The Doctoral Programme has five application periods for doctoral study rights each year – two in the spring, two in the fall and one in the summer (only for applicants who have completed their master's degree at the University of Helsinki).
2022-2023 the application periods are:
Please note that the application closes at 3 PM local time on the last day of the application round.
A doctoral study right can only be gained through the admissions process. Applying to the programme outside the set admission periods is not possible.
In addition to the university's general requirements for doctoral applicants on eligibility and language proficiency, the doctoral programme requires the following conditions are met:
Only applications meeting the formal criteria for eligibility continue to scientific evaluation in the doctoral programmes.
Students admitted to the programme can complete the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Study right will be granted in Faculty of Science.
Please note that your supervisory arrangements must match your chosen target degree and home faculty. At least one of your supervisors (normally the main supervisor) must be in a permanent or long-term employment to the faculty you're applying to.
Availability of high-quality supervision is a central part of the selection criteria. To get started, please see the list of our supervisors. You can also try to get in contact with our supervisors through our yearly call for letters on intent.
The programme requires that the supervision arrangements presented in the application meet the following requirements:
If no one has agreed to supervise you, you are unfortunately not eligible to apply.
Please note that the doctoral programme's decision-making is not bound by the preliminary agreements to supervise given by the potential supervisors. The evaluation of the applications is based on their overall quality, and available supervision resources alone do not guarantee acceptance.
The applications to the programme are to be prepared in co-operation with the intended supervisor within the programme. For those interested in applying for the programme but without contact to a supervisor, DoCS organizes every spring a call for Letters of Intent. The best submitters of a Letter of Intent are contacted and the application is prepared. More information on the call for Letters of Intent will appear on the programme page.
The following are emphasized in the assessment of the quality of the research plan:
When assessing the provisional timetables presented in the applications, special attention is paid to the fact that a full-time doctoral student should aim to complete the dissertation and related studies in approximately four years. Supervisors are expected to support this goal.
The applicant’s potential and motivation will be assessed on the basis of the quality and feasibility of the research proposal as well as previous academic performance and research experience. The ability to complete the studies in the target duration will be judged on the study plan, research proposal and funding plan.
Please notice that the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki does not include funding. In the funding plan, write clearly how you plan to fund your research. If you plan to fund your research yourself (part-time doctoral studies), please make sure that the timetable and estimated year graduation take this into account. Read more about funding doctoral studies on university's web pages.
The following are emphasized when assessing the quality and suitability of previous studies:
When assessing the study plan presented in the application, the following things are considered:
Before drawing up your own preliminary study plan, please acquaint yourself with the doctoral programme's degree requirements available in the Instructions for students (NB! Choose the right doctoral programme from the site's degree programme menu). The study plan presented in the application is preliminary, and need not list specific courses. The important thing is that you have given thought on what kind of studies would best support your thesis work and drawn up a preliminary timetable for completing these studies.
Acquainted with the selection criteria and all set to apply? Great! Now go back to the university's general instructions for doctoral applicants, where you will find all the information you need to prepare and submit your application and the needed enclosures. Good luck!
Decisions on admissions for doctoral studies in the programme are made based on the university’s general criteria for doctoral admissions as well as the programme-specific complementary selection criteria, presented on this page.
The final decision on admission is made by the faculty awarding the applicant’s target degree, based on a proposal from the steering group of the doctoral programme.
A timetable for decisions is available in the university's general instructions for doctoral applicants.