The academic year and teaching periods

By selecting a degree programme you are able to see the general content as well as the possible degree programme-specific content. You do not have to select a degree programme to see the Open University's instructions.

The academic year begins every year on 1 August and ends on the last day of the following July. The autumn term begins on 1 August and ends on 31 December, and the spring term begins on 1 January and ends on 31 July. Teaching is arranged during the teaching periods.

The exchange students and visiting students are granted a study right within the academic year for certain dates depending on their studies and activities, thus the dates of the beginning and end of your study right may not correspond with the dates above. You can check the dates of your student right from the exchange certificate you will receive from the International Exchange Services upon your acceptance to the University of Helsinki.

Teaching periods

The academic year is divided into four teaching periods, each of which lasts seven weeks. All except the degree programmes in Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine follow this schedule. There are two periods in autumn term and two in spring term. For exact dates, see below.  Please check the teaching schedules from Sisu.

The academic year has three intensive periods: before the first and third teaching period and at the end of the fourth period. Intensive periods are intended to increase the amount of instruction offered according to the needs of the faculty and the students. Various orientation sessions, special or language courses or preparatory courses may be organized during the intensive periods.

Academic year 2022–2023

Autumn term 2022
Spring term 2023
Intensive period 28 August – 4 September Intensive period 2 – 15 January
1st teaching period 5 September – 23 October 3rd teaching period 16 January – 5 March
Examination and study week 24 - 30 October Examination and study week 6 – 12 March
2nd teaching period 31 October – 18 December 4th teaching period 13 March – 7 May (Easter break 6-12 April)
Examination and study week 19 – 23 December Examination and study week 8 – 14 May
  Intensive period 8 – 31 May

Academic year 2023-2024

Autumn term 2023
Spring term 2024
Intensive period 28 August – 3 September Intensive period 2 – 14 January
1st teaching period 4 September – 22 October 3rd teaching period 15 January – 3 March
Examination and study week 23 – 29 October Examination and study week 4 – 10 March
2nd teaching period 30 October – 17 December 4th teaching period 11 March – 5 May (Easter break 28 March - 3 April)
Examination and study week 18 – 23 December Examination and study week 6 – 12 May
  Intensive period 6 – 31 May

Exchange duration

2022 - 2023

  • Autumn Semester: 30 August – 23 December 2022 ,including orientation period
  • Spring Semester: 11 January – 31 May 2023, including orientation period

The exchange period includes 2-3 day long, mandatory orientation week

2023 - 2024

  • Autumn Semester: 29 August – 22 December 2023 ,including orientation period
  • Spring Semester: 10 January – 31 May 2024, including orientation period

The exchange period includes 2-3 day long, mandatory orientation week


Teaching breaks and the summer term

There is a one week break in teaching after each period to allow students to prepare and take examinations.

There is a break of approximately four weeks in teaching at the turn of the year, between the second and third teaching periods. However, orientation studies or separate special or intensive courses may be organized during this break.

There is also a break in teaching during Spring term around Easter: three days before and three days after Easter Sunday (from Thursday to Wednesday).

The summer term begins after the fourth examination and study week, and continues until the beginning of the August intensive period. It is possible to study also during the summer term.

Main part of the summer teaching is organized by University of Helsinki Open University. Open University courses are free of charge for attending Bachelor's and Master's degree students at University of Helsinki. Please note that,  if you wish to participate in an Open University summer course in order to raise the grade of a previously completed course, you need to pay the Open University study fee even for the summer course. In such case, please contact Open University before enrollment at

Faculty and degree program summer examinations, placement tests, thesis and study supervision, special and intensive courses and summer schools may also be organized during the summer term.

The opening ceremony of the academic year and the opening carnival are held in the afternoon on the first day of the first teaching period of the academic year. There is no teaching during this afternoon.

Teachers' office hours

Teachers have office hours during the academic year typically from the beginning of September until the end of May. The practices for office hours vary slightly between faculties and degree programmes.

Teachers must be available for students every week between 1 September and 31 May, with the exception of the period around the new year. This means either face-to-face office hours or contact via phone, mail or email.

Students working on theses or dissertations must receive supervision of their work between 1 September and 31 May.