Incoming exchange students to the School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Application periods for Aalto ARTS
- 15 March - 15 April: for autumn term (Sep-Dec) and full academic year (Sep-Jun)
- 15 September - 15 October: for spring term (Jan-Jun)
Late applications will not be considered.
All exchanges to Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture (Aalto ARTS) are based on agreements between institutions. An existing agreement is the precondition for applying. You can check the valid agreements from your own university's website or from the personnel working in the international office in your home institution. You can only apply to the Aalto ARTS major your home university has an agreement with.
Unfortunately we are unable to offer any Free Mover options.
To start the application process, your own school will have to select you as their nominee. The international office of your home institution will send us the nomination. We expect that the nominated students can transfer the credits into their degree studies, and that their English level is sufficient in order to follow the courses in Aalto ARTS (equivalent to B2 on the CEFR scale).
Once nominated, you will be asked to submit your application via the Online application form. The form is active only during the application period.
- When starting to fill in your application for the first time you will have to register to the online system with your name and email address and create a password. Once registered, you can fill in the online application form and submit it by the deadline with all the required documents attached.
- Make sure that you give your personal, valid email address in the application form (and double check the spelling). It is very important because in the future you will receive all communications to this email address, including the application result.
- We also ask your mobile phone number. This is needed later for Aalto IT account activation, so you will need to give your phone number in the international format (+ or 00 followed by the country code). Please check carefully the right international format for your mobile phone number.
We expect that each exchange student's English level is equivalent to B2 on the CEFR scale, in all aspects (listening, speaking, writing and reading). This is very important so that you are able to fully participate in the courses at Aalto ARTS. Our learning process is interactive, students are expected to actively take part in the courses and discussion, and collaborate with other students. Some courses are theoretical and you are expected to read and understand the texts provided, and produce written work.
We do not require you to submit a language test in the application, but it is very important that you have the required skills in English. If you don’t, you will struggle with the studies and that will also impact our teachers and other students.
The following documents need to be uploaded to the online application (as pdf files):
- Official copy of your Transcript of Records in English: a list of the courses that you have completed so far
- Motivation letter: describe your educational goals and interests, tell us why you are applying for the specific programme/major at Aalto ARTS
- CV (Curriculum vitae)
- Portfolio: file (2MB) or link to your online portfolio
- A copy of your passport or ID card
- A preliminary Study plan (bilateral exchange), Learning Agreement (Erasmus+ exchange) or research plan (Doctoral level). This is a list of courses you would like to take in the major you are applying for (and any other courses):
- refer to the application instructions sent to you by email
- you can use your home university's document or the study plan template below (Erasmus+ students can also print their OLA as pdf)
It's important to prepare the motivation letter, CV, portfolio and course plan thoughtfully. These will all reflect your motivation to study in the major you are applying for, and will influence the decision of the programme/major.
You/your university can send the OLA to Aalto University. Please add School of Arts, Design and Architecture as a sub-institution/faculty/department. Please add receiving contact person Suvi Lähteenmäki and email address in-exchange-arts(a)aalto.fi. Our system has compulsory fields for Sending institution and Sending sub-institution, make sure these are both filled in so that we can approve your OLA. Unfortunately, it is still possible that there are some technical issues.
You will also need to add a pdf version of your OLA to your online application, it is a compulsory attachment. You can also use the study plan form (see the pdf above), if it is easier for you right now and fill in the OLA later. We do not necessarily need the signatures from your home university at this point, if you have trouble getting them. You are however yourself responsible for making sure that your home university approves your course choices. We will process the OLA’s in our system later, after the students have been selected (accepted/rejected).
Read carefully the instructions for How to make your portfolio in the pdf below.
- Samples of your design and planning works from the school works, courses and studios
- The portfolio should be versatile and illuminate your capability and working methods
- Please note that some studios/teachers will review your portfolio in advance (portfolio selection for studios)
With the portfolio students should demonstrate
- their communication skills that is the ability to use visual means of representation of the discipline in order to communicate your design idea and its architectural expression.
- their technical skills that is the ability to translate your concept into an adequate material system and coherent construction logic.
- their understanding of context that is the ability to relate the architectural project to its physical, social, cultural and political environment.
- their understanding of space-making that is the ability to translate the architectural concept into an adequate spatial experience and spatial dynamics.
The portfolio will be reviewed and must be evaluated at least with a grade 3 (according to Aalto grading scheme). Otherwise students cannot be accepted for exchange.