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Admission and application for International Business Administration

Do you want to apply for our Bachelor in International Business Administration? 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.


It was possible to register in Studielink for IBA until January 15, 2018. The deadline of January 15 has passed: if you did not register in Studielink before this date, it is no longer possible to submit an application for this program. Did you register in Studielink for International Business Administration in time? You will have the time to complete your application in MySAS until February 15th, 2018.

Admission requirements

Before you apply for the International Business Administration 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, but there are many others. You can find out whether your non-Dutch diploma meets our admission requirements on our page about foreign diplomas.

  • Since the Bachelor International Business Administration 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)
    • 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. 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

Registration in Studielink

International Business Administration is a Numerus Fixus program, which means it is a study program with a limited amount of seats, 500 to be precise.  Please be aware that if you want to apply for this program at Tilburg University, you need to register 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 register in Studielink before 15 January 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.

Application package

Do you meet the requirements? Then you're ready to apply! As stated above, application for International Business Administration is done through our online application system, MySAS. Please take into account the deadline of January 15th for Studielink (see above) and February 15th for completion of your application in MySAS. Only applications that are complete will be assessed for eligibility.

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 receive 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 International Business Administration. Your letter should not exceed two pages in length, and it should answer the following questions:

  • Why did you make the choice of studying International Business Administration and why at Tilburg University?
  • Why have you decided to apply for an international program and can you describe a relevant experience in an international setting?
  • What makes you a suitable candidate for the program?
  • Is there any additional information you would like to share with us, for instance future career plans, ambitions etc.

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 experiences 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 International Business Administration 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

A selection committee reviews all complete applications to the International Business Administration program. Several factors play a role in the assessment of your application. Firstly, we look at your current performance in courses relevant to the International Business Administration program, such as mathematics, economics, business, or management & organization. It is necessary that you have passed your mathematics course with a satisfactory (passing) grade during secondary school.

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 academic transcript and grades count for 50% of the application, your motivation the other 50%. Your CV serves as support, for us to get a complete image of who you are.

Phase 3

After all applications have been assessed, you will receive a place on a ranking list, 1 being the highest place. The closer your ranking is to number 1, the higher your chance of receiving a place in the program. For academic year 2018-2019, there will be 500 places available in the International Business Administration program.

  • Is your place on the ranking between 1 and 500? Congratulations! This means you have been awarded a place in the program.
  • Is your ranking number 501 or higher? This means you are not directly admitted to the program, but you are placed on the waiting list. The closer your ranking number is to 500, the greater your chance to receive a place, as not all students with a ranking from 1 to 500 will accept their offer.

You will be informed about your ranking number on April 15, 2018. All ranking numbers for Numerus Fixus programs in the Netherlands will be released on this date. How will this work?

  1. You will receive an email from Studielink where your ranking number is revealed to you
  2. If your ranking is within the top 500, you will receive a separate email from Studielink with an offer to accept your place
  3. You will receive an email from Tilburg University where we communicate both your ranking number and instructions of how to proceed

Phase 4: accepting your place in the program

  • If your ranking number is between 1 and 500, and you have received a place in the program, the next step is to accept your place. You have two weeks to accept your place: until midnight, CET, April 29, 2018. You can accept your place by logging in to Studielink and accepting your offer.
  • If you choose not to accept your place, or don’t accept the place in time, your place will be given to the next person on the waiting list.
  • If your ranking number is higher than 500, you are waitlisted. As the highest ranked students decide to accept or decline their place, new places will open up. Therefore it is still possible for you to receive a place in the program at a later stage. If a place is awarded to you at a later stage, you will receive a message about this via email, both from Tilburg University and Studielink, and you will have two weeks to accept your place in the program via Studielink.

Phase 5

Accepting your place means you inform us that you are coming, but that’s not the end of the process. From the beginning of July onwards, you will receive further instructions regarding official enrollment. Your admission remains conditional until you have submitted all the documentary proof to 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.


The application deadline for programs without a Numerus Fixus is May 1. If you have been waitlisted, you could consider applying for another study program in the Netherlands. Based on your ranking number, you can estimate your chances of still receiving a place, and whether it is smart to create a different application as a backup. You can always contact the admissions officer for advice.


Applying for the International Business Administration program was possible between October 1, 2017 and January 15, 2018. On January 15, 2017 at Midnight, CET, Studielink closed. Did you register in Studielink for International Business Administration on time? Great! You have the time to complete your application in MySAS until February 15, 2018.

Did you miss the Studielink registration deadline of January 15? Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to apply for this program.

Is there a problem with your Studielink registration, do you need assistance or do you have any questions? Please get in touch with our admissions office directly.  

International Business Administration only offers a fall intake. The program starts in the last week of August.

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 International Business Administration 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 arrival 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 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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