To verify your eligibility, you must submit certain educational documents to the University Admissions Office. All educational documents must be officially certified by the awarding institution, or legalized. Officially certified copies issued by a country notary public will also be accepted. Please also note any relevant country-specific requirements that must be followed first and foremost.
University Admissions Office evaluates the authenticity of your educational certificates. Any malpractice (e.g. counterfeit documents or fraudulent information) will be reported to the relevant university and the authorities.
Detailed descriptions of the educational documents, official translations and officially certified copies can be found below. Please note that some programmes accept final Degree Certificates only, while others also accept Temporary Degree Certificates. Always check the individual universities’ websites to see which documents are accepted.
Required Educational Documents
You are required to submit the following educational documents for the degree that you use as a basis for eligibility:
- Degree certificate
- Transcript of records
All educational documents must be officially certified or legalized.
There are some programmes you can apply to even if you have not yet graduated. This is dependent on the programme, so always check the website of the relevant university. If you have not graduated by the time the application period for the programme begins, you are required to submit an officially certified copy of your latest transcript of records.
General information on degree certificates, transcripts, official translations, and officially certified (attested) copies can be found below.
A degree certificate is a document issued by an institution to a student who has successfully completed all studies included in the degree. The student has graduated. The degree certificate should include the name of the institution awarding the degree, the date of issue, and the name of the person to whom the degree certificate has been issued and which title/ degree the person has been awarded.
Temporary (Provisional) Degree Certificate
A temporary (provisional) degree certificate is a document issued by an institution to a student who has been awarded or conferred an academic degree. The temporary degree certificate is issued as a replacement for the actual degree certificate e.g. in case the actual degree certificate cannot be given to the student immediately after the studies have been completed due to technical or administrative reasons. The temporary degree certificate must include:
- The name of the institution awarding the degree
- The date of award/conferral of the degree (This means the date when the degree was awarded/conferred to you, i.e. the date when you are officially given the recognition and status of holding the academic degree you have completed. This is not necessarily the date of the graduation ceremony, as there is often a delay between the award/conferral date and the graduation ceremony.)
- The name of the person to whom the temporary degree certificate has been issued
- Which academic title/ degree the person has been awarded.
It is important to note that a document stating only that the student has completed all the courses is not sufficient as a temporary degree certificate.
Transcript of Records
The official transcript of records should include the following information:
- Full titles of the units that the student has completed for the degree
- Completion times of study units (or at the very least the overall study time at the institution)
- Grades obtained
- Credits awarded
- Information on the grading scale used at the institution at the time of study
- If you have not yet graduated: The transcript of records must include the name of the degree that will be awarded to you when you graduate (Bachelor of, Master of, etc.)
The transcript must cover the full length of studies. If the degree includes course units that the student has completed at another institution and the transferred credits are not indicated in detail on the transcript of records, a separate transcript of records regarding the transferred credits should be submitted.
University Admissions Office only accepts official transcripts of records.
If your official transcript of records does not include all the required information, please see Transcript of Records – required information for more information.
In some cases it is also possible to submit an electronic transcript. For more information, please see Electronic Transcripts.
Officially Certified (Attested) Copies
University Admissions Finland does not accept regular photocopies of educational documents. All educational documents must either be officially certified (attested) by the awarding institution, or legalized (see below). For some countries, there are country-specific document requirements that must be followed first and foremost before any other requirements for document attestation.In addition, officially certified copies issued by a Finnish Notary Public are accepted. Find more information at the website of the Local Register Office (Maistraatti).
NB! Please note that officially certified copies issued by notaries public in other countries are not accepted without legalization.
Official Certification by the Awarding Institution
Officially certified copies of academic documents can be issued by the awarding institution. If you request officially certified copied from the awarding institution, make sure that the copies submitted to University Admissions Finland meet the following criteria:
- Taken directly from your original educational documents
- Include every page of your educational documents
- Bear the original stamp of the awarding institution on each page of the document (e.g. a generic stamp stating only “Certified true copy” will not be accepted)
- Bear the original signature of the certifying officer
Please note that regular copies of certified copies will not be accepted.
The officially certified copy can be sent to University Admissions Office either by the applicant or the awarding institution.
Legalization of Documents
If you cannot obtain officially certified copies of your academic documents from the awarding institution, you may submit legalized copies of your academic documents.
Legalization takes place by two different means depending on whether the relevant country is a signatory to the Hague Convention of 1961. Documents supplied by countries that have ratified the Hague Convention are legalized by the issuance of an Apostille Certificate (stamp or paper certificate). Documents issued by other countries are legalized in two steps: first by the foreign ministry of the issuing country, then by a competent Finnish Embassy or Finnish Consulate of that country.
The Apostille Certificate (stamp or paper certificate) is necessary if the document has been issued by the authorities of a country that has ratified the Hague Convention of 1961. Information on the Hague Convention as well as an English language list of its member states can be found here:
- Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents
It also provides information about the authorities issuing Apostille Certificates in the various countries.
If the country issuing a document is not a signatory of the Hague Convention, a document is legalized by the foreign ministry of the issuing country, after which a competent Finnish Embassy or Finnish Consulate of that country legalizes the document, certifying the competence of that foreign ministry official to issue such legalization.
If your educational documents are issued in a language other than English, Finnish or Swedish, official translations of them to one of these languages are required. Officially certified copies of the original documents must also be submitted. An official translation must be one of the following:
- Issued by the awarding institution
- An officially certified copy of a translation issued by the awarding institution
- Translated by an official translator
- An officially certified copy of a translation made by an official translator
Each page of an official translation must bear the translator’s stamp and/or signature. Official translations must be exact translations of the original documents. Translations done by the applicant him- or herself are not accepted.