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Admission and application for Liberal Arts and Sciences

Have you decided to apply for our program in Liberal Arts and Sciences? On this page you will find a description of our admission and application procedure.

The information on this page is intended for international applicants: students who have a non-Dutch educational background. If you are applying based on a VWO diploma, regardless of your nationality, we kindly refer you to our application page for Dutch students. If you have the Dutch nationality but your educational background is non-Dutch, you can continue reading on this page.

Please note that you will need to apply and register in two different systems:

  1. MySAS, Tilburg University’s online application system
  2. Studielink, the Dutch national registration system for admission to higher education

Since an application in both systems is necessary, when you start working on your application, we encourage you to register in both systems right away.


The regular deadline is May 1, 2018 but has been extended to July 1, 2018 for EU/EEA students. For non-EU/EEA students who require a visa it is not possible to apply anymore.

Admission requirements

Before you apply for one of our English-taught Bachelor’s programs, there are several admission requirements which you must meet with regards to your diploma and English language skills.

Diploma requirements

To be eligible for admission to a research university, you must have a high school diploma that is considered equal to the highest level of secondary education in the Netherlands (the Dutch VWO diploma). Examples of diplomas which are accepted for admission include the

  • Dutch VWO diploma,
  • International Baccalaureate,
  • European Baccalaureate.
  • Most European high school diplomas which allow direct access to a university in your own country, such as the Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife (Germany), Diplôme du Baccalauréate Général (France), Apolytiron (Greece), Diploma za Zavarsheno Sredno Obrazovanie (DZSO) (Bulgaria), or Diploma de Baccalaureate - Filiera Tehnologică/ Teoretică.

You can review a list of most commonly accepted diplomas on our website, or, if your diploma is not listed, submit an application request.

Haven’t obtained your diploma yet? You are welcome to apply when you are in the final year of your secondary education, but only if you will graduate before the start of your program at Tilburg University (at the end of August).

English language requirements

As our Bachelor’s programs are taught entirely in English, you will need to demonstrate your English language proficiency. Tilburg University accepts one of the following tests, which cannot be older than 2 years at the time of application:

  • Academic IELTS (minimum score 6.0 overall and a minimum score of 5.5 for all subscores);
  • TOEFL (minimum score of 80 for the internet based test, 550 no paper based test accepted). TOEFL institutional code of Tilburg University is 9860)
  • Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE, score A, B or C) or Cambridge Advanced English (CAE, score A, B or C).

For a full overview and exceptions, review our paragraph on English language requirements.

Student profile

As a student of Liberal Arts and Sciences, you will all contribute to the quality of your own - and each other’s - learning experience. Our admission process ensures you will be studying alongside other interesting, ambitious and globally-minded students.

For Liberal Arts and Sciences we seek candidates who display:

  • Motivation and a broad range of interests.
  • Ambition and the desire for intellectual challenge and personal development.
  • An international mindset, and who can adapt to a truly multicultural classroom.
  • A high level of self-motivation and self-discipline.
  • An interest in participating in small-scale, interactive classes as well as lectures.
  • A passion for discussion and debate.
  • An interest in developing their ability to think critically and analytically.

Application package

Do you meet the requirements? Then you are ready to apply! You can apply for Liberal Arts and Sciences through our online application system, MySAS.

You will be requested to upload the following documents:

  1. Your diploma(s) and grade list(s). If you have not obtained your diploma yet, please enclose your most recent list of grades and/or predicted grades.
    • Please note that we only accept official grade lists which have been issued by your school and/or academic advisor. A screenshot of your school’s digital environment where you can review your academic progress is not accepted.
    • If you are selected for the program, you must send in a certified copy of your diploma once you get it, and before you start your studies at Tilburg University.
  2. A legalized translation of all documents, transcripts, certificates and grade lists if these are not already in Dutch, English, French or German.
  3. A motivation letter, which includes the following information:
    Who are you? What are your academic experiences so far and what is your life about? Explain us, why are you the right fit for University College Tilburg?
  4. An essay.
    An essay that addresses a societal problem or issue (social, political, moral, or artistic) you have found particularly compelling recently. This is an opportunity for you to display your ability to critically analyze a topic and effectively argue your viewpoint - illustrating your points with supportive evidence. We advise all applicants to write an essay no longer than 800 words.
    Note: The best essay will be awarded the "Best Essay Award" during the introduction day for new students in August. To give you an idea: the Best Essay Award in the academic year 2017/2018 was awarded to Elissa Oueslati for her outstanding and excellent essay titled ‘The Refugee Camp Trap: Resolving the Problem of a Hidden Humanitarian Crisis’.
  5. The results of an English language test.
  6. A copy of your passport (or EEA national ID card). If you have dual citizenship, please upload both ID’s.
  7. If you are a non-EEA national and already live in the Netherlands: your Dutch residence permit (back and front).
  8. For Chinese applicants only: Nuffic (formerly NESO) certificate. For information on how to obtain a Nuffic certificate, please go to the NESO China website.

