Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education
In order to be admitted as a doctoral student it is essential that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (eligibility).
In the assessment of the general and specific eligibility, Karolinska Institutet uses among others the guidelines developed by the Association of Swedish Higher Education (SUHF), and the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR).
A prospective doctoral student meets the general entry requirements for doctoral education if he or she:
- has been awarded a degree at the advanced (second-cycle) level
- has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded at the advanced level, or
- has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.
The higher education institution may permit an exemption from the general entry requirements for an individual applicant, if there are special grounds.
Please see the Higher Education Ordinance Chapt 7 section 39
Please note that you may not meet the general eligibility requirement with for example a foreign medical degree alone. Generally a master's degree is a de facto requirement.
Specific eligibility (English)
Since 2014, all prospective doctoral students must show proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 (with a passing grade) at the Swedish upper secondary school.
Prospective doctoral students who meet the general entry requirements (points 1. and 2. above, chapter 7, 39§) through academic credentials from a Nordic higher education institution, are assessed to meet the English language requirement (please note that for example a Swedish license to practice medicine is not accepted as a proof of proficiency in English).
In other cases, Karolinska Institutet follows the guidelines by the Association of Swedish Higher Education (SUHF).
For information on how to certify English language proficiency (through tests or university level studies), please see the PDF file English language requirements for doctoral education.
The eligibility assessment process
Advertised doctoral positions
The eligibility assessment starts as soon as you have applied for an advertised doctoral position via the Varbi recruitment system. The documents you submit when applying for the doctoral position will be used in the review for eligibility. Please note that no eligibility assessment will be made in July.
Non-advertised doctoral positions
If you have been recommended for a position that has not been publically advertised, you will get access to the Varbi recruitment system where you can upload the documents for eligibility assessment. Please contact the doctoral education administration at the KI department. You will receive instructions by email from the central admissions office once the department has confirmed you as a candidate for a doctoral position. Please note that no eligibility assessment will be made in July
Prospective doctoral students with Swedish academic credentials
Please upload the following documents:
- Scanned degree diplomas
- Scanned transcripts of records
Prospective doctoral students with ongoing master's level studies in Sweden
If you have ongoing master's level studies you must enclose your transcript of record showing the courses which you have completed at the advanced level. You must also enclose your degree diploma and transcript of record for your bachelor's degree.
Verification of Swedish academic credentials
Swedish academic credentials will be verified through the national study register Ladok. Karolinska Institutet may request you to submit scans of the original documents.
Prospective doctoral students with foreign academic credentials
Please submit the following documents:
- Scanned originals of degree certificates/university diplomas from an internationally recognised university (if you have graduated) in the original language, and if applicable scanned original translations*.
- Scanned originals of official transcripts of records from an internationally recognised university in the original language, and if applicable scanned original translations*.
- Documents which certify your English language proficiency (for instructions please see English language requirements for doctoral education
The documents must be scans of originals (and not certified copies or copies). Karolinska Institutet will not accept scans of copies. If your documents have been issued in colour then you must scan them in colour. Please make sure you scan all pages (including for example diploma covers, pages which only contain stamps or information on the education system), and make sure that all details are visible.
If you have academic qualifications from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Canada, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and USA you must instruct the university to send an official transcript of records directly to Karolinska Institutet to the following address:
Education Support Office
Berzelius väg 3 (street address)
171 65 Solna
Prospective doctoral students with ongoing master's level studies abroad
If you have ongoing master's level studies you must submit a transcript of records that demonstrate all courses which you have completed at the advanced level. You must also include your degree diploma and transcript of record for your bachelor's degree (and if applicable authorised translations). Please note that you must follow the documentation requirements for foreign academic credentials as stated above. If you have ongoing studies outside of the EU/EEA we also ask you to submit a programme syllabus (can for example be a link to the programme website).
A translation is required if the original document is written in a language other than Swedish, Danish, English or Norwegian. The translation must be made by an authorised translator into one of these languages.
Prospective doctoral students with equivalent knowledge
If you do not meet the general eligibility requirement through your education, but have other qualifications that may compensate, Karolinska Institutet will assess these qualifications to determine if you have equivalent knowledge.
Please submit your degree diplomas, transcripts of records and proof of your English language proficiency according to the instructions above.
Please also upload your CV that lists all your relevant credentials along with documentation that prove these credentials. The proof of your credentials can for example be certificates and reference letters from your supervisors/employers showing your active research efforts (for example study design, analysis, scientific writing), and the duration. It can also be publications (or unpublished articles) or poster presentations at international conferences.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Karolinska Institutet collects personal data necessary for the processing of applications for eligibility assessments. The personal data is registered in accordance with the regulations in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
"Högskolepoäng" - the system for credits in Sweden
One week of full-time studies is equivalent to 1.5 credits, one semester will give 30 credits, and one academic year is equivalent to 60 credits.
One credit awarded before June 30, 2007 corresponds to 1.5 credits awarded today.
Note! If your question is regarding a submitted application, please refer to the reference number (the reference number can be found in the advertisement for the position).