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Credit transfer means counting studies completed outside Aalto University towards your Aalto degree by either using them to substitute for an individual Aalto course or study module; including them in the degree for example as elective studies; or have learning gained outside formal education accredited as credits towards your degree.

You can transfer credits for studies completed at other higher education institutions, whether abroad during an exchange period, or in Finland for another degree or under the JOO flexible study scheme. You can also include learning gained outside formal education in your degree (see Accrediation of learning demonstrated in some other manner).

As a general rule, studies already in the register are NOT treated as credit transfer, the only exception being studies that a student uses for more than one Aalto degree.

Aalto University policy on credit transfer

If you wish, you can read the Aalto University Guideline on Credit Transfer, but can find a summary of its key points for students below.

General principles of credit transfer

  • Only studies reported by the student in his or her application may be considered for credit transfer. The students must themselves propose the Aalto courses they think their previous studies could substitute for, or propose to include prior learning in their degree by means of inclusion or accreditation of learning demonstrated in some other manner.
  • At Aalto University, you can only seek credit transfer for learning to be included in your degree. Credit transfer is not possible for extra studies that would surpass the scope your degree in ECTS credits. 
  • If you are studying at Aalto University and plan to include some courses in more than one Aalto University degree, you need to apply for credit transfer. See the instructions
  • At least half of the credits in an Aalto University degree must be completed at Aalto.
    • In the case of licentiate or doctoral degrees, the thesis or dissertation must be completed at Aalto University, while the rest of the studies may be transferred credits.
  • All credit transfer studies are marked ‘Pass’ in the Aalto student register, with the exception of compulsory language studies in the second national language.
  • Credit transfer applications are processed continually and as soon as possible.  Note that delays in processing times are possible during busy periods.
  • You will be informed of the decision made on your credit transfer application on Sisu. You may also be informed by post to your home address if you wish. The transferred credits will be shown on your transcript of records.

Application form and required supporting materials

Before submitting your application, please read through the instructions on this page.

Apply for credit transfer on the student information system Sisu. Technical instructions on how to apply: Credit transfer: Incorporating studies in your degree by credit transfer

Your credit transfer application (see the section ‘Submitting your application’) must include the following attachments:

  • A transcript of records or a degree certificate. The document must be either digitally signed or marked with a stamp of the issuing university or school. If you have completed studies in another Finnish university or university of applied sciences, you can also use the My Studyinfo service (https://opintopolku.fi/oma-opintopolku/) to share information of your completed studies with the administrative staff at Aalto University. Go to My Studyinfo, create a sharing link, save the link in a file and add the file to your credit transfer application. If you have completed studies through the flexible right to study (JOO) scheme in an university that uses the Puro service for transferring credits, you can use Puro to apply for credit transfer (https://puro.joopas.fi). Note: you still have to submit a separate credit transfer application on Sisu. In your application, state that you have used the Puro service to request credit transfer. Also note that a screenshot from the My Studyinfo or Puro service is not an acceptable transcript of records.
  • A detailed description of the content of the studies you have completed elsewhere at the time they were completed (e.g. from a study guide published at the time). For example, to claim credits for a course taken in 2018, you need to provide the course description as it was in 2018. It is not enough to include a link to the whole study guide of that year: you must include a description of the course contents in your PDF-format application. Do not include the whole study guide, only the pages containing the information relevant to your application.
  • To claim credits for a study module completed elsewhere, students must include a certificate issued by the university in question or otherwise provide adequate proof of the study module being a degree module of the university at the time. For instance, an extract from the study guide listing all the courses that may be included in the study module is considered adequate proof.
  • An explanation of the course scope in ECTS credits (unless the course was originally evaluated using ECTS credits, which are used in Finland).


Transfer of credits: substitution or inclusion?

Credit transfer can refer to a process where (a) studies completed elsewhere are substituted in place of an Aalto degree course, or (b) studies completed elsewhere (an individual course or study module) are included in your degree, or (c) learning you have gained outside formal education is accredited towards your degree.

(a) Substitution means compensating for studies that are compulsory under the degree requirements with studies completed elsewhere or with other learning gained elsewhere. Substitution requires that the content and level of the studies or learning gained elsewhere correspond to those of the Aalto degree studies. In addition, substitution requires that the scope in credits of the studies or learning gained elsewhere corresponds to that of the Aalto degree studies. 

Apply for substitution on Sisu through the course info sheet. Technical instructions: Credit transfer: Incorporating studies in your degree by credit transfer

Example: I have completed a University of Helsinki course that I believe is equivalent to an Aalto course marked as a part of my degree in my HOPS personal study plan. Based on my previously completed course, I may apply for substitution of the Aalto course.

(b) Inclusion means that studies completed or learning gained elsewhere is included in the degree as, for instance, elective studies. The level of the studies to be included has to correspond to the degree requirements in force, their contents do not.

The recommended way to apply for inclusion on Sisu is to create a study draft and use it to apply. Technical instructions: Credit transfer: Incorporating studies in your degree by credit transfer

Example 1: I have completed a course in social policy at the University of Helsinki. I want to include this course in my degree, although it does not correspond to any of the courses required for my degree in terms of content. I may apply for the course to be included in my degree as an elective studies course.

