Doctoral Studies

University of Jyväskylä Graduate School for Doctoral Studies

The University of Jyväskylä is currently renewing the admission process of doctoral training. Application guidelines will be completed by 28 February, 2018. Please check the up-to-date guidelines before submitting your application!

Doctoral training

Approximately 160 doctors graduate yearly from the University of Jyväskylä. We educate research professionals and competent and versatile experts in various fields for the needs of society. At the University, there are 17 doctoral programmes running in six faculty-based doctoral schools. Study rights for doctoral studies are applied for from the faculty, and doctoral training takes place in the doctoral programmes.

To be awarded a doctorate, the student admitted to doctoral training must (Government Decree on University Degrees 794/2004, section 22):

  • complete the required postgraduate studies;
  • demonstrate independent and critical thinking in the field of research;
  • write a doctoral dissertation and defend it in public, or submit other public theses or skills demonstrations required by the University.

The extent of postgraduate studies varies between a minimum of 30 ECTS credits and a maximum of 60 ECTS credits depending on the faculty. The scope of the dissertation is designed so that the doctoral degree can be completed within four years of full-time work.

More information:

Eligibility for doctoral training

Eligible applicants for studies leading to an academic or artistic licentiate or doctoral degree have completed (Universities Act 558/2009, section 37)

  1. a relevant master’s degree awarded by a university;
  2. a relevant master’s degree awarded by a university of applied sciences; or
  3. a relevant study programme abroad which in the awarding country gives eligibility for the corresponding level of higher education.

The University may require a student admitted to study for an academic or artistic licentiate or doctoral degree to complete the necessary supplementary studies in order to acquire the knowledge and skills needed for the study programme. The faculty decides the extent of supplementary studies. The supplementary studies are not included in the licentiate or doctoral degree.

Admission criteria

The University of Jyväskylä requires that a student selected for doctoral studies has sufficient basic knowledge of the discipline in which the dissertation is to be completed and has received at least the grade of Good, 3/5 or another corresponding grade for the master’s thesis. Doctoral student admission follows detailed admission requirements prepared by the faculties on the basis of the following general admission criteria:

  • success in studies that provide eligibility for doctoral studies
  • appropriate language skills required for the studies
  • the suitability of the research subject for the research strategy of the department/faculty
  • the level and feasibility of the research and study plan
  • the availability of expert supervision and the sufficiency of related resources
  • the doctoral student’s commitment to complete the degree

Students selected for doctoral degree programmes are required to have proficiency in Finnish or English at the admission stage. No certificate in the proficiency of Finnish or English is required if the applicant has completed in Finland a higher education degree (i.e. master’s level or higher) that provides eligibility for the doctoral studies. No certificate in the proficiency of English is required if the applicant has completed a higher education degree (i.e. master’s level or higher) that provides eligibility for the doctoral studies in English in an EU/EEA country, Switzerland, the United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. The language of examination must have been English and the thesis must have been written in English. The language of examination must be detailed in the degree certificate or its attachment, the study transcript or other official document issued by the higher education institution concerned.

Other applicants who are planning to write their dissertations in English must demonstrate their English language proficiency. It can be demonstrated by the following international language proficiency certificates TOEFL, IELTS Academic, CAE or CPE, PTE Academic or the National Certificate of Language Proficiency. The following levels are the minimum requirements for international language proficiency tests: TOEFL: 627 (paper-based test) / 95 (Internet-based test), IELTS Academic: 7, CAE: passing levels A, B or C, CPE: passing levels A, B C or Level C1 or PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English): 76. The Pearson test of English, IELTS Academic and TOEFL certificates are valid for two years. The certificate must be valid until the end date of the application period. The National Certificate of Language Proficiency must be passed with the skill level 5 (Advanced level test) in all skill components (speaking, writing, listening and reading comprehension).

Other applicants whose mother tongue is not Finnish and who are planning to write the dissertation in Finnish must demonstrate their Finnish language proficiency. It can be demonstrated by the civil service language proficiency certificate, which must be passed with good speaking and writing skills, or with the National Certificate of Language Proficiency, which must be passed with the skill level 5 (Advanced level test) in all skill components (speaking, writing, listening and reading comprehension).

Depending on the study option, the language skill requirements may be stricter than mentioned above. Check the language skill requirements from the faculty-specific application guidelines.

Application for doctoral training

Doctoral study right is applied from the faculty. The application periods for doctoral studies are March and August. The March application period is for programmes starting on 1 August. The August application period is for programmes starting on 1 January.

The application period of March 2018 will start on 1 March 2018 and end on 29 March 2018 at 3:00 p.m. (GMT+2).

Main stages in applying for doctoral training

1)      Check your eligibility

  • Begin preparing your application well in time before the deadline.
  • Familiarise yourself with the general application guidelines and the application guidelines issued by the faculty-specific doctoral school (see the links below).
  • Check your eligibility for the postgraduate studies. If needed, ask for further information from the doctoral school concerned.
  • Check whether you need a certificate of your Finnish or English language proficiency. If needed, ask for further information from the doctoral school concerned.
  • Think of a tentative research topic or theme area on which you would like to write your dissertation. Familiarise yourself also with the dissertation requirements of the University of Jyväskylä as well as with the respective roles of the doctoral student, supervisor and follow-up group.

2)      Find out the availability of relevant supervision

  • As instructed in the faculty-specific application guidelines, contact the representative of the subject in the unit providing doctoral training in your field of science (faculty, department or independent institute) to arrange supervision for your doctoral studies.
  • As instructed in the faculty-specific application guidelines, discuss with the representative of the subject or with your possible supervisor about your research plan, postgraduate study plan, and financing plan for your doctoral studies.

3)      Submit your application

  • Ensure that you have everything needed for the application, including your research plan and doctoral study plan, and other necessary attachments (officially certified (attested) or legalised copy of your master’s degree certificate, officially certified (attested) or legalised transcript of records, official translations of your degree certificate and transcript of records, a language proficiency certificate).
  • Using the electronic application form, submit your application with attachments by the end of the application period.

General application guidelines

The applications are assessed in doctoral school or doctoral programme -specific groups. The applicants’ eligibility and the correctness of application documents are verified. The faculty grants the doctoral study rights. The students’ supervisors, follow-up group and doctoral programme are verified in the same connection. The admission decisions are made within six weeks from the end of the application period. The applicant is informed of the decision.

A party dissatisfied with a student admission decision may appeal by submitting a request for rectification to the Appeal Committee (Degree Regulations of the University of Jyväskylä, 16 March 2015, section 58). Rectification must be requested in writing within 14 days from the date of publishing the selection results. The request for rectification can be sent to the Registry Office and Archive by post or by email.

Accepting the study place

The offered study place is accepted in compliance with the instructions given in the acceptance letter.

When accepting the study place, you will also register for attendance or non-attendance for the first academic year. For the first year, registration as a non-attending student is possible for the following reasons only (Universities Act 558/2009, section 39):

  • you are in active service in accordance with the Conscription Act (1438/2007), the Non-Military Service Act (1446/2007) or the Women’s Voluntary Military Service Act (194/1995);
  • you are on maternity, paternity or parental leave; or
  • you are unable to begin studies due to a medical condition. (Amendment 324/2015)

According to the provision on one study place per term (Universities Act (558/2009, section 38), during one academic term a student may accept only one study place leading to a higher education degree in Finland.