Application Advice for Masters in Global Health (and other Masters Programs at Karolinska Institutet)

As the applications for the Global Masters Programs opened last week, I thought it high time we talk a little bit about school! While Sweden and Stockholm has been a lot of fun and games, school actually take up a lot of my time! (See, mum? I actually attend classes)


My wonderful classmate has already done an incredible job outlining what a day in the life of the global health student looks like, covering what the structure of the program is like and life as a student. She really did an excellent job of summarizing what has felt like a whirlwind of a month.


I have received a few questions from potential students asking about their background and whether it is a good fit for the program. Although I am not qualified to address what the program is looking for specifically, I can outline the backgrounds and specialties of my classmates in hopes that you are inspired to apply for this masters despite what melange of background experience you have!


Backgrounds in global health masters:

I myself come from a health sciences bachelor, where I did a minor in global studies and then worked in universities and NGOs for a few years focusing on pre-departure training for medical students, ethics of global health in the field, and mentorship/student involvement. I would say 70% of my classmates have some sort of health background (be it nutrition, psychology, medicine, dentistry, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, neurology, public health, pharmacology, biology, etc.) while the remaining 30% have a social science education (such as sociology, political science, international relations, gender relations, social work, etc.) and an interest in or some experience with the health field. I personally think that this intersection is quite important as the program covers health basics but through a social science lens. Apart from education, most of my classmates have had some experience abroad, either volunteering or working, and we definitely ALL share a passion for global health! You can read about the backgrounds of past digital ambassadors here and here and they also cover the reasons they wanted to apply to the program! *Don’t be put off that both past ambassadors have a medical degree/background, my lovely co-Digital Ambassador Alexandra is a social scientist and neither of us have any plans to go into medicine 😉


Application Advice:

As for advice for your application I think the best thing you can do is demonstrate passion for global health and a drive to accomplish this degree. I applied for this program last year and was on the waiting list, having not made the first round of cuts. After looking at my application a year later, I saw that what I had written in my statement of intent was a resume in sentences, which is kind of boring. It was also really silly of me to do because past of your application is to upload your CV. Nobody needs two documents saying the same things! Knowing that I needed some more umph in my application this year, I opted to write about why I got involved in global health and highlight some emotion and passion in my statement of intent. I can’t say whether the evaluators were just tired of my emails and seeing my name for a second year in a row or whether that sharing of experiences was the missing ingredient of my last application but I’m here now so maybe my tactic worked! Either way, I think it is important that when you are applying to the Masters in Global Health or any other Global Masters Program you should remember that the people who will evaluate your application don’t know you so make sure you tell the whole story- the what, the how, and especially the why 🙂

And in case you need a little inspiration, a little video of my hero and a wonderful (former) KI professor, Hans Rosling.

Cheers and happy applications! 🙂


4 thoughts on “Application Advice for Masters in Global Health (and other Masters Programs at Karolinska Institutet)

  1. Hej Caity,

    Glad to see another Canadian has entered the program, and another one from Ottawa no less! They must like us 🙂 I was in the second run of the program, 2009-10. Best decision I ever made. Lycka till med din masterexamen och ha det bra!


  2. Hi Caity, My name is April and I am a dentist who is applying to the NYU MPH Program in Global Health Leadership this year and this information you provided was very informative. I have a broader overview too and could relate to your thoughts. I felt stagnated in an office setting and want to expand my ideas/talents for global health and improving better oral health programs nationwide and globally. Thanks for you help and look forward to meeting you in the future if our paths should cross. God Bless.

    Check out my blog too at
    Best Wishes,

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