Selection criteria

The selection criteria for student exchange are academic standing (grades and the number of completed credits), preliminary study plan and motivation. Language skills will also be taken into account in destinations with specific language requirements.


The selection is mainly done based on the applications. For a few of the most popular destinations outside Europe (Australia, Canada) and for ISEP-exchange (USA) the applicants ma also be interviewed.

  • The selection regarding the Erasmus and Nordplus programs is done by the faculty whose exchange place is in question. Different faculties might stress different things while making the selection.
  • The selection regarding the university's bilateral exchanges and ISEP, Nordlys and FIRST programs is done by the Director of Student and Academic Affairs based on the proposal of the nomination group. The nomination group consists of members of the staff of the International Office and the student union JYY.
  • If the applicant cannot be nominated to the exchange universities s/he is applying for, s/he can be offered an exchange placement in another exchange university in the same host country, provided there are available placements.  

Principles for Students’ Access to Exchange Programmes at the University of Jyväskylä

University-level basic  prerequisites for study exchange nomination and selection criteria in regards to all JYU study exchange programs



The University of Jyväskylä aims at offering equal opportunities for study abroad to the degree students of the university, free of discrimination based on such factors as gender, age, disability, ethnic or socioeconomic background or nationality. However, individual exchange programmes, host universities and host countries may set their own restrictions, which need to be communicated to applicants and which must  be taken into consideration when nominating outgoing exchange students.

The objective of the university is to implement student exchange in such a way that the study abroad period is a well-planned and well-timed part of the studies, and that it will enhance the skills and international competence of the student.

Prerequisites for participation in student exchange

  • Students applying and participating in the student exchange shall be regular degree students at the University of Jyväskylä.
  • Undergraduate students shall have completed studies corresponding to the normal study load of one academic year by the commencement of the exchange period. The studies may have been completed at the University of Jyväskylä or some other institution of higher education, provided that the credits have been recognised by the University of Jyväskylä.
  • Students pursuing advanced studies leading to a Master’s degree or studying in separate Master’s programmes shall have completed degree studies of at least one semester by the commencement of the exchange period. International joint programmes that include a study abroad period during the first term will make an exception.
  • Postgraduate students shall have an approved plan for postgraduate studies and a recommendation for study abroad period from the supervisor by the time of applying for an exchange programme.
  • The students shall prepare a study plan for the study abroad period indicating that the studies included in the plan can be transferred to full compensation to the degree that is to be completed at the University of Jyväskylä.
  • The candidate shall be sufficiently versed in the teaching language used during the study period abroad. The sufficiency shall be attested by previous studies, language examination or by other means approved by the host university.
  • The selected candidate for the exchange shall have successfully completed the studies to that extent that it can be expected from him/her to manage the studies in the host university abroad.
  • As a rule, students are given the possibility to participate in the exchange programmes of the University of Jyväskylä once during undergraduate or graduate studies. A student may be selected for a new exchange period, if the studies the student is pursuing require a new study period abroad. As an exception, a new exchange period may also be granted in case the first period has covered only one term, and the new period abroad would be of special relevance to the studies.

Nomination procedure and general nomination criteria for the exchange programmes and the exchange agreements of the university

Students for exchange programmes that concern either one department, one faculty or the whole university are nominated amongst those students that fulfill the requirements set for the access to student exchange. Furthermore, special provisions concerning each exchange programme (e.g. Erasmus mobility) shall be considered. The final decision on the approval of the student is always made by the host university.

Departments or faculties shall submit their proposals to the host universities when nominating candidates for the exchanges that concern one department or one faculty only. When candidates are nominated to exchanges that concern the whole university, the faculties first put their own students into order of priority, and send their proposal to the nomination group, which consists of members of the staff of the International Office. The nomination group will submit its own proposal for the candidates, based on the faculty proposal, to the Director of Student and Academic Affairs, who in turn will make the decision on the exchange candidates offered to the partner university.

When faculties or departments decide on the candidates for their own partner institutions or submit their proposal for the candidates for exchanges concerning the whole university, the following common nomination criteria will be used:

  • Academic achievements
  • Timing of exchange period into a relevant phase of studies
  • Academic grounds for the exchange (applicability of studies abroad to the degree) and study plan in the host institution
  • Language competence in the teaching language of the host university

Faculties and departments may use further criteria, if applicable, in the nominations concerning student exchange agreements of their own. Faculties and departments also determine the nomination procedure as regards their own exchanges.

After having received the proposals of the faculties the nomination group for student exchange shall ensure that the candidates proposed by the faculties show proof of required language skills. The nomination group will submit its proposal for exchange candidates (and possible reserve candidates) taking into consideration the proposals of the faculties and the earlier mentioned general criteria. Furthermore, the nomination group shall pay attention to the balance between the faculties as regards the amount of candidates. Some exchange agreements may also include agreed quota for students of certain subjects.

Additional criteria for candidates to especially popular exchanges

  1. Previous exchange periods: Applicants with previous exchange periods offered by the University of Jyväskylä will be discarded.
  2. Phase of studies: Applicants, whose studies are at too early a stage or too far advanced, will be discarded.
  3. Second master’s degree: Applicants pursuing a second master’s degree at JYU will be discarded.
  4. Success in a candidate interview, if  there has been one. This requires that the candidate shows fluent spoken skills in English, sufficient familiarity with the University of Jyväskylä, and is well equipped for marketing the University of Jyväskylä as an exchange destination.

Aino Sallinen, Rector

Kari Pitkänen, Director of Student and Academic Affairs