The guide to successful completion

All degree programmes at the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics include a final thesis. The aim of the thesis is to prove that a problem in a subject area can be worked on independently and according to scientific methods within a given time limit.




Find potential professorships


Register your thesis


Submit your thesis

Find po­ten­tial pro­fess­or­ships

Think about which professorship you would like to write your thesis at an early stage. You can use the professorship's teaching or research as a guide. Many professorships also publish possible topics and information on how the application process is organised at the professorship on their websites. Alternatively, you can also suggest a topic for a thesis to the lecturers. It is an advantage if you have taken modules at the professorship in advance. This may already result in a thesis. Before you apply for a topic or suggest your own topic, it makes sense to talk to the professor.

Note for Master's theses

Depending on the degree programme and examination regulations, the Master's thesis must be written in a specific subject area. Our overview provides clarity.

Theses with a company

Many companies offer theses on their websites. However, a supervisor must be found at the faculty to supervise the thesis. To do this, it is advisable to make use of the lecturers' office hours. As soon as all three parties have given their consent, a cooperation agreement can be concluded.

Apply and receive allocation

If you do not wish to write your thesis in Information Systems (Department 3), you must take part in the centralised allocation procedure. In Information Systems, you can apply directly to the professorships.

Link to the ap­plic­a­tion form

The online application phase for theses for the summer semester 2024 via the central allocation procedure runs from 24 June (09:00) to 05 July 2024 (23:59).

Apply here

Cent­ral­ised al­loc­a­tion pro­ced­ure

The aim of the centralised allocation procedure is to distribute the theses due in a semester evenly among the individual professorships, taking into account your priorities and supervisory capacities.

The following departments are involved in the allocation procedure:

Please note that Department 3: Business Information Systems does not participate in the centralised allocation procedure for theses.

To take part in the centralised allocation procedure, register during the application phase with your IMT data in the form linked below, fill it out and upload all the necessary documents in one file.

The required documents include

  • a CV (optionally with a photo (a scan of the photo is sufficient))
  • a current overview of grades from PAUL (screenshot from PAUL of the performance account with average grade is sufficient)
  • a copy of the Bachelor's certificate (if available)
  • Some professorships require further information, such as proof of internships or exposés, for the application of theses. Please read the relevant guidelines of the professorships before applying. Please note that all documents must be combined in one PDF file.
  • Registered achievements (a screenshot from PAUL is sufficient or Learning Agreement for stays abroad)

Please leave the Assignment field blank. Finally, click on Save. If you fail to save the data, you will be responsible for any missed deadlines.

After submitting the forms

Once you have successfully submitted the form, it will close and you will receive a confirmation email. If you go to the "Thesis application" page, you can see your entry in a list. In the overview, you can edit your entry by clicking on your matriculation number. After you have made changes, you will receive another confirmation email. Once you have finished entering your data, please deregister from the system.

Application in paper form is not possible

It is not possible to submit a paper application. Please also note that this system does not replace the official registration of the thesis, but initially serves to allocate theses to the participating departments and professorships.

Indication of priorities

In your application, you can indicate up to three professorships you would like to write your thesis with. Your documents will initially be submitted to the first priority in a round-based process. Only if no assignment is made in the first round, the second priority will be considered.

You should therefore specify at least two professorships where you would like to write your thesis. The third priority is optional, but recommended.


The allocation process takes about 1 - 1 ½ months. You will then be informed by email about your assignment and your contact. The selection is made by the professorships. You determine the criteria according to which the selection is made. These can be, for example, the modules you have completed, the letter of motivation you have submitted or the progress you have made in your studies. Your chances therefore depend on the professorship.

The allocation procedure guarantees that each person will receive a supervising professorship. However, it is possible to obtain a non-prioritised professorship. In over 90% of applications, however, it is one of the prioritised professorships. If you are not satisfied with the allocation, you always have the option of declining and trying again in the next semester or asking for one of the professorships in Business Informatics.

