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Apply for doctoral studies

Here’s how to apply for doctoral studies at Åbo Akademi University:

1) Check to see whether you are eligible to apply for doctoral studies.

You must have completed

  • an appropriate university Master’s degree or
  • an appropriate vocational higher education degree or
  • an appropriate foreign education, which provides eligibility for equivalent doctoral-level studies in the country in question.

In general, you are required to have completed advanced studies in your chosen major subject or possess corresponding knowledge either within or in addition to a prior degree.


2) Familiarise yourself with the doctoral programmes and the strategic research profiling at Åbo Akademi University.

Doctoral programmes at Åbo Akademi University have one or more major subjects. The specific criteria for admission and content of doctoral programme studies vary by faculty, programme and subject.


3) Contact a professor in your desired major subject.

Together with a professor, discuss your interest in research and plans for doctoral studies in relation to the subject’s research and any supervisors involved.


4) Draft a research plan in consultation with the supervisor recommended by the professor/subject.

The research plan is a required attachment to the application for doctoral studies. The research plan may be checked for plagiarism. You write the plan according to the advice you get from your assigned supervisor and the instructions in the supervision and study agreement.


5) Fill out a supervision and study agreement together with your assigned supervisors and head of subject.

The supervision and study agreement is a required attachment to the application for doctoral studies. The agreement specifies the rights and obligations of the doctoral student and supervisors. The agreement must be signed by the applicant, the potential supervisors and the head of subject before attachment to the application.


6) Submit your application in Studyinfo.fi within a deadline.

Only fully completed applications will be given consideration. A complete application contains the following appendices:

  • Verified copies of your certificates showing completion of Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees or equivalent degrees (verified = for instance, a third party confirms the copy to be true by writing date and his/her signature on the copy)
  • Your supervision and study agreement (NB! Must be signed by the applicant, potential supervisors and the head of subject before attachment to the application!)
  • Your research plan

How to submit an application

  • Go to Studyinfo.fi
  • Search for the doctoral programme that you want to apply to.
  • Click on the doctoral programme of your choice in the search results.
  • Click on “Fill in application”. The function is active only during application periods, starting from approx. one month before the deadline.
  • Fill in the application and attach the appendices.

When the faculty has reached a decision on your application, you will receive a written notification from Research Services. NB! You need to confirm that you accept your right to study within two weeks from the admission result being communicated.


7) Application deadlines for spring 2019 and the academic year 2019-2020

From 1.8.2018, we have four application deadlines for application for doctoral studies. The application form opens in Studieinfo.fi approx. a month before each deadline.


The deadlines for application for doctoral studies, all doctoral programmes at all Faculties, are in the academic year 2019-2020, as follows:

Application for study start in fall 2019
  • 12.9.2019 at 3 p.m. (local Finnish time)
  • 26.11.2019 at 3 p.m. (local Finnish time)
Application for study start in spring 2020
  • 14.1.2020 at 3 p.m. (local Finnish time)
  • 21.4.2020 at 3 p.m. (local Finnish time)



8) On tuition fees

For now, there is no tuition fee for doctoral students. On there other hand, there are no scholarship programmes for doctoral students. Hence, as a doctoral student you are expected to provide financially for yourself.


Do you have questions? Please, contact Research Services by e-mail: graduateschool@abo.fi

Updated 19.11.2019