Questions and answers about doctoral studies - FAQ

Checklist for doctoral candidates

A checklist for doctoral candidates at the School of Science is available here. From the checklist you can see all the important phases during your doctoral studies and where to find more information about these phases.

I want to apply for doctoral studies, what should I do first?

First you need to contact a professor to supervise your studies. Choose a research field from our list, and then contact the professor (names are on the right side). You can find the contact information of professors by doing a google search. You’ll need to present a research plan and CV to the professor of the research field you choose. You may discuss your funding opportunities with your supervising professor.

Research fields and professors

Please read carefully the information concerning applying on our web site.

When can I apply?

Meeting schedule of the Doctoral Programme Committee

The research fields of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management can be applied for once a year, with the application period ending in April of each year. Other research fields are open for applying throughout the year according to the meeting schedule.

I am already a doctoral student at another school of Aalto University, do I still need to apply?

Yes, see the previous two questions and their answers.

I am currently living outside Finland, where can I get help in finding accommodation when I come to Finland?

The main principle of Aalto University is that degree students are responsible for arranging their own accommodation. It is also good to know that Aalto University does not itself own any student housing.
More information on housing.

I have already got a place in a national doctoral programme (e.g. National Doctoral Programme in Materials Physics NGSMP); do I still need to apply for Aalto University School of Science’s Doctoral Programme in Science?

Yes you do. Only by having a study right for the Aalto Doctoral Programme in Science is it possible to graduate as Doctor from Aalto University School of Science.

I got accepted as a doctoral student and received a letter of admission; do I still need to do something?

If you have an address in Finland, i.e. you’re already living here, then the office of the Doctoral Programme has enrolled you as present and you can begin your studies. If you have not arrived in Finland yet, then upon arriving, you need to go to our Student Services of the Doctoral Programme and present them your passport and admission letter, so that they can enroll you as attending.

Where can I get a document proving that I am a student at Aalto University and/or a transcript of my records?

You can get both from Student Services of the Doctoral Programme. You can also get an official transcript of your records via WebOodi.

I forgot to enroll as attending/non-attending during enrollment period; what do I do?

See more information on regaining your study right, here.

I haven’t studied for X years and would now like to continue my studies, what should I do?

If you have remembered to enroll every year, you need to activate your IT-account. You can activate your IT-account online (password.aalto.fi) or you can visit IT service desk. It is also a good idea to contact your supervising professor to discuss your progress. It is also beneficial to redraw your study plan.

If you have failed to enroll, see the previous question.

I need to change my research field/supervising professor, is that possible?

Yes, it is possible. If you need a new supervising professor for your studies, see Research fields and professors.

To change your research field (i.e. the topic of the dissertation/your department changes): after a professor has agreed to supervise your studies, you need to fill in the form 309 (Change of supervising professor), redraw your study plan, research plan and supervision plan and submit them to the Student Services of the Doctoral Programme.

To change your supervising professor (if nothing else changes): fill in the form 309 (Change of supervising professor) and the supervision plan and submit them to the Student Services of the Doctoral Programme.

I would like to attend courses at another university, is it possible?

Yes, you can, but only if they are included in your confirmed study plan and eventually in your degree. You need to apply for a flexible study right (JOO). For more information on JOO-studies contact Study Coordinator Sari Salmisuo.

Can I get credits for conferences / book exams / book reviews / review articles / summer schools etc.?

Yes, the amount of credits depends on the work load and is up to your supervising professor.

I have completed all the required credits, is there something I should do?

You need to confirm your study plan (degree requirements). Fill in the form, and submit it to the Student Services of the Doctoral Programme.

Confirmation (and transfer) in the 40 credit degree structure, more information.

Confirmation in the 60 credit degree structure, more information.

My dissertation is almost finished, what next?

The next step is to apply for pre-examination, see more information.

Contact Planning Officer Emma Holmlund for more information.

Where can I get more information on printing my dissertation?

See Aalto publication series, FAQ (in Inside).

Where can I find layout and templates for printing my dissertation?

See Aalto publication series (in Inside).

What procedures and deadlines are there before my public defence?

You need to make a dissertation press release according to the instructions here and send that to  the doctoral programme twelve (12) days before the defence along with 1 copy of your dissertation. See more information on the press release and instructions for the distribution of dissertations for different departments. If your dissertation is also published electronically, please send the written agreement for publishing your dissertation online to the library 12 days before the defence the latest.

Please note that getting the final, printed version of your dissertation may take up to five weeks! Timetable for printing dissertations

What should I do after my public defence?

If you have completed all your studies and confirmed your study plan (degree requirements) you can apply for the evaluation and approval of your doctoral dissertation and request for degree certificate.

Remember also to fill in the scholarship application if you're eligible for one.