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Application and admission: Research Master in Linguistics and Communication Sciences - international procedure

This is the international application and admission procedure for the Research Master in Linguistics and Communication Sciences.

Please read before continuing

Are you applying with a Bachelor's diploma from a non-Dutch educational institution*?

Then you must follow the international procedure below.

Follow the procedure below

Are you applying with a Bachelor's diploma obtained in the Netherlands? 


Then you must follow the national procedure. 

Go to the national procedure

*including Suriname, Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba

a) Check your eligibility

1. Educational background

Education requirements

You must have completed an undergraduate program in the relevant field with excellent grades (7.5 out of 10 according to the Dutch Grading System) or will complete an undergraduate program before the end of the academic year.

  • You have a Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline with an average score of 7.5 (out of 10) on your preliminary examinations in the second and third years of your completed Bachelor's program, and a minimum score of 8 on your final Bachelor's thesis, or equivalent scores for these study units in a non-Dutch higher education system.
  • Or, you have a Master's degree in a relevant discipline with an average score of 7.5 (out of 10) on your preliminary examinations of your completed Master's program, and a minimum score of 8 on your final Master's thesis, or equivalent.

In certain cases, other factors can be equally decisive. If you do have a Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline but do not meet the above mentioned criteria, you are still welcome to apply. The Admissions Board decides for every request individually whether you are eligible for admission or not. It takes approximately four to six weeks to review a request. Good to know is that applying is free of charge and you are not obliged to continue the application procedure after having received an answer to your request.

2. English language requirements

You must prove your proficiency in English by submitting the results of one of the following tests:

IELTS Academic: minimum overall band score of 7.0 and a minimum score of 6.5 on all individual parts of the test. 

  • We do not accept IELTS Online.  

TOEFL iBT: minimum total score of 100 for (TOEFL iBT: Computer based and Paper Edition) at a test center. 

  • We only accept scores from a single test date. We do not accept MyBest Scores. 
  • We accept TOEFL iBT Home Edition only under exceptional circumstances, such as when on-site language test centers are closed or inaccessible due to unsafe situations in a country. 

Cambridge C2 proficiency: we accept a score of A, B, or C.

Please note 

  • The test results must not be older than two years at the time of application. 
  • You must be able to prove your English language proficiency at the time of application. Without test results your application cannot be processed unless you are exempted. 

An English proficiency test is not required if one of the following applies to your situation: 

  • You hold a passport from one of the following countries
    Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States of America. 
  • You have studied and completed your entire Bachelor's or Master's program in one of the following countries
    Australia, Canada (with the exception of Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States of America. 

For all other countries and situations, the English language test is compulsory

For information and registration details regarding the tests, including applicable fees, please visit the official websites of IELTS, TOEFL, and Cambridge.

b) Remember the deadline

You must submit your application in our online application system before the deadline that applies to you.

EEA nationals
  • Application deadline for starting end of August: July 1
  • Application deadline for starting end of January: December 1

Please note:

  • Applicants with a Swiss citizenship can follow the deadline for EEA nationals.
Non-EEA nationals
  • Application deadline for starting end of August: April 1
  • Application deadline for starting end of January: October 1

Please note:

  • UK citizens should follow the deadline for non-EEA nationals.
  • Applicants with a non-EEA nationality and a valid residence permit of an EEA country, other than the Netherlands, should apply before the non-EEA deadline.
  • Applicants with a non-EEA nationality and a valid residence permit of the Netherlands, can follow the deadline for EEA nationals. The residence permit should be valid until at least up to the intended start date of your study program.
Research Master Scholarship

If you are applying for a scholarship, please carefully read the information provided for this scholarship on our tuition fees and scholarships page.

  • Certain scholarships will require you to apply before the application deadline of the program at Tilburg University.
  • If your scholarship application requires you to be (conditionally) admitted by Tilburg University, please take into consideration when applying for admission at Tilburg University, that it can take at least six weeks for you to receive your (conditional) Admission Letter.

Tuition fee waiver procedure and selection
To support excellent students with potential academic talent who desire to pursue the Research Master in Linguistics and Communication Sciences, Tilburg University grants a maximum of 3 waivers per cohort. Our initiative aims to remove financial barriers, enabling deserving individuals to pursue their educational aspirations.

The tuition fee waiver consists of a waiver up to the statutory tuition fee (€2,530 for the academic year 2024-2025). The waivers are granted for the nominal duration of study (two years). This means that waivers will be renewed for the second year of the master’s program. 

