The Amazing Jyväskylä!

The Amazing Jyväskylä!
Me at the harbor of Jyväskylä

26 October, 2014

FAQs about studying and living in Jyväskylä (Part 2) - Admission

Click here for Part 1 - How to start and living expenses

Click here for Part 3 - Admission - English language proficiency

Click here for Part 4 - Grants/Scholarships

This is the second of a many-part entry about admission to University of Jyväskylä and frequently asked questions sent to my inbox every day. In this part,  I will lay out everything that I know about admission to Master's Degree Program in University of Jyväskylä. And I myself have also gone through this process when I applied for the Master's Degree in Development and International Cooperation Program. 

It kills me knowing that many still pay lots of money to agencies to process the applications for them; especially in some Asian countries. Remember that you are well-educated students with a Bachelor's Degree in your hands, you can do this on your own and save yourselves some money!!! DO NOT GO THROUGH AGENCIES!

IMPORTANT: University of Jyväskylä only offers English courses for Master's Degree. If you are looking for English Bachelor's Degrees, this entry is not going to be helpful to you. 

The very first thing you need to do is to go to for all Master's Degree Programs offered by University of Jyväskylä. You choose one or more programs that you are interested in pursuing. YES, IT IS POSSIBLE TO APPLY TO MULTIPLE PROGRAMS AT THE SAME TIME but I will come back to this later on. Then, you go into the link of interested programs to find out the basic information of the program and requirements which differ from one program to another. 

For example, in order to apply for Development and International Cooperation, you have to at least fit criteria such as: "Have a University Bachelor's degree (180 ECTS credits) in a relevant field, proven proficiency in English and commitment to working for positive social change." There is often a list of the criteria. Make sure to read them carefully before proceeding with your application. 

This is the criteria for Development and International Cooperation, academic year of 2015:

Admissions Criteria 
Eligible applicants should: 
Have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. Students are admitted into disciplinary programmes in education, ethnology, philosophy, political science, sociology, or social and public policy. Thus, students with a BA degree in one of these subjects have a certain advantage in the selection process. However, students have also been admitted with undergraduate studies in a variety of disciplines, including the humanities and legal studies. Students admitted to the Master’s Degree Programme in Development and International Cooperation should exhibit an outstanding academic record and potential for post-graduate (doctoral) studies. 
Applicants should also demonstrate a commitment to working for positive social change. Development-related work experience is not required, but voluntary or work experience is considered an asset. International or other cross-cultural experience is also viewed favorably.
Applicants are required to have a good command of English, both spoken and written. Applicants must prove the required proficiency with one of the following language tests:
- The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): TOEFL Internet based test, minimun score 92, TOEFL Paper Based Test, minimum score 580
- The University of Jyväskylä DI code for TOEFL-test is 9818. 
- International English Language Testing system (IELTS): Academic training, overall band score 6,5 
- Cambridge ESOL's Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): minimum grade C 
- Cambridge ESOL's Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): minimum grade C 
- Pearson Test of English (PTE): PTE Academic, minimum grade 59 
A language certificate (one of the mentioned above) is required of all applicants, except of those who have completed a Bachelor’s degree in one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom or United States have obtained a minimum grade of 2 in English as an A1 language or a minimum grade of 5 in English as an A2 language as part of International Baccalaureate examination. 
As registering for and participating in a language test, and finally obtaining the results, may take a long time, please arrange to have your language test well before the application deadline. Applicants who do not prove sufficient proficiency in English, will not be considered for admission.


When you are certain that you meet all criteria, start preparing required documents. 

During this documents preparation time, the most confusing thing might be filling in the application form on the website of University Admissions Finland (UAF):

University of Jyväskylä is among many universities in Finland that have potential candidates go through this portal for their online application. NOTE: THIS PROCESS IS TOTALLY FREE OF CHARGE. 

The first thing you want to do is to create an account on this portal, with this account, you can create your own profile and manage your application form. You can save the draft of your application form and come back later to finish it if you cannot finish it the first time. 

