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Applying for education and training

In Finland, separate joint application processes are organised for upper secondary and higher education. In addition, you can apply for some education programmes via a continuous application process throughout the year or via separate application processes of the degree programmes. Find out about the application periods and methods of the degree programme you are interested in in good time.

COVID-19 and applying for education and training

The COVID-19 situation may affect entrance and aptitude tests. Educational institutes will announce any changes before the start of the application period. Read more on the educational institutes’ own websites or in the Studyinfo.fi service.

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Coronavirus and applying for education and trainingFinnish | Swedish | English

Applying for upper secondary school

Apply for upper secondary school via the upper secondary level joint application process (yhteishaku) in February-March. You can apply for upper secondary school if you have completed the basic education syllabus or a syllabus corresponding to basic education. Fill in an application form via the Studyinfo.fi service.

You can also apply for upper secondary school if you have completed education equivalent to a Finnish comprehensive school abroad. In that case, you can be admitted to an upper secondary school on discretionary grounds. The following will be taken into account:

  • your need for education
  • your ability to successfully complete the studies.

Upper secondary schools usually select students on the basis of their comprehensive school-leaving certificate. Upper secondary schools can also take into account the applicant’s other education and hobbies. Some upper secondary schools have an entrance exam, which becomes part of the points.

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Applying for upper secondary school in the joint application processFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Upper secondary school admission criteriaFinnish | Swedish | English

Continuous application process for upper secondary school

If there are any vacancies left in the upper secondary school after the joint application, the upper secondary school can fill these in the continuous application process. Upper secondary schools decide on their own application periods. Apply for upper secondary school in the continuous application process via the Studyinfo.fi service or on the upper secondary school’s own website. The admission criteria for the continuous application process are usually the same as for the joint application process.

Applying for upper secondary school for adults

If you would like to attend an upper secondary school for adults, contact the school directly. You cannot apply for an upper secondary school for adults via the joint application process (yhteishaku). When you apply for an upper secondary school for adults, your grade average does not matter. You can start upper secondary school for adults in the middle of the term, but usually studies are started at the beginning of the autumn or spring term. More information on education and training opportunities is available in the Studyinfo.fi service.

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Information on upper secondary schools for adultsFinnish | Swedish

Preparatory education for upper secondary school

If you would like to improve your skills in the Finnish language before applying for upper secondary school, you can apply for preparatory education for upper secondary school, or LUVA education. Read more on the InfoFinland page Upper secondary school.

Applying for vocational education and training

The type of vocational education and training for which you can apply, and the application procedure, depends on your existing education.

  • You can apply for comprehensive school-based vocational education and training if you have completed the basic education syllabus or a syllabus corresponding to basic education.
  • You can apply for upper secondary school-based vocational education and training if you have completed upper secondary school.

You can apply for vocational education and training via the continuous application process throughout the year or via the upper secondary level joint application process. The joint application process is normally held in February-March. The joint application process is primarily intended for those who graduate from comprehensive school. Fill in an application form via the Studyinfo.fi service.

Student admission criteria vary depending on the education or training for which you apply. Admission is typically based on points, which depend on the applicant’s school certificate grades, among other things. Many education and training providers also arrange an entrance exam or aptitude test. Some fields also have health requirements.

The educational institute may check whether your language skills are sufficient for the training. For more information, contact the educational institute that you are applying to.

If you need intensive special support for your vocational education and training due to, for example, a disability or learning difficulties, you can apply in the application process for intensive special education.

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Applying for vocational education and training in the joint application processFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Admission criteria for vocational education and trainingFinnish | Swedish | English

Continuous application process for vocational education and training

If you have already completed a vocational qualification or a higher education degree, you cannot apply via the joint application process. In that case, apply via the continuous application process. You should also apply via the continuous application process if you are employed and want to switch fields or if you want to apply for apprenticeship training. You can also apply in the continuous application process if you did not receive a study place in the joint application process.

In the continuous application process, educational institutes decide for themselves on their application periods and on the way in which they will carry out the search. Information on application periods and application instructions can be found on the websites of educational institutes or in the Studyinfo.fi service.

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Continuous application process for vocational education and training Finnish | Swedish

Preparatory vocational education

If you would like to acquire more knowledge and skills before applying for vocational education and training, you can apply for preparatory vocational education, i.e. VALMA education. At VALMA education, you can also improve your skills in the Finnish language. Read more on the InfoFinland page Vocational education and training.

If you have a foreign school certificate

If you have completed comprehensive school or upper secondary school abroad, you may be selected for vocational education and training on discretionary grounds. The following will be taken into account:

  • your need for education and training
  • your ability to successfully complete the studies.

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Admission based on the education provider's discretionFinnish | Swedish

Applying for vocational education and training as an adult

If you want to complete a qualification alongside your job, you can apply for vocational education and training as an adult. Your previous education, training and skills will be taken into account in your education and qualification.

As an adult, you cannot apply for education and training via the joint application process. Apply via the continuous application process instead. Information on application periods and application instructions can be found on the websites of educational institutes or in the Studyinfo.fi service.

