Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education
In order to be admitted as a doctoral student, you are required to 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 requirement for doctoral education if he or she:
- has been awarded a degree at the advanced (second-cycle) level, or
- 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.
You may be able to find information on how your degree will be assessed in the evaluation database developed by the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR). The database is only available in Swedish.
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. or 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 English language requirements for doctoral education.
The eligibility assessment process
Advertised doctoral positions
The eligibility assessment begins after you have submitted your application for an advertised doctoral position via the Varbi recruitment system. Please note that you must certify your eligibility for each doctoral position you apply for.
Non-advertised doctoral positions
If you have been recommended for a position that has not been publicly advertised, you will get access to the Varbi recruitment system where you can upload the documents for eligibility assessment. Please contact the doctoral studies administration at your department at KI. The doctoral studies administration will give you access to the Varbi recruitment system.
Documentation requirements – Swedish academic credentials
Please upload the following documents for each doctoral position you apply for via the recruitment system:
- 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 should 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.
Documentation requirements – foreign academic credentials
Please upload the documents listed below for each doctoral position you apply for via the recruitment system.
If you have completed your degree at the advanced/master's level:
- Scanned original degree certificates/university diplomas (bachelor's and master's) in the original language, and if applicable scanned original translations*.
- Scanned original transcripts of records (bachelor's and master's) in the original language, and if applicable scanned original translations*.
- Documents which certify your English language proficiency
If you have ongoing studies at the advanced/master's level:
- Scanned original transcripts of records in the original language (for your master's studies), and if applicable scanned original translations*.
- Scanned original certificates/university diplomas in the original language (for your degree at the bachelor's level), and if applicable scanned original translations*.
- Scanned original transcripts of records in the original language (for your degree at the bachelor's level), and if applicable scanned original translations*.
- Documents which certify your English language proficiency
If you have ongoing studies at the advanced/master's level outside of the EHEA (European Higher Education Area) you should also submit:
- Study progress report, filled out and signed by an official representative of the university
- A syllabus for your master's programme in the original language, and an authorised translation
How to scan
The documents must be scans of originals (and not scans of 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 both front and back sides of 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.
Official transcripts of records
Your transcript of record must be officially issued. This usually means that the transcript of record has been issued by the Examination's or Registrar's office. The original official transcript of record must usually include official stamps and signatures by the issuing officer. Please see the Country-specific documentation requirements for detailed instructions.
If you have academic qualifications from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Canada, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Nigeria and USA you must instruct the university to send an official transcript of records directly to Karolinska Institutet according to the instructions at Country-specific documentations requirements. Applicants who have applied for an advertised doctoral position do not need to order the transcripts of records until being notified. All academic documents from Pakistan must be attested by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). Applicants who have applied for an advertised doctoral position do not need to get the HEC attestations until being notified.
Internationally recognised university
Your studies must have been completed at an internationally recognised university.
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.
Documentation requirements – 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 the application form for the assessment of your equivalent knowledge, your CV that lists all your relevant credentials along with documentation that prove these credentials.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Karolinska Institutet collects personal data necessary for eligibility assessments and admissions to doctoral studies. 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.
If you have questions on how to document your general and specific eligibility you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. 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).
You are advised to contact the department directly if your questions are specific for the advertised position (contact details can be found in the advertisements).