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How to apply

 PhD application form

Submit application | Programmes | Required documents | Deadlines | How to apply | Language requirements | Academic requirements | Tuition fees | Scholarships | Enroll & Prepare your stay | Contact

Start your application

!Please read this webpage BEFORE you submit an application. Incomplete applications will be rejected.

Master in Architectural, Civil, Chemical and Materials, Electrical and Electromechanical Engineering
Advanced Master in  European Integration
Advanced Master in International and European Law
European Master of Science in Photonics
Master in Urban Studies (4CITIES)
Master in Urban Studies (VUB/ULB)
Application in framework of scholarship
All other programs at VUB* Apply
 * The application website is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Please use Chrome or Firefox.

Available programmes

 An overview of our English-taught programmes can be consulted below. Programs not listed here are taught in Dutch.

International students may also apply for a Dutch program; however a proof of Dutch language proficiency will be requested upon time of enrollment.

Program Remarks
00579 Bsc Social Sciences Motivation letter is obligatory for student who require a visa. Higher language requirements!
00629 Bsc Business Economics Motivation letter is obligatory for student who require a visa. Higher language requirements!
00243 Msc Applied Computer Science  
00262 Msc Computer Science  
  Msc in Engineering (BRUFACE) pre-apply via BRUFACE (COMPULSORY!)
00397 MSc Biology Only as self-supporting student.
00190 Msc Biomolecular Sciences  
00399 Msc Biomedical Engineering  
00532 Msc Business and Technology  Higher language requirements!
00537 Msc Chemistry  
00411 Msc Communication Studies: New Media and society + Journalism and Media  Higher language requirements!
00419 Msc Educational Sciences  
 00232 Msc in Photonics  Apply via the link above
 00531 MA Linguistics and Literary Studies  
 00244 Msc Geography  
00224 Msc Managament for students without an economic backgroud. Higher language requirements!
 00235 Msc International Business Higher language requirements!
 00392 Msc Marine and Lacustrine Science only as self-supporting student
 00192 Msc Molecular Biology only as self-supporting student
 00171 Msc Physical Land Resources  
 00538 Msc Physics and Astronomy  
 00294 Msc in Urban Studies (4CITIES) Apply via  http://www.4cities.eu/ 
00294 Msc in Urban Studies (VUB/ULB) apply via www.masterurbanstudies.eu
  Msc Water Resource Engineering Apply via KUL
  Advanced Master in Disaster Medicine Apply via www.dismedmaster.com
 00196 Advanced Master in Economics of globalisation and European Integration Higher language requirements!
00151 Advanced Master in  European Integration apply via IES
00106 Advanced Master in Gerontological Sciences  
 00058 Advanced Master in International and European Law apply via IES
  Advanced Master in Nuclear Engineering Apply  via  BNEN 
  PhD consult the PhD website
  Postgraduates information can be found here
 00530 Postgraduate in Economic Diplomacy  
 00540 Postgraduate in International Trade and Investment  
 00541 Postgraduate Flagship Programme in Economic Diplomacy and International Business  
 00269 Postgraduate in China Business Development  



Please make sure you apply for the English taught variant of your program. To be sure remember the program n°, you will need it when you apply via the application tool. If you apply for a program taught in Dutch a language test for Dutch B2 level is a requirement in order to apply. Click here for a preview.


When to apply

Prospective students are advised to apply as soon as possible, even if they have not yet obtained their degree.

General deadlines:

Students who require visa (non-EEA)**
students who don't require visa (EEA)
June 1st, 2017
administrative cost: 100€*
June 1st, 2017
administrative cost: NA

Specific deadlines

Bachelor in Social Sciences
EEA-students: September 18th
non-EEA students: June 1st* --> administrative cost: 100€
EEA-students: September 12th
non-EEA students: March 24th
European  Master of Science in Photonics
non-EEA via masterphotonics procedure: February 5th
non-EEA via VUB application: April 1st
EEA candidates: June 1st via VUB application
September 1st
EEA-students: June 1st
non-EEA students: June 15th
no deadline, no administrative cost
All programs for which the application is completed via another website or platform (see above)
consult the application website of the program
*All visa required students who apply after March 31st (and before June 1st, as this is the deadline) will be charged an administrative cost of 100€.This cost can only be paid via bank transfer. Creditcards or other forms of payment are not accepted. Please note that all costs related to this transfer are the applicants resposibility. After the payment has been received your file will be screened by our offices. This administrative cost is in no way refundable.
Only students who obtained a recognised scholarship via our International Relations and Mobility office (IRMO) will receive an administrative cost waiver via IRMO. Scholarship students must upload this waiver in order to be exempted from the fee.
If you wish to avoid the cost of an application fee, we advise you to apply before April 1st.
**This is determined based on your nationality. Whether or not you already have a visa or residence permit for Belgium does not change the fact that an administrative cost will be charged.

Required documents to apply

Students who wish to apply need a number of documents in order to hand in a complete application file.

!Please note that all documents need to be provided in English, French or Dutch. If your original documents are not in one of these languages you will need to get them translated via a sworn translator and submit them together with the documents in the original language.

The requested documents can be consulted in the table below:

  Passport Passport picture High school degree Bachelor Degree + transcripts[1] Master degree + transcripts[2] Proof of language proficiency Motivation letter 2 Reference letters [3] CV Enrollment form PhD Research proposal
Bachelor program x x x     x x        
Master program (general guideline) x x   x   x x x      
Msc Management x x   x   x x        
Msc Communication studies x x   x   x x        
Master-after-Master x x   x x x x        
PhD x x   x x    x  x x x x
[1] Students who are not graduated yet and are in their final year need to provide us with an enrollment certificate and transcripts as complete as possible
[2] See 1
[3] Academic reference letters are obligatory unless you apply for a program in management, communication studies or linguistics. In this case reference letter of employers are accepted too. The use of provided templates is not obligatory. 
[4] This list is complete and up-to-date. If the application tool requests different or extra document please note that the documents listed in the online tool are no longer applicable for the program of your choice.
Students with a Chinese diploma need to obtain the APS certificate, when applying at a Flemish higher education institution. An APS certificate is a condition for obtaining a student visa at the Belgian Embassy or Consulates General in PR China.
APS procedure
In order to start up the procedure, students need to contact the APS administration in Beijing (info@aps.org.cn) .
The screening consists of 2 phases:
  1. Authenticity screening of documents (diplomas, certificates, exam results,..). Either the student’s home institution will be contacted, or databases of graduates issued by the Chinese Ministry of Education will be consulted.
  2. Academic interview (in Beijing or by a travelling jury): testing the language knowledge and defining the student’s level.
The APS-certificate is not requested during the application process, but will be required when you apply for a student visa and/or enroll. Please note that our office does not offer assitance with the APS-procedure. Scholarship holders should contact IRMO for further assistance.

How to apply

The application procedure consists of several steps, as depicted above. You will receive a confirmation email after having finished each step. If your application is rejected, you will be informed. Keep in mind that the time needed to screen an application may vary between faculties.

  1. Online application
  2. Screenig Admission Office
  3. Screening faculty
  4. Formal check
  5. Result


Step  1: Apply Online.

The application consists out of a number of steps (click here for a preview).
You will be asked to create an account first. Ater you will be asked fill out your
  1. personal details
  2. privacy preferences
  3. prior education (secondary and higher)
  4. social services
  5. program request
  6. document chechlist
  7. intake survey
  8. finish your application !before deadline
If you are applying for a PhD please consult this website for more information regarding the admission procedure and requested documents.
A detailed manual can be downloaded here:
If you have any questions: check the manual, our SOS application webpage or contact the Admission Office via Admission Office.
Administrative cost
Students who require visa who apply after March 31st will be charged an administrative cost of 100€. You will receive the payment details via e-mail 1 day after you finish your application.
please note:
  • the administrative cost is never refunded
  • the administrative cost will be charged to all applicants who apply after March 31st and who require a visa (based on their nationality)
  • student who already have a Schengen visa or residence permit for Belgium (or another EEA country) are NOT exempted from the administrative cost
  • an unpaid administrative cost will result in the cancellation of the application file

Step 2: Check if file is complete

The Admission Office will check wether your file has all required documents. Make sure your file is complete. Should you encounter issues via the application website to upload your document you should e-mail your documents without delay to admissions@vub.ac.be and mention your username (V_...).
If your file is incomplete it will be rejected.
If your administrative cost is not paid your application will be rejected

Step 3: Academic screening by faculty

If approved by the Admission Office, your file will be sent to the faculty. The faculty’s Selection Committee will screen your application and decide on its continuation.
You will be notified of this result by e-mail.

Step 4: Formal Screening

If your application passes the faculty’s screening, you may be asked to send in hard copies. If this is the case, the Admission Office will send out an e-mail requesting those hard copies.
Please do not send us hard copies without our specific request.

Step 5: Result

If you are accepted, you will receive a (conditional) Letter of Acceptance by e-mail and (regular) post. You can use the soft copy to start your visa application (if applicable) but please note that the embassy will require the hard copy  in order to issue a visa.
Please note the letter will be sent to the address you provided in the first page of the application website. Make sure your address details are correct to avoid delays.
Please note we only offer conditional letters of acceptance. The conditions can vary from having to follow a preparatory program to having to show your original degree upon time of enrollment. Applicants who wish to receive their letter via courier service can contact the admission office. Your letter will then be kept aside and you will be notified when it's ready. You can then order a pick up via courier service of your choice. All charges for this service are the applicants responsability.

Language requirements

  • All prospective students need to provide a proof of sufficient knowledge of English (or Dutch if applying for a Dutch programme) by meeting one of the criteria as stipulated in our Teaching- and Exam regulation. (! these are general guidelines, some programs may request a higher level)
  • This proof can be provided by presenting a language test (exhaustive list) or a certificate of your home institution that your language of instruction (download attestation to be completed by your home institution) is/was English (or Dutch when applying for a Dutch taught program.
  • Language tests cannot be older than 2 years
  • Please note that a higher level may be requested based on the program you apply for. All economic programs request a higher level in English (TOEFL iBT min. score 80 and IELTS min. score 6.5). Consult the program pages for more information.
Language tests

Please note that the language requirements need to be met before you can enroll at our university.

Should you wish to apply while still in the process of obtaining your test result or certificate your application can proceed no further than step 3.

Academic requirements

Bachelor programmes

When you apply for a Bachelor programme you need to have a secondary school credential that grants you access to a Bachelor degree in your home country . Some credentials obtained in the EEA are deemed equivalent to a Flemish degree of secondary education and grant direct access (if you also have a proof of language proficiency) to our Bachelor programmes. You can find the list here:

List of equivalent secondary school certificates.

Master and Advanced Master programmes

When you apply for a master programme you need to have a bachelor degree (or equivalent). Each programme has its own specific requirements. After you submit your application, we will verify your degree and transcripts in order to determine whether you are eligible for the programme of your choice. You can consult the respective programme pages for particular pre-requirements.


Please consult the PhD website for more information.


Tuition fees

All Flemish universities in Belgium, including the VUB, are financed by the Flemish government, which results in relatively low tuition fees for students from the European Economic Area (EEA). Tuition fees, however, vary between programmes and are considerably higher for non-EEA students.

You can find all inforation concerning tuition fees on our website.

Tuition fees

Applications in the framework of a scholarship

Please note that you cannot apply for a scholarship via this application website. Please consult the specific scholarship website for instructions on how to apply.

Scholarship opportunities


When you are accepted

When you are accepted as a student, you can start preparing your arrival and stay in Brussels. All preparatory information for students can be found on MY.VUB.

After the application procedure you will need to enrol in order to become a VUB student. You can find all information concerning our enrolments here.


Contact us

We are availble for all your questions concerning your application. Click here to contact us.


Useful documents and links: