Research & Art

How to apply for doctoral studies?

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

Admission for doctoral studies

Admission to doctoral programmes varies according to each School. Some have continuous admission whereas others admit doctoral candidates 1-4 times a year. Each doctoral programme has their dedicated programme website providing details on the entry requirements and information on how to apply (see below). The admission of doctoral candidates is made on the basis of admissions criteria announced in advance on the programme 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. In the field of Technology, applicants should liaise with the professor responsible for the research field in question at an early stage of the application process. 

Applying to doctoral programmes - how and when?

See further information on the application procedure, entry requirements, and application times on each doctoral programme.

Aalto Doctoral Programme in Arts, Design and Architecture

The Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture offers an international doctoral programme for those seeking careers in art, design, film, media or architecture. The special feature of the programme is that the dissertation can also include art or design productions. Department of Art, Department of Design, Department of Film, Television and Scenography and Department of Media offer doctoral studies for Doctor of Arts degree.

Aalto ARTS

Aalto Doctoral Programme in Science

The Doctoral Programme in Science is a multidisciplinary programme with a unique combination of science, technology and business. The research done is committed to high standards of international excellence and the aim is to educate doctoral candidates in different research fields to tackle increasingly complex societal challenges in areas such as energy, environment, health and well-being. The doctoral programme offers a four-year doctoral programme in physics, mathematics, biomedical engineering, computer science or industrial engineering and management

Picture of Aalto University

Aalto Doctoral Programme in Engineering

The Doctoral Programme in Engineering consists of 8 research fields including spatial planning and transportation engineering, real estate economics, geoinformatics, civil engineering, water and environmental engineering, technology education, mechanical engineering and energy technology. Doctoral studies are available at all the departments of the School of Engineering: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering and Department of Built Environment.

Aalto ENG

Aalto Doctoral Programme in Chemical Engineering

The Aalto Doctoral Programme in Chemical Engineering comprises 7 research fields which focus on forest products technologies, chemical engineering, industrial biotechnology, materials science and nanotechnology, metals and minerals processing and energy technology. The Departments of Bioproducts and Biosystems (Bio2), Chemical and Metallurgical, Chemistry and Materials Science are jointly responsible for the programme.

Aalto CHEM

Aalto Doctoral Programme in Business, Economics and Finance

The degrees that can be completed on the Aalto University Doctoral Programme in Economics are Doctor of Science, Economics and Business Administration, Doctor of Philosophy and Licentiate in Science, Economics and Business Administration.

Aalto BIZ

Aalto Doctoral Programme in Electrical Engineering

The Doctoral Programme in Electrical Engineering comprises 24 research fields. The Programme is a joint effort of the Departments of Electronics and Nanoengineering (ELE), Signal Processing and Acoustics (SA), Electrical Engineering and Automation (EEA), and Communications and Networking (TLV), as well as the Metsähovi Radio Observatory and Micronova - the Research Centre for Micro- and Nanotechnology.

Aalto ELEC

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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