Eligibility and selection criteria

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.

Eligibility for doctoral degree in Educational Studies

Students eligible to pursue doctoral studies in the Doctoral Programme in Educational Studies must have completed a Master's degree with science of adult education, special pedagogy, education, home economics or craft science as their major subject or completed advanced studies in any of these subjects.  At least 60 ECTS of studies in the field of Education is required.  Applicants who have completed any other relevant Finnish Master's-level qualifications, including polytechnic Master's degrees, may also apply for the doctoral programme.

Supplementary studies

Prospective students who apply for the right to pursue a doctoral degree in the Philosophical Faculty and who have a Master's degree in a subject other than adult education, special pedagogy, education, home economics or craft science, and whose additional studies have not given them eligibility to pursue postgraduate studies in the field for which they have applied, may be asked by the faculty to complete between 15 and 60 ECTS in supplementary studies upon a proposal by the Doctoral Programme in Educational Studies. Applicants who change their major subject may also be asked by the faculty to complete between 15 and 60 ECTS in supplementary studies upon a proposal by the Doctoral Programme in Educational Studies. Applicants who have completed a polytechnic Master's degree will supplement their studies according to a proposal submitted by the doctoral degree programme, in order to meet the criteria for one of the above-mentioned Master's degrees. The scope and extent of any supplementary studies will be specified when the right to doctoral studies is granted. Supplementary studies cannot be included in the doctoral degree.

Master's degree completed abroad

The doctoral degree programme is also open to applicants who have completed a relevant Master's degree abroad, providing eligibility in the awarding country for corresponding studies leading to a postgraduate degree. The degree must be completed in a field corresponding to the major subject of the doctorate, and must be completed by the end of the application period. A Master's degree completed abroad is considered to correspond to a Finnish higher university degree. Degrees completed in other countries are assessed separately on a case-by-case basis. At least 60 ECTS of studies in the field of Education is required.

Applicants are expected to have proficiency in Finnish or in English sufficient for producing a clear research plan, participating in education and communicating with the university staff without difficulty. Upon submitting the application for the right to pursue studies, applicants may be asked to prove that they have the required proficiency in one of these languages.

Admission criteria

Students admitted to pursue doctoral studies in the Doctoral Programme in Educational Studies within the Philosophical Faculty must have completed advanced studies in which they have achieved the grade "good" or higher in the major subject of their postgraduate studies, in an applicable related subject or in other equivalent studies. The applicant's Master's thesis or an equivalent final paper must have achieved a grade corresponding to "good" or higher (i.e. at least cum laude approbatur or 3/5). If the applicant's earlier degree does not include a Master’s thesis or a corresponding final paper or if its grade is lower than that mentioned above, the leadership group of the doctoral programme will assess a proposal by the professor of the subject whether the applicant can present additional academic merits (such as an exceptionally high quality research plan, an essay concerning the method or subject matter of the proposed study, publications or research experience) in support of their admission.

Students applying for the right to pursue studies in the Faculty of Science and Forestry will be assessed based on the admission criteria of the respective faculty. In addition to a relevant Master's degree, applicants are expected to have a subject teacher's qualification in physics, chemistry, mathematics or computer science. Topics of postgraduate studies in physics, chemistry, mathematics and computer science are related to learning, teaching or teacher education in these subjects.

Admission to doctoral education is based on the above-mentioned studies and a research plan approved and recommended by the doctoral programme. The board of the Doctoral Programme in Educational Studies will assess the quality of the applicant's research plan and its relevance to the research topics of the programme.

In addition, the faculty must have the expertise required to supervise the doctoral dissertation. The application must include the names of at least two supervisors who have agreed to the task, one of which is the supervising professor. The supervising professor has to be employed in the faculty in which the postgraduate student is completing his/her degree. The primary supervisor must be a professor, associate professor or docent. Other supervisors shall be people who have completed doctoral studies. If the supervising professor is also the primary supervisor, a second supervisor shall be appointed.

Applying and admission process

The Doctoral Programme in Educational Studies is open to admissions twice a year. Applications must be submitted by the end of April or the end of October. 

The application must include the details of the supervising professor, primary supervisor, and any other supervisors if known, the research plan and copies of qualification certificates and transcripits. Applicants must indicate their target degree in the application form.

The board of the doctoral programme assess the application, and proposes if the applicant's study right should be accepted or rejected. The Dean of the faculty makes the decision of admission. 

An applicant 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.  She/he should also 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. Doctoral students should also submit their postgraduate study plans, approved by the main supervisor, to the postgraduate amanuensis within three months of starting the doctoral studies.