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Timing is (Almost) Everything

Chances are your adviser has already supervised one or more theses. Take advantage of their experience! Send them Technically, the only hard deadline that you have regarding your thesis submission is the one concerning the submission to the examination office (Prüfungsamt), which is at the end of the semester for Bachelor thesis and six months after registering the thesis for master thesis. However, at RTSYS (as with most other groups) we offer to look at your thesis before the official submission. This not only helps to improve your thesis, it also is more satisfying for the advisor to look at a thesis in detail if it's not just to determine a grade but also to help improve the result.

Thus, in your own interest, we advise strongly to send drafts of the chapters of your thesis to your advisor(s) before submitting the final thesis. Of course, the drafts should be as good as possible from your point of view. Your adviser can only improve your drafts so much. If your draft is of low quality, (s)he they can help you push it to an okay-ish level; but if the draft is already of high-quality to start with, (s)he they can help you elevate it to pure awesomeness. Note that your drafts need not be complete yet: you can always hand in missing bits and pieces later on.

The process is usually that 1) you send a draft to the doctoral student(s) directly advising you, 2) you get feedback from them, 3) you implement that feedback, 4) you send the revised draft to the Prof. Yes, this pipeline takes time, and often there are holidays and travel plans to take into account as well, in particular for deadlines at the end of the summer semester. Here's a schedule that has proven to work well regarding when to hand in what to your direct advisors. Of course, sticking to that schedule is YOUR responsibility, you should not rely on your advisors to remind you of it.

WhatWhen (AT THE LATEST)Motivation
Outline3 months before final submission

Once you are halfway through your thesis, you should have a basic idea of which topics you want to cover in your thesis. This must be discussed with your adviser.

1–2 chapters4 weeks

The first drafts you submit are used to make you aware of basic problems of your writing style. Getting this feedback as early as possible in your writing process means that you won't have to change the whole thesis after you submit your final draft.

Complete thesis2 weeks

Submitting a draft of your complete thesis before the final submission gives your adviser enough time to find problems and gives you enough time to incorporate corrections into your final thesis. This doesn't only improve the quality of your thesis, but also satisfies your adviser.

Theses done in collaboration with industry partners follow the same schedule. The drafts you submit to your adviser at the university, however, should previously be run past your industry adviser.