Admission & application

Admission & application

All applicants must hold a bachelor (BSc) degree or an undergraduate degree that is comparable in level with a bachelor degree obtained at a Dutch research university (WO).

It is not necessary to have completed your bachelor degree at the time of application to our MSc programmes. However, all requirements for your bachelor programme must be fulfilled before the start of the academic year (by 31 August). Students who fail to meet this condition will not be allowed to start the programme.

  • Diplomas obtained outside the Netherlands will be evaluated by the RSM admissions team to determine whether they are comparable to a degree obtained at a Dutch research university. The eligibility of your undergraduate degree can only be determined after you have submitted your application. Information about the eligibility of your degree cannot be obtained through the phone or e-mail. 

    For applicants with a bachelor degree from the People's Republic of China, RSM accepts degrees from a selected group of Chinese universities

  • Applicants who have a degree from a University of Applied Sciences (applicable for Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Netherlands (HBO), Sweden and Switzerland) must first complete a pre-master year before they are eligible for admission to the master. 

For the MSc International Management/CEMS programme applicants are required to have a research university bachelor's degree in business administration or related field consisting of a minimum total of 60 EC in advanced courses in strategic management, marketing, supply chain management/operations, finance and accounting as well as a minimum total of 20 EC in qualitative and quantitative research methods and statistics.

As most RSM MSc programmes do not contain introductory courses to the main subject of the master, it is required that applicants have obtained a sufficient number of relevant courses during their previous studies. Work experience or professional certificates, such as the CFA, cannot be used to compensate for the lack of relevant courses.


The minimum requirements are listed in the European Credits (EC). A full year of studies at a Dutch research university amounts to 60 EC. A research university bachelor degree in the Netherlands amounts to 180 EC (over 3 years). 

If your previous studies do not contain a sufficient number of business related courses, you could be eligible for the MScBA Master in Management – a programme designed especially for students with a non-business background. The only content related requirement for this programme is that your degree must contain a minimum total of 20 EC in qualitative and quantitative research methods and statistics.

  • In addition to the master specific course requirements, all applicants need to have obtained 20 ECTS in qualitative and quantitative research methods and statistics.

    In order