Careful planning of your studies ensures a smooth and coherent path from orientation week to graduation. This section contains all the relevant information needed for successful planning and completion of your studies. For official policies and regulations, please see Aalto University's Academic policies and regulations.
Personal study plan in Sisu
The personal study plan describes the study path you intend to follow in order to complete your degree. Your study plan includes all the courses you are planning to take in each academic year and semester.
The degree structure (=curriculum) of your Master’s programme forms the basis for your study plan. In most cases there is also room for individual choices, especially when it comes to elective studies.
The study plan is created and updated in SISU – Student Information System.
The study plan is a living document. You can update it during your studies.
- Get to know your master programme's degree requirements and curriculum. More information: Curriculum
- Log in to Sisu by using your Aalto username and password.
- Instructions, tutorials and support for using Sisu system can be found from Sisu Help.
- Create a study plan and choose the correct education option as a template based on your major. Select also:
Master’s degree (when you have completed bachelor’s degree outside Aalto University)
Bachelor + Master (when you have completed bachelor’s degree completed in Aalto University)
Bachelor + Master (when you have not yet completed bachelor’s degree at Aalto University but would like to create study plan for the master's studies already)
Set the study plan a primary study plan. Note that you can have several study plans but only one can be the primary one.
Approval of your study plan. Some parts of the study plan are automatically approved if your selections follow the curriculum of your major.
Elective studies need always separate approval but do not have to be approved after every update. Please get the study plan approved at least
- When you apply thesis topic approval
- When you apply for graduation
Note: If you have modified your study plan in Free edit mode, remember to apply for approval already when you are in Free edit mode.
Create a timeline for your studies!
In this way you can check how much studies you are planning to take, and you can spread the studies more evenly for the duration of your studies.
Your degree certificate will be based on your study plan – So check that your study plan is correct before applying for graduation.
Study guidance and counselling
This student study guide is your primary source of information in questions related to studying. We are also happy to meet you in person in order to discuss your studies. Depending on the issue, you can contact your academic advisor, a student advisor or the learning services of your programme. See Contact for more information.
The student advisors are students at the School of Engineering who can help you with various questions related to your studies including information about courses and exams, IT systems (Sisu, MyCourses), transcripts of records and other documents, practicalities related to Master’s thesis and graduation etc. Study advisors specialized in international affairs help foreign students and those interested in international exchange studies. You can meet the student advisors during their opening hours, no reservation needed. More detailed information can be found under programme's conctact page.
The planning officer, study coordinator and study affairs secretary take care of the study affairs of the programme. You can always turn to them in questions related to planning your studies, credit transfer, graduation and degree certificates, study right extension and other applications. Please see Contact for more information.
In the beginning of your studies at the School of Engineering you are assigned an academic advisor. Academic advisor is a school professor, lecturer, university teacher or other professional. In the master’s phase, student's and supervisor's interests (a specific industry or expertise) are as close to each other as possible. If you completed your Bachelor's at Aalto and had an adviser in your Bachelor's studies, your adviser will propably change when you start your Master's studies.
The advisor is a person with whom you can discuss your study-related goals as well as matters related to research and the field. As the academic advisor is an iron professional in their field, you can get useful tips related to job searching, marketing your own skills, networking and career planning!
In the master's phase, the student and the supervisor meet only when the need for advising, or discussion arises. You have a more active role in arranging meetings and it is encouraged that you confirm already at the beginning of studies how and where to reach the advisor when the need arises. Appointments can be arranged in a way that suits you; video call, phone call, or live meeting.
You can find your academic advisor in MyStudies. If you do not have academic advisor in MyStudies you can contact your programmes planning officer (after orientation week).
Responsibilities of the advisee:
- Contact the academic advisor when the need for guidance, good tips, or reviewing study or future related plans arises
- Recognize and understand the goals of your degree and your degree program
- Monitor the progress of your own studies and keep your study plan in sisu.aalto.fi up to date
- You will get more information about academic advising in your programme during orientation week.
Courses and exams
Students have to register for courses in Sisu (see instructions Registration for courses in Sisu). Registration opens generally 28 days before the beginning of the course. The ending dates have variation. See Sisu for the exact dates. In some cases, the registration may close seven days before the beginning of the teaching period. This may be necessary for practical reasons or if the number of participants needs to be limited. To ensure the access to the course, it is recommended to register before teaching period starts even if the registration might close later. It is recommended that a student who has registered for a course but is not able to complete it cancels their registration.
The extent of the courses is measured in credits (cr) and is based on a workload where one credit equals 27 hours of work. One year of full-time studies corresponds to 60 credits.
Courses are evaluated on the basis of one of two grading scales:
- a scale of 0(fail)/1(passable)/2(satisfactory)/3(good)/4(very good)/5(excellent) where 5 is the highest grade; or
- a fail/pass scale.
However the proficiency in the second national language (Finnish/Swedish) for a bachelor’s or master’s degree is graded using the following scale: fail/satisfactory/good.
If the course comprises of separate assignments, the teacher must inform students of their effect on grading at latest in the beginning of the course.
The most common assessment method is a written examination. Other assessment methods such as oral exams, portfolio, learning diary, demonstration, presentation, exercises, written tasks and project assignments can also be used. Please see more information on examinations below.
Teachers are responsible for checking and grading the examinations and/or other course work within one month from the exam date.
Registration for a course is at the same time registration for the course examination. Registration shall be done separately for examinations or assessments not included in the registration for the course. The registration period for such examinations begins 60 days prior to the examination in question and ends seven days beforehand. Only students who have registered as instructed for the examination have a right to be graded and receive the credits. Only examination registrants may enter the examination hall or online examination site.
If the assessment of a course includes a written or oral examination, a minimum of two possibilities for taking the examination must be arranged each year. To that end, the university organizes evaluation periods, which are confirmed annually together with the academic calendar. Additional opportunities for taking examinations may be provided at the discretion of the teacher. Examinations of extensive courses may consist of two or more parts.
Examinations typically last three hours. Examinees are allowed to arrive up to 30 minutes after the official commencement of the examination and they may leave the examination hall with the permission of the invigilators no sooner than 35 minutes after the official commencement.
Accessibility is considered when making arrangements for examinations. Students in need of alternative arrangements for disability or health reasons must contact the examination organizer within the registration period.
For more information, please see Aalto University Examination Guidelines.
Additional information for planning your studies
The front page of Sisu instructions for students
Guidance and support for study planning, study wellbeing, and career reflections for Aalto students.
Support for Studying
As an Aalto University degree student you can complete studies also outside your own field of study. Some of the studies require an application while other studies are open for all Aalto students. You can complete either individual courses or a minor outside your own field of study.
Information for students about exchange studies.
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