Sweden is an attractive country to study abroad: There are around 40 universities where you can study in English, and they offer around 1,000 different study programmes in English. Every year, Sweden attracts 30-40,000 students from abroad.
Studying in Sweden is possible both for a full degree, or - if you are enrolled in another country - as an exchange student for one semester. The English requirements (see below) usually apply to both full-degree and exchange students.
As a degree-seeking student, you need to choose the universities and study programmes you are interested in and then submit your application through the centralised Swedish admissions system. If you plan to start your studies in the autumn (i.e. September), the deadlines for the first rounds of applications are usually already in January.
The easiest exchange programme for most students is Erasmus+, which is available to all students in the EU or EEA as well as a range of partner countries. Other than that, your local university might have agreements with Swedish universities. Ask your local international officer for details.
Citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland do not have to pay tuition fees and can study in Sweden for free. Students who are coming to Sweden in a student exchange programme also do not have to pay tuition fees (unless their home university requires it).
However, citizens from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland may have to pay tuition fees. The amount depends on the university and programme. Annual tuition fees are typically in the following ranges:
Proficiency in English is an important admissions requirement when you plan to apply to university in Sweden. If English is not your mother tongue, you may therefore have to take an English test, and submit your English test score with your university application.
Luckily, the application process in Sweden is centrally organised, and the English requirements you will have to meet are easy to understand. Generally, all major English tests are accepted: IELTS Academic, TOEFL, Cambridge and Pearson PTE.
Most universities set their English requirements to levels they call “English 5”, “English 6” or “English 7”, which relates to how English is taught in the Swedish school system. “English 6” (sometimes also called “English B”) is by far the most common requirement to study in Sweden in an English-language Masters or Bachelors degree programme. If you know the level required by the university, you can easily find out the required English test scores.
“English 5” corresponds to at least:
“English 6” corresponds to at least:
“English 7” corresponds to at least:
With very few exceptions, almost all universities in Sweden require English test scores as listed above under “English 6”. The following overview shows examples of what TOEFL iBT and IELTS Academic scores are required by some Swedish universities for their Master’s programmes:
|University||Required IELTS score||Required TOEFL score|
|Chalmers University of Technology||overall 6.5, no section below 5.5||total of 90, with 20 in written test|
|Karolinska Institutet||overall 6.5, no section below 5.5||total of 90, with 20 in written test|
|KTH Royal Institute of Technology||overall 6.5, no section below 5.5||total of 90, with 20 in written test|
|Lund University||overall 6.5, no section below 5.5||total of 90, with 20 in written test|
|Malmö University||overall 6.5, no section below 5.5||total of 90, with 20 in written test|
|Södertörn University||overall 6.5, no section below 5.5||total of 90, with 20 in written test|
|Stockholm School of Economics
||overall 7.0||total of 100|
|Stockholm University||overall 6.5, no section below 5.5||total of 90, with 20 in written test|
|Umeå University||overall score 6.5 (no section below 5.5) for some programmes;
overall score 5.5 (no section below 5.0) for other programmes
|total of 90, with 20 in written test for some programmes;
total of 72 with 17 in written test for other programmes
|University of Gothenburg||overall 6.5, no section below 5.5||total of 90, with 20 in written test|
|Uppsala University||overall 6.5, no section below 5.5||total of 90, with 20 in written test|
In some cases, you do not need to take an English test. Most notably, these exceptions are:
You can find Bachelors, Masters or PhD programmes in Sweden with our search function.
No, you don’t need to! Swedish people are among the most proficient English-speakers in Europe: If you speak English, you will have absolutely no trouble communicating with locals in Sweden. In fact, many Swedes will be delighted if they can try their English on you. You can even find a job after graduation without speaking Swedish, especially in large cities like Stockholm or Gothenburg. That said, Swedish is a relatively easy language to learn, and if you spend a year or more in the country, you should give it a try!