Karolinska Institutet in brief

Karolinska Institutet is one of the world’s foremost medical universities. Our vision is to advance knowledge about life and strive towards better health for all.

As a university, KI is Sweden’s single largest centre of medical academic research and offers the country’s widest range of medical courses and programmes.

Since 1901 the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has selected the Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine.

Karolinska Institutet was founded by King Karl XIII in 1810 as an "academy for the training of skilled army surgeons". Today, Karolinska Institutet is a modern medical university and one of the foremost in the world.

With our close relationship to the clinical milieu, a well established infrastructure and a stable financial situation, Karolinska Institutet has excellent prerequisites for sustaining high quality research and education.


Karolinska Institutet (KI) offers a wide range of programmes and courses in medicine and healthcare to meet society’s need for skills in the field. This enables us to conduct high-quality, relevant interprofessional education and training, through which students from different programmes learn with, from and about each other in the interests of effective collaboration as students and, later, as healthcare professionals.

Karolinska Institutet conducts research and education on two campuses (Solna and Flemingsberg) and at a number of the county’s hospitals.

There are some 6,500 FTE students on KI’s programmes and courses. The teachers often conduct research alongside their educational duties, giving their students access to the latest knowledge in the entire field of medicine. Students, teachers and researchers together constitute an interesting and stimulating academic environment.

Many of KI’s programmes include placements that offer real-world clinical practice and education.

KI is also engaged in large-scale international exchanges that give students opportunities to pursue some of their studies abroad.

Bachelor's and Master's education

In 2021 there were 6,487 full-time students at KI.

KI also offers several Master's one-year and Master's two-year programmes and single-subject courses. Most of the programmes lead to a professional degree, and several offer degrees at a Bachelor's or Master's level.

Most of the programmes leads to a professional exam. Several of the programmes also leads to a general degree.

In 2021, 2,760 degrees were issued to 2,178 individuals.

In 2021 there were 6,481 FTE students on beginners’ and continuation programmes.

In 2021 KI offered:

  • 13 beginners’ programmes
  • 32 continuation programmes
  • 114 freestanding courses

Many one and two-year master’s programmes are held in English.

Master programmes taught in English



Global Health

Health Informatics

Health Economics, Policy and Management

Molecular Techniques in Life Science

Nutrition Science

Public Health Sciences


Exchange programmes

Most of Karolinska Institutet's programmes have established student exchange networks. KI uses the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) when converting qualifications for overseas studies.

Study abroad


Research at Karolinska Institutet spans the entire medical field, from basic experimental research to patient-oriented and nursing research.

Karolinska Institutet is Sweden’s single largest centre of medical academic research and offers the country’s widest range of medical courses and programmes.

Research areas

Cancer and Haematology
Cell, Molecular and Structural Biology
Circulation and Respiration
Developmental Biology, Stem Cells, Reproductive, Regenerative and Reparative Medicine
Endocrinology and Metabolism
Epidemiology and Public Health Sciences
Health Care Sciences
Immunology, Infection, Inflammation and Microbiology

Read more about research areas at KI

Translational research

Research at Karolinska Institutet is conducted in 22 departments, most of which are situated or adjacent to Stockholm's teaching hospitals. This creates ample opportunities for translational research in which new experimental results are rapidly implemented for patient benefit, and where clinical observations provide a basis for new research ideas.

Doctoral education

With over 2,000 doctoral students, doctoral education represents a significant part of Karolinska Institutet’s activities. Its ambition is high: A doctoral degree from KI is to be a nationally and internationally recognised seal of quality.

Karolinska Institutet trains doctoral students in medical science and accounts for some 12 per cent of academic doctoral education in Sweden.

In 2021, KI had 2,061 doctoral students*, 60 per cent of whom were women.

KI conferred 353 PhDs during the year along with a number of licentiate degrees. KI has doctoral students with backgrounds in all scientific fields, many from outside Sweden.

Doctoral education at KI is conducted in an international environment, usually within international collaborations, either informally between research groups or formally with another university.

* All doctoral students who have registered activity of 1 per cent or more during the autumn term.

Read more about Doctoral education at Karolinska Institutet

Outreach activities

Karolinska Institutet’s close collaborations with the healthcare sector, the corporate sector and other organisations around the world promote the development of knowledge of considerable value to society. With its wide diversity of actors and many communication channels, KI’s civic engagement is expansive.

Much of KI’s research and education is conducted in clinical environments – at regional hospitals, in primary care and in elderly care. KI is co-located with several other institutions, such as Karolinska University Hospital, Danderyd Hospital, Stockholm South General (Söder) Hospital, the Public Health Agency of Sweden, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab) and parts of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). KI supports local development through the Stockholm Science City Foundation and Flemingsberg Science.

