Merit-Based Scholarships For Master’s Programs In Sweden

Merit-Based Scholarships For Master's Programs In Sweden

With its esteemed universities worldwide, abundant Master’s programs conducted in English, and exemption of tuition fees for EU or EEA students, it’s understandable why Sweden is a magnet for many pursuing postgraduate education.

Known globally for its groundbreaking research and inventive approaches, Sweden is recognized for maintaining exceptionally high benchmarks in student financial assistance. It’s hardly unexpected, then, that numerous Master’s students in Sweden enjoy the advantage of tuition fees being waived. Nonetheless, it’s important to factor in additional expenses when strategizing for your advanced studies.

This page serves as an overview of Master’s studies in Sweden, offering guidance on universities, programs, and application procedures. Additionally, elsewhere on this website, you can find resources such as Swedish university rankings and information on Master’s fees and financial support. We also provide updates on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on students in Sweden.

Sweden Universities:

Swedish higher education institutions comprise universities and university colleges. Generally, universities grant PhD degrees, while most university colleges do not. Universities typically prioritize research, while university colleges often focus on applied sciences. However, the distinction between them is not always clear, and the terms are often used interchangeably.

The structure of postgraduate degrees in Sweden follows the Bologna Process. Like other European countries, Masters degrees are considered ‘second cycle’ degrees (with Bachelors being ‘first cycle’ and PhDs ‘third cycle’). Thus, a Master’s degree obtained in Sweden is internationally recognized by universities and employers.

Sweden hosts 39 universities offering approximately 900 English-language Master’s degrees. Alternatively, if proficient in Swedish, one could pursue a Master’s degree in the language.

Cities In Sweden Where Universities Are Located

Despite its modest population size (excluding its geographical expanse), Sweden offers a variety of university cities. Whether one seeks the lively cultural scene of Stockholm, the refined nightlife of Gothenburg, or the charming ambiance of a university town like Uppsala, there are numerous options to explore.

Tuition Costs For Graduate Programs In Sweden

Numerous students qualify for tuition-free postgraduate education in Sweden. Nevertheless, all students should anticipate bearing certain expenses related to administration and study materials.

You’ll find information below regarding the eligibility criteria for tuition exemption, along with common expenses you might encounter throughout your academic journey.

Tuition Charges

In Sweden, no tuition fees apply to:

  • Domestic (Swedish) students
  • Students hailing from other Nordic nations (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway)
  • Other students from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland

These regulations are relevant for both full-time and part-time students. However, if you pursue a dual degree, there may be expenses involved if part of the program occurs in another country.

For international students, tuition fees typically range from €7,000 to €25,816 per academic year, with an average of €11,289. The precise amount will be determined by the individual university.

Application fees vary based on student status. Domestic, Nordic, EU/EEA, and Swiss students are exempt from application fees for Masters programs in Sweden. However, international students from outside the EU/EEA are required to pay an application fee of approximately €82 for each semester they apply for.

The quantity of courses you submit applications for does not impact the price of your application fee.

Membership fees for student unions

While this can differ among universities, typically you will pay €5-35 per semester.

Required textbooks

Similarly, the cost varies depending on your specific course and university. Typically, you can anticipate spending approximately €75 per month.

Numerous websites offer second-hand books at a reduced price. Additionally, student unions and universities frequently arrange book sales where you can buy books from other students at a discounted rate.

Living Expenses

On average, Swedish students budget around €826 per month.

Metropolitan areas like Stockholm, Lund, and Gothenburg, as well as other urban regions, tend to have a higher cost of living compared to rural parts of Sweden.

Swedish universities do not offer accommodation assistance, so it’s advisable to explore housing choices well in advance.

Merit-Based Scholarships For Master’s Programs In Sweden

Financial Support Provided By The Government For Advanced Studies In Sweden:

While domestic and EU students are not required to pay tuition fees, governmental loans are offered to assist with living expenses and additional study-related costs.

Funding is administered by the Swedish Board for Study Support (CSN), which offers financial assistance in the form of both loans and grants.

The specific type and quantity of financial aid available are contingent upon factors such as nationality and individual circumstances.

