The medical schools in Sweden are unlike any other. Sweden has become a popular destination for international students. In recent years, Sweden has been seen as one of Europe’s overlooked study abroad destinations that have experienced a huge boost in interest from prospective students.
In this article, we will be looking at the list of medical schools in Sweden and the top reasons why you should attend any of the medical schools in Sweden.
Top Reasons to Study in Sweden
- Internationally Renowned Education System
- Thriving Student Life
- No Language Barrier
- Prime Location
- The Swedish Way of Life
- Home to International Business
Internationally Renowned Education System
The quality and international standing of the Swedish education system need no explanation, having Universities consistently ranked among the best in the world.
This means that graduating from any of the fine institutions in Sweden is an excellent addition to your CV.
Thriving Student Life
Student life in Sweden is an interesting and unique one. Cities such as Uppsala and Lund have been proven to have the largest student population.
In Sweden, there are student nations and organizations that are specifically responsible for organizing student events.
Each nation or organization has its own vibe and they also give international students the opportunity to meet and socialize with Swedish and other international students alike.
No Language Barrier
While the official language of Sweden is Swedish and as the world becomes increasingly connected with businesses seeking to expand beyond national and linguistic boundaries, Sweden offers an excellent location to learn and develop your English language skills.
However, a study abroad experience in Sweden would also mean that you have the opportunity to learn Swedish.
While living abroad, most international students want to take the opportunity to travel as often as they can.
Central to Scandinavia and close to central mainland Europe, Sweden is a prime location to act as a hub for a European adventure.
There are various locations throughout Europe that are easily and cheaply reached through one of Sweden’s ten international airports or via a train system that connects with mainland continental Europe.
Home to International Business
For students who have plans of seeking internship or work experience, Sweden is home to many internationally-renowned businesses.
Students will find the head offices of companies like H&M and Spotify in Stockholm.
Alternatively, if you find yourself studying on Sweden’s west coast, you may be interested in gaining experience at Volvo’s head office in Gothenburg.
Another beautiful thing about this country is that, unlike many other countries, Sweden does not impose any official limitations on how many hours a student can work.
Therefore, it is much easier for students to find job prospects that can possibly turn into lifelong careers.
How long will it take me to finish Medicine in Sweden?
The medical school runs for 5 and a half years which is approximately 11 semesters. This length is shorter when compared to most European programs.
It is an undergraduate degree, so you can take it fresh out of high school.
After that, you need 18 months as a “medical intern”. Then you can apply to become a “legitimerad läkare”, i.e a license to practice as a physician.
What are the requirements for applying to a Swedish medical school?
You need to have a high school diploma, with completed courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics.
Foreign applicants need to demonstrate proficiency in both Swedish and English as well.
A centralized higher education system allows Swedish Universities to keep their documentation and application processes at the bare minimum.
For foreign students, there is a common application that makes it easy for them to tap into the possible universities in one go. There are some documents and eligibility criteria that are common for every student looking to study in Sweden. Prominent ones among them are:
- Proof of educational and sustenance funding.
- Health insurance(applicable for all students who wish to live in Sweden for more than one year)
- A copy of an active passport with Visa validity up to the length of the course and other academic activities, if any.
- Motivation Letter or SoP comprehensively shows the intent of living in Sweden and what the student wishes to learn in the country.
- A well-made resume describing the student’s abilities, hobbies and accomplishments.
- A portfolio of self-made work, applicable in creative, artistic and design courses
How Much Does a Doctor Earn in Sweden?
A person working as a Doctor / Physician in Sweden typically earns around 106,000 SEK per month. Salaries range from 38,900 SEK (lowest average) to 179,000 SEK (highest average, the actual maximum salary is higher).
This is the average monthly salary including housing, transport, and other benefits. Salaries vary drastically between different Doctor / Physician careers.
Salaries for specific jobs
- Advanced Nutrition Aide: 63,500 SEK
- Advanced Practice Provider: 60,700 SEK
- Allergist: 87,300 SEK
- Behavioral Health Specialist: 52,200 SEK
- Chiropractor: 54,800 SEK
- Clinical Psychologist: 151,000 SEK
- Correctional Treatment Specialist: 90,700 SEK
- Counseling Psychologist: 107,000 SEK
- Dermatologist: 133,000 SEK
- Dietitian: 92,100 SEK
- Doctor: 122,000 SEK
- Emergency Department Physician: 108,000 SEK
- Exercise Physiologist: 115,000 SEK
- Forensic Pathologist: 121,000 SEK
- General Medical Practitioner: 92,900 SEK
- Genetic Counselor: 74,200 SEK
- Internist: 143,000 SEK
- Interventionist: 139,000 SEK
- Invasive Cardiologist: 186,000 SEK
- Mental Health Therapist: 84,900 SEK
- Naturopathic Physician: 135,000 SEK
- Neurologist: 144,000 SEK
- Neurophysiology Technologist: 39,900 SEK
- Nuclear Medicine Physician: 127,000 SEK
- Obstetrician / Gynecologist: 133,000 SEK
See the complete list here.
