Sweden is a unique but practical choice for students looking to pursue their education in Europe. There are 39 universities offering approximately 1,000 programs offering plenty of options to study in Sweden. Masters courses have gained more popularity among international students, with MBA in Sweden being the most common choice.
The admissions process to Swedish universities is not very complicated, and will be explained in this article. There are not many exams required to study in Sweden, so admission requirements are also relatively simple.
Application Process for Sweden Universities
Swedish universities have a centralized application process, which is managed by the Swedish Council for Higher Education, or Universitets-och högskolerådet (UHR). Students, whether local or international, must first decide on Bachelors or Masters program(s) to apply for. Then you must decide whether to study in a Swedish-medium program or an English-medium program, depending on which you can register on either Antagning.se or Universityadmissions.se respectively.
Swedish University Admission Timeline
Universities in Sweden have two sessions in an academic year, namely the Autumn semester and Spring semester. The important dates of the admission process through universityadmissions.se, which is more popular among international students than its Swedish counterpart, is given in the table:
|16 October 2020||Autumn Semester Bachelors and Masters first application round opens|
|15 January||Bachelors and Masters first application round closes|
|15 March 2021||Bachelors and Masters second application round opens|
|29 July||Bachelors and Masters second application round closes|
|August - mid-January||Autumn semester|
|1 June||Spring Semester Bachelors and Masters first application round opens|
|16 August||Bachelors and Masters first application round closes|
|15 September||Bachelors and Masters second application round opens|
|22 December||Bachelors and Masters second application round closes|
|mid-January - early June||Spring semester|
Apply to Sweden Universities via Universityadmissions.se
A majority of international students prefer to do English-taught programs, for which the application process must be done through universityadmissions.se.
- Create an account.
- Search and find your preferred programs and universities.
- Fill out an online application.
- Pay the given application fee of 900 SEK.
- Upload the required documents.
While submitting the application form, you will be required to rank your selected courses according to preference. If you are applying for Bachelors programs, you can apply for upto 8 programs in a single application, while this number is only 4 for Masters programs.
Apply to Sweden Universities via Antagning.se
All courses are not available with English as the medium, like:
Therefore, even international students will have to apply for these Swedish-taught programs, which will be done on antagning.se. The application process is similar to the one mentioned above:
- Create an account. You will be asked for a Swedish social security number, which if you don’t have you can provide your email address.
- Search and select your preferred programs and universities.
- Fill out and submit the online application.
- Spring semester application window: 15 September - 15 October
- Summer semester application window: 19 February - 15 March
- Autumn semester application window: 15 March - 15 April
- Upload the documents.
You can select up to 12 programs for Autumn and Spring semesters and 6 programs for Summer semester, and in each case you will have to rank them according to your preference.
Apply for PhD in Sweden
There is no centralized application for PhD programs, so you will have to apply directly to the University. PhD positions are listed on each university’s job board, as they are paid positions. The requirements vary depending on which department is offering the PhD, but you will definitely need at least a Master’s degree.
Application Requirements to Sweden Universities
English Language Tests to Study in Sweden
With a majority of people in Sweden being fluent in English, a good number of university programs are conducted with English as the medium of instruction. International students normally opt to go for these, so they may need to take an English proficiency test to be considered eligible. On an average, Swedish universities ask for an English Level 6, which corresponds to:
- IELTS - overall 6.5, with no section below 5.5
- TOEFL PBT - 4.5 in written test with overall 575
- TOEFL iBT - 20 in written test with overall 90
- Cambridge ESOL - CAE
- PTE - 62
Make sure to go through the program requirements to see if you actually need to take one of these tests, as they tend to be quite expensive.
Study in Sweden Without IELTS
It is possible to study in Sweden without IELTS, as most universities/programs offer waivers in the English requirements. If you are an Indian student who has completed a Bachelor’s degree in English medium in any of the following, you will be exempted from giving an English test to study in Sweden:
- Computer Science or Computer Applications
- Natural Sciences
Alternatively, you could choose to do a Swedish-medium university program instead of an English-medium one.
Documents Required to Study in Sweden
The following documents will be required during the admission process:
- HSCE / IEC / AISSCE / ISC / CVE / Polytechnic Diploma, if applying to UG programs
- Proof of having completed mathematics courses equivalent to the Swedish Mathematics 1a, 1b or 1c, if applying to UG programs
- 4-year Bachelor’s degree / 3-year Bachelor’s degree with Honours, if applying to a PG program
- Other relevant academic transcripts
- Proof of English language proficiency
- Copy of passport
- Letter of recommendation, if applicable
- Proof of meeting entry requirements to specific programs.
Your name and birthdate must be the same on all documents, and all documents must be provided in English or Swedish.
Sweden Student Visa
The next important step after confirming your admission is obtaining a visa to study in Sweden. If you are staying for less than 3 months, you will only need a visa, but if you are staying longer than that you will need a residence permit in Sweden, for which you can apply providing these documents:
- Valid passport
- Letter of acceptance to a swedish university
- Health insurance
- Proof of having paid the first tuition fee installment
- Financial statements (may also include scholarship letter)
- Residence permit application fee receipt
After submitting an application either on the Swedish Migration Agency website or at a Swedish consulate, you will have to attend an interview. Additionally, you may have to apply for a work permit if you plan to work during your study period.
Reasons for Rejection of Application
Even though Sweden is very welcoming of international students, in some cases your application may be rejected. Some of the common reasons are:
- Your documents are found to be invalid or fake.
- You have not submitted all documents required.
- You have no proof of being admitted to a Swedish university.
- You are found to not have the required financial stability.
- You are found to have a criminal record.
- Your interview is not satisfactory.
If your application is rejected, you may choose to send an appeal or you may apply again.
Information regarding scholarships in Sweden and the like can be found on any of the two above mentioned websites, i.e universityadmissions.se and antagning.se. It is important that prospective students look these up, even though Swedish education is quite cheap. Further, once your visa is approved, you will need to look for options to stay in Sweden as well.