Example 2: I have completed a basic studies in social policy at the University of Helsinki. I am thinking these might be enough to form a minor subject for my degree. I may apply for these studies to be included in my degree as a minor.

(c) Accreditation of learning demonstrated in some other manner means recognising learning gained outside formal education as credits towards your degree. The level of the learning to be accredited towards your degree has to correspond to the degree requirements in force, its contents do not. 

You can apply for accreditation of learning towards your degree on Sisu either as a custom course credit or inclusion. Technical instructions: Credit transfer: Incorporating studies in your degree by credit transfer

Substitution of an individual course  

  • The substituting course must meet the learning outcomes of the course it substitutes for, and its scope in ECTS credits must usually be equal or greater. The scope of the substituting course may be a maximum of 20% narrower than the scope of the course substituted for if learning outcomes are achieved. However, a course whose scope is less than 5 credits may be substituted for by a course whose scope is a maximum of one (1) credit narrower. Credits for the Aalto course being substituted for are entered into the student register (student information system) as transfer credits with the scope the same as indicated in the degree requirements. You can also apply to have a single Aalto course compensated for by several courses completed elsewhere. In such cases as well, the Aalto course that is being substituted for is entered into the system with the number of credits indicated in the Aalto degree requirements.

Inclusion of an individual course

  • The content of a course for inclusion cannot excessively overlap with that of other courses included in your degree(s).

Including a minor completed elsewhere in an Aalto degree

The minor study module completed elsewhere must be sufficiently suited to your Aalto degree. Its scope in credits must comply with the degree requirements.

You may apply to have a study module you have completed elsewhere included in your degree as a minor study module only if the ECTS credits of that study module will be part of the minimum total credits required for your degree. A minor study module that has been included in your degree through credit transfer is a permanent part of your degree; it cannot be removed from your degree later.

What code should I use for inclusion of a minor in my HOPS

M1FINU-ENG Minor completed in a Finnish university

M1ABR-ENG Minor completed in a university abroad

M1FINP-ENG Minor completed in a university of applied sciences

M2FINU-BIZ Minor study module completed in a Finnish university

  • Under the minor code, please add each course to be included in the minor as a study draft.

INTM-BIZ International minor in a bachelor’s degree (this code is used for exchange studies)

INTM2-BIZ International minor in a master’s degree (this code is used for exchange studies)

M2ABR-BIZ Minor study module completed in a university abroad

  • Under the minor code, please add each course to be included in the minor as a study draft.

M2FINP-BIZ Minor completed in a university of applied sciences

  • Under the minor code, please add each course to be included in the minor as a study draft.

M1FINU-CHEM Minor completed in a Finnish university

M1ABR-CHEM Minor completed in a university abroad

M1FINP-CHEM Minor completed in a university of applied sciences

M1FINU-SCI Minor completed in a Finnish university

M1FINP-SCI Minor completed in a university of applied sciences

M1FINU-ELEC Minor completed in a Finnish university

M1ABR-ELEC Minor completed in a university abroad

M1FINP-ELEC Minor completed in a university of applied sciences

M1FINU-ARTS Minor completed in a Finnish university

M1ABR-ARTS Minor completed in a university abroad

M1FINP-ARTS Minor completed in a university of applied sciences

Recognition of the same studies towards several degrees at Aalto University

Recognition of the same studies towards two different degrees that you are going to complete at Aalto University requires a process called credit transfer. Prior studies are counted towards the Aalto University degree through a credit transfer procedure in cases where the student: 

  • has been admitted as a transfer student from a different field of education at Aalto University (credit transfer is required because the studies lead to a different degree) 
  • has already completed a degree at Aalto University and is now pursuing another (e.g. has a prior Bachelor of Science (Economics and Business Administration) degree and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science (Technology) degree; Bachelor of Science (Technology) -> Bachelor of Science (Technology) degree) 
    • Use study drafts to add the studies already included in your previous degree to your HOPS and to apply for approval.
  • is simultaneously pursuing two different degrees at Aalto University (e.g. an MSc (Tech) and an MSc (Econ. & Bus. Admin) degree). 
    • In your HOPS, place the courses in the degree to which they primarily belong. For example, you can add major studies that are part of an Economics and Business Administration degree as study drafts to the elective studies section of your Bachelor of Science (Technology) degree. Use study drafts to plan and apply for credit transfer, even if you complete your Bachelor of Science (Technology) degree earlier.  
    • If you have completed a minor that could become part of either of your degrees, you can include it in the degree that you will complete first, and add it to the other degree as a study draft.  

Open University studies

Studies completed at Aalto University Open University appear on both the Aalto University and Open University transcript of records. The studies automatically become a part of your degree if they are approved parts of your HOPS. You do not need to apply for credit transfer. 

Appealing a decision 

Appealing against a decision regarding credit transfer 

Students dissatisfied with a decision regarding credit transfer may appeal against it either orally or in writing to the body that made the decision, provided they do so within 14 days of receiving notice of the decision. 

Appealing against the outcome of an appeal concerning credit transfer 

Students dissatisfied with the outcome of their appeal may appeal against the decision in writing to the Aalto University Academic Appeals Board within 14 days of receiving notice of the decision. The appeal must arrive at the university by the closing time of the Registry (15.00) on the deadline. 

Academic appeals