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:

  • Bachelor or Master degree taught in English;
  • 20 ECTS credits of studies conducted in English in a higher education institution in Finland;
  • Certificate of English language proficiency by Finnish NBE (skill levels 5 in reading, writing, listening & speaking);
  • IELTS score (minimum 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each section; Academic module only);
  • Pearson Test of English (minimum 62, with minimum of 52 in writing section; PTE Academic only);
  • Cambridge ESOL's Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE), or of Advanced English (CAE) (grades A, B or C);
  • TOEFL PBT 580 (with a minimum of 4.5 in the Test of Written English, TWE);
  • TOEFL iBT 92 (with a minimum of 20 in Writing section);
  • TOEFL rPDT (Revised Paper-delivered Test) with a minimum score of 20 in the reading section, a minimum score of 20 in the listening section, a minimum score of 22 in the writing section;
  • 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: 26.1.2021