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Admission and application for Economics

Do you want to apply for our Bachelor in Economics? Please note that the information on this page is intended for international applicants: students with a non-Dutch educational background. If you have obtained a Dutch diploma, such as a VWO or HBO diploma, regardless of your nationality, we kindly refer you to our application page for Dutch students. If you have 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

Keep in mind that it is essential that you apply in both systems. If you neglect to do so and only apply in one system, we will not be able to admit you to the program.


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 the Economics program, please make sure that you meet the following requirements:

  • You have a secondary school diploma* which is equivalent to the Dutch VWO diploma. Examples of diplomas which are accepted are the IB, EB, Abitur, Swiss Maturité, etc. You can find out whether your non-Dutch diploma meets our admission requirements.
  • Since the Economics program is taught entirely in English, you 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, minimum score of 5.5 on individual parts);
    • 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 Examination (CPE, score A, B or C) or Cambridge Advanced English (CAE, score A, B or C).

*You are welcome to apply when you are in the final year of your secondary education and you have not obtained your diploma yet, but will be graduating before the start of your program at Tilburg University.

Mathematics requirements

Mathematics is a required course. This means that even if you have a recognized diploma, you must be able to prove that you have a sufficient level of Mathematics. Some more information about the level of mathematics is mentioned on our mathematics requirements page.

Are you worried, or even certain that you might not meet the mathematics requirement? We advise you to always contact the admissions office first and apply for admission to the program. This is the best way to check whether you meet the math requirements. The admissions officer can also tell you what you can do to work on this.  You may need to take an additional math exam that is equivalent to the Dutch VWO diploma standard (Wiskunde A). Trainings and exams are taken for example at the Boswell-Beta Institute. 

Not directly eligible for admission?

If you are not directly eligible for admission, you could consider to take part in the  foundation year. During this foundation year, you will work on any deficient academic skills, math skills and English skills. The foundation year will give you the perfect preparation for a Bachelor's degree at Tilburg University!

Registration in Studielink

Studielink, is a centralized system that is run by DUO (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs, a department from the Ministry of Education). It is essential you apply in Studielink before July 1st 2018; if you neglect to do this and only apply to Tilburg University, we will not be able to admit you to the program! Registration in Studielink is crucial, and only takes a few minutes, so we recommend you do it right away.


Please note: make sure you register in Studielink for the program “B-Economics”. In Studielink you can also find the program “B-Economics and Business Economics” and “B-Business Economics”, but these are programs taught in Dutch! It is important that you register for the correct program in Studielink.

Application package

Do you meet the requirements? Then you're ready to apply! You can apply for Economics through our online application system, MySAS. There you will upload your application package.

Your application package must contain the following documents:

  1. Your diploma(s) and grade list(s). If you have not obtained your diploma yet, please enclose your most recent transcript of your records and grade list(s) and/or predicted grades. If you are selected for the program, you can send in your diploma once you get it, and before you start your studies at Tilburg University.
  2. A legalized translation of all documents / certificates, transcripts of records / lists of grades and other documents if these are not already in Dutch, English, French or German.
  3. A motivation letter (guidelines below)
  4. A curriculum vitae (guidelines below)
  5. A copy of your passport
  6. The results of an English language test (please see 'Admission requirements' to determine which tests are accepted by Tilburg University)
  7. For Chinese applicants only: Nuffic Certificate (formerly known as NESO Certificate). For information how to obtain a Nuffic Certificate, please visit the website of NESO China.

Motivation Letter

Your motivation letter is your chance to show us why you are a good fit for Economics. Your letter should not exceed two pages in length, and it should answer the following questions:

  • Why do you want to study Economics?
  • Why Economics and not another program (such as Business or Econometrics)?
  • Why did you choose Tilburg University?
  • What makes you a suitable candidate for this program?
  • You can consider certain qualities or competences, contribution in class, extracurricular activities, relevant experience or projects you’ve participated in, etc.
  • Describe an experience you had in an international setting. What did you learn from it?
  • What do you hope to learn, or what side of yourself do you hope to develop by studying Economics at Tilburg University?

Please use our template to create your motivation letter.

Curriculum Vitae

A curriculum vitae (CV) is a summary of all your work experience and skills. When you have limited or no work experience yet, it may seem difficult to create a CV. However, there are many life and educational experiences which have shaped the person you are today. These can range from extracurricular activities to courses you’ve taken or internships and exchanges you’ve taken part in. Even a visit to a company, organization or social institution can be relevant to your development as a person.

If you have never created a CV before, you can use our guidelines to create a CV. Make sure that your CV does not exceed 2 pages, and that it mentions at least the following:

  • Personal information (name, address, contact details, etc)
  • Profile
  • Educational background
  • Extra courses or special programs followed
  • Professional experience (if applicable)
  • Additional activities
  • Skills (Languages, other skills)
  • Interests and additional information

Sending documents via regular mail

It is not necessary to send us certified copies of your documents right away. You can apply via the online application system, and upload your documents there. Submitting certified copies of your documents is necessary for enrollment. If you are conditionally accepted to the program, you will be prompted to send us certified copies of your documents.

Application process

As you apply for the bachelor Economics at Tilburg University, you will go through an application and selection process that transgresses through several phases. Please read this paragraph carefully, so that you fully understand the process and are aware of all important deadlines.

Phase 1

  • Register via Studielink
  • Submit your application via our online application system, MySAS

All complete applications which have been submitted before the application deadline will be considered. Read the sections above carefully to ensure you are submitting all necessary documents.

If any documents are missing, you will receive a notification via email. When your application is complete, you will receive a confirmation of this.

Phase 2

Our admissions committee reviews all complete applications to the Economics program. Several factors play a role in the assessment of your application. Firstly, we look at your current performance in courses relevant to the Economics program, such as mathematics, economics, business, or management & organization.

Besides grades, the motivation plays a large role as well. It’s important that you have really thought your decision to apply through. We like to get to know you, your aspirations and dreams, and your goals in life, to find out whether you are a good fit for our program. Your CV serves as support, for us to get a complete image of who you are.

  • 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

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

  • A positive admission advice means that we believe that this program will be a good match for you and you will proceed to Phase 4.
  • A negative admission advice means that we do not feel that this program is a good match for you and we would advise against you starting this program of study. We strongly encourage you to follow this advice.

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

Phase 4

From the beginning of July onwards, you will receive further instructions regarding official enrollment. Your admission remains conditional until you have filed in all the documentary proof that you  meet all the admission requirements. This can be, for example, submitting the results of your English proficiency test, or a certified copy of your diploma. The specific requirements you need to meet will be stated in your conditional letter, which will be sent to you via email.

After you have fulfilled all the requirements, your conditional admission is converted into unconditional admission. 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 mailbox and use an email address which you check regularly. Add the email 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.

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 Economics 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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