The doctoral education system of the University of Helsinki consists of four doctoral schools and 32 doctoral programmes. New doctoral candidates apply doctoral programme membership at the same time as they apply postgraduate study right at the doctoral programme.
The doctoral education system of the University of Helsinki consists of four doctoral schools and 32 doctoral programmes. All doctoral candidates must belong to a doctoral programme.
New doctoral candidates apply for the right to pursue a doctoral degree from their chosen doctoral programme.
During the academic year 2018-2019 the application periods are as follows for MBDP:
- 14-27 September, 2018
- 2-15 April, 2019
The next round of applications will be held in 2-15 April 2019 (closes at 15:00).
The spring application period is from April 2, 2019 09:00 AM EEST until April 15, 2018 03:00 PM EEST.
Applicants will be informed of the decisions by June 14th. Those granted a study right must accept it by June 28th. Study rights granted in the spring round of applications will begin on August 1st, 2019.
Prepare your application carefully, concentrating on the three sections below in addition to the educational documents required to support your application.
- Find a supervisor: In many ways, the most important person in the whole process of obtaining a doctoral degree is your supervisor. He or she will supervise your research and guide you through your studies. Applications to the MBDP require that you have a supervisor when you submit your application. You may also like to use the TUHAT research portal of the University of Helsinki where researchers update their latest publications and other activities. After finding a potential supervisor, contact him or her to discuss your research ideas and plans. Please note that professors and principal investigators get dozens of emails from potential doctoral candidates. If you want to get your email noticed, you must give the professor/ principal investigator the information they need, quickly, clearly and professionally.
- Write a research plan: this should be written IN ENGLISH directly into the application form. Check the guidelines of the research plan and the required application documents for further information.
The following fields related to the research plan are included in the electronic application form (the number in parentheses indicates the maximum number of characters per field, spaces included):
- Preliminary title of the doctoral thesis
- Field of research
- Brief summary of the research plan (2000)
- Motivation for conducting doctoral research (2000)
- Baselines of the doctoral research (2000)
- Objectives of the research and scientific impact of research results (2000)
- Research methods (2000)
- Research material to be used and its significance for the research project (1500)
- Preliminary plan on the collection, usage and storage of the research material (1500)
- Ethical issues (1000)
- The most important research literature and/or sources (2500)
- Form of the dissertation (an article-based dissertation or a monograph)
- Publication plan (1000)
- Preliminary timetable and funding plan of your research (2000)
- Grants and/or funded doctoral candidate positions applied / received thus far (500)
- Estimated year of graduation
- Compose a study plan: consult the MBDP degree structure and requirements to plan your doctoral studies.
Documents to be attached to your electronic application form:
Copies of your previous degree certificate(s) (Master's degree or equivalent and potential Bachelor's degree)
Transcript of records for your previous degree(s) (Master's degree or equivalent and potential Bachelor's degree)
Certificate of language proficiency from a language test rather than through your educational background. NOTE! This document must also be sent in paper form to Admissions Services AND must arrive by the application deadline. Instructions for English, Finnish or Swedish language proficiency.
A permit by an Ethical Review Board and/or by the National Animal Experiment Board, if required by the research arrangement
Responsible professors/persons in the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences and in the Faculty of Medicine. Other faculties: please check from the respective faculty's website.
Documents to be sent by post to Admissions Services for applicants whose previous degree is not from the University of Helsinki and for applicants proving language proficiency with a language test:
An officially certified copy of your previous degree certificate (Master's degree or equivalent)
An official transcript of studies included in the Master's degree (or equivalent)
Certificate of language proficiency from a language test
Submitting the application
The applications, along with the required additional documents, must be submitted by the end of the application period. Applications are submitted using an electronic application form, which closes at 3 PM (Helsinki time) on the last day of the round of applications. Those applicants who are required to send certified copies of the additional documents by post must make sure that these documents arrive by the end of the application period.
Applications and additional documents sent by email are not accepted. Incomplete applications are not considered.
The certified copies of additional documents must be delivered to the Admissions Services of the University of Helsinki. For instructions on how to submit your documents, please see here. For further information, please contact admissions[at]helsinki.fi.
Decision-making and informing the results
The purpose of student selection is to assess the motivation, commitment and aptitude of the applicants for studies. The right to complete a doctoral degree is granted on the basis of diplomas, certificates and other documents. The admission criteria include previous academic performance, the applicable content of previous studies to the prospective doctoral programme, the study plan and the research proposal. When selecting students for doctoral education, it must be ensured that the admitted students have access to high-quality supervision and support related to the topic of their doctoral dissertation. Applications can be rejected if no suitable supervisor can be designated for the dissertation.
The doctoral programme's board assesses all applications to the programme that meet the formal requirements. The board draws up an admission proposal indicating the names of the admitted and rejected applicants, together with the reasons for each decision. The final decision is made by the degree-awarding faculty.
Applicants will be informed of the admission results, including the reasons for them by a letter of acceptance, to be sent by e-mail to the address given in the application. Admitted applicants must report whether they accept the offer by a specified deadline. Those who fail to report whether they accept the offer or to submit the requested documents by the deadline will lose their place.
Timetable for the decisions:
Letters of acceptance to be sent by
Deadline for accepting the offer
Study rights begin
The so-called one place rule has extended to cover all education leading to a university degree, including doctoral and licentiate degrees. The rule of one study place per term concerns all degree programme application options.
The main points are:
- If you are offered more than one study place at a higher education institution leading to a university degree starting at the same term, you may accept only one of them
- A place of study granted through a university-to-university transfer within Finland is not governed by this rule.
- Accordingly, you may be completing several on-going degree programmes simultaneously, but only if your admission to these programmes has been granted in different terms.
Applicants dissatisfied with admissions decisions may appeal in writing to the faculty council or a body appointed by it within 14 days of the announcement of the admission results. Should you receive a decision rejecting your application, it will be accompanied by information on the appeals procedure.
For further information, please contact the University of Helsinki Admission Services, phd-admissions(at)helsinki.fi.