International students

Incoming exchange students to the School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Application information for incoming exchange students to the School of Arts, Design and Architecture

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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.

Application instructions

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 for the exchange. You can check the partnerships or valid agreements from your own university's homepages or from the personnel working in the international office in your home institution. You can apply only to the Aalto ARTS major your home university has an agreement with.

Unfortunately we do not offer any Free Mover options.

Application process

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 level 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.

  1. 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. After the closing date the majors will evaluate the applications.
  2. Make sure that you give your own, valid email address in the application form (and double check the spelling). It is highly important because in the future you will receive all communications to this email address, including the application result.
  3. We also ask your mobile phone number. They are 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.

Required documents

Once you start filling out the application, please have the following documents ready, as they should 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
  • Portfolio: as a file (pdf) or an online link
  • A copy of your passport or ID card
  • A preliminary Study plan (bilateral exchange students), Learning Agreement (Erasmus+ exchange students) or research plan (Doctoral level students):
    • 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
    • The courses are subject to change, some with limited or prioritized places available.
    • Erasmus+ students can use the Erasmus+ Learning Agreement form provided by their home university or print their OLA as pdf to the application
    • All other exchange students can use the study plan template below

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. 


Read carefully the instructions for How to make your portfolio in the pdf below.

Special requirements for the portfolio in Architecture and Landscape Architecture

  • 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.

How to apply for exchange studies?
Studies at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture for exchange students
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