Looking for something specific? Use our search engine!

Swedish language requirements

Åbo Akademi University is a Swedish-language university and the majority of our programmes are taught in Swedish. Therefore it is important that all applicants to our programmes taught in Swedish have a good knowledge of Swedish already prior to admission.

The information and deadlines below apply to the National Joint Application Round.

If you are applying to a programme taught in English, please see the information about language requirements in English language.

If you apply to our Master’s programmes in foreign languages and literature, i.e. Finnish, French, German, Russian and English, you will be assessed on the basis of your previous studies of that language. For more detailed information see the programme that you are interested in.

However, studying at the regular Master’s level in English or a foreign language always requires the approval of the department in question. If admitted you will be required to learn some Swedish in order to be able to complete the degree. Knowledge of Swedish will always increase the number of available minor subjects, optional courses and language courses.


Applying on the basis of your knowledge of the Swedish language

With a good knowledge of Swedish you can apply to all programmes and subjects except the International Master’s Programmes taught in English.

There are 5 ways to prove sufficient knowledge in Swedish language:

1. Finnish matriculation examination

  • You have passed the mother tongue test in Swedish
  • You have written Swedish as a second language (Svenska som andra språk/Ruotsi toisena kielenä) and received the grade Magna cum laude approbatur or higher
  • If you have written Swedish as a second national/foreign language as follows:
    • For admission to Economics and Business administration, at least Eximia on an advanced level
    • For admission to the Faculty of Arts, Psychology and Theology, the Faculty of Education and Welfare studies, the Faculty of Social Sciences, Business and Economics (does not apply to Economics and Business administration) and the degree programme in Pharmacy: at least Eximia on the advanced level or Laudatur on the intermediate level.
    • For admission to the Faculty of Science and Engineering (except pharmacy): at least Magna cum laude approbatur on the advanced level or Eximia on the intermediate level.

Matriculation examination results from 1990 and onwards are available electronically and therefore you need not enclose a copy of the test with your application if you have written the test in 1990 or later. Copies of older test results must be handed in.


2. School education language

If you have completed your secondary education in Swedish in Finland you meet the language requirements. You can prove your level of Swedish language by submitting your school leaving certificate from high school or your graduation certificate from basic school. On the certificate you must have passed Swedish as mother tongue. For example if you have a vocational degree from Finland you must submit also a graduation certificate from basic education (grade 9) in order to meet the language requirement. This also applies if you have not passed the mother tongue test in Swedish in your matriculation examinations.

  • If you have completed an IB-, EB- or Rf-examination in Finland you must also send in a copy of your graduation certificate fro basic school. This is not required if you have written Swedish as an A-language (in your IB or EB) or if you have taken a test in Swedish in the Finnish matriculation examinations as expleined in section 1.
  • If you have completed a high school degree within the Nordic countries (in Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Faroese or Islandic) you must send in this certificate in order to meet the language requirements.
You can upload the enclosures to the online form, or send them by post to:
Åbo Akademi University, Studentexpeditionen, Tavastgatan 13, 20500 Åbo
and must reach us by 8.4.2020, 15.00 (Finnish time).


3. Åbo Akademi University’s and Hanken’s joint Swedish language test

Åbo Akademi University and the Hanken School of Economics arrange a joint Swedish language test. The test is arranged for applicants who can not meet the Swedish language requirements in any other ways.

The test in 2020 is arranged on April 14th at 13:00-15:30 in Åbo, Vasa and Helsinki.

  • In Åbo: auditorium Armfelt, Arken, Fabriksgatan 2.
  • In Vasa: auditorium Akademisalen, Strandgatan 2.
  • In Helsinki: Svenska Hanken, Arkadiagatan 22.

If you have completed the language test between 2011 and 2019 and have a passing grade the test result is valid also this year. Test completed in 2016 -> are valid for 5 years, older tests are valid for 10 years. Please note that the required score for eligibility might have changed since you passed the test and you must meet the current requirements.

The test has a maximum score of 200 points.The required grade in the language test is 135 except for applicants to technology and natural sciences where the required grade is 100 (exception pharmacy where the requirement is also 135 points).

Signing up to the test is done when applying through StudyInfo. If you need special arrangements during the test, please contact the admissions office by 8.4.2020. More information about special arrangements is availbale in Swedish.

The test results are made available 6th of May 2020.

For more information about the language test, please contact the Centre for Language and Communication at Åbo Akademi University at 02 215 4365, weekdays between 9.00 – 12.00. Address: Centret för språk och kommunikation, Åbo Akademi, Fabriksgatan 2, 20500 Åbo or e-mail csk-kansli@abo.fi.


4. Higher education studies

You meet the Swedish language requirements:

  • If you have completed a university degree (higher education) where the language of instruction was Swedish and you have written a maturity test in Swedish or a final thesis in Swedish
  • You have received the grade “good” or more in a language test or course in Swedish that is part of a university degree (higher education degree) and that applies to the ability to use the other national language (Swedish) in speach and writing.
  • If you have completed basic and intermediate studies in Swedish or another Scandinavian language (not Finnish) to an extent of at least 60 credits (ECTS).
You can upload the enclosures to the online form, or send them by post to:
Åbo Akademi University, Studentexpeditionen, Tavastgatan 13, 20500 Åbo
and must reach us by 8.4.2020, 15.00 (Finnish time).


If you are completing your degree in spring 2020 and you are required to hand in the degree to gain language eligibility, the document must reach us by 5.6.2020, 15.00 (Helsinki time).


5. Language test or certificate

  • If you have passed the Swedish language test for the the Swedish School of Social Science, the Hanken School of Economics or for studies at a university in Sweden (Tisus). The results of such a language test is valid for the same duration of time as at the higher education institutions for which it has been taken.
  • You have shown good oral and written skills in the civil service language proficiency test in Swedish (språkexamen för statsförvaltningen) or level 4 or 5 in the national certificate of language proficiency test (allmän språkexamen; YKI) (certificates issued after 31 December 2003).
  • For more information on language proficiency tests, please see here.
You can upload the enclosures to the online form, or send them by post to:
Åbo Akademi University, Studentexpeditionen, Tavastgatan 13, 20500 Åbo
and must reach us by 8.4.2020, 15.00 (Finnish time).


Updated 22.9.2020