Study PhD in Finland – Top guide on all you need to know in 2020

Study PhD in Finland - Top guide on all you need to know in 2020
Study PhD in Finland – Top guide on all you need to know in 2020

This is a well detailed and up-to-date information on all you need to know to study PhD in Finland. We have systematically compiled information on the requirements to study PhD in Finland, the average cost to study PhD in Finland, how to study PhD in Finland with scholarships, available PhD programs in Finland for international students and all other questions that plague your mind.

It’s going to be an educative ride let’s get started!!!


In Northern Europe, Finland’s striking situation and magnificent landscapes provide natural beauty and excellent research opportunities. Finland’s amazing scenery, safe cities and high quality of life make the country a welcoming place to study PhD.

Regarding safety, the capital of Finland is one of the safest cities in the world. This makes it a pleasant place for international students to study.

Finland has figured out how to provide some of the best education in the world. Majority of Finns speak English and Finnish universities offer many English-taught degree programmes. The development of modern facilities supports an excellent higher education system that is very popular amongst international PhD students.

Today Finland’s universities are rapidly developing, with several globally ranked institutions and policies that encourage international students to apply. So, yes you can study PhD in Finland, a transparent, open civic society, where education is always a priority.

You can also count on the fact that PhD in Finland is inexpensive. Therefore also provisions for international students to study PhD in Finland with scholarships and obtain grants. So if you want to study PhD in Finland, you have to read this article till the end.

Keep reading to discover the requirements to study PhD in Finland!!!

Is Finland a Good Place to Study PhD?

As much as other study abroad destination has their uniqueness, Finland has a system of education that benefits everyone. In this section, we have compiled reasons studying PhD in Finland is a brilliant choice.

Here are a few reasons Finland could be the place for you to study PhD this year:

  • You won’t pay fees for doctoral study in Finland, regardless of your nationality. No tuition fees for PhD programs in Finland.
  • With many PhDs including an industrial link, you may apply your research skills in a working environment. Finnish universities support research and projects to he carried out in an actual working environment. This make sit more practical.
  • Talking about geography, Finland has a beautiful landscape and scenery. Making it a pleasant place for cruise and fun.
  • You easy access to post-graduate work. There is no restriction on working for EU, EEA and Nordic citizens in Finland, and international students from other countries can extend their visa for a year to find work.
  • There is an opportunity for you to work and study provided you can juggle everything and still be academically excellent.
  • An illuminating experience – the northern lights are visible every other clear night between September and March in Lapland, and in southern Finland 10-20 times a year.
  • You get to have excellent facilities for work and fun.

Considering this, you will see why Finland is one of the most popular study abroad destination for international students.

Discover the cost to study PhD in Finland below!!!

List of Top PhD Finnish Universities in 2021

  • The University of Helsinki
  • Aalto University
  • The University of Oulu
  • Tampere University
  • Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT
  • The University of Turku
  • University of Eastern Finland
  • The University of Jyväskylä
  • Åbo Akademi University

These are the top 20 universities where you can study PhD in Finland. Securing admission into any of these universities will give you a plus.

Look at the requirements to study PhD in Finland in 2020!!!

What are the Requirements Needed to Study PhD in Finland?

The requirements to study PhD in Finland is like other countries. Below is the list of the requirements to study PhD in Finland;

  • They will require you to have a Master’s degree (or equivalent) from a recognised institution.
  • An English language proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS) would be required if you’re studying in English taught universities. A Finnish language proficiency for Finnish universities.
  • Academic records. Provide full academic transcript from your previous institution, and your degree certificates. These documents may need to be officially translated into Finnish and approved by a lawyer.
  • Two academic references
  • Cover letter
  • Resumè

Other requirements to study PhD in Finland will depend on the topic you are applying to research and the specific processes used by your university. If in doubt, check with your department.

Consider the cost to study PhD in Finland below!!!

What is the Average Cost to Study PhD in Finland?

Talking about the cost to study PhD in Finland, it’s exciting to not that Finnish universities do not charge tuition fees for PhD programs in Finland for international students. The cost to study in Finland is free..

Although Finnish universities offer free tuition, there are little fees you need to pay such as student’s union fee to the university which ranges from €80-100 annually.

Also, before you dive into sending in your application documents, consider the cost of living in Finland for international students. That the cost to study PhD in Finland is free doesn’t make the cost of living free. Keep reading to know how much it entails to live in Finland.

You can study PhD in Finland with scholarships, find out how below!!!

How Much Does it Cost to Live in Finland?

Even though there are no tuition fees for PhD students in Finland, the cost of living in Finland can be relatively high compared to other countries. You should also know that the cost of living in Finland solely depends on your level of extravagance, lifestyle and location in Finland. Some cities are more expensive than the others.

We recommend that you have between €700-900 available per month, depending on the city you study in.

Here’s what you are likely to spend in a month in Finland

  • Rent in a shared flat. 436
  • Share of utilities. 34
  • Internet subscription 24
  • Local transportation 58

Sample lifestyle cost

  • Fast-Food combo. 8
  • Cinema ticket 14
  • Pint of local beer 6

To live comfortably, study PhD in Finland with scholarships or work while studying

Check out the available PhD programs in Finland for international students below!!!

