Research & Art

How to apply for doctoral studies?

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

Admission for doctoral studies

The Schools admit doctoral candidates 1-4 times yearly. The admission of doctoral candidates is made on the basis of admissions criteria announced in advance on the programme web pages.

Those admitted are granted a right to study towards a doctoral degree in the field represented by the school (business, art or technology). In the fields of business and technology, the doctoral candidate may earn a pre-doctoral degree of Licentiate in Science before the doctorate.

You can find application instructions and  application dates on the doctoral programmes' web pages.

General eligibility and admissions criteria

The general eligibility criteria for doctoral education is defined by the Finnish law (section 37 of the Universities Act, 558/2009) and involves all Finnish universities.

To be eligible for doctoral studies, students must:

  • hold  a relevant master’s degree awarded by a university
  • hold  a relevant master’s degree awarded by a university of applied sciences; or
  • hold a relevant applicable study programme abroad which in the awarding country gives eligibility for the corresponding level of higher education.

Generally an acceptable master’s degree has been carried out in accordance with the principles of the Bologna Process (3+2 years). A degree earned abroad in a country that does not follow the Bologna Process must include a minimum of 4 years of studies and a master’s thesis.

The degree as a basis for doctoral studies shall provide the student with an adequate knowledge and skills needed for doctoral studies in the programme chosen. The university may require a student admitted to complete the necessary supplementary studies in order to meet this requirement.

The student shall also fulfill the defined language proficiency needed for doctoral studies.

General evaluation criteria

The central criteria for assessing potential doctoral candidates include the candidates’ academic performance and potential for doctoral studies, the quality and feasibility of the research proposal together with the candidate’s possibilities to complete the studies within the target time.

The suitability of the previous degree as the basis of the doctoral degree as well as the suitability of the research proposal to the programmes research profile is taken into account. The availability of supervision for the dissertation project is of great importance when selecting doctoral candidates.

Doctoral programmes

Doctoral programmes of Aalto prepare to become highly qualified researchers and experts in most demanding positions. Doctoral education is carried out in a unique multidisciplinary international scientific community.

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Tohtoriksi valmistunut nainen vastaanottamassa päähänsä mustaa tohtorinhattua promootiossa.
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