The thesis is
written on a topic usually related to the student's major and agreed
upon between the student and a professor
who specializes in the topic. On reasonable grounds, the school may
also grant permission for the thesis to be written on a topic related to
It is on the student's own responsibility to find a master's thesis
position and topic. This may take time, and therefore it is highly
recommended to start searching for the master's thesis position at the
beginning of the second autumn at the latest.
The topics of theses vary and they can originate either from the
needs of businesses and industries or from the needs of the academic
community. The student must agree on starting the thesis with the
professor in charge of the major or the professor whose field of
research best matches with the topic. Master’s thesis positions and
topics are also available in CareerWeb and the webpages of the
departments but students can find the topic elsewhere, too.
According to Finnish legislation, a master's thesis is a public
document and its contents cannot be confidential. Therefore, the
material of the thesis must be chosen so that it does not include any
information that could be classified as a business secret.
Thesis supervisor and advisor
The master’s thesis must have a supervisor and it may have one or two
advisors. The supervisor can also act as an advisor. The supervisor is
usually one of the professors of the School of Science. For special
reasons, the thesis supervisor may also be another professor, university
lecturer, or senior university lecturer of the school. While the
supervisor and the advisor(s) offer support, the thesis is written
independently and the student is responsible for the successful
completion of the master’s thesis.
When the student finds a topic that interests him/her, the
appropriate professor can be found from the list of professors and their
research areas on the department’s webpage. Often the professor is one
of the responsible professors of the major the student has chosen.
Professors who are responsible for the majors are listed in the study
The supervisor ensures that the thesis meets all aims and
requirements set by the School of Science. In his/her statement at the
end of the thesis work, the supervisor evaluates the thesis and suggests
a grade for the Programme Committee.
The advisor is usually from an organization for which the thesis is
written and holds at least a master’s degree. The advisor is an expert
in the field of the thesis, and he/she can give advice on the content
and writing of a thesis. The duties of the advisor are agreed on by the
student, supervisor and advisor. Neither the supervisor nor the advisor may be a relative of the student, or biased in any other way.
The thesis topic and the completed thesis cannot be approved
in the same committee meeting. The Master’s thesis topic is valid for one year
from the date of approval. However,
the target time for completing the thesis is six months. Time
used for completing the thesis affects the thesis evaluation. Note, that this
time period is not calculated from the approval date of the topic but from the
actual start date of the thesis as agreed and judged by the supervisor.
If you have problems completing your theses withing the
target time, please contact your supervisor as soon as possible. The thesis
supervisor can extend the target time if there is a good reason for it.
It’s also possible to do the thesis on your own topic
without funding, i.e., your thesis is not done in a company or university
research group. However, you should still find both a supervisor and advisor
for your thesis.
Once a student has agreed on the topic with the supervisor, he/she has
to apply for approval of the topic from the Programme Committee (form
206). It is advisable to keep the topic compact and informative. The
final title of the thesis can be changed as long as the topic remains
the same. The Programme Committee approves the topic, language,
supervisor and advisor(s) of the thesis. Note that the topic and the
thesis cannot be approved in the same meeting.
Student can apply for approval of the topic when he/she: - is enrolled as an attending student - B.Sc. degree has been approved - has completed at least 45 ECTS credits towards the master’s degree - personal study plan (HOPS) has been approved
The topic is valid for one year from the date of approval. If the
thesis is not submitted for evaluation during that period, the topic
expires and must be applied for again.
Submit the 206 Request for approval of topic of master's thesis ineAge system. Before filling in then application you must agree on the topic with the
supervising professor. The supervisor's written agreement must be
attached to the application. Examples of a
written agreement include an email conversation, signed memo from the
thesis meeting or other written agreement. It is recommended to use the form 206 Request for approval of topic of master’s thesis (pdf) as the supervisor's agreement.
Master’s theses are research publications. Thus,
both the research process and the published thesis must follow guidelines for responsible
conduct of research. For a concise summary, see the guidelines of the
Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (in English, pages 30-33).
Mainly, it important to be honest about the methods, data and results, and
about how much is your own work. There are specific requirements for
experiments on human subjects and for handling personal data. When you have
questions, talk with your supervisor and advisor.
