Everything You Need to Know Before Applying to the University of Tartu – Jasmin (Germany)

Secret Tips from a Student Advisor

I know, I know many of you are probably studying for exams right now or are busy writing papers. But I am also pretty sure many of you have been thinking about what to do after you have finished your exams, papers and even your whole degree; studying in Tartu!

The University of Tartu offers plenty of interesting programmes that are taught in English. But before the application system opens on 2nd January, there is a couple of things to consider; worry not though I have some secret tips for you!

Photo Credits: UT

What should I even study?

There’re 23 English-taught master programmes, so choosing the perfect one for you can feel a little overwhelming. Of course, all the programmes have their own website, where they are introduced. You can find an overview of all the programmes here; through this link you also find all the individual programme websites. Still can’t make up your mind? No need to panic. Even when you are not enrolled at the University of Tartu you can access the Study Information System. Through it you are able to have a look at how the different programmes are composed, just type in the name of programme you are interested in under the “curriculum” section.

Photo Credits: SIS

You will be given information about the modules the programmes are comprised of and also which classes are included in these modules. The Study Information System even gives you information about how your performance in these classes will be graded. However, it is possible that the programme manager makes some minor changes to the curriculum for the next academic year in order to improve the overall programme. So, there is a chance that your curriculum in September of next year looks a little different. You can also contact one of the Student Ambassadors who studies the programme you interested in or something similar, find out what classes are like. Before I started my studies here, I found it really reassuring to see which classes I might take. It also helped me decide which programme to apply for since I could see which programme included the, to me most interesting, courses.

But am I eligible to study that?

So, you have taken the most important step in your application process: Deciding what you want to study!

The next step is finding out if you fulfil all the relevant conditions. For the humanities and political science programmes a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in any field will qualify you as an applicant. Even if you come from a different study field, you are still welcome to apply for a spot in the programme of your choice. I can tell you from my own experience that having people from different study backgrounds all together in one programme makes for even more interesting discussions.

If you are interested in one of the economics, science or technology programmes, there’s usually a couple of preconditions. You can find them on the website of each of the programmes under “admission”. You might have to have a degree from specific study field or have completed a certain number of classes from a specific field. But don’t worry, if you are not sure if your previous studies fit those requirements, just ask! During this process you are not alone, studyinfo@ut.ee as well as the programme managers can answer some of your more specific questions about the programme; you can find the programme managers emails at the very end of the programme’s website. You can also make contact with the university through the online question form.

Got it figured out?! Perfect, but don’t forget about the language requirements! Every applicant has to prove that they have sufficient knowledge in English since all classes and communication will be held in English. So, check out this side to have a look at the variety of proficiency tests that the university recognizes. Also, have a look at the exemptions listed at the end of the side. There’re exactly five conditions through which you are exempt from having to submit one the tests, read them carefully.

 What if I graduate later though?

You have probably come across the application deadlines by now, 15th March 2020 for all international Master programmes and 15th April 2020 for international Bachelor programmes and medicine.

Now, there is most likely a couple of you getting stressed about the deadline since you know that you will not have finished your degree by then. Trust me, that’s no reason to worry!

You can apply to start studying in Tartu next autumn even if you haven’t gotten your degree by March or April. You can submit the most recent official transcript with your application within the application period. If you are then admitted to the programme of your choice you can just post a certified copy of your graduation documents to the admission office of the University of Tartu, it’s best if you do so before the end of July. Since, we are speaking about sending in documents, also check out the country specific requirements to make sure that your application is not missing anything.

How do those scholarships work?

So, the University of Tartu offers international students the opportunity to apply for scholarships that help you make life a little easier. The tuition-waiver scholarship is available for most programmes, you can check on the programme’s website if it’s available. You can apply for this scholarship together with your study application. If you are one the lucky recipients, you won’t have to pay tuition fees! You are freed from paying the tuition costs as long as you complete 30 ECTS from your curriculum per semester.

There’s also the Dora Plus stipend for international Master students. The lucky ones who receive this stipend are awarded 350€/month for one academic year, which equals ten calendar months.

That’s all nice enough but who receives these scholarships, you wonder? So, you don’t need to have a certain GPA to become a recipient of either one of these. For every programme all applicants will be ranked based on the programme’s requirements, the applicants with the highest ranking will receive the scholarships.

What’s next?

Well, after submitting your application it’s time to wait. Don’t worry, you will already receive news about your application around 15th May. Then the real adventure starts!

During your journey to Estonia you won’t be alone! You can contact the Study Abroad Centre, studentvisasupport@ut.ee , with all your questions regarding visas and residence permits. But also, every programme will be assigned a peer tutor. A peer tutor is another student from Estonia or from anywhere else in the world, who is already studying in Tartu. These students will help you with all your questions and support you before you get to Estonia but also once you get here. You can also find a lot information about living in Tartu in the university’s welcome web.  There is information about anything from getting accommodation and living expenses to everything about student organizations.

Photo Credits: Jasmin Schmitz

So, let’s get ready for 2nd January and see you soon in the city of good thoughts!