IBA application process explained!

Am I eligible?

Before submitting your application, check the admissions requirements for your specific diploma.

Check out the admissions requirements for your specific diploma before you apply. At the time of application each applicant is required to have:

The application for the IBA programme starting September 2022 is closed. The application for the September 2023 start will open on 1 October 2022. The admissions requirements may change without notice until 1 October.

A sufficient Grade Point Average (GPA)

Your grade point average will make up 75% of the points you can earn for selection. The lower your GPA, the fewer points you'll receive. Due to the early application deadline, the majority of applicants do not yet have all the grades for their final year of study. 

Are you in the final year of high school? Normally RSM uses the grades of the penultimate year (year before your final year) for the evaluation. This allows us to evaluate each applicant based on a full year of grades.
IMPORTANT: As COVID-19 may have had a negative effect on the grades of your penultimate year, for the 2022 admission RSM will use the grades of your penultimate year AND the grades obtained in your last year until December/mid-January.

Have you graduated? Grades of your final year and/or the exam results (if applicable) will be considered. Additionally, grades of your current or previous higher education studies (e.g. University (of Applied Sciences)) can also be used for the assessment. 

A sufficient level and grade for mathematics

The minimum required level of Mathematics of each applicant must be comparable to a Dutch pre-university diploma (VWO) Mathematics A or B with a sufficient grade (7.0 for mathematics A or minimum (unrounded=onafgerond) grade of 6.0 for mathematics B).

Check out the admissions requirements for your specific diploma before you apply.

An insufficient grade for mathematics will put you in the bottom tier of the ranking. Applicants with an insufficient level of mathematics or an insufficient grade must take the IBA mathematics exam in order to qualify for the programme. We advise applicants to schedule the test on time, as the results must be handed in by 15 March at the latest.

A sufficient grade for English or a English language proficiency test

The minimum required level of English proficiency is a Dutch pre-university (VWO) exam with an unrounded grade of a 7.0.

Check out the admissions requirements for your specific diploma before you apply, to find out if you meet our English requirement.

Applicants with an insufficient level or grade based on the type of diploma must take a English language proficiency test in order to qualify for the programme. We advise applicants to schedule the test on time, as the results must be handed in by 15 March at the latest and it can sometimes take several weeks to get your test scores.


During the application process in the Online Application Form (OLAF), you will illustrate your drive and suitability for the programme by answering three short motivation questions.

Answers to these questions count for 25% of your final ranking.

Your answer to the motivation question must be written in English. Answers written in a language other than English will receive 0 selection points for this section.

To help you with writing your answers to the motivation questions, the RSM Admissions Office has provided tips on writing a good motivation letter.

IBA is classified as a Numerus Fixus programme. You can only apply for two Numerus Fixus programmes in the Netherlands. Numerus 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 750 candidates will be offered admission to the programme. All other eligible applicants will be placed on a 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 750.

Please be aware that fulfilling all the requirements does not guarantee a spot as this also depends on the quality of the applicant pool. A strong applicant pool may limit your chances of selection. 

It is no longer possible to apply for International Business Administration for the 2022-2023 academic year. Applications for the academic year 2023-2024 are accepted as from October 2022.

The first step in the application process is to register in the Dutch national student registration system StudielinkStudielink opens on the 1 October, 2021 and closes on 15 January, 2022 at 23:59 CET (Central European Time). This is not the actual application! Only once you have completed the 2nd step of the process, the  RSM Online Application Form (OLAF), you will be considered an applicant.
  1. Access https://www.studielink.nl/ and register before 15th January 2022. When you are a resident of the Netherlands, you can only submit an enrolment application if you use DigiD.  Apply on time for your DigiD as it takes approximately five days to receive your DigiD login details. 
  2. Enter your previous education.
  3. Select Erasmus Universiteit, enter ‘Bachelor International Business Administration (English) (numerus fixus)’, start as ‘first-year’, starting date: '1 September 2022'. DO NOT SELECT 'ADVANCED YEAR'! Even if you have completed your first year elsewhere, you must select 'first-year'. 
  4. You can ignore the emails asking to send your diploma or a copy of your passport / ID to education institution. Instead you will upload these documents to the RSM Online Application Form (OLAF).

As Studielink can be confusing at times, and to help you with the registration we have also created a Studielink instruction manual where you can find further details. If you have any issues while completing the registration, contact the RSM Admissions Office.

Within 24 hours of a successful registration via Studielink you will receive your log in details (also known as ERNA credentials) and a link to the RSM Online Application Form (OLAF). You must fill in and submit the Online Application Form (OLAF) by the 31st of January. OLAF closes on 31st January 2022 at 23:59 CET (Central European Time).

Tips when using OLAF:

  • If you have started the application process in Studielink but did not receive your ERNA login details, please contact the Erasmus University IT Servicedesk: servicedesk@eur.nl.
  • If you have not received a link to OLAF within two days after registering in Studielink, contact the RSM Admissions Office. Also check your spam/junk folder to make sure that our message has not been filtered out.
  • If you receive a warning in OLAF that your current registration in Studielink does not match the programme in OLAF, check if you have selected the correct programme (Bachelor International Business Administration (English) (numerus fixus)) in Studielink.
  • You will receive updates about your application in the OLAF message center. Please log in to check it regularly.

After you have filled in details such as your personal information, prior education and language skills in OLAF, you will be asked to upload supporting documents. These documents will be used to evaluate your eligibility and act as proof, for example for your language skills (English).

Do I need to translate my documents?  If the original documents (diploma, transcripts) are written in a language other than English, French, Dutch or German you must provide an official English translation by a registered sworn translator. Make sure to always send your diploma and/or transcript(s) in the original language along with the translation!

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 2022 in order to accept an eventual offer of admission made by RSM

CV (resume) Even if you chose to be evaluated based on your motivation, you will still be required to upload your CV (in English) in the supporting documents. This can help the admissions office to have a better picture of your academic journey, language skills etc.
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 be based on the grades of the penultimate year (the year before your final year) as well as the grades you have obtained so far from your final year (until December/mid-January).

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 and your application will be deemed to be incomplete. It is not possible to submit new documents after the 31 January application deadline.

For applicants who have already graduated: Upload your secondary school diplomafinal academic transcript and national exam results (if applicable). Additionally, grades of your current or previous higher education studies (e.g. University (of Applied Sciences) or Foundation Year programme) can be used for the assessment.

Diploma statement

If you have not received your high school diploma at the time of application, you 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. 

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.


  • Start your application at least one month before the deadline. This way you will have enough time to gather all required documents.
  • Use common sense when scanning your documents:
    • PDF files are preferred
    • Try to combine your grade lists into one file
    • Check that your documents are clearly legible
  • Include all relevant information in your application. If there is a personal situation we should know about, add an explanation to one of your documents or in the other information section.
  • Recommendation letters are not accepted
  • Documents (e.g. grade lists) sent by e-mail are not accepted

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 in the OLAF message centre. Please log in to check it regularly.

The evaluation starts with checking the documents you have submitted in your application. This is called pre-screening. Within approximately three 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. Keep in mind that as the application deadline approaches we receive an increasing number of applications  and it may therefore take longer to be notified about the status of your application. 

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%).

Keep in mind that your rank number also depends on the quality of the applicant pool. Meeting all the requirements does not guarantee a place. 

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 750 will also receive a second e-mail from Studielink with an offer of admission for the programme.

Applicants with rank number 751 and higher will automatically be put on a waiting list. If an applicant who was ranked in the top 750 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.