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Top Universities in Sweden For international students

Updated on 21 November, 2023

Neha Uppal

Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

Sweden is one of the few nations in the world that prioritizes independent and group study above lectures. It is for this reason its higher education is regarded as among the best in the world. With a student-centric education system, there are many advantages to studying at one of the top universities in Sweden.

Here are some of the reasons that can help you decide to study at one of the top universities in Sweden:

  • Easy to apply
  • Experience true diversity
  • Thinking creatively about issues
  • Attend a world-class university with a scholarship
  • Get a job after course completion

Along with the above-mentioned benefits, learning Swedish is another benefit of enrolling in one of the universities in Sweden for international students. Enrolling is quite easy at a public or private university in Sweden. Although there is a fee attached to the course, you can also find a list of universities in Sweden with free tuition for international students.

Below are some of the most famous universities for various subjects that are essential to the education system.  

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Top 10 Universities in Sweden

Following is a list of the top Colleges and Universities in Sweden:

Karolinska Institute

As a training ground for army doctors, the Karolinska Institute was established in 1810 as a public organization. It is situated in Sweden, with the Huddinge Campus south and the Solna Campus outside Stockholm. The school offers only degrees in the medical and health sciences. The institute provides courses in various medical and health-related specialties, such as nursing, dentistry, and optometry, to name a few.

Lund University

Lund University was established in 1666 as a public university. There are campuses in Helsingborg, Ljungbyhed, and Malmö, and the main campus is in Lund, Sweden. Engineering, Science, Law, Social Sciences, Medical, Humanities and Religion, Economics and Management, Fine and Performing Arts, and a School of Aviation make up the university’s eight main academic divisions. There are over 220 Master’s programs and 75 Bachelor’s degrees available.

Uppsala University

Uppsala University is a public university that was founded in 1477. Most of it is situated in Uppsala, Sweden, approximately 45 miles north of Stockholm. The university offers Medical and Pharmaceutical, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Science and Technology courses.

Stockholm University

Stockholm University is a public university in Stockholm founded in 1878 and is one of the best universities in Sweden. The main campus of the Swedish university is located in the Royal National City Park, close to the north of Stockholm’s downtown. Studies in the Humanities, Law, Sociology, Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Earth and Environmental Studies are available through the university’s several departments and centers.

University of Gothenburg

The University of Gothenburg is a public university created in 1954, while one of its predecessor schools dates back to 1891. The university has eight main academic divisions: Science, Arts, Fine, Applied, and Performing Arts, Social Sciences, Business, Economics and Law, Education, Information Technology, and the Sahlgrenska Academy, which is devoted to health sciences.

Royal Institute of Technology

KTH, usually referred to as the Royal Institute of Technology, is a public university established in 1827. The university’s main campus, which focuses on Science, Engineering, and Technology, is situated in the heart of Stockholm. The university has ten schools, including one each for Engineering Sciences, Industrial Engineering and Management, Biotechnology, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Communication and Information Technology, and Architecture Engineering.

Chalmers University of Technology

The Chalmers University of Technology, a well-regarded polytechnic university in Gothenburg, is ranked 133rd globally and in the top 100 institutions for Engineering and Technology-related studies. The fact that all Master’s courses at Chalmers are taught in English may contribute to the fact that more than one-third of the students enrolled in Master’s programs there are foreigners.

Umea University

Umea University is placed 335th on the list of top colleges in Sweden.

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences is an agriculture institute and one of the top ranked universities in Sweden.

Orebro University

Orebro University provides various options for those from outside Sweden who want to study or conduct research there.

UniversityQS World Universities Ranking 2023Programmes Tuition Fees (Annually)Duration
KTH Royal Institute of Technology89M.Sc Vehicle Engineering155,000 SEK2 years
M.Sc Computer Science155,000 SEK2 years
B.Sc Information and Communication Technology122,000 SEK 3 years
Lund University95M.S. Management130,000 SEK1-year
M.Sc Data Analytics120,000 SEK1 year
PhD Programmes
Chalmers University of Technology125M.S. Computer Science160,000 SEK2 years
M.S. Nanotechnology160,000 SEK2 years
BSc/MSc Architecture210000SEK2 years
Uppsala University128M.S. Computer Science145,000 SEK2 years
M.S. Data Engineering145,000 SEK2 years
Bachelor’s Programme in Game Design and Project Management110,000 SEK3 years
Stockholm University153M.Sc Applied Data Science125,290 SEK2 years
M.S. Strategic Human Resource Management112,000 SEK2 years

Bachelors Programmes in 

  • International Business and Politics
  • Business, Ethics and Sustainability
  • Latin American Studies with specialization in Portuguese
  • Latin American Studies with specialization in Spanish
  • Earth Science, Distance Learning
90,000 SEK3 years
University of Gothenburg185M.S. Computer Science182,166 SEK2 years
M.Sc Electrical Power Engineering182,837 SEK2 years
Bachelors in Music with a specialization in Classical Performance90760 SEK3 years
Bachelors in Software Engineering and Management140,696 SEK3 years
Linköping University320M.Sc Aeronautical Science126,000 SEK2 years
M.S. Communication Systems126,000 SEK2 years
Doctoral Studies in three scientific fields: Medicine, Humanities/Social Sciences and Engineering/Natural Sciences. 4 years
Umea University369M.S. Biomedicine193,430 SEK2 years
M.S. Physics158,261 SEK2 years 
B.Sc in Life Science148,400 SEK 3 years
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Top Universities for MS in Automotive Engineering in Sweden

