Doctoral Studies


A doctoral candidate is a student pursuing further studies after having attained a Master's degree. The postgraduate degrees offered by the Aalto University schools of technology are:

  • Licentiate of Science (Technology)
  • Doctor of Science (Technology).

The doctoral degree may be taken directly after the master¿s degree; it is not compulsory to take the licentiate degree first. In special circumstances, the Aalto University Schools of Technology may also award the Doctor of Philosophy degree. It is not, however, possible to take the Licentiate of Philosophy degree at the Schools of Technology.

The Licentiate of Technology degree takes an estimated 2 years to complete, while the Doctor of Science (Technology) and Doctor of Philosophy degrees both take approximately 4 years. A postgraduate degree comprises theoretical studies and research work. The emphasis is on scientific research.

Doctoral studies

The purpose of doctoral studies is for the student to acquire more profound scientific knowledge and skills in scientific research and their practical application than is provided by master’s degree studies. The key element in doctoral studies is to acquire the skills required in research and the application of research results. High-level research is a prerequisite for doctoral studies and researcher training.

The aim of doctoral studies is that the student:

  • acquires profound knowledge of his or her research field and its social significance and achieves the necessary skills to independently and critically apply the scientific methods of the respective field and produce new scientific knowledge;
  • acquires thorough knowledge of the development, basic problems and research methods of his or her research field; and
  • achieves a sufficient level of knowledge in the theory of science and other fields related to his or her research field to enable him or her to follow their development.

Applying for doctoral studies

The School of Engineering has two annual application cycles for doctoral studies: in April and in October.

The admission criteria for doctoral students are:

  • prior academic success;
  • potential for a researcher career: research-related work experience, conference presentations, journal articles etc.
  • suitability of the research topic: relevance of the topic for the research focus area of the department;
  • research proposal: the feasibility of the research proposal (its quality, workability, organisation);
  • time management and resources: the feasibility of the study plan and the time available for the doctoral studies in the next four (4) years;
  • other grounds presented by the applicant.

Successful candidates for doctoral studies must have earned the master´s degree with an average grade of 3.0/5 and completed the master´s thesis with the grade of 3/5. Those with a master´s degree earned in accordance with the degree regulations of 1995 or an earlier time when the bachelor´s and master´s degree were not pursued separately, are required to have completed the courses towards their major, which form the basis of eligibility for doctoral studies, with an average grade of at least 3.0/5. The same requirements apply to degrees earned elsewhere in Finland or abroad. Students who fail to meet these minimum grade criteria but are otherwise suitable for doctoral studies may improve their grades by taking courses, or exceptionally the School may set prerequisites for doctoral studies.

Further information about doctoral studies, admission requirements etc is available at: 

Contact information

Doctoral Programme in Engineering

Harri Koivusalo
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Ritva Viero
planning officer
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room 4.139, Vaisalantie 8
tel. +358 50 597 0610
Postal address PL 15800, 00076 Aalto

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