Eligibility of applicants to the Aalto Doctoral Programme in Engineering
To be eligible for doctoral studies at the School of Engineering, students must hold:
- a master’s degree granted by a Finnish university or a Finnish university of applied sciences that provides them with the knowledge base required for the postgraduate research field applied for, or;
- a degree granted by a university or university of applied sciences abroad corresponding to the Finnish master’s degree, providing them with the knowledge base required for the postgraduate research field applied for.
In principle, an acceptable master’s degree is one 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 four years of studies and a master’s thesis, and be deemed by the School of Engineering as providing the student with an adequate knowledge base for doctoral studies in the school.
Applying with a degree from a university of applied sciences
The potential of applicantsto succeed in doctoral studies is assessed by the School of Engineering on a case-by-case basis for applicants with a Finnish master’s degree from a university of applied sciences. Granting the right to study requires that the school to determine the applicant’s need for supplementary studies. If the school deems that such an applicant in an applicable technical field does have potential for completing the doctoral degree, the applicant will be assigned any necessary ssupplementary studies to allow him or her to start the doctoral studies. The extent of supplementary studies may not, however, exceed 60 ECTS. If the extent of supplementary studies exceeds this maximum, the applicant will be advised to first pursue the master's degree before applying for a right to pursue a doctoral degree. When assessing the applicants’ potential for doctoral studies, the school shall take into account that the extent of the master’s degree from a university of applied sciences in the field of technology is 40 or 60 ECTS, which corresponds to studies of one year’s duration, whereas the extent of a university master’s degree is 120 ECTS, which corresponds to studies of two years’ duration. The extent of master’s degrees from a university of applied sciences in fields other than technology is 60 ECTS or 90 ECTS.
International applicants with a previous technical degree corresponding to a Finnish degree from a university of applied sciences are subject to the same rules as those with the corresponding Finnish degree.
It is also possible to complete doctoral studies in a field or school other than the one in which the master’s degree was obtained. Those wishing to pursue doctoral studies in another field, on account of job experience gained in that field or interest in it, can discuss with a professor in that field the necessary prerequisites for admission as a doctoral student.
The professor (i.e. supervising professor) who is responsible for the research field to which the applicant is applying to is responsible for the academic evaluation of the applicant. The Doctoral Programme Committee will also evaluate the applicant.
Full-time and part-time studies
Full-time doctoral students plan their studies with the aim of completing a doctoral degree within four years of admission to the doctoral programme. Full-time doctoral students need to have funding allocated for the doctoral studies (e.g. project funding, a personal grant or funding from employer). Students working outside of Aalto University who wish to be full-time doctoral students must provide a document of the employers' approval for full-time doctoral studies (working students must be able to dedicate up to 80 % of their working hours).
Part-time doctoral student
Part-time doctoral students are those who do not meet the above-mentioned requirements for full-time doctoral students. Their studies are planned in such a way that the time spent on doctoral studies is eight years or less. A part-time doctoral student typically has a main occupation outside the School of Engineering which occupation does not include scientific research for a doctoral thesis.
Applicants for part-time doctoral studies should discuss:
- whether the research is closely connected with the applicant’s own work;
- what opportunities the employer has for supporting intensive postgraduate studying e.g. alongside work.