Are you interested in doctoral studies at Aalto University?

Doctoral studies are an excellent option when thinking about your next step after earning a master’s degree. As a doctoral student, you create new knowledge through your own research and learn to distinguish between reliable and false information. In this, you are supported by experienced Aalto University researchers. As a doctoral student, you are part of an international academic science community, and develop into an expert in your professional field.

The majority of Aalto doctoral students are in an employment relationship with Aalto University during their studies, at least partly, and most belong to a research group. Applying for research funding for your doctoral thesis work is a key part of your doctoral education.

Doctoral studies are tailored to your needs and focus on deepening your knowledge in the research topic of your choice. During your studies, you will be supported by a designated supervising professor and thesis advisor(s). Doctoral studies allow you to gain international expericence through conferences, exchange periods and visits for researchers, as well as through work in an international research group. You should also take time to network with experts and key organisations in your field during your doctoral studies. The normative duration of studies set for the doctoral degree is four years of full-time study.

I feel I received excellent supervision and got to be part of a team of outstanding researchers.

Doctoral Graduate Survey 2022

Six doctoral programmes

Aalto University has altogether six doctoral programmes: four doctoral programmes leading to the degree of Doctor of Science (Technology), one leading to the Doctor of Science (Economics and Business Administration) degree and one leading to either the degree of Doctor of Arts (Art and Design) or Doctor of Science (Architecture). Each doctoral programme consists of multiple research fields for doctoral research. The university encourages its doctoral students to explore also multidisciplinary research topics as well as to deepen their language and generic skills during the studies.

The practicalities of applying for doctoral studies vary by school. The schools of technology usually have salaried positions open for doctoral students. Those who are selected for such positions can apply for a right to study in the school’s doctoral programme. The School of Arts, Design and Architecture and the School of Business both have one application period each year for their doctoral programmes.

Doctoral education is valuable in the world of work

45 percent of doctoral students aim for an academic career. The rest plan to work in companies or in the public sector or as entrepreneurs. (Doctoral Graduate Survey 2022)

Three years after graduation, one half of doctoral graduates are working as researchers, while one in four are in planning and development duties. 40% of graduates work in companies and one third at universities. As many as 3/4 are in expert positions. (Career monitoring survey 2022)

I feel truly confident in my professional skills and knowledge after completing the doctoral programme.

Doctoral Graduate Survey 2022

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How to apply for doctoral studies?

Doctoral students at Aalto University can pursue the degrees of Doctor of Science (Technology), Doctor of Arts (Art and Design), Doctor of Science (Economics and Business Administration), and Doctor of Science (Architecture). The target time for the doctoral degree is four years. The admissions are organised individually by each doctoral programme.

Doctoral education
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Doctoral graduates of Aalto University in working life

Skills learned during doctoral education are valuable in working life



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