FAQ

From this page you can find replies to the following frequently asked questions

Eligibility and admission requirements

Does my current qualification / degree meet the requirements for admission? I am missing some subject areas in the required prerequisite knowledge. Can I still apply to the programme?

During our admission process, all applicants will need to fulfil the general eligibility requirements first. Eligible applications then proceed to the academic evaluation, where we evaluate your application in more detail.

If you fulfil our general eligibility requirements, study our student selection criteria carefully, and compare your previous studies to the key subject areas listed under required background and additional knowledge. If your previous studies meet our requirements and you have good grades, you should definitely apply. If you do not have all of the required subjects or your grades are not that good, you can still apply, but your chances of being selected are not as good.

  • For the background check-up, you can also use the course description template (part of the online application form available during the application period). Many blank fields on the course descriptions form may indicate insufficient background knowledge.
  • Concerning the grades achieved, SECCLO expects very good previous study success (grades and GPA, if used) from the selected students. What this means depends on the country, grading system in use, and also the university the degree was completed in.

The academic staff (professors and senior academic staff) of all six consortium universities evaluate the eligible SECCLO applications and make the final selection decisions. They will evaluate the contents of your previous degree and its grades, and determine whether they are sufficient for selection. Because of this joint evaluation process, we cannot comment on individual applicants or their chances of being selected before or during the selection process.

Please note also that our selection process is competitive. In other words, your chances of being selected will also somewhat depend on the number and quality of other applicants. This is another reason why individual applicant’s chances of being selected cannot be estimated before the complete and comprehensive evaluation of all applications.

I have a degree in mechanical engineering/economics/X, but I want to complete my Master’s degree in computer science and I have some relevant work experience / I have taken MOOCs. Am I eligible to apply?

Applicants are eligible to apply to SECCLO if they fulfil our general eligibility requirements. Eligible applications then proceed to the academic evaluation, where the applicant’s previous studies are evaluated in more detail.

According to our student selection criteria, during the evaluation process, contents of the previous degree(s) and study success are assessed first. Only the applications that meet the requirements for these criteria will be evaluated further. Contents of the previous degree will be evaluated based on the official transcript of records and the course descriptions submitted. Relevant work experience, professional certificates and/or online courses are judged case-by-case, but they do not, in general, compensate for the university level studies that include also the theoretical foundations of the required subjects.

I am in my final year of study. Can I apply to SECCLO if I will obtain my Bachelor’s degree in the spring/summer after the application deadline?

You can apply to SECCLO if you are expected to graduate by 31 July 2021. In this case, if selected, your selection will be conditional, and you are expected to submit your degree certificate and transcript of records to SECCLO Admissions Office by the given deadline, 9 August 2021.

In your application documents, instead of the Bachelor’s degree certificate, you can include an optional statement by your home university confirming your graduation date and that you are a final year student. You can also include a list of courses to be completed during the final semester and/or a short description of your thesis/final project work, if they are missing from your transcript of records at the time of applying.

The language of instruction during my education has been English. Do I need to provide TOEFL or IELTS? What if my mother tongue is English?

The language test requirement is waived only for those applicants whose higher education degree has been taken at an English-medium programme requiring physical on-site presence at a university in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, an EU/EEA country, or Switzerland. A minimum of one half of the degree must be completed in a country and higher education institution that meets the requirements for exempting the applicant from taking an English test.

The language test requirement is also waived for the degree and exchange students of SECCLO consortium universities (Aalto University, KTH, NTNU, DTU, University of Tartu, and EURECOM).

All other SECCLO applicants must submit a valid English language test result as instructed. Applicants without a valid test result by our language test deadline, 31 January 2021, will not be eligible and will not be processed further. See further information on the accepted language tests and our minimum score requirements.

 

Application documents and deadlines

What is the deadline for the English language test result?

In the first application round for the September 2021 student intake, we will have a separate English language test result deadline of 31 January 2021. This is about three weeks after our application deadline and the deadline will be the same for all SECCLO applicants.

Please note that this means that your language test result must be available for us to verify on 1 February 2021. For some language test providers, it takes 1-2 weeks for the test result to reach us after you have requested it. Please see further information on how to submit your language test scores at How to apply -> Step 4, and from the websites of language test providers.

I cannot get my language test result before the deadline. Can you make an exception?

Unfortunately, no. Our admission requirements have been available on our website several months before the application period began. To ensure a fair and equal treatment of all applicants, we cannot make exceptions to our eligibility requirements (incl. English language proficiency requirements) and cannot extend the language test deadline, despite the exceptional circumstances. Due to the covid-19 situation, we have already extended the language test deadline until the end of January and accept the results of two at-home tests (IELTS Indicator (Academic) and TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition/Home Edition).

To get the language test result in time, applicants are strongly advised to check all possible language test options to make sure no other test provider could deliver a test result sooner. For accepted tests and their minimum scores, please see our Admission requirements -> Requirements for English language proficiency. 

At the end, unfortunately, it falls under the responsibility of the applicant to start preparing for the admission period early enough. In case no language test result can be obtained before the given deadline, we recommend applying in our next application round.

What kind of document is acceptable as a proof of place of residence? Can I use X as a proof of my place of residence?

A proof of place of residence is a document certifying that you live currently in the country and city you claim to live in. It is required to verify your Erasmus Mundus scholarship category and the amount of mobility support (see Scholarships and fees).

The proof of place of residence document can be, for example,

  • a residence certificate issued in accordance with your municipality’s normal registration rules, or
  • a certificate from your current place of work, study or training issued by your employer or the institution in question.

Regardless of the type of document, the document must

  • be issued within 12 months from the SECCLO application deadline i.e. after 8 January 2020.
  • clearly (in print, in Latin alphabet) state your current country and city of residence, ideally also your full address.

Please note that we do not accept e.g. invoices or bank statements as proofs of current residence. Passports can only be accepted if they have your address and have been issued after 8 January 2020.

Here is what you should do when searching for an acceptable document:

  1. Check the PRADO website for the country-specific documents from your country.
    1. Does the country-specific document have information on your home address? [If yes, see the question below. If no, continue to Step 2].
    2. Is the country-specific document issued after 8 January 2020? [If yes, you can use this as a proof of your current place of residence. If no, continue to Step 2].
  2. Do you have or can you obtain a certificate of residence/domicile by some official entity in your home country (e.g. registry/citizen’s office, government/province/municipality/district official, population register, police or similar)? [If yes, make sure that it has your address and is issued after 8 January 2020 or obtain a new one. If no, continue to Step 3].
  3. Do you have or can you obtain a certificate of residence from your current place of work, study or training? You can also use this pdf template or a form provided by the company/university in question, but please make sure that the document has your current address, and that it is issued after 8 January 2020.

Whatever the type of document, please provide an official translation of it if the language used is other than English.

If you are temporarily (e.g. because of exchange studies) residing in another country than your permanent place of residence, please contact us at secclo@aalto.fi for further information.

My university does not have a website available in English where the course descriptions can be verified. Can I leave it empty? Does my university need to verify the course descriptions?

Yes, you can leave the field empty if there is no valid website available in English where the information could be verified. And no, as course descriptions are not obligatory and will not influence your eligibility, your university does not need to verify them.

How do I submit the recommendation letters?

For this, you have two different options depending on whether you already have the recommendation letters you want to use for your SECCLO application or not. Please see details at Application documents -> For further information… -> Recommendation letters.

I graduated some time ago and may not get an academic recommendation letter. Can I ask for a recommendation from my supervisor at work?

Yes. While we prefer academic recommendation letters, recommendation letters written by work supervisors are accepted as well.

 

Admission process and Erasmus Mundus scholarships

Does SECCLO have an application fee?

