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How to find an appropriate topic for a Computer Science Master thesis, especially for international students!

General speaking, the examination board of our university is responsible to determine or approve topics for a Master thesis. This means that supervising university’s professors propose topics for approval by the examination board.

Students are allowed to propose topics, too. In practice, most students apply for thesis topic at companies. If they apply successfully they will involve a supervising professor to adapt the goals of a thesis in a way that the interest of all parties are fulfilled (company, university and student).

My personal recommendation how to proceed with looking for a Computer Science Master thesis, especially for international students:

1.) Check the job market in your field of interest and make a decision about your subject priorities!

2.) You can ask your university’s professors for an appropriate topic. CUAS institute of computer science with more than 20 full-time professors covers many IT subjects and offers a broad range of research from fundamental to applied.  Contact various potential supervisors to get an idea of their field of interest. Very limited German language skills may restrict the cooperation with some companies in applied research topics. Fundamental research and application-oriented fundamental research is often less affected.

3.) Analyze Master thesis offerings by companies. Try to achieve at least B-Level or better of your German language skills to enlarge the options! As international students with low level German language skills you will focus on global players.  Although many Information System’s graduates start their career in IT industry my personal impression is that the number of offerings of thesis topics in this branch is more limited than in IT-applying industry, this is true especially for IT-consulting business.  Apart from this industry consider IT-intensive industries like finance.

4.) You may visit a “Jobmesse” to contact companies like “Bonn Career Day” or “Cologne Graduate Fair”.  Additionally, such events are held at most universities.

5.) Many companies which are related to our institute support our teaching with presentations, workshops or cooperation in projects. Use these possibilities for networking. It can later on be helpful to find a Master thesis.

6.) Some companies encourage students to propose a topic or subject area via a speculative application. It is a difficult undertaking to propose a specific topic for a company but you can try.

7.) If you would accept that headhunters use your personal data for their business you can describe your profile of IT skills in social media like LinkedIn or Xing.