssekretariat, Ms. Anja Müller Physics Building 30.21, 9th floor, Room 9-13;

email: pruefungssekretariat does-not-exist.physik kit edu

              Phone 0721 608-43438

Two possibilities:

1. If all requirements are met, a signed and stamped form will be issued.

Students use this form to contact their Advisor to discuss and fill in, amongst others, the fields "Advisor/ Co-Advisor", "Preliminary title of thesis”, and "Start of the thesis".

The Advisor signs the form and sends it back to the Examination Office.

2. Students download the form on our webpage and use this form to contact their Advisor to discuss and fill in, amongst others, the fields "Advisor/ Co-Advisor", "Preliminary title of thesis”, and "Start of the thesis". Visit then the Examination Office and hand out your form.

The Examination Office will register the thesis in the Campus Management System with the preliminary working title, the advisors and the start date. The deadline for submission of the thesis is calculated by the system and monitored by the Examination Office (12 months after starting date). These information are visible for the student in the Campus student portal.

The following points are worthy of note:

  • The registration for the Master's thesis will be accepted by Ms. Müller, if all four meteorology modules of the 1st and 2nd MSc semester are entered in the Campus Management System. The modules Soft Skills and Complementary Elective may still be incomplete and should be completed in the course of the Specialization Phase.

  • If the oral module exam has already been passed in one or more of the meteorological modules but has not yet been entered, an e-mail from the Responsible Lecturer to Ms. Müller, confirming the successful completion of the module, is sufficient.

  • Important: If one of the four Master modules has not been passed because course components (“Teilleistungen”) have not yet been completed and therefore the prerequisites for the oral examination have not yet been met, please speak to the study advisor Prof. Dr. Andreas H. Fink, to prevent an unnecessary delay of the study by one semester.

  • Deadline extensions are handled very restrictively and are only possible in justified individual cases.

The module Specialization Phase

Formally, the first six months of final thesis work belong to the module Specialization Phase. In these six months, a seminar will be given in the Seminar on the Specialization Phase (“Studierendenseminar”) in the context of the Scientific Concept Development. It should be noted that this seminar must be given in the Studierendenseminar” that usually takes place during the lecture period on Wednesdays from 15:45-17:15 o'clock. After booking a date in the respective Ilias course dates and seminar titles should be sent to Kathi Maurer.

Important: Please register in the Campus Management System before the seminar on the Specialization Phase. Formally, this is possible when all of the 4 master modules in meteorology in the Campus Management System have been passed.

The seminar talk should take 20-25 minutes, followed by a discussion. The total duration should not exceed 45 minutes. After the seminar, there should be a feedback discussion with the Advisors and the Supervisor, in which the progress made so far is evaluated and next steps are discussed.

Advisors or Supervisors sign a form, which documents the presentation of the lecture with date and title.

Please forward the signed form to the ciurrent dean of studies or Kathi Maurer, who will enter the Specialization Phase in the Campus Management System.

The module Master’s Thesis

Within the 12-month period, the Master's thesis is to be submitted to Ms. Müller as a written scientific paper.

Five bound copies must be made, with three copies being submitted to Ms. Müller, all three signed by the first Examiner with a text like for example:

Accepted as an examination copy.“

Please note: With this signature the first examiner declares that the work is graded at least with a mark of 4.0! If doubts as to the latter grading exists, the examiner will write on all three copies a text like:

„Inspection copy.“

Ms. Müller confirms the receipt of the copies, which are then submitted to the first and second Examiners and on the basis of which the reports are prepared. This delivery is relevant for the 12-month deadline.

Please give the fourth and fifth bound copy to Frau Gräbner for the library at Campus South and the DWD library. Please send a PDF of the submitted work to the IT administrator at Campus South. This PDF file is available for free download on the IMK website pending on the consent of the Advisor.

After submission, a 20-25 minute seminar must be held in the respective seminars of the department TRO, ASF, or AAF (cf. Section 4.1), where the thesis was written. This seminar can be held after the 12-month period and should take place at one of the next possible dates. Note: This final seminar can only take place during the lecture period.

After the seminar, a form must be completed, signed by the Advisor and the Co-Advisor or Supervisor and sent to Ms. Müller. The reports will be prepared by the Advisors only after the final presentation, as this is part of the assessment and is included in the evaluation.

All necessary forms are provided here.


  • Advisor (“Berichterstatter or” Gutachter”): This is usually a professor or a “Privatdozent” who acts as the first examiner.

  • Co-Advisor (“Zweitgutachter”): This is usually a professor or a “Privatdozent” who acts as the second examiner.

  • Supervisor (“Betreuer”): He/she supervises the Master Student, is often the Advisor or Co-Advisor, but can also be research staff (see also “group leader”).

  • Privatdozent”: This is an habilitated staff member. He can act as an Advisor. However, the second examiner must be a full professor in this case. This is also true for so-called “apl. Professor”.

  • Group Leader (“Gruppenleiter”): Group leaders in Campus North are senior scientists. They can act as Supervisors, but not as Advisors if they are not habilitated or are an “apl. Professor” (please see “Privatdozent”).

  • Responsible Lecturer”: This is the “Modulverantwortliche” who enters the final grade of his/her module into the Campus Management System.

  • Examination Office” (“Prüfungssekretariat”): This is the “Prüfungssekretariat” of the Faculty of Physics. The Examination Office is currently managed by Ms. Müller.

  • Campus Management System (CAS): Amongst others, results of modules are entered in CAS.

  • Course Component”: This is the so-called “Teilleistung”, often a lecture.

  • Seminar on the Specialization Phase”: This is also referred to as “Studierendenseminar”, in which also BSc students give their talks. It is currently scheduled on Wednesdays 15:45-17:15 hours.