Before submitting your application, you may be in contact with a potential supervising professor or the head of research at the department to find out if the department has a potential supervising professor in the specific area corresponding to your research plan. For more information, see What does it take to become a doctoral candidate? - Supervising professor and research topic under For prospective students.
You must always provide proof of your language proficiency - either by means of a language test result or more specifically determined in your degree certificate. Language proficiency cannot be demonstrated by an interview or by any other similar practice. Please note that if a language test result is required, you must register for the test as soon as possible. Test organisers take quite a lot of time to submit the results. We recommend that you do the test before the start of the application period. See further information: Who can apply? - Language requirements.
An English language test is not required of applicants who have earned:
- a degree taught in Finnish, Swedish or English in a higher education institution in Finland.
- a degree in an English-medium programme at a higher education institution in an EU/EEA country, provided that all parts of the degree were completed in English. The language of the degree must be stated unambiguously in the degree certificate or its appendix, or in the transcript of records or other official document issued by the awarding higher education institution.
- an English-medium higher education degree requiring a physical on-site presence at a higher education institution in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand.
If the degree includes studies also from another institution, they too must be completed in English at an institution that meets the requirements for exempting the student from taking an English test. An exception to this are studies completed during a student exchange.
All others must submit their language test results within the application deadline.
Acceptable English language certificates and their minimum score requirements in 2020:
- IELTS (Academic): 6.5 and 5.5 for Writing
iBT (Internet-based Test): 92, and 22 for the Writing section or
PBT (Paper-based Test): 580, and 4.0 for the Writing section or
PDT (Paper-Delivered Test) Reading 22, Listening 22, and Writing 24
- Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): A, B or C
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B, C or Level C1
- Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE A): 62, and 54 for writing
IELTS, TOEFL and PTE test results are valid for two years from the test date.
CAE and CPE certificates as well as National Certificates of Language Proficiency are valid indefinitely.
The language proficiency in Finnish or Swedish can be proven with the National Certificate of Language Proficiency (YKI) issued by the Finnish National Agency for Education at the minimum proficiency level of 4 in all subtests (reading comprehension, writing, listening comprehension, and speaking). More information about prooving language proficiency in Finnish or Swedish from [email protected]
National Certificates of Language Proficiency (oph.fi) are valid indefinitely. The tests can only be completed in Finland.
Registration for a language proficiency test
Please make sure that you register for the language test well in advance. There might not be test dates available or they may be fully booked. You need to take the test early enough in order for the result to reach Aalto University in time. Please check from the testing center how long it takes for the test result to arrive at Aalto University. To find out more about the test dates and test centres, please visit the website of the test organizer:
Applicants must submit a copy of the language certificate by the end of the application period.