Information on Studies
The Academic Calendar
The official start and end dates of the academic year are stated in the letter of admission. Please note that the dates of teaching vary between the degree programmes. The official dates of the academic year are:
- Autumn term: 1 August to 31 December (teaching periods I-II)
- Spring term: 1 January to 31 July (teaching periods III-V)
The actual studies start with the Orientation sessions for new students. The Orientation is mandatory for all new students. The Orientation in the autumn term will be in late August, and in the spring term in early January. A more detailed program with the accurate dates of the upcoming orientation can be found under
June and July are holiday seasons and there are rarely courses organized during this period. In the spring term the student’s presence is only required until the end of May. The teaching is organized during the teaching periods, of which you can read more under Teaching Periods.
The starting dates of the courses vary between the degree programmes. Please, make sure to carefully read the timetables and instructions sent to you by your degree programme.The timetables for the degree programmes can be found under Timetables.
Studies and Courses
In your study plan (Learning Agreement for Erasmus+ students) you can plan which courses you would like to take. However, the final registration to courses takes place after you have arrived, and therefore you might have to change your study plan once you start your studies.
You can search for courses in Study Guides and in WebOodi. It is possible to browse the course descriptions without logging in. Once you have arrived in Finland and enrolled at the university you will receive your Aalto username and password, with which you can register for the courses. You should turn to your study coordinator when planning which courses you should enroll to.
Some courses also use MyCourses as a course home page, where you can find course overviews, teaching dates and other course information.
Exchange students should primarily take courses from the Degree Programme or from the Department to which they have been accepted for their exchange. In addition to these courses there are some other options, like possible general Aalto courses (see below).
Exchange Students at the Departments of Arts and Design
General Art and Language Studies
Exchange students who have been accepted to a degree programme in some of the Departments of Arts and Design can choose language courses and general art and theory courses offered by the Centre for General Studies - YoYo. These courses mainly take place at Arabia campus. There are also language courses organized by the Language Centre at Otaniemi campus.
Optional courses for exchange students in Arts and Design
Exchange students in Departments of Arts and Design can choose optional courses from the List of Optional Courses for Art and Design Students (2017-18). Some courses are only available to the exchange students of the degree programme or of the department, the rest are available for all students at the Departments of Art and Design. These courses take mostly place at Arabia campus. Please note that it is always useful to check the WebOodi for updated information on course information and schedules.
Courses from other degree programmes
Although exchange students should firstly consider courses from their own programme, choosing courses from other degree programmes or departments is sometimes possible. However this always needs to be discussed with the study coordinators of both programmes first.
Exchange Students at the Department of Architecture
Exchange and guest students in the Department of Architecture will be informed in detail about all study options available during the Studio Information Sessions, taking place in the beginning of each term at the department.
There are also language courses organized by the Language Centre at Otaniemi campus.
Aalto courses for all Aalto Students
Note that exchange students at Aalto ARTS can only take courses from the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, not from the other Schools of the Aalto University. There are however some courses to which students from whole Aalto can register. These Aalto Courses are organized by one or more Aalto Schools and all students at the university regardless of their field of study can apply for them. Also exchange students at ARTS can apply for Aalto courses. The Aalto Cross-School Courses can be found in Study Guides.