|How to Apply||Steps for applying|
|General instructions and criteria|
|Application and documents|
As a rule, the postgraduate degree completed in the School of Electrical Engineering is the Doctor of Science (Technology) degree, but the Licentiate of Science (Technology) degree is also possible.
Granting the right to pursue doctoral studies
The admission is based on the applicant's individual merits as presented in the application form and the required documents. The applications are processed and the decisions are met case by case. When granting the right to pursue doctoral studies, the School of Electrical Engineering confirms the supervising professor and the research field for the doctoral candidate. Each applicant is informed of the admission decision. Successful applicants will be granted the right to study towards the Doctor of Science (Technology) degree, as their primary right to study. The right to study towards the Licentiate of Science (Technology) degree will be registered if the doctoral candidate wishes to complete this degree before the Doctor of Science (Technology) degree. The duration of the study right to the doctoral degree is not limited but the target time for the doctoral degree is four years in full-time studies.
Applicants applying for a study right in the Doctoral Programme in Electrical Engineering can apply once a month, except for July, see the deadlines for the applications.
Eligibility for Aalto Doctoral Programme in Electrical Engineering
The knowledge and skills required for the doctoral studies are demonstrated by a completed master's degree (university) or by a study programme earned abroad that qualifies the applicant for equivalent doctoral studies in the country where the degree was earned / study programme completed.
To be eligible for doctoral studies at the School of Electrical Engineering, applicants must:
- have completed a relevant master’s degree awarded by a university;
- have completed a relevant master’s degree awarded by a university of applied sciences; or
- have completed a relevant study programme abroad which in the awarding country gives eligibility for the corresponding level of higher education
Degrees / study programmes completed outside Finland are, as a rule, recognized at Aalto University, provided that the degree/study programme makes the applicant eligible for corresponding doctoral studies in the awarding country. In principle, an acceptable master’s degree has been carried out in accordance with the principles of the Bologna Process (3+2 years). A degree earned / study programme completed abroad in a country that does not follow the Bologna Process must include a minimum of 4 years of studies including a thesis similar to the master's thesis and be deemed by the School as providing the candidate with an adequate knowledge base for doctoral studies at the School of Electrical Engineering. If the education of the applicant differs from this, the applicant must provide a document confirming his/her eligibility for doctoral studies in the country where the education was given.
The School will case by case assess the potential of applicants with an applicable Finnish master’s degree from a university of applied sciences for successful doctoral studies. The School will determine the applicant’s need for supplementary studies.If the School deems the applicant with a master's degree in an applicable field as having potential for completing the doctoral degree, the applicant will be assigned a sufficient amount of supplementary studies to allow him or her to start the doctoral studies. The extent of supplementary studies may not however, exceed 60 ECTS. If the extent of necessary supplementary studies exceeds this maximum, the applicant will be advised to first pursue the University level master's degree before applying for a right to pursue doctoral studies.
Selection criteria and requirements
The professor (i.e. supervising professor) who is responsible for the research field to which the applicant is applying to, is responsible for the academic evaluation of the applicant. The Doctoral Programme Committee evaluates the application and all application documents and makes the proposal for admission.
Requirements for an applicant
- Adequate knowledge in the research field applied for (gained through studies in the Master’s degree or equivalent). When necessary, the School may set prerequisites for admission to the doctoral programme that may be gained, for instance, by taking master-level courses.
- Sufficient basic knowledge that supports the dissertation work and the writing of the dissertation.
- An excellent command of Finnish, Swedish or English
Required grades in the master´s degree(on the scale 1 - 5)
- The master’s thesis has been completed with the minimum grade of 3/5.
- The master’s degree (excluding the master’s thesis, i.e. the weighted average of the courses) that is the basis for the doctoral studies has been completed with an average grade of 3.0/5 or higher.
- If the master’s degree was earned in accordance with the degree regulations of 1995 or at an earlier time (when the bachelor’s and master’s degrees were not separated), the weighted average of the courses is calculated of the major of the degree (excluding the master's thesis). The average grade must be 3.0/5 or higher.
The same criteria is applied to applicants with a foreign degree and different grading system.
Other selection criteria (academic evaluation)
- The content of the university degree(s) completed
- Previous study success
- The quality and international regard of the applicant's degree and university
- Research potential, previous research experience:
- work experience in research
- conference papers
- articles, etc.
- The relevance and orientation of the research topic to the focus areas of the Department
- Research plan: the theoretical and practical novelty value of the research topic and the feasibility of the plan (quality, realism, methodology etc.)
