Admission Requirements for Higher Education in Finland
In Finland, higher education studies can be completed in universities as well as universities of applied sciences or polytechnics. The admission requirement and procedure vary depending on the programme and institution, and is managed and organized by the institution themselves.
The Bachelor’s degree programme is offered by the universities as well as universities of applied sciences/polytechnics in Finland. Students can apply for the University Bachelor's degree conducted in English through joint application. The Bachelor’s degree programmes conducted in English are mainly offered by Universities of Applied Sciences/Polytechnics.
The Master’s degree programmes are offered by the universities as well as universities of applied sciences/polytechnics in Finland. Students can apply for university or polytechnics Master’s degree programmes conducted in English through a separate application.
Students can apply to Universities in Finland through a joint application (yhteishaku) in the spring. Also, students can apply for a Master's degree programme through a University Admissions Finland Centralised service. About 11 Universities in Finland use University Admissions Finland (UAF)
service. To know about the Universities in Finland that use UAF service for admissions, click here
. Students must create an account for UAF and apply to their chosen University. To know more about the applying process, click here
For Bachelor’s Degree in Universities
To be eligible for a Bachelor’s degree programme at Finnish Universities, students are required to possess the following qualifications:
- Finnish matriculation examination Certificate
- Foreign certificate equivalent to the matriculation examination certificate
- Vocational qualification from a vocational school or through apprenticeship of 3 years or more
- The International Baccalaureate
- European Baccalaureate
For Master’s Degree
Students must hold a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification in order to get accepted into a Master degree programme at Finnish Universities.
For Postgraduate Studies in Universities
At Finnish Universities, students can go for artistic or scientific postgraduate degrees, which are the licentiate and the doctorate.
Students must hold a Master’s degree or its equivalent for doctoral studies in Finland. Doctoral degrees are not the part of the joint application procedure. For doctorate studies, students must apply to the concerned university directly.
Universities of Applied Sciences
General Eligibility Criteria
For Polytechnic Bachelor’s Degree
Student must possess either of the following:
- A vocational qualification
- Upper secondary school completion certificate
- The International Baccalaureate
- European Baccalaureate
For Polytechnic Master’s Degree
Students must hold a Bachelor’s degree or a corresponding qualification in order to get accepted into a Master degree programme at Finnish Polytechnics.
Master’s degree programmes at Universities of Applied Sciences additionally require candidates to have about 3 years of work experience.
Vocational Teacher Training
Vocational teacher training is for candidates who wish to work as a teacher at polytechnics or vocational education institutions in Finland.
Candidates with following qualification are eligible to apply Vocational Teacher Education:
- A higher education degree-Bachelor or Master’s degree
- At least 3 years of work experience in their professional field. Candidates in the social services and health fields with a degree from a polytechnic must possess 5 years of work experience.
The qualifications are decided by the following legislation:
- The Decree on the Qualifications of Educational Staff 986/1998
- The Polytechnic Act 351/2003
- The Decree on Polytechnics 352/2003
Joint application (yhteishaku) is a shared application process for several higher education institutions. With the joint application, one can apply to six study programmes. This process is carried out online.
Educational Institutions part of the joint application process
Students can apply for the following in the joint application period:
- Upper secondary school (lukio): The application start from February and ends in March
- Vocational education (ammatillinen koulutus): The application begins from February to March and September to October
- University of applied sciences (ammattikorkeakoulu): The application period runs from February to March and September to October
- University (yliopisto): The application period starts from February and goes on until March
Also, separate applications can be made for the following:
- If you wish to apply for a higher university of applied sciences degree, or
- If you wish to apply for separate university studies, or
- If you wish to apply for Vocational Start, or
- If you wish to apply for special education, or
- If you wish to apply for preparatory education
The application dates and deadlines vary so, contact the respective institutions.
If the course of study in offered in Finnish or Swedish, students must apply in the joint application process (yhteishaku). The joint application process is organized two times in a year in the spring and autumn, while the application process for study courses in English are held once a year.
Universities of Applied Sciences/Polytechnics choose their pupils on the basis of:
- Entrance examination scores
- Grades of the matriculation certificate, upper secondary school certificate or vocational qualification
- Work experience
Abide by the steps:
- Select the course/programme of your choice
- Submit the application along with the required documentation- educational certificates
- Sit for an entrance examination, if needed
- Application form: It must be completed online, printed and signed
- Proof of language skills: Depending on which language you have chosen
- Educational Certificates
- Other documents as requested by the institution providing your chosen degree programme/course
- The institution will send a letter to apprise you about whether you’ve been accepted or not.
- If you’re accepted, register at the University or polytechnic.
The Higher Education Institutions in Finland- Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences/Polytechnics hold entrance examinations. Entrance examinations vary between institutions.