How to Become a Medical Doctor in Sweden
Becoming a medical doctor in Sweden can be a very good professional plan. There are specific requirements and restrictions however worth considering. Below are the steps to becoming a medical doctor in Sweden:
- Learning Swedish to fulfill language requirements
- Study medicine in Swedish medical schools
- Required tests and residency
- Obtaining a medical license
- Getting a work visa
- Finding Jobs in Hospitals
1. Learning Swedish to fulfill language requirements
Regardless of whether you plan to work in urban or rural areas, you will need to speak Swedish to be able to treat your patients. This means that knowledge of the language is very essential.
Moreover, if you must succeed in your medical studies in Sweden, you need to be fluent in Swedish too.
Therefore, the best course of action is to either study the language and then apply to university or follow a local in-country language course followed by your university studies with a parallel language course to increase your fluency.
It is important to note that you will not be able to study medicine in Sweden without speaking the language, as programs are all taught in Swedish.
2. Study medicine in the medical schools in Sweden
Assuming you have found yourself fluent in Swedish, the best course of action will be to study medicine in Sweden. In order to be accepted to the university of medical studies, you will need to have graduated high school with a high GPA and must have focused on Biology and Sciences in your lasses to become a doctor in Sweden.
As a foreign student, you also need to demonstrate a good level of Swedish language knowledge.
Medical schools take 5 and half years to complete as we had stated earlier after which you will have to complete a year and a half of residency/supervised work ahead of becoming licensed as a medical doctor.
Sweden has some excellent universities such as:
- Karolinksa Institutet in Stockholm
- Uppsala University Faculty of Medicine
Just to mention a few. With 500+ years of history and great world rankings for the quality of their teaching.
3. Required tests and residency
The final step before becoming a medical doctor in Sweden is passing the proficiency examination Kunskasprovet. This examination includes theory and practical tests and is 100% in Swedish.
This examination can be taken up to three times to get the best result. However, the timeframe is just five years from the first attempt.
Foreign-trained doctors can also take this exam to validate their experience and knowledge. This allows them to be able to practice in Sweden.
4. Obtaining a medical license
After attending the medical schools in Sweden and completing your studies or obtaining validation of your foreign medical studies, passing the Kunskasprovet, and doing your residency training, you will be licensed to practice medicine in the country.
Afterward, you are officially a doctor in Sweden. If you apply as a foreign-trained medical doctor, you will need to submit all supporting documents that we will mention below to the National Board of Health and Welfare, in return for which you will get your legitimation.
5. Getting a work visa
As a citizen from the EU/EEA/Switzerland, you won’t be required to get a work visa to work in Sweden, under the freedom of movement agreement for all EU countries.
However, you will need to validate your studies if you have been licensed in medicine outside Sweden. If you have studied in Sweden and gone through the test and residency, that simply means that you have no further administrative requirements to be able to practice.
Furthermore, as a non-EU citizen, you need to have secured a job offer before you can be able to apply for a work permit.
The requirement is also to have a monthly salary of at least $1,480 equivalent before taxes, and that your position includes health insurance, life insurance and social security.
Requirements for a Swedish Work Permit
Today, to obtain a Swedish work permit, you must meet the following requirements:
To obtain a Swedish work permit, you must meet the following requirements:
- Have a valid passport.
- Be offered employment that complies with the terms set by Swedish collective agreements, or is standard for the occupation.
- Be offered a monthly salary of at least 13,000 SEK (1,480 USD) before taxes, or offered a salary that is on par with the position.
- Be offered employment that includes health insurance, life insurance, and social security.
When you apply for the work permit, you will also need to show proof of accommodation in Sweden as well as intentions to leave the country once your employment contract is through. Get more details.
6. Finding Jobs in Hospitals
If you are an EU citizen with a medical license recognized by the Swedish authorities, you have the right to move to Sweden without a job offer and look for work locally.
This is an added advantage because you can visit the places you want to settle in, as well as have the opportunity to go for interviews.
