Study options

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 students 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.
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Doctor of Science (Technology)

Application period:

7.12.2022 – 6.6.2023

Language of instruction:



4 years, full-time


Relevant master’s degree awarded by a Finnish university or a Finnish university of applied sciences, or a corresponding degree completed abroad

Field of study:

Technology and Engineering


Organising school:

School of Science

Objectives of studies

Doctoral students will be equipped with the professional skills and knowledge required for demanding academic research and teaching positions. They will be trained for management, research and development, and other specialist positions of the information society.

The departments, which are in charge of the doctoral programme’s education and research at the School of Science, offer research fields that are based on strong research traditions and research at the highest international level. The School of Science is also very active in various national and international doctoral education networks.

Structure of degree

The Doctor of Science (Technology) degree consists of three modules:

  1. an approved doctoral thesis
  2. research field studies (20–35 ECTS)
  3. general research studies  (5–20 ECTS)

Content of studies

Doctoral education at the School of Science is based on vigorous basic research, forming a strong basis for teaching as well as development and innovation activities. The most important part of the education is the research work, which is conducted in a robust and dynamic research environment. The theoretical studies that support the research work are tailored individually to suit the different needs of each doctoral student. The theses of the School of Science are of very high quality and often contain articles published in international peer-review journals. Full-time doctoral students can complete the doctoral degree in four years.

Stages of doctoral studies Corresponding information
Start (1st year doctoral student)
During (1st-3rd year doctoral student)
End (4th year doctoral student)

Study language

The language of instruction is, in principle, English, but the doctoral thesis can also be completed in Finnish or Swedish.


Language of the degree

The applicants will define in their application in which language they will pursue the degree. The possible languages are Finnish, Swedish, or English. If doctoral students want to write their doctoral thesis in Finnish or in Swedish, the language of the degree will be Finnish or Swedish. If the doctoral thesis is written in English, doctoral students can choose English as the language of the degree that must be approved by the doctoral programme committee. The language of degree can, on reasonable grounds, be changed at a later stage if the language of the doctoral thesis changes.


Full-time and part-time studies

All doctoral students are defined as either full-time or part-time students. Doctoral students may not change their study mode by themselves, but it can be changed by application if necessary.

Full-time doctoral students plan their studies with the view to allowing the doctorate to be earned within four years of the right to pursue a doctoral degree being granted. Those applying for a full-time right to pursue a doctoral degree must have funding secured for at least 6 months (e.g. from the employer, or through project funding or a grant). Students employed outside Aalto University must append in their application a certificate issued by the employer proving their possibility to pursue full-time studies (i.e. a minimum of 80% of working hours may be used towards doctoral studies).

Those who do not meet the above criteria for full-time doctoral students are regarded as part-time doctoral students. This category includes, for instance, doctoral students who have a main occupation elsewhere than at the School of Science. Part-time doctoral students plan their studies so as to allow the doctoral degree to be completed in a maximum of eight years.

It is advisable to have a discussion with the part-time students on whether their research is closely connected to their work, and how their employer can support intensive doctoral studies alongside work.

International opportunities

Internationality is an integral part of the school’s doctoral education in both recruiting and educating doctoral students. The School of Science is well connected to a number of top-level international universities and research institutes in its field.

Aalto University encourages its doctoral students to spend at least six months of their study time abroad, as international mobility enhances doctoral students’ career opportunities . Visiting a foreign university or research institute often means sharing knowledge and know-how, creating new ideas, expanding international networks, and developing one’s professional skills.

Multidisciplinary opportunities

The doctoral education networks collaborate through seminars, courses, summer schools and events as well as promoting networking, and increasing peer support among doctoral students.

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Financing your studies

The most talented doctoral students may receive funding from their department, or they may fund their studies through projects or grants. The financing of studies should be discussed with the supervising professor.

For employment by research project: see and apply for the open positions at Aalto University.

How to apply?

Before submitting the application, each applicant must contact a supervising professor who is responsible in their intended research field to doctoral studies and the supervision of the studies. Applicants are urged to ensure that their expertise and research interests are commensurate with the research group (and those of the supervising professor of their studies) that they apply to.

Contact us

If you have any questions about admissions and application instructions, you can contact [email protected]

In case of programme-specific questions and inquiries, please contact the Learning Services of the Doctoral Programme in Science.

Departments of School of Science

Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis

Our main research areas are algebra and discrete mathematics, analysis, applied mathematics and mechanics, stochastics and statistics, and systems analysis and operations research.

Green plastic triangle on a white board,

Department of Applied Physics

The Department of Applied Physics pursues vigorous research in physical sciences and creates important industrial applications that hold great technological potential.

Low Temperature Laboratory

Department of Computer Science

To foster future science and society.

Aerial photo of Computer Science Building at Aalto University campus

Department of Industrial Engineering and Management

We conduct world-class research and education focusing on the creation and transformation of technology-based business.

Kuva: Unto Rautio

Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering

We study system-level dynamic functions of the human brain, mind and body.

Illustration of combined TMS and EEG methods

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