Admission requirements

The information below applies to 2024 application round which ended on 4 January.

To be admitted to SECCLO, you will first need to fulfil our general eligibility requirements. If your application is eligible, it proceeds to the academic evaluation. The evaluation of eligible applications and the allocation of scholarships is made based on SECCLO’s student selection criteria.

General eligibility requirements

To be considered eligible for SECCLO, you will need to fulfil these four general eligibility requirements:

  1. Your previous higher education institution needs to be officially recognized.
  2. Your previous degree needs to meet our requirements.
  3. If an English language test result is required from you, your test scores will need to fulfil our minimum requirements and you will need to submit the test result as instructed before the given deadline.
  4. You will need to submit your online application and all compulsory application documents as instructed before the application deadline.

Please see further information below.

Requirements for previous higher education institution and degree

Applicants should hold a Bachelor degree* awarded by a university or a higher education institution.

  • The awarding institution has to be a recognized part of the official national education system of the country, i.e., to be listed as a degree-granting higher education institution by the country where it is located or by a relevant international organization such as UNESCO.
  • The scope of a relevant degree awarded by a higher education institution must be equivalent to 180 ECTS credits or at least three years of full-time study. The degree must give eligibility for Master’s degree studies in the awarding country.

The SECCLO Consortium reserves the right to determine whether the higher education institution or the degree fulfils the requirements.

*) Applicants in their final year of studies are eligible to apply provided that they will graduate by 31 July 2024. If the applicant is not able to graduate on time or fails to deliver a degree certificate by the given deadline, their conditional acceptance to the programme will be cancelled.

Requirements for English language proficiency

Our language of instruction is English, and the applicants are expected to have an excellent command of it. The accepted language tests and their minimum score requirements are listed below.

Minimum total score
Minimum writing score
IELTS (Academic)* 6.5 6.0
TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test)*
92 22
C1 Advanced (former Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English, CAE)
A, B, or C
C2 Proficiency (former Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English, CPE)
A, B, C or C1
Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic)
62 54

*) Also IELTS Online (Academic), IELTS Indicator (Academic) and TOEFL iBT® Home Edition are accepted in the 2024 admission.

The minimum requirements are very strict. If your scores do not fulfil the minimum score requirements, your application will not be processed further. You cannot combine scores from different test dates (e.g. TOEFL MyBest scores is not accepted).

IELTS, TOEFL and PTE results are valid for two years starting from the test date. Thus, test results from the tests taken on or after 22 November 2021 are acceptable in the 2024 application round.

Only the language tests listed above are accepted. For further information on language test result deadline and submitting your test scores for verification, see How to apply -> Step 4.

Exemptions from the English language test requirement (click to open)

The language test requirement is waived for the following groups:

  • 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, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, an EU/EEA country, or Switzerland.
    • If the degree is completed in an EU/EEA country (except Ireland), Switzerland, Canada or South Africa, the language of the degree must be stated unambiguously in the degree certificate or its appendix, or in the transcript of records or other official document issued by the awarding higher education institution.
    • 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.
  • Degree students from SECCLO consortium universities (Aalto, KTH, NTNU, DTU, University of Tartu, EURECOM).
    • A minimum of one half of the degree must be completed at a consortium university.
  • Applicants, who have attended SECCLO consortium universities (Aalto, KTH, NTNU, DTU, University of Tartu, EURECOM) as exchange students.

All other applicants are expected to present a valid English language test result without exceptions.


Student selection criteria

Admission to the SECCLO programme is granted on a competitive basis, and the applicants are assessed based on their previous academic record. The selection is document based. The final evaluation of the eligible applications and the ranking of qualified students is made based on the following criteria:

1. Relevance of previous studies
Successful applicants are expected to have a high-quality Bachelor’s degree in computer science or information technology or mathematics. Excellent candidates with degrees in other fields will be considered if they have sufficient studies in the required subject areas (see below).

Required background consists of sufficient studies in:

  • mathematics (linear algebra, calculus, probability theory, statistics, and discrete mathematics)
  • programming skills
  • algorithms and data structures
  • databases
  • theory of computation
  • computer networks
  • web software and online services
  • software engineering

Knowledge of one or more of the following areas is considered an advantage:

  • additional knowledge of mathematical methods
  • cryptography and its mathematical foundations
  • mobile applications
  • operating systems
  • distributed computing
  • cloud computing and big data
  • embedded systems
  • advanced computer networking
  • machine learning and data mining
  • information security

The contents of the applicant’s previous degree(s) are evaluated based on the courses on the official transcript of records. Relevant work experience, professional certificates and online courses can also be taken into account in the evaluation, but they do not in general compensate for the absence of university-level studies covering the theoretical foundations of the required subjects.

2. Academic performance
The applicant’s academic performance will be evaluated based on the grade point average (GPA) and grades in key courses. The time spent on the previous studies will also be considered.

The programme is looking for applicants with excellent academic performance in their previous studies. This means that the applicant has achieved consistently excellent grades throughout the degree studies (very high weighted average grade or GPA).

During the evaluation process, we assess relevance of previous studies and academic performance first. Only applications that meet the requirements for these two criteria will be evaluated further.

3. Recognition and quality of institution
We expect applicants to have completed their previous degree in a high-quality university and programme. The recognition of the applicant’s home university also affects the interpretation of the grades when evaluating the academic performance.

4. Motivation and commitment to SECCLO studies
The applicant should tell us about their expectations for the SECCLO programme, career aspirations, relevant experience, and achievements. They should be motivated to study in any of the programme universities and be committed to full‐time studies with a plan to complete the Master’s degree in two years. We are looking for applicants who are able to express clearly their reasons for applying to SECCLO and describe why they would be excellent candidates for the programme.

Studies in the SECCLO programme should provide genuinely new knowledge for the applicant. If the applicant already has a Master’s degree, the motivation letter should clearly indicate why another Master’s degree is necessary.

5. Other relevant achievements
Beyond their academic record, applicants may have other experience, knowledge and qualifications that prepare them for the Master’s studies and distinguish them among their peers. We particularly value relevant work experience in the area of the programme, participation in scientific research leading to publications, entrepreneurship, and special achievements such as success in competitions.

6. English language proficiency
A good English language test result adds value to the application.

All six SECCLO consortium universities participate in the evaluation of applications and in the joint selection meeting. The allocation of scholarships is based on the same criteria as the student selection decisions and the best selected students will be offered scholarships. The scholarship decisions are given together with the selection decisions.