Selection criteria for doctoral training and requirements for doctorate degree

Eligibility requirements of doctoral training

Eligibility based on the Universities Act 

According to the Universities Act (558/2009, section 37), eligible for studies leading to an academic or artistic postgraduate degree shall be a person who has completed (1) an applicable higher (= master’s / second-cycle) university degree; (2) an applicable higher polytechnic (= Finnish university of applied sciences) degree; or (3) an applicable education completed abroad which in the awarding country gives eligibility for corresponding higher education. The university may require a student admitted to study for an academic or artistic postgraduate degree to complete supplementary studies in order to acquire readiness for the studies.

Requirements of the University of Jyväskylä Graduate School for Doctoral Studies

The University of Jyväskylä requires the selected doctoral student to have sufficient basic knowledge of the discipline in which the dissertation will be written. The candidate must also have received at least the grade of Good (3/5) or a corresponding grade in the master’s thesis included in his/her ‘advanced studies’ block. Selection is implemented in compliance with the detailed criteria of the faculties, which are based on the following general selection criteria:

Selection criteria

Applicant’s knowledge and skills

  •  successful completion of studies that give eligibility for doctoral training
  • requisite related language skills

Research topic

  • relevance of the topic to the department/faculty’s research strategy
  • quality and feasibility of the research plan 


  • availability of qualified supervision and sufficiency of guidance resources


  • the doctoral student’s commitment to completing the studies

Requirements for doctorate degree

According to the Government Decree on University Degrees (794/2004, section 22) the requisite components of the doctorate degree are the following:

To be awarded a doctorate, the student must:

  1. complete the required postgraduate studies
  2. demonstrate independent and critical thinking in the field of research
  3. write a doctoral dissertation and defend it in public

Extent of doctorate degree

The faculty decides the extent and structure of the doctoral dissertation, as well as the extent of other required studies. The scope of the dissertation must be designed so that the doctoral degree can be completed within four years of full-time work. The dissertation is either a monograph or an article dissertation. Studies consist of a minimum of 30 ECTS credits and a maximum of 60 ECTS credits.