Postgraduate studies

Requisite components of the doctorate degree

According to the Government Decree on University Degrees (794/2004, section 22), 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

Required postgraduate studies

The doctoral student should complete at least 30 ECTS credits of doctoral-level studies that consists of some advanced-level courses in the major subject and possibly other subjects that support the research subject. Students should take an active role in learning by participating in research seminars and at least one international scientific conference during their studies. In some cases, doctoral students may be able to also work and study abroad. Course information is available in the online registration system Korppi. Required studies are (curriculum 2014-2015):

  • BIOJ101 Post Graduate Seminar, 2 ECTS. Students will need to give a talk and listen to 10 other talks by fellow doctoral students. More information here.
  • BIOJ102 Scientific Conferences, 4-10 ECTS. At least one poster or oral presentation at an international scientific congress (2-4 ECTS/conference; maximum 10 ECTS).
  • BIOJ103 Graduate Exams, 6-8 ECTS. A written examination based on a textbook covering the student’s major subject, literature review on the thesis topic, or some other completion mode approved by the professor of the major study subject.
  • BIOJ105 University teaching, 2-10 ECTS.
  • BIOJ106 Philosophy and Ethics of Science, 2 ECTS. Aimed at post-graduate students to increase their awareness of the philosophy and ethics behind their own biological research. Based on discussions on a reading material given at the beinning of the course. Attendance necessary for the credits.
  • BIOJ910 Reserch Seminar, 1-2 ECTS. These credits are earned, for example from the departmental research seminar series (BIOS911). Required participation in the seminar 15 times earns 1 ECTS.
  • Transferable skills studies (yleisten valmiustaitojen opinnot), minimum 4 ECTS. Courses that are designed to support dissertation work, doctoral studies and postdoctoral employment. More information on courses in transferable skills coordinated by the University of Jyväskylä Graduate School for Doctoral Studies (in Finnish, in English). See also general information on transferable skills (in Finnish, in English).

All graduate-level coursework and the credits to be earned should be approved by the Professor of the major study subject before registration. The Professor approves the student’s study plan in accordance with criteria established by the Department.

Working life skills / Työelämäopinnot

The Career Services unit offers courses on working life skills. More information in Finnish, in English. See also Facebook pages.

At the webpages of the University of Jyväskylä Graduate School for Doctoral Studies, you can find courses offered at the University of Jyväskylä  (in Finnish, in English).

Professional specialization - Medical cell biology

Medical cell biology studies can be included in the degree of Licentiate of Philosophy. This does not prevent from carrying out a doctoral degree at the same time. The applicant should contact the professor of cell biology, and if she/he meets the eligibility requirements, she/he will write a personal study plan to be attached to the application for the Degree of the Doctor of Philosophy or Licentiate of Philosophy. Note! Studies only in Finnish.

Where to find information about the courses?

Course information is available in the online registration system Korppi where you can also register for a course. In addition to that, you can find information on transferable skills studies at JyU Graduate School's web sites (in Finnish, in English). For example, Language Centre organizes Academic Writing Modules for doctoral students.

Interruption of studies

If a doctoral student is considering not continuing her/his PhD project or her/his supervisor(s) considers that the doctoral student is unable to complete PhD project, it is strongly advised that

  • the matter is discussed with the follow-up group before making the decision to interrupt studies. The doctoral student or supervisor convenes the follow-up group meeting. After the meeting, the doctoral student/follow-up group makes a short free-form report to the doctoral programme where the overview of the situation and the reasons behind the decision are described. The report is submitted to the coordinator and discussed in the board meeting of the doctoral programme.
  • Also a board member can start the procedure.

If the doctoral student cannot continue the research work, the supervisor may find someone else to complete the goals. Interruptions in the dissertation research should not prohibit the supervisor from continuing the interrupted research, but goals for continuing the work should be agreed upon with the doctoral student, especially if the student plans to continue the work later. Dissertation projects can end because funding for the project ends. The legal rights in these cases are that the research results belong to all of the participants. Both student and supervisor are naturally expected to uphold these scientific principles.

Student counselling in doctoral studies

Please see contact student counselling contact page