Can I Study PhD in Finland with scholarships?

You can. Most students get to study PhD in Finland with scholarships, even though they don’t have to pay tuition fees. Scholarships.

Although you won’t be paying tuition fees, you can study PhD in Finland with scholarships. This will help fund your living costs whilst completing your PhD within Finland.

There are many scholarships for PhD programs in Finland. The following are available for international students:

  • Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI) Fellowships–open to doctoral students from all countries, providing €1,500 per month for 3-12 months
  • Finish Government Scholarship Pool–awarding €1,500 per month to students from specific countries to study for 3-9 months of study at Finnish universities or public research institutes
  • Fulbright Grant – providing €1,000-1500 per month for 9-months to US students studying abroad in Finland

Other scholarships include;

  • SCAR Fellowships In Antarctic Research, 2020
  • IAL Research Grants For Doctoral Studies
  • Ciencia Sem Fronteiras (Science Without Borders, CSF)
  • OECD CRP Research Fellowships, 2020
  • Momeni Iranian Financial help Scholarships, 2020
  • Flinders University Phil Hoffmann Travel Postgraduate Scholarship
  • Tan Kah Kee Postgraduate Scholarships, 2020

Securing any of these scholarships will find your living cost by 80%. Apply now!!!

Check out these PhD programs in Finland below!!!

See Also!!!

Are the PhD Programs in Finland for 2021?

Yes, there are over 52 available PhD programs in Finland for international students in 2021. Here’s a few of them;

  • Hanken School of Economics, Department of Accounting and Commercial Law
    • Ph.D. Commercial Law.
  • Hanken School of Economics, Department of Economics
    • Ph.D. Economics ,
  • Tampere University Finland
    • Ph.D. International Doctoral Programme in Epidemiology
  • Department of Management and organization Finland
    • Ph.D. Entrepreneurship, Management and organization
  • The University of Vaasa
    • Doctoral Programme in Business Studies

You can look out for more PhD programs in Finland at the school of your choice website.

How do I Secure A Finnish Student Visa?

Getting a student visa to study in Finland depends on your nationality.

If you are from the EU, EEA you will not need a visa to enter Finland and can remain in the country for up to 90 years without registering your presence. If you are from one of the other Nordic countries (Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) the same applies, but you can remain up to six months before you need to register as a resident.

Students from other countries will need a student residence permit studying in Finland. This allows you to enter the country and remain there long enough to complete a PhD. You should begin the application process online and then take the following materials to your nearest Finnish embassy:

  • The official letter of admission from your institution
  • Proof of funds (showing that you will have access to at least €6,720 per year during your degree)
  • A valid passport
  • Valid travel and health insurance

Frequently Asked Questions About PhD Study in Finland

What’s the University System Like In Finland?

Basically, there are two-types of higher education institutions in Finland, but only one offers doctoral level degrees. They include;

  • Finland Universities
  • Finland University of Applied Sciences

Finland’s 13 universities offer PhD programmes and promote independent academic research and provide higher education based upon research

Finland’s 22 universities of applied sciences do not offer PhD programmes. They provide higher education for professional expert jobs and carry out applied research and development in activities that promote industry.

To study PhD in Finland, apply to a Finnish university, not universities of applied sciences. This should help guide your choice.

Which Cities are best for Higher Education Study in Finland?

Looking for a buzzing city in Finland? The following are the major hubs for higher education in Finland: Helsinki, Turku, Oulu, Tampere and Jyväskylä.

Can you study in Finland for free?

Yes, you can! If you are a citizen of a country in the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) countries, or Switzerland, you can study in Finland for free – you do not have to pay any tuition fees. Regardless of your nationality.

How long does it take to study PhD in Finland?

You will study for your PhD in Finland for 4 years as a full-time student.

When is the deadline for PhD Applications in Finland?

Application deadlines will vary: some universities have specific application windows, others will be happy to hear from students throughout the year.

If you want to study at a Finnish university in autumn, i.e. September, you must apply via the official portal in January the same year. The exact date varies slightly from year to year. Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences often also accept later applications, sometimes until March/April to begin in the autumn of the same year.

Is there an Interview or exam to Complete Finnish PhD Application process?

Applications for a Finnish PhD are often competitive, as universities don’t charge fees. Therefore, you may have to complete an interview as part of the selection process.

Interviews for international students will typically be conducted over a web chat facility such as Skype. You need not travel to Finland to get that done.

Can a PhD Student Work While Studying?

Yes, you can work while studying in Finland. If you work alongside your studies, they limit your working hours. You may only work for an average of 25 hours per week during the academic term. They do not restrict the number of working hours on a weekly level. This means that you can adjust your weekly working.


To make your application process easier, you need to gather the requirements to study PhD in Finland, as stated above. Getting to study PhD in Finland with scholarships is one way to aid your finances and having a smooth sail studying.

Check out the PhD programs in Finland for international students and send in your application on time. While doing that consider the cost to study PhD in Finland and get your finances ready.

We hope you found this piece enlightening. Do well to reach out to us once you secure a spot in Finland as a PhD Student.

Good luck!!!

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