About doctoral studies

The requirements for a PhD comprise a course part of 60 credits and thesis part of 180  credits. It is mandatory to write and defend a licentiate thesis within the PhD programme. The goal of the doctoral studies is to give a profound basis of knowledge, but primarily to give a good training in scientific methods: identifying problems, finding analysing methods and evaluating results. During this process you will be a member of a research group, where you can collaborate with scientists and other research students encouraging and helping you.  

At Fysikum there are four research subjects within the postgraduate program: Physics, Theoretical Physics, Chemical Physics and Medical Radiation Physics. Within these subjects there are several research divisions, with different research activities.  The activities of the research divisions are described at their own home pages. However, the best way to learn more about the present research activities is to contact some of the group members. Do not hesitate to contact the Director of Postgraduate Studies to get more information before you apply for postgraduate studies. Stockholm University has a web-page about PhD studies. You can also find some practical things about staying in Sweden in the Stockholm University Handbook for International Researchers.
Once you have been admitted as a research student the PhD student council can help you with different issues.


You are qualified for admission to doctoral studies in Physics and Theoretical Physics at the Department of Physics, Stockholm University, if you fulfil the following four eligibility requirements (60 credits correspond to one year of full-time studies):

  1. You have an advanced level degree (master or 4-year degree) or have studied courses corresponding to at least 240 credits (4 years of studies)
  2. You have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics or equivalent.
  3. You have done a degree project in Physics on advanced level (not a BSc degree project) of at least 15 credits.
  4. You have studied courses on advanced level in physics of at least 60 credits. The degree project on advanced level may be included to fulfil this requirement.

You are qualified for admission to doctoral studies in Chemical Physics at the Department of Physics, Stockholm University if you fulfil the above four eligible requirements, but these requirements can, totally or partly, be fulfilled also if you have studied chemistry instead of physics.

You are qualified for admission to doctoral studies in Medical Radiation Physics at the Department of Physics, Stockholm University if you fulfil the above eligible requirements 1,2 and 4 and have done an advanced degree project of at least 30 credits in the area of medical radiation physics.

Before admission a judgement of the applicant's ability to carry out the program will be done. Students who are not known from undergraduate studies at Stockholm University, normally will have to show their qualifications by taking one or two of our undergraduate courses at advanced level, or by carrying out a suitable project work. Good knowledge in English is required. At least is needed something equivalent to the Swedish high-school course English B or:

  • Previously completed University degree taught in English
  • IELTS score (Academic) of 6.0 or more (with none of the sections scoring less than 5.0)
  • TOEFL score of 550 or more (computer based test 213, internet based 79)
  • Cambridge/Oxford - Advanced or Proficiency level


Contact the Director of Postgraduate Studies for more information about the program. All open positions are announced on Fysikum’s home page. This is done four times per year.  Announcements in 2021 are published February 3rd (with last application date March 1st), April 2nd (April 23rd), September 2nd (September 29th) and October 15th (November 5th). For 2022 the dates will be similar but are yet not decided.


The applications are handled and judged relative to other applications at Fysikum. Admission is decided by the Fysikum's board which has meetings once a month. The qualifications and type of funding will be evaluated and two supervisors are appointed for the student.

Financing the studies

A condition for admission, apart from the required educational qualifications, is that the student will have sufficient economic support during the whole period of study, normally 4 years full time study.

Normally the PhD student has a doctoral-position employment. The position may include a teaching assistantship up to 20%. With 20% assistantship the total time of economic support will be prolonged from four to five years.


A supervision group consisting of, at least, two  supervisors is appointed for each student in connection with admission. A mentor is chosen by the student. The mentor should hold a PhD, and not be involved in the same research project as the student. Apart from being a support for the student, the mentor should take part in development discussions and follow up the individual curriculum. In each research division there is also a division responsible, who is the contact person in all issues concerning the division.


The course part at the Department of Physics consists of a block of courses at advanced level. Some of the courses are chosen within a list of recommended courses, while other more specialized courses are more freely selected. The course package is decided upon together with the supervisors. Courses that will be given during the academic year are shown in a block schedule.


The Licentiate thesis should be based on research corresponding to at least 60 credits (out of 120 credits required for the degree) and for the PhD thesis at least 180 credits (out of 240 credits required for the degree). The licentiate as well as the PhD thesis can be based either on a unified theme or as a collection of separate articles with a summary. In the latter case the thesis consists of a summary and referenced articles published in scientific magazines. Read more about dissertations in the Handbook for Postgraduate Students from the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR).

Doctoral handbook

The Handbook for Postgraduate Students from the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR) contains information about:

  • Admission
  • Supervision
  • Student unions
  • Eligibility
  • Exams
  • Trade unions
  • Study funding
  • Gender equality
  • Legislation
  • Scholarships
  • Research ethics