Applications, instructions and guidelines

Credit transfer

If you have completed studies at other higher education institutions than Aalto University or have other prior learning that is relevant to your degree, you can transfer credits for them towards your Aalto degree. Credits can be transferred for relevant previously completed studies or other prior learning through the processes of substitution or inclusion, explained in more detail below.

What does credit transfer mean?

Credit transfer may take the form of

  • course substitution, where studies completed elsewhere compensate for an Aalto course
  • inclusion of studies completed elsewhere in your Aalto degree.
  • accreditation of learning gained outside formal education towards your degree.

In addition, applying for credit transfer is needed if you wish to use a single study attainment (e.g. a completed course) towards more than one degree pursued at Aalto University.

Below is a description of the key principles and guidelines set forth in the Aalto University Credit Transfer Policy.

Aalto University policy on credit transfer

If you wish, you can read the Aalto University Guideline on Credit Transfer, but can find a summary of its key points for students below.

Substitution of a course

In credit transfer, substitution means that studies completed elsewhere or learning demonstrated otherwise than through formal education compensate for studies included in the degree requirements. The substituting course or other study attainment must have equivalent contents and learning outcomes with the course substituted for.  

  • The scope of the substituting course in ECTS credits may be equal or greater or a maximum of 20% narrower than the scope of the course substituted for.  
    • However, a course whose scope is less than 5 credits may be substituted for by a course whose scope is a maximum of one (1) credit narrower. 
  • In the student information system, the Aalto University course substituted for is marked ‘substituted’.  
    • The scope of the course is marked according to that of the Aalto University course substituted for. 
    • You can also apply for having a single Aalto course compensated for by several courses completed elsewhere. Also in this case, the scope will correspond to that of the Aalto course substituted for. 

      Apply for substitution on Sisu through the course info sheet. See instructions.

Inclusion of a course

In credit transfer, inclusion means that studies completed elsewhere orother prior learning is included in the Aalto University degree. Inclusion does not require that the contents of the learning correspond exactly to the contents of any Aalto University course. However, inclusion does require that the learning is suitable for the module where it is to be included and its level corresponds to the degree requirements. Credits for courses may be transferred through inclusion only if they fit into your degree.  

You should first add the course as a study draft into your study plan. Apply for inclusion on Sisu with a study draft. See instructions.

Inclusion of a study module

Adding a study module to your degree through inclusion usually means transferring credits for a whole minor. The minor study module completed elsewhere must be sufficiently suited to your Aalto degree and its scope and level must meet the requirements of your degree. A minor or other study module may only be included if it fits into your degree. 

Accreditation of learning outside formal education

Accreditation of learning outside formal education means that learning gained outside formal education is recognised as part of the degree, provided it meets the learning outcomes of the degree and programme pursued. Learning that may be accredited towards a degree may be gained outside formal education, for instance, through independent study, positions of responsibility, hobbies or work. It should be noted that, when assessing prior learning, the focus is on the knowledge and skills gained rather than the experience itself.

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