University of Helsinki receives a record number of applications

The University received almost 29,000 applications by the closing of the national joint application procedure on Wednesday 28 March 2018. The number of applications grew by 25% from the previous year, largely due to the increased number of options available for application through the joint application procedure. Also, the adoption of the certificate-based admission system by many new programmes seems to have had an effect on the number of applicants.

There were a total of 28,787 applicants (2017: 23,174), of which 27,745 applied for bachelor’s programmes (2017: 22,120) and 1,328 for master’s programmes (2017: 1,284). The application period for the Open University route, which is not covered by the joint application procedure, also ended on Wednesday. A total of 146 applications through the Open University route were received.

The number of applications grew significantly from the previous year. This is at least partly attributable to the fact that both medical and legal fields have adopted the joint application procedure. For example, it is now possible to apply to study medicine at several different universities with a single entrance examination. It was previously impossible to apply for medical studies at more than one university in the same application round.

Applicants and new student places per application option (in Finnish)

More detailed statistics on gender distribution, language distribution, first-time applicants and primary applicants per application option will be compiled next week and posted on the above webpage.

Certificate-based admission to be expanded

The number of students admitted based on their matriculation examination certificate will increase this year. In addition to units with established certificate-based admission procedures, the matriculation examination was used for the first time at the Faculty of Theology and in the bachelor’s programmes in food sciences, as well as environmental and food economics at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry. Further, the first stage of admissions in the Swedish-language study tracks in the Bachelor’s Programme in Education is now based on the matriculation examination.

The number of applications grew slightly in those degree programmes that used the certificate-based admission procedure for the first time.

Degree programme reform in autumn 2017

The University of Helsinki conducted a significant degree programme reform in 2017. The content of the degree programmes was updated and most degrees became multidisciplinary. Applicants will apply to broad-based bachelor’s programmes instead of for individual major subjects. There are no distinct major and minor subjects.

In the new system, students need not commit to a single discipline at the bachelor stage. The specialisation is to be selected later, as the studies progress. It is possible to apply to several master’s programmes flexibly from a single bachelor’s programme. This will enable a higher level of personalisation of study paths.

Minor changes to the application figures are still possible after the applications have been reviewed.

For more information, please contact

Head of Admissions Services Sini Saarenheimo,, tel. +358 50 448 0840