Requirements to Study in Sweden
Sweden higher education institutions expect a certain level of knowledge and skills from their students since they offer a very high quality of education. As such, the requirements for international students to study abroad in Sweden can be very demanding.
It is recommended that students who wish to study in Sweden start early to check the university requirements they want to study at.
Here are the requirements to study in Sweden for international students:
What Are the Admission Requirements to Study in Sweden?
The higher education system in Sweden requires international students to meet specific admission criteria to be eligible for studies in the country. However, unlike other European countries, Sweden's universities have particular entry requirements depending on the degree level and program of study.
International students can find the detailed entry requirements on the university's website and the faculty they are applying for. Although eligibility criteria for studying in Sweden vary depending on the degree level, here are some general requirements for international students:
- Previous academic achievement. Have previously obtained diplomas (high school, previous degrees, course certificates, etc.)
- Language requirements. Both Swedish and English are widely spoken in Sweden. However, most universities will ask for language proficiency proof in at least one of the languages mentioned above.
- Transcripts and GPA. Although Sweden's higher education institutions do not use the typical GPA form of evaluation, universities will require the previously obtained transcripts and grades to understand how skilled and qualified the applicant is.
Below are the requirements for admission to all three study cycles and their specific entry requirements:
What Are the Bachelor’s Level Requirements?
The eligibility requirements for getting a bachelor’s degree in Sweden resemble other European countries, especially for international students. The requirements for Non-EU students who wish to study abroad in Sweden are typically more extensive than the admission criteria for EU students.
Here are the main requirements to study at the undergraduate level in Sweden:
- High school graduate. To be eligible for undergraduate studies in Sweden, international students must be at least 16 and possess a high school diploma.
- English language proficiency. Sweden's higher education institutions require applicants at the undergraduate level to have some proficiency in English, a knowledge equivalent to the English level of Swedish upper secondary education.
- Completed mathematics courses. Similar to the language proficiency requirement, Swedish universities ask applicants to submit proof of completed mathematics courses equivalent to the level that the Swedish educational system teaches Swedish students.
Are There Any Specific Entry Requirements?
The majority of degree programs in Sweden may require students for specific entry requirements if the faculty deems it necessary. Each degree level can have its’ own entry requirements, and applicants can easily find them on the faculty or department's website.
Here are some of the bachelor's degree programs with specific requirements in Sweden:
- Mathematics. To study level 1 Mathematics at the undergraduate level in Sweden, all you need is a passing grade in upper secondary mathematics. However, applicants must have specialized in the field for higher levels of mathematics, which may still not be enough for admission.
- Science. Since Sweden's education system gives significance to upper secondary education, international students also require this determination. To enter an undergraduate degree in Sciences, applicants must have specialized in Biology, Chemistry, or Physics in their high school education.
- Social Sciences. The same requirements apply to the social sciences field of study at the undergraduate level. Applicants must submit proof of completed classes in social sciences and history and at least one completed course in humanities.
- Modern Languages. The modern language field of study at the undergraduate level requires applicants to complete a course in modern languages in their high school studies.
What Are the Requirements for the Master’s Level?
One of the main requirements for entry at the master's degree level in Sweden is a bachelor’s degree in the relevant field you are applying for. The university that issued the bachelor’s degree must be internationally recognized.
To get a master’s degree in Sweden, international students must check the requirements based on the country they completed their undergraduate studies in.
Are There Any Specific Entry Requirements?
Similar to the undergraduate degree level in Sweden, postgraduate degree programs also may have specific requirements aside from the general requirements mentioned above. These specific entry requirements depend on the specific field of study or specialization.
There is only one specific requirement at the master’s degree level in Sweden: English. Every university in Sweden has the right to require a previously completed course in the English language, specifically if the degree program is related to the English language area of study.
What Are the Requirements for the Ph.D. Level?
To be eligible for a Doctorate program in Sweden, applicants must own at least a bachelor’s degree in the relevant field of study with the Ph.D. degree program. A higher degree than a bachelor’s can increase the applicant’s chances of admission; sometimes, a master’s degree is the main requirement.
Other important qualifications for getting a Ph.D. in Sweden include the following:
- English language proficiency.
- Have a thesis research paper completed in your previous studies.
- Some knowledge of the Swedish language.
What Are the Required Documents to Study in Sweden?
Along with all the requirements mentioned above specific to the degree level you are applying for, universities in Sweden require several documents for international students to be eligible for admission. The following required documents must be submitted along with the official English translation and notarized by the officials in your home country.
- Previously obtained diplomas and degrees.
- English language proficiency certificates or test scores.
- The results of the Swedish language proficiency test (TISUS).
- Two letters of recommendation from the previous employer (if applicable).
- Motivation letter (at least one).
- Other previous achievement certificates.
- Portfolio (for applicants of architecture and design programs).
- Proof of sufficient monetary means or financial support (for the entire duration of the study).
- Proof of health insurance purchase.
- Passport copy.
- Visa requirement (for Non-EU students).
Do I Need English Language Proficiency to Study in Sweden?
Every university and degree program can set its own language proficiency requirements depending on the degree level and the area of study. Some universities in Sweden accept high school studies in the English language as enough proof of language proficiency.
However, if your upper secondary school studies are not enough to prove your English language proficiency, you must submit the following documents to prove it.
- TOEFL. A minimum score of 173 (computer-based)
- Cambridge First Certificate in English. Minimum B grade.
- IELTS. A minimum score of 5.5 or 6, depending on the specific requirements of the university or degree program.
- PTE Academic. A minimum score of 62 to 68, depending on the university’s specific requirements.
Do I Need Swedish Language Proficiency to Study in Sweden?
For students who have not previously studied in Swedish, universities require applicants to pass the TISUS (Test in Sweden for University Studies) exam. However, if the applicant has completed their high school education in the following languages, they can be exempt from the aforementioned test.
The languages that are accepted by Swedish admission offices include
- Finnish (however, the applicant must have completed at least three years of Swedish language to meet the admission criteria).
It is important to note that being a fluent Swedish speaker does not mean you are eligible for admission without proving your language proficiency through the abovementioned options.