The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Admission process

Am I eligible to apply for PhD studies at the Faculty of Medicine and how does the admission process work?

You can learn more about the admission process here, and the path from when you start thinking about PhD studies to what is needed for you to apply and begin your studies.

Admission to PhD studies at the Faculty of Medicine takes place continuously during the year, in a certain number of steps. First, funding and eligibility requirements must be met. Then the application documents are submitted and an official admissions decision is made. The application process for PhD education may look a little different depending on how the programme is funded.

The steps of the admission process

Finding a supervisor and funding

In order to be admitted to a PhD programme, the supervision and financing of the entire programme must be in place at the time of admission. This is necessary to ensure that the program can be completed after four years of full-time studies or eight years of half-time studies. 

Therefore, before admission, a supervisor (researcher) must propose a PhD project.  Other supervisors involved in the training must also be presented, as well as how the project will be financed. The PhD project must be approved by the faculty before the admission process can proceed further.

A PhD programme can be financed in different ways, either by:

  • employment as a PhD student,
  • employment such as within the public healthcare system or the healthcare industry, or
  • an external scholarship, in a few cases.

Employment as a PhD student

In cases where a PhD programme is to be financed by a doctoral position of employment, the doctoral project must be duly advertised in the form of a PhD position. 

Other funding through employment or external scholarship

If you work, for example, in healthcare and plan to pursue your PhD education part-time in parallel with your work, contact a prospective supervisor to discuss whether there are opportunities to carry out a PhD study in their research group. As usual, the project must be approved before admission. 

The same applies if you have been granted an external scholarship from your home country for PhD studies. There are a number of requirements regarding the approval of external scholarships as funding for PhD studies. You can read more about these requirements on the following page:

External scholarships 

At Lund University, research studies may not be funded by another individual or by the PhD student’s own wealth.

To proceed with the admission process, it is important to know if you meet the eligibility requirements for the PhD programme. To be admitted to PhD studies you are required to:

1) have basic and specific eligibility, and

2) be considered to have the additional skills needed to complete the programme. 

Basic eligibility

To meet the requirements for basic eligibility, applicants must have

  • a second-cycle qualification (master level), or
  • completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, including at least 60 higher education credits at second cycle, or
  • acquired essentially corresponding knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.

The Faculty of Medicine may grant exemptions from the basic eligibility requirements if there are special reasons.

Specific eligibility

The specific entry requirements stem from knowledge obtained from a university education or the equivalent, or from specific professional experience. Sufficient knowledge is also required in the general subject area of the PhD programme.

You meet the specific entry requirements if you have at least 60 higher education credits in the general subject area of the doctoral programme you wish to pursue.

There are also entry requirements regarding English language skills. If you have a non-Nordic university degree and your native language is other than English, then you must also prove that you have English language skills equivalent to a three-year upper secondary school qualification. 

If no previous certified English results can be proven, then you must take either the TOEFL or IELTS test, in order to obtain specific eligibility. 

The maximum score on the TOEFL test is 660 points and the requirement for admission to PhD studies at the Faculty of Medicine in Lund is at least 550 points on the paper-based test, at least 213 points on the computer-based test and at least 79 points on the Internet-based test. 

For the IELTS test, the Academic Module must be completed with a score of at least 6.5 and no section below 5.0. (For tests, please refer to the Swedish adult educational association Folkuniversitetet.)

For your PhD programme to be financed with a doctoral student position, apply for an advertised position. 

Read about the advertised doctoral student positions (Lund University's central website)

If you have applied for a PhD position, an assessment is first made of whether you meet the basic and specific entry requirements. A review panel then makes a selection of the applicants. If you are the one best suited for the position, the review panel writes a statement proposing you as a candidate to be employed at the faculty with the position of doctoral student. The process then continues toward admission and a student placement in the doctoral programme. 

The process is similar if you, instead of applying for a doctoral position, apply for a student placement with other funding from, for example, a healthcare job or external scholarship. A review panel ensures that you meet the all the entry requirements. Then they write a statement proposing you as a candidate for a student placement in the doctoral programme. 

Once the review panel has written its statement proposing you as a candidate, an application for the doctoral programme must be submitted. You will find application forms in the right margin.

The application must contain the following:

  • Your CV and certified copies of grades
  • The statement from the review panel with the reasoning behind the candidate selection

In the application form for part-time studies, the head of operations at the clinic where you are employed must also certify that you will be offered time to pursue doctoral studies within the stipulated education period, i.e. at least 50 percent over a period of eight years.

In cases where you want to credit previous studies or knowledge, this must be done in connection with admission. The application must be made using the application form for credit transfers. A supporting document must be attached to the application form with a description of what you wish to transfer. You can learn more about credit transfers here: 

Recognition of previous studies or knowledge. 

All documents are sent to the deputy head of department for doctoral education, for a final check regarding eligibility. The deputy head then sends the application on to the PhD Studies Office.

The Faculty of Medicine’s vice-dean responsible for PhD studies then makes the formal decision on admission and the new PhD student is registered in the national student administrations system, Ladok. 

It is possible to be admitted to PhD studies with the intention of obtaining a licentiate degree, which corresponds to two years of full-time study. However, the Research Studies Board applies this form of admission quite restrictively.

When applying for a licentiate degree, you must use the form below to declare that you are aware of the form of admission:

Licentiate degree – declaration upon admission (pdf 105,8 kB, new tab)