Typical problems

  • The ECTS credits required for registration are not yet available
    At the time of application for participation in the allocation procedure, the ECTS credits required by the examination regulations, depending on the degree programme, do not yet have to be available. This limit only becomes relevant in the following semester after allocation, when you officially register your thesis with the relevant examination secretariat.
  • I did not receive a transcript of records
    You do not need a transcript of records issued by the Examinations Office for your thesis application; it is sufficient if you provide a screenshot of your transcript of records from PAUL. You can also use a screenshot or a web page printout of your performance account from PAUL. Please make sure that this also shows your name and your average grade.
  • I cannot find a list of topics
    Chairs handle the allocation of topics differently. Not all of them publish topic suggestions or areas for theses. If you cannot find any lists, you can use the content from the chair's teaching or research as a guide. It is also possible to suggest your own topic.
  • Logging in does not work
    The system is only open to students during the application phase. It is not possible to log in before the start or after the end of the application phase. If you are unable to log in with your IMT data during the application phase, please contact the Student Office and attach a screenshot of the error message.


Typical questions

  • Should I create one document for each priority?
    No, please summarise all documents in one document. The chairs also know that you are applying for several priorities and may therefore need to write different letters of motivation.
  • Should you apply now if you do not want to start your thesis until the middle or end of the semester?
    The thesis should always be registered at the beginning of a semester. However, it depends on the professorship whether you are given a certain amount of leeway when registering. In most cases, however, you are not free to choose the registration period. So if you want to write in the coming semester, you should use the next application period!
  • What do I do if my first priority is a Winfo chair, but I have not yet received any feedback and my other priorities are from other departments? Should I still apply to the centralised allocation procedure?
    You can participate in the centralised allocation procedure with up to three priorities and at the same time apply to chairs that are not participating in the procedure. If you do not wish to accept a place from one of the two application procedures, please inform the respective chair in good time.

Re­gis­ter­ing the thes­is

Once the topic has been assigned, the thesis must be registered via a web-based application procedure in PAUL. As part of this procedure, you can apply online to register your thesis. The information required for admission is requested via the application form. Once the application has been checked, you will receive a PAUL system message with information on how to proceed. If you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant person in the Central Examination Office. Further information can be found in your examination regulations.

Check whether you have sufficient ECTS for admission
You must have earned a minimum number of ECTS by the time you apply for admission. In the Bachelor's programme, you must have earned all credit points from the assessment phase and at least 60 credit points from the profiling phase; in the Master's programme, you must have earned a total of 60 ECTS. Beyond this, there must be no open enrolment requirements. In individual cases, however, language certificates or similar (depending on the Master's degree programme) may still be required. Please refer to your examination regulations for further information.


For stu­dents of B.Sc. Busi­ness In­form­a­tion Sys­tems, M.Sc. Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion and M.Sc. Tax­a­tion, Ac­count­ing and Fin­ance

In addition to writing the thesis, qualified participation is required in the degree programs mentioned above. The qualified participation is to be agreed individually with the supervising professorship and is registered when registering for the final thesis. You can find a form for the agreement of the coursework as part of the thesis here.

Writ­ing the fi­nal thes­is

The processing time is three months for Bachelor's theses and six months for Master's theses. The exact requirements for your degree programme can be found in your examination regulations under Bachelor's or Master's thesis.

1. Illness/incapacity to take examinations

In the event of illness during the processing time, the deadline for submitting the thesis can be extended upon your (informal) request (to a maximum of twice the planned processing time). This requires the immediate submission of a medical certificate. This should state that you are unable to work on your thesis due to illness. A medical certificate stating that you are unable to take the examination is sufficient (a certificate of incapacity for work or a so-called "yellow certificate" does not fulfil this requirement). Detailed information can be found on the website of the Examinations Office.


2. Previously unforeseen problems (especially by the professorship) in the processing of the topic

In exceptional cases, the examination board may extend the processing time by up to three weeks (only for Master's theses up to four weeks if the topic contains an empirical or experimental part) upon justified request.

For this purpose

  1. the request must be submitted to the Examination Board at least one week before the submission deadline
  2. the reason for the delay is related to the topic of the thesis
  3. the responsible supervisor must be in favour of the extension

To do this, describe - informally, but in writing - the reason that you believe is preventing you from submitting your thesis on time and submit this letter to the chair where you are writing your thesis. If or after the chair has approved your application (this can be done by separate informal confirmation to you or the responsible examination secretariat or as an addition to your letter), submit the application and approval to the examination secretariat.

