Faculty of Science

Kuva: Veikko Somerpuro

How to apply for postgraduate studies?

Who can apply?

Faculty of Science at the University of Helsinki may admit candidates to pursue the degree of Licentiate of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy based on following criteria:

  1. appropriate higher university degree
  2. appropriate higher university of applied sciences degree or
  3. appropriate foreign education, which qualifies the applicant for similar postgraduate studies.

The admission for the postgraduate studies can be awarded if the selected doctoral programme has approved the applicant's research and study plans.

The selection criteria include the standard of the basic degree, the feasibility of the research plan and study plan, as well as the availability of supervision.

Language proficiency in Finnish, Swedish or English is a prerequisite for admissions to the University of Helsinki.


The right to pursue a postgraduate degree is applied using a printed form with signatures, including required attachments.

Doctoral programme

First, the applicant must contact the doctoral programme responsible for the field of the planned research. The doctoral education in the University of Helsinki is organized in doctoral programmes and each doctoral candidate belongs to one doctoral programme. If the planned research fits to one of the major subjects of the Faculty of Science, you may apply the right to pursue a degree at the Faculty of Science.

If the doctoral programme offers supervision for the planned research, a responsible supervisor from the programme will assist the candidate in devising a personal postgraduate study plan.

The personal postgraduate study plan consists of a research plan, funding plan and a plan outlining how the studies will be completed, including the list of courses to be included in the curriculum. By signing the application form, the student and the responsible supervisor demonstrate their acceptance of the general guidelines for the supervision of research and studies that are presented in the application form.

A professor of the major subject will have to approve the personal postgraduate study plan and sign the application form.

The application is reviewed by the chosen doctoral programme before the Faculty of Science makes a decision about the postgraduate study right.

A. Programmes of the Doctoral School in Natural Sciences

An application for one of the doctoral programmes of the Doctoral School in Natural Sciences should be delivered directly to the coordinator of the programme after the professor of the major subject has signed the application. Contact details can be found from each programme's website. The Doctoral programmes may give specific instructions on how the application is delivered to the programme. The Doctoral School in Natural Sciences consists of seven Doctoral Programmes:

B. Other doctoral programmes

In addition, the Faculty of Science participates in eight doctoral programmes, which belong to the other three doctoral schools at the University of Helsinki. These are:

The applicant may also belong to one of these programmes if the supervisor is associated with the selected programme. These doctoral programmes do not belong to the Doctoral School in Natural Sciences and. If the application is to one of these programmes, please deliver the signed application to the Faculty office before the doctoral programme processing. The faculty forwards the application to these doctoral programmes.

Approval of the doctoral programme

The application will be reviewed by the selected doctoral programme. If approved, the programme recommends the applicant to receive the right to pursue postgraduate studies.


All applicants

Together with the application form the following attachments must be enclosed:

  1. The research plan. The application form must be accompanied by a research plan minimum of 1-2 pages. The research plan must indicate the aim, background and significance of the dissertation, a timetable for the research and describe the postgraduate student's contribution if the research is part of a larger research project.
  2. The funding plan on how postgraduate studies will be financially supported. The funding plan must contain all the funding that has been granted and applied for the project in question.

Applicants with MSc not from the University of Helsinki

The applicants who have not completed MSc at the University of Helsinki must enclose also:

  1. An officially certified copy of the Master’s degree diploma/certificate (including all the relevant parts, e.g., the Chinese Graduation Certificate)
  2. The transcript of records (indicating the grading scale of the institution)

International applicants

The applicants who have completed a Master’s degree outside Finland must enclose also:

  1. An abstract of Master's thesis
  2. A language certificate.

Language proficiency in Finnish, Swedish or English is a prerequisite for admission. The applicants may be obliged to prove that they possess the required language skills as defined for the master's studies. Please note that the Faculty of Science requires Academic Level English skills (AL). In a special case a professor of the major subject may make a statement on the language skills of the international applicant.

All the requested enclosures must be in Finnish, Swedish or English. If the original certificates are in other language you must include translations. Any translations must be done by authorized translators who must sign and certify the translations. All the enclosed certificates and transcripts must be original documents or certified copies. Copies can be certified by the institution awarding the diploma or by a notary public.

Please note that the application can be rejected if any of the required enclosures are missing. The Faculty of Science will not return the attachments submitted with the application.

Application form

The applicants for postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Science should use the online application form (the same in Finnish). Please note that the form is not submitted elecronically but you must print the form and sign it according to the instructions.

There is no deadline for postgraduate applications.


The Dean will make the final decision on the admission of postgraduate applicants. The applicants will be informed of the Dean's decision in writing.

Read more information about the application process from the UH information page on how to apply. For more information, please contact Student Affairs Office.

One place rule

Visiting student

If you are a postgraduate student at a university outside of Finland, and wish to visit the Faculty of Science with the postgraduate student status, please see the Visiting postgraduate students page.