After finalizing the application form, submit it online first, then print it out, sign it and send it together with other required documents to:

University Admissions Finland

Yliopistonkatu 2
FI-00170 Helsinki

IMPORTANT: each application form has a UAF application number, this number is often sent to your email after you submit the online application. REMEMBER TO PUT THIS NUMBER ON THE ENVELOP AS WELL. 

IF YOU ARE APPLYING FOR MORE THAN ONE PROGRAM, YOU MUST SEND SEPERATE SETS OF DOCUMENTS FOR EACH PROGRAM. For example, if you are applying for Development and International Cooperation program and Intercultural Communication program at the same time, you have to submit 2 seperate sets of required documents by the programs themselves even though you are apply for the same university. 

There is detailed instruction on UAF's website, please read carefully:

There is a list of frequently asked questions as well:

IMPORTANT: Do not forget to include the time it takes for your application to reach UAF by post. THE DEADLINE OF THE PROGRAM AND THE DEADLINE FOR YOUR APPLICATION TO REACH UAF ARE DIFFERENT. Try to give yourself some time to spare so that the posting won't cost too much. I learned it the hard way, believe me!

UAF will process your applications and forward them to University of Jyväskylä. And if you are qualified, the program personnel will contact you for interviews and such via emails. The time frame also varies from one program to another. You can find the information on the web page of the program you care applying to.

Please, do not hesitate to contact the program staff if you have any uncertainty; but please, please, please, make sure you have read carefully the instructions and frequently asked questions before asking them questions that might have been answered on the website. They are busy people too. 

Also, I have received lots of questions concerning the possibility of being accepted because they are not very confident about their transcript. Well, since you've asked, I will give you my personal opinions. These are by no mean official from the university. The following opinions are absolutely of my own, based on my experiences and a year studying here. Please do not hold the university accountable if you think you have done a good job with your applications due to my opinions expressed here but you are not accepted. What I am going to say here is very specific to my program Development and International Cooperation, and again, based on my own experience and point of view. 

In Finland, grades are not a significant factor to judge the performance of students. This is the greatest concept I have encountered in Finnish education system. Of course, one should not make it an excuse for not trying one's best in studying. One should only take this as encouragement to do better to prove oneself worthy. Therefore, please do not worry too much about your Bachelor's Degree transcript. It is of course put under consideration but I believe, with the philosophy they have here, by no mean the significant factor in the selecting process. 

From my experience, the most important part in the application is the motivation letter. Please, do not take this letter for granted. Just think for a minute, your CV, your transcript, and even the college you have gone to for your Bachelor's Degree say very little about you. But what you express in this motivation letter will show the lecturers who you are, what you might be capable of, how much you know about the program, what benefit it'll bring you in the future, and if you will be able to pursue the program till the end. Invest some time to read the program's structure and write the best motivation letter you possibly can. And be persistent with what you have written in your letter when you answer questions during the interview. The very common question in the interview is: "Why did you choose to apply for this program?" which should be the main part of your motivation latter. 

That pretty much covers everything you need to know about admission to International Master's Degree programs in University of Jyväskylä. Believe me, it's worth all the effort!

Best of luck!

University of Jyväskylä's main library


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Phase I: Assessment of eligible applicants based on the application documents

    You will receive an e-mail notification when the documents have been pre-processed and, if necessary a request to supplement the application.

    The student selection committee at JYU assesses the content of the applications -- ineligible applications will be disregarded. The selection committee will rate the applicants on the basis of their academic background, motivation letter, research interests and proven experience in the field. The different aspects of the application will have the following weights:

    Dear Phương,

    I graduated from an English-based course in Finance and Banking with quite a high score, rank 4 in my faculty. However, soon that I realized how passionated I am towards Education (especially teaching English, until now I have 2 years of working in that field as a teaching assistant and also a teacher). I really endeavour to study Education in Finland. Luckily, I found JYU with faculty of education. However, while reading the requirements and assessment criteria, I could see that my non-educational background is definitely a disadvantage :(.

    Educational background maximum 10 points
    Motivation letter maximum 3 points
    Research interests maximum 5 points
    Proven, relevant work experience maximum 2 points

    I am wondering whether I still have chances when I nearly lose 10 points of educational background? Could you give me some advice in this case?

    Thank you,

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