10 reasons to choose University of Helsinki

At the University of Helsinki, one of the world's leading multidisciplinary research universities, our goal is to give you more than an education. Discover 10 reasons why choose to study at the University of Helsinki and apply to our International Master's Programmes or the Bachelor's Programme in Science from 3 Dec 2019 to 10 Jan 2020.

University of Helsinki is the oldest and largest institution of academic education in Finland, established in 1640 and with 31 200 students, 4 500 researchers, and 180 000 alumni. Internationally, we are renowned for our high-quality teaching, research 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 100 universities worldwide and hold the first position in Finland.

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.

Most of our degree programmes are linked to the 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.

As the only Finnish university, University of Helsinki is a member 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. This interaction between students and researchers is an essential part of academic life at the University of Helsinki.

This means that 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 some other country than Finland. Out of 31 200 students, 6% are international students coming from abroad. In addition, the University of Helsinki receives more than 1 000 incoming exchange students each year.

University of Helsinki offers 35 globally recognised International Master’s Programmes with teaching in English. The scope of the programmes is 120 ECTS credits, completed with two years of full-time study. A 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 during your studies, and the Master’s Programmes also provide a solid foundation for doctoral studies.

Explore our International Master's Programmes and see a quick guide to the application process. The next application period is from 3 Dec 2019 to 10 Jan 2020.

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.

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

You can find all our degree programmes in Finnish, Swedish and English in the Degree Finder.

The learning spaces and technology at the University of Helsinki are ranked by our international students 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. So instead of having to buy your study materials, you can use the library resources for free. In the award-winning Main Library Kaisa House,  a magnificently designed building full of light, you find 1000 workplaces and stunning spaces for relaxation.

Alternatively, meet your fellow students and faculty members in student cafes or restaurants, virtual spaces or buzzing 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 is an important part of your study experience. At the University of Helsinki, the student community is very active and thousands of events are organised in 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 housing, basic health care services, sports facilities and student-priced meals. In addition, you get numerous discounts, for example on public transport fees across the country and on tickets to cultural events or 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 with everything right at your doorstep: cool urban culture full of events, clean air and nature. A third of the city is covered in green areas and the gorgeous archipelago consists of around 330 islands. You have easy access everywhere as the public transport system has been named the second-best among the European cities. No wonder that the city constantly ranks high on the list 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, it is also a vibrant student city catering to all your needs.

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

The education system in Finland is considered as 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 which means that all teachers are researchers and all researchers teach. Therefore, teaching by top scientists and interaction between students and researchers is an essential part of the academic life. Our international students also find professors and teachers easily approachable. It means that at the University of Helsinki you can experience the key elements of the Finnish education system first-hand.

Read more about studying in Finland.