The topic can only be returned once and only within two weeks of the start of the processing time. The processing time then begins again when the new topic is assigned.

As a rule, theses are written in German. It may be written in English with the consent of the examiner responsible for supervision.

The content and form of the thesis must fulfil the professional guidelines. The thesis must include a title page, a table of contents and a list of sources and references. As a rule, you will receive a format template from your supervising professor. The passages in the thesis that are taken from other works in terms of wording or meaning must always be labelled, stating the source of the borrowing.

Please also take advantage of the Paderborn University's academic writing programmes.


The Bachelor's thesis can also be completed in the form of group work. The contribution of the individual student to be assessed as an examination achievement must be clearly distinguishable and assessable on the basis of the specification of sections, page numbers or other objective criteria that enable a clear delimitation.

You must add a written assurance to your work that you have written the work - in the case of group work, your appropriately labelled part of the work - independently and that you have not used any sources and aids other than those specified and that quotations have been identified and that the work has not been prepared, even in part, for another completed examination.

The final thesis can be repeated once if the performance is "unsatisfactory". A new topic with different content must be submitted.

Sup­port ser­vices

Writ­ing com­pet­ence centre

The Writing Competence Centre regularly offers workshops on academic writing. They also organise writing events to motivate you to get started and keep going.

Or­tho­graphy centre

The Orthography Centre offers workshops and consultations for students who want to refresh or expand their skills in the field of German spelling and/or gain confidence in the formal design of term papers and theses (correct bibliography, correct citation, etc.).


If you frequently have problems with starting tasks on time, keep putting off things you don't like or have difficulties concentrating on your work, then ProLernen is the right place for you. Let us advise you on the topics of procrastination, motivation and self-regulated learning during your studies.

Uni­ver­sity Lib­rary

The staff of the University Library regularly offer training courses and information literacy programmes, e.g. research workshops for students from the various faculties.


Problems with Word, Excel or PowerPoint? At IMT:doIT you can attend computer workshops, e.g. for designing seminar papers.

Psychoso­cial coun­selling

The ZSB's psychosocial counselling service offers advice and group sessions on time management and self-organisation, stress reduction, exam preparation and "procrastination".

Sub­mit­ting the thes­is

You can submit your thesis either in print or digitally by the deadline specified in the letter of admission.

Print version
Quantity as specified in the respective examination regulations and according to the information link in the letter of admission

The printed copies of your thesis must be submitted to the Examinations Office. You can either send your thesis by post, the postmark of the post office is decisive for the submission date, or hand in your thesis directly to the Central Examination Office (Tuesdays to Thursdays, 09:30 to 11:30). Outside office hours, please do not put your thesis in the mailboxes outside the offices of the Examinations Office, but use the Service Centre or the gate opposite the library. If you hand in your thesis at the gate, please pack it in an envelope addressed to your examinations office.


The regulations governing the electronic submission of theses permit submission in electronic form instead of the submission of printed copies provided for in the examination regulations (and in deviation from the above). Please refer to the information and notes on formalities provided by the Central Examination Office.

Additional copies

Your supervising professorship may also request additional printed or digital copies. These must be submitted directly to the professorship or sent there.

Cel­eb­rat­ing after gradu­ation

Studierende halten Urkunden in der Hand.

Day of Eco­nom­ic Sci­ences

Every autumn, the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics and the Paderborner Hochschulkreis e. V. organise the Day of Economics. Doctoral graduates, graduates of the faculty and their relatives are cordially invited to celebrate their successful graduation together with us.

Learn more
Schwebende UPB Ballons.

Prizes for out­stand­ing theses

You can win various prizes with your thesis: The University Society Prize, the UGO Prize in cooperation with the Unternehmergruppe Ostwestfalen e. V. or the Faculty Prize for work related to gender and diversity. You must be nominated for all prizes.

Con­tact us

Studienbüro Wirtschaftswissenschaften

Room Q0.216
Paderborn University
Warburger Str. 100
33098 Paderborn
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