Higher education in Finland

Korkea-asteen koulutus Suomessa
Here you will find information on higher education in Finland, i.e. universities and universities of applied sciences, and on the Nordic agreement on admission to higher education.

In Finland higher education is provided by universities and universities of applied sciences. Tuition is provided in Finnish, Swedish and English.

Applications to universities are made on the Studyinfo site, where you can also get more information on education opportunities at different levels. You can get more information on applying on the page Applying for higher education in Finland.

Universities of applied sciences

Universities of applied sciences provide practical and often multidisciplinary higher education. Upper secondary or vocational studies are a suitable basis for this. Applications to study are made in the in spring or autumn joint application and usually via entrance examinations. The studies on offer in spring are more diverse than in autumn.

Degree-oriented studies at universities of applied sciences are free of charge for citizens of EU and EEA countries and Switzerland. Citizens of other countries may be charged tuition fees.

The majority of universities of applied sciences in Finland are Finnish-speaking, but there are also completely Swedish-speaking universities of applied sciences. Many universities of applied sciences also provide study programmes in English. Universities set their own language requirements, so check how to prove your language proficiency from the university itself.

Completing a UAS Bachelor’s degree takes 3.5-4.5 years, and studies include a practical training period lasting one term. Students can complete a UAS Master’s degree after they have graduated from an appropriate university and spent at least three years working in a relevant occupation. Completing a Master’s degree takes full-time students 1–1.5 years.


Applications to education programmes in Finnish and Swedish are generally made through the national joint application. Most Master’s programmes, especially those in English, are not part of the joint application. They are applied for through the universities’ own separate application processes. 

The target duration for a Bachelor’s degree is three years and for a Master’s degree two years. The maximum time that can be spent on completing a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree is seven years. The standard practice is that degree students first complete a Bachelor’s degree, after which they are entitled to complete Master’s studies at the same institution. After a Master’s degree you can apply for postgraduate studies.

Universities are either monolingual or bilingual (Finnish and/or Swedish). There is also a lot of tuition and research in English.

University studies are free of charge for citizens of EU and EEA countries and Switzerland. Citizens of other countries may be charged tuition fees. University students studying for Master’s or Bachelor’s degrees must be members of a student union, which has their own membership fees.

Nordic agreement on admission to higher education

The Nordic agreement on admission to higher education guarantees all persons living in the Nordic countries equal rights to apply for public university education in the Nordic countries on the same or equivalent conditions to the country’s own inhabitants. Under the agreement, equivalent studies completed in another Nordic country are credited towards a Finnish university degree. Completed courses are assessed by the host university. It is advisable to find out in advance what documents Finnish universities require for transferring study credits.

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