How to apply?

Scientific doctoral education leads to either a doctoral or a licentiate degree.

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 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.

2. 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.

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 Student and Learning Services. 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
  • if necessary, a statement from the Comittee on Research Ethics and a permission for the use of laboratory animals (more information about ethical issues here)

Programme-specific deadlines for applications are listed on the webpages 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 (see below).

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's Student and Learning Serives within 3 months after receiving the study right.

Decision Appeals

Any applicant who is dissatisfied with the student selections may apply for a written rectification from the Board of Appeal of the University of Eastern Finland. The deadline for making the request for rectification is fourteen (14) days after the applicant has been notified of the decision. The request for rectification must be addressed to the Board of Appeal and delivered to the Registry Office of the University of Eastern Finland within the prescribed deadline. If the request for rectification is delivered after fourteen days, it will not be investigated.