- Time use and resources for doctoral studies:
- feasibility of the study plan, realistic time available for courses and research work over the next 4 years
- The university's resources for guidance in the research area
- Other reasons presented by the applicant
If these conditions are not met, but the applicant is otherwise suitable for doctoral studies, the applicant may raise his/her grades or the school may set prerequisites for entry.
The School of Electrical Engineering may accept equivalent attainments completed in other schools as prerequisites on the grounds of the supervising professor’s written statement.
Check also application times and instructions below.
A successful applicant must have an excellent command of Finnish, Swedish or English. Primarily a language test is required from all applicants. Applicants are required to attach an official language test report to their application, unless they are exempted from the language test requirement.
The following groups are exempted from the language test requirement
Applicants who have:
- earned a degree taught in Finnish, Swedish or English at a university or university of applied sciences in Finland; or
- earned a degree in an English-medium programme at a university or university of applied sciences in an EU/EEA country, in which case the language of the degree must be stated unambiguously in the degree certificate or its appendix, or in the transcript of records or other official document issued by the awarding institution; or
- you have earned a degree in an English-medium programme at a higher education institution in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States while residing in that country; or
- you have received your primary and secondary education in English in an EU/EEA country, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States
A minimum of one half of the degree must be completed in a country and higher education institution that meets the requirements for exempting the student from taking an English language test.
Only the above-mentioned groups are exempted from the language test requirement, for all other applicants the official English language test result is an obligatory application document and applications without the adequate test result will not be accepted.
The accepted language tests and their minimum scores
The minimum requirements are very strict. If your score does not fulfill the minimum requirements, you are not eligible to apply and your application cannot be accepted.
- IELTS (Academic only): 6.5, and 5.5 for Writing;
- iBT (Internet-based Test): 92, and 22 for the Writing section or
- PDT (Paper-Delivered Test) Reading 22, Listening 22, and Writing 24
- C1 Advanced: A,B or C
- C2 Proficiency: A,B,C or Level C1
- Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE A): 62, and 54 for writing;
Note: the following online test are accepted until further notice (during the COVID-19 situation):
- IELTS Indicator (Academic only)
- TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test
No other English proficiency tests are accepted. If an applicant has taken several language tests, the best official score that is still valid and received by Aalto University by the deadline will be considered in the admissions. You cannot combine scores from different test dates (e.g. TOEFL MyBest scores is not accepted).
The language test result has to be valid during the application period, i.e. the test result has to be valid at least on the first day of the application period. Please note that the TOEFL, IELTS and PTE A language test reports are valid for two years, starting from the test date. Note also that the ETS does not send TOEFL test results after they have expired.
C1 Ad- vanced and C2 proficiency test results done after 2005 and which can be electronically verified are accepted.
Registration for a language proficiency test
Please make sure that you register for the language test well in advance. There might not be test dates available or they may be fully booked. You need to take the test early enough in order for the result to reach Aalto University in time. Please check from the testing center how long it takes for the test result to arrive at Aalto University. To find out more about the test dates and test centres, please visit the website of the test organizer:
Applicants who take the TOEFL test need to ask for the official score report to be sent directly to Aalto University as soon as the score is available. Please make sure to use Aalto University's institutional reporting code 7364. Only the official score report submitted by ETS is accepted. The Admission Services have the possibility to verify scores which have been reported with Aalto University's institutional code 7364 in an online verification system provided by the testing authorities. The scores can be accessed in approximately 2-3 weeks after the delivery order has been made.
Applicants who take the IELTS need to enclose a copy of the score report with the application documents. Because IELTS certificates can be electronically verified by Aalto University, applicants may send plain copies of their IELTS certificates. If you receive your IELTS score after submitting your application to Aalto University, you can send a scanned copy of your result by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please mention the programme to which you are applying as well as your full name and application ID number in the email.
Applicants who take the PTE A test can deliver their score to Aalto University once they have signed in to the PTE account on the test organizer's website. The scores can be sent to an unlimited number of institutions free of charge. The test organizer will send an email to confirm that the scores have been sent. Note that according to PTE, it takes up to 48 hours for scores to be sent to institutions. For more information on how to deliver PTE results, please see the test organizer's website.
A copy of the C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency language test score report (PDF-copy) is uploaded in the application system. The ID-number (e.g. ABC123456) and the reference number (e.g. 173YU0034522) need to be mentioned on the application form. The appli- cant also need to sign in to the language test system and share the scores with Aalto University. The scores will be verified electronically.
