In a joint degree programme, moving between two different universities creates a special need to be careful when planning studies and scheduling courses. Plans made at the beginning of the academic year regarding, for example, elective course choices may and will most likely change, but keep in mind that studies completed at a steady pace usually lead to better results than an unbalanced schedule.
We encourage you to communicate openly and well in advance about falling behind in your studies, or or if you recognize challenges in maintaining study motivation, struggle with coping or overwhelmedness with courses. Help is available, as long as you dare to ask for it.
Getting started with Sisu
Study information system Sisu's tools, especially the personal study plan (also known as HOPS), timeline and study calendar help you visualize not only your study year at Aalto, but also the number of credits for the courses you will and need to take at the partner university. The study plan is unique for each student and can be updated according to the choices made during the academic year.
You will learn about Sisu, making a study plan and registering for courses during the orientation week, but you can always turn to the programme study coordinator if you are unsure or need help.
Frequently asked questions in joint degree programmes
The scope of the Master's degree is normatively 120 ECTS. The structure and curriculum of your programme determine what you must study in order to get a degree. In your personal study plan, you define how you plan to fullfill these requirements. In your personal study plan, you may add more than 120 ECTS, but you must remove any non-mandatory courses exceeding 120 ECTS before you graduate. Please, note that due to degree requirements at Aalto (e.g. language course), the scope will most likely be 123 ECTS.
Yes. At Aalto University, it is possible to complete additional courses (more than the normative and mandatory 60 ECTS + possible language course) that will not be included in the degree. These courses will appear on your Aalto transcript of records when you graduate, but not on the actual degree certificate. Note that additional courses should only be taken if you have the energy and time to complete them.
If you complete extra credits (i.e. more than 60 ECTS) from Aalto, they will be left out of the degree, but you can request a separate transcript of them. Credits of courses that are not included in your curriculum are extra credits by default.
If you complete more optional courses than required, you must select which of these credits you want to include in your degree and which are extra. Extra credits will not be transfered to partner universities. Please, keep your study coordinator or planning officer informed!
We will transfer all the credits that count towards your degree at the partner university, strictly following the transcript provided by the partner university administration. Aalto University cannot decide on behalf of the partner university which credits are included or excluded, if a policy like this is even available at the partner university.
However, at least 50% of the scope of the degree must be completed at Aalto, meaning at least 60 ECTS.
If you take extra courses and receive more than 60 ECTS from the partner university, be aware that you cannot use them to take less credits at Aalto – you will still need to complete 60 ECTS in order to graduate here, and the scope of your degree will simply be more than 120 ECTS.
Transferring the credits of the partner university is an administrative process that is done between the administrative staff of the universities. In other words, the student does not have to do anything to transfer the credits. However, the administration may not get an automatic notification when you have completed everything and are ready to graduate. Please contact the administrative staff of your second year university when you are about to graduate.
Aalto University strictly follows the received transcript and cannot influence which credits are included or excluded. The partner university's course grades are converted to Aalto's grading scale 1-5 according to the scaling table agreed in the partner agreements (excl. failed courses at the partner university, which Aalto cannot transfer).
We will translate each individual course grade of your entry university into Aalto grades according to the scaling table agreed in co-operation agreements. Note that failed courses cannot be transferred because Aalto cannot give credits for failed courses.
Credits for Master's thesis cannot be transfered. The Master's thesis is always evaluated independently at Aalto according to Aalto evaluation criteria. In some cases, this might imply that you receive differing grades from the universities where you graduate.