Admission statistics for Biomedicine Bachelor programme. Who gets in? 2014 – 2017

Disclaimer: No-one can predict whether you will get selected before the official announcement of results.

The first international class of Biomedicine BSc program (me including) started at Karolinska Institutet in fall 2014. Since then, the program has become more popular and more competitive.  How do I know this? I’ve looked into the statistics by the Swedish Council for Higher Education from: !

In this post, I’ll present to you (1) numbers of applicants, (2) merit scores of the selected students and (3) international student ratios for years 2014 – 2017. (Not all data of 2017 is published at the moment.) I’ll wrap it all up with a nice summary of the statistics. Enjoy!

Note. I’ll be referring back to my previous post 3 steps of admission process to Biomed BSc programme for international students many times to explain the terms that are crucial for understanding these statistics.

Intro about the programme

The biomedicine programme has been around for almost 10 years. However, it hasn’t always been as it is now. The programme used to be 5 years long before, but over the time it got separated into bachelor (3 years) and master (2 years) programs. In 2014 for the first time international students were allowed to apply. Starting from autumn 2017 the content of the program will be slightly changed to make the program more up-to-date.

1. Number of applicants and selection percentage

For the first international class in 2014, 306 people applied in the 1st application round and 708 people in the 2nd application round (read about the difference between the rounds here). Isn’t that impressive? A total of 1014 applicants* and only top 8% (85 people) were invited to start studies in the bachelor programme after the final selection! If we look at the 1st-hand applicants, i.e. the people who chose this program as their first priority at, it’s way fewer applicants. When you look at these (205+182) applicants, 22% were selected in 2014**.

Since the internationalization of the bachelor programme, the competition has been confidently increasing. The number of applicants in the 1st round has more than doubled – 125% increase (!) – from 205 applicants 1st-hand in 2014 to 462 in year 2017. The 2nd round applicant numbers have risen less but still very impressively! Number of 1st-hand applications has grown by 75%, i.e. from 182 people in 2014 to 318 in 2017. See the yellow and blue graphs above for all the numbers!

*Note that only a part of people qualifies as eligible and enter the selection step from those who apply. This means that from 1014 applicants only 700 (just a guess) might have been evaluated for selection in 2014. (Read more about eligibility here.)

**The percentage of selected students differs immensely once you distinguish between the application rounds 1 and 2. In the 1st round way fewer students are selected than in the 2nd round, however the trend is that the competition gets easier in the 1st and tougher in the 2nd round. See the purple-green graph above!

2. Merit scores of the selected international students

To evaluate eligible applicants for selection to the programme, the grades of applicants are “translated” to a merit score. For international students the scale ranges from 0 to 22.5 points. Applicants with the highest merit scores will be selected and offered a spot in the programme. (Read more about the merit score, selection groups and selection algorithm here.)

The lowest merit score of an applicant that was selected has been fluctuating over the last 4 years. This cut-off point of who gets in and who doesn’t depends on the quality of applications each year.

Have a look at the cut-offs for 1st application round:

2014 2015 2016 2017
Selection group Merit score cut-off point
BI 21.56 18.25 21.14 21.51
BII 19.1 21.93 20.35 21.78

And the 2nd application round:

2014 2015 2016 2017
Selection group Merit score cut-off point
BF 4
BI 18.19 18.38 21.81 20.29
BIEX 17.6 17.23 18.69
BII 18.3 19.79 20.05 20.78
HP 1.05 1.3 1.25 1.3


Averaged for both application rounds and selection groups where max merit score is 22.5 the cut-off point for merit scores has been constantly growing for the last 4 years.


Moreover! 1st-hand applicant – wise, the biomedicine BSc program at KI has been the 4th most popular in Sweden this year (2017) in the 1st application round!

