Instructions for planning your studies
An essential and required part of your studying at Aalto is your study planning. Planning your studies will give you the broad outlines of them in their entirety, helping you to build up your own competencies and expertise in the direction that interests you.
The Universities Act (558/2009) (in Finnish), Aalto’s degree regulations and your programme’s curriculum determine a portion of your degree’s content, while a portion can be chosen by you yourself according to your interests, goals and life situation. Your minor, thesis topic and elective studies are all examples of studies that you may quite freely plan. You may also decide to go on a student exchange programme or complete studies at other Finnish universities.
- For details, see the curriculum for your programme on your programme pages. The curriculum can be found under the heading Curriculum. The curriculum tells you what kinds of courses and study modules make up your degree and what your different options are for completing them.
- Acquaint yourself with the Student Guide’s listing of minors and courses you can place into the elective studies. You can also read about exchange studies or studying at other Finnish higher education institutions.
- Start writing your personal study plan (‘HOPS’) in Sisu, the student information system. Sisu has a prepared template for making your study plan, and Sisu will prompt you to fill in the fields that are required.
- See the School of Business’ guidelines for preparing your HOPS (attachment below this list) if you study in the Finnish-medium Bachelor's Programme in Business or any of the Master's programmes. The guidelines offer advice on common selections and decision-making situations when making a study plan.
- Make your selections with care, reading Sisu’s instructions (see the bar in the right margin).
- You can edit your study plan later, supplementing it with elective studies, for example.
- First-year business (‘mursu’) students in the bachelor’s programme can choose only first-year studies. The remainder of the studies are planned after students have decided on their majors.
- If you have already completed some studies in another higher education institution, you can apply to have their credits transferred to Aalto. See the instructions on credit transfer before you apply. The studies for which credit was transferred must be included in your degree.
- Make a schedule plan in Sisu, i.e. add your courses to the timeline for the academic year and the periods. Some programmes have made ‘timing templates’ in Sisu. The templates help you place your compulsory courses in the right order. As for elective studies, you must schedule them yourself.
- You can find course teaching periods from the Sisu course information sheet by clicking on the course code in the study plan.
- You should complete about 12 credits per period. That will give you about 60 credits for the academic year. When there are less than 12 credits per period in the timing template, you can put minor studies, language studies or elective studies there.
- You can plan your schedule freely according to your own situation, but remember to keep in mind the Kela provisions and limits to providing student financial aid as well as the limits to the time remaining in your right to study. Scholarships can also have requirements about the progression of your studies.
- When you are planning to start a minor, check if their is a specific order in which to take the minor studies or if there are compulsory prerequisites. To find out about such an order, see the page of the minor. Regarding the prerequisites, see the course information sheet on Sisu.
- Plan exchange studies well ahead of time. If you are going on an exchange, check what studies are scheduled to occur during your exchange term and move them earlier or later as necessary.
- Update your study plan on a regular basis as necessary. Your plan may change or you may find an interesting course or minor only later on. Throughout your university studies, you should update your plan to meet your current needs.
- Remember to update the course versions to match those of the academic year you’re in.
- The Sisu study plan is of practical assistance in many situations related to your studying, as when you are selecting or applying for studies. If you take exchange studies abroad or studies at a different Finnish higher education institution, they must be marked in the study plan as well.
- You need the study plan also to register for courses and to apply for graduation.
The planning officer for your programme can help you with study planning. The planning officer can:
- talk with you about the compulsory selections in your studies,
- advise you on how to find the information you need for exchange studies or for studying at a different Aalto school,
- review your study plan to ensure that it complies with the rules and instructions, and
- help you in all other matters related to studying and study planning.
To reach your planning officer, see the page Contact.
In some situations, you may have to make a study plan first outside of Sisu. This may be the case if you have lost your right to study or if it has expired, leaving you without an Aalto account (username and password).
If you have any technical questions about your personal study plan or course registration in Sisu you can send us an email at [email protected].
You can also get guidance from the Sisu clinic on Zoom. You can get advice for making your personal study plan and enrolling for courses at the Sisu clinic.
Opening hours of the Sisu clinic in autumn 2023:
Mon 21 August at 14-15
Tue 22 August at 10-11
Wed 23 August at 10-11
Thu 24 August at 14-15
Fri 25 August at 10-11
Sisu instructions: front page
The front page of Sisu instructions for students