KI’s activities are increasingly influenced and shaped by its collaborations with international actors. KI’s research networks have a global reach and the number of international students has been rising steadily for many years.

KI has long experience of close collaboration in a wide range of fields, enabling us to create a solid infrastructure and support services for handling commissioned research, contractual issues, intellectual property rights and other such matters. By working alongside the industry, we can produce new services, products and knowledge that contribute to the improvement of human health.

Read more about collaboration with health and medical care

Read more about international collaboration

Read more about company collaboration


Karolinska Institutet strives to operate at all times in a spirit of professionalism, equality and diversity.

In 2021, Karolinska Institutet had 5,363 full time employees. In addition to this a large number of people without formal employment, especially visiting scientists, fellows and unpaid docents were active at KI.


Karolinska Institutet's turnover in 2021 was SEK 7,560 million.

Karolinska Institutet financial reports

Key indicators

Education and research
Education and research 2021 2020 2019
FTE, full time equivalent, students (1) 6,487 6,481 6,372
-women (%) 73 73 72
Cost per FTE student (SEK thousand)* 172 167 164
APE, annual performance equivalents (1) 6,006 6,075 5,900
Cost per APE (SEK thousand)* 185 179 177
Number of fee-paying students 163 162 131
-women (%) 66 62 62
New doctoral student admissions 380 377 292
-women (%) 62 58 66
Doctoral students, total**** 2,061 2,039 2,108
-women (%) 61 60 60
Doctoral students with employment (FTEs) 775 784 773
-women (%) 59 60 59
Doctoral students with doctoral grants (FTEs) 0 0 0
-women (%) 0 0 0
Average study time, licentiate students (net) 4,1 2,3 3,3
Average study time, doctoral students (net) 4,7 4,7 4,7
Doctoral degrees awarded 353 334 355
Licentiate degrees awarded 5 6 10
Peer-reviewed scientific publications** 7,322 6,832
Cost per reviewed scientific publication (SEK thousand)*** i.u. 838 882
Staff 2021 2020 2019
FTE, full time equivalent, employees 4,787 4,735 4,549
-women (%) 61 62 62
Avarage annual number of employees 5,363 5,143 5,088
Teaching staff (FTEs) 806 813 831
-women (%) 51 52 51
Teaching staff with doctoral degrees (FTEs) 752 754 774
-women (%) 49 50 50
Professors (FTEs) 339 327 328
-women (%) 33 34 33
Finance 2021 2020 2019
Revenue, total (SEK million), of which 7,560 7,322 7,120
Bachelor´s and Master´s education (SEK million) 1,220 1,199 1,157
- direct government funding (%) 85 85 85
- andel externa intäkter (%) 15 15 15
Doctoral education and research (SEK million) 6,339 6,123 5,963
- direct government funding (%) 35 35 35
- external revenue (%) 65 65 65
Costs, total (SEK million) 7,372 7,299 7,171
- staff (%) 52 51 50
- premises (%) 13 13 14
Premises costs (2) per m² (SEK) 3,843 3,996 3,822
- share of adjusted total costs (%) 12 13 13
Balance sheet total (SEK million), of which 7,754 7,269 7,269
- unexpended grants 3,817 3,523 3,285
- change in capital for the year 188 23 -53
- administrative capital (incl. change i cap. for the year) 1,752 1,564 1,557

1) Exclusive executive and professional education, contract and fee-financed education. On the production of statistics for 2020 data on HST and HPR students for 2018– 2019 were adjusted to exclude only executive and professional and contract education. Accordingly, some data have been adjusted in relation to previous annual reports. Since corresponding data extraction was not possible for 2017, these data also include complementary education.

(2) Net study time.

(3) Stated as per the ASHEI recommendation on premises costs concerning the collation of such costs, see annex 2 to the recommendations (REK 2014:1, 2015-10-26, ref. no 14/069).
* Including costs related to ALF grants and Grant for dental clinic. On the production of statistics for 2020, cost data for 2018–2019 were adjusted to only exclude executive and professional and contract education. Accordingly, some data have been adjusted in relation to previous annual reports. A corresponding adjustment was not made for 2017, see note 1.
** Data for 2020 unavailable due to lag in registrations.
*** Including costs related to ALF grants.
**** Due to a slight lag in activity reporting, the data for 2020 have been adjusted retroactively; the data for 2021 should be adjusted in the next annual report.
Sources: Ladok, Primula, Unit4 Business World (UBW), KI Bibliometrics system.