If you finished your studies in Sweden, obviously you will be familiar with hospitals and clinics. Otherwise, there are job search agencies where you can conduct your online research.
The key thing is that you don’t need to have a job offer to sort out accommodation and live in Sweden.
However, for a non-EU citizen, you need to first secure a job offer and obtain a work permit before you can even enter the country.
This may mean that it will be easier to first have a student visa, study in Sweden, and apply for work during your studies-subsequently converting your student visa into a work visa.
Otherwise, you will need to look for work remotely, which can make it difficult to become a doctor in Sweden.
How to Become a Doctor in Sweden for Foreign-trained Doctors
There are two types of foreign medical degrees as far as recognition of their accomplishment in Sweden: whether your medical degree is from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, or whether it is from a non-EU country.
Your citizenship has no influence in this regard. In both scenarios, you must prove that you are proficient in Swedish.
If your medical degree is from an EU country, your diploma would normally be recognized automatically, but it still needs to be submitted for validation for you to become a doctor in Sweden.
Another beautiful point to note is that if you have a medical degree from a non-EU country but have since then obtained a medical license in another EU country, this also is recognized automatically and you don’t have to go through the steps required for foreign-trained doctors outside the EU.
Your application for recognition is sent to the Socialstyrelsen (National Board of Health and Welfare) and you also need to submit proof of living in Sweden, Swedish language proficiency, your Swedish national identity number or your passport, and also proof that you haven’t been banned from the medical profession.
If your medical degree is from a non-EU country, you need to submit your diploma for validation by the Socialstyrelsen.
This is will be the equivalent of finishing medical school in Sweden.
Afterward, you will need to pass the Kunskasprovet exam just like Swedish medical students would follow by attending a course on Swedish laws and regulations for foreigners.
Regardless of if you have clinical practice experience, you are also required to do a 6-month supervised internship to prove you are comfortable with the Swedish medical practice environment.
Finally, you will need to submit all documents and proofs towards a legitimation which, when received, is the official medical license to work in Sweden as a doctor.
The List of Best Medical Schools in Sweden
- Karolinska Institute
- Lund University
- University of Gothenburg
- Uppsala University
- Umeå University
- Linköping University
- Malmo University
- Orebro University
- Dalarna University
Karolinska Institute started in the year 1810 as an academy for the training of skilled army surgeons.
It is the best medical school in Sweden and is also the country’s center for academic research.
They have the most extensive range of medical programs and courses offered in the country and above all, they are one of the leading medical universities worldwide.
The medical programs taught in Karolinska are entirely Swedish. Therefore, proficiency in Swedish 3 plus English 6 and other entry documents are part of the admission requirements.
Karolinska Institutet offers the widest range of medical education in Sweden and ranks among the top universities in the world.
Karolinska Institutet offers ten global master’s programs and one bachelor’s program. They accept applications for the autumn semester from mid-October to mid-January.
The medical program at Karolinska Institutet is entirely taught in Swedish. The medical program at this institute is an integrated program of 6 years, and one of the entry requirements is proficiency in Swedish.
The application to this university is made through University Admissions in Sweden at Antagning.se. The program starts every autumn and spring.
The general entry requirement is a completed upper secondary (high school) education (post-16), and proficiency in Swedish and English equivalent to the level of the Swedish upper secondary school courses Swedish 3 and English 6.
The specific entry requirements for the medical program are the Swedish upper secondary school courses Biology 2, Physics 2, Chemistry 2, Mathematics 4 (field-specific entry requirements A13), or the equivalent courses.
The total tuition fee for the medical program (6 years) is SEK 1.560 000:- for non-EU/EEA citizens. EU/EEA citizens are exempted from the tuition fees. There are no scholarships for the program.
In addition, a master’s degree from Karolinska Institutet will give you an advantage on the global job market and prepare you for PhD studies.
- Website: http://www.medicine.lu.se
- Phone: +46 46 222 72 14
- Fax number: +46 46 222 45 40
- Visiting address: Sölvegatan 19, 22184 Lund
- Postal address: Box 117, 22100 Lund
The Faculty of Medicine at Lund University, in close cooperation with agents within public healthcare and medicine, contributes to increasing knowledge of high relevance to human health.
This is done through education and research of the highest quality in cooperation with wider society.
The Faculty of Medicine is the largest faculty at Lund University. There are many strong research areas, spanning from basic science such as cell and molecular biology to clinical investigations involving over 800 researchers.
The Faculty offers educational programs in Medicine, Biomedicine, Nursing and Midwifery, Radiography, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.
