Non-degree studies

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Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture offers the possibility to apply for separate courses without taking a degree. Applications for non-degree studies are made for certain courses and the period of non-degree studies is usually one term or one academic year. The number of courses is determined case by case. Non-degree students are not eligible for student benefits.

Note that the School is only able to take a very limited number of non-degree students. The Department of Architecture mostly takes non-degree students only to their International Architecture Program.


If you are a student at a university with whom the School of Arts, Design and Architecture has an exchange agreement, you need to apply for exchange studies, not for non-degree studies. Please contact the International Office in your own university to begin the process. More information here.

If you are a student studying in another Finnish University, you can apply through the so-called JOO-system, more information is available here.


Non-degree studies are subject to an administration fee of EUR 15/credit.

Annual application deadlines

Application period for courses organized in the autumn term is the previous spring and for courses organized in the spring the previous autumn.

Application period for the courses in the spring term 2018: 16.10.-16.11.2017

Application period for the courses in the autumn term 2017 / academic year 2017-2018: 15.4.-15.5.2017

Please note: Students who require a residence permit to study in Finland should apply only in the latter application period (15.4.-15.5.), because the process of requiring a residence permit takes up to several months.

Application steps

1. Choosing the courses

The courses are listed in the WebOodi system under Study Guides. After looking at the courses you need to be in contact with the degree programme offering the studies you are interested in. They will be able to tell you more about the availability of places on those courses and the content of the studies. You can only apply for courses from one degree programme in your application. If you would like to take courses from several degree programmes, you need to make separate applications (including separate copies of ALL application documents) for each programme.  If you have questions regarding the courses, you can turn to the study coordinator of the degree programme.

2. Delivering the application documents

All application documents need to be delivered to the Student Services within the application deadline. Before sending your application, check that you have all requested documents. Enclose two copies of each document (one original or officially certified copy and one regular copy of each document.) We do not return your educational documents, so do not send original degree certificates. Remember that all documents must be translated in English by an authorized translator. In case you send us  copies of  translated certificates, please remember that the copies must be officially certified as authentic by a notary. Educational documents can also be sent to us directly from your University.

For more detailed instructions on how to deliver language certificates, see Returning Language Certificates.

Please mark on the package "Non-degree Application". The application (including all documents and the portfolio) must be delivered to the address below. If you decide to bring the application in person, please note the opening hours of the Student Services office.

Postal address

Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Student Services
P.O. Box 31000

For courier services such as DHL

Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Student Services
Hämeentie 135 C

tel. +358 9 47001

3. Admission decision

Only a limited number of non-degree students can be accepted, depending on the availability of teaching. Applicants are notified of the decision by email within approximately one month of the application deadline.

Application documents

  • Application form
  • CV
  • Study plan
  • Educational documents
  • Portfolio and description sheet (not needed for New Media studies)
  • Language proficiency documents

CV of a maximum of two pages describing your former studies, working experience including also brief information as a list in chronological order relating to the design/artistic/technical/pedagogical experience as well as grants and scholarships, cultural production and other relevant information.

Applicants for New Media: CV of a maximum of three pages should also list your familiarity with software and/or programming languages and specific professional production environments.

Study plan

Study plan of a maximum one page concerning your educational goals and interests. Why you want to study with us and why you have chosen the particular studies.

Applicants for New Media: should provide a freely composed statement of intent in which they describe their motivation and interest in the field of new media, including any special areas of interest, as well as their personal aims. This statement is a critical element in the application process and should be no longer than one page.

Educational Documents

Academic records (transcripts of studies) from each university or institution you have attended, along with officially certified copies of degree certificates or diplomas you have received. If you are working on a Bachelor's degree, a transcript showing your first three years of work should be submitted.


The works can be presented as technical drawings, pictures, photographs, slides or video films. The portfolio should comprise of a minimum of 8 recent works, the maximum size being A3. A portfolio description sheet listing art / design works should include information on the works shown in portfolio e.g. name of the work / theme of the work, method of doing, techniques, size and material used. Three dimensional work should be presented by images. Original works should not be submitted.

Applicants for New Media: A portfolio is not required.

Language proficiency

All students taking non-degree studies need to have a sufficient level of English language for academic studies and they need to proof this with a language certificate.

You do not need a language certificate if

  •     you have completed your Bachelor's/Master's degree in Finland in Finnish, Swedish or English, or
  •     you have completed an equivalent foreign degree in English. The language of instruction must be mentioned on the degree certificate, in the transcript of study records, or in a separate official letter from the institution.

All other applicants must prove their proficiency in English, Finnish or Swedish by producing one of the following language certificates. The language certificate must be an official diploma from a language test and it must be received by the School of Arts, Design and Architecture by the end of the application period.

For more detailed instructions on how to deliver language certificates, see Returning Language Certificates.

Acceptable English language certificates
• Computer-based TOEFL test, min. total score of 213
• Paper-based TOEFL test, min. total score of 550
• TOEFL iBT, min. total score of 79--80
• IELTS (Academic), min. total score of 6
• Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE), grades A, B and C
• Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE), grades A, B and C

TOEFL ( and IELTS (Academic) ( test results are valid for two years from the test date. CAE and CPE ( certificates are valid indefinitely.

Acceptable Finnish and Swedish language certificates
• National Certificate of Language Proficiency in Finnish, min. level 3-4
• National Certificate of Language Proficiency in Swedish, min. level 3-4

National Certificates of Language Proficiency ( are valid indefinitely. The tests can only be completed in Finland.

International non-degree programs for architecture students

The Department of Architecture takes non-degree students to their specifically built International Architecture Program, comprising of two non-degree architecture programmes, The General Studies Program and The Wood Program. Both programmes are for advanced level students in architecture, tuition fee based and available through a separate application procedure.

More information on the fees, application and content at the Department of Architecture