Swedish Students:

Swedish students are entitled to varying amounts of financial support depending on their individual circumstances. Typically, they can receive:

  • A grant of up to €87.25 weekly.
  • A loan of up to €200.57 weekly.
  • Upon turning 25 in the year the loan is granted, and with prior work experience, they may qualify for a supplementary loan (tilläggslån) of €119 weekly.
  • A child allowance (tilläggsbidrag) of up to €38 weekly.
  • Additional funding, such as an extra loan (merkostnadslån), can be provided for specific needs like disability expenses, with the amount determined by the student’s situation.
  • Most funding applications are open until the age of 56, but loans are only accessible until the student reaches 47 years old.

EU Students:                                                                  

Students hailing from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland seeking postgraduate opportunities in Sweden may qualify for student aid, though eligibility requirements are stringent. Prospective candidates must meet specific criteria:

  • EU/EEA citizens with permanent residency (PUR) in Sweden, typically granted after residing in the country for five years or more, are eligible to apply.
  • Individuals from non-EU/EEA countries who have resided in Sweden with an EU relative (excluding Swedish nationals) for a minimum of five years may also apply.
  • EU/EEA or Swiss citizens operating businesses in Sweden may qualify for funding, even if they are no longer actively employed.
  • Spouses, partners, or children of EU/EEA (excluding Swedish nationals) or Swiss citizens employed or running a business in Sweden are also eligible to apply for student aid.

Scholarship Provided By The Erasmus Program:

The Erasmus program offers valuable financial support for students who wish to pursue part or all of their Master’s studies abroad.

Erasmus Mundus Masters are tailored international degree programs, typically spanning two years. Throughout this duration, you’ll have the opportunity to study at various universities across at least two different countries.

Those eligible may seek full scholarships for an Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Degree, relieving them of tuition fees.

Additionally, recipients may receive a monthly stipend and assistance with travel expenses.

It’s important to recognize that while you can express preferences regarding the countries you visit, participating universities are predetermined within the program.

Scholarship By The Swedish Institute (SI):

The Swedish Institute (SI) offers various scholarships and grants to support international students interested in pursuing studies in Sweden. These opportunities aim to enhance cross-cultural exchanges, foster research endeavors, and empower students to contribute to the advancement of their respective societies.

As part of this initiative, recipients are encouraged to participate in the SI Network for Global Professionals, gaining access to a range of events, workshops, and seminars across Sweden during their academic journey.

The OSF Scholarship:

The fellowships and scholarships offered by the Open Society Foundation are perfect for individuals aiming to undertake research-oriented Master’s programs. These opportunities are highly competitive, often requiring candidates to demonstrate a significant level of experience gained through both professional work and academic study within their selected area of interest.

Seeking Admission To A Master’s Program In Sweden:

Sweden is renowned for its hospitality and open-mindedness, attracting a significant population of students from around the world. However, like any endeavor to study abroad, it’s crucial to allocate sufficient time for your application process.

Commencing your journey, it’s advisable to reach out to your prospective university and ascertain their admission criteria. Additionally, many institutions boast dedicated international offices staffed with experts ready to offer tailored assistance and direction for your application.

Outlined below are fundamental pointers for applying to pursue a Master’s degree in Sweden.

Admission Criteria

To enroll in a Master’s program in Sweden, you must have obtained a Bachelor’s degree.

If you wish to pursue a program taught in English and you are not a native speaker, you might need to prove your English proficiency by taking tests like the TOEFL or IELTS. For programs taught in Swedish, you may be required to pass tests or undergo a Swedish language course before commencing your studies.

Application Process:

To apply for a Master’s program in Sweden, utilize the University Admissions in Sweden online system. You can select up to four Master’s courses simultaneously. Print the cover sheet from the website and mail it along with copies of your academic certificates and any requested qualifications. Some universities may also require a letter of intent or an essay.

For non-EU students starting in the upcoming autumn term, the application deadline is also in mid-January. EU students not needing a residence permit have until mid-April to apply.

Specific deadlines for individual Swedish Master’s programs are listed in our course offerings and can be found on the University Admissions Sweden website.


Sweden is renowned as a favored choice among international PhD students. Moreover, as a graduate with a Swedish Masters degree, you’ll find yourself in an advantageous position to explore the plethora of enticing research prospects available at the nation’s universities.


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