- Undergraduate programs (only offered in English or Swedish)
- Master’s programs (offered in English)
- Postgraduate research studies (PhD)
- Exchange studies
The Faculty comprises six departments situated in the cities of Lund and Malmö, where we also collaborate on clinical education and research with the two major university hospitals.
The Faculty encompasses 2,800 full-time students enrolled in 8-degree programs, as well as 1200 graduate students and 1800 employees.
At the faculty of medicine they offer the following full degree programs at the Bachelors level in Swedish:
- Medicine (both Bachelor and Masters level)
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech-Language Pathology
In order to apply to any of these programs (with the exception of a few select Masters’ programs), applicants must submit proof of fluent Swedish language skills.
The Faculty of Medicine offers a Bachelor’s degree program in Biomedicine in English. Explore the Medical Program Page
Established in the year 1477 and is known as the oldest university in all Nordic countries.
They offer two ways to get a Medicine degree. They value choice and independence.
Accordingly, students are free to tailor their unique program by choosing a combination of independent courses that suit their tastes except for programs that will lead to a professional degree and internship. Explore the Medical Program Page.
University of Gothenburg
The University of Gothenburg is one of the nest medical universities in Sweden that is located at the heart of the second-largest city in the country.
Founded in 1891 in Gothenburg, it is a public and city university with a multidisciplinary academic offering.
The Sahlgrenska Academy is the faculty of health sciences at the University of Gothenburg. Education and research are conducted within the fields of pharmacy, medicine, odontology, and health care sciences.
About 4000 undergraduate students and 1000 postgraduate students are enrolled at the Sahlgrenska Academy.
Of the 1500 employees, 850 are researchers and/or lecturers.
The Sahlgrenska Academy offers education in the first, second, and third cycles.
The Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg has a unique breadth in health sciences, consisting of six institutes within medicine, odontology and health care sciences.
The fact that these departments are in one and the same academy/faculty enables effective cooperation between different fields.
Research at the Sahlgrenska Academy is among the highest ranking internationally, especially in fields such as pharmacology, specialist dental care, obesity, pediatrics and cardiovascular disorders.
The researchers at the Academy work closely with the Sahlgrenska University Hospital.
The Sahlgrenska Academy covers an impressive range of research; basic studies of the structure of molecular structure and cellular functions, experimental studies of the principles of disease, public health sciences, and epidemiology.
Institutes at the Sahlgrenska Academy
Institute of Biomedicine: website: www.biomedicine.gu.se
Institute of Clinical Sciences: website: www.clinsci.gu.se
Institute of Health and Care Sciences: website: www.caresci.gu.se
Institute of Medicine: website: www.medicine.gu.se
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology: website: www.neurophys.gu.se
Institute of Odontology: website: www.odontology.gu.se
Proficiency in the Swedish language is still required to study medical courses, and it can be learned for free at the university by enrolling in their Swedish language courses.
The Faculty of Medicine is engaged in education and research in the fields of medicine, odontology, and health care.
The Faculty comprises 13 departments and 7 research centers. It has about 3,400 active students and about 450 at the postgraduate level.
The Faculty has approximately 1100 employees, of which 45% are teachers/researchers.
Umeå University is the fifth oldest university in the country and for its research of genomes and its Institute of Design, Umea University – Faculty of Medicine offers education and research in medicine, odontology, and health care, from tiny microbes to risk factors of the whole population.
This is one of the medical schools for international students in Sweden as they welcome International students to study medicine in the university as its medical program’s language of instruction is English.
Explore their Medical Program Page.
This university has a history that dates back to 1975. Linköping University was the first Sweden university to introduce a radical yet practical teaching method called Problem-Based Learning that stimulates students’ development of professional competence and independence in learning.
This new philosophy resulted in the first university students being allowed to practice medicine on actual patients in health wards.
The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences engages in a broad range of scientific activities ranging from basic biomedical and experimental clinical research to applied clinical studies and education and research within the fields of medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, speech and language pathology, occupational therapy, medical pedagogy, and public health.
The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences is a faculty within Linköping University. Here you can find undergraduate programs in medicine, health, and social care.
The Faculty also offers an opportunity to study a medical scientific program in medical biology. The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences is situated in Linköping and Norrköping.
- Approximately 3500 students of whom 500 are students in Norrköping
- Approximately 50 doctorates each year
- A little more than 100 professors
- 7 undergraduate programs and 3 Master’s Programmes
- Among 50 exchange universities in 25 countries
Explore the Medical Program Page.
Orebro University began its service in 1999. They only had the power to pide a medical degree in 2010.