No, SECCLO does not currently have an application fee. Please note, however, that there may be some expenses related to fulfilling our English language proficiency requirements (i.e. taking an English language test) or if selected, mailing the requested hard copies of educational documents.

SECCLO is a double degree programme. Do I need to apply to two universities?

No. SECCLO has a joint admission process, which is organized by the coordinating university, Aalto University. You will apply to SECCLO programme following the instructions available at How to apply page. You will be asked about your second-year specialization preferences in the online application form, but if selected to SECCLO, you will be first admitted only to the first-year university, Aalto University.

The final selection of the second-year specialization (either at KTH, NTNU, DTU, UT or EURECOM) will take place during the first-year spring semester. The selection will be based on the study success during the first autumn studies at Aalto and on the student’s motivation and suitability for studies in the specialization area. For some further information on the selection process, please see Selection of second-year specialization.

How do I apply for the Erasmus Mundus scholarships?

You apply for the Erasmus Mundus scholarships when you apply to the SECCLO programme. Our online application form has a separate tab titled “Scholarships” where you choose which scholarships you apply for. It is also possible to join SECCLO as a self-funded student.

In order to maximize your chances of getting a scholarship, pay attention to preparing the best possible application and justify why you would be a good candidate to the programme, not only for the scholarship.

How many scholarships are there?

SECCLO has altogether 84 Erasmus Mundus scholarships for the four student intakes of 2021-2024. The number of Erasmus Mundus and other scholarships granted for each student intake is decided by the SECCLO Consortium during the joint evaluation of applications. For further details on scholarships, see Scholarships and fees.

Am I eligible for the Erasmus Mundus scholarship? On what grounds are they granted?

For the eligibility criteria of the Erasmus Mundus scholarships, please see Scholarships and fees.

SECCLO offers a limited number of Erasmus Mundus scholarships for each student intake. The scholarships are awarded based on academic merit and irrespective of the applicant’s socio-economic circumstances. The selected applicants are informed about the scholarship decisions when the selection results are published. There will be a reserve list for the Erasmus Mundus scholarships.

Because of the limited number of scholarships, you should always also investigate any scholarship or loan opportunities available in your home country for participating in an international Master’s programme offered abroad. See further information on the Other funding possibilities page.

 

After the selection results are published

When do I get the letter of admission and when do I need to apply for the residence permit?

The letters of admission will be sent by the coordinating university, Aalto University, in March. As soon as you get the letter of admission, you can start applying for the residence permit.

Erasmus Mundus scholarship holders will receive a confirmation of the scholarship at the same time/soon after. Self-funded students can apply for the residence permit as soon as they have received the letter of admission.

I have been selected to the SECCLO programme, but I am on the reserve list for the Erasmus Mundus scholarship. What is my position on the reserve list and do I have any chance to get a scholarship?

The SECCLO coordinator will contact all selected students during March and inform them about their position on the reserve list. All selected students can join the programme and the students in the reserve list should obtain their own funding for the SECCLO studies.

If cancellations appear (if a student in the main list cancels his/her participation in the programme), the next student proposed for the scholarship will be contacted by the coordinator by phone or e-mail. It is difficult to foresee how many cancellations there will be, so it is not possible to predict whether you are able to secure a scholarship.

I have been selected to the SECCLO programme, but I was not granted a scholarship. I am not in a position to fund my studies with my personal funds. Is it possible to work as a teaching assistant or research assistant at the university?

SECCLO is a two-year full-time demanding study programme with integrated mobility. The student is expected to complete the programme requirements in the first-year university in the given time before transferring to the second-year university. Therefore, it is not recommended for students to work during the semesters.

In order to join the programme, the student is expected to have sufficient funds for living and studying. Sufficient funds are required also for the student residence permit. For further information on participation costs and living costs, see Scholarships and fees and Other funding possibilities. You should always also seek for scholarships or loans from your home country.