If you are pursuing pedagogical studies for subject teachers in comprehensive and upper secondary education as separate studies after completing a master’s degree, you are required to prove your eligibility with respect to the subject to be taught by presenting an equivalency certificate.
The equivalency certificate is proof that the studies completed at the university in a certain subject correspond to the subject studies required of a subject teacher. You may need an equivalency certificate when applying for a position as a subject teacher or when applying for the right to pursue pedagogical studies for subject teachers after graduation.
The equivalency certificate is issued by the faculty in which the studies in the subject to be taught were completed and which provides subject teacher education. If the subject to be taught is not taught in any University of Helsinki faculty that provides subject teacher education, the certificate will be issued by a university that offers the studies in question.
The equivalency certificate must be requested in writing. If the faculty does not have an electronic form for requesting an equivalency certificate, the applicant must submit a free-form request in writing to the student service point of the faculty in question.
The request must include the following information:
- the name, date of birth and student number of the person applying for the certificate
- phone number and email address
- what teaching subject(s) is the equivalency certificate being applied for
- what was the scope of the studies in question: basic studies and subject studies, 60 credits (comprehensive school level qualifications or upper secondary school qualifications in a second teaching subject), basic studies, subject studies and advanced studies, 120 credits (upper secondary school level qualifications)
- in what university/universities were the studies required for eligibility completed: if some part of the studies in the subject to be taught were completed elsewhere and the information is not recorded in the University of Helsinki student register, the person applying for the equivalency certificate is required to provide legally attested copies of transcripts or other certificates for the studies in question
- the name of the previously completed decree, the awarding institution and the date on which it was awarded
- the name on the certificate if different than the applicant’s current name
- the postal address to which the certificate should be sent. You can also indicate that you will pick up the certificate from the student service point in question by a specified date. Nevertheless, you should specify an address to which the certificate can be sent by post if you are unable to pick it up.
Please note that receiving the equivalence certificate might require the completion of supplementary studies in the relevant discipline.
If so, you will be provided with a statement on the studies you must complete to acquire the equivalence certificate. (However, please note that based on this statement, you cannot yet apply for the right to complete, for example, STEP (Subject Teacher Education Programme) studies. First you must complete the supplementary studies and then obtain the actual equivalence certificate to be able to apply for STEP.)
If supplementary studies are required, you can for example apply for a right to complete non-degree studies. Further information on applying for non-degree studies can be found here.
Applying for an Equivalency Certificate based on studies completed outside Finland
Applicants for an equivalence certificate based on studies completed outside Finland should note that the processing time for an application is usually several weeks (typically three to six). If you are applying for, say, STEP studies, be sure to allow sufficient time for your application to be processed.
It should also be noted that a comparability decision from the Finnish National Board of Education is likely to be needed for a degree completed outside Finland before applying for an equivalence certificate.
Applicants for an equivalence certificate based on a degree completed outside Finland must submit the following documents to student service point of the faculty in question:
- A copy of the degree diploma(s);
- A copy of the transcript of studies or other lists of courses completed;
- Descriptions of courses completed (the more detailed, the better)
- If needed, a comparability decision from the Finnish National Board of Education
- If necessary, translations of the above documents
The Cost of the Equivalency Certificate
A fee of EUR 126 is charged for an equivalency certificate. You will receive payment instructions after your request has been processed, provided that the requested certificate can be issued to you. You are required to show the receipt of your payment when picking up the completed equivalency certificate.