PROVING YOUR ENGLISH LANGUAGE SKILLS FOR DOCTORAL APPLICANTS

Read this page carefully, as failing to follow these instructions may lead to your application being rejected.

University of Helsinki demands an indication of academic level language skills in either Finnish, Swedish or English of all applicants. You can prove your skills in any of these three languages – it does not have to be your doctoral dissertation’s language. The language that you choose to prove your skills in will be marked as the language of your doctoral degree.

Please note that University of Helsinki has a specified list of acceptable ways to prove your language skills. You cannot prove your language skills in any way that is not listed on this page. There are no exceptions to this rule.

These instructions apply to you, if you are applying to Doctoral Studies and wish to indicate your academic level language skills in the English language.

If you wish to indicate your academic level language skills in Finnish, please see here.

If you wish to indicate your academic level language skills in Swedish, please see here.

When applying for Doctoral studies, please submit the language test directly to the Admission 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.

Instructions for sending documents can be found on the page Eli­gib­il­ity and edu­ca­tional doc­u­ments.

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

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.

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 as paper copies or by email.

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.

Minimum requirement:

  • TOEFL IBT (Internet-based) 92, a minimum score of 22 in the writing section
  • TOEFL PBT (Paper-based) 580

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.

When requesting the TOEFL test centre to forward your results to University of Helsinki (UH), please fill in University of Helsinki's Institution Code 9872 in the Score Report Recipient field. UH cannot verify test scores if its institution code has not been filled. The testing centre must send the score slip directly to University of Helsinki or make its electronic equivalent available to UH. Please note that test results sent by the applicant will not be accepted. Be advised that after you have been informed of the test score, it takes approximately three weeks for the test result to reach University of Helsinki.

Minimum requirement:

  • CAE: Pass levels A, B or C
  • CPE: Pass levels A, B, C or level C1 certificate

For C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency (formerly known as CAE and CPE), address the test score to Admission Services of the University of Helsinki (UH). An applicant's copy is acceptable, as your results will be verified with the test organizer. Include your Candidate's ID (3 letters and 6 numbers) and secret code (4 numbers). These codes can be found on your Confirmation of Entry and Timetable document. If you do not have these codes, please contact Cambridge ESOL. 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).

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.

PTE Academic Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic is a paperless test. The results are typically available within five working days following the test session. Once you receive your test score, send it to Admission Services of the University of Helsinki from your PTE account. Choose Finland as the "Country", "University of Helsinki" as the "Institution" and click "Search". University of Helsinki can access to your test results within 48 hours. Online language test results are accepted only from the test organizer.

Minimum requirement: average skills level 5 (or C1), when using a scale from 1 to 6. The test includes the following sections:  reading comprehension, grammar and vocabulary, writing and oral skills.

Send your test score copy to University of Helsinki together with your application. Your results will be verified with the organizer. This test is available only for applicants living in Finland.

 Further information

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. This test is available only for applicants living in Finland.

Further information

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.

Upper-secondary education in English in any other country is not an acceptable way of demonstrating academic English language skills.

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/language and performance) with an approved grade (a minimum grade of 2).

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.
  1. 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 or the USA is an acceptable way of demonstrating academic English language skills. 
    1. 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. 
    2. If you are indicating your language skills with a higher education degree completed in English in one of the EU/EEA countries or Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland or the USA, the majority of the degree must be completed in English. 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.
  2. A degree completed at a Finnish university with English as the major subject is also an acceptable way of demonstrating academic English language skills.

Please note that:

  • A university degree in English in any other country than the ones listed in this section is not an acceptable way of demonstrating academic English language skills.
  • Studies completed on offshore campuses outside the accepted countries cannot be used to indicate language skills.
  • Online studies or modules completed in the open university cannot be used as an indication of language skills.
  • If you are indicating your language skills with a higher education degree, the certificate and the transcript of records must be officially certified or legalized. Please also note possible country specific requirements. Further information here.
  • 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.

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.

Language skills cannot be indicated with online studies or modules completed in the open university.