Despite having only a few years of clinical education, Obrero University offers one of the best medical programs in Sweden, with the pursuit of Bildung at its center.
The 5.5-year Undergraduate Medical Programme (MB ChB) aims to train skilled physicians with integrity, professional attitude, ability to co-operate and basic professional confidence.
The program will also provide students with the desired tools to meet today’s and tomorrow’s medical challenges and encourage lifelong learning.
The Medical Programme (MB ChB) at Örebro University is conducted and taught in Swedish.
A solid comprehension and understanding of the Swedish language are essential in order to advance and have successful study progression during the program. Explore the Medical Program Page.
At the Faculty of Health and Society, research is carried out in the fields of both medicine and social sciences — representing a creative shift where research addresses issues at the intersection of these two fields.
The faculty has programs and courses in fields including nursing, biomedicine, criminology, sexology, disability and rehabilitation science, and social work.
Most courses lead up to a professional exam, but there is also the option of further studies at the master’s level in most subjects.
Both medical and social sciences research is conducted at the faculty, and there are a large number of research teams in biomedical science, sexology, criminology and social exclusion.
Their research is multifaceted and has a close connection with society and the world of business and industry. Explore their Medical Program Page.
|Basic Medicine – Anatomy and Physiology
Cost of Studying & Living in Sweden
Tuition and application costs for bachelor’s and master’s degrees are usually waived for students who are from the EU/EEA/Nordic countries or Switzerland. This is the same regulation that Swedish citizens must follow.
For students who are from non-EU/EEA countries. Depending on the degree program and university, the fees range from 7,500 to 25,500 EUR each year (INR 6,55,792-22,29,694).
Non-EU/EEA citizens must also pay a university application fee, which is typically approximately 90 EUR (INR 7,869) but varies depending on the institution.
Living expenses have to be considered as the living expenses in Sweden are higher than the European average.
You should budget between 700-1,200 EUR each month (INR 61,207-1,04,926) for living expenses.
Student Visa to Study in Sweden
If you are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you will need to apply for a visa, especially if your course lasts 12 months or more.
If you are from Switzerland, you must apply for a residency permit. On the other hand, if you are from another nation, you must apply for a residence permit before entering Sweden.
The procedure can take up to 3 months, so it is advised that you begin your application as soon as possible. To be eligible for a residence visa(Visa Type D), you must demonstrate that you have been admitted to a course. You must also demonstrate that you have completed health insurance, and most importantly that you have enough money for your studies without the need for financial support.
You must also renew your application on a yearly basis. Click here for more information on Sweden student visa to study Medical courses in Sweden.
Going for Other Medical Courses? Read Below
Other than the general requirements that have been listed earlier in this article, there are certain requirements that are specific to the level of education students are looking to pursue in Sweden.
These requirements do not only apply to the medical courses in Sweden but also in all fields of education in the country. Here is an overview:
- Proof of passing Senior Secondary School, with a minimum score of 60%.
- Proof of proficiency in English, for which student’s academic scores are evaluated in comparison to the Swedish English 6 exam.
- Students must have studied Mathematics for at least 10 years in their core curriculum prior to joining the University.
- Students must hold a Bachelor’s degree from a University that is recognized in Sweden.
- Students must prove their proficiency in English through written exams like IELTS/TOEFL. (Especially if the medical school you are attending is offering courses in the English Language)
- Students must possess at least a Bachelor’s degree with a focus in the same subject as the intended field of PhD. Depending on the subject, a Master’s degree may be required.
- Students must have a written degree thesis from their prior education.
- It is beneficial to have a Letter of Recommendation as they help in providing credibility to a student’s profile.
- To enroll in programs that are offered in Swedish, students must apply for the Swedish language test TISUS.
Medical Studies in Sweden in English
Listed below are the popular universities offering medical courses in Sweden in English-
- Karolinska Institutet
- Uppsala University Faculty of Medicine
- Lund University Faculty of Medicine
- Gothenburg University – Sahlgrenska Academy Institute of Medicine
- Umeå University Faculty of Medicin
- Linköping University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
- Örebro University School of Medical Sciences
Can you study Medicine in English in Sweden?
Yes. International students can study medical courses in English. The universities listed above are some options for you to consider.
How much does it cost to study Medicine in Sweden?
According to Karolinska Institute, the total tuition fee for the medical program (5.5/6 years) is SEK 1.560 000:- for non-EU/EEA citizens. EU/EEA citizens are exempted from the tuition fees.
Are there corrections we should make in this article on medical schools in Sweden? Please let us know in the comment section.