The universities in Finland offer Doctoral (PhD) level study and research options, also in English. You can either apply to ready-made Doctoral programmes, or contact the university faculty or department of your interest for information on their Doctoral study options. It usually takes about 4 years to complete a doctoral degree.
Below you’ll find a quick overview on how to get started – you can use the same advice even if you’re not planning to apply for a full Doctoral degree but are interested in a Doctoral level research visit.
How to search for a Doctoral programme or a hosting university department
You can search for Doctoral study options by browsing our database, by using the Studyinfo.fi application page search function, or by visiting the universities’ websites. Note the links to the universities' Doctoral Admissions pages in the right-hand margin of this page!
Ready-made Doctoral programmes are not necessarily the only options, especially if you are considering a PhD-level research visit rather than a full Doctoral degree. So, you may also contact the university faculty or department of your choice directly for advice.
Entry requirements and applying
If you currently hold a Master’s degree (or equivalent) then you usually are eligible to apply for Doctoral studies in Finland.
Doctoral applications are usually made directly to the universities. The detailed entry requirements vary from one Doctoral option to another, and the same is true for application periods. Some universities may accept doctoral study applications at all times, while others may have specific application periods.
Contact the universities’ Doctoral Admissions services and check all the entry requirements and application procedure details with them directly. The universities can best assist you in these questions, as each university handles their own Doctoral applicants independently.
Financing your Doctoral studies
In Finland, there are no tuition fees on Doctoral level, regardless of your nationality. You should however be pre-pared to cover your living expenses.
There are national CIMO scholarship schemes available, and also you can search Doctoral research funding from different foundations and organisations in your particular field of scientific research. See the section on Scholarships for more information!
Residence permit and other practicalities
After you have received your Doctoral admission letter, you should start arranging the formalities. Non-EU/EEA citizens usually need a student residence permit. Your hosting university/UAS can advise you on the available student accommodation options and other services for Doctoral level students.
A few words on post-doctoral research
It is also possible to apply to post-doctoral researcher placements at Finnish universities. You can get advice on post-doctoral admissions directly from the universities. Do note however that the CIMO scholarship schemes are not applicable to post-docs. For post-doc funding options, you might wish to turn to the Academy of Finland www.aka.fi for information and advice.