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.
If you have already earned a degree at Aalto University or are studying towards multiple degrees at the same time and wish to use the same studies for more than one degree, you need to apply for credit transfer for such studies. See instructions.
All the studies you have completed belong to a specific study plan or completed degree (e.g. Bachelor of Science (Technology)). If you wish to use the same credits for another degree at Aalto University (e.g. towards a Bachelor of Arts (Art and Design)), you should make a study draft in the study plan for that degree and apply for credit transfer through the plan.
- Place the courses first in the degree to which they primarily belong. For example, if you have completed studies towards the major in your Bachelor of Science (Economics and Business Adminstration) degree and you wish to use them as electives in your Bachelor of Science (Technology) degree, you should add them as study drafts to the study plan in the BSc (Technology) degree.
- If you have completed a minor that could become part of either of your degrees, you should primarily include it in the degree that you will complete first and add the same courses as study drafts to the other degree.
In other cases, you do not need to apply for credit transfer for studies completed at Aalto. You can add courses taken at another Aalto University school into your personal study plan (HOPS) and apply for their approval through the plan.
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.
- Credit transfer is an option only for Aalto University degree students.
- The learning for which credit transfer is sought must be in line with the goals set for the degree or its part, such as a course, and it cannot overlap with other parts of your degree.
- The transferred credits must be included into your degree.
- Once you have received transfer credits towards a given course or other component in your degree, you cannot replace the transfer credits with other studies.
- Credit transfer is not possible for extra studies that would surpass the scope of your degree.
- Transfer credits may account for a maximum of one half of the degree.
- For instance, a bachelor’s degree (180 ECTS) may include a maximum of 90 transfer credits.
- Credits for a bachelor’s or master’s thesis or maturity essay may not be transferred.
- In licentiate and doctoral degrees, the thesis accounts for more than one half of the degree, which means that all other studies towards the degree may be transfer credits.
- Studies completed outside Aalto University are graded Pass when credits are transferred.
- Credits demonstrating knowledge of the second national language of Finland (Finnish or Swedish) are graded on a scale of hyvät tiedot/tyydyttävät tiedot (Good Knowledge / Satisfactory Knowledge).
- Studies completed on the basis of certain cooperation agreements (e.g. as network or graduate school studies) are transferred with their original grades.
Your credit transfer application must be supported by the materials listed below. If anything is missing, the processing of your application will be delayed.
- A transcript of records or a degree certificate, either digitally signed or marked with a stamp of the issuing university or school.
- If you have completed studies in another Finnish university or university of applied sciences, you can also use the My Studyinfo service (https://opintopolku.fi/oma-opintopolku/) to share information of your completed studies. Go to My Studyinfo, create a sharing link, save the link in a file, and add the file to your credit transfer application.
- A screenshot from the My Studyinfo service is not an acceptable transcript of records.
- The course description or other description of the content of the studies you have completed elsewhere
- The description must describe the contents as they were at the time the course was completed.
- If you cannot find the original course description, contact the higher education institution where you completed the course.
- To claim credits for a study module, such as a minor, completed elsewhere, you must include a certificate issued by the university in question or otherwise provide adequate proof of the study module being a degree module of the university.
- For instance, an extract from the study guide listing all the courses that may be included in the study module is considered adequate proof.
- An explanation of the scope of the module, if the scope has not been given in ECTS credits.
Apply for credit transfer in the student information system Sisu. See instructions.
- Applications are processed on a rolling basis.
- You will receive a message on Sisu as soon as the decision on credit transfer has been made.
- You can also ask the decision to be sent by paper mail to you.
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.
Each Aalto University course has a set of intended learning outcomes defined in the course description. (sisu.aalto.fi). If the learning you have gained through work or independent study is equivalent to the learning outcomes of an Aalto course, you can claim credits for the course through substitution.
- Please contact the responsible teacher (teacher-in-charge) of the course before submitting your application.
- The content of your prior learning will be compared against the learning outcomes of the Aalto courses you wish to receive transfer credits towards, and the course teacher-in-charge may require you to provide additional evidence of your learning to support the written documents.
The additional evidence may take the form of an oral or written examination, an essay, a portfolio or other assignment.
- If you have work experience that is relevant to your degree, you can apply for its inclusion in your degree, most often in the form of a work placement. You should contact your degree programme for details.
- If you have done voluntary work or held positions of responsibility in the Aalto community, you can earn credits for them by taking a course set up for this purpose JOIN-A0003 Contributing in Community (3 cr)
If you have prior learning that is relevant to your degree but does not correspond to any courses offered at Aalto, the learning may be accredited towards your degree as custom credits.
- Learn about the learning outcomes of your degree. Think about how your prior learning may be linked to your degree and your personal study plan.
- Please note that your learning must be measurable, which means that demonstration of your learning may be required.
- Discuss the custom credits policy with your programme staff; Learning Services will help you in finding the right person when needed.
- After you have agreed on the custom course credit, add a study draft to your personal study plan on Sisu and apply for credit transfer through the study draft.