Orientation week is the week immediately preceding the beginning of the academic year. Its purpose is to introduce you to your future studies. Keep your calendar as free as possible this week. Teaching is not usually scheduled for orientation week, which instead features faculty and degree programme specific events that provide students with practical information relevant, in particular, to the beginning of studies. These events are compulsory for new students. In addition, peer tutors may organise other events during orientation week, but participation in them is voluntary. Read more about orientation and see the schedule for your degree programme.
Peer tutors support new students at the beginning of studies. Peer tutors have completed training organised by the University and help new students settle in and feel welcome in the academic community. You can ask your peer tutor anything about studying and student life. They may not know all the answers, but they can tell you whom to contact and can support you in study-related matters.
In some degree programmes, teachers serving as tutors provide students with advice and guidance on the content of studies. Some of the Language Centre’s teachers also serve as tutors, helping students in their language studies.
Fuksi, fresher, freshman
The Finnish word fuksi refers to a fresher or a freshman, i.e., a first-year student.
The academic year runs from 1 August to 31 July of the following year. The autumn term is from 1 August to 31 December, and the spring term from 1 January to 31 July. The academic year comprises four teaching periods as well as interim weeks devoted to independent study and examinations. (The degree programmes in medicine and dentistry have no teaching periods.) Studies can also be completed in the summer.
Courses are offered during seven-week teaching periods. Each course usually lasts one teaching period, but courses may also extend over several periods. Teaching periods are followed by a week devoted to independent study and examinations, during which course teachers can administer end-of-course examinations. If a student has no examinations to take during the interim week, they can complete other assignments and prepare for the following teaching period.
Personal study plan (PSP)
The personal study plan (PSP, also known by its Finnish acronym HOPS) is a detailed plan that every student makes with the study planning tool Sisu. The PSP outlines the structure of your degree, the compulsory courses and modules required by your degree programme, and the timetable of your studies. The purpose of the PSP is to assist you in planning and promoting your studies and understanding the structure of your degree.
Credits measure progress in studies. The number of credits earned depends on the scope and requirements of each course. One credit corresponds to approximately 27 hours of work. The scope of a bachelor’s degree is 180 credits, while the scope of a master’s degree is 120 credits. In total, the two degrees require the completion of 300 credits. When distributed over the target duration of five years, this means the completion of 60 credits per year. You can receive financial aid for all months in which you complete at least 5 credits.
Your degree consists of course units (e.g. HY-101), whose learning objectives and contents are defined in the curriculum. For one course unit, usually one or several implementations (e.g. lecture courses, exams, seminars) are held during the academic year. Once you have passed it, you have attained the course unit and are given a grade.
Course units form study modules, e.g. basic or intermediate studies. When you graduate, the individual courses you have completed are incorporated into a module. You will receive a single grade for the module as a whole. For information on the study modules required for your degree as well as the courses belonging to the modules, please see Sisu or the page Structure and scope of the degree programme. For more information on study modules, see Study modules and their compilation.
You can include optional studies from other degree programmes in your degree. See faculty-specific information on optional study modules available to students from other degree programmes.
Flexible Study Right Scheme (JOO)
The Flexible Study Right Scheme (JOO) enables degree students to complete studies at other universities free of charge and to have the studies recognised for their degree at the home university. Students must be registered for attendance at their home university to apply for a flexible right to study and to complete studies at another university. A flexible right to study can be granted only for studies that are suitable for the student’s degree and that cannot be completed at the University of Helsinki. For information on the flexible studies available at various universities as well as application instructions and a link to the application system, see the JOOPAS wiki site.
Exchange studies abroad
Degree students at the University of Helsinki are offered a variety of student exchange opportunities. You should plan your exchange as early as possible, but cannot apply before you have completed at least 30 credits. Application dates vary by destination.
General examination session
General examination sessions enable you to take book examinations as well as make-up and retake examinations associated with lecture-based courses. The dates of general examination sessions and information on the related courses can be found in the instructions issued by your degree programme, the course catalogue and/or Sisu. You must register for an examination in Sisu at least 10 days before the examination session. You can register for up to two examinations at a time.
Transcript of studies
A transcript of studies is a certificate of the studies you have completed at the University of Helsinki. You may need the transcript to apply for a grant, scholarship, job or the right to complete other studies. See instructions on how to request a transcript of studies.
Certificate of student status
A certificate of student status is a free-of-charge certificate of attendance or non-attendance available to all students completing a degree at the University of Helsinki. The certificate serves as proof that you are a student at the University of Helsinki if a student ID card or transcript of studies is considered insufficient. See instructions on how to request a certificate of student status.
The tradition of the academic quarter means that a lecture or event begins at a quarter past the hour. In other words, if a course timetable says that a lecture begins at 14 (or 2 pm), this usually means that the lecture actually begins at 14.15. However, nowadays the academic quarter is usually already included in the course schedules. Practices may vary at different universities and faculties.