Prov­ing your Eng­lish language skills - option L

The University of Helsinki demands an indication of academic level language skills of all applicants. You can indicate your language skills with your previous school or university education or by a standardized language test. Statements by individual language teachers or institutional language test scores are unacceptable, as they cannot be compared with standardized language tests. You cannot indicate your language skills with online studies or modules completed in the open university.

It is enough that you indicate your language skills with one of the methods mentioned below.

These instructions apply to you if you apply during winter / spring 2019-2020.

These instructions apply to you, if you are applying to the Bachelor's Programme in Science.

If you are applying to another degree programme, see the website on the demonstration of language proficiency for the relevant instructions.

When applying to a degree programme, the application system will ask you to supplement your application with the necessary enclosures. These enclosures must be submitted by the deadline specified. Enclosures arriving after the relevant deadline will not be considered. The deadlines are specified in the instructions for the submission of enclosures

If you demonstrate your language proficiency with a diploma, university studies, the Finnish National Certificate of Language Proficiency or a language test administered by the University Helsinki, you must follow the instructions for the submission of enclosures.

If you demonstrate your language proficiency with another language test, follow the instructions below.

You must submit your language test directly to the Admissions Services of the University of Helsinki.

When applying for more than one programme and you verify your language skills to them with the same language test, University of Helsinki needs to receive the test result only once.

Your language test score must be valid throughout the entire application period. This means that if your language test expires even one day before the final application deadline, your score will not meet the requirements set by the programme.

Check the validity of your test score and make arrangements for a new language test well in advance, if necessary.

You can demonstrate your language proficiency through a Finnish matriculation examination as follows:

  • Minimum grade of magna cum laude approbatur in a foreign-language test in English (test based on the advanced syllabus) OR
  • Minimum grade of eximia cum laude approbatur in a foreign-language test in English (test based on the basic syllabus)

You need not submit a copy of your certificate if you completed a matriculation examination in or after 1990 or if you will complete it in spring 2020. The University will receive information on matriculation examinations and their grades from the register of the Matriculation Examination Board. Please, note that if you are completing the Finnish matriculation examination in the spring 2020 and use it to prove your language skills, it is enough that the University of Helsinki receives your exam results from the register by 5 June 2020. In exceptional cases where information cannot be obtained from the register, you will be contacted and asked to supplement your application.

If you completed a matriculation examination prior to 1990, you must submit an officially certified copy of your matriculation examination certificate or of a separately completed native-language test. If you demonstrate your language proficiency and eligibility for higher education with the same certificate, you need only submit one copy. For detailed instructions, please see the section How to sub­mit a test score?

You can indicate your language skills with an International Baccalaureate, if the examination has been completed in English. If the examination has been completed in a language other than English, the following ways of indicating academic language skills are acceptable:

  • English as the A1 language with an approved grade (a minimum grade of 2).
  • English as the A2 language with a minimum grade of 5.
  • English as A language (literature/language and literature/literature and performance) with an approved grade (a minimum grade of 2).

Submit an officially certified copy of your diploma. If you intend to complete your degree in the summer of 2020, you must submit a copy of the official grade predictions (Candidate Predicted Grades) provided by your school.

Alternatively you can order a Transcript of Grades from IBO and ask them to send it to the Admissions Services of the University of Helsinki. University of Helsinki will get the final grades electronically from IBO.

If you demonstrate your language proficiency and eligibility for higher education with the same certificate, you need only submit one copy. For detailed instructions, please see the section How to sub­mit a test score?

With the European Baccalaureate the following ways of indicating academic language skills are acceptable:

  • European Baccalaureate with English as the LI language with an approved grade (a minimum grade of 4).
  • European Baccalaureate with English as the LII language with a minimum grade of 7.

Submit an officially certified copy of your certificate. If you intend to complete your degree in the summer of 2020, you must submit a copy of the official grade predictions provided by your school. If you demonstrate your language proficiency and eligibility for higher education with the same certificate, you need only submit one copy. For detailed instructions, please see the section How to sub­mit a test score?

You can demonstrate your language proficiency through a Reifeprüfung/Abiturprüfung (Deutsches Internationales Abitur) examination by:

  • completing the English-language test in writing or orally with a minimum grade of 8 (test based on the advanced syllabus) OR
  • completing the English-language test in writing or orally with a minimum grade of 10 (test based on the basic syllabus)

If your examination did not include a test in English, an equivalence certificate will be used, requiring the same minimum grades.

Submit an officially certified copy of the four-page German-language certificate Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife. If you intend to complete your degree in the spring/summer of 2020, you must submit a copy of the grade page of the certificate, available in advance. A Finnish-language certificate of equivalence is not sufficient when demonstrating your language skills. If you demonstrate your language proficiency and eligibility for higher education with the same certificate, you need only submit one copy. For detailed instructions, please see the section How to sub­mit a test score?

Upper-secondary education in English in the Nordic Countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden), Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand or the USA is an acceptable way of demonstrating academic English language skills.

Submit an officially certified copy of your certificate. If you demonstrate your language proficiency and eligibility for higher education with the same certificate, you need only submit one copy. For detailed instructions, please see the section How to sub­mit a test score?

Minimum requirement: Overall score 6.5; with a minimum score of 6.0 in the writing section.

When requesting the test centre to forward your IELTS Academic test score, give University of Helsinki as the recipient of the test score. University of Helsinki accepts electronic test scores only when they are made available to it online by the test organizer. TRF links sent by email to University of Helsinki are not accepted. Please note that the University of Helsinki only accepts IELTS Academic test scores. Tests taken at the general level will not be accepted as proof of the applicant’s language skills.