Before submitting the application
- The applicant should contact a professor in charge of their intended research field of doctoral studies. Applicants are urged to ensure that their expertise and research interests are commensurate with the research group (and those of the supervising professor of their studies) that they apply to.
- In order to prepare for the discussion, it is beneficiary to prepare a CV (along with a list of possible publications) and a preliminary research plan for the intended doctoral studies.
- Also a study plan, a funding plan and a supervision plan should be discussed with the professor.
- At this point the applicant’s eligibility and prerequisites for doctoral studies will be checked by the professor.
- Also the possible prerequisites for entry will be discussed. If needed, the professor may set prerequisites for admission into the doctoral programme.
- The professor also assesses the applicant's aptitude for doctoral studies, the suitability of the topic of the dissertation reserach work for the research field.
When signing the research proposal and other documents of the applicant, the professor commits him/herself to supervising the dissertation work.
Research fields and professors for doctoral studies
You can only accept one study place leading to a higher education degree in Finland in education that begins in the same academic term. This rule also applies to Licentiate and Doctoral degrees awarded by Finnish universities. Exceptions to the provision are transfer student applications, the Åland University of Applied Sciences, the Police University College of Finland and studies at foreign higher education institutions.
Higher education degrees include bachelor's, master's, licentiate and doctoral degrees awarded by universities as well as polytechnic degrees.
The academic terms run from 1 August to 31 December and 1 January to 31 July. The acceptance of a study place is binding and cannot be canceled.
The study right starts on the day when the Dean admits the applicant to the doctoral programme, but the study place is not established until the applicant has accepted the study right offered. The applicant will have 4 weeks time to accept the study place.
The application is submitted online by using the Studyinfo.fi service. Incomplete applications will be rejected.
Please read the instructions carefully before filling in the online application form. After reading the instructions and having all the documents ready, register to the online application system, fill in the application, attach all the required documents and submit it.
Application and documents
ALL applicants are required to provide the following application documents
- Application form / Hakemuslomake
- Curriculum vitae (CV) which includes a list of publications and proof of other scientific activities
- Preliminary study plan for 40 ECTS courses to be completed (Study plan must be signed by the applicant and the supervising professor).
- Structure of the doctoral degree as well as information on theoretical studies is available at Degree structure and coursework. Please read carefully especially the guidelines on theoretical studies in "Eligible studies and courses for doctoral degree".
- postgraduate courses should be marked with P or L in the course name or otherwise marked as doctoral studies
- Information on courses is available in WebOodi (oodi.aalto.fi), MyCourses (mycourses.aalto.fi) and courses.aalto.fi.
- Check the current courses for doctoral studies
- Check the courses suitable for Scientific practices and principles module
NOTE! Applicants who are applying for a full-time doctoral study right should do their personal study plan in a way that allows for the doctorate to be earned in four years of full-time study.
- Preliminary research proposal and schedule for its completion. The proposal must include the signatures of the applicant and the professor in charge of the research field applied for (supervising professor).
- research proposal includes:
- the schedule of the research
- implementation of the scientific plan
- possibilities for funding the research work
- the professor in charge of the field of research is committed to supervise the thesis (signature)
- Preliminary funding plan (if funding plan is not a part of research plan)
- Supervision plan (must be signed by the applicant, the supervising professor, thesis advisor(s) and deputy professor (if applicable))
- copy of the holder page of the passport or an other official identification that indicates the citizenship of the applicant
The study plan, research plan and supervision plan need to be approved and signed by the ap- plicant and the supervising professor. By signing these documents, the professor confirms to be the supervising professor of the applicant.
Applicants with a Master´s degree / study programme education earned at another institution than Aalto University shall also provide the following documents:
- Certified copy of the Master’s degree certificate, official transcripts of records and the Diploma Supplement (if applicable) and their translations, if the originals are not in Finnish, Swedish or English. Upload a copy to the application system and then visit our office to show us the originals. The originals need to be shown before admission.
Please note: in exceptional circumstances caused by the corona virus, a separate deadline for showing the original degree certificates and translations will be agreed. This deadline will be after the situation with the corona virus has been normalized.
- if needed, a document confirming your eligibility for doctoral studies (please check the eligibility criteria above), and an official translation, if the original document is not in Finnish, Swedish or English.
