Continuing unfinished studies

It is possible to continue unfinished studies either by rematriculating or as an external learner. Rematriculation is an individual’s reincluson in the student register. An external learner is not a student, but they are permitted to complete up to limited credits’ worth of the curriculum each academic year.


 Visa/TRP when continuing unfnished studies: the students holding a non-EU/EEA citizenship need to consider whether they need to extend or apply for a new visa or temporary residence permit for studies in order to complete their studies at UT. In most cases, the students who have been rematriculated or hold a status of an external learner, stay in Estonia on the basis of a D-type (long term) visa. For further information, please see here and contact to specify the details of your stay in Estonia.



Rematriculation is an individual’s reincluson in the student register. The student continues their studies from the same place where they left off (in the same autumn or spring semester; it is necessary to apply before the start of the semester). It is possible to apply for rematriculation when at least two years have passed since exmatriculation. Two years restriction does not apply to students exmatriculated before the 2024/2025 academic year, except if the student was exmatriculated for improper behaviour.

It is possible to rematriculate when there is a free place in the desired curriculum. A prerequisite for rematriculation is that the individual has cleared any arrears in relation to their studies (for example as an external learner). 

A student will not be rematriculated if it involves an extension of their studies. Individuals who have been exmatriculated due to the fact that the date for ending their studies has passed may not rematriculate. They have the opportunity to finish their studies as an external learner (see below).

A student who was exmatriculated for non-payment of tuition fees by the due date cannot apply for rematriculation until the outstanding balance has been paid.

If you wish to apply for rematriculation or have any questions about it, please get in contact with your institute’s student adviser



Studying as an external learner

If studies have been only partially completed (for example because the graduation date has passed or if the student is behind on their studies), then it is possible to apply to be an external learner. 

An external learner is not a student, but they are permitted to complete up to 30 ECTS credits’ worth of the curriculum each academic year. They can also do an internship (except with Erasmus+ abroad), defend a thesis or take a final exam.

The status of an external learner is granted for either one semester or one year at a time. As far as how studies are organised is concerned, external learners have the same rights and obligations as ordinary students. The university has the right to suspend an external learner’s studies on the order of the Vice Dean if the external learner has not fulfilled the university’s requirements regarding study regulations and conduct.

In order to obtain the status of an external learner, an application must be submitted to the institute containing a list of the courses to be taken.

Application for one semester
Application for one academic year

A contract is concluded with the external learner and they pay tuition fees according to the credit point price for the volume of courses or semester fee. In doctoral studies the fee is paid as a semester fee. The Vice Dean for Academic Affairs may exempt an external learner from tuition fees either partially or in full in the event that the external learner defends their final thesis or passes their final exam. In that case, a substantiated application for exemption from tuition fees must be submitted together with the application to become an external learner.

The university may refuse to consider someone becoming an external learner if the individual concerned is in arrears to the university on their tuition fees, if the applicant does not meet the conditions established in the relevant course or curriculum or admission requirements or has not studied in the corresponding curriculum in the past, if the course or curriculum is full, if studies have started, or if the applicant is still being punished for an intentionally committed criminal offence. A student who has been exmatriculated for academic fraud or other inappropriate behaviour may not apply for status as an external learner until two years have passed since exmatriculation. If a person wishing to become an external learner has failed a course four times as an external learner (three times in the course system), then they do not have the right to apply for two years from the last failure of that course. As far as doctoral studies are concerned, non-completion of the individual plan is also grounds for rejection of an application to become an external learner.


Being readmitted to the University of Tartu

If you wish to be admitted again for the same or some other curriculum, your studies will start from the beginning. You must meet the admission requirements for the relevant academic year and be accepted. 

When being readmitted, previous studies are not automatically transferred. If you wish, you can transfer courses that you have previously passed using RPL. To do so, the student must submit an application themself.

Anyone who wishes to apply for a student place which is exempt of tuition fees must take into account the restrictions against studying the same curriculum twice for free. This restriction applies to those who have been exmatriculated during the past two years and have rematriculated for the same curriculum. When starting to study for a second time, the restriction on free study also applies to those who have already studied in Estonia at the same level of higher education without tuition fees for more than half of the nominal study duration. This restriction is valid from matriculation until three times the nomal study duration of the curriculum have passed. 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). See more information on Estonian page.


See study instructions and guidelines