Sweden is an incredibly attractive country to study abroad: There are about 40 universities where you can study in English, and they offer more than 1,000 different study programmes in English. Every year, Sweden welcomes 30-40,000 students from abroad.
Studying in Sweden for a full degree, or as an exchange student?
Studying in Sweden is possible for both a full degree, or – if you are enrolled in another country – as an exchange student for just a semester. The English requirements below normally apply to both full-degree as well as exchange students.
As a degree-seeking student, you need to select 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 that is September, the deadlines for the first rounds of applications are normally already in January.
The easiest exchange programme for most students is the Erasmus+, which is available to all students from the EU or EEA as well as a range of partner countries. Other than that, your local university might have an agreement with Swedish universities. Ask your local international officer for more details.
Do they charge tuition fees at universities in Sweden?
Citizens of switzerland, or the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) do not have to pay tuition fees and can study in Sweden at no tuition fees. Students who are coming to Sweden for 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 be required to pay tuition fees. The amount depends on the choice of the university and programme. Annual tuition fees are typically in the following ranges:
- Within the ranges of 80,000 SEK (8,000 EUR) and 110,000 SEK (11,000 EUR) for Social Sciences degrees,
- Within the ranges of 120,000 SEK (12,000 EUR) and 150,000 SEK (15,000 EUR) for Technology and Engineering degrees,
- Within the ranges of 190,000 (19,000 EUR) and 270,000 SEK (27,000 EUR) for Architecture and Design degrees.
What IELTS or TOEFL test scores do you need to study in Sweden in English?
High proficiency in English is an important admissions requirement when you apply to a university in Sweden. If English is not your mother tongue, you may be required to take an English test, and submit your English test score together with your university application.
Fortunately, the application process in Sweden is centrally organised, and the English requirements you will have to meet are quite easy to understand. Generally, all major English tests are accepted: TOEFL, IELTS Academic,Cambridge and Pearson PTE.
Majority of the 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 education system. “English 6” (sometimes also referred to as“English B”) is by far the most regular requirement to study in Sweden in an English language Masters or Bachelors degree programme. If you are aware of the level required by the university, you can simply find out the required English test scores.
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“English 5” corresponds to at least:
- the Cambridge English First Certificate in English (“FCE”) grade A, B or C
- a TOEFL PBT score of 4.0 in the written test with an overall score of 530
- an IELTS score of 5.5 (with no section below 5.0)
- a TOEFL iBT score of 17 in the written test with an overall score of 72
- a Person PTE Academic score of 47.
“English 6” corresponds to at least:
- a TOEFL PBT score of 4.5 in the written test with an overall score of 575
- an IELTS score of 6.5 (with no section below 5.5)
- a TOEFL iBT score of 20 in the written test with an overall score of 90
- a Person PTE Academic score of 62 (writing 61).
- the Cambridge English Certificate in Advanced English (“CAE”),
“English 7” corresponds to at least:
- a TOEFL iBT score of 20 in the written test with an overall score of 100,
- an IELTS score of 7.0 (with no section below 6.0)
- the Cambridge English Certificate of Proficiency in English (“CPE”)
- a TOEFL PBT score of 4.5 in the written test with an overall score of 600,
- a Person PTE Academic score of 68 (writing 61).
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:
- During your previous studies in the EU/EEA, you already attained at least 60 ECTS credit points in courses that were given in English; or you attained 60 credit points in English-taught courses in the USA, Australia, Jamaica, New Zealand, or the English-speaking parts of Canada.
- Students from Africa – you have a 3-year Bachelor’s degree from one of the following African countries: Botswana, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
- Students from India or Pakistan – you have a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Computer Science or Computer Applications, Medicine, Pharmacy, Natural Sciences or Technology – unless it is documented that the language of instruction was not English.
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Where to find study programmes in Sweden?
You can find Bachelors, Masters or PhD programmes in Sweden with our search function.
Do you need to know or speak any Swedish?
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!
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