School of Science also recommends that the supervisor use the SCI
Statement template for giving the statement of master’s thesis
assessment. SCI Statement template (doc) for thesis supervisors (recommended). Lausuntopohja (doc) suositeltu lausuntopohjamalli diplomityön valvojille.
According to Finnish legislation, a master's thesis is a public
document and its contents cannot be confidential.
Students who are
preparing their theses should keep in mind that the thesis is a public
document. The thesis submitted for evaluation may not contain any secret
information, as information about the thesis can be retrieved from the
Aaltodoc portal. Archived copies of the thesis itself may be viewed at
the Learning Centre in electronic or in printed form. In addition,
theses produced in a digital format will be electronically sent by the
Learning Centre to anyone requesting a copy.
If a thesis is
produced on commission for a business, any parts of the thesis
containing commercial secrets must be left as part of the background
material, and not be included in the actual thesis for evaluation.
The so-called metadata (i.e. name of author, title of thesis, name of thesis supervisor and advisor, keywords) of each thesis is published in
the Aaltodoc database at https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi. In addition to
this, all approved theses are archived in the Aaltodoc publication
archives. Full versions of the electronically archived theses can be
accessed at the Learning Center and electronically sent by the
Learning Centre to anyone requesting a copy.
With the student's permission, the thesis abstract and/or full text
are published on the internet. Possible permission for electronic
publishing is given on the electronic application form 207. Itis possible to postpone the date of online
publishing by a maximum of one year from the date of thesis approval, i.e. the
date of the committee meeting, due to reasons related to other
publications, for example. However, the student should keep in mind that the
thesis is always a public document from the date of the committee
meeting where it has been approved, and accessible soon after approval in
the Learning Center as mentioned above. Notably, a patent application claiming
priority to any results reported in the thesis must be filed before
the date of that committee meeting.
PDF/A file of the thesis cannot be corrected or changed after the approved
thesis has arrived in Aaltodoc.Consultation with the legal counsel of the Aalto University has
contributed to this practice. However, the metadata of the thesis will be corrected according to the author’s
wishes also after it has arrived in Aaltodoc.
The School of Science does not
require using a certain template even though there are several
available. There are no strict rules for marginal, spacing etc. The
student can check approved master’s thesis from Aaltodoc and in the
library. Below are some models and templates that show, for example,
what information should be in the abstract page.
The language in which the student writes his/her master’s thesis
determines the language of the degree. If the master’s thesis is written
in Finnish or Swedish, the language of the degree is Finnish or Swedish
accordingly, and the student receives the degree certificate in either
Finnish or Swedish and an English translation of the certificate. If the
master’s thesis is written in English, the student receives two
original degree certificates: one in English, and one in Finnish or
The language of student’s school education determines the required
abstracts: if the student's language of school education is Finnish, the
thesis has abstracts in English and in Finnish. Similarly, if the
language of school education is Swedish, the abstracts are in English
and in Swedish. If the language of student's school education is other
than Finnish or Swedish, the abstract is written in English only.
The master's thesis includes a seminar presentation or an equivalent
presentation. The student should arrange the time and place for the
presentation with the supervisor. After the presentation, the student
submits the thesis presentation form to the student services of the
programme. The last
possible date to complete the thesis
presentation is the deadline for submitting theses and applications for
evaluation.Thesis presentation form (pdf)
the remote teaching, please agree the date, time and method for the
online presentation with your supervisor. After the presentation,
please, ask your supervisor to send his/her approval to the
According to the Universities Act
794/2004 students are required to complete a maturity essay. The
abstract of your master’s thesis will serve as the maturity essay
(except for Industrial Engineering and Management students, please see
instructions below). When you submit your thesis with the abstract(s) in
the required languages, the maturity essay is considered done. When
your supervisor submits a statement approving the thesis, also the
maturity essay is considered approved.
