General about studies

Aalto University offers programmes leading to first-cycle (bachelor’s degree) and second-cycle (master’s degree) university degrees as well as academic postgraduate degrees, i.e. licentiate and doctoral degrees.

Aalto University is a state-recognized university (Universities Act 558/2009) which started operating on 1 January 2010 when three state-recognized universities (Helsinki School of Economics, Helsinki University of Technology and University of Art and Design Helsinki) merged.

Further information about Aalto University (aalto.fi/en/about)

Degrees

In accordance with the European standards for higher education, at Aalto University, the extent of first-cycle university degrees (bachelor's level) is 180 ECTS credits and the extent of second-cycle university degrees (master's level) is 120 ECTS credits. An applicant applying for the university in most cases applies for a major subject of his or her choice.

University degrees are two-tiered: first, students complete a first-cycle university degree (bachelor's level), after which they will carry on to study for a second-cycle university degree (master's level). 

When an applicant applies for a study right in a bachelor’s degree programme, after the admission and the acceptance of a study place, he or she also gains a right to complete a master's degree.

Master’s degree programmes have their own application processes, in which an applicant meeting the eligibility requirements may apply for a study right in a master’s degree programme of his or her choice.

Bachelor's degrees that can be completed at Aalto University are

  • Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Arts (only in Finnish) and
  • Bachelor of Science in Technology (only in Finnish)

and master's degrees that can be completed are

  • Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration
  • Master of Arts
  • Master of Science in Technology
  • Master of Science in Architecture and
  • Master of Science in Landscape Architecture (only in Finnish).

Further information on Aalto University degree programmes 

Further information on applying for bachelor's studies at Aalto University 

Further information on applying for master's studies at Aalto University

Further information on Doctoral Programmes at Aalto University

Principle of one study place

According to the one study place per term provision (Universities Act 558/2009) students may accept only one study place leading to a higher education degree in Finland during one academic term. Higher education degrees include bachelor’s, master’s, licentiate and doctoral degrees awarded by universities as well as polytechnic degrees. The academic terms run from 1 August to 31 December and 1 January to 31 July. Even if the student postpones the commencement of studies, or interrupts his/her studies, the student cannot accept another study place for a degree programme starting in the same academic term.

At Aalto University in the fields of Business and Economics and Science and Technology a student may only have one valid study right in a degree programme at any given time. If a student accepts a new study place in a degree programme of the same level (e.g. Master of Science in Technology) the old study right is forfeited. This restriction does not apply in the field of Art and Design.

The schools inform applicants about admissions in the online application system and by post. The admissions results of the studies starting in the autumn are published by a deadline agreed on in advance, usually however by the end of July.

An admitted student must notify the school of his or her acceptance of the study place by the date and means specified in the Letter of Acceptance. If this is not done, the student forfeits the study place. The notification of accepting the study place is binding and it cannot be changed or cancelled.

Further information on studies at Aalto University that are part of the joint application process as well as advice on applying for and accepting a study place is available from Admission Services.

Normative duration of studies

Aalto University has set a normative duration of studies for lower and higher university degrees in accordance with the Universities Act 558/2009. A student is expected to complete a bachelor’s degree comprising 180 ECTS credits in three academic years and a higher university degree (master’s degree) in two academic years.

Teaching is planned and organised in a way that makes it possible for a student to achieve the normative duration of studies as decreed by law. Furthermore, the university and the schools within it offer students study guidance as well as other services, such as health care services, to support students in their studies.

The completion of both a lower and a higher university degree may be delayed by two years in comparison with the combined estimated duration, i.e. studies may last seven academic years. For a student studying for only a lower university degree, the delay may be one academic year whereas a student studying for only a higher university degree is allowed to take two years longer than the normative duration to complete the degree.

There are certain absences that are not included in the duration of studies, such as leave due to voluntary military service or conscription, or maternity, paternity or parental leave.

If it seems that a student will not be able to complete the degree in the allotted seven or four years, he or she should apply for an extension to the right to study. In this case, the student should present a goal-oriented and feasible plan for completing the studies.

On the basis of the proposal, the university will assess whether it will be possible for the student to complete the studies in a reasonable time, taking into consideration the number and extent of the student’s completed, valid studies and studies still missing, as well as any prior decisions on extending the duration of studies.

Decisions on granting an extension to the duration of studies are always made on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the student’s circumstances.

Language of teaching and degrees

Aalto University provides a big part of its master’s degrees in English whereas bachelor’s degrees are mainly in Finnish and/or Swedish.

The languages of teaching and degrees at the Aalto University School of Business are Finnish and English.

The languages of teaching and degrees at the Aalto University School of Engineering, the Aalto University School of Chemical Technology, the Aalto University School of Science, the Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering, and the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture are Finnish, Swedish and English.

The university may also decide to use other teaching and degree languages than those mentioned above.

Page content by: | Last updated: 17.02.2017.