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English language requirements for doctoral education

You can show that you meet the English language requirement through English language proficiency tests, university studies or upper secondary school studies

English language proficiency tests

All accepted language proficiency tests and minimum test results is listed below.

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.

  • Upload your test taker score report.
  • You must also order the test scores to be sent directly to Karolinska Institutet. Applicants who have applied for an advertised doctoral position do not need to order the test scores until being notified. 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.
  • 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).
  • The TOEFL IBT My Best Score is not accepted.

MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery): Minimum score of 90

  • Upload a scan of the original score report.
  • You must also order the test scores to be sent directly to Karolinska Institutet. Applicants who have applied for an advertised doctoral position do not need to order the test scores until being notified. The test scores can be ordered up to two years after the test date. The MELAB test has been discontinued and after July 2020 it will no longer be possible to order score reports or verify score reports.

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.
  • You must also order the test scores to be sent directly to Karolinska Institutet. Applicants who have applied for an advertised doctoral position do not need to order the test scores until being notified. 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) or Certificate of Proficiency in English
Cambridge ESOL Level 2 Certificate in ESOL International, Level C1
C1 Advanced, or CAE (Cambridge English: Advanced) or 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 B2 First and the Cambridge English First Certificate are not accepted.

University studies

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 the equivalent of 60 ECTS at the bachelor's or master's level 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 (such as a syllabus or a letter/certificate from your university).
  • Applicants with courses at the doctoral/PhD level equivalent to 60 ECTS from EU/EEA/Switzerland, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, or the English speaking parts of Canada, where the language of instruction of the courses are in English. The language of instruction must be clearly stated in the transcript of record, diploma supplement or in other accepted documents (such as a syllabus or a letter/certificate from your university). This does not apply to your dissertation or publications.
  • Applicants with a degree equivalent to a Swedish bachelor's degree, or a one-year degree above the Swedish bachelor's degree where it is clearly stated in the formal degree diploma, transcript of record or diploma supplement that the language of instruction was English. Other documentation (such as letters from the university) regarding the language of instruction will not be accepted. This will no longer apply to applicants with a degree from Bangladesh who apply for doctoral positions advertised after the 1st of June 2020, or applicants with a degree from Bangladesh who apply for an eligibility assessment after the 1st of June 2020.
  • 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. The degree must be equivalent to a Swedish bachelor's degree, or a one-year degree above the Swedish bachelor's degree. This will no longer apply to applicants with a degree from Bangladesh who apply for doctoral positions advertised after the 1st of June 2020, or applicants with a degree from Bangladesh who apply for an eligibility assessment after the 1st of June 2020.
  • 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. The degree must be equivalent to a Swedish bachelor's degree, or a one-year degree above the Swedish bachelor's degree.
  • 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, South Africa, 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. This will no longer apply to applicants who apply for doctoral positions advertised after the 1st of June 2020, or applicants who apply for an eligibility assessment after the 1st of June 2020.
  • India/Pakistan:
    Applicants with a degree equivalent to a Swedish Bachelor's degree in technology* /engineering/natural sciences/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 the transcript of record or other official documents. You will also not meet the requirement if another language than English is the only language of instruction at the university (according to official sources such as WHED.net). *A Bachelor of Engineering in Technology from Pakistan/a Bachelor of Technology from India is accepted. A BSc/BA in Information Technology from Pakistan will not be accepted.
  • 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 equivalent to a Swedish bachelor's degree from 2005 or later from Kigali Institute of Education or Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST). Applicants with a degree equivalent to a Swedish bachelor's degree from 2007 or later from Kigali Health Institute, Kabgayi Catholic University, Kibongo University of Agriculture, Technology and Education and the University/Institute of Lay Adventist of Kigali (Université/Institut Laïque Adventistes de Kigali) and Catholic University of Rwanda. Applicants with a degree equivalent to a Swedish bachelor's degree from 2009 or later from the National University Rwanda, University of Rwanda, Higher Institute of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry and School of Finance and Banking.
  • Saudi Arabia:
    Applicants with a degree equivalent to a Swedish bachelor’s degree in engineering/natural sciences.
  • Sweden:
    English language preparatory courses.

Upper secondary school

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. Please scan the original upper secondary school diplomas and transcripts in colour and upload them.

You can search for your country of study at (only available in Swedish):
bedomningshandboken.uhr.se/utlandska-gymnasiala/alla-lander/

A few examples:

Germany

You will meet the requirement if you have completed at least four courses with English as the primary foreign language, or English as Abitur/Leistungskurs/erhohtes Anforderungsniveau:
https://bedomningshandboken.uhr.se/utlandska-gymnasiala/alla-lander/tyskland/

Hong Kong

You will meet the requirement if you have the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE), or the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) + Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE) / Hong Kong Advanced Supplementary Level Examination (HKASLE):
https://bedomningshandboken.uhr.se/utlandska-gymnasiala/alla-lander/hong-kong/

India

You will meet the English language requirement if you have passed English language courses and at least three other subjects with English as the language of instruction. The language of instruction must be stated on the upper secondary school certificate:
https://bedomningshandboken.uhr.se/utlandska-gymnasiala/alla-lander/indien/

The Netherlands

You will for example meet the requirement of English 6 if you have completed VWO:
https://bedomningshandboken.uhr.se/utlandska-gymnasiala/alla-lander/nederlanderna/

USA

You will meet the requirement of English 6 if you have completed 4 years of high school in the US:
bedomningshandboken.uhr.se/utlandska-gymnasiala/alla-lander/USA/