Sno.University NameCourse Name

US News Subject Ranking


Tuition Fee


1.Royal Institute of TechnologyM.Sc. Vehicle Engineering#45SEK 310,000 (total)2 years
2.Chalmers University of TechnologyM.Sc. Mobility engineering#92SEK160 000 (annual)2 years
3.Linkoping UniversityM.Sc. in Aeronautical Engineering #280SEK 140658 (total)2 years

Source: US News and official university websites

Top Universities for Medicine in Sweden

Sno.University NameCourse Name

QS Subject Ranking


Tuition FeeDuration
1.Lund UniversityMS Biomedicine#75SEK 360 000 (total)2 years
2.University of GothenburgMS in Global Health#99SEK 144772 (total)2 years
3.Uppsala UniversityMS in Cell and Molecular Biology#99SEK 290000 (total)2 years

Source: US News and official university websites

Top Universities for Applied Mathematics in Sweden

Sno.University NameCourse Name

QS Subject Ranking


Tuition Fee


1.Uppsala UniversityMS in Applied Mathematics and Statistics#99SEK 290000 (total)2 years
2.KTH Royal Institute of TechnologyMSc Applied and Computational Mathematics#59SEK 310000 (total)2 years
3.Chalmers University of TechnologyMS in Mathematical Science#129SEK 65000 (per semester)2 years

Source: US News and official university websites

Top Universities for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Sweden

Sno.University NameCourse NameQS Subject Ranking (2022)

Tuition Fee


1.KTH Royal Institute of TechnologyMSc Nanotechnology#104SEK 310000 (total)2 years
2.Uppsala UniversityMS in Chemistry#106SEK 290000 (total)2 years
3.Chalmers University of TechnologyMSc Nanotechnology#88SEK 160000 (per year)2 years

Source: US News, QS World Ranking and official university websites

Top Universities for Geosciences in Sweden

Sno.University NameCourse Name

QS Subject Ranking


Tuition Fee


1.Stockholm UniversityMS in Geological Sciences#51-100SEK17500 (total)2 years
2.Lund UniversityMS in Geology, Quaternary Geology#51-100SEK 290000 (total)2 years
3.Uppsala UniversityMaster’s in Earth Science, Geology#101-150SEK 290000 (total)2 years

Source: US News, QS World Ranking and official university websites

Eligibility Criteria and How to Apply to Swedish Universities

A student must fulfill general admission and program-specific entry requirements to study in Sweden. One can find detailed prerequisites for various academic programs in Sweden on university websites.

Qualifications for a Bachelor’s Degree:

The following standards must be met by all students to be admitted to top Universities in Sweden for bachelor’s:

  • Successfully finished upper secondary school (high school).  The Swedish upper secondary English course is the equivalent entry requirement for bachelor’s-level courses in Sweden.
  • English proficiency Test Scores (TOEFL or IELTS). 90 in TOEFL IBT or 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 in IELTS

.Criteria for a Master’s Degree. 

A candidate must fulfill the following requirements to be admitted to top Universities in Sweden for a master’s:

  • Possess a Bachelor’s degree (equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen) from an institution of higher learning with an international reputation.
  • English Language Proficiency score of 90 on the IBT or 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 on the IELTS is required

Qualifications for a Ph.D. Program:

Typically, to get admitted into a Ph.D. program, a candidate needs to:

  • Hold a university degree with a concentration in the same subject as the chosen field of study, equating to a bachelor’s degree or higher. A master’s degree is typically necessary. Previous research had to include a degree thesis outlining the findings of an independent study
  • Must have proficiency in English. Swedish proficiency is essential for some subjects where lectures and seminars are held in the native language

Academic Cycle: Intakes and Deadlines:

Sweden’s universities offer two intakes for prospective students. There may be additional intakes at some universities; however, availability must come first, and the number of seats in new intakes is quite small. Autumn is the season of intake, and spring is the second season of intake.


Autumn Intake:

Most international students favor this intake. The amount of seats far exceeds the intake for the spring. Students can choose whatever course they like because most universities’ courses are open for this intake. However, the competition is quite fierce, and they will be up against quite a few pupils with stellar academic records.

Spring Intake:

Most people who were not admitted in the Autumn intake seek admission in the Spring intake, which is the secondary intake. The Spring intake is less competitive because there are fewer places available. As a result, if a course is offered during this intake, the chances of being admitted are far higher than in the Autumn intake.

Autumn WindowMid Oct to  Mid January
Spring WindowEarly June to Mid August

How to apply: 

Following are the requirements for applying to universities in Sweden for international students:

  • Certificates and diplomas of completed degrees
  • Transcript of completed courses and grades
  • Specific university requirements

Cost of Attendance

A student won’t be required to pay an attendance fee if they are a citizen of the EU, EEA, Switzerland, or if they have been given permanent status in Sweden.