Note: if students face study delay after the standard two-year study period, they can no longer claim the waiver for the remaining time.

Waiver eligibility criteria

  • Excellent students who meet all eligibility requirements for the Research Master, as stipulated on this page, with a start date of September 2024. Students who start the program in February are not eligible for the waiver.
  • Non-EEA nationals
  • Dutch and EEA nationals who already obtained a Master's degree in the Netherlands

Waiver application deadline
Prospective students who wish to be considered for the tuition fee waiver must apply for the program before April 1st 23:59 CET. Selection will only start after the deadline. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered for the waiver. Tilburg University cannot be held responsible for late and/or incomplete applications.

How to apply
Apply online for admission to the Research Master's program at Tilburg University before the aforementioned waiver deadline. 

Waiver Selection criteria
Eligible candidates will be selected for the tuition fee waiver based on the following criteria:

  • Meeting the general eligibility requirements for the Research Master’s program
  • Academic quality and promise in the proposed field of study
  • The academic fit with our Research Master’s program at Tilburg University
  • Your motivation for the Research Master’s program (academic and personal motivation), as expressed in the motivation letter.

Waiver selection process
Step 1: The faculty selection committees will select the candidates who qualify for a waiver and invite them for an online interview. All qualified applicants will receive an interview invitation via email in the first half of May.
Step 2: The interviews will take place in the first half of June. 
Step 3: All applicants will receive an email notifying them whether they have been awarded the waiver in the third week of June. 
Step 4: Students who receive the waiver should accept the offer, by signing and returning the award letter, by July 1st.

c) Follow the procedure for international applicants

For a step-by-step guide through the application process, please watch our video How to apply for a Master's program as an international student (12:32).

Make sure you apply for the correct study program
  • The name of this Research Master's program in Studielink:
    M Linguistics and Communication Sciences (research) (CROHO-code: 60960)
Step 1: Prepare your application documents

During the application process, you must upload the following documents in pdf format only.

  1. Copy Passport / ID card
    Please check the exact requirements, including the minimum validity of your passport or ID card, on the webpage Documents to verify your identity.
  2. Diploma(s)
    Your Bachelor's (and Master's) diploma(s), if you already have them.
    • If you have not yet completed your higher education study program, you should upload a provisional transcript with your grades up to this point (see 2). Once conditionally admitted, you must send a certified hard copy of your diploma to us, according to the details in your conditional Admission Statement.
    • If you already have completed your higher education study program but have not yet received your diploma, you can provide us with a Graduation Statement from your university that states you have completed all graduation requirements for your study program and the date the diploma will be awarded. Such a statement must have an original seal/stamp and signature.
  3. Transcript of Records
    This is a list from your University of the courses you have taken in your Bachelor's (and Master's) degree, with the grades you have achieved.  This must be an official list from your University, not your results downloaded from the University’s student system. If you have not yet completed all courses at the time of application, please provide the Transcript plus a list of the courses you still need to complete before graduation.
  4. For Chinese applicants only: Online Verification Report 
    Please upload an Online Verification Report of your Bachelor’s/Master’s Diploma Certificate (学士学位证书) and Graduation Certificate (毕业证书) and a Verification Report of your Transcript of Records (成绩单) in English. Make sure to request the reports on time via China Credentials Verification | CSSD (

    *If you don’t have the Online Verification Report(s) in time of submitting your application, please upload your Transcript or Records, Diploma Certificate, and Graduation Certificate.  

  5. Official translations of the Transcript of Records and diploma(s)
    If your Transcript of Records and diploma are not in English or Dutch, a certified translator must translate the documents (with the exception of the course description and the thesis/research paper). The translator must attach the translation to copies of the original document and stamp both documents. Please note: we cannot accept translations that are not attached to a copy of the original document; the translator must make sure that s/he stamps the copy of the original document and attaches the two documents to each other.
  6. English language test results (unless you are exempted).
    You can check the requirements above under the heading 'English language requirements'. Please note that it is obligatory to have obtained the required English language test results before submitting your application.
  7. Statement of purpose (motivation letter).
    You must use this format (pdf) to write your motivation letter.
  8. Resume / Curriculum vitae.
  9. Statistics checklist. Please complete the checklist (pdf) as requested.
  10. Two letters of recommendation.
  11. A copy of your Bachelor's or Master's thesis or an essay completed during your studies
    The thesis must be written in English and contain at least 1500 words.
    • If you have not yet written a thesis, you must upload a dedicated writing sample, for instance, an academic essay or a research proposal. If you do not have a writing sample in English, please provide a writing sample in the original language in combination with a summary in English, which you have to write yourself.  The summary should consist of at least 1500 words.
Step 2: Register in Studielink

You must register in Studielink, the Dutch national registration system for higher education, and include the information below. Please do this correctly otherwise we will not be able to process your application.

