Doctoral education

Doctoral thesis at Aalto University

On this page you will find resources and guidelines for doctoral students and information on working on your doctoral theses at Aalto University.

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The research plan is the basis for thesis work. Doctoral students follow the general quality requirements for doctoral theses at Aalto University and the possible School-specific guidelines.

Doctoral theses are published in the Aalto University publication series and are publicly available.

Topic and language of doctoral thesis

The topic of your doctoral thesis must be approved by the Doctoral Programme Committee of your School. The topic is approved when you are admitted to the programme (except at the School of Business where the topic is decided at a later stage).

The language of instruction of Aalto doctoral programmes is, in principle, English, but the doctoral thesis can also be written in Finnish or in Swedish (in the field of business, only in English or in Finnish). Normally, the language of your degree is the language in which you write your thesis (English, Finnish or Swedish).

Language of doctoral thesis and degree (

Resources and tools

How to use Turnitin to improve and protect your doctoral thesis?

The idea of scientific writing with references and source information is to show your own contribution (new research results) in relation to what was already known.

The requirement is that you write in your own words and give credit to the authors of the sources you have utilized. Besides being a skill, this requirement is also an ethical principle. Disregarding this principle means, for example, unacknowledged borrowing or plagiarism. Plagiarism is not accepted in doctoral theses. You should practice skilful writing and make sure beforehand that your text follows the good practices of academic writing.

Using Turnitin to identify unintentional plagiarism is highly recommended.

How to start using Turnitin?

The most fruitful way of taking advantage of Turnitin is to use it in co-operation with your supervising professor. Check if your supervising professor already has a dedicated workspace for thesis instruction in MyCourses. If your supervising professor doesn’t have a workspace, they can order a ready-made personal workspace for thesis supervision.

See detailed instructions from the links below. You will also find there the procedure followed when a student is suspected of plagiarism.

Aalto University's Turnitin instructions

Plagiarism and the responsibilities and rights of Turnitin users

General quality requirements for doctoral theses at Aalto University

  • A doctoral thesis shall contain new scientific knowledge in the field it represents. In the field of art and design, the doctoral thesis may also contain new methods of artistic creation or products or transactions, which fulfil high artistic demands.
  • The doctoral thesis must present the new results clearly and in a manner meeting the criteria set for scientific texts.
  • The independent contribution to the research shall be sufficient and clearly demonstrable.
  • The research methods used shall fulfil the criteria set for scientific or art-based research.
  • A doctoral thesis shall conform to the principles of responsible conduct of research and adhere to ethically sustainable principles.

Doctoral dissertations at Aalto University, Decision of the Aalto University Academic Affairs Committee, 1 December 2015

Different formats of doctoral theses

Schools may approve doctoral thesis in the forms described below. Schools take the decision on the acceptable formats of thesis and give further guidelines on the requirements for doctoral thesis as needed.

Doctoral dissertations at Aalto University, Decision of the Aalto University Academic Affairs Committee, 1 December 2015

In the field of art and design, a doctoral thesis may also include artistic components such as art productions, series of art productions meaningfully connected to each other, or product development projects. More information is available at the page artistic components (

School-specific guidelines for doctoral thesis

ARTS: Formats of doctoral theses (
CHEM: Instructions for doctoral theses (
ELEC: Forms of doctoral theses (

Finalising and publishing doctoral thesis

Doctoral students at Aalto University publish their thesis through the Aalto Publication Platform. Doctoral theses are public documents by law and available at Aalto University's open access repository Aaltodoc.

Doctoral thesis: preparation for pre-examination and publicationPublishing your doctoral thesis

Publishing doctoral theses

Aalto University has one shared publication series for its doctoral theses.

Doctoral hats in Aalto University Conferment

Public defence at Aalto University

Instructions for planning and arranging public defences (for doctoral student and custos)

Doctoral hat floating above a speaker's podium with a microphone

Awarding doctoral thesis work

Dipoli artwork on the wall by Inni Pärnänen / photo Aalto Unviersity, Mikko Raskinen

Incentive scholarships for doctoral students

A set of 500e and 2000e incentive scholarships are awarded by application for doctoral students who meet the conditions given.

Doctoral education
School of Engineering Award

Aalto doctoral thesis awards

Top ten percent of doctoral theses are awarded annually at Aalto University

Doctoral education

Find published doctoral theses

Aaltodoc logo

Doctoral theses at Aaltodoc (external link)

Doctoral theses at Aalto University are available in the open access repository maintained by Aalto, Aaltodoc.

Next public defences at Aalto University

Helsingin yliopiston päärakennuksen pienen juhlasalin lämpiö. Kuvattu 2023.
Public defences

Public defence in Architecture, Landscape and Urbanism, Architect Eija Merenmies

Helsingin yliopiston päärakennuksen laajennuskilpailu 1931, edeltävät vaiheet ja toteutus – Kysymys yliopiston asemasta ja tyylistä (title of thesis)
Doctoral hat floating above a speaker's podium with a microphone
Public defences

Public defence in Power Systems and High Voltage Engineering, M.Sc.(Tech.) Verner Püvi

The thesis studies the highest amount of solar panels that can be connected to low-voltage distribution networks.
The figure shows an artificial material used for verifying the function of a ray tracing model (RTM).
Public defences

Public defence in Measurement Science and Technology, M.Sc.(Tech.) Robin Aschan

Development of measurement instruments for angle-resolved measurements of reflectance and transmittance using visible and infrared light
Artistic interpretation of the thesis content: A mobile robot, resembling a vacuum cleaner robot, is moving through a flat.
Public defences

Public defence in Acoustics and Audio Signal Processing, M.Sc. Georg Götz

This dissertation works towards data-driven audio engines by exploring the interaction between room-acoustic modelling and data-driven methods.
Doctoral education
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