Language requirements

The doctoral dissertation can be written in Finnish or in English, and furthermore, according to previous agreement, in any other language that is taught at the University of Turku at postgraduate level.

The applicants are required to have knowledge in Finnish or English language to be able to participate in the teaching and communicate with the university’s members of the staff. In practice, knowledge in the English language is required always when working in an international science community. Those applying for a right to study must prove their knowledge of English or Finnish as described below.

NB! All language test results must be sent directly by the test organizer to University of Turku by the application deadline. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make testing arrangements for her/himself in time. If you are planning to apply for Postgraduate Studies you should sign up for the language test well in advance! It may take several weeks before the test results are published.
The language test is valid until the expiry date given by the test organizer. If there is no expiry date, the test is valid for maximum four (4) years.

Acceptable language tests and the minimum scores are:

  • International English Language Testing Service, Academic (IELTS, Academic) with an overall band score of 6.5 and no individual score below 6.0,
  • Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 575 on the paper-based test or minimum score of 92 and no individual score below 20 on the internet-based test,
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with pass grade C or higher, 
  • Pearson Test of English, Academic (PTE A) with a minimum overall score of 62 and no individual score below 54.
  • Test for the National Certificate of Language Proficiency in English set by the Finnish National Board on Education with a minimum score of 5 for each subtest.


Language skills are considered sufficient and no language tests are required, if the applicant

  •  has completed a higher education degree and studies required for the degree
    1.    in a university or polytechnic in Finland
     in a university or polytechnic in EU/ETA countries in English. The language of the degree must appear from the degree certificate, diploma supplement, transcript of study records or other official document awarded by the university in question.
     in a university located in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand in English
  • has completed a comprehensive or secondary education in Finnish.
  • has completed an upper secondary education in the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland or New Zealand in English. In this case, a degree certificate of the upper secondary education must be enclosed to the application.

Certificate of Finnish language proficiency

If the applicant wishes to complete the postgraduate studies and/or write the doctoral dissertation in Finnish, an official certificate of Finnish language proficiency must be appended to the application. The certificate is not needed if the applicant's native tongue is Finnish or if the applicant has completed his or her Master's degree in Finnish. A sufficient Finnish language proficiency can be demonstrated in one of the following ways:

  • a certificate confirming that the applicant has passed the State Board of Language Examinations' minor language test
  • a certificate confirming that the applicant has passed the intermediate level test of the National Certificate of Language Proficiency
  • a statement written by a Finnish language lecturer, who teaches at a foreign university, confirming that the applicant’s language skills are equivalent to the minor language test offered by the State Board of Language Examinations.