- abstract of the Master´s thesis in English
- proof of proficiency in Finnish, Swedish or English, see ”Language requirements”
Copies of study certificates (a degree certificate and a transcript of records, if the transcript is not original) must be certified by the awarding university or by a notary public. The certified copies must be delivered as hard copies either by mail, courier service or delivered in person.
The copies must be taken from the original, official documents. A multiple-page certified copy must be certified on the front side of every page. Each page must have the certifying official’s original signature, printed name, ink stamp and date. Copies of officially certified copies are not accepted, the certifying official’s ink stamps and signatures must be original. A note declaring official copy status (such as a “True copy” stamp) is insufficient.
- The documents must be submitted according to country-specific requirements if the degree is awarded in:
Australia, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Canada, China, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Kenya, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Sudan, the United Kingdom or the United States.
Application documents will not be returned, do not send your original degree certificate.
Funding of doctoral studies
Doctoral candidates can avail of various alternatives to finance their studies and research work.
Funding will be discussed with the supervising professor. Aalto ELEC doctoral school cannot not be the primary funding plan, positions are based on competitive selection.
Full-time and part-time studies
All doctoral candidates are defined as either full-time or part-time doctoral candidates. This information is entered into the register too. Candidates may apply change of their status only if there has been changes in the study activity and study plan and research plan has been updated to follow the current situation.
Full-time doctoral candidate's personal study and research plans are drawn up so as to complete the doctorate within four years from granting the right to pursue doctoral studies. Full-time doctoral candidates must be able to spend 80 % of their working hours to doctoral studies.
Doctoral candidate applying a full-time status need to have a funding allocated to doctoral studies (e.g. project funding, personal grant or funding from employer). Typical full-time doctoral candidates are those who work at the department either with personal grant or receive funding from research project or those who work at a research institute or an enterprise. Those working outside Aalto University who wish to be full-time doctoral candidates must provide a document of the employers' approval for full-time doctoral studies (80 % of their working hours are dedicated to doctoral studies).
If the above criteria are not met, the mode of study is part-time. The study plan of a part-time doctoral candidate is drawn up to serve doctoral studies that will last longer than four years but no more than eight years.
A part-time doctoral candidate typically has a main occupation outside the School of Electrical Engineering which does not include scientific research for doctoral dissertation.
Language of degree of a doctoral candidate
The doctoral candidate will define in his/her application for doctoral studies in which language he/she will pursue his/her degree (language of degree). The possible languages are Finnish, Swedish (not in the School of Business) or English. If the doctoral candidate wants to write his/her doctoral dissertation (the compiling part of a compilation dissertation or a monograph) or his/her licentiate thesis in Finnish or Swedish, the language of degree of the doctoral candidate will be Finnish or Swedish. The language of degree is approved by the doctoral programme committee. The language of degree can on reasonable grounds be changed later on, if e.g. the language of the doctoral dissertation or licentiate thesis changes. A freely formulated, signed application with reasons for why the language of degree should be changed, shall be submitted to the doctoral programme at the latest together with the degree certificate application. Finnish or Swedish as a language of degree A doctoral candidate whose language of degree is Finnish or Swedish will get the degree certificate in Finnish or Swedish along with a translation in English. If the doctoral candidate writes his/her thesis in Finnish or Swedish, the language of the degree will always be Finnish or Swedish despite the earlier choice of language. English as a language of degree If the doctoral dissertation or licentiate thesis is written in English, doctoral candidate can choose English as a language of degree. If the doctoral candidate’s language of degree is English, he/she will get the degree certificate in English and in Finnish or Swedish. The language of degree will be mentioned in the diploma supplement, and in the degree certificate that two degree certificates have been given.
The language of degree can on reasonable grounds be changed later on, if e.g. the language of the doctoral dissertation or licentiate thesis changes. A freely formulated, signed application with reasons for why the language of degree should be changed, shall be submitted to the doctoral programme at the latest together with the degree certificate application.
Finnish or Swedish as a language of degree
A doctoral candidate whose language of degree is Finnish or Swedish will get the degree certificate in Finnish or Swedish along with a translation in English. If the doctoral candidate writes his/her thesis in Finnish or Swedish, the language of the degree will always be Finnish or Swedish despite the earlier choice of language.
English as a language of degree
If the doctoral dissertation or licentiate thesis is written in English, doctoral candidate can choose English as a language of degree.
If the doctoral candidate’s language of degree is English, he/she will get the degree certificate in English and in Finnish or Swedish. The language of degree will be mentioned in the diploma supplement, and in the degree certificate that two degree certificates have been given.