Doctoral School

The Faculty annually accepts a few new international PhD students, mainly among the graduates of our Master's programmes.

Doctoral school of the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences

Each faculty has its own doctoral school (tohtorikoulu). Vice Dean Sarianna Sipilä is the head of the doctoral school at the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences.

The actual doctoral education is given in the following doctoral programmes (tohtoriohjelma):

  • Biology of Physical Activity, head of the programme: professor Janne Avela
  • Sport Sciences, heads of the programme: professor Pilvikki Heikinaro-Johansson and professor Hannu Itkonen
  • Health Sciences, head of the programme: professor Sarianna Sipilä

Committee for postgraduate studies at the faculty

The Dean of the faculty has nominated a committee for postgraduate studies. The aim of the committee is to evaluate and develop the matters related to postgraduate studies and to compile instructions and recommendations for postgraduate education.


After completing a Master’s degree in either Sport or Health Sciences, it is possible to continue to study for:

  • Licentiate degree in Sport Sciences (LitL)
  • Licentiate degree in Health Sciences (TtL)
  • Doctoral degree in Sport Sciences (LitT)
  • Doctoral degree in Health Sciences (TtT)

If the student’s earlier degree is in some other field than Sport or Health Sciences, the student will complete a Doctor of Philosophy degree (filosofian tohtori).

For prospective PhD students

A lot of important information about PhD studies in general can be found on the Graduate School website.

How to apply

A few PhD students are admitted annually to complete their studies and research at the faculty. Please notice that getting accepted as a PhD students does not guarantee funding for the studies, but usually funding needs to be applied from various sources (such as the Academy of Finland, TEKES or the programmes of the European Commission).

Most of the PhD students of the faculty are recruited among the graduates of our Master's degree programmes.

Admission requirements

  • Master’s degree in sport or health sciences or other equivalent degree
  • Minimum requirement for Master’s thesis grade is ‘good’.
  • If the grade is lower, the applicant must be able to indicate his/her eligibility in other ways
  • If the master’s degree has been completed in other than University of Jyväskylä, an officially certified copy of the degree certificate and the transcript of records must be attached to the application
  • Language requirements:
    • Fluency in Finnish, Swedish, or English is required. Applicants without a good knowledge of Finnish or Swedish must be able to give evidence on their proficiency in English.
    • Proof of proficiency in Finnish or English is not needed if the applicant has completed a Master's or higher degree in Finland. Proof of English language proficiency is not needed if the applicant has completed a Master's or higher degree, English being the medium of instruction, from the following countries: EU/EEA country, Switzerland, the United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. The degree must be fully completed in English and the thesis must be written in English. The language of instruction must be clearly marked in the degree certificate or transcript of records, or other official document provided by the higher education institution in question.
    • Other applicants need to proof their English language proficiency, more information in the General Admission Criteria

Application instructions

There are varying instructions depending on your background:

1) If you have completed your Master's degree at the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences at JYU

2) If you have completed your Master's degree outside our Faculty