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Student FAQ

This page contains answers to questions that students frequently ask. Please consult this page before coming to my office hours or setting up an appointment.

The questions are grouped into three groups:

  • Course related questions – about course substitution, passing, examinations, special assignments and seminars
  • M.Sc. thesis related questions – what to do if you would like me to supervise your thesis
  • Postgraduate study related questions – how to apply for postgraduate studies, what to expect, what kinds of subjects you can do your thesis in if you want me as your supervisor

Course related

Q: I currently work/have been working for several years as a software designer/programmer/project manager and I feel I know everything that a course you teach covers. Can I get the credits without taking the course?

A: No, you have to take the course in its entirety. With your experience, it should be simple and not demand too much of your time. In addition, it is often beneficial to benchmark the practices you have been using against those in the literature. Your experience is also very valued in the in-class discussions, so even though lectures (with some exceptions) are not compulsory, I do recommend that you take part. The other students (and the professor) are really looking forward to learning from you!

Q: I have already completed a course similar to T-76.xxxx at another institution, and would like to get credit points for that course instead of taking the Aalto course. What should I do?

A: The question of course substitution is one of the most common and also one of the hardest ones.

If you really know the material, the simplest way for you to get the credit points is to take the Aalto course/exam. Writing for three hours is likely to demand less of your time than getting and filling in the forms needed and to convince me that you really know the material according to our requirements.

If you do not want to take the exam, make sure that the course corresponds to a similar course at Aalto. This means:

  • The course is academic, taken at an accredited university level institution
  • If the Aalto course has exercises, so should the course you plan to use as a substitute
  • The required written material should correspond (difficulty level, amount, contents)
  • The requirements for passing the course should be similar to those at Aalto

The following do not correspond to Aalto T-76.xxxx courses, and will not be accepted as substitutes:

  • courses taken at the Finnish institute level (ammattikorkeakoulu)
  • courses taken by professional training providers such as IIR, Rastor, Tieturi etc.
  • professional assignments (e.g. projects carried out at work cannot be used to get credits for courses like T-76.4115, T-76.5115, or T-76.5612)

If you feel that you have passed a course elsewhere that is a valid substitute for an Aalto course, or if you are unsure, you need to come to my office hours. In order for me to be able to process your request, you must bring the following with you:

  • A written, official, course outline containing contents of lectures, exercises and the written material required. You can also bring a copy of the teaching materials/exercises you have from the course
  • An official statement indicating that you have passed the course (including your grade)
  • The necessary forms as required by Aalto

Note that I will not make exceptions to the above rules during my office hours.

M. Sc. thesis related

Q: I would like you to supervise my Master’s thesis. What do I do?

A: Make sure that you officially have selected one of the majors or minors that I am involved in. Make sure that you have (or are very close to having) the required studies and credit points. Then, set up an appointment with me. Bring the following to our appointment: your list of credits (Oodi-ote), yourself. It is helpful if you are able to think about a preliminary subject for your thesis.

For more detailed information, please look at my M.Sc. student page (coming soon!)

Postgraduate studies

Q: I would like to pursue postgraduate studies in software engineering and would like you to supervise me. What do I do?

A: Do the following:

  1. Read the official requirements for postgraduate students and make sure that you qualify. The process is easy if you have a Finnish M.Sc. (tech) – you should be accepted within a month. If you are from a humanistic university or from abroad, prepare for a bit longer (months) process.
  2. Get the official forms required by Aalto
  3. Send me an email containing your CV, degree diploma, and statement of interest
  4. If, based upon the information given, you qualify, we will set up a meeting
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