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General upper secondary education

  • Service
  • Helsinki
  • Public service

Students at general upper secondary schools study a wide variety of subjects including their first language and foreign languages, mathematics and sciences, arts and social sciences, religion or ethics, health education, physical education, and crafts and art.

General upper secondary studies are divided into compulsory, specialized and applied courses. Students choose their courses themselves and progress in their studies according to their personal study plans.

To whom and on what terms

Application to general upper secondary education is made with the comprehensive education final certificate or a corresponding certificate. The general upper secondary schools that specialize in one or more subjects also consider the applicants' grades in those subjects in addition to the grade point average. Schools can also apply entrance or applicability tests.

The service is free of charge.

The necessary study tools are also free of charge for students whose compulsory education includes secondary education. A student’s compulsory education includes secondary education if the student completed grade 9 of comprehensive school in spring 2021 or later.

Background information

General upper secondary education provides you with the necessary skills for studying at a university or university of applied sciences. At the end of your general upper secondary education, you will complete a matriculation examination that will make you eligible for a place of study at a higher education institution.

You can apply for a study place at the educational institution of your choice. The provider of the education decides whom it will admit to its institution.

The target completion time for a general upper secondary school syllabus is three years. Every syllabus and the studies included in them are measured in credits. The general upper secondary school syllabus for young students consists of 150 credits. The studies included in the syllabus for young students have been designed with full-time study in mind. A separate syllabus is also available to adults who wish to participate in general upper secondary education.

Basic information

The service is provided byCity of Helsinki
Responsible for the serviceCity of Helsinki
Area Helsinki
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish
Text edited by: City of Helsinki
Updated: 12/7/2021