Solid theoretical background and hands-on experimental skills

The Master in Chemistry is a two-year (120 ECTS) advanced study in chemistry. This MSc program benefits from the expertise in the different research domains of both Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Ghent University (UGent). We offer a high-level scientific education that combines a solid theoretical background with real hands-on experimental skills and critical thinking. At VUB, you work in modern, state-of-the-art labs and you are part of a dynamic interuniversity research group. The close ties with the VUB’s bio- and civil engineering departments also illustrate the multidisciplinary nature of our chemistry teaching. The experience you gain during your studies provides direct access to a PhD within the fields of organic, environmental or computational chemistry.

A personal approach

The Department of Chemistry highly values a personal approach, which manifests itself in lectures and extensive practical exercises in small groups. You have easy access to professors and teaching staff, who are available to coach you throughout your studies.

A wide choice of optional courses makes it possible to tailor your study program to your specific interests. You are also encouraged to carry out an internship in Belgium or abroad.

International Solvay Institutes

Chemistry in Brussels goes back to 1913, when Ernest Solvay founded the International Institute for Chemistry. In 1970, the Solvay family in association with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) founded and independent body, the International Institutes for Physics and Chemistry, to continue this important quest for the advancement of scientific knowledge. Over the years, these institutes have remained symbols of scientific excellence. The Solvay Institute organises conferences and meetings that attract and invite the most prominent chemists, and VUB's Chemistry Department is proud of this tradition.

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2 specialisation tracks,
1 degree

You have the choice between two specialisations: Analytical and Environmental Chemistry, and Chemical Theory, (Bio-)Molecular Design and Synthesis.

No matter what specialisation you choose, you graduate with the same Master of Science in Chemistry degree. During your studies at VUB you will acquire the most solid formation as a chemist and you will have the chance to participate in high-level research. In the framework of your Master dissertation you will be involved in fundamental and applied research and we will guide you on how to work out relevant, original and innovative solutions for contemporary issues in the broadly defined field of ‘Chemistry’. The VUB Master of Science in Chemistry is a top choice!

  • Chemical Theory, (Bio-)Molecular Design and Synthesis offers a thorough education in the design and synthesis of organic molecules and polymers, in which medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry and structural analysis feature prominently. In addition, advanced courses in theoretical and quantum chemistry are provided.
  • Analytical and Environmental Chemistry covers a whole range of analytical techniques including advanced chromatography, elemental and isotope analyses, nutrient and organic pollutant analysis. Examples of studies include natural and disturbed processes in water, sediments and atmosphere. A variety of analytical techniques are used, and new sampling and measuring techniques are designed, tested, refined and optimised.


You're probably wondering what your programme will look like. Have a look at the mandatory courses in the overview below.

Students as scientists

The offered courses are strongly embedded in the ongoing research programs of both VUB and UGent. Through intensive collaboration with team members of the different research groups, you have the opportunity to develop and improve your scientific skills. VUB researchers have strong connections both within and outside of Europe, through a wide range of research projects. The tight connection to top notch research means our students are well prepared for a PhD-position in environmental, organic or computational chemistry.

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes describe the intended knowledge and understanding, skills and attitudes that you must master after completing your studies.

Do you want to know more about the specific learning outcomes of this programme? Click here for more information.


International experiences give incredible opportunities and memories that last forever. They can also seriously improve your academic performance and your career prospects. That is why we want our students to go out into the world and become true world citizens. At VUB, the world is your oyster!

Conquer the world

During your studies, you have the opportunity to broaden your horizon by spending time abroad for courses, internship or even your Master's thesis. Within Europe, the Department of Chemsitry has Erasmus+ mobility agreements with the following universities:









In addition, there are also multiple possibilities for an exchange outside of Europe. If you opt for the Industry profile, an industrial internship in Belgium or abroad is mandatory.

For more information, don't hesitate to contact the faculty exchange coordinator.

Go abroad?


Where will you go?



A master degree opens doors in many different branches and sectors. You will be able to work in the private sector, (non-) governmental organisations, or continue your academic career as a PhD researcher. Not sure what your next step should be? The VUB helps you with your first steps on the job market.

Chemists wanted!

Did you know that Belgian companies are constantly searching for chemists? In Belgium, chemists are among the best-paying jobs. The Master in Chemistry prepares you for an interesting career in one of the most research intensive and growing sectors worldwide. Graduates work in a wide range of areas: in research, production, laboratories, sales and management. A number of chemists work in government labs, in food safety and research, production of drinking water, waste management and many other environmental aspects. In medical labs, hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry there is also a growing need for chemists.

The profile Industry prepares you for a career in both technical and business aspects of chemistry (e.g. as Quality Assurance Officer, Technical Director, Project Manager, etc.). The profile Research opens the way to a scientific career, focused on research at universities (PhD research), institutes or even industry (e.g. as Pharmaceutical R&D manager, Compound Development Team Leader, Expert Analytical Development, etc.).



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Students who don't have a Flemish degree are required to submit an online application for permission to study.

Admission criteria

For Bachelors in science, applied science and life sciences, admission will be evaluated based on academic records and skills.

To be accepted applicants should have the equivalent of at least an upper second class honours degree (overall mark of more than 70%) and have written a Bachelor’s dissertation (with at least 6% weight of the bachelor credits).


  • Chemical Theory, (Bio-)Molecular Design and Synthesis: applicants are required to have a solid background in organic and quantum chemistry.
  • Analytical and Environmental Chemistry: a solid background in analytical/inorganic and organic chemistry is required. Applicants who have a background in environmental chemistry, geochemistry, environmental science and technology are also encouraged to apply.

Online application

Students who don't have a Flemish bachelor degree are required to submit an online application. The application procedure consists out of three steps:

  1. Apply online
    Fill out your personal information and upload your documents.
  2. Screening of your application
    The Admissions Office and the Faculty will check if you are eligible.
  3. Result via e-mail
    If your application is accepted, we will send you a Letter of Acceptance.

All information on the admission procedure, requirements, deadlines and application forms can be found on the application page.

Application deadlines

There are two separate deadlines to submit an application if you are applying with a foreign degree, depending on whether or not you require a visa to enter Belgium.

You can find all information on the application page.

For more details on admission requirements and application

Click here

Practical information

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Depending on your situation, you can either arrange your own accommodation off campus, or apply for a VUB room on campus.




Tuition fee

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How much money do I need?

A general idea of how much money you'll need for housing, food and other living costs in Belgium.


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