How to apply?

Scientific doctoral education leads to either a doctoral or a licentiate degree.

Who can apply?

According to the Universities Act of Finland (558/2009, Chapter 5, Section 37), eligible for studies leading to a doctoral degree shall be

  • a person who has completed an applicable higher university or polytechnic degree
  • a person who has completed an applicable education abroad which in the awarding country gives eligibility for corresponding higher education
  • a person whom the university judges otherwise to have sufficient knowledge and skills for the studies.

There is no term fee for doctoral education in the University of Eastern Finland.

If you are applying for a doctoral study right in a field of research which has not been the main field of you Master's degree, the faculty may require you to complete supplementary studies to ensure that you are qualified to take part in doctoral studies. Possible supplementary studies are specified when the right to doctoral studies is granted and cannot be included in the doctoral degree.

How to apply?

A doctoral study right is granted as a result of an application in which the applicant suggests supervisors and makes a research plan. Study right to doctoral studies in Finland does not include scholarship or funding. Funding has to be applied for from various sources separately.

Detailed application requirements and instructions how to apply for Doctoral Programme in Forests and Bioresources

Application requirements

You can apply to our doctoral programme if you have (1) the relevant background education, (2) a research plan and (3) adequate knowledge in support of your doctoral degree studies. Before submitting an application for the doctoral programme, you must agree about the supervision and be able to name (4) at least two supervisors for your research project.  All supervisors must hold a doctoral degree and at least one must be a professor, associate professor or assistant professor/senior researcher (Tenure Track) at the School of Forest Sciences. If a person other that a professor, associate professor or assistant professor/senior researcher (Tenure Track) is proposed as the main supervisor for a doctoral dissertation, his or her up-to-date list of publications must accompany the application.

You can apply to the doctoral programme if you have completed a relevant qualification in Finland or abroad and if the doctoral programme confirms that you have adequate knowledge and methodological skills for completing a doctorate or a licentiate in forest sciences.  The required Master’s degree can have been obtained in any field. Sufficient proficiency in English is required.

To be eligible for pursuing the doctoral programme you must

  1.  have completed a Master’s degree or an equivalent foreign degree in the field of agriculture and forestry, or
  2.  have completed another Finnish or foreign degree equal to a Master’s degree and you are able to demonstrate adequate knowledge and methodological skills for pursuing your studies, or
  3.  have completed a relevant polytechnic Master’s degree and you are able to demonstrate adequate knowledge and methodological skills for pursuing the doctoral programme, or
  4.  have completed an applicable course abroad which, in the awarding country, confers eligibility for corresponding higher education, where the doctoral programme confirms that the candidate has adequate knowledge and skills for completing your studies.

In points (2), (3) and (4), the suitability of the content of previous qualifications as well as the adequacy of the knowledge and methodological skills in question are verified and approved by both the supervising lecturer at the School of Forest Sciences and the board of  the doctoral programme. You may be admitted onto the doctoral programme only if your proposed doctoral dissertation or licentiate thesis is relevant to the theme of the doctoral programme and if the application is recommended by supervisor(s) who belong to the teaching staff of the School of Forest Sciences and agree to act as supervisors for the research project detailed in the research plan. Arrangements for supervising research projects should be, therefore, agreed on well in advance and directly with lecturers.

In case you are a non-Finnish applicant, you must demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English when submitting your application. The sufficient proficiency can be demonstrated by providing evidence of any of the following:

  • PTE (academic): 62 
  • TOEFL (iBT): 92 
  • IELTS (academic): 6.5 (overall) 
  • C1 Advanced (former CAE): 180 
  • C2 Proficiency (former CPE): 180 
  • Revised TOEFL Paper-delivered Test: 
    a minimum score of 20 in the reading a minimum score of 20 in the listening section 
    a minimum score of 22 in the writing section 
  • the applicant has completed all prior studies in English. If the applicant has completed the prior studies in English, he/she must attach to the application a statement from the educational institution indicating that the language of instruction was English; or 
  • the applicant has completed the English test of the Finnish matriculation examination (IB Diploma or English as A1 language); or 
  • the applicant has completed primary education in English in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States. 

OR sufficient English language skills proven by an interview with the UEF main supervisor. 

Application instructions

1. Study the instructions, study requirements and guidelines concerning the doctoral programme issued by the university, the faculty and the programme, which can be found on these web pages.

2. Discuss the possibility to pursue doctoral studies at the School of Forest Sciences with the potential supervisors or with the coordinator/head of the doctoral programme.

3. Discuss the research topic, doctoral studies and their completion, as well as other supervisors with the future main supervisor. Each doctoral student must have at least two supervisors. You and your supervisors must negotiate and agree on responsibilities and commitment to supervising your research project. The supervisors must give their written consent on the application form. Draw up a preliminary research plan.  You must indicate in the application the doctoral programme for which you are applying the right to study.

4. The prospective doctoral student applies for the right to pursue doctoral studies using an application form at the

The required application  attachments:

  • a copy of the basic university degree certificate, and other documents which may affect the granting of a study right
  • a transcript of earlier academic records
  • a preliminary research plan approved by the main supervisor.  See the detailed instructions for writing a research plan.
  • a supervisors' agreement (form in Finnish/form in English)
  • if necessary, a statement from the Comittee on Research Ethics and a permission for the use of laboratory animals (more information about ethical issues here)

5. The application for pursuing doctoral studies is processed by the relevant doctoral programme. 

6.  The faculty decides whether the right to pursue doctoral studies should be granted on the basis of a proposal made by the doctoral programme. When the right to study is granted, the faculty decides on any supplementary studies required, confirms the research topic, appoints the supervisors and approves the research plan and the personal doctoral study plans. The faculty communicates its decision to the applicant, the supervisors, the Student and Learning Services and the doctoral programme in question. Similarly, negative decisions and their justifications are communicated to the applicant, the supervisors and the doctoral programme. In addition, the applicant is provided with instructions on how to appeal the decision.

7. After having been granted the right to pursue doctoral studies, you must immediately register as a doctoral student as will be instructed upon the admission. In subsequent academic years, the registration must be carried out by mid-September.

8. You must submit a personal doctoral study plan to the coordinator of the Doctoral programme (Marjoriitta Möttönen) within 3 months after receiving the study right. Please use the provided study plan template.

Application periods in the Doctoral Programme in Forests and Bioresources

Our doctoral programme is open for admissions throughout the year. You will be notified about the admission results usually in approximately one month from submitting the application.

Accepting the Study Right and Registration

According to the one-place-per-student provision, a student may accept only one study place per academic year in a degree programme leading to a higher education degree.   In practice, this means that a student accepted to a doctoral programme is required to notify the university of whether he or she will accept the offered study place or not. This notification should be made by filling out and returning a form that is included in the university's letter of acceptance. A student accepted to a doctoral programme is required to return the form to the university's Admissions Office by the deadline indicated. If the student fails to return the form by the deadline, he or she will lose the study place. A new study place can be obtained by re-applying for admission only.

New doctoral students must accept the study right and then register as a student in the university's Student Services. You can find instructions for registration in Kamu.  Registration for the next academic year must be completed before 15 September through a student information system WebOodi, e-mail or phone (p. +358 29 445 8900). Please note that in order to maintain your study right you must register to the university each year.

A student who fails to register annually during the registration period will be removed from the university registers and he or she will need to re-apply for admission as a student using a separate form. The student will also be charged a re-registration fee.