Write the abstract in
English and either in Finnish or in Swedish, depending on the language
of your basic education (=koulusivistyskieli). Students educated in
languages other than Finnish or Swedish need to write the abstract only
Students who received their general or upper secondary education in Finland but completed their bachelor’s degree abroad:
Students who have not demonstrated their language proficiency in
national languages during their bachelor’s degree must do so when
submitting their master’s thesis. In practice, this means that Student
Services will send the abstract of the master’s thesis in Finnish or
Swedish (koulusivistyskieli) to language evaluation by the Language
Center. To avoid delay in the graduation
process and to get feedback from the Language Center before submitting
the thesis, students belonging to this small group should contact
Student Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) early in the master’s thesis
Arrange a timetable with the supervisor for the evaluation and
approval of the thesis. The supervisor needs about a month to read the
finished thesis and write a statement. The Programme Committee approves and grades the thesis based on the
statement(s) given by the supervisor and the advisor. The supervisor and
advisor may write either a joint statement or separate statements.
The thesis can be approved when:
The student is enrolled as attending.
The topic of the master’s thesis is approved and valid.
The thesis supervisor approves the thesis to be submitted.
The student has given a
seminar presentation and written a maturity essay.
The date of approval of the thesis will be the deadline for submitting
the applications, although the approval of the thesis will not be processed by
the Degree Programme Committee until after the deadline for submitting theses
and applications for evaluation.
Even though the theses are submitted for approval only in electronic
format, the supervisor might still require theses bound in black covers (binding model pdf). The student must agree upon this with the supervisor.
Submitting the thesis and applying for its approval
Submitting the electronic version of the thesis and applying for its approval is done through the eAge system as follows:
Filling in the application form according to the instructions given
in eAge and uploading the final version of the thesis into the system.
The file must be saved in PDF/A format.
The file name should not have any Scandinavian letters (e.g. ä and
ö) or special characters. The name should be in the following format:
school's abbreviation_publishingyear_lastname_firstname.pdf (for example
student with the name Jan Järvinen would name the file as
The uploaded version has to be final and identical to the version given to the supervisor, with all corrections included.
If needed, the student should submit a bound copy of the thesis to the supervisor.
Learning Centre’s instructions on converting the file into a PDF/A-format.The only valid and acceptable versions are PDF/A-1a, -1b, -2a and -2b. Instructions (PDF/A-format).
Students dissatisfied with the grade of their thesis may
appeal against the decision in writing to the Aalto University Academic
Appeals Board (Aalto-yliopiston tutkintolautakunta) within 14 days of
receiving notification of the decision. Address:
Aalto University Academic Appeals Board, Registry, P.O. BOX
11000, FI-00076 AALTO.
Request for degree certificate, see Graduation (into.aalto.fi)
After you and your supervisor have agreed on the topic of the thesis:
Submit the master’s thesis topic application (form 206).
When you think your thesis is almost ready:
Check that the thesis topic is valid (it is valid for one year from the date of approval).
Present your thesis. The last possible date to complete the thesis presentation is the deadline of application.
Ask your supervisor if she/he wants a bound copy of the thesis.
When your thesis is ready (your supervisor approves the thesis to be submitted):
Submit the eAge form "207 Approval and grading
of the thesis" and upload the thesis in PDF/A format in the system. Make
sure it is the final version. Send exactly the same version to your supervisor for evaluation.
If you are graduating, please follow the instructions below.
Remember that you have to be enrolled as attending.
More information available on the Into page Graduation (common page for all SCI master's programmes).
Starting from 25 May 2021, Sisu will be the only channel for graduation
requests. On Sisu, graduation requests are based on students’ personal
study plans (HOPS).
If you have completed all other requisite studies for your master’s degree, you
can submit your thesis for evaluation at the same time when submitting
the request for degree certificate. The thesis
and the degree will be registered for the deadline for submitting the applications -date, although the
approval of the thesis will not be processed by the Degree Programme
Committee until after the deadline for submitting theses and
applications for evaluation.
It is possible for you to graduate on 31 December 2021, because the
official date of acceptance of the thesis will be registered as 31
December 2021, even though your master’s thesis will be processed by the
Degree Programme Committee in January. The deadline for
submitting the degree certificate request is the official date of
graduation, which will be printed on the degree certificate.