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Applying to general upper secondary education

How to apply

You can apply to upper secondary schools through the joint application system for general upper secondary education every spring. You can apply to all programmes included in the joint application system on the Studyinfo website.

Applying for vocational education and training for study programmes conducted in Finnish and Swedish is usually done in the joint application. Applying for vocational education and training conducted in English is done directly to the schools.

International schools also provide general upper secondary education which is not included in .the joint application system. In these cases, you can apply directly to the school. Make sure to always check the application instructions from the programme description (see the Admission and entrance exams tab).

Students are selected according to a decree issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

What is the joint application system?

The joint application system for general upper secondary schools and vocational institutions is a national procedure that Finnish educational institutions use when selecting new students to general upper secondary schools and vocational institutions.

The spring joint application period for programmes starting the following autumn usually takes place in February-March.

You can access the joint application form from the shortlist after you have added all the study programmes you want to apply to. You can also access the form from individual study programmes by clicking “Apply”.

In joint application system, you use one form to can apply to a maximum of five (5) study programmes. You should rank your programme preferences in the order in which you wish to be selected. The programme ranking is binding and you cannot change it after the end of the application period. However, you can make changes to the application when the application period is still ongoing.

Education given in a foreign language (other than Finnish or Swedish) is, however, not always included in the joint application system, which means that students apply directly to the school. Always check directly with the school to find out whether their programme is included in the joint application system.

Admission criteria

Selection of students to general upper secondary school is based on their grade point average for the theoretical subjects on the basic education certificate. Entrance and aptitude tests may also be used and students may be awarded points for hobbies and other relevant activities. If the school certificate of a foreign student is not comparable with the Finnish equivalent, the student’s potential for attending general upper secondary school can be assessed separately.

Students applying with foreign certificates must send copies of their certificates to the schools by the end of the application period.

School-specific instructions for IB programme

When applying to an IB programme, you are sometimes expected to fill in the upper secondary school’s own application form in addition to the joint application form. However, all certificates must be sent directly to the school. You can find further information within upper secondary schools’ programme descriptions and on each school’s own website.

Supplementary application round

If all places reserved are not filled during the primary application round, a secondary application round takes place. Supplementary application round for upper secondary education usually starts in June. More detailed instructions for applying during supplementary application round are given before the application period begins in June.

More information

More information on applying on International Baccalaureate Organization website