Admissions 20-21

The deadline to apply for the academic year 2020-2021 has passed in the meantime. 

If your non-Flemish degree is equivalent to a Flemish secondary degree or if you have a Naric-Flanders certificate you may have direct admission to one of our programmes. Please contact us about direct admission and the enrolment period. You should still submit an online application on our website.

Please take a look on this webpage for more information on your admission and COVID-19.

Need an application manual? Find it here!

Step 1: Apply online

The first step is to apply via the online application tool.

Please note that for some programmes, such as Bruface (Brussels Faculty of Engineering), you should submit an application via a different application tool.

Check the available programmes and their application tools via this link

Need a manual to submit your application? Find it here! Alternatively, this helpdesk on application and enrolment might be helpful for you.


Not sure what what kind of documents you should upload in your application? This webpage on our helpdesk might prove useful.


We advise you to submit an application as soon as possible. Applications are processed in the order they are submitted. The earlier you submit it, the earlier we can provide you with the result!

You can find the application deadlines on this webpage.

Application fee

Please note you should pay a €50 application fee if you have a non-Belgian diploma. We will send you an email with payment instructions for a bank transfer after applying if you should pay this fee.

Please use the correct reference when making the payment.

Step 2: Screening

  1. Submitted your application? Please make you submit all the required documents before or on the application deadline.
  2. The central Admissions Office will screen your application and coordinate with the relevant departments within the VUB to academically approve your application.
  3. The final step is a formal screening of your application by the Admissions Office after which you will know the final result.

Please be advised the entire process can take up to 10 weeks. You may check the progress of your application via your Student Selfservice.

Step 3: Result of your application

You will be notified of the final result of your application via email.

If you are accepted we will send a Conditional Letter of Acceptance via email only. You may use this soft copy to start your visa application. 

Please make sure to let us know at which Embassy or Consulate you will be applying for a visa. This will allow the VUB to confirm your acceptance directly.

Step 1: Apply online

Fill out your personal information and upload your documents.

Apply online

Step 2: Screening

The Admissions Office and the Faculty will check if you are eligible.

Check progress

Step 3: Final result

If your application is accepted, we will send you a Letter of Acceptance

Letter of Acceptance

Tips and tricks

  • When asked to pay an application fee, please note we cannot process your application until the payment has been deposited into our account.
  • Students who apply for a PhD are exempted from the application fee and deadlines. There is a different application procedure if you have obtained a masters degree in Flanders.


Programmes taught in English

Please find an overview of our English-taught programmes below. Dutch-taught programmes are not included in this overview.

International students may also apply for a Dutch programme. Please take into account that you will need to prove your Dutch proficiency before being accepted. You will find the requirements on this page.

General deadlines

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

  • Before the 1st of April: for non-EEA citizens. This deadline has now passed.
  • Before the 1st of September: for EEA citizens / non-EEA citizens living in Belgium with a valid residence permit. This deadline has now passed.

Please note that your application should contain all the required documents by the relevant deadlines above.

See the tiles below for exceptions to these general deadlines.


Non-EEA nationals: March 15th EEA nationals: September 1st



Deadline September 1st Brussels Diplomatic Academy: June 1st (classes start September 1st)



No deadline, students may apply throughout the academic year.


Application fee

Students with a non-Flemish diploma should pay an application fee of 50 EURO. We will process your application as soon as the fee has been deposited into our account.

You will receive an email with payment instructions. Please read them carefully and use the correct payment reference!

The application fee is non-refundable. However if you are accepted and enrol, the application you paid for that specific programme will be deducted from your tuition fees.

For example: if you submit four applications, you should pay a total of four individual application fees: 200 EURO. Once you are enrolled in that programme, only 50 EURO will be deducted from your tuition fees. 

Bachelor programmes

EEA nationals:

  • passport
  • picture
  • high school diploma (or enrolment certificate when you are in your final year) *
  • transcripts of records *
  • proof of language proficiency

non-EEA nationals

Chinese nationals:

(Advanced) Master programmes

General required documents:

  • passport
  • picture
  • bachelor degree (or enrolment certificate when you are in your final year) *
  • transcript of records *
  • proof of language proficiency

Extra documents per program you apply for (=special requirements)

  • all documents as stated above +
  • motivation letter
    • is an important document for the faculty when they screen your file
    • we advise a motivation letter of 1 page in length
    • you may use the template but it is not obligatory
  • 2 reference letters
    • not required for Master of management and communication studies
    • if you apply for a science program (Biology, Geography, etc) this must be written by an academic
    • you may use the template but it is not obligatory

Chinese nationals:

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. 


