photo: Mikko Lehtimäki

Eligibility and entry requirements

Before you can be considered an eligible applicant to a degree programme, you must fulfil certain requirements. These vary from one degree programme to another. Below you can find some general guidelines, but you should always check all the details with the university/UAS you are applying to.

Educational certificates

When applying for Bachelor’s programmes, you usually need to hold such school-leaving certificates that make you eligible to apply to higher education in your home country. You apply with your upper secondary school certificates, even if you have completed some higher education studies after that.

For Master’s level, you need to hold a Bachelor’s or an equal three-year undergraduate degree in a relevant field. It is not usually possible to apply to Master’s level with ‘certificate’ or ‘diploma’ level qualifications.

When applying to Doctoral level studies, you need to have completed your Master’s degree.

Copies of your original educational documents must usually be officially certified. You may also need to send in official translations of your certificates. It may also be possible to apply with pending qualifications. The required subjects and grades depend on the degree programme you’re interested in.

Check all the details with the Admissions Services of the university/UAS you’re applying to - what you need to send in, when, and where.

Language requirements

For showing your English proficiency, IELTS and TOEFL are the most commonly accepted options, but there may be other alternatives, too. For example, many UAS Bachelor’s do not necessarily require IELTS or TOEFL, instead they may test your English skills in connection with the entrance examination. Also, the institutions have exemption rules for those who have completed their previous education in certain English-speaking countries.

The English language requirements and test score deadlines can vary from one degree programme to another, so you should check the details with the university/UAS you’re planning to apply to.

If you plan to study in Finnish or Swedish, have a peek at our FAQ section.

Entrance examinations

Entrance examinations are often required for undergraduate entry, for UAS Bachelor’s in particular. They are an important part of the student selection process, so if you are an eligible applicant, you are likely to be invited to an entrance exam. There may be some exceptions - some Bachelor's for example may base their student selection on other criteria than entrance examinations (motivation letter, SAT test score, etc.)

Entrance exams are field-specific, so their contents depend on the degree programme. The exams are usually arranged in Finland but some options for taking the exam abroad also exist, for example the FINNIPS network annually arranges them in some selected countries.

On applying to Master's level, entrance exams are not that common - but they may be required e.g. for some UAS Master's, or arts-related subjects.

Detailed information regarding the entrance exams is available directly from the UAS/university you’re interested in.

Work experience

The universities do not usually require work experience from their applicants. One notable exception however are the UAS Master’s programmes, which are targeted for those already in the working life. To be an eligible applicant for an UAS Master’s, you need to have gained at least three years of relevant work experience after your Bachelor’s.

Student selection

Once the application period has closed, the universities start processing the applications. Your application is only taken into consideration, if you are an eligible candidate and have submitted all the required documents before the set deadlines. As described above, you may also be invited to an entrance examination.

The result announcement date depends on the institution, as each university/UAS independently selects their own students. You can usually find information on the student selection timetables on the Admissions Pages of the university or UAS you have applied to.

Student selection can be a competitive process. Eligibility in itself does not yet guarantee admission, and sometimes even a good candidate may eventually find that he/she is not among those admitted. This should not discourage you from applying, it’s just something that you should be aware of.

If you are selected, the university/UAS will send you an official admission letter – you’re in, congratulations! Remember to confirm your study place by the required date. For non-EU/EEA citizens, it is important to start the application procedure for your student residence permit as soon as possible after receiving the admission letter.

You can then also start arranging the other practical matters of your student life in Finland.