Doctoral education

During your doctoral studies

Information for doctoral students throughout their studies: instructions for writing the thesis and conducting research in an ethically responsible manner, how supervision is and should be arranged and how you can communicate your results and build networks etc. This is the second page of the 3-page Doctoral student study guide.

Two doctoral students, one working with a laptop and one with pen on paper, both with imaginary doctoral hats floating above their heads.

Use the table of contents above for a quick scan of the contents of this page.

Doctoral student study guide is maintained by the Doctoral education services (Learning services). We use the title doctoral student in this guide. The title doctoral researcher is used in employment matters.

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Doctoral personal study plan (DPSP)

Keep your doctoral personal study plan updated. It is recommended to go through the plan with your supervising professor at least once a year. You will need to get official confirmation for your DSPS at least twice during your studies: at the beginning and before pre-examination. Apply for confirmation and store your DPSP in MyStudies.

Link to instructions and templates (Beginning your doctoral studies-page)

Supervision of doctoral studies

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Supervision of doctoral studies

Instructions and information for doctoral students, supervising professors and thesis advisors about supervision

Doctoral education

Doctoral thesis and researcher skills

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Doctoral thesis at Aalto University

Resources, guidelines and information on doctoral theses at Aalto University

Doctoral education
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Researcher skills for doctoral students

Resources and tools for developing your researcher skills

Doctoral education

Mobility, networks and international courses

International mobility is a way to develop your research and build your international network. Mobility may have relevance to future employment prospects but also to developing an international career. Aalto University encourages every doctoral student to spend at least a six months period abroad during their studies.  

When you are choosing the destination, your research should be in the foreground. Which universities, conferences or research institutes benefit your research the most? Discuss your options with your supervising professor and/or advisor(s). Professors usually have personal contacts to universities and research institutes abroad.

Doctoral feedback and surveys

The following feedback is collected from doctoral students:

  1. Orientation feedback (new students)
  2. Yearly follow-up: progress review, more infomation at Yearly follow-up of doctoral students (
  3. Feedback from graduating doctors
  4. Career monitoring 3 years after graduation, latest results at Doctoral graduates of Aalto University in working life (

In addition, you are asked to give feedback for the teacher on each course you take. Your doctoral programme may also ask you to participate in their feedback events or surveys.

Licentiate thesis (fields of technology & business only)

The primary target degree for our postgraduate students is the doctoral degree and new students are only admitted to study towards the doctoral degree. However, in the fields of technology and business it is still possible to complete a licentiate degree. We recommend that option in cases where the student and the supervising professor estimate that completing a doctoral thesis is not feasible for one reason or another. Licentiate degree is a way of demonstrating the competences you have acquired during your postgraduate studies, even if you would not be completing a doctoral degree.

Student who aim at a licentiate degree must also have an up-to-date Doctoral Personal Study Plan (DPSP) and studies are confirmed with the same process as when completing the doctoral degree.

Doctoral education services


Doctoral education services

Doctoral education services support doctoral students, supervising professors, thesis advisors and doctoral programme directors in matters related to doctoral studies. Doctoral education services belong to Learning Services.


Doctoral student study guide

Two doctoral students looking at symbols on pieces of paper, with imaginary doctoral hats floating above their heads.

Beginning your doctoral studies

Doctoral students at the beginning of studies: information on arrival, doctoral personal study plan, curriculum and financing etc.

Doctoral education
Two doctoral students, one working with a laptop and one with pen on paper, both with imaginary doctoral hats floating above their heads.

During your doctoral studies

Doctoral students throughout their studies: information on thesis writing, research work, supervision and mobility etc.

Doctoral education
Drawing of two doctoral students each holding a paper, with doctor's hats shining on their heads.

Finalising your doctoral studies

Doctoral students at the end phases of studies: information on pre-examination, defence, publishing the thesis and graduation, etc.

Doctoral education
Doctoral education services
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