College founded in 1878

Cooperation between the college and the city

From college to university in 1960

Surge in enrolment and crowding

National City Park and Architectural Park

College founded in 1878

Stockholm College began without exams or diplomas, offering an alternative to the traditional universities in Uppsala and Lund. The first open lectures were held in fall 1877 in the handicrafts school building on Mäster Samuelsgatan. There were lectures in mathematics, physics, chemistry and geology, joined soon after by cultural history and economics. The tradition of open lectures continues today.

The first professors

  • 1884 – Viktor Rydberg, Stockholm College’s first professor in cultural history
  • 1889 – Sonja Kovalevsky, Sweden’s first female professor and the world’s first female mathematics professor
  • 1904 – Gustav Cassel, Stockholm College’s first professor of economics

The college and city in cooperation

Stockholm College gained the right to grant degrees in 1904. This change was strongly supported by the town council and meant that the city began funding the college. The idea of an economically independent college was left behind and the college and city began working together more closely. In particular, the city wanted the college to start granting law degrees in order to alleviate the lack of lawyers in Stockholm.

From college to university in 1960

After several years of studies and reforms, Stockholm College was granted university status in 1960 and thereby became a part of the general movement toward education and research that characterized the post-war years. In retrospect, it would seem like becoming a public institution was foundational in allowing the college to grow at the speed demanded by modern society.

Surge in enrolment and crowding

The massive increase in student enrolment in the 1960s made the Observatory Hill campus too crowded with nowhere to expand within the city centre. The 1970’s saw a large-scale relocation to the Frescati campus with the intention of assembling the entire university in one place. In the same period both the School of Journalism and the School of Social Work joined the university. In 2008, the Teacher College also joined the university.

Today, after 50 years of expansion, the university has more than 34 000 students, 1 700 doctoral students and 5 000 employees in the sciences and human sciences.

National City Park and Architectural Park

Stockholm University sits in the middle of the world’s first National City Park, while the city centre is just a few minutes away. The blend of nature, historical surroundings and access to the job market, cultural events and entertainment make Stockholm University unique.

During the time the university has been at the Frescati it has become one of the foremost architectural parks in the country with the help of some of the most well-known 20th century architects - David Helldén (Södra huset), Carl Nyrén (Arrheniuslaboratoriet) and Ralph Erskine (Allhuset, Aula Magna, Juristernas hus, Universitetsbiblioteket).