The University of Helsinki is the oldest and largest institution of academic education in Finland with over 36,000 students. It consistently ranks among the top 100 universities internationally. The university has four campuses all located within 6 miles of each other - the City Center Campus for Arts and Social Sciences, the Kumpula Science Campus, the Meilahti Campus for Medicine, and the Viikki Campus for Life Sciences. The university is located directly in the center of its namesake - Finland's capital. Helsinki is a very safe, modern, and green city with half a million residents. Helsinki is home to a combination of cool urban culture, surrounding nature, and the sea and was recently nominated as one of the best cities to live in.
Application cycles are open one semester at a time. Applications for the fall/academic year will open around December 1 of the year prior and applications for spring/calendar year will open around July 1 of the year prior.
Click through the brochure tabs to learn more about this program.
In order to participate in this program, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Students must have completed at least 45 credits at the time of departure.
- For students applying for fall or academic year programs, this total does not include summer coursework that has yet to be completed.
- Students must have a minimum 2.75 GPA at the time of application and departure.
- Students planning to study abroad in the last semester of their senior year should discuss this with their GEO program administrator and major advisor as this may affect their ability to graduate on time.
- Recent transfer students cannot study abroad their first semester (not including summer) at Mason.
The language of instruction at the University of Helsinki are Finish and Swedish but the university offers a large number of courses in English.
Exchange students are required to choose the majority of their courses from one faculty
. Within that faculty, you can choose courses from several disciplines. For example, a student applying to be an exchange student at the Faculty of Arts, can choose courses in several disciplines taught at the Faculty of Arts. One of the disciplines will be chosen as the host discipline for the student, so it is recommended to choose the majority of one’s courses from one discipline. Students are welcome to choose some courses from other faculties, too, if they meet the requirements for the courses. Please note that depending on the course level, disciplines have the right to decide whether the student has enough previous studies to participate.
Notes About Courses:
- The courses in English website above includes courses of various levels. Some require previous studies in the discipline in question. Below is some terminology that will help you select courses that are most suitable for you:
- Basic Studies (“Perusopinnot” in Finnish): Bachelor’s level courses, do not usually require previous studies
- Subject Studies or Intermediate Studies (“Aineopinnot” in Finnish): Bachelor’s level courses, intermediate level, require some previous studies
- Advanced Studies (“Syventävät Opinnot” in Finnish): Master’s level courses
- Economics, Psychology, Communication, Foreign Languages (except Finnish language courses), Political Science, and Law courses are only available to students who major in those subjects and have completed a satisfactory number of courses in the specific discipline at Mason.
- Psychology majors can find courses in both the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine, depending on their interests.
- Students should aim to complete 30 ECTS credits per semester. (Course descriptions may use terms “cr” or “ECTS cr” or “op”. They all mean the same thing, ECTS credits.)
Course Equivalency and Plan of Study
The Global Education Office has a Course Evaluation and Registration System
(CERS), which you will use to complete the steps needed to evaluate your courses abroad, and see how they will count at Mason. This database is accessible whether you have already applied, or are just beginning to think about studying abroad. Look at the courses in the database. You are by no means limited to these courses. The database shows courses that have already been evaluated. You can request equivalency for any course not yet evaluated, through CERS.
You are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to look at this institution’s courses ahead of time to see how they will match up to your Mason degree requirements. Talk to your academic advisor about what courses you will need to receive credit for during your time abroad to stay on-track for your degree. When looking at courses keep in mind that course schedules can change. We recommend having twice as many courses approved as necessary.
The Academic Calendar at Helsinki is very similar to Mason. Please note, exchange students do not participate in the intensive periods listed at the beginning of the semester. The Autumn semester runs from late August to late December and the Spring semester runs from early January to late May.
Students are expected to take a full-time course load during their time abroad. A full-time course load is 30 ECTS (also called "cr", "ECTS cr", or "op"). A typical course is 5 ECTS.
- 2 ECTS at Helsinki = 1 Mason Credit
- 5 ECTS at Helsinki - 3 Mason Credits
Students should take an average of 4-5 courses. This will allow you to transfer back 12-15 credits.
When transferring courses back to Mason, the credits will transfer but the grade will not. However, you must receive the equivalent of a "C" or above in order to transfer your credit back. Refer to the table below regarding how grades are converted at this institution.
| Helsinki Grade
Students participating in this study abroad program will automatically fulfill the Mason Global Understanding core requirement.
For the students wanting to live in a student dormitory, University of Helsinki has agreed with housing providers, including Unihome and HOAS (Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region), on a number of rooms for incoming exchange students. Apartments are located around Helsinki.
Exchange students submit their housing application as a part of their exchange application. Students should choose their housing option based on their budget and their wishes. Their information will be forwarded to housing providers. Each exchange student will receive one housing offer. Exchange students coming under university-level bilateral agreements are guaranteed housing but not necessarily the room type they have wished for.
Mandatory fees prior to arrival: room deposit: €500 (subject to change) to be paid to the housing provider according to their instructions. Students should be prepared to pay the deposit when they receive instructions from the housing provider. This can be several months prior to arrival.
This is a Bilateral Exchange Program. Students are enrolled as regular students at the partner university, pay Mason tuition to Mason, and pay room and board abroad. Students can use the budget sheets located at the top of this page to see what GEO estimates as expenses.
As this is a Bilateral Exchange Program, students will pay for their tuition as they normally do in PatriotWeb.
Application Fee: A non-refundable application fee of $200 for Mason students. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system.
Administrative Fee: A non-refundable administrative fee of $300 (for semester length programs) or $500 (for year-long programs) must be received in order to confirm your enrollment in the program. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system.
Financial Aid: Students using financial aid are encouraged to talk to their counselor regarding how their financial aid can transfer to their program.
GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students are welcome to apply:
Fall/Academic Year: Early-Mid March*
Spring/Calendar Year: Early-Mid September*
*See the bottom of this page for the exact deadlines for the upcoming term(s).
Once accepted into a program, it will be your responsibility to apply for a student visa and/or residence permit (if required, based on your citizenship). You will receive details on this with your acceptance letter. Do not apply for a visa until after you have been officially accepted. Visit Finnish Embassy's website for further information.
Application fee: $200 for Mason students.
Official Transcripts: An official copy of your Mason transcript is required as well as copies of official transcripts from any other college or university you have attended.
Passport Status: If you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now.
Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents.
Questionnaires: Read and complete the documents according to the instructions.
*Additional paperwork may be required for this program and can be viewed inside your application.