Applying to a university of applied sciences

You can apply for university of applied sciences to complete a bachelor’s degree if you have completed, for example, one of the following:

  • upper secondary school syllabus
  • Finnish matriculation examination (ylioppilastutkinto)
  • vocational qualification
  • bachelor’s or master’s degree
  • foreign qualification providing eligibility for higher education in the country in which you obtained the qualification

Read more from the Studyinfo.fi service.

You can apply for university of applied sciences via the joint application process to higher education. The joint application process takes place three times a year, twice in spring and once in autumn. The education and training available for application vary at different times. In spring, there are usually more options than in autumn. Fill in an application form via the Studyinfo.fi service.

A joint application process for foreign-language education is organised in January. Foreign-language education means education that is in a language other than Finnish or Swedish. Universities of applied sciences can also organise applications for foreign-language education as a separate application process. You can find more information from the Studyinfo.fi service.

The majority of students are selected for universities of applied sciences on the basis of their matriculation examination or vocational upper secondary qualification. The rest of the students are selected through a UAS selection exam. If you are selected through the certificate selection, you do not need to take part in the UAS selection exam. You can also be selected on the basis of studies completed at an open university of applied sciences.

If you do not have a secondary qualification or you are not selected for the certificate selection, you must take part in the UAS selection exam. Register for the selection exam during the application period via the Studyinfo.fi service. The test is completed on a computer and you will need your own laptop computer for it. You do not need to prepare for the exam in advance.

The majority of the training programmes use the UAS selection exam. Some programmes have a separate selection exam or advance assignment. These include, for example, the majority of programmes in the cultural field. Find out for yourself how students are selected on the websites of educational institutes or the Studyinfo.fi service.

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Applying for a university of applied sciences degreeFinnish | Swedish | English

Master’s degrees at universities of applied sciences

You can apply for a master’s degree programme at a university of applied sciences if you have

  • a suitable UAS bachelor’s degree or another suitable higher education degree, and
  • at least two years of work experience in the same field as your degree and acquired your work experience after you completed your degree.

Apply for a master’s degree programme via the joint application process to higher education in spring or autumn. Many universities of applied sciences accept applications only in spring. Fill in an application form via the Studyinfo.fi service.

You can apply for master’s degree programmes at universities of applied sciences provided in foreign languages via the joint application process to higher education or via the separate application process. Further information and application forms are available via the Studyinfo.fi service.

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Higher university of applied sciences degreeFinnish | Swedish | English

Applying to a university

You can apply for university if you hold one of the following qualifications or certificates:

  • Finnish matriculation examination (ylioppilastutkinto)
  • vocational qualification
  • bachelor’s or master’s degree
  • foreign qualification providing eligibility for higher education in the country in which you obtained the qualification

Apply for university through the joint application process to higher education or via the university’s separate application process.

You can apply for most university programmes via the joint application process to higher education. This takes place in spring and in autumn. In spring, the range of available options is much higher. For some programmes, such as foreign-language education, the joint application process takes place in January. Find out about the application period to programmes that interest you in good time. Fill in an application form via the Studyinfo.fi service.

The majority of students are selected for universities on the basis of their matriculation examination. The rest of the students are selected on the basis of a selection exam or using another selection method. For example, they can look at the studies you have completed at an open university. If you do not have a matriculation examination certificate, you may be selected on the basis of a selection exam. Prepare well for the selection exam. Some programmes accept only a small proportion of the applicants. Some entrance exams include advance assignments.

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Applying to a universityFinnish | Swedish | English

When you apply for higher education for the first time

Universities and universities of applied sciences reserve some of the study places in the joint application process for first-time applicants (quota for first-time applicants (ensikertalaiskiintiö)). The size of the quota varies according to institute you apply for. You are applying for the first time, if

  • you have not completed a higher education degree in Finland
  • you have not received a study place for a programme leading to a higher education degree since autumn 2014

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Quota for first-time applicantsFinnish | Swedish | English

Separate application process

Some programmes at universities and universities of applied sciences can be applied for via the joint application or the separate application process. The separate application process is usually used by those who have already completed studies previously. These can include, for example:

  • a bachelor’s degree
  • studies completed in another higher education institute
  • studies completed in an open university of applied sciences

Separate application processes are often organised, for example, for:

  • master’s degree programmes intended for those who have completed a bachelor’s degree
  • foreign-language education
  • those who apply for a degree programme on the basis that they have completed studies in an open university or open university of applied sciences

Separate application processes may be held at different times and have different application procedures. Further information on separate application processes is available from the Studyinfo.fi service.

Postgraduate degrees

If you wish to take a postgraduate degree at a university, contact the desired university directly.

Accepting a study place

If you get a study place, you will be informed by e-mail. The e-mail will inform you of the date by which you need to accept the place. It is important to accept the place in time; otherwise, you will lose it. You also need to register at the school where you obtained a study place. The e-mail includes instructions for accepting the study place and registering as a student. When you accept a study place, you commit yourself to beginning studies at that educational institute.

If you get a study place but you do not want to accept it, let them know that you will not be accepting the place. Then, the place can be offered to the next person in the queue.

You can apply for several educational institutes via the joint application process. However, you can only accept one study place.