Who can apply?

According to the Universities Act of Finland (558/2009, Chapter 5, Section 37), eligible for studies leading to a doctoral degree shall be
    • a person who has completed an applicable higher university or polytechnic degree
    • a person who has completed an applicable education abroad which in the awarding country gives eligibility for corresponding higher education
    • a person whom the university judges otherwise to have sufficient knowledge and skills for the studies.

There is no term fee for doctoral education in the University of Eastern Finland.

If you are applying for a doctoral study right in a field of research which has not been the main field of you Master's degree, the faculty may require you to complete supplementary studies to ensure that you are qualified to take part in doctoral studies. Possible supplementary studies are specified when the right to doctoral studies is granted and cannot be included in the doctoral degree.

How to apply?

A doctoral study right is granted as a result of an application in which the applicant suggests supervisors and makes a research plan. Study right to doctoral studies in Finland does not include scholarship or funding. Funding has to be applied for from various sources separately.

1. The prospective doctoral student discusses the possibility to pursue doctoral studies in the department or school with the potential supervisor(s) or with the coordinator/head of the doctoral programme.

2. The prospective doctoral student studies the instructions, study requirements and guidelines concerning the doctoral programme issued by the university, the faculty and the programme, which can be found on web pages of the doctoral programmes.

3. The prospective doctoral student discusses the research topic, doctoral studies and their completion, as well as other supervisors with the future main supervisor. Each doctoral student must have at least two supervisors. The prospective doctoral student and the supervisors must negotiate and agree on responsibilities and commitment to supervising the student's research project. The supervisors must give their written consent on the application form. The prospective doctoral student draws up a preliminary research plan. The doctoral student must indicate in the application the doctoral programme for which the student is applying the right to study.

4. The prospective doctoral student applies for the right to pursue doctoral studies using an application form:

Application for Doctoral Studies -form (docx)

Application for Doctoral Studies -form (rtf)

The application, complete with the required signatures and attachments, shall be delivered to the faculty's Administration Service Centre. Application attachments:

  • a copy of the basic university degree certificate, and other documents which may affect the granting of a study right
  • a transcript of earlier academic records
  • a preliminary research plan approved by the main supervisor (for guidance, see 1.5.1)
  • if necessary, a statement from the Comittee on Research Ethics and a permission for the use of laboratory animals

Programme-specific deadlines for applications are listed Doctoral Education Curricula in the descriptions of doctoral programmes.

5. The application for pursuing doctoral studies is processed by the relevant doctoral programme. 

6.  The faculty decides whether the right to pursue doctoral studies should be granted on the basis of a proposal made by the doctoral programme. When the right to study is granted, the faculty decides on any supplementary studies required, confirms the research topic, appoints the supervisors and approves the research plan and the personal doctoral study plans. The faculty communicates its decision to the applicant, the supervisors, the Student and Learning Services and the doctoral programme in question. Similarly, negative decisions and their justifications are communicated to the applicant, the supervisors and the doctoral programme. In addition, the applicant is provided with instructions on how to appeal the decision.

7. After having been granted the right to pursue doctoral studies, the student immediately registers as a doctoral student using a registration form which shall then be submitted to the Student and Learning Services. In subsequent academic years, the registration must be carried out by mid-September.

8. Doctoral student must submit a personal doctoral study plan to the Faculty Administration Office within 3 months after receiving the study right.


For more information, please contact:
• Philosophical Faculty: Kaisu Kortelainen (kaisu.kortelainen(at)uef.fi)
• Faculty of Science and Forestry: Kaisa Laitinen (kaisa.laitinen(at)uef.fi)
• Faculty of Health Sciences: Arja Afflekt (arja.afflekt(at)uef.fi)
• Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies: Annikki Honkanen (annikki.honkanen(at)uef.fi)

Accepting the Study Right and Registration

The one-place-per-student provision entered into force in autumn 2016. According to this provision, a student may accept only one study place per academic year in a degree programme leading to a higher education degree.   In practice, this means that a student accepted to a doctoral programme is required to notify the university of whether he or she will accept the offered study place or not. This notification should be made by filling out and returning a form that is included in the university's letter of acceptance. A student accepted to a doctoral programme is required to return the form to the university's Admissions Office by the deadline indicated. If the student fails to return the form by the deadline, he or she will lose the study place. A new study place can be obtained by re-applying for admission only.

New doctoral students must accept the study right and then register as a student in the university's Student Services. The faculty will send the registration form to new doctoral students enclosed with a Letter of Admittance. This form is only used on the first registration; in the following years, registration is done through intranet (WebOodi), by phone, e-mail or personal visit to Student Services. Registration for the next academic year must be completed before 15 September. Please note that in order to maintain your study right you must register to the university each year.

Visiting doctoral students, study right

Visiting doctoral students can apply for a temporary study right from UEF. The study right can be admitted to visiting foreign doctoral students, who already have a permission for doctoral studies in their home university. The study right of a visiting doctoral student does not allow a student to complete doctoral degree at UEF.

Application for Study Right, Visiting Doctoral Students