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Got a question or two regarding our PhD programs? Get all the answers here!

How much does the PhD program cost?

All three PhD programs at SSE are free of charge in compliance to the Swedish law.

Is the PhD program a full-time program, or can I work while I study?

The SSE PhD programs are full-time residential programs, which are expected to take four to five years to complete. It is not possible to study part-time or work part-time.

Can I conduct my studies online or virtually? Do you offer distance learning?

No. SSE PhD programs are residential programs. Students are required to live in the greater Stockholm area while enrolled in the program.

Is the program entirely in English, or do I need to learn Swedish?

All programs are entirely taught in English and it is generally easy to live in Sweden without knowing Swedish. However, as you will be a resident in the Stockholm area for at least four years, some knowledge of the Swedish language can help in your daily life. Also, if you intend to use data or information on Swedish institutions in your research, you will need to learn Swedish as much of the material is only available in Swedish. SSE offers basic Swedish language courses to PhD students.

Will I need a visa to study in Sweden?

All non-EU and non-EFTA citizens need to apply for a Swedish residence permit for study prior to coming to Stockholm, if they are offered a position in one of the SSE PhD programs. The residence permit can be issued with a maximum validity of 4 years.

EU citizens need to apply for a right of residence.

For more information, including requirements, please read here.

I have a partner and children, can they come with me to Sweden?

Accompanying family is of course welcome, but please note that the monthly scholarship is calculated on a person living alone and it is not enough to support a whole family. Note also that if you are accepted to the program, each member of the family will need to apply for a residence permit. The best way in this case is to include all members of the family in the same application to the Swedish Immigration Authorities.

Are there any scholarships for PhD students?

All admitted PhD students receive a monthly tax-free scholarship from SSE, and are guaranteed funding throughout the PhD program, conditional upon satisfactory performance as determined by the faculty. The current scholarship amount is SEK 21 000 per month. Compensation increases in later years of the program.

What is my status as a PhD student at SSE? Am I an employee or a student?

You are formally considered a student when you are admitted to the PhD program at SSE (i.e., you receive a non-taxable scholarship). However, as part of the research environment at your department you are treated as staff, i.e., you share an office with other doctoral students and you have access to a PC and infrastructure at the department. Depending on your department, you may be offered to work as a teaching, research or administrative assistant.

Can I work as a Teaching Assistant during my PhD studies?

Regularly financed PhD students are offered the opportunity to work as Teaching Assistant starting from their second year of study. The Teaching Assistant scheme covers 10% of the student’s time during the second, third and fourth year in the program, and it is paid centrally by SSE on top of the monthly tax-free scholarship. Successful competition of teaching entitles you to a fifth year in the program. The Teaching Assistant scheme is not available for externally funded extra-chair PhD students.

I have my own funding for study, do I need to go through the application process?

Having your own funding does not buy you a place in our program. Even if you have your own funding (e.g., your own private savings, company funding, government scholarship from your home country), you must go through the application process and be judged together with the other applicants.

I only have a Bachelor's degree. Can I apply to the program?

You are welcome to apply to the program if you have a four-year Bachelor degree, or a three year degree plus one additional year of studies at the Master level or the equivalent.

I have not yet completed my Master's degree. Can I still apply to the PhD program?

If you will be completing your Master's degree by the time you eventually start at SSE, you can still apply to the PhD program to start in the fall of the same year. You will need to submit a Certificate of Enrollment from your university and a partial transcript from your Master program with the application documents. Your acceptance to the PhD program is then conditional upon your graduation of your Master program. Thus, if you are successful in your application and are offered a place in the PhD program, you will need to send us a certified copy of the Master's degree certificate as soon as this has been sent to you.

Can you look at my CV and my research proposal and let me know if I am eligible for applying to the PhD program?

Due to the amount of requests we receive, we are unfortunately unable to provide personal feedback via email. Please refer to our website to learn more about the application requirements to our programs.

My earlier degrees are not in business administration / economics / finance. Can I apply to the PhD program?

Our requirement is that you have taken a minimum of 90 ECTS (1.5 years) of courses in Business Administration / Economics / Finance depending on the program you are interested in. If you do not have the basics, it will be hard for you to follow our educational program.

Must I find a PhD supervisor before I apply to the program?

There is no need to find a supervisor before you apply to the program. If you are applying for the PhD programs in Finance or Economics, you will first focus on courses and then choose your supervisor in the end of your second year. In the case of Business Administration, supervisors are assigned based on the research interest that is indicated in the application.

Can I send you photocopies of my original degree certificates and course transcripts?

All documents should be uploaded digitally on the application portal. Paper applications or paper certificates are not taken into consideration.

Can I send you my original degree certificate?

No. As we do not return application materials to candidates, you should not be sending your original degree certificates to us.

I am not a native speaker of English, but my degree program was taught in English. Do I need to take a TOEFL / IELTS test?

No, the TOEFL/IELTS test is only required if your degree program was not in English. However, language test results are a very good way for you to prove your English language skills to us.

My TOEFL/IELTS scores are more than two years old. Do I need to retake the exam?

If you took the TOEFL/IELTS test more than two years ago and later attended a university or college program that was not in English, we recommend that you retake the test.

I finished my Master's degree a number of years ago and have no academic referees anymore. Who can write my two letters of recommendation?

We prefer academic referees as we need to determine whether you have the intellectual curiosity, drive, research skills, and sheer tenacity to complete a PhD dissertation during four years of rigorous academic studies. But if an academic referee is not possible, then we will naturally accept recommendation letters from your workplace. We are interested in understanding how well you would function as a researcher in an academic environment; the recommendation letter should hopefully endorse your writing and researching skills as well as project management and collaboration skills.

I had no Master thesis requirement for my degree, can I apply anyways?

We are aware that not all Master programs require a thesis in the end, so we are ready to make an exception to that rule in those cases.

I had no Master thesis requirement for my degree. What can I submit instead?

If you did not have a thesis for your Master degree, we will accept other samples of your academic writing, or failing that, any other samples of writing that you have produced at work. If you have no written work to submit, upload instead a one page document where you explain why you cannot upload anything else.

Must I take a GMAT / GRE test?

If application to a particular program requires that you have taken a test, then this requirement cannot be waived; an incomplete application will not be considered.

For the PhD program in Business Administration, the GMAT/GRE test is a strong recommendation but not a requirement. If you take one of the tests and submit the scores to us, it will strengthen your application. Where there are two candidates of equal strength, the candidate who has taken a GMAT/GRE test will be considered more favorably.

My GMAT / GRE test scores are over five years old. Do I need to retake the test?

Test scores of tests taken more than five years ago will not accurately reflect your current skills. The GMAT / GRE test is not a requirement, but if you want the added advantage (see question above), then you should retake the test.