Master's Admission, Master's Programme in Data Science, Master of Science (2 years)

Master’s Admission, Master’s Programme in Data Science, Master of Science (2 years)


You may apply if you meet the following three requirements:

  1. You have completed by 31 July 2019 a first-cycle degree (e.g., bachelor’s degree) or second-cycle degree (e.g., master’s degree) or a postgraduate degree in Finland or abroad.
  2. You have completed or will complete studies required for the master’s programme by 11 January 2019. Below are more details concerning applicable studies.
  3. You are able to demonstrate your proficiency in English, Finnish or Swedish (Updated 18/12/2018: Finnish and Swedish added). For further instructions on demonstrating your language skills, see the section “Required enclosures”.

If you are currently or have previously been a student at the University of Helsinki, please note the following rules.

If you have refugee status or are in a refugee-like situation, and you do not have the official documents to prove your eligibility to apply for higher education, you can still apply to the University of Helsinki.

Ad­mis­sion proce­du­re

You may be admitted if

  • You prove your eligibility (see above) by the deadline
  • You submit the application and the required attachments within the specified deadline. The application form is open from 3 December 2018 (8:00h Finnish time) to 11 January 2019 (15:00h Finnish time). Read more about what will happen after the application period.
  • You have a first-cycle degree in computer science, statistics or mathematics, a first-cycle degree in an applied field of data science or another applicable degree.
  • You have completed at least 10 credits in programming, algorithms and data structures, at least 5 credits in statistics and probability and at least 10 credits in linear algebra, differential calculus, integral calculus or other studies in mathematics.

Please note: even if the degree you are using as grounds for application is not completed during the application round, you must have a sufficient amount of applicable studies completed by 11 January 2019.

Together with their application, applicants must submit officially certified copies of certificates on all previously completed studies that serve as the basis for their application.

The applicability of the field and the sufficiency of the completed studies will be evaluated in conjunction with admission. The University of Helsinki does not provide any preliminary evaluation on the suitability of the applicant’s previous studies.

Choosing the language of your Master’s degree

In the Master’s Programme in Data Science, you can choose the language of your degree to be Finnish, Swedish or English. This means that even though most of the teaching will be offered in English, you can answer examination questions and write course assignments and your Master’s thesis in the language that you select as the language of the degree. Please note that you can apply to pursue this Master’s programme in one language only and you must demonstrate your language skills accordingly. You must select the language of your degree when submitting your application.

Factors affecting admissions

Your success in the selection process will be influenced by the evaluation of your academic performance; the focus will be on the amount, quality and grades of completed studies that are applicable to the programme, your motivation letter, and the study plan contained in it.

In the admission procedure, your application will be scored in the following three categories:

  • Applicability of your previous studies
  • Academic performance in the studies serving as the grounds for your application
  • Your motivation letter (as part of the application form)

For detailed information on the scoring used by the Faculty of Science in its Master’s admission process, see here.

When evaluating the applicability and quality of completed studies, the focus will be on the mastery of the most important mathematical concepts and computational methods behind data science. This evaluation will be based on the analysis provided by the applicants on the application form of their previous studies in key subfields such as programming and programming languages, algorithms and data structures, the operation of computers, operating systems, databases, inferential statistics, probability calculus, linear algebra and differential calculus. Studies in one or several applied areas of data science will be considered a merit. For the evaluation of studies in this applied area of data science, if any, applicants must justify in their motivation letter, how studies in the applied area and data science support each other.

The motivation letter and analysis of previous studies form part of the admission criteria and when writing them you must answer the provided questions. They are part of the application form.

If several applicants have completed studies applicable to the programme, but not all can be accommodated in the programme’s quota, the applicants will be compared against each other, and the most qualified will be admitted. The programmes need not fill their student quotas to the maximum.

If in this round of admissions you are applying for more than one Master’s programme at the Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, you must rank them in order of preference on your application form. If you could be admitted to more than one programme, you can only be admitted to the one you have ranked the highest.

Ad­mis­sion res­ults

The Master’s programme admits no more than 30 students regardless of their selected language of degree and application option.

Applicants will be informed of the results of the student selection by 12 April 2019 at the latest. Please note the one study place per term provision if you are applying for more than one study programme in spring 2019.

Stu­dy right to be awar­ded

If you are admitted, you will be granted the right to pursue the degree of Master of Science in the Master’s Programme in Data Science.


Statistics on applicants can be found on the University’s webpage.

Required attachments

The application must be accompanied by the following documents, and the documents must be submitted as instructed below:

  • Official photocopy of the degree certificate/diploma
  • Official transcript
  • Diploma supplement (if available)
  • Certificate of language proficiency
  • Authorised translations into English, Finnish or Swedish
  • A photocopy of your passport, your official identity card or your Finnish residence permit card
  • Motivation letter and study plan (to be filled in on the application form)

1) Read carefully the instructions on application enclosures and their submission.

2) You must demonstrate your proficiency in English. Read the instructions on proving your language skills.

3) If the degree serving as grounds for application to the programme is still incomplete, you need not submit a degree certificate/diploma with the application documents. If you are admitted, the admission decision will be conditional, and you will receive instructions with your letter of admission for submitting the official degree certificate/diploma. NB! The final degree certificate/diploma must be presented by 14 August 2019 at the latest.

Due date 11.1.2019, 15:00
Delivery address

Admission Services, University of Helsinki



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