Karolinska Institutet in brief

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Karolinska Institutet is one of the world’s foremost medical universities. Our vision is to make a significant contribution to the improvement of human health; our mission is to conduct research and education and to interact with the community.

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 offers the widest range of medical education under one roof in Sweden. Several of the programmes include clinical training or other training within the healthcare system.

The close proximity of the Karolinska University Hospital and other teaching hospitals in the Stockholm area thus plays an important role during the education.

Approximately 6,000 full-time students are taking educational and single subject courses at Bachelor and Master levels at Karolinska Institutet.

Teachers at Karolinska Institutet often carry out research in parallel with teaching. This ensures that students are involved in the latest advances within the medical field. Ambitious students, teachers and researchers together create an interesting and stimulating environment.

We also offer good opportunities for international exchange, which gives students the chance to work abroad for a period of time.

Bachelor's and Master's education

In 2017 there were 6 079 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 2017, 2,941 degrees were issued to 2,069 individuals.

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

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/third-cycle education

Karolinska Institutet carries out 12% of Swedish doctoral/third cycle education at universities or university colleges. Over 330 students take their PhD degree each year at Karolinska Institutet, after studies corresponding to four years of full-time study. Many of Karolinska Institutet´s doctoral students have taken their first-cycle education abroad.

In 2017, 2,136 individuals were active doctoral students whereof 58 percent were women. 

328 doctoral degrees were issued. KI's doctoral students have backgrounds in all academic areas, and a large proportion comes from other countries.

Doctoral studies at KI takes place in an international environment and usually within international collaborations, either informal between research groups or formal collaborations between the two universities.

Read more about Doctoral/third cycle education at Karolinska Institutet. 

External collaboration

Karolinska Institutet has collaboration agreements in research and education with a large number of universities the world over, with companies in the biomed and biotech sectors and also with individual countries.

Read more about international collaboration

The Stockholm Academic Healthcare System

As a medical university, it is essential for Karolinska Institutet to work in concert with the healthcare services, in particular with the Stockholm County Council (SLL). In recent years, the partnership between Karolinska Institutet and SLL has intensified considerably and continues to expand.

The common goal of Karolinska Institutet and SLL is to conduct research and education that is of the highest international quality, and of benefit to today's and tomorrow's patients.

This is being achieved through developing the skills and knowledge of healthcare personell, implementing research results, and - together with the industry - developing and testing pharmaceutical and medical products.

Read more about collaboration with the health services

Company collaboration

Karolinska Institutet has a long experience of many different and fruitful collaborations with industry. These collaborations create many opportunities for developing new services, products and knowledge to benefit human health.rovide complementary competences and services so as to optimally utilize ideas arising from research.


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

In 2017, Karolinska Institutet had 5,405 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 2017 was SEK 6,890 million. Karolinska Institutet's total assets in foundations and funds amounted at year-end (2017) to SEK 2,025 million: SEK 102 million in funds and SEK 1,923 million in foundations.

Karolinska Institutet annual reports

Key indicators

Education and research 2017 2016 2015
FTE, full time equivalent, students (1) 6,079 5,973 6,062
-women (%) 72 72 72
Cost per FTE student (SEK thousand) 159 159 155
APE, annual performance equivalents 5,618 5,558 5,534
Cost per APE (SEK thousand) 172 171 170
Number of fee-paying students 111 110 107
-women (%) 58 55 50
New doctoral student admissions 383 363 398
- women (%) 58 58 60
Doctoral students, total 2,136 2,267 2,280
- women (%) 58 58 59
Doctoral students with employment (FTEs) 879 932 770
- women (%) 57 59 58
Doctoral students with doctoral grants (FTEs) 0 0 122
-women (%) 0 0 61
Average study time, licentiate students (net) 2,47 3,22 3,10
Average study time, doctoral students (net) 4,60 4,32 4,44
Doctoral degrees awarded 328 331 359
Licentiate degrees awarded 4 7 8
Peer-reviewed scientific publications (2) i.u. 5,086 5,302
Cost per reviewed scientific publication (SEK thousand) (2) i.u. 1,089 1,012
Staff 2017 2016 2015
FTE, full time equivalent, employees 4,749 4,820 4,694
- women (%) 61 61 61
Avarage annual number of employees (3) 5,405 5,334 5,193
Teaching staff (FTEs) 860 863 853
- women (%) 49 48 48
Teaching staff with doctoral degrees (FTEs) 797 795 776
- women (%) 47 47 45
Professors (FTEs) 363 368 372
- women (%) 30 30 29
Finance 2017 2016 2015
Revenue, total (SEK million), of which 6,890 6,667 6,475
Bachelor´s and Master´s education (SEK million) 1,084 1,059 1,050
- direct government funding (%) 85 86 86
- external revenue (%) 15 14 14
Doctoral education and research (SEK million) 5,806 5,607 5,424
- direct government funding (%) 34 35 35
- external revenue (%) 66 65 65
Costs, total (SEK million) 6,794 6,578 6,394
- staff (%) 52 53 53
- premises (%) 12 11 12
Premises costs per m² (SEK) 2017 2016 2015
Balance sheet total (SEK million), of which 6,858 6,249 6,186
- unexpended grants 3,113 3,107 3,062
- change in capital for the year 98 78 76
- administrative capital (incl. change i cap. for the year) 1,612 1,514 1,435