Changing the curriculum

There are two ways to change your curriculum: by readmission to the university or by applying for a free place in your desired specialisation during your studies.

Readmission to the university

Being readmitted to the university means starting your studies again from the beginning. It is necessary to meet the admission requirements established for the relevant academic year and be accepted. NB! At the University of Tartu, the student only has the right to be matriculated for one curriculum at once, so if you are accepted to the new student place it is necessary to exmatriculate from any previous curriculum.

When being readmitted, previous studies are not automatically transferred. If you wish, you can transfer courses that you have previously passed via the recognition of prior learning and experience (RPL). To do so, the student must submit an application themself. Learn more about applying for RPL.

Those who have previously studied on the basis of a place exempt from tuition fees need to take into account the restriction against studying for free at the same level of higher education: the restriction of access to free study applies to those who have already studied in Estonia at the same level of higher education without paying tuition fees for more than half of the nominal duration of the curriculum (up to 1.5 years in the case of bachelor’s studies, and up to 1 year in the case of master’s studies). The restriction applies from matriculation for three times the nominal duration of the curriculum – those who have already studied in a fee-exempt place for more than half of the nominal duration may not be admitted to a free place again until three times the nominal duration have passed since the first admission (9 years in the case of bachelor’s studies, and 6 years in the case of master’s studies). Furthermore, a student cannot study for free in the same curriculum from which they have been exmatriculated for a period of two years. See more information (in Estonian).

From August 1, 2024, changes to the Higher Education Act of Estonia concerning studying without the cost for the second time will come into force (the resrictions will become stricter). The relevant university regulations are yet to be specified.


Applying for a free student place

If free places have become available in a particular curriculum (if more students have dropped out than expected), then from the second semester the free places will be filled via a competitive process. Vacant places are not filled during the autumn semester of the first year. At the earliest, you can apply for the spring semester of the first year.

It is possible to change the curriculum if the student is in the register for the same year and same semester where a free place arises. For example, only first year students can apply for a free place in the spring semester of the first year (second and third year students cannot apply for a first year place).

In order to apply, you need to have passed at least the minimum volume of suitable courses for the new curriculum, also taking into account the need to catch up with studies in the new curriculum (including prerequisite courses and the compatibility of timetables), because the nominal study duration cannot be increased by changing the curriculum.

Student places are typically filled within four weeks from the beginning of the semester, but the deadline is before beginning of the semester. The terms and conditions of the competition for places are set separately by each faculty. Applicants are usually ranked according to the total number of credits achieved and their average grade. More information on the conditions for filling vacant student places can be found on the web page of the relevant faculty. If you have any questions or wish to submit an application, please contact:


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