About doctoral courses

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Course requirements within doctoral education

As a doctoral student you follow the general syllabus to which you have been admitted. Usually that is the general syllabus which apply at the time of your admission to doctoral education.

The general syllabus describes the course requirements and when during the doctoral education these shall be fulfilled. For further information see Rules and general syllabus

According to the current general syllabus, doctoral students at KI shall acquire knowledge from courses and other credit-bearing activities equivalent to a minimum of 30 higher education credits (for a doctoral degree). For a licentiate degree at least 15 higher education credits are required. This is a minimum requirement. It is allowed and sometimes necessary to obtain additional knowledge in order to meet the outcomes for degree.

The course requirements cover both general science courses and project-specific courses. For some doctoral students there are also other compulsory knowledge, for example if the doctoral student is lacking basic higher education knowledge in medicine, if parts of the doctoral education will be conducted in a laboratory, or if experiments on laboratory animals will be performed.  

Doctoral students within our research schools are following each school’s course package, which is not found in the course catalogue. 

In addition to the course requirements, it is mandatory to participate in the introduction to doctoral education at Karolinska Institutet. Read more about this and how to register

General science courses

The general science courses are intended to help you as a doctoral student to develop generic skills needed for your doctoral education and that are useful in professional contexts after graduation. 

The general syllabus specifies when the general science courses must be completed. Generally, however, the doctoral student has the greatest benefit of obtaining these skills early in their doctoral education.

Some of the general science courses are compulsory for all doctoral students. As mentioned above, there are also additional courses that are compulsory for some doctoral students. Read more about general science and other compulsory courses.

Project-specific courses

The project-specific courses provide a depth and breadth in the field within which the doctoral student conducts his/her research project.

Planning of courses in the individual study plan

All doctoral courses at Karolinska Institutet have an established syllabus. The syllabi can be retrieved through our syllabus database

In the individual study plan you plan, together with your supervisor, what courses (and other activities) you need to accomplish during the doctoral education. In the syllabus database there is no information about the frequency of the courses. For the general science courses (and other compulsory courses) we have compiled an overview:

General science and compulsory doctoral courses.

For planning of project-specific courses, turn to the doctoral programme(s) within which these courses are given. 

Courses that will be given the coming semester are presented in the course catalogue. The catalogue is published once every semester, around 15 April and 15 October, and is open for application during one month. Application is done directly in the course catalogue.

KI’s courses are open for registered doctoral students from any university or higher education institution. Other applicants may be admitted, subject to availability. Selection for admission is performed following a certain priority order.


Doctoral education