How to start?
If you are studying at one of Aalto University's partner institutions and planning to apply for exchange (e.g. Erasmus+, Nordtek/-plus, bilateral) to Aalto University, please first contact the international office of your home university in order to discuss your eligibility, and to receive more information about exchange study possibilities offered by your home university.
When your home university has approved your participation and sent an official nomination to Aalto, we will email you the application instructions and the link to the online application form, which you must fill out and submit before the application deadline. You should apply to the Aalto school (School of Arts, Design and Architecture, School of Business, School of Chemical Engineering, School of Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering or School of Science) which your home university has an agreement with in your field of study. For more information about the agreements and their field of study, please ask your home university's international office.
ERASMUS code of Aalto University is SF ESPOO12.
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.
Application period to Aalto University takes place twice a year:
- In the spring term, for the upcoming academic year or the autumn term
- In the autumn term, for the following spring term
Please note that applications that arrive late or are incomplete after the deadlines will be rejected.
Each School of Aalto University sets their own application and acceptance deadlines, application documents and means of publishing the acceptance results. For more information, please refer to the own pages of Aalto Schools that can be found below. Aalto University uses online application for exchange students. You are not required to send any documents by post but all the required documents should be attached to the online application form.
School specific application instructions
All exchanges to Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture (Aalto ARTS) are based on agreements between institutions. An existing agreement is the precondition for applying for the exchange. You can check the partnerships or valid agreements from your own university's homepages or from the personnel working in the international office in your home institution. You should apply to the Aalto ARTS programme your home university has an agreement with.
Unfortunately we do not offer any Free Mover options.
To start the application process, your own school will have to select you as their nominee. The international office of your home institution will send us the nomination. We expect that the nominated students can transfer the credits into their degree studies, and that their English level is sufficient in order to follow the courses in Aalto ARTS (equivalent to B2 level on the CEFR scale).
- When starting to fill in your application for the first time you will have to register to the online system with your name and email address and create a password. Once registered, you can fill in the online application form and submit it by the deadline with all the required documents attached. After the closing date the departments will evaluate the applications.
- Make sure that you give your own, valid email address in the application form (and double check the spelling). It is highly important because in the future you will receive all communications to this email address, including the application result.
- We also ask your mobile phone number. They are needed later for Aalto IT account activation, so you will need to give your phone number in the international format (+ or 00 followed by the country code). Please check carefully the right international format for your mobile phone number.
Once you start filling out the application, please have the following documents ready, as they should be uploaded to the online application (as pdf files):
- Official copy of your Transcript of Records in English: a list of the courses that you have completed so far
- Motivation letter: describe your educational goals and interests, tell us why you are applying for the specific programme/major at Aalto ARTS
- Portfolio: as a file (pdf) or an online link
- A copy of your passport or ID card
- A preliminary Study plan (bilateral exchange students), Learning Agreement (Erasmus+ exchange students) or research plan (Doctoral level students):
- this is a list of courses you would like to take in the programme you are applying for at Aalto ARTS (and any other courses, eg. language and general art studies)
- refer to the application instructions sent to you by email
- The courses are subject to change, some with limited or prioritized places available. More information on studies is available here.
- Erasmus+ students can use the Erasmus+ Learning Agreement form provided by their home university or print their OLA as pdf to the application
- All other exchange students can use this
It's important to prepare the motivation letter, CV, portfolio and course plan thoughtfully. These will all reflect your motivation to study in the programme you are applying for, and will influence the decision of the programme.
Read carefully the instructions for How to make your portfolio.
Special requirements for the portfolio in Architecture and Landscape Architecture
- Samples of your design and planning works from the school works, courses and studios
- The portfolio should be versatile and illuminate your capability and working methods
- Please note that some studios/teachers will review your portfolio in advance (portfolio selection for studios)
With the portfolio students should demonstrate
- their communication skills that is the ability to use visual means of representation of the discipline in order to communicate your design idea and its architectural expression.
- their technical skills that is the ability to translate your concept into an adequate material system and coherent construction logic.
- their understanding of context that is the ability to relate the architectural project to its physical, social, cultural and political environment.
- their understanding of space-making that is the ability to translate the architectural concept into an adequate spatial experience and spatial dynamics.
The portfolio will be reviewed and must be evaluated at least with a grade 3 (according to Aalto grading scheme). Otherwise students cannot be accepted for exchange.