The cost of higher education in Sweden varies by university and program for other international students. Attendance costs in Sweden range from about SEK 80,000 per year to about SEK 295,000.

Pre-Arrival Cost

The original residence permit and the extension have an application fee of 1000 SEK. The following papers must be submitted with an initial application for a student residency permit:

  • Current passport
  • Proof of funds
  • For the duration of a student’s stay, a minimum of 7300 SEK each month is needed.

Cost of Living

The cost of living is the second item to take into account after tuition costs, which provides us with a complete picture of the financial arrangements that need to be made. In Sweden, the average monthly cost of living is between 8,000 SEK and 10,000 SEK.

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Scholarship for Universities in Sweden

Sweden offers scholarship options to international students. There are several scholarships offered for master’s programs. To learn more, see the information below:

Sno.Scholarship detailsDurationEligibilityAward SizeProgram
1.Swedish Institute Scholarships for Global ProfessionalsFull one-year or two years Autumn Semester programAt least 3000 hours of work experience.
Must apply for program eligible for the scholarship.
Must have leadership experience.
Full tuition fee, Living expenses up to SEK 10000 (monthly), one-time travel SEK 10000-15000Master’s Degree
2.BTH ScholarshipsComplete duration of programBasis of academic excellencePartial reduction in tuition fee, almost 50%Masters Degree/Single Course
3.Chalmers IPOET Scholarships for International Students4 semesters or 2 years1st year Master’s program applicants.75% reduction of fee
Excellence in first year my grant 85% of tuition fee reduction
Masters Degree
4.The Karolinska Institutet Global Master’s ScholarshipsNot disclosedMust have applied to one of the global programs of the universityCovers full or partial tuition feeMasters Degree
5.KTH ScholarshipsFirst and Second yearStudents with conditional eligibility.
On the basis of academic excellence.
Full tuition feeMasters Degree

Visa process: 

For applying to some of the top universities in Sweden, please check the following requirements:

  • Proof of residency permit application
  • The University acceptance letter
  • Medical insurance coverage
  • Bank statement for financial proof

Post Study Work Permit (PSWP): 

The applicant for a course lasting more than three months may apply for a residence permit. If a student decides they would like to work or start a business after finishing their studies, they may extend their permit for up to six months to do so. This is an excellent opportunity for students to excel in an international country.

Nobel Prize winners and internationally renowned universities are common in Sweden. Nearly 60 bachelor’s degrees and more than 900 master’s degree programs are offered by top universities in Sweden, giving students a choice of some of the best. Numerous colleges and universities still provide free education to those who meet the requirements. It is a popular location for international students because of its cutting-edge and distinctive educational policies.

Top Recruiters at Swedish Universities

The following are the top recruiters at Swedish Universities:

  • Amazon
  • Volvo
  • H&M
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Jaguar

Career Prospects in Sweden

Sweden offers some of the best benefits for professionals, including high-quality education, inexpensive healthcare, and generous vacation time. It has excellent living conditions and a social welfare paradise. The nation offers some of the most exceptional and lucrative professional prospects, despite having the highest tax rates in the world.

ProfessionAverage Salary
Doctor168,000 SEK
Judge141,000 SEK
Lawyer114,000 SEK
Bank Manager109,000 SEK
Chief Executive Officer101,000 SEK
Chief Financial Officer94,000 SEK
Orthodontist90,600 SEK
College Professor80,600 SEK
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Frequently Asked Questions

When is the tuition payment deadline?

To receive a residence permit, you must pay your tuition as soon as possible and on time, before the deadlines.

When should I pay the application expenses for university admission?

The university will only process the application after the fee is paid. Thus, it is important to make the decision soon to get the application.

What kind of degrees can I study in Sweden?

Students can choose from bachelors, masters, and PhD programs. The duration is different for these courses. 

Can I work in Sweden while I’m a student?

All overseas students are, in fact, allowed to work without any restrictions on the number of hours they can put in.

What would be a good income in Sweden?

A family of four may survive on a monthly salary of about 23,000 SEK in Stockholm, the most expensive city in Sweden. 12,800 SEK would be a reasonable monthly salary for a single person living in the same city.

Are internships in Sweden compensated?

Some businesses offer refunds or allowances instead of paying for internships. Typically, the nature of internships is unpaid.

Which is the best university for Agriculture studies in Sweden?

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences is Sweden’s best institute for agriculture studies.

How can I obtain employment in Sweden?

Because it differs depending on your profession and linguistic capabilities, the job market is unusual. However, a great place to start is job postings. The Swedish Public Employment Service helps job seekers. It offers knowledge, guidance, and help. Then there are a ton of well-known privately owned employment websites in Sweden.

Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

Neha Uppal is a passionate content creator and editor. She carries 7.5+ years of experience working with leading edutech companies where she worked as a Faculty, Community Manager, and Content Marketeer. At upGrad, she is helping out people keep informed about the scopes and opportunities of studying abroad via informational articles/blogs.

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