English language requirements for doctoral education
You can prove that you meet the English language requirement through English language proficiency tests, university studies or upper secondary school studies
English language proficiency tests
Below you will find all accepted language proficiency tests and minimum test results.
IELTS Academic*: An overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
- Upload a scan of your IELTS Academic test report form.
- Your scores will be verified through a verification portal. Karolinska Institutet accepts IELTS tests as long as they are verifiable.
*The IELTS General Training test is not accepted.
TOEFL Internet based test (iBT): A total score of 90 and 20 in written test.
TOEFL Paper based test (PBT): A total score of 575 and 4.5 in written test.
- Order the test scores to be sent to Karolinska Institutet. The test scores can be ordered up to two years after the test date. When ordering the TOEFL test scores, please use the code for Karolinska Institutet (4917). You do not need to specify a school type or department.
- You must upload your test taker score report, and a receipt of the order by the application deadline.
- After you have made the order it is possible for Karolinska Institutet to verify the scores via the ETS database. Two years of the test date it will no longer be possible to verify your scores (and thus we will not be able to accept your scores).
MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery): Minimum score of 90
- Order* the official MELAB score report to be sent directly to Karolinska Institutet.
- Upload a scan of the original score report, and a receipt of the order by the application deadline.
*The test scores can be ordered up to two years after the test date. Two years after the test date it will no longer be possible to verify your scores.
ECPE (Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English): Pass
- Upload a scan of your original ECPE test results.
- Your ECPE test results will be verified with CaMLA. ECPE scores are valid for life.
Pearson PTE Academic: Score of at least 62 (score in writing at least 61
- Upload a scan of your score report.
- Log in to your account and send your scores to Karolinska Institutet. The scores will be available for Karolinska Institutet after 48 hours. The test scores can be ordered up to two years after the test date. Two years after the test date it will no longer be possible to verify your scores.
C2 Proficiency, or CPE (Cambridge English: Proficiency): Certificate of Proficiency in English
Cambridge ESOL Level 2 Certificate in ESOL International, Level C1
C1 Advanced, or CAE (Cambridge English: Advanced): Certificate in Advanced English
- Upload your test results.
- Your test results will be verified through an online verification portal. Please provide us with your “ID number” and “secret number”.
- The Cambridge English First Certificate is not accepted.
You can meet the English language requirement through previous university studies. Please make sure you follow the general documentation requirements and the country-specific documentation requirements for your country of study.
- Applicants who meet the general entry requirements (points 1. or 2. , chapter 7, 39§) through academic credentials from a Nordic higher education institution are assessed to meet the English language requirement.
- Applicants with a formal degree diploma, transcript of record or diploma supplement where it is clearly stated that the language of instruction was English. Other documentation (such as letters from the university) regarding the language of instruction will not be accepted.
- Applicants with a degree from a university that according to the International Handbook of Universities/World Higher Education Database (WHED.net), has English as the only language of instruction. The degree must have been awarded within the last 10 years.
- Applicants with a degree from a university that according to the World Directory of Medical Schools, has English as the only language of instruction. The degree must have been awarded within the last 10 years.
- Applicants with the equivalent of 60 credits (ECTS) from EU/EEA/Switzerland, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, or the English speaking parts of Canada, where the language of instruction of the course is English. The language of instruction must be clearly stated in the transcript of record, diploma supplement or in other accepted documents.
- Applicants with a degree equivalent to a Swedish bachelor’s degree from Botswana, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This is applicable if the degree has been correctly documented, and the degree has been awarded by a recognised institution.
- Applicants with an English language degree, for example Bachelor of Arts in English.
- Applicants with a degree in linguistics, translation, or an equivalent degree with English as a major. Courses in the English language must correspond to at least half of the degree
University studies - country-specific requirements
- Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldavia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan: Applicants with a degree in English language and linguistics, applicants with an English language teacher education, or applicants with an internationally oriented degree which includes comprehensive English language teaching (at least 1000 lecture hours in the English language), meet the requirement.
- India/Pakistan: Applicants with a four-year academic degree (alternatively 2+2 years, alternatively 126 credits from Pakistan) in technology/engineering/science/ medicine/pharmacy/computer science/computer applications meet the requirements. Please note that you will not meet the English language requirement if another language than English is stated as the language of instruction in official sources such as WHED.net.
- Oman: Applicants with a degree (equivalent to a Swedish bachelor’s degree) from Sultan Qaboos University.
- Philippines: Applicants with an upper secondary school education from the Philippines + a two-year associate degree from an accredited university with English as the language of instruction (according to WHED.net).
Applicants with a bachelor’s degree + a two-year master’s degree with English as the language of instruction (according to WHED.net).
Applicants with a bachelor’s degree + a two-year master’s degree with English as the major subject.
- Rwanda: Applicants with a degree from the National University Rwanda. The degree must be issued 2009 or later and be equivalent to a Swedish Bachelor’s degree.
- Saudi Arabia: Applicants with a degree equivalent to a Swedish bachelor’s degree in engineering/science (only scientific subjects).
- Sweden: English language preparatory courses.
- Turkey*: Applicants who have completed a one-year English language preparatory class/course/year. It must be clearly stated in the transcript of record/certificate that the course has been completed with a passing grade.* From the 1st of August 2019 applicants will no longer meet English language requirement.
Upper secondary school
You can meet the English language requirement through previous upper secondary school studies.
Swedish upper secondary school credentials
If you are already registered (folkbokförd) in Sweden you can complete the course Engelska 6 at your local KomVux (upper secondary school for adults). You may also be able to take English 6 as an exam (prövning). Please check the application dates with your municipality, for example:
Foreign upper secondary school credentials
You may also meet the English language requirement through your foreign upper secondary school education. This will depend on in which country you have completed your upper secondary school, in which year and which courses you have completed. You can search for your country of study at (only available in Swedish):
You will for example meet the requirement of English 6 if you have completed 4 years of high school in the US: