A short application guide for the Swedish Institute Scholarships (Masters)

Hej there!

This is an updated version of my blog post on applying for the Swedish Institute Scholarships (Masters). The application process and eligibility criteria have slightly changed in comparison to the previous years, and I have received many messages and questions from you about it.

As in my previous post on this matter, probably one of the most important things to keep in mind here is the timeline.
You don’t want to overlook a deadline and miss your chance for applying.

So, let’s see:

Firstly: it is very important for you to know that the process for applying for programme(s) and for the SI scholarship is SEPARATE. This has always been this way.

What also hasn’t changed since last year is the Universityadmissions.se deadline to apply for programme(s) you would like to study. It is the 15 January 2016 and by then you’re supposed to apply via the universityadmissions website. Furthermore, by 1 February 2016, you will need to have sent all the supporting documents required for your application and pay the application fee (or provide proof of exemption from paying the fee).

Now, when it comes to scholarships by the Swedish Institute, a lot of things depend on the scholarship category you belong to.

So, let’s tackle the Swedish Institute Study Scholarships first.

The application process has slightly changed this year and is now a two-step process.

STEP #1: 

Application opens 1 December 2015 and ends 20 January 2016. There are no documents to be submitted in this step. You will be able to apply by submitting an online application through the website of the Swedish Institute.


The deadline for applying for your preferred programme(s) is coming up, remember? Here you submit your application to universityadmissions.se as I explained above.

STEP #2:

Period: 8 – 13 February 2016

If your step #1 was successful, and you have completed the “in-between step”, you will be asked to submit a more detailed application in this step.

  • A motivation letter
  • A Europass CV (Only this format is accepted! Do NOT put your photo in it either),
  • Two (2) reference letters (will also be provided by the Swedish Institute – and they must be signed)
  • A copy of your valid passport.

Make sure your documents are in English and make sure to have a separate motivation letter for each programme you have applied for. Here you can go to my previous blog post and read about the Motivation Letters. The Motivation Letter templates are provided by the Swedish Institute.

For this category of scholarships, an added requirement is work experience of two years (at least). Many forms of employment are eligible – including but not limited to internships and voluntary work. You can find this information in the eligibility criteria for this category.

Voilà! Now you’re done and you can relax until the results are out.


Now, for the categories Swedish-Turkish Scholarship Programme, Visby Programme and the Swedish Institute Scholarships for the Western Balkans the process is a bit simpler:

Period: 1 – 13 February 2016

Apart from applying to universityadmissions.se by 15 January 2016 (and sending the supporting documents and paying the fee by 1 February 2016), the process for the scholarship is fairly simple:

  • Europass CV (Only this format is accepted! Do NOT put your photo in it either).
  • Motivation letter, provided by the Swedish Institute (will be available on the website in December). Note: for each programme you apply, you must submit a separate motivation letter. My previous blog post on the Motivation letter can be found here.
  • A letter of reference. It is recommended to use the template of the Swedish Institute (will be available on the website in December)

There you go. Lycka till and see you in Sweden!

Please note that you should always be checking the relevant websites for your application in order to get the accurate, up-to-date information.



Featured photograph: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

Dena avatar


  • Pranesh • 13 Jul 2016 at 7.44 am Reply

    Hi! I am thinking of applying for the scholarships for the next year. I would be completing 2 years of work in July 2017. Is it possible for me to apply or should I have 2 years of work experience when applying for the scholarship? Thanks.

    • Dena
      Dena • 19 Jul 2016 at 4.08 pm Reply

      Hej Pranesh,

      I think you should be fine, as long as you can prove that you will have accumulated 2 years by the time the programme would start. But perhaps you can wait for this year’s scholarship call and then ask someone from SI for a clarification. The call is usually out in November or December.

      Good luck!

      / Dena

  • Samuel • 4 Apr 2016 at 8.42 am Reply

    Hi Dena,
    This is Sam from Uganda, East Africa. I applied for a masters degree in Solar Energy Engineering at Dalarna University and I was Conditionally Admitted(2016). What does conditionary admitted mean in this case since I submitted all the required documents during the application process?

    I also applied for step 1 of the Swedish Institute Study scholarship and I managed to go through to the second step. I submitted my application for the second step and the results are yet to be issued out. The are scheduled to be out on 12th April 2016. But based on my research the results are usually issuesd out on Fridays. What can you say about this observation? Pray for me so that I win this scholarship.

    Thank you for your help

    • Dena
      Dena • 12 Apr 2016 at 10.57 am Reply

      Hej Samuel,

      Conditionally admitted usually means that you need to either pay tuition fee or receive a scholarship to cover the costs of studying.
      Good luck!

      / Dena

  • Peter • 31 Mar 2016 at 10.28 am Reply

    I included a Photo on the CV because… The template had it. I Just don’t know how this my affect my chances. I’ve just noted it now.

  • Thanh • 21 Mar 2016 at 5.29 pm Reply

    Sorry but can You give me the working experience template of Sweden scholarship format! Cuz it will only be available during the scholarship period but now I have to prepare all beforehand! Thanks! Here is my email: quocthanhle6@gmail.com

    • Dena
      Dena • 24 Mar 2016 at 10.34 pm Reply

      Hej Thanh,

      I don’t have it, unfortunately. Besides, it might change for next year so you would likely waste time on it before it’s out. Don’t worry, you will have enough time to prepare.


  • Lola • 9 Feb 2016 at 8.00 pm Reply

    Hey Dena!
    Can you tell me whether we are supposed to attach our copies of certificates, diplomas, etc. to our Europass CV? It says maximum 3 pages, but then there’s the annexes part where we are supposed to write what we are annexing, so I got confused, because then it is more than 3 pages… I sincerely hope for a prompt reply because my time is running out and no one is answering my questions and emails about this and I can’t seem to find the answer online. I hope you can help me! 🙂

    Kind regards,

    • Dena
      Dena • 12 Feb 2016 at 11.39 am Reply

      Hej Lola,

      I guess the annexes don’t count in the max 3 pages, but make sure to contact SI and ask them to be on the safe side. 🙂


  • Tanbir • 9 Feb 2016 at 1.09 pm Reply

    Hi Dena, another quick query regarding CV upload.As SI has one spot to upload CV and copy of passport and they requested to complete it within four pages. I have prepared my CV in euro-pass format within three pages. Now should I take a print out of that CV and then scan the CV along with Passport copy(as 4th page) and then upload it as complete 4 page document? Should we upload all the documents in PDF format.?Seeking your kind support please.
    Thanks a million.

  • Tanbir • 8 Feb 2016 at 8.08 am Reply

    Hi Dena,
    Thank you for your prompt reply on my last questions. As you mentioned above we should not put any photo in the CV. could you please let me know if there is any clear guideline regarding this topic on the SI website.
    Thanks Again & Take Care.

    • alex • 31 Mar 2016 at 10.42 am Reply

      I for sure included a photo… I don’t know how bad it may affect my application.

  • Kan • 5 Feb 2016 at 7.39 pm Reply

    Hi Dena,
    I’m student from Thailand.
    Could you please explain me about work experience requirement?
    About Work Experience Requirement, SI specify that
    “Applicants must have at least two years’ work experience (equal to 2,800 hours) “.

    If I have a work experience more than 2,800 hours but not pursue 2 years at least (just 1 year and 6 months), is it acceptable for application to this scholarship?

    Please kindly explain me.

    • Dena
      Dena • 12 Feb 2016 at 11.41 am Reply

      Hej Kan,

      I think it could be ok if you’ve had 2,800h… But maybe try writing to SI to clarify?


  • Tanbir • 2 Feb 2016 at 7.30 am Reply

    Hi Dena, You are doing a great job here. Here you have mentioned the applicant has to submit two reference letter but on the website of Swedish Institute, they have mentioned one reference letter. You also advised us to write different motivation letter for each course, which is a great advice, however there is only one format of motivation letter and they asked to rank the courses you applied. If I am going to put the first sets of information as an unique manner according to the format in each letter, then how would they track by one look that I am writing for which one?

    • Dena
      Dena • 2 Feb 2016 at 4.53 pm Reply

      Hej Tanbir,

      Yes, the motivation letter template is the same for all, and yes, you do have to rank your choices in every one of your motivation letters. Once you’re about to submit the letter(s), you will see that the submissions will be divided per program that you’re applying to.
      As for the reference letters, if you mean for SISS, what was meant under it is a reference letter and proof of employment. However, please note that should there be discrepancies between the blog and the SI website, you should always follow SI’s website, since they are the authorised, official source of information in this matter. The blog is not an official guide per se, just a student reflection.

      Good luck!

      • Kan • 5 Feb 2016 at 7.44 pm Reply

        Hi Dena,
        I’m student from Thailand.
        Could you please explain me about work experience requirement?
        About Work Experience Requirement, SI specify that
        “Applicants must have at least two years’ work experience (equal to 2,800 hours) “.

        If I have a work experience more than 2,800 hours but not pursue 2 years at least (just 1 year and 6 months), is it acceptable for application to this scholarship?

        Please kindly explain me.

        • Dena
          Dena • 9 Feb 2016 at 2.03 pm Reply

          Hej Kan,

          Perhaps it’s best to contact the Swedish Institute with this matter, to be on the safe side.


  • Amr • 26 Jan 2016 at 2.30 pm Reply

    Hi Dena, I liked your blog and your posts as well, I’ve a little problem with my English proficiency proof. I can’t tell if my university is recommended in the universal handbook of universities on the year I had graduated or not. That’s my first inquiry. Also, my TOEFL results will be delayed until the end of Feb, when I contacted university admission they informed me that my application will processed as a late application if there is time and a vacant for it. what do you think the probability that they will process my application after receiving TOEFL results at the end of Feb?

    • Dena
      Dena • 29 Jan 2016 at 11.58 am Reply

      Hej Amr,

      Thanks for reading!
      As for the English proficiency proof, I’m afraid I can’t tell you more than universityadmissions already have told you. They will process the application, but it will be considered a late application.

      Good luck!


  • Ghassan • 30 Dec 2015 at 2.52 am Reply

    Hello Dena,

    Thank you for your post, it’s really a great one. I am asking about TOEFL OR ELITES, when should be ready before Feb? when I have to send it to IS?

    Another thing, can you show us an example about your motivation letter?

    Look forward.

    • Dena
      Dena • 4 Jan 2016 at 1.14 pm Reply

      Hej Ghassan,

      You’re very welcome! I am glad you liked it.

      I think it would be best to check univesityadmissions because they are the ones processing the documents. I am not sure what the requirement is, and I don’t want to advise you wrongly.

      As for the motivation letters, I can’t show that, since it is a very private matter, as I am sure you understand.

      Good luck,


  • okwuchi • 6 Dec 2015 at 2.38 pm Reply

    Hi Dena, I’m okwuchi, from Nigeria, I finished my university 2010, I studied Environmental Engineering. Please is Nigerian eligible to apply? If yes, how I apply? Kindly assist me with the link

  • onencan obonyo Michael • 5 Dec 2015 at 7.17 am Reply

    Hello Dena i appreciate for your heart of guidance, Is it a must to have completed applying for admission before applying for Swedish institute study scholarship in the first round?
    Secondly, I have not yet submitted my program selections for admission will this delay affect my chances of being admitted?

  • Inta • 1 Dec 2015 at 5.00 am Reply

    Hi Dena,

    Hope all is well with you. It is 1 December now. When is the online application released in the website?
    Because I have not found any link/information in the website. Please help.


    • Dena
      Dena • 12 Dec 2015 at 12.06 am Reply

      Hej Inta,

      Have you tried creating your profile on the application portal and checking there?


  • Jayasurya • 30 Nov 2015 at 11.09 am Reply

    Hey there.. Hope you’re doing fine.!
    What about other scholarships.?
    Like the ones based on a university we actually get into.
    When are we supposed to apply for that.?

    • Dena
      Dena • 12 Dec 2015 at 12.07 am Reply

      Hej Jayasurya,

      University scholarships probably have different dates. I suggest you check out the relevant websites of the universities to know when for sure.

      Good luck!

  • Sharanya • 30 Nov 2015 at 5.39 am Reply

    Hey Dena,
    Thank you so much for your blog post. Much helpful!
    Although I have one query, You have said that I would have to write motivation letter for each programme, is it for the scholarship process or the application as well?
    Also does the same thing apply for the reference letter? Let say I am applying for 4 courses then do I have to provide 4 reference letters or is one alright.( as in the Universityadmissions page they have asked to upload once for all the programmes)
    Sorry for this confusing query.As you can see I am quite confused myself! 🙂

    • Dena
      Dena • 12 Dec 2015 at 12.08 am Reply

      Hej Sharanya,

      I think you don’t necessarily have to give different reference letters, just the motivation letters.

      Good luck!


  • Anita • 30 Nov 2015 at 1.48 am Reply

    Dear Dena, I have one dilemma… If I am applying at three different postgraduate programs to be sure that I will enroll one with scholarship, should I pay three times of just one fee for Swedish institute Scholarships application? Thank u in advance 🙂

    • Dena
      Dena • 12 Dec 2015 at 12.09 am Reply

      Hej Anita,

      Once is enough 🙂


  • Anita • 30 Nov 2015 at 1.41 am Reply

    Dear Dena, I have one dilemma… If I am applying at three different postgraduate programs to be sure that I will be accepted at one, should I pay three times fee for Swedish institute scholarships application or just one? thank u in advance 🙂

    • Dena
      Dena • 10 Dec 2015 at 3.22 pm Reply

      Hej Anita,

      No, you just pay the fee once. 🙂


  • Dawit Tesfaye • 28 Nov 2015 at 12.22 pm Reply

    I found it so indespensable and pretty awesome tips about the way forward

    • Dena
      Dena • 28 Nov 2015 at 12.42 pm Reply

      Awesome Dawit! Glad you found it helpful! Good luck 🙂


  • Shamira • 27 Nov 2015 at 4.00 pm Reply

    Very informative! I completed my undergraduate degree in 2013. I am having difficulty obtaining an academic reference. I work in a economic research environment, may I use professional references instead?

    • Dena
      Dena • 28 Nov 2015 at 12.45 pm Reply

      Hej Shamira,

      Glad you found it helpful! In case it is not specified what kind of reference is necessary, perhaps you may use a professional one indeed. But it might be best to ask directly to those who make the decision – just to be on the safe side. 🙂


  • Aminul Hoque • 27 Nov 2015 at 12.57 pm Reply

    dose any institute provide 50% scholarship or less than this comparing one,s tution fee

    • Dena
      Dena • 28 Nov 2015 at 12.58 pm Reply

      Hej Aminul,

      The Swedish Institute provides full scholarships, covering both tuition fees and living expenses.


  • Ammar Ahmedani • 26 Nov 2015 at 10.36 pm Reply

    Breif and Clear like Sun shine. Thank you for clarification.

    • Dena
      Dena • 10 Dec 2015 at 3.23 pm Reply

      That’s so sweet of you Teliku! Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Teliku Nigussie Hailu • 26 Nov 2015 at 2.51 pm Reply

    Easy and understandable. Can’t be more simpler!!!

    • Dena
      Dena • 26 Nov 2015 at 3.02 pm Reply

      Glad you found it helpful, Teliku! 🙂


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