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Applying for a master thesis
At the Chair of International Economics, we supervise master theses on topics that fall into one (or several) of the following areas:
- International economics: international trade
- International economics: foreign direct investment
- International economics: international macroeconomics and finance
- Political economics
- Development economics
Students interested in writing a master thesis with us should have successfully completed at least one elective course offered by the chair of International Economics.
Note that you are responsible for fulfilling all necessary formal requirements to be eligible for writing a thesis, and that you have to comply with all the rules prescribed by your study program. For further details, please consult the exam regulations (Prüfungsordnung), and/or contact the Studienbüro/program office.
To start the process, you need to submit an application to write you master thesis at the Chair of International Economics by e-mail (LsHarms<at>uni-mainz.de). This application should include the following information:
- The study program you are enrolled in and the number of semesters you have been studying
- Your most recent transcript of records
- A recent curriculum vitae
- A short letter of motivation, describing your general areas of interest, one or several potential topics you can imagine working on (if available), and your methodological preferences (e.g. whether you want to work with data in your thesis).
Topics have to fall into one of the areas mentioned above. Ideally, they should be phrased as a question. That question should be sufficiently relevant to raise potential readers’ interest, it should be sufficiently precise to guide you in your subsequent work and broad enough to allow for some flexibility. Finally, the answer should be feasible, given the available time frame.
We strongly encourage students to come up with suggestions on potential topics. A selection of master thesis titles that we surveyed in the past is given here.
The submission deadlines for applications are:
- November 1 (for theses starting in the first quarter of the following year),
- February 1 (for the second quarter of the year),
- May 1 (for the third quarter of the year),
- and August 1 (for the last quarter of the year).
After your application: The next steps
- If your application has been submitted on time, we will contact you to arrange a meeting (usually during our office hours). On that occasion, we will either suggest you a topic or discuss the topic suggested by you.
- Following this first meeting, you are required to draft an exposé based on the discussed topic. Please send an electronic version (PDF) of that exposé to LsHarms<at>uni-mainz.de.
- After having received your exposé you will be notified of the success of your application. Since we receive many requests, we reserve the right to decline your application.
- If you are accepted, you are required to start your thesis at the beginning of the quarter that you applied for.
Writing your thesis
- While working on your thesis, you should stay in touch with your supervisor and see her/him during her/his office hours. There is no formal limit on the number and structure of such meetings, but students are expected to prepare a set of clearly-defined questions they want to discuss.
- At their Research Colloquium, students writing their thesis at the Chair of International Economics present the current status of their work. These colloquia take place once during a quarter, with the specific data being announced in advance. Students will have 20 for their presentation, and 25 minutes will be left for questions.
- When writing your master thesis, please make sure you comply with the requirements concerning style and presentation. Instructions can be found here.
- We also strongly recommend the general reflections on academic writing (including an excellent list of references) provided by Konstantin Wacker, a former colleague at JGU Mainz, now at the University of Groningen (Netherlands): https://sites.google.com/rug.nl/kmwacker/home/student-resources/paperwriting