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  • Locations: Uppsala, Sweden
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Calendar Year, Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
Fact Sheet:
Program Description:


About Uppsala University

Founded in 1477, Uppsala University is the oldest university in Scandinavia. In the 18th century the University became famous mainly through its achievements in the natural sciences. Since 1901, six Nobel prizes have been awarded to researchers at Uppsala University. Since World War II, the University has become a large modern university and is counted among some of the most prominent universities in the world. In fact, they recently ranked #93 among the world's top universities (The World University Rankings, 2017). Today the university has more than 40,000 students who are studying or carrying out research in the fields of theology, law, medicine, the humanities, the social and behavioral sciences, economics, mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.

Uppsala photo by LozinskiThe International Student Guide (opens as PDF) contains information about university life and other topics of interest, and students may also wish to look at the Uppsala PPT to learn more. Students with disabilities should review the Uppsala services here, to be sure of the accommodations available.  UR student Olivia Barnum served as a blogger while studying abroad spring 2017 at Uppsala. Read more about her exciting experiences here

Uppsala does offer an International Buddy Programme, and we highly recommend that you apply for a buddy. More information and an application can be found here. Also, students will definitely want to join one of the 13 student Nations while studying at Uppsala.  Click on the link for more detail.

The town of Uppsala is located about 45 miles from Stockholm. This charming town of about 190,000 is alive with history. Old Uppsala (Gamla Uppsala) was the focal point of the Kingdom of the Swedes and still bears traces of its Viking forefathers. A large cathedral and a castle are two landmarks that dominate the city center.

Fun Fact!  The Swedish crime novel, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," by Steig Larsson is based in the Uppsala area.

Photo by Kaitlin Lozinski



Students should have a 3.00 cumulative GPA. However, the GPA in the major is most important. Students interested in Uppsala should have completed at least two years of university studies prior to commencing studies abroad (must have junior status by the time the program abroad begins). Students interested in Media Studies or Peace and Conflict studies should apply early.
Robins School students--only economics majors and senior business administration or accounting majors should apply for this program. Specific course approval must be given. RSB students may transfer courses back from non-business subjects to count towards any non-business majors/minors and general education requirements (pending departmental approval) and towards the total units needed for graduation.
Interested students must attend a general information session before submitting an application. Robins School of Business students must also attend a business-specific session. Click to open the information session schedule.

Note: Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university to study abroad. When reviewing applications for approval, disciplinary records will be taken into consideration and students must be cleared by the Dean's Office to study abroad. Students on conduct probation will not be able to study abroad if their probationary period extends beyond the start date of the semester abroad program.


Course structure
Uppsala uses a point system that corresponds to the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). See below for the credit/course load details. In Sweden the number of teaching hours per week may vary considerably between different subjects and courses.

Course load and credits
One semester of full-time study equals 30 points/ECTS credits. One academic year is equivalent to 60 points/ECTS credits. All credit will be transferred back to UR using the Conversion to Units system. 

To determine the unit value of an individual Uppsala course, the following formula will be used by the UR Registrar's Office: # of points/ECTS credits divided by 7 and rounded up to the nearest tenth of a unit.

Uppsala points (ECTS credits) Equivalent UR units
Unit Conversion Chart
5 ECTS .8 units
7.5 ECTS 1.1 units
10 ECTS 1.5 units
15 ECTS 2.2 units

Students typically take one course at a time at Uppsala (although it is not unusual for two short courses to run parallel to each other). If a course has 7.5 points it corresponds to 5 weeks of full-time work if no parallel courses are taught at the same time. For example, a student may take four 7.5 point courses, the first from Sept.-Oct., the second from Oct.-Nov., and so forth.

Please note that fall semester only students should make certain the final course they take in their semester has the final exam scheduled prior to the holiday break, as some departments (e.g., economics) will not allow alternative assessment and may have the exam scheduled in January, after Richmond students need to be back to start spring semester.  

  Uppsala winter photo

Uppsala Winter Photo by Indira Selimovic

Course offerings
offers a number of
Programmes and Courses Taught in English. Some are groups of courses organized around a central theme and those include Swedish Language and Culture (fall only), Media Studies (usually full year but possible for single semester), and Peace and Conflict Studies (spring only). These programs are worth a full-semester's worth of credit. Single subject courses (also called independent or separate courses) include Anthropology, Biology, Communication, Computer Science, Geography, International Studies, European Studies, Jewish Studies, Law (two years background required), Math/Statistics, Political Science, Religion/Theology, Sociology, Women's/Gender Studies, and more.

Note:  Students interested in Natural Sciences, including Physics, Chemistry, Biology, etc., there are no entry level courses available; students must have strong academic backgrounds within these subjects and meet the eligibility requirements described in each course description.

