Full-time and part-time studies

[Suomeksi]

All doctoral students are defined as either full-time or part-time students.  Full-time doctoral students' personal study plans are drawn up so as to complete the doctorate within four years from granting the right to pursue doctoral studies. Full-time doctoral students must be able to spend 80 % of their working hours to doctoral studies.

Students may not change their study mode by themselves, but it can be changed by application if necessary.

Full-time doctoral student

Students are entered into the register either as full-time or part-time doctoral students. Students may change their status only by application 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 students' 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 students must be able to spend 80 % of their working hours to doctoral studies.

Doctoral student 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 students 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 students must provide a document of the employers' approval for full-time doctoral studies (80 % of their working hours are dedicated to doctoral studies).

The studies may comprise the Licentiate degree, the recommended completion time of which is two years and which will be included in the recommended completion time of the doctoral degree, four years.

Part-time doctoral student

If the above criteria are not met, the student's mode of study is part-time. The study plan of a part-time doctoral student is drawn up to serve doctoral studies that will last longer than four years but no more than eight years.

A part-time doctoral student typically has a main occupation outside the School of Science which does not include scientific research for doctoral dissertation.

Applicants of part-time doctoral studies should discuss

  • whether the research is closely connected with the applicant’s own work
  • what opportunities the employer has for supporting intensive postgraduate studying e.g. by side of work.

Changing the mode of study

You can change your mode of study any time your situation changes.

If you want to change your mode of study from full-time to part-time, please notify Student Services of the Doctoral Programme by an informal email.

If you want to change your mode of study from part-time to full-time, you need to fill in a new research plan including an account of funding allocated to doctoral studies. The Doctoral Programme Committee discusses applications for a full-time study mode in its meetings once a month (except in July). The new research plan is submitted to
Student Services of the Doctoral Programme.

Follow-up for full-time doctoral students

Full- and part-time study modes of doctoral studies have been approved by the Aalto University Academic Affairs Committee on 20 December 2012. Defining the two study modes more clearly emphasizes the four-year-goal for finishing a doctoral degree and the importance of instruction and planning.

Follow-up for full-time doctoral students every five years

If a full-time doctoral student has not completed his/her doctoral degree within five years from beginning his/her doctoral studies, the doctoral programme will require the student to submit a written account concerning the progress of studies along with a statement from the supervising professor. The student may also have to fill in new study and research plans. The Doctoral Programme Committee will make the decision on the student’s study mode in accordance with the university’s definition of policy. If the student’s dissertation is already in the pre-examination process, a separate account is not needed. If the required documents are not submitted within the school’s deadlines, the school will register that student as a part-time student.

In its decision-making, the Committee will take into account the time spent on maternity and parental leave as well as conscription or non-military service completed.

Yearly follow-ups after the fifth study year

After the fifth year of doctoral studies, the doctoral programme will require the student to submit a written account concerning the progress of studies along with a statement from the supervising professor every year. The student may also have to fill in new study and research plans. The Doctoral Programme Committee will make the decision on the student’s study mode in accordance with the university’s definition of policy. If the required documents are not submitted within the school’s deadlines, the school will register that student as a part-time student.

If necessary, the doctoral programme may check students’ study mode before the five year deadline and/or give further instructions on full-/part-time studies.