How to Get a Cheap Master's Degree Abroad - Getting a Master's Degree in Sweden. You can get a Master's Degree in Europe cheaper than you would in the United States by studying in Sweden.

How to Get Your Master’s Degree in Sweden (for Cheap)

20 Flares Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Pin It Share 20 Buffer 0 Email -- 20 Flares ×

I’ve written this really-long-but-very-thorough guide to getting your Master’s Degree in Sweden in collaboration with Study in Sweden — an official resource on studying in Sweden, built and maintained by the Swedish Institute, a public agency tasked with promoting Sweden abroad.

Getting your Master’s degree can be expensive, especially in the U.S.– the average cost is between $30,000-$120,000– EEK!

What if you could get your Master’s degree ABROAD — and on the cheap? You’ll kill two birds — save yourself money while getting incredibly valuable international experience that companies are paying big bucks for these days. Our world is becoming increasingly global and an international experience at any level will really plump up your resume and make you stand out from the crowd when applying and interviewing for post-grad jobs.

So, you’ll get the above and more if you choose to pursue a Master’s degree in Sweden. If you’re passionate about sustainability, international relations, human rights or technology, then a Swedish Master’s education is ideal for you.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about applying for a Master’s degree in Sweden.

Want to get your Master's Degree abroad? Study in Sweden to save money on your Master's Degree while gaining international work experience and experiencing Sweden and the rest of Europe. Click through to read how to get your Master's Degree in Sweden

First — are you eligible to get a Master’s degree in Sweden?

There are two general pieces of criteria that you’ll need to be able to get your Master’s degree in Sweden:

  • Have a Bachelor’s degree from an internationally recognized university; and
  • Be able to show proficiency in English, through previous degrees taught in English or with an English language test (all courses are taught in English, which is a huge bonus for American students who want to study abroad but don’t have foreign language skills).

Some Master’s degree programs in Sweden might have other eligibility criteria depending on the subject, but if you meet the above, then congrats, you’re on your way!

Read more info on entry requirements for Master’s level degrees.

Decide your degree (or at least narrow it down a bit)

Sweden offers more than 900 graduate programs, all taught in English, and is particularly known for its innovation in technology, climate change and alternative energy production, as well as equality, development and international affairs degrees. If you’re a graduate student who is passionate about solving complex problems that face our world today, Sweden is leading the charge on many of these issues.

Even if you’re interested in other topics, that’s cool too and Sweden likely has a program that is still a good fit for your interests. No matter your professional goals, having some direction or an idea of what you’d like to study can help reduce the number of options you’ll need to wade through.

Here’s some info on the basics of the Swedish higher education system, such as term length and differences between universities. It’s worth a read before continuing!

The degree search

You’ll be allowed to apply for four degree programmes with one application, so create a “favorites” list of up to seven that you’ll eventually need to narrow down to four (the next step will help you with this). Consider noting pros and cons of each for easy reference, such as cost, class size or whatever facets of graduate study are most important to you.

Browse all of the Master’s degree programs available in Sweden — there are more than 900!

Take a look at specific Swedish universities

Now that you’ve got a list of a specific degrees that caught your eye, do some research on the universities where they are housed. Every university will be different and not all of them will be a good fit for you. Check out this list of all of the Swedish universities plotted on a map, and you can browse the options based on location and subject areas available.

One of the most important things to research fairly heavily is the town or city that the university is in. Most people speak English but you’ll want to be comfortable beyond that. Do you want to live in a major city like Stockholm, or a small university town? Would you prefer to be within the hustle and bustle, or more in touch with nature? Do you prefer a small, close-knit community? Like anywhere else in the world, there will also be a difference in cost of living depending on location, and most likely tuition costs will vary too. Read on for more info on this.

How much can you spend on your Master’s in Sweden?

If your budget is limited, then you’ll want to figure out how much you’re able to spend so you don’t apply for degrees that might be above your budget. As mentioned above, studying in Sweden is a relatively affordable option compared to tuition prices in the U.S.

It’s important to note that not everyone who applies for a degree in Sweden has to pay application fees or, even better, tuition fees. If you hold a passport from a country in the EU you don’t have to pay tuition– this is HUGE. So even if you are American, if you have European ancestry that you can get a European passport through, I suggest looking into the cost of doing so, as it might save you a lot of money in the long run. This usually takes at least a year, so plan ahead.

Read this for more information on finding out if you’re required to pay tuition fees and application fees.

Tuition costs for a Master’s degree in Sweden

If you don’t qualify for free tuition, don’t worry– you’ll still get a good deal if you get your Master’s degree in Sweden. Programmes generally range between $8,500 – $15,000 per year (at the time of publishing this post), with all of them being just 1-2 years in length. This is significantly cheaper than the average Masters’ program in the U.S., and is likely to take less time too.

