Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for master's applicants
As the Covid-19 pandemic can cause uncertainty and worries, the University of Helsinki wants to reassure applicants that we are doing everything we can to make the admissions process as smooth as possible.

You can find coronavirus (COVID-19) related questions and answers connected to the application round for our International Master's Programmes on 1 Dec 2020 – 15 Jan 2021 (for studies starting in autumn 2021)

You can follow updates about the coronavirus situation at the University of Helsinki on our website.

As our International Master's Programmes only have one intake per academic year, it will not be possible to start your studies in autumn 2021 unless you apply during the application period on 1 Jan 2020 – 15 Jan 2021.

If you apply and are offered a study place in spring 2021, you only need to decide by 16 July 2021 if you accept it and start your studies in autumn 2021.

It means that by applying now, you keep your options open but do not have to make any decisions before 16 July 2021.

We do not charge an application fee. Also, if you are offered a study place and are liable to pay a tuition fee, we do not ask for any pre-payments. It only needs to be paid in full by 31 August 2021. It means that your financial risk is limited to the costs related to taking a possible language test and providing the required documents. Please notice that these costs cannot be reimbursed by the University of Helsinki in any circumstances.

The University of Helsinki is doing everything it can to limit the impact of COVID-19 on the admissions process and is committed to keeping the following deadlines:

  • Applications open on Tuesday 1 Dec 2020 at 8:00 (UTC +2).
  • Applications close on Friday 15 Jan 2021 at 15:00 (UTC +2).
  • The final deadline for arrival of the required application enclosures is on 29 Jan 2021 at 15:00 (UTC +2).
  • In February and March 2021, the eligibility and authenticity of the required documents will be evaluated and the applications meeting the minimum requirements continue to academic evaluation.
  • Admission results will be published the latest on 16 April 2021. 

Please note that the University of Helsinki reserves the right to make changes to this schedule if the circumstances so require.

The University of Helsinki accepts several methods of proving your language skills in English, including two online tests that you can take from home: TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition and IELTS Indicator. 

Find out more about proving your English language skills when applying to an International Master's Programme.

We are aware of the fact that the coronavirus situation can cause delays with getting the required documents in order, e.g. if your institution is closed.

Unfortunately, the University of Helsinki is not in a position to make any exceptions in the admissions process due to extenuating circumstances, including providing the required educational documents. However, in order to give you some additional time, we have pushed the deadline for delivering your documents forward as much as possible until 29 Jan 2020 at 15:00 (UTC+2).

If you have difficulties with obtaining certified paper copies of your official educational documents, please check if your university provides verified electronic documents instead. We accept verified educational documents that are sent through certain international transcript services. We also accept electronic educational documents that we can verify using an electronic verification service offered by the degree-awarding institution. Please note, however, that uncertified PDF copies of educational documents are not accepted, even if they are sent from the university’s email address. Check our detailed information about electronic documents before submitting your enclosures.

If your educational institution does not provide verified electronic documents, you must follow the regular instructions for submitting the required enclosures. We advise you to speak with your educational institution to determine if you will be able to get the required verified documentation in time.

Required application enclosures for our International Master's Programmes.

You can apply even though you would graduate after the application period, as long as you meet all the other requirements. If you are offered a study place, your acceptance will be conditional and you must only graduate by 31 August 2021 and provide the required documentation to prove it by the same date 31 August 2021.  

If you apply and are offered a study place conditionally but cannot provide the required documents by the given deadline, you will lose the offered study place. We advise you to speak to your educational institution to determine if you will be able to complete your studies in time.

You can still apply for a scholarship at the same time when applying to an International Master’s Programme on the same application form. However, the coronavirus situation might affect the funds available for scholarships and it will be more competitive than ever to get an offer.

Please note that the scholarships are only intended for students liable to pay tuition fees.

Information about scholarships and who is eligible.

If you apply and are offered a study place with studies starting in autumn 2021, you have to accept your study place by 16 July 2021. This deadline will be given to you in the acceptance letter that will be sent to you by e-mail.

At this point, it is difficult to tell what the situation will look like in autumn 2021. However, you can find information on the current effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on studies and teaching arrangements on the Instructions for students –website: The effect of coronavirus on your studies – Q&A.

Please note that if you are offered a study place starting in autumn 2021, you only need to decide if you will accept it by 16 July 2021. By then there should be more information available about the teaching arrangements for autumn 2021.

You can ask our students directly about their experience of life and learning at the University of Helsinki during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can also find out more from the following articles: