What can you study

What can you study at Aalto University School of Science?

The School of Science offers courses for exchange students in the following fields of study:

Computer Science
Industrial Engineering and Management
Engineering Physics
Mathematics and Operations Research
Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience
Special Minor Programmes:

Apart from a few exceptions, exchange students can freely join all courses organized by the School of Science as long as the course-specific prerequisites are fulfilled. All projects, workshops and other events organized at Aalto University are equally open to exchange students.

The studies consist of following lectures, doing exercises or laboratory work and completing different assignments. In some special cases it might be possible to do a Master's thesis / Final project during the exchange. Please see the separate instructions for final projects.

Courses in English

The number of courses offered in English varies depending on the field of study. You can find the courses offered in English in the list below (.pdf):

> Courses offered in English at the School of Science 2017-2018

Most of the courses offered in English are on Master's level but as an exchange student you can take courses at any level if you fulfill the prerequisites of the course. Find more information on individual courses on these websites:

  • My Courses portal contains the courses' home pages with more detailed information on the content.
  • WebOodi is where you register for courses and can see their prerequisites (required background knowledge). You can also search for courses without signing in.
  • You can also check the websites of the Departments of the School of Science for more information on the studies
The majority of Bachelor-level courses in most Aalto engineering schools are only offered in Finnish. There are exceptions to this, but please make sure of this beforehand by checking the course information at oodi.aalto.fi. If the information is not available in WebOodi, please confirm it directly from the course teacher.

Choosing courses

When selecting courses for your study plan/learning agreement please check carefully the language of instruction, when the course is lectured (semester and period) and the prerequisites of the course. You should be able to find all this information in the WebOodi portal for each course. On the left side of this page you can find all the international Master's Programmes of the School of Science. You can take a look at their curriculums in order to find suitable course packages for a given field of study.

Please note that in order to be admitted to the School of Science, at least 2/3 of the courses selected must be from one field of study offered by the School of Science. Exchange students within Erasmus and some bilateral agreements should note that the exchange agreements have been made for a specific field of study. This means that you should mainly choose courses from that field of study. For more information on the exchange agreement please contact your home university's International Office.

We expect incoming exchange students to study full time while at Aalto and to pass the courses with good grades. Full workload at Aalto is 30 ECTS credits per semester. Most of the courses at the School of Science are worth 5 ECTS so full time studies equal six courses per semester.

When you choose courses for your learning agreement / study plan, the detailed course information might not be available yet. In this case, the study plan is made according to the course information of the previous academic year. The courses for the following academic year are updated annually during summer.

The study plan / learning agreement made when applying is preliminary and it might be necessary to change it after arrival. Please note that we cannot guarantee places on individual courses as they are subject to fulfilment of certain preconditions, availability and timetabling factors. Therefore we recommend being prepared to make some adjustments to your learning agreement/study plan after arrival.

Courses from other schools at Aalto University

As 2/3 of the courses in your learning agreement/study plan must be selected from one of the fields of study offered by the School of Science,1/3 of the courses can be selected from the other three Aalto University engineering schools (School of Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering and the School of Chemical Technology). Courses offered by the Language Centre are outside this requirement.

When choosing courses from the School of Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering or School of Chemical Technology, please be prepared to contact the course teacher directly to confirm the availability of the course. The School of Science cannot guarantee the availability of the courses from other engineering schools.

As a general rule, courses from the Aalto University School of Business and the School of Arts, Design and Architecture cannot be selected.

Interdisciplinary courses, Aalto cross-school courses and University Wide Art Studies are excluded from this rule.

Language courses

Part of the experience of living in a foreign country is learning its language and culture. Though most of the Finns speak excellent English, you might want to learn at least the basics of Finnish language while studying in Finland. Aalto University offers its exchange students Finnish language courses free of charge. You can participate in the classes suitable for your own level.

There are two Finnish courses (1 ECTS each) that are particularly recommended for exchange students: LC-7007 Survival Finnish for Exchange Students and LC-7009 Get to know Finland. Exchange students can also participate on other Finnish courses but degree students are given priority. More about the Finnish courses on the Language Centre's website. Note also that the registration for these courses begins early, please check upon your arrival whether there are places in these courses.

Please note that while the Language Centre also organizes courses in English language, these are available only for the degree students at Aalto University.

Credits and grades

Aalto University uses ECTS European Credit Transfer System. The Bachelor's degree in Aalto University consists of 180 credits (ECTS) and the Master's degree is 120 credits (ECTS). 

According the degree structure, studies are allotted to credits based on the amount of work required; the average number of hours demanded by one academic year of studies, 1600 hours, is equivalent to 60 credits. The work load includes lectures and other forms of instruction, exercises, seminars and independent work at home and in the library. The scope of a course can be 1 to 15 credits depending on the content of the course.

To be able to get credits from a course, students need to take the examination and pass it. The grading scale for the courses is the following (equivalent ECTS grade in brackets):

5 highest (A)
4 (B)
3 (C)
2 (D)
1 lowest passig grade (E)
0 failed (F or FX)

If you receive the grade 0, you have not passed the examination and you must take it again. If you receive 1, you have passed the course with the lowest grade. If your grade is 5, you have achieved the best possible grade.

The final grade of the course can be based either on the final examination only or on a combination of the final examination and course work. The grade requirements are explained at the beginning of the course.

Please note that the courses you have failed to pass will not show on your transcript of records!

Academic year and semesters

The autumn term runs from the beginning of September to late December. The spring term runs from the beginning of January and to late May. For detailed information please see the full Academic Calendar.

If you come to study for the autumn term, your right to study is valid from 1st August to 31st December, and if you come to study for the spring term, your study right is valid from 1st January to 31st of July. If the period you wish to study at Aalto University differs from this, please apply for a full academic year! This is important, because the credits you earn during your exchange can be registered only when your right to study is still valid. Also, you can only get student benefits with your Aalto University Student Union card when you have a valid right to study at our University.