Application process

The application period for the academic year 2020-2021 starts on 1 October 2019. Until then the information on this page is subject to change without prior notice.

Before you start with the application process, we urge you to carefully read the admissions requirements for your specific diploma.

  • IBA is classified as a Numerus Fixus programme. You may only apply for two Numerus Fixus programmes in the Netherlands. Numerux fixus means:

    • a fixed date admission: Applications will be evaluated upon submission but the results will be published on the 15th of April.
    • ranking: Applicants who submit a complete application by the application deadline will be added to the IBA ranking. The top 600 candidates will be offered admission to the programme. All other eligible applicants will be placed waiting list.
    • early deadlines: The ultimate deadline for registering for a numerus fixus programme in the Dutch national student registration system Studielink is 15 January. The Dutch government has determined this deadline and exceptions are not possible.
    • fixed number of spots in the programme set at 600.
  • The first step in the application process is to register in the Dutch national student registration system Studielink (  The application opens on the 10 October, 2018 and closes on 15 January, 2019 at 23:59 CET (Central European Time).

    Registering in Studielink can sometimes be confusing, especially for international students. To help guide you through the registration process we have created a Studielink registration manual.

    If you have any issues while completing the registration, please contact the RSM Admissions Office


    • If you have already made a Studielink account last year, but can no longer log in with the same username and password, please notify the Erasmus Student Service Centre. Do not try to make a new account!
    • If after registering in Studielink you receive a mail asking you to send the educational institution a copy of your passport/ID, please ignore this request. When completing the next step of the application, you will be asked to upload this directly to our system. 
  • In order to participate in the selection process you must complete the second part of the application and upload your supporting documents in the Online Application Form (OLAF) before 31 January.

    Within 24 hours after successful registration for the IBA programme in Studielink, you will receive an automatically generated message from Rotterdam School of Management with a link to OLAF. If you have not received the automatic message within two days, please contact the RSM Admissions Office. Also check your spam/junk folder to make sure that our message has not been filtered out.

    You will log into OLAF in with your ERNA credentials, which you have also received by email after your Studielink registration. If you have started the application process in Studielink, but have not received your ERNA details, please inform the Erasmus University Support Centre (USC): 

    In OLAF you will be asked to fill in additional information on your educational background and upload the documents listed below:

    Copy of a valid passport / ID

    Your passport/ or European identity card (EEA nationals only) must be valid up to and including the 1st of May 2019 in order to accept an eventual offer of admission made by RSM.

    CV or motivation

    In OLAF you will have the choice to submit either your Curriculum Vitae (resume) OR answer a motivation question "What most attracts you to an international business administration programme?" This will count for 25% of your final score. 

    Academic transcripts (and diploma if available)

    For applicants who have not yet graduated: Include academic transcripts (grade lists**) from your secondary school. The evaluation will mainly be based on the grades of the penultimate year (the year before your final year). If your school uses a different grading system or grade calculation, please indicate this clearly and/or provide a supplement explaining the school’s grading. It should be clear how your grades have been determined. 

    The grade lists must be certified (signed and stamped) by your school. A screenshot, excel sheet or self-made Word document with your grades will not be accepted. 

    For applicants who have already graduated: Secondary school diplomafinal academic transcript** and national exam results (if applicable). 

    Diploma statement

    If you have not received your high school diploma at the time of application, your are required to submit a diploma statement. This statement must be filled in by your school counsellor or school representative and must include your expected graduation date, the (exam) subjects and the name of the diploma you will obtain. If your school uses a different grading system or grade calculation, please indicate this clearly and/or provide a supplement explaining the school’s grading. It should be clear how your grades have been determined. 

    Overview of mathematics subjects

    Applicants with certain diplomas are required to provide a detailed description of mathematics subjects covered during their high school studies. Check the admissions criteria per diploma to see if this applies to you. 

    The overview should include the mathematics subjects (including the level, contents and total number of hours per week) taken in the three final years of your secondary education.

    The overview must be written in English, or accompanied by an official English translation, signed by your mathematics teacher (including contact details: name and email address) and bearing a school stamp.

    Proof of proficiency in English You can prove your proficiency in English in several ways. Check the requirements for your type of diploma. You can submit your application first without the proof of your English proficiency. Applicants who are required to take an English language test must submit the results no later than 1 April

    Additional academic transcripts

    Academic transcripts (grade list(s))** of your current or previous higher education studies (e.g. University (of Applied Sciences) or Foundation Year programme), if applicable.

    (**) If the original documents are written in a language other than English, French, Dutch or German you must provide an official translation by a registered sworn translator in one of these languages. Make sure to always send your diploma and/or transcript(s) in the original language along with the translation!

    After the deadline you can no longer submit your application even if you have already registered in Studielink. Do not wait until the last minute to apply. If you wait until the last minute, you will have no margin for error. If you forget to upload something, your application cannot be evaluated. If you apply early (at least 4 weeks before the deadline), some mistakes can still be corrected.

  • All applications submitted by 31 January will be assessed to determine the applicants eligibility for the IBA programme. 

    You will be updated on the status of the evaluation by email notifications. These notifications will also be visible in the notification centre of OLAF.


    The evaluation starts with checking the documents you have submitted in your application.  This is called pre-screening. Within approximately two weeks of submitting your application you will receive an update regarding the documents. If vital information is missing from the application, the evaluation will not continue until you have submitted additional documents. The additional documents must be submitted by 31 January. 

  • After all submitted applications have been evaluated, each applicant will be given a rank number which is determined by three factors:

    • general eligibility 
    • grade point average at the time of application (75%)
    • CV OR  answer to the motivation question "What most attracts you to an international business administration programme?" (25%).
  • On 15 April applicants will receive their results in the form of a rank number via e-mail from Studielink. Applicants with rank number 1 to 600 will also receive a second e-mail from Studielink with an offer of admission for the programme.

    Applicants with rank number 601 and higher will automatically be put on a waiting list. If an applicant who was ranked in the top 600 declines the offer of admission, it will be automatically assigned to the next person on the waiting list.


  • Applicants who are offered admission to the IBA programme (initially or from the waiting list)  have 14 days to accept or decline the offer in Studielink. If you fail to respond to the offer within 14 days, your place will automatically be assigned to the next person on the waiting list!

    This process is not handled by RSM but by the national student registration system Studielink and no exceptions will be made. Once you have declined your offer it cannot be reversed. 

  • While your application can be evaluated based on unofficial digital documents you have uploaded in your application form, eventually the RSM needs to check the authenticity of your diploma and your final transcript. This is also listed as a condition in your offer. You should provide the RSM IBA Admissions Office certified hardcopies of your diploma and final grade list by 1 August. The detailed instructions are listed in our FAQ.