  • Make sure you register for the correct study program as described above.
  • Enter your personal details (including your full name) as stated in your passport.
  • Add details of all your educational programs leading to your Bachelor's, Master's or PhD degree, even if you did not complete the program.
  • Enter an e-mail address that you use regularly. Tilburg University will send important information to this e-mail address, so please check it regularly.
  • For instructions on how to register via Studielink, please watch our video How to register in Studielink or check the Step-by-step plans on the Studielink website.

Register in Studielink

Please note: you must follow the application procedure in step 3 to be considered for admission. Registration in Studielink alone is not sufficient. Both processes must be completed by the deadline stated above.

Step 3: Continue your application in our online application system

After you have registered in Studielink, you must continue your application in OSIRIS Aanmeld, our online application system.

Within 48 hours of your registration in Studielink, you will receive two e-mails from Tilburg University. Please also check your spam/junk inbox. 

  • One e-mail contains your OSIRIS Aanmeld account details as well as information on how you can start your application in OSIRIS Aanmeld. If you have not received this e-mail within 48 hours of your registration in Studielink, please first check if you have completed the details of your prior education correctly. If you have not received this email after correction, please contact
  • The other e-mail contains your Tilburg University account details (your student number and Tilburg University e-mail address). You will not need these details for your application, but please save them carefully, as you will need them at a later stage.

For instructions on how to apply via OSIRIS Aanmeld, please watch our video How to apply for a Master in OSIRIS Aanmeld (07:06).

Some tips for your application:

  • If you want to upload a document with more than one page, scan each page of the document into one PDF.
  • You do not have to complete your application in one go. You can save your application and return to it later.

Submit your application before the deadline as stated above

If you submit your application either close to or on the deadline, but have not uploaded the correct documents, Tilburg University reserves the right not to process your application.

After submitting your application

Our International Admissions Coordinator will check that your application is complete, according to the requirements above.

You can check your application status anytime you log in to your account in OSIRIS Aanmeld.

Step 4: Admissions Committee's decision

After your application is complete, your application will be assessed to determine whether your academic background meets our admission requirements, based on your application documents.

Within four to six weeks of the start of this process, you will receive the Admissions Committee's decision by e-mail.

Below are the possible outcomes of your application:

  • Admission to the Master's program
    This means that you have been admitted directly to the Master’s program for which you have applied. 
    • Your admission may be conditional upon, e.g.,  your graduation from your current program. The conditional admission letter will state what you need to do to turn your conditional admission into unconditional admission. Please read it carefully and contact your International Admissions Coordinator if you have any questions.
    • After you have met all the conditions of admission, you will receive your unconditional admission letter via e-mail.
  • Rejection
    This means that the Admissions Committee considers your academic background to be unsuitable for admission to our Master's program. Your registration in Studielink will be cancelled.
Step 5: Admitted, what's next?

Congratulations on being admitted to Tilburg University, either conditionally or unconditionally! 

You may be wondering what the next steps are. To ensure a smooth (and stress-free) start of your studies, we have prepared a timeline to give you an overview of the things you need to arrange before the start of your studies.

On the timeline you can find information about:  

  • Completing your enrollment  
  • Paying your tuition fees 
  • Tips on finding accommodation (if applicable) 
  • Books and schedule 
  • Introduction activities like TOP week and your (mandatory) Study Program Introduction

Go to the Welcome page

Register as a subsidiary student at Radboud University Nijmegen

It is strongly advised to register as a subsidiary student at Radboud University Nijmegen as soon as your registration at Tilburg University is complete. As you will follow courses both in Nijmegen and Tilburg, you need to register at both universities. For Tilburg University research master students, registration as a subsidiary student at Radboud University is free. 
Please follow this procedure to register as a subsidiary student. 

Tilburg University complies with all the requirements of the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) regarding all personal information included in the application process, including photocopies of passports/residence permits, etc. For more information, please refer to our Privacy Statement.

Do you have any questions?

Please feel free to contact us for your personal queries. You can contact us on every page of the Master's website.