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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.

Do the following

The joint application system is used to apply for a place at a general upper secondary school.

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 instruction is free. The students pay for their books.

Background information

Upper secondary education is general education following basic education that gives the students capabilities for studying at universities and universities of applied sciences as well as in vocational education and training based on the general upper secondary school syllabus. The students can select the general upper secondary school to which they apply. The general upper secondary schools select their students. The average grades required for admittance vary by year and by school.

The scope of the general upper secondary school syllabus is three years. This syllabus must be completed in no more than four years, unless additional time is granted for a student for a justified reason. The syllabus may also be completed by participating in separate tests.

In order to complete his or her general upper secondary education, the student must pass a minimum of 75 courses acceptably. In general upper secondary education for adults, this minimum number is 44 courses. General upper secondary education is organised by municipalities, joint municipal authorities, registered organisations or foundations to which the Ministry of Education and Culture has granted authorisation.

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: 8/10/2020