Language pre-session/course
Students with no Swedish language training are required to take a Swedish language course to enhance the cultural experience. Fall semester students are encouraged to attend the intensive Swedish pre-session in August before the fall semester/academic year begins (as this lengthens your abroad experience, this is the preferred option for greater immersion, and it is a credit-bearing course, which is beneficial). However, if the pre-session dates do not work due to conflict with internship or work experiences, or if the pre-session program is full, students may take a Swedish course during the semester instead that is designed to be taken alongside regular courses. Spring semester students take the semester Swedish language course, as no language pre-session is available that term. See
here for more information.

Pre-requisites/course level
Course levels are indicated in the course descriptions in
Programmes and Courses Taught in English. Students should look at 'first cycle' courses only, as 'second cycle' courses are Master's level courses. At Uppsala there is also a system to determine the depth of a course--this is called the "In-Depth Level." This is comparable to our system of determining how many courses a student should have in that subject before being able to take a "second year" or "200-level" course, for example. For the full description of the In-Depth level coding (G1N, A1N, etc.), see here and scroll to "course level."  For example, a course requiring "English C" means at least 3 semesters of full-time English studies must have been completed prior to enrolling.

Assessment varies widely. It is not uncommon for there to be only one form of assessment in a course (a final paper, exam, or project). However, in some classes, such as seminars, class participation is essential.

Grading Scale


Swedish grading system UR equivalent
VG "strong" A
G "strong" B/C
U "fail"  F
(will not appear on transcript)


Uppsala Science/Technology Richmond Equivalent
NOTE: The Uppsala Faculty of Science and Technology uses a different grading scale:
Pass with high distinction (5) A
Pass with distinction (4) B
Pass (3) C
Fail ("underkand") No credit awarded



Room and Board

Uppsala is responsible for finding rooms for Richmond exchange students, normally in single-room student dormitories, provided students meet stated deadlines. As there is currently a shortage of student housing, this deadline must be carefully observed. Rent is paid on a monthly basis, meaning you will have to pay a full month's rent even if you arrive at the end of a month. There is extensive accommodation information in the Uppsala student guide linked above, or you may click here for the housing office website.

Dates and Costs

Click on the link for information about Dates and Costs for Uppsala.

Visa Information

Students are required to obtain a Swedish residence permit (student visa) prior to departure. The Swedish Consulate recommends allowing 2-3 months for processing the visa application. Information about the application process, documents required, and current fees may be found here: Information for U.S. citizens is also available from the Consulate General of Sweden in New York at 212-751-5900, or the Embassy of Sweden in Washington DC at 202-467-2600.

For More Information

Contact Amy Bergmann in the Office of International Education for more information about this program.


This document represents the most accurate information available at the time of publication. Statements contained herein are not contractual obligations, and verbal or other representations that are inconsistent with or not contained within the document are not binding. The University of Richmond reserves the right to change without specific notice programs and the conditions under which they are offered.

Uppsala University has a rather interesting class structure. Students take 30 credits per semester (that is either 4 courses worth 7.5 credits or 2 courses worth 15 credits). Usually the students take only one course at the time: 7.4 credit courses last 4 weeks and then there is a final exam and one is done with the course; 15 credits courses last 8 weeks and there is also a final exam at the end of the course. After the student is done with one course, they move to the next one. I really liked this class structure since I felt like I had more time to focus on the subject matter without having to worry about my attention being split between two (or more) completely different courses. This structure allowed me to prepare better for both lectures and the more interactive parts of the courses - seminars. Taking only one course at the time can feel slightly too much since in some cases I felt like I had too much reading due to the very specific focus. In the end, it is really not that much. It's all about managing your own time the best way possible. The trap is that most of the classes aren't mandatory (lectures aren't, seminars usually are) so many students decide not to stay on top of the reading and other class material. This is one thing I definitely would not recommend. Attending the lectures (they are not that long, there are 15-minute-breaks every hour, and different lecturers for almost each lecture) is rather interesting and a great help when studying for the final exam. Having this great freedom of attending the lectures can be a thing to deal with, but as long as you manage your time well - it all works out well.

The language component that I took before the regular courses started was probably the best kick-start could have gotten. There were 3x45 minute lectures every day, five days a week. The groups were very small - 20 people or so. Having this kind of experience helps you learn the basics of the language, which makes the communication so much easier, and it is easier to find your way around if you know Swedish words for different food articles or for making a small talk etc. Also, getting a chance to come to Uppsala a month earlier than most of other exchange, international, and local students was amazing since it was much easier to learn your way around, figure out how transportation system works, settle down, buy a bike, and many other small things. Also, Uppsala is beautiful in summer: You can organize day trips to nearby places, go to the lake, go berry and mushroom picking, make barbecues etc. The thing about the language component I liked the most was getting to know the group of 120 people from all over the world very well. Us being all in the same situation and pretty much the only students ready to explore the new city we came to, we all became really close friends and continued to hang out throughout the entire semester.
     — Fall, 2012 Participant