Students Tilburg University

Bachelor's-before-Master's rule (Harde Knip)

When applying for a (pre-)Master's program, you are legally required to have completed a Bachelor’s degree before you can start the (pre-)Master’s program. This is called the ‘Bachelor’s-before Master’s rule’ or 'Harde Knip'.

What is the Bachelor's-before-Master's rule (Harde Knip)?

Every applicant for a (pre-)Master’s program at Tilburg University is legally required to complete at least a Bachelor’s degree before being able to start the (pre-)Master’s program. This means that students are not allowed to start the (pre-)Master’s program before fulfilling all requirements of their Bachelor’s degree. This is known as the ‘Bachelor’s-before-Master’s rule’ or ‘Harde Knip’.

Current pre-Master’s students at Tilburg University will have to fulfill all requirements of the pre-Master’s program before they can start the Master’s program.

The Bachelor’s-before-Master’s rule is applied at all Dutch universities. Therefore, current Bachelor’s students of Tilburg University will have to complete their Bachelor’s program before being able to start a (pre-)Master’s program at any university in the Netherlands. If you are facing study delay as a current Bachelor’s student of Tilburg University, you are advised to discuss your study planning with your education coordinator.

Are there any exceptions?

If you were enrolled in an academic Bachelor's program in academic year 2020/2021, you will be admitted to the corresponding Master's program if you have not yet completed the entire program, but still have to complete a maximum of 12 EC from your previous program. The Bachelor's thesis must be completed and you must meet the other admission requirements. This regulation applies to Tilburg University Bachelor’s students and to Bachelor’s students of other universities within the European Economic Area, EEA. This regulation does not apply to students from a university outside the EEA.

  • Bachelor’s students of a university in the Netherlands need to hand in their “completion advice” at the Student Desk before August 31. This advice must be issued by your university. Deposit your copy or copies in the white mailbox of the Student Desk at the reception of Academia building, opening hours on weekdays from 08:30 - 17:30; send your copies to: Tilburg University, Student Desk, PO Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg or attach your copies to the Student Desk contact formThis only applies if you are coming from another educational institution or School; when you shift from a Bachelor's to a Master's program within the same School you do not need the completion advice);
  • Bachelor’s students from a university not in the Netherlands but in the EEA who would like to make use of this regulation should contact the Admissions Office at;
  • You must complete the Bachelor's program before September 1, 2022. If you do not meet this requirement, you will be de-registered from the Master's program;
  • You cannot graduate from the Master's program if you have not obtained your Bachelor's degree;
  • You have to register for both the Bachelor’s and the Master’s to be able to complete your Bachelor. When you pay the statutory fee and follow both programs at a higher education institution in the Netherlands, you only pay once for both enrollments.

PLEASE NOTE: If you were enrolled in an academic Bachelor's program in 2019/2020 and were admitted to the Master's program in 2020/2021 on the basis of this regulation, you must still have completed the Bachelor's program by September 1, 2021. You cannot use this regulation again.