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.

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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 6,517 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 2023 there were 6,517 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 2023, 2,794 degrees were issued to 2,167 individuals.

In 2023 KI offered:

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

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

Master programmes taught in English



Global Health

Health Economics, Policy and Management

Molecular Techniques in Life Science

Nutrition Science

Public Health Sciences


Translational Physiology and Pharmacology

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, Biostatistics and Public Health Sciences
Health Care Sciences and Ageing
Immunology, Infection, Inflammation and Microbiology
Neuroscience and Mental Health

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 2023, KI had 2,173 doctoral students*, 61 per cent of whom were women.

KI conferred 329 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 national and international organisations 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, parts of the Royal Instityte of Technology (KTH) and the shared research infrastructure of SciLifeLab (Science for Life Laboratory). KI supports local development through the Stockholm Science City Foundation and Flemingsberg Science.

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 2023, Karolinska Institutet had 4,986 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 2023 was SEK 8,399 million.

Key indicators

Education and research
Education and research 2023 2022 2021
FTE, full time equivalent, students (1) 6,517 6,456 6,487
-women (%) 73 73 73
Cost per FTE student (SEK thousand)* 183 180 172
APE, annual performance equivalents (1) 5,916 5,976 6,006
Cost per APE (SEK thousand)* 197 194 185
Number of fee-paying students 205 172 162
-women (%) 73 69 66
New doctoral student admissions 401 399 380
-women (%) 64 63 62
Doctoral students, total**** 2 173 2,163 2,167
-women (%) 61 62 61
Doctoral students with employment (FTEs) 774 751 750
-women (%) 61 61 59
Doctoral students with doctoral grants (FTEs) 0 0 0
-women (%) 0 0 0
Average study time, licentiate students (net) (3) 3,2 2,4 4,1
Average study time, doctoral students (net) (3) 4,2 4,7 4,7
Doctoral degrees awarded 329 390 353
Licentiate degrees awarded 3 2 5
Peer-reviewed scientific publications** i.u. 7,667 7,838
Cost per reviewed scientific publication (SEK thousand)*** i.u. 836 786
Staff 2023 2022 2021
FTE, full time equivalent, employees (2) 4,986 4,867 4,787
-women (%) 62 61 61
Avarage annual number of employees 5,553 5,447 5,363
Teaching staff (FTEs) (2) 833 799 816
-women (%) 52 51 51
Teaching staff with doctoral degrees (FTEs) (2) 764 728 745
-women (%) 49 49 49
Professors (FTEs) (2) 341 340 336
-women (%) 33 34 33
Finance 2023 2022 2021
Revenue, total (SEK million), of which 8,399 7,863 7,560
Bachelor´s and Master´s education (SEK million) 1,280 1,253 1,220
- direct government funding (%) 83 84 85
- andel externa intäkter (%) 17 16 15
Doctoral education and research (SEK million) 7,120 6,610 6,339
- direct government funding (%) 32 34 35
- external revenue (%) 68 66 65
Costs, total (SEK million) 8,145 7,697 7,372
- staff (%) 52 52 52
- premises (%) 13 13 13
Premises costs (2) per m² (SEK) (4) 4,136 4,034 3,843
- share of adjusted total costs (%) 13 13 12
Balance sheet total (SEK million), of which 8,418 8,009 7,754
- unexpended grants 4,120 3,884 3,817
- change in capital for the year 255 165 188
- administrative capital (incl. change i cap. for the year) 2,175 1,919 1,752

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 2019 were adjusted to exclude only executive and professional and contract education. Accordingly, some data have been adjusted in relation to previous annual reports. 

2) The production of statistics for 2022 was based on a full year rather than one reference month, as previously. Data for the comparison years have been adjusted accordingly.

3) Net study time.

4) 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 the Dental Clinic. On the production of statistics for 2020, cost data for 2019 were adjusted to exclude only executive and professional and contract education. Accordingly, some data have been adjusted in relation to previous annual reports. 

** Data for 2023 unavailable due to a lag in registrations. The data for total publications have been adjusted for all reporting years from 2019 to 2022 to account for database updates and registration lag.

*** Including costs related to ALF grants.

**** Data for 2020–2023 refer to the number of doctoral students during the spring term, while the data for 2019 refer to the autumn term. 

Sources: Ladok, Primula, Unit4 Business World (UBW), KI Bibliometrics system.