Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education

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In order to be admitted as a doctoral student it is essential that the applicant meets the general and specific entry requirements (eligibility).

In the assessment of the general and specific eligibility, Karolinska Institutet uses among others the guidelines developed by the Association of Swedish Higher Education (SUHF), and the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR).

General eligibility

A person meets the general entry requirements for doctoral education if he or she:

  1. has been awarded a degree at the advanced (second-cycle) level
  2. has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded at the advanced level, or
  3. has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

Generally a master's degree is a de facto requirement.

The higher education institution may permit an exemption from the general entry requirements for an individual applicant, if there are special grounds.

Please see the Higher Education Ordinance Chapt 7 section 39


Specific eligibility (English)

All applicants must show proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 (with a passing grade) at the Swedish upper secondary school.

Applicants who meet the general entry requirements (points 1. and 2. above, chapter 7, 39§) through academic credentials from a Nordic higher education institution, are assessed to meet the English language requirement.

For information on how other applicants can certify their English language proficiency (through tests or university studies), please see the PDF file English language requirements for doctoral education.


Application for eligibility assessment

Generally the application for eligibility assessment is made as soon as the department has selected a candidate for a doctoral position, for more information please see “The procedure from recruitment to admission”.  The application for eligibility assessment should be submitted at least three weeks before the deadline for the application for admission. Please note that no eligibility assessments are made in the month of July.

Documentation requirements for Swedish academic credentials:

  1. Copies of degree diplomas
  2. Copies of transcripts of records

Verification of Swedish academic credentials

Swedish academic credentials will be verified through the national study register Ladok. Karolinska Institutet may request you to provide the original documents.

Documentation requirements for foreign academic credentials:

  1. Certified copies of degree certificates/university diplomas from an internationally recognised university (if you have graduated), both in the original language and in translation.
  2. Certified copies of official transcripts of records from an internationally recognised university, both in original language and in translation.
  3. Documents which certify your English language proficiency (Please see English language requirements for doctoral education).

Certified copies of foreign academic credentials

Copies of foreign degree diplomas and transcripts of records must be certified as true copies of the original by the issuing institution or a notary public. You must present both the original and the copy of the document to the certifying officer. Each copy must include the signature of the certifying officer and the stamp of the issuing institution or notary public. Please note that copies of copies, or documents sent by e-mail will not be accepted. Karolinska Institutet may request you to provide the original documents.


A translation is required if the original document is written in a language other than Swedish, Danish, English or Norwegian. The translation must be made by an authorized translator into one of these languages.

Country specific requirements

Applicants with qualifications from Cameroon, Canada, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and USA must instruct the university to send an official transcript of records directly to Karolinska Institutet (to the same address as on the application form).

How to document your actual competence:

Please submit your degree diplomas and transcripts of records according to the instructions above. Please also enclose your CV and other documents (certificates, references, publications etc.) showing your actual competence. Note that the decision is reached by the dean of doctoral education.

Personal data act

Karolinska Institutet collects personal data necessary for the processing of applications for eligibility assessments. The personal data is registered in accordance with the regulations in the Personal Data Act (PUL 1998:204, including amendments).

"Högskolepoäng" - the system for credits

One week of full-time studies is equivalent to 1.5 credits, one semester will give 30 credits, and one academic year is equivalent to 60 credits. Thus, the new requirements (240 credits) are equivalent to four years of full-time studies.

One credit awarded before June 30, 2007 corresponds to 1.5 credits awarded today.


Doctoral education