Application periods for Aalto ARTS
- 15 March - 15 April: for autumn term (Sep-Dec) and full academic year (Sep-Jun)
- 15 September - 15 October: for spring term (Jan-Jun)
If you have any questions concerning the application procedure, please email email@example.com
After you have been accepted to the exchange program at your home university and we have received the nomination from your home university's coordinator, we will send you a link to the online application form for incoming exchange students. You will have to start the process by registering to the online system with your name and email address and creating a password. You can start and save your application, but please note you cannot submit it before you have filled out all mandatory fields and uploaded the requested documents.
Please note! We ask your mobile phone number in the application form. Phone numbers are needed for Aalto IT account activation, so you will need to give your phone number in international format (+ or 00 and country code).
Please check carefully the right international format for your mobile phone number.
Once you start filling out the application please have the following documents ready, as they should be uploaded (PDF) to the online application:
- Copy of your ID or passport
- Official transcript of records
- Curriculum vitae
Later on we will also collect the information on following:
- Learning agreement / preliminary study plan
- Travel plan
The Learning Agreement and the travel plan have a different deadline and therefore does not have to be enclosed together with the application form.
Although we do not require any official test record of English like TOEFL or IELTS, we expect the students to be proficient in English both in writing and in communicating in the classroom in order to be able to fulfill the course assignments. We expect that the home institution verifies students’ proficiency prior to nominating them to Aalto. The minimum level we expect student to have is equivalent to IELTS 6,5 (total) or TOEFL 92 (total).
- April 30: Applications for the autumn term and for the full academic year
- October 15: Applications for the spring term
The learning agreement / preliminary study plan and the travel plan will be asked only after the student has been accepted on exchange at Aalto University School of Business. The deadline for the documents is in the beginning of August for students coming in the autumn term and in the beginning of December for the students coming in the spring term. Students will receive a separate email with instructions and deadlines of these documents.
You must be nominated for exchange by your home university. The link to the application will be sent to nominated students only.
Aalto University Schools of Technology strongly recommend at least two to three years of Bachelor’s studies before arrival as most of the courses taught in English are on Master level. Bachelor level students are allowed to select Master level courses as long as they fulfill the course specific prerequisites.
The online application opens one month before the application deadline. When you have received the email with instructions and the link to our online application, please follow the procedure below.
It's important that you only fill out and submit one online application form. If there is a problem with the form or you notice that you've made a mistake when filling it out, please contact us. Do not submit a new application.
You must attach the following documents to the online application. Please prepare them before starting to fill out the online application form.
- Official transcript of records in English (i.e. a list of all courses you have completed. Note: If you are a Master's student include your transcript of records for your Bachelor's degree as well.)
- Preliminary Study plan or Learning Agreement approved by your home institution.
- Erasmus+ students should use the Erasmus+ Learning Agreement form provided by their home university or print their OLA as pdf to the application
- All other exchange students can use this .
- English language certificate: an official test certificate (e.g. IELTS, TOEFL), or a statement by an English language teacher or other professor stating that you have the required level of English skills (equivalent to at least B2 on the CEFR scale) to study in your subject area. Only students, whose mother tongue is English or the home university is located in USA, Canada, Australia, Ireland, the UK, Singapore or in Hong Kong (and the language of instruction is English) are exempted from providing a language certificate.
- Curriculum Vitae
- Copy of passport/ID card
Study Plan or Learning Agreement:
Application deadlines for the academic year 2022-2023
- April 30: Applications for the full academic year or for the autumn term
- October 15: Applications for the spring term 2023 only
In April you can apply for the next academic year or for the autumn term. In September/October you can apply only for the following spring term.
Please note that applications that arrive late or are incomplete after the deadlines will be rejected.
The admission process
1. Contact your home university's international office for information on your university's internal admission requirements, deadlines and the application procedure. Your home university nominates the candidates for exchange to Aalto University by sending a nomination email to the Aalto School they have an agreement with.
2. Fill in the online application form and submit it by the deadline with all the required documents attached.
3. Your Learning Agreement/Study Plan will be checked only in the Aalto school that you have applied to. You may be asked to make changes in your Learning Agreement/Study Plan.
4. The electronic acceptance (or rejection) letter will be sent to you by email. With the admission decision you will receive some useful pre-arrival material. Information about the application result will be sent to you within one and a half months after the application deadline. If you have not received any information from us by that time, please contact the exchange coordinator at the Aalto school you applied to.
6. When you have received the admission letter, please inform the coordinator at your home university about the decision (follow the instructions of your home university).