10 reasons to choose the University of Helsinki

The University of Helsinki is the oldest and largest academic institution in Finland, established in 1640 and now with 31 200 students, 4 500 researchers, and 180 000 alumni. Internationally, we are renowned for our high-quality teaching and innovation.

As the University of Helsinki places in the 50-100 range in the majority of the most important rankings, it elevates us to the top 1% of the world's universities. Usually, we rank amongst the top 30 universities in Europe and hold the first position in Finland.

When assessed against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, we rank among the top 20 universities for global impact, performing strongly in the ‘Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions’ indicator as well as in ‘Climate Action’.

Read more about the University of Helsinki in university rankings.

As one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary research universities, we believe that the power of thought can change attitudes, people and society – for the world. Our goal is to produce and share high-impact knowledge that contributes to solving global challenges affecting us all. For example, our clinical biobank forms the basis for world-class genetic research and we are pioneers in climate research as well as in understanding big data.

Many of our degree programmes are linked to research efforts that are key to building a better, more sustainable world. Therefore, when studying with us, you can have an impact too – study for the world.

The University of Helsinki is a member – and the only from Finland – of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), an association of 21 leading research-intensive universities in Europe.

Our philosophy is that all teachers are researchers and all researchers teach. Students and researchers work together on the campuses, and the professors and teachers are easily approachable for discussions and informal consultations. Hierarchy is flatter here. This interaction between students and researchers is an essential part of academic life at the University of Helsinki.

You learn from world-class scientists and build networks in an international environment. Around 24% of the research and teaching staff and a fifth of the doctoral trainees and postdoctoral researchers come from outside Finland. Out of 31 200 students, 6% are international. In addition, the University of Helsinki receives more than 1 000 incoming exchange students from over 60 countries each year.

University of Helsinki offers 35 International Master’s Programmes with teaching in English. The scope of the programmes is 120 ECTS credits, completed over two years of full-time study. Our multidisciplinary approach enables you to tailor your degree based on your own interests and strengths. You often get to be part of top-notch research already occurring during your studies, and the Master’s Programmes also provide a solid foundation for doctoral studies.

Explore our International Master's Programmes and see the quick guide to the application process. The next application period is from 3 Dec 2019 at 8:00 UTC+2 to 10 Jan 2020 at 15:00 UTC+2.

Doctoral education at the University of Helsinki is carried out at four doctoral schools in 32 doctoral programmes.

As of 2019, the University of Helsinki offers one undergraduate degree programme in English, the Bachelor's Programme in Science.

You can find all our Bachelor's and Master's programmes in Finnish, Swedish and English in the Degree Finder.

If you are considering a student exchange, you can find information for exchange and visiting students at the Instructions for students -website.

Our international students rank the learning spaces and technology at the University of Helsinki to top positions globally. The diverse learning environments are functional yet inspiring: historical buildings from the 19th century, state-of-the-art laboratories and versatile classrooms for onsite or remote learning. All students have access to comprehensive ICT services, electronic learning platforms and study materials distributed through e-channels. 

All four campuses have modern libraries with about 73.5 shelf-kilometres of printed books and journals, plus e-resources that can be accessed remotely. Instead of having to buy all your study materials, you can use the library resources for free. Software can often be downloaded freely to your personal computers too.

In the award-winning Main Library Kaisa House, a magnificently designed building full of light, you find 1000 workplaces and stunning spaces for relaxation: cosy reading chairs, a top-floor balcony and an open student kitchen serve to refresh you throughout the day.

It is easy to bump into your fellow students and faculty members in student cafes, restaurants and the many lively meeting places. For example, Think Corner is a co-creative public meeting space of science. Visit the Think Corner website to learn more about the best talks in town.

Graduating from a top 1% university gives good opportunities for your future professional life, and building your own career path begins already during your studies.

Career Services at the University of Helsinki give guidance and support from the start of your studies until one year after the completion of your degree, including career guidance and counselling, courses and events, and facilitation of mentoring groups. Find out more about the Career Services at the University of Helsinki.

Helsinki Think Company is the entrepreneurship society of the University of Helsinki. They bring together students, researchers and other people by providing free co-working spaces, accelerator programmes, boot camps, mentoring, a platform for testing business ideas and most importantly a community of like-minded individuals. Read how the Helsinki Think Company puts academics into action.

 

Student life offers many extracurricular opportunities, an important part of your study experience. At the University of Helsinki, the student community is very active and thousands of events are organised by more than 250 student organisations operating within the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY). Whatever your interests are, you are likely to find like-minded people and the right activities for you.

All degree students are members of the Student Union (HYY) and although life in Helsinki might not be the cheapest, as a student and member of the Student Union (HYY) you are entitled to various services and benefits that will make your life easier. For example, you have access to affordable student housingbasic health care services, low-cost sports facilities and student-priced meals. In addition, you get numerous discounts, for example on public transport fees across the country and for tickets to cultural events and attractions.

Read more about the life and benefits as a student at the University of Helsinki.

Equality is one of the guiding values of the University of Helsinki. The university is committed to and intends to be a forerunner in the promotion of equality, prevention of discrimination and in creating an atmosphere of respect for diversity. It recognises and eliminates practices and structures that create and sustain inequality. Equality and accessibility contribute to the quality of a multicultural and multilingual university community.

Read more about equality and diversity at the university.

The Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) also has two contact persons who offer guidance and support to students who have encountered harassment, bullying, discrimination or any other kind of unequal treatment. Also many other student organisations have their own harassment contact person.

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a compact, safe and modern seaside city that offers the excitement of its rich urban culture full of events, contrasted against the relaxing energy of its scenic nature and clean air. A third of the city is covered in green areas and the gorgeous archipelago comprised of around 330 islands is only a short bus ride away.

The public transport system has been named the second best among European cities, and gives you easy access around the metropolitan area. Helsinki is regularly listed as one of the most liveable cities in the world.

With several higher education institutions and 70 000 university students representing more than 10% of the city’s population, student needs and services are taken seriously. Your social calendar fills up with ease.

Read more about the things that make Helsinki a great city to live and study in.

The education system in Finland is considered one of the best in the world. An equal school system, high regard for teachers and top-quality teaching have played a significant role in making it a success.

University of Helsinki is internationally renowned for the same elements: high-quality teaching, research, and innovation. Teaching is strongly research-based meaning you learn directly from our world-class researchers, developing strong research skills yourself. Accordingly, teaching by top scientists and interaction between students and researchers is an essential part of the academic life. A flatter hierarchy enables our international students to find professors and teachers easily approachable. At the University of Helsinki you can experience the key elements of the Finnish education system first-hand.

Read more about studying in Finland.

The application period for the International Master’s Programmes (starting in autumn 2020) is between 3 Dec 2019 at 8:00 UTC+2 and 10 Jan 2020 at 15:00 UTC+2. Please note that we do not accept late applications. More information on how to apply to the International Master's Programmes.

The Bachelor's Programme in Science has two separate admission processes with different application periods. The correct application period is determined by your previous degree. Read more about applying to the Bachelor's Programme in Science.

Do you wish to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki? See the application process in a nutshell.

Best of success with your application!