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Doctorate and Licentiate degree

The four year Doctoral educational program will lead to a Doctorate degree (Swe: Medicine doktorsexamen). This is the highest educational degree in Sweden. A degree from Karolinska Institutet is always expected to be of the highest international standard.

Doctoral degree

The dissertation process is protracted and time-consuming. Be prepared for between three and five months to elapse between your application to defend a thesis and the actual dissertation.

Pre-dissertation seminar

New routine! Doctoral students at LIME that are planning to have their dissertation as of January 2020 are expected to have a pre-dissertation seminar in some form (on location at KI, or by Skype). The seminar is to be announced publicly (by email to “LIME staff”, and on the LIME calendar) and is to take place no earlier than 6 months prior (or less than 3 days before) to planned dissertation. A specific protocol is to be filled out by principal supervisor at the seminar and handed in to administrative officer directly after the seminar.

Pre-dissertation seminar at LIME - protocol


Applications to defend a doctorate thesis is to be submitted to the Dissertation Committee in ways as instructed on the application form 9. Deadlines for applications to Dissertation Committee is found in link below. Two weeks prior to deadline for Dissertation Committee the complete application is to be handed in to the departmental administrative officer of doctoral education (Ingrid Smedberg) IN PRINT, postbox on floor 4, LIME. All signatures from supervisors and doctoral student is to be completed, as well as prints of all attachments listed on the application form. Note that all signatures needs to be in original, plan for this arrangement if your supervisors are not at KI, it can take time.

Deadlines for applications to Dissertation Committee is found in link below. A few days after their meeting, the Dissertation Committee will send you and your supervisors an e-mail notification of the decision, which can be that your application has been either approved, postponed pending complementary material or clarifications, or rejected.

A doctoral thesis must include at least two papers that are accepted for publication. The remaining papers can be manuscripts. The total number of papers in a doctoral thesis can vary, as long as they in total have a scope and quantity equivalent to four years of full-time doctoral education. 

Remember to look through your Ladok-excerpt to make sure you have all necessary credits according to your general syllabus. There are five general syllabi for the research subject Medical Science, find your version below (dependent on your starting date as a doctoral student). Below is also a link to application form.

Meetings and deadlines of the Dissertation Committee (leaving LIME web page)

General syllabi for Medical Science at KI (leaving LIME web page)

Here you will find form 9 - application for public defence (leaving LIME web page)

Practical pre-dissertation checklist

Generally speaking, responsibility for keeping the dissertation process moving devolves on the supervisor, and to some extent on the student. Some service is provided by the administration (check with your research group administrator), but it is up to the supervisor to keep a check on deadlines, rules and routines, forms etc. LIME has a practical pre-dissertation checklist regarding room arrangements, nailing of thesis, catering etc.

LIME Practical pre-dissertation checklist 

After your dissertation - submit a transcript of your public defence to administrative officer for doctoral education, who will report it in Ladok. An email will be sent to you with information about how and when you can apply for your degree certificate. 

Licentiate degree

Licentiate degree may be taken after two years' equivalent full-time doctoral study.

Here you will find form 6- application for licentiate seminar (leaving LIME web page)

Read more about applying for dissertation or licentiate seminar at KI!