Please do not send hard copies of your documents to us at this stage. You must apply via the online application system MySAS and upload your documents there. The university maintains the right to request certified copies during the admission process, if this is necessary to evaluate your application. If you are accepted onto the program, you will be requested to send us certified copies of your documents, which are required for your unconditional admission and enrollment.

Application procedure

The application process begins the moment you click on the submit button in MySAS and may take up to ten weeks. This depends on several factors, such as the total number of applications in process, the time of year you apply, your availability for the matching interview and the completeness of your application. We therefore advise you to apply as soon as possible, rather than until the deadline is really close!

During the admissions process, your Admissions Officer will contact you via e-mail. It is therefore important to keep an eye on your mailbox, and check your spam folder as well.

Please read this paragraph carefully, so that you fully understand the process and are aware of all relevant deadlines and other important information.

Phase 1: Submitting your application

As mentioned above, you must register for Liberal Arts and Sciences in two different places.

When registering in Studielink, make sure you pick the correct program. In Studielink, Liberal Arts and Sciences is listed as: Liberal Arts and Sciences.

  • Submit your application via our online application system, MySAS

When applying through MySAS, make sure to select the correct program.

Within one week, the Admissions Officer will check whether your application in MySAS is complete. If your documents are incomplete, you will be asked to submit the missing document(s).

When your application is complete, you will receive confirmation via e-mail, and you will enter Phase 2.

Phase 2: After submitting your application

When your application is complete, the Admissions Committee will determine whether your academic background meets our admission requirements, based on your application documents.

  • If your application does not meet our admission criteria, you will receive a letter via e-mail informing you that your application does not meet our requirements, and that you cannot be admitted to the program. The application process for you will not go further.
  • If your application meets our admissions criteria, you will move to Phase 3 of the process.

Phase 3: Interview

Two of our staff members will be conducting an interview with you, either in person or by Skype. During this interview you will be asked about your academic ambitions, background, personal interests and motivation. Your motivation letter and essay will also serve as input for the interview. The interview is conducted in English and lasts approximately 45 minutes.

Phase 4: Outcome of the admission process

You will be informed about the decision of the Admissions Committee. At this stage, you will receive either positive or negative admission decision.

  • A positive decision means that we believe that this program will be a good match for you and you will proceed to phase 5.
  • A negative decision means that we do not feel that this program is a good match for you and that you will not be admitted into the program.

We will inform you of the Admission Committee’s advice via e-mail.

Phase 5: Unconditional admission

From the beginning of July onwards, you will receive further instructions regarding official enrollment. Your admission remains conditional until you have met the conditions given in your conditional admission letter. This can be, for example, submitting the results of your English proficiency test, or a certified copy of your diploma and/or final list of grades.

After you have met all the requirements, you will receive your unconditional admission letter via e-mail. Conditional admission always means you have to fulfill a requirement, which means turning it into an unconditional acceptance is in your own hands.

To ensure you don’t miss any important messages, please keep a close watch on your e-mail and use an e-mail address which you check regularly. Add the e-mail address of the Admissions Officer to your safe sender list, and check your spam mailbox regularly to ensure you receive all messages sent by our Admissions Officer. Make sure you don’t lose your Studielink password, and regularly check your Studielink account for updates and messages.


We have a rolling admissions procedure, which means that you can apply for the program any time after October 1. The regular deadline is May 1, 2018 but has been extended to July 1, 2018 for EU/EEA students. For non-EU/EEA students who require a visa it is not possible to apply anymore.

We strongly advise you to apply for the program as soon as possible. If you apply right before the deadline it will be more difficult to collect missing documents, or respond to messages from our admissions office about possible problems with your application. It is better not to leave your application to the last moment.

Liberal Arts and Sciences only offers a fall intake (September). It is not possible to start the program in spring.


For the academic year 2018-2019 the Tilburg School of Humanities has three scholarships available for excellent non-EEA students who are admitted to an undergraduate program at the Tilburg School of Humanities (i.e., BA Liberal Arts and Sciences and BA Online Culture: Art, Media and Society).

Read more information about the Scholarships and the selection procedure.

Admitted, what's next?

Accepted? Congratulations! We hope you are excited about your move to Tilburg.

Before you start your studies here, there are some things you need to arrange, such as housing, payment of your tuition fees, visa, and more. To help you, we have created a "Welcome to Tilburg University" guide - specifically for our international students. This guide will take you through the process and the preparations you need to make before you come to Tilburg.

We will create a Facebook group for all admitted students for Liberal Arts and Sciences so that you can get to know your future classmates before you even move to Tilburg. You will receive an invitation to join the Facebook group via e-mail a few months before the start of the academic year.

All Tilburg University students are encouraged to arrive to Tilburg during our Registration Days. After that, you can take part in the Tilburg Orientation Program (TOP Week): a great way to get to know your fellow students and the city of Tilburg. It is the best way to start your studies in Tilburg!

Any questions?

Please feel free to contact us with any personal queries about the program, admissions and enrollment. You can contact us before, during or even after you have submitted your application. Our team will be glad to answer all your questions about studying at Tilburg University and provide you with detailed practical information.

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