1st round applicants 2017

3. Ratio of international students

KI internationalization efforts are working, the numbers of students selected from abroad are rising and biomed BSc classes are becoming more and more international! The number of accepted students without a Swedish personal number has grown from 6 people in 2014 to 10 people in 2016, and the class of 2017 seems to have 21 international student from application round 1 alone! (The final number is not yet known.) People without a Swedish personal number made 8% of the whole class in 2014 and already 15% in 2016. My prediction is that the class of 2017 will be even more diverse!

I find it interesting to note that, since opening the programme for internationals, the number of people dropping-out has reduced.


  1. The overall number of applicants grows every year.
  2. The grades of people getting in are very high and overall increases.
  3. Biomedicine bachelor students are more international every year.

This post presents statistics for the bachelor’s programme in Biomedicine only.

I hope that you found it interesting and insightful!

If you want to search yourself the statistics at (Swedish only), the programme name is Kandidatprogrammet i biomedicinTermin means application rounds: HT<year> is the 2nd (spring) application round and IKHT<year> is the 1st (autumn) application round. Urval 1 means the first selection round and Urval 2 means the second selection round. After candidates from Urval 1 have replied to their offers, Urval 2 offers spots of people who declined their offers to applicants on reserve. 

9 thoughts on “Admission statistics for Biomedicine Bachelor programme. Who gets in? 2014 – 2017

  1. Hej,

    i’m interested in the bachelor biomedicine programme, you wrote about 1st round and 2nd round applications. Can I apply in both rounds (i’m a citizen of the EU) so that I perhaps have a higher chance to get in? If you can only apply for one round would you recommend the 2nd round?

    and what does 1st hand and 2nd hand applicants mean?


    Julia 🙂

    1. Hi Julia,

      My guess is that you can apply in both rounds and applying in the 1st-round already gives you a chance to apply again in the 2nd-round, if the first try wasn’t successful. Nevertheless, that’s just my assumption and you should double check that with the! 😉

      1st-hand applicants are the ones who have applied to KI biomedicine BSc as their top priority (they give their first hand to this programme). 2nd-hand applicants are people who have applied to several programmes via and KI biomed BSc is not their first priority.

      I hope this helps!
      Anna 🙂

  2. I want to know if after three years of studying Bsc Biomedicine in KI. Can one use the first Degree obtained from KI to gain admission into 4 year medicine (General Medicine) programme in Poland medical universities?

    1. Hi Joseph, I think that this would be a question to ask the Polish medical universities! They can have a look at the curriculum of this programme at KI and tell you if it qualifies you for further medical education in Poland. Best of luck!

  3. Hi, Anna! Thank you for this very helpful blog on Karolinska’s Global Biomedicine bachelor. Do you know if they accept candidates from the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and if they do, what’s the typical offer? For example, in order to apply in the UK, the Universities give you the minimum requirements eg. a total of 34 points, and at least a score of 6 in Biology and Chemistry higher level and a 5 or 6 in Mathematics standard level. But some of them mention that because of increased number of applicants, the typical offer may range between 38-39 points in total and 6 or 7 in Biology/Chemistry and 6 in Maths.
    Also, as I understand you must be now in your final year, so can you give us your latest review, in terms of content, organization, research quality, teaching quality, feedback obtained etc.
    By the way, from what I’ve read they specifically tell you to apply in the 2nd round if you are an EU citizen, so I’m not sure one can double their chances if they apply in both rounds. What do you think?
    Best Regards,

  4. I hadn’t seen your previous blogs. So now, I notice you have graduated. That’s even better. Your opinion will be more objective, and you can give us a hint on the programme’s reception in real life. That is if you have not chosen to continue your studies with a postgraduate degree.

    1. Hey Elleanna,
      I indeed have graduated and do not pay much attention to the newest comments to this blog anymore (sorry for that). Nevertheless, I can say that the undergraduate education that I received from KI is very valuable and gives me a solid foundation to continue my education in medical research. I am now studying an International Master in Innovative Medicine.
      You can read here: about what the bachelor programme was like and what my master programme is exactly.
      Read here: about the minimal requirements for the IB diploma holders.
      Best of luck!
      Greetings from Anna at the University Medical Center Groningen

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