University of Oulu, 2019

Requirements for admission

Requirements for admission

1. Principal supervisor

Each doctoral student must have a principal supervisor who commits to the supervision of the student’s doctoral training. Each applicant is responsible for finding and contacting an appropriate principal supervisor affiliated with a research unit of the University of Oulu. Without a supervisor and his/her signed commitment letter, the study rights will not be granted. The applicant and the principal supervisor must ensure that the research site has all needed resources (supervision and other resources) for applicant’s doctoral training.

2. Relevant Master of Science degree

The applicant has completed a relevant Master of Science degree, or an equivalent degree giving eligibility for corresponding university studies in the country that issued the degree.
The Doctoral Training Committee evaluates the validity of the previous degree for doctoral training, taking into account the major skills required. If the applicant plans to undertake doctoral studies in any other field, he/she may be required to follow bridging studies considered necessary to start in the chosen major subject (see below). 

3. Grade requirements

The above-mentioned degree must have been completed with good grades (at least 60% of maximum grade, or 3/5, in both taught studies and the Master’s thesis)
In exceptional cases where the applicant's grades obtained for the Master's degree (or equivalent) do not meet the requirements for admission to UniOGS, it may be possible to compensate for the insufficient grades. The conditions and procedure for compensating insufficient grades acquired for the previous degree can be found here.

If the applicant has a Master's degree in a relevant field from a University of Applied Sciences, either from Finland or abroad, the prerequisites for admission and the capabilities for successful doctoral training will be examined case-by-case, dependent upon the applicant and the major subject. In this case, the applicant's grades must be very good (at least 80 % of the maximum score for both the taught studies and the thesis).

Depending on the applicant’s academic background and experience, the granting the doctoral study rights may also require complementary university-level studies, or “bridging studies”, up to a maximum of 60 ECTS credits, which must be completed with good grades (at least 60% of the maximum score). The Doctoral Training Committee approves the applicant’s study plan for the bridging studies, which are proposed by the principal supervisor and the doctoral degree programme director. If the latter are the same person, the doctoral degree programme director will be substituted by another expert appointed by the chairperson of the Doctoral Training Committee. If more than 60 credits of bridging studies are deemed to be necessary in order to undertake the doctoral training, the applicant will be directed to apply for study rights to complete an appropriate Master's degree at the university-level before applying for the doctoral study rights from the graduate school.

An applicant with a Bachelor’s degree may be admitted to the Graduate School to undertake doctoral studies, if the applicant has at least a Bachelor of Medicine or Dentistry, is a student of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Oulu, and is doing research in a research group (only applicable for applicants aiming to pursue a degree of Doctor of Medical Science, or of Dental Science).

4. Language skills

All applicants must possess sufficient language skills sufficient to follow doctoral studies. The teaching languages ​​at the University of Oulu are Finnish and English. All applicants, who have not completed a secondary or higher education degree in the Finnish language, must demonstrate that they possess sufficient English and/or Finnish language skills with one of the following options:

  • TOEFL iBT or TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition 92 (with a minimum of 20 in Writing section) 
    • When completing the TOEFL Registration Form, please fill in University of Oulu's Institution Code 0229 in the Score Report Recipient field. University of Oulu will verify the TOEFL results through the online verification system provided by ETS. Upload a test score report to the electronic application.
    • TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the test date.
  • IELTS Academic or IELTS Indicator  6.5 (with a minimum of 5.5 per each section) 
    • Upload a test score report to the electronic application. University of Oulu will verify the IELTS results through the online verification system.
    • IELTS test report forms are valid for two years.
  • Pearson Test of English, PTE Academic 62 (with a minimum of 52 in Writing section)
    • Once you receive your test score, send it to University of Oulu from your PTE account. After this, university should have access to your test results within 48 hours. Be advised that online language test results will only be accepted from the test organiser. Upload a test score report to the electronic application.
    • The PTE Academic scores are valid for up to two years from the date of the exam.
  • C2 Profiency (former Cambridge English: Proficiency, CPE) Pass Level A, B, C or level C1 certificate or  C1 Advanced (former Cambridge English: Advanced, CAE) Pass Level A, B or C
    • No expiry date for test result.
  • National Certificate of Language Proficiency Skill level 5 in the following subtests; reading, writing, listening and speaking
    • Upload a copy of the National Certificate of English Language Proficiency by Finnish National Board of Education to the electronic application. University of Oulu will verify the results from the test organiser.
    • No expiry date for test result.
  • Bachelor, Master or Doctoral`s degree in English in a university or university of applied sciences in EU/EEA country, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United States, excluding online degrees and offshore campuses. 
    • Upload a copy of the transcript of records of Bachelor, Master or Doctoral`s degree conducted in English language to the electronic application. If original document is not issued in English, Finnish or Swedish, translation to one of the languages is also required.
  • 20 ECTS credits of studies conducted in English at a Finnish University or a University of Applied Sciences. 
    • Upload a copy of transcript of records from a Finnish university or a university of applied sciences in Finnish, Swedish or English, clearly stating the courses completed in English to the electronic application.
    • Studies conducted in English at a university abroad for example during student exchange are not accepted.
  • Statements of skills from the proposed principal supervisor and one independent scientist (anglophone or equivalent language skills) at Oulu University, based on interview.


Last updated: 15.6.2021