Also, once you have student residence permit, you can work in Sweden while studying. This is a huge bonus for graduate students who don’t want to put their career on hold, or just need spare cash while studying.

Want to get your Master's Degree abroad? Study in Sweden to save money on your Master's Degree while gaining international work experience and experiencing Sweden and the rest of Europe. Click through to read how to get your Master's Degree in Sweden

Cost of Living for Master’s students in Sweden

For a very general guideline, living costs will be about 8000 SEK per month which roughly equates to $875. This is generous and monthly cost of living can definitely be less (or more!) depending on the city/town you live in, what type of housing you live in, and your lifestyle outside of the classroom.

Study in Sweden has a lot of great resources about cost of living written by experts and students themselves, so they’re pretty honest. Here’s a general guide to living costs in Sweden, which includes links to some great student blog posts comparing costs in different cities. They also include some helpful money saving tips.

You’ll of course want to factor into your budget some extras, like the application fee (900 SEK), the residence permit application fee, and a couple of flights to either head home for a visit or travel to other spots in Europe, which is pretty easy to do from Sweden. Of course, you’ll want to have some fun in between your studying so leave some budget for that, especially as Sweden’s known for its outdoor spots, like skiing, hiking, and biking.

Book your TOEFL or IELTS test

If English is your second language and you haven’t previously studied in English at university, you might be required to take a TOEFL or IELTS test to prove your language proficiency, as all of your classes in Sweden will be in English. If you’re certain you want to study in Sweden, then get your test booked ASAP so you can make sure you get your results back in time for the application process.

Research scholarships

As with undergrad studies, there are scholarships available to grad students, even when studying abroad. It’s definitely worth applying to as many as possible in order to get that tuition cost down even more.

Some graduate-level scholarship resources:

We also have a pretty comprehensive guide to finding scholarships for study abroad, complete with a free scholarship checklist. Every little bit helps, so apply for anything you can!


Want to get your Master's Degree abroad? Study in Sweden to save money on your Master's Degree while gaining international work experience and experiencing Sweden and the rest of Europe. Click through to read how to get your Master's Degree in Sweden

Get your documents in order, and apply!

Well, you’ve gotten this far, so I think you’re pretty serious about getting your Master’s degree in Sweden. Congrats! Your future career will thank you.

The application process is fairly straightforward and what’s great is that you can apply for all of your desired programmes (up to four per application round) with just one application– this is called a coordinated application system. It is important to double check application requirements for each, as sometimes extra steps need to be taken.

There will be a few supporting documents that you’ll need to include with your application so give yourself plenty of time to get those together and get them sent to Sweden if needed.

Make sure you apply by the deadline for the semester you’d like to start studying. Find key dates and deadlines here.

Wait for your notification of acceptance

Ooo…waiting for the results! Remember when you had to do this for your Bachelor’s? Seems like light years ago for me… anyways, you’ll eventually be notified if you’ve been accepted, waitlisted or rejected for each degree you applied for.

Here’s how the Notification of Selection Results procedure works, in more detail. Good luck!

Once you’ve received your notification, *celebrate*, and then you’ll need to send your reply. This is very important and needs to be done by the deadline or you’ll risk losing your spot.

Apply for your residence permit

If you’re not a citizen of the EU/EEA, then you’ll need a student residence permit. These take a while to process so apply early. As mentioned above, once you have a student residence permit you’re eligible for work in Sweden too. You’ll also need to pay your first tuition payment, collect some supporting documents, submit your application online and pay your application fee.

Here’s more information on getting a residence permit as a Master’s student in Sweden.

Get on a flight to Sweden!

You’re officially a Master’s student in Sweden — congratulations! To find out more about living in Sweden as a student, Study in Sweden has a great Student Life Guide with everything you’ll need to know, including how to find living accommodations, get health insurance, and how to find a job in Sweden during and after your degree.

Also, since you’re a student again, you can use StudentUniverse to get discounted flights to and from Sweden. Read more about how to get cheap flights when studying abroad.

Thanks again to Study in Sweden for sponsoring us to create this guide, and congrats to you for making it to the end. Let me know in the comments if you’re thinking of studying in Sweden and if you have any questions.

Image credits: Tina Stafren/, Cecilia Larsson Lantz/, Simon Paulin/, Ulf Lundin/

Jess is the Editor-in-Chief of The Abroad Guide. After studying abroad in Belgium during her junior year of college, she caught the travel bug. Her experiences include volunteering in Nicaragua, backpacking through Europe, and a year-long adventure in Italy, and she's now settled in London.

2 thoughts on “How to Get Your Master’s Degree in Sweden (for Cheap)

  1. Ali

    I am Iraqi citizen wish to get master in dentestery . do I have a chance ? how much it will cost ? and which university you advice me. Thank you


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *