Doctoral education

Why Aalto?

Aalto University and its campus offer excellent possibilities for doctoral studies and research! Aalto University is where science and art meet technology and business. We are an international community of 20,000 bold thinkers who shape a sustainable future with education, research breakthroughs and innovative ideas and solutions.
Artifical Designer materials
Artificial Designer Materials, research by Peter Liljeroth & Benjamin Alldritt, photo by Valeria Azovskaya

Among the top

Aalto University shines in international rankings – especially in field-specific rankings in technology, art and business, as well as in those that compare young universities.

International and diverse community

Internationality, multiculturality and diversity are at the core of our community and culture. Nearly 40% of our faculty come from outside of Finland.

Quality research infrastructures

We host high-level facilities for research, teaching and innovation, including unique nationally significant research infrastructures – all open to everyone in our community.

Committed to balance and wellbeing

We believe that health and happiness equal great results.

A drop on liquid on white fabric
A drop of liquid on fabric - science by Nina Forsman, design by Matilda Tuure and photo by Valeria Azovskaya

Driving excellence in research

  • Our long-term purpose in research: We excel and make breakthroughs in and across science, art, technology and business.
  • Our current focus of development: Driving excellence. We create world-class clusters of excellence in our key research areas and bring complementary talent together to work on grand challenges.
  • The planned actions: Attracting and fostering talent, developing selected research infrastructures, new collaboration across fields.


Aalto University performs well in international university rankings. In subject-specific rankings, we place 8th globally in art & design and are in the top 100 in several other subjects. We have gathered information on our performance in the best-known university rankings on this page.

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Aalto University students enjoying sunny weather

Otaniemi campus

Aalto’s main campus in Otaniemi boasts a wonderful mix of new and old – the foundation for the campus was laid decades ago, but even today, it is constantly transforming itself to fit the needs of the Aalto community as new facilities and services pop up. You can find Aalto University’s own shop, dozens of restaurants, cafés and bars, grocery stores, a pharmacy, a second-hand store, a hairdresser and much more.

When you need a change of scenery though, the metro, tram and bus lines are just around the corner. You can deep dive into the campus remotely by taking a virtual campus tour.

Being located by the seaside and right next to a nature reserve, Otaniemi is a fantastic environment for nature-loving people. In addition to the outdoor opportunities, Otaniemi Sports Park and a Unisport gym offer great fitness and sporting facilities.

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Virtual Campus Experience (external link)

Explore Aalto University’s campus from anywhere in the world!

School of business students sitting in front of the campus and laughing


Aalto University's campus in Otaniemi is the home of an innovative community.

Explore the campus virtually at

Otaniemessä on kampuspyörät helpottavat henkilökunnan liikkumista.

Campus bikes and cycling

The mode of transport has a significant impact on the environment. Aalto strives to offer the most sustainable way of transport between campuses and within. Aalto and ACRE cooperate with HRT and nearby cities.

Dipoli / Photo by Tuomas Uusheimo

Otaniemi campus to develop into a lively neighbourhood

The university's campus is in Otaniemi, home of the lively community that supports innovations. The goal of the campus development is to mix valuable history and new ways of planning.

Two people stretching on a university's sports field.

Unisport Otaniemi (external link)

Along with a well-equipped gym and versatile exercise rooms, UniSport offers a wide selection of ball sports, group training classes as well as massage and personal training services. Student's best training buddy is the UniSport Training Card, which students can purchase at a lowered price.

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Aalto neighbourhood home to waterbird oasis and forest habitat for flying squirrels (external link)

Aalto University's campus is right next to a nature conservation area. We accompanied an expert on an outing to learn what makes it unique – and what can be done about biodiversity loss.

Experiences from our current doctoral students and graduates

Albert Devasagayam Francis, photo by Susanna Oksanen

Albert Devasagayam Francis: We are bringing community gardening and beekeeping together

'My main aim is to have clean energy, which can happen far into the future. In beekeeping, I can see the impact at the end of each season.'

Anastasia Koptsyukh, photo by Tuấn Lê

Anastasia Koptsyukh: I have a lot of support from the community

'Our unit is very young and dynamic. There are 15 of us in total. Our culture is vibrant, supportive, and embracing. It’s oriented towards professional growth and development.'

Photo: Leonardo Fierro.

Leonardo Fierro: Sharing experiences for a better doctoral student life

'Now I’m less fearful of failing. I know how to put things into perspective. It was a good lesson to learn that failing is part of the process of succeeding.'

Annukka Svanda, photo by Linda Lehtovirta

Annukka Svanda: It's important to challenge yourself to do hard things

'I believe that those of us who can and are capable have a duty to work to make the world a little better place all the time. For example, we can try to improve the situation of those who are not so well off.'


Want to know more about Finland and Aalto?

A guy peeks from behind fresh green birch branches. Photo: Aalto University / Unto Rautio

Get to know Finland and Aalto

Finland’s excellent reputation in education, combined with a wide range of courses offered in English, makes Finland and Aalto University an attractive study destination for international students.

Study at Aalto
Student guide illustration, international students

Moving to Finland and financial matters

This page gives you further information for planning your move to Finland.

International students
Student guide illustration, international students

Living in Finland

What is everyday-life in Finland like? How should one prepare themselves for seasonal weather? Read what it is like living in Finland!

International students
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