Application process

Applications to doctoral studies are submitted by filling an application form in the Studyinfo application system.

Certified Photocopies Required

All educational documents attached to your application need to be officially certified. Official certified copies are copies stamped, dated and signed by an official body and may be obtained e.g. from a notary public or the educational institution which issued the original documents, or other official body.

Copies certified correct by signatures of two individuals not representing an official body are not sufficient.

Translate the Educational Documents into English, Finnish or Swedish

The required educational documents (degree certificate, transcript of records) must be submitted in Finnish, Swedish or English. All translations of the required documents are to be made by an official translator and must bear the signature and stamp of the translator. An officially certified copy of the document in the original language must be submitted together with the translation.

Application Enclosures

The following documents must be enclosed in the application for doctoral studies:

  1. Officially certified copies of Degree certificates
  2. Transcript of Records of the previous degrees and explanation of the grading scale
  3. Photocopy of passport's information page
  4. Proof of language proficiency
  5. Curriculum Vitae. Please use the Europass CV form
  6. Preliminary research plan. The research topic of the doctoral thesis is presented in the research plan. The applicant should describe how the suggested topic is related to previous research in the field and how it is relevant to the interests of the University’s research groups. In addition to the description of the topic, the research plan must contain a preliminary schedule for the research, and a description of the material and methods applied to the work. Also, the applicant’s familiarity with the topic should be described in the research plan. Graduate School's guidelines for writing research plan
  7. Preliminary study plan of the doctoral studies. Please use the form.
  8. Motivation letter doctoral studies.

A preliminary study plan for doctoral studies should describe the contents and schedule of doctoral studies. More detailed information about the degree structure and requirements of doctorate degrees are available at the Doctoral Programmes' pages.

Applicants may also submit other, optional documents supporting their application to the University. These may include, for example, recommendations from professors of the applicant’s home university (Letter of Recommendation Form or free-form recommendation).

In the University of Vaasa the plagiarism detection software is a part of the University's quality system of education and research.

Language Requirements

English language proficiency needs to be met by every applicant. It is to be verified in the application documents with one of the following ways:

Language tests

  • TOEFL test results with minimum score of 580 in paper-based test or 92 in iBT (University Admissions Finland’s TOEFL institution code is 3138)
  • IELTS test results (academic band) with minimum overall band score of 6.5 (each section minimum 5.5)
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic band) results with minimum overall score of 62
  • National Certificate of Language Proficiency (arranged by Finnish National Board of Education before 2012) with minimum overall language proficiency level 5
  • CPE test (Certificate of Proficiency in English) with pass grade A, B or C – ID number and secret code need to be provided on the copy of the certificate
  • CAE test (Certificate in Advanced English) with pass grade A, B or C – ID number and secret code need to be provided on the copy of the certificate
Education in English
  • University level degree conducted in English language or with English language, literature or philology as the major subject in an EU/EAA country, United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand
  • English language studies included in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree conducted in Finland
  • Studies as exchange student at the University of Vaasa

University of Vaasa does not apply a strict time limit to how recently the necessary verification for English language skills has been acquired. However, if the language skills verification is several years old it may have a negative effect on the admission decision.

Results of the Application Rounds

The dean grants study rights for doctoral students based on a statement by a representative of the relevant study field. In addition to the evaluation of applicant’s eligibility for doctoral studies, applicant’s study and research plan and the available resources of the unit providing the supervision and courses for doctorate degrees are taken into account in the admission process. A primary supervisor and possible other supervisors are appointed to each student if their applications are successful.

Results of the application round are announced in writing to all the applicants after the decisions have been made. The study right of the students who submit their application by the deadline of April and are accepted to the programme will begin on 1 August. The study right of the students who submit their application by the deadline of October and are accepted to the programme will begin on 1 January. Students accepted to doctoral programmes may register as students of the university from 1 August / 1 January. Students must register as attending or non-attending every year throughout their studies. For information about the annual registration, please visit the section Studies.

Please note, that if you have been accepted to other Finnish university, you can accept only one doctoral study position.

Doctoral students should start their studies as soon as possible after the decision of acceptance is served. International students (persons not residing permanently in Finland) must return a binding confirmation for accepting the offered study place to the university by the deadline mentioned in the acceptance documents. The accepted students must confirm their study plan and prepare a written agreement about the main principles and responsibilities of supervision in the doctoral studies together with their supervisors. The study plan is updated annually. The plan helps students to understand the structure of their studies, and it is also used to follow the progress in studies regularly.

Please note: Admission to postgraduate  studies does not automatically include any grant or right to research facilities.