Copies of IELTS score slips are accepted from both the test organizer and the applicant. They do not need to be attested:  University of Helsinki verifies the score with the test organizer. Score slips can be sent together with your online application, as paper copies or by email as a PDF file to the email address application-enclosures@helsinki.fi.

It is advisable to book your test date well before the application period has started, as it usually takes about two weeks for the score to be published.

IELTS scores are valid for two years and the score must be valid throughout the application period. This means it must not expire prior to the application deadline.

Minimum requirement:

  • TOEFL IBT (Internet-based) 92, a minimum score of 22 in the writing section
  • TOEFL rPDT (revised Paper-delivered Test) a minimum score of 20 in the reading section, a minimum score of 20 in the listening section, a minimum score of 22 in the writing section

When requesting the TOEFL test centre to forward your results to University of Helsinki, please fill in University of Helsinki's Institution Code 9872 in the Score Report Recipient field. The test organiser must make the test score available to the University of Helsinki electronically or send the score slip directly to the University of Helsinki. Test scores sent by the applicant are not accepted. It is advisable to book your test date well before the application period has started, as it may take some time after the test date for your test score to be published.

TOEFL scores are valid for two years and the test result must be valid throughout the application period. This means it must not expire prior to the application deadline.

Minimum requirement:

C1 Advanced (formerly CAE): Pass levels A, B or C

C2 Proficiency (formerly CPE): Pass levels A, B, C or level C1 certificate

To submit your C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency (formerly known as CAE and CPE) results to the Admission Services, log into your Candidate Results website and share your test result with the University of Helsinki.

It is advisable to book your test date well before the application period has started, as it may take some time after the test date for your test score to be published.

Please note that only tests taken after 2005 will be accepted.

Minimum requirement: 62, with a minimum score of 54 in each communicative skills section (listening, reading, speaking and writing).

Once you receive your test score, send it to Admission Services of the University of Helsinki from your PTE account. Test results are only accepted from the test organizer.

It is advisable to book your test date well before the application period has started, as it may take some time after the test date for your test score to be published.

PTE Academic scores are valid for two years and the test result must be valid throughout the application period. This means it must not expire prior to the application deadline.

You can prove your language skills with the language skills level test for University of Helsinki applicants organised by the Helsinki University Language Services. The test includes the following sections:  reading comprehension, grammar and vocabulary, writing and oral skills.

Minimum requirement:

  • Average skills level 5 (C1), when using a scale from 1 to 6

The Admission Services will check your test result from the Language Services. You do not need to send a copy of your test result to the Admission Services.

Please note that the test is currently organised only for PhD applicants, but if you have taken the test earlier, you may use it to prove your language skills when applying to Master's programmes as well.

Minimum requirement: skills level 5 in the reading comprehension, writing and speaking subtests.

Send your National Certificate of Language Proficiency test score copy to Admission Services of the University of Helsinki together with your application. Your results will be verified with the organizer.

A university degree (Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree, or polytechnic/university of applied science degree) completed in English in one of the EU/EEA countries or Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom or the USA is an acceptable way of demonstrating academic English language skills. Please note that your degree/programme must be taught and assessed entirely in English.

A degree completed at a Finnish university with English as the major subject is also an acceptable way of demonstrating academic English language skills.

If your degree includes transfer credits from outside the specified country/area or courses conducted in a language other than English, the degree might not meet the requirement.

Online studies or studies completed on offshore campuses outside the accepted countries cannot be used to indicate language skills, even if the degree-awarding institution is located in one of the accepted countries.

If you verify your language skills with your higher education degree, the language of instruction must always be indicated clearly on the educational documents. A conditional acceptance of your language skills with your future degree is also possible. However, this can be done acceptably only if you indicate your language skills with the same degree as your university eligibility.

Online language studies or open university studies are not acceptable when indicating language skills.

If you completed the degree or studies demonstrating your language proficiency in Finland in or after 1995, you need not submit paper copies of your diploma or transcript of studies because the University of Helsinki will receive the relevant information via the electronic Studyinfo records. In exceptional cases where information about your previous studies cannot be obtained from the records, you will be contacted and asked to supplement your application.

If you completed the degree or studies demonstrating your language proficiency in Finland prior to 1995, you must submit officially certified copies of your diploma and transcript of studies.

If you completed the degree or studies demonstrating your language proficiency in a country other than Finland, you must submit officially certified copies of your diploma and transcript of studies as well as authorised translations unless the original documents are in Finnish, Swedish or English.

For detailed instructions, please see the section How to sub­mit a test score?

NB! Documents submitted with applications will not be returned to applicants. Please do not submit your original certificate with your application.

Applicant’s degree completed in a Finnish university or university of applied sciences is accepted as an adequate proof of proficiency when this degree includes foreign language studies in English as defined by the Government Decree on University or Polytechnic Degrees.   

If you completed the degree or studies demonstrating your language proficiency in Finland in or after 1995, you need not submit paper copies of your diploma or transcript of studies because the University of Helsinki will receive the relevant information via the electronic Studyinfo records. In exceptional cases where information about your previous studies cannot be obtained from the records, you will be contacted and asked to supplement your application.

If you completed the degree or studies demonstrating your language proficiency in Finland prior to 1995, you must submit officially certified copies of your diploma and transcript of studies.

If you completed the degree or studies demonstrating your language proficiency in a country other than Finland, you must submit officially certified copies of your diploma and transcript of studies as well as authorised translations unless the original documents are in Finnish, Swedish or English.

For detailed instructions, please see the section How to sub­mit a test score?

NB! Documents submitted with applications will not be returned to applicants. Please do not submit your original certificate with your application.