If your right to study expires

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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.

You must complete your degree within the target duration set for its completion. Please click here for further information on the target duration of degrees and the validity of your right to study. You can check the validity of your right to study in Sisu by clicking on your name and then on My profile and selecting the Study rights tab.

Once your right to study has expired, your faculty can, upon application, grant you an extension to complete your studies. For an extension application, you must draw up a study plan aiming at graduation. You can apply for an extension in Sisu if you hold a valid study right. If you do not have a valid study right, you can apply for an extension using the electronic form below. 

If you have registered for non-attendance during your studies for a statutory reason, please submit a certificate indicating the specific reason to Student Services before your right to study expires. This will extend your right to study. Further information on statutory reasons for non-attendance.

Applying for an extension without a user account

If your right to study has expired and you cannot log in to Sisu, you can apply for an extension using the electronic forms below. Your application must include a study plan aimed at graduation. Applications submitted electronically are assessed in the same way as those submitted in Sisu. Do not use an electronic form if your study right and user account are valid, and you can submit an application in Sisu.

Please note the following before applying for an extension to your right to study

  • You can apply for an extension only if you began your studies on or after 1 August 2005. This is because the legislation on the normative duration of studies only applies to the above students.
  • Do not apply for an extension before you can, and intend to, study and complete your degree. In other words, you do not need to apply for an extension immediately after your right to study expires. 
  • Draw up a study plan that is as realistic as possible considering your overall situation. Your study plan must first aim at the completion of a first-cycle (bachelor’s) degree if you were granted the right to complete both a first- and a second-cycle degree and you have not completed the first-cycle degree within the duration of your right to study.
  • Student Services and your PSP supervisor can support and guide you in devising the plan. Please bear in mind that the completion of studies according to this plan will serve as the grounds for any subsequent extension decisions.
  • Your study plan must also take the expiry of studies into account. The provisions on the expiry of studies have been amended for students who began their studies prior to 1 August 2017 and have since transferred to the new degree programmes. Further information is available here: Instructions for students who began their studies before 2017.

Instructions for applying for an extension in Sisu

To apply for an extension to your right to study in Sisu, your study plan must be completed, i.e., the text Selections complete must be displayed next to all sections of your study plan.  Detailed instructions, with screenshots, for creating an application can be found here: Applying for an extension.

The extension application process in brief:

  1. Add the courses missing from your degree to your study plan and schedule them for the current term or future terms.
  2. Complete an extension application in Sisu under My profile
  3. If necessary, Student Services will ask you to email attachments or further information to supplement your application. Do not send sensitive information (e.g., doctor’s certificates) by email unless specifically asked to do so. If relevant, you will receive instructions for using encrypted email.
  4. The timetable of processing extension applications varies by faculty. For detailed faculty-specific application periods and processing timetables, please see below.
  5. You will receive information on the decision either in Sisu or by post, depending on the method selected in your application.

What should your application include?

In addition to a study plan, your application should include the following information:

  • Explain the reasons leading to the delay in your studies. Reasons to be considered include personal factors, such as an illness or a difficult life situation, civic activity during studies, participation in an international student or trainee exchange, and/or systematic training in professional sports. When applying for an extension for the first time, your own statement is sufficient.
  • If you are studying on a full-time basis, you should complete at least 45 credits per academic year. If you are planning to complete fewer credits, your application should outline the reasons.
  • You should also provide an explanation if your plan requires that you study at a considerably faster pace during the extension.
  • If you have completed all studies with the exception of the thesis, describe the stage of your thesis and the estimated timetable for its completion. The information you provide can be used to monitor the progress of your thesis. In addition, your faculty may request a statement from your thesis supervisor on the progress of your thesis.

If you have previously applied for an extension

If you have previously applied for an extension and are now submitting a new application, the following principles apply:

  • Your application must include information on the studies completed during the previous extension. If your studies have progressed as planned, no further report is required.
  • If your studies have not progressed as planned, you must update your graduation plan. The updated plan will be assessed according to the same criteria as the original plan.
  • If you have completed studies not included in your graduation plan during the previous extension, they will not be taken into account when deciding on another extension.
  • If you wish to base your appeal on personal reasons, describe your life situation in your application. Acceptable reasons must be in a direct causal relationship with the delayed studies. If necessary, you will be asked to email attachments, such as doctor’s certificates.

The duration of the extension

An extension can be granted if the student is able to complete their studies within a reasonable period. The extension will always be for a fixed period of time, a minimum of one term and maximum of four terms at a time. When granting an extension to the duration of study, consideration will also be given to previous extension decisions, if any, and the progress of studies in accordance with the previous graduation plan.

When granting an extension for the first time, its duration can be up to two academic years, depending on the time required for the study plan to be implemented. Subsequently, an extension can be granted for no more than one academic year if the student cannot complete their degree sooner in accordance with their plan.  In total, the extensions granted cannot usually exceed the target duration of the degree (e.g., three academic years or five academic years).

A reasonable period for completing studies is defined as follows:

  • First-cycle degree (target duration of 3 academic years): an extension of up to 6 terms
  • Second-cycle degree (target duration of 2 academic years): an extension of up to 4 terms
  • First- and second-cycle degrees (target duration of 5 academic years): an extension of up to 10 terms

Degrees with a longer target duration are an exception to the above rule:

  • First- and second-cycle degrees in psychology (target duration of 5.5 academic years): an extension of up to 11 terms
  • First- and second-cycle degrees in veterinary medicine (target duration of 6 academic years): an extension of up to 12 terms
  • Second-cycle degree of Master of Arts (Psychology) (target duration of 2.5 academic years): an extension of up to 5 terms
  • Single-cycle degree of Licentiate of Dentistry (target duration of 5 or 5.5 academic years): an extension of up to 11 terms
  • Single-cycle degree of Licentiate of Medicine (target duration of 6 academic years): an extension of up to 12 terms

Rejection and appeal

If your application for an extension is rejected, you will receive a written, reasoned decision on the matter, together with information on how to appeal against the decision. Should the appeal also be rejected, you can lodge a further appeal with the Helsinki Administrative Court. In addition, you can submit a new extension application in which you have, for example, amended your study plan to make it more realistic.

Instructions and application forms

If your right to study has expired and you cannot log in to Sisu, you can apply for an extension using the electronic forms below.

Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Pharmacy, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry

You will receive the decision on the extension by email within approximately four weeks of submitting your application. You should submit your extension application well in advance of the expiry of your right to study.

  • If your right to study expires at the end of the spring term (31 July), submit your application by mid-May.
  • If your right to study expires at the end of the autumn term (31 December), submit your application by the end of November.

Application forms:

Contact information: Viikki Student Services

Faculty of Arts

You will receive the decision on the extension by email within three to four weeks of submitting your application.

Contact information: Metsätalo Student Services

Faculty of Educational Sciences

There are six deadlines annually for applying for an extension: 15 August, 15 September, 30 November, 6 January, 15 February and 31 May. You will receive the decision by email within three to four weeks after the deadline for applications. The Faculty of Educational Sciences complies with the above deadlines.

Deadline for applications The first teaching period that you can register for courses
15 August First teaching period
15 September Second teaching period
30 November Third teaching period
6 January Third teaching period
15 February Fourth teaching period
3 May First teaching period (the next academic year)

If your right to study is about to expire on, for example, 31 December, you should apply for an extension by the 30 November deadline.

Information on the duration of the extension granted and the number and date of the dean’s decision will be recorded in Sisu. You are responsible for registering for the academic year.

Contact information: Siltavuori Student Services.

Faculty of Medicine

There are two deadlines annually for applying for an extension: if your right to study expires on 31 July, submit an application between 1 April and 15 May. If your right to study expires on 31 December, submit an application between 1 and 30 November. The decision on whether to grant an extension to the right to study rests with the dean.

You will receive the dean’s decision by the end of the term.

Contact: Meilahti student services

Faculty of Science

Submit your application for an extension well before your right to study expires if you are planning to continue your studies. If your right to study expires at the end of the spring term (31 July), you must submit an application by mid-May. If your right to study expires at the end of the autumn term (31 December), you must submit an application by mid-November.

You will receive the decision by email to the address you have provided. If your application is rejected, you will receive the decision in writing to the postal address you have provided.

Contact information: Kumpula Student Services

Faculty of Law

There are four deadlines annually for applying for an extension: 10 August, 23 November, 15 February and 10 May. You will receive the decision by email within three to four weeks after the deadline for applications.

Contact information: Porthania Student Services

Swedish School of Social Science

The extension application should be submitted well in advance of the expiry of the right to study. As a rule, the applications are processed four times a year: January, May, August and December. 

Information on the duration of the extension granted and the number and date of the dean’s decision will be recorded in Sisu. You are responsible for registering at the University as an attending or non-attending student.

Contact information: Kruununhaka Student Services

Faculty of Theology

The application should be submitted well before the expiration of the right to study: in the middle of May if your study right expires at the end of July or in November if your study right expires at the end of December.

Contact information: Metsätalo Student Services

Faculty of Social Sciences

The application for an extension of the right to study must be submitted well in advance before it expires, at the latest by mid-May, if your study right expires in July, or in November if your study right expires in December.

Contact information: Kruununhaka Student Services