Please read the PhD website carefully before you apply online.

Students who obtained their diploma outside of Flanders will need the following documents:

  • Passport photo
  • Identity card or passport
  • Research topic and Research proposal
  • Document 'Application form Registration PhD' (without this document, your application is invalid)
  • CV
  • Diploma + transcripts *
  • Motivation letter (if you have a non-Belgian degree)
  • 2 recommendation letters (if you have a non-Belgian degree)
  • If you are applying in the framework of a joint PhD, please mention this in the uploaded documents.

If you obtained your diploma in Flanders after 2004 you will need:


EEA nationals: Nationals of the European Economic Area
non-EEA nationals: Nationals of countries not listed in the European Economic Area

* A certified translation is necessary as well, if your documents are not drafted in English, Dutch, French or German.

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 examination regulations. These are general guidelines, some programmes may request a higher level, so make sure to check the specific language requirements for the programmes you apply for.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are aware that students may face difficulties to take a test in person. Please note that we also accept the TOEFL IBT Special Home Edition and the IELTS Indicator. These are variants of the classic TOEFL and IELTS tests that you may take at home.

This proof can be provided by presenting results of a language test or documents issued by your home institution (see all the options on this webpage). Please note that language test results cannot be older than 5 years at the moment of application.

It is mandatory that the language requirements are met before you are accepted at the VUB. We do not issue letters of acceptance without it.

PhD applicants are exempted from the language requirements.


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.

These are the general requirements. Each programme can have specific requirements when screening your application file.

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.

These are the general requirements. Each programme can have specific requirements when screening your application file.

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.

Tuition fees


Please note that you can't apply for a scholarship via our online application tool. Follow the instruction on the scholarship website in order to apply for the scholarship.

Scholarship possibilities

COVID-19: additional information

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic unfortunately also affects your start at the VUB, more specifically your enrolment. The VUB has taken certain measures to mitigate these effects. 

The enrolment itself

Contrary to what you are being asked in automated emails, you should not pass by our office to finalise your enrolment. 

We would like to ask you to contact your school so they may directly confirm your diploma at admissions@vub.be . This will allow us to verify your information and allow you to sign the online enrolment contract. 

Visa and health insurance

Belgian embassies and consular posts are no longer issuing visas for an unknown period of time. You will not need a visa into Belgium to enrol at the VUB. Please note however that this is obligatory for the Belgian Government should classes recommence on campus and you wish to travel to Belgium.

The same goes for the health insurance in Belgium, it is not required to enrol but is required if you travel to Belgium.

Admission office

The admission office is in charge of your application file. We will screen your file and check if it is complete. We will send your application to the faculty for an academic evaluation and issue a letter of acceptance if you are accepted.

Do you wish to contact us or do you have any questions about our application process? Use our contact form below!

Contact form

You will find certain questions have been answered already to help you on your way.

Click here

Excellent question! We would normally ask you to make an appointment and pass by to enroll. This is not possible due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Our enrolments will be fully online. We will ask you via email to have your university confirm your degree directly to us. That way we can finalise your enrolment at the soonest after the 1st of July.

Contrary to what may be mentioned on your letter of acceptance, the enrolment will be possible without your visa or health insurance. Please note that should circumstances change and you do travel to Belgium, these documents will be required.

In order for us to finalise your admission we still need to verify your diploma. To this end we require your school to provide us with the following information, sent directly to admissions@vub.be:

  • Your name and surname
  • The title of the degree conferred upon you
  • Date of your graduation.

Please contact us if you cannot provide us with the required documents to finalise your application (such as your proof of English proficiency, transcript of records, etc.). We will review your options with you.

We are currently evaluating the different options and are working on a solution. We should be able to inform you on this by September.

Certain documents may require a form of legalisation depending on the country they were issued and on the type of document itself. This website by the Belgian Government may provide you with more information on the type of legalisation required.

Please take a look on this webpage for more information on the different types of visa.

An APS certificate is obligatory for Chinese students with a Chinese diploma. However, certain exemptions may apply. Please consult this webpage for more information.

We only issue conditional letters of acceptance. The condition is mainly that we need to confirm your diploma but may contain other requirements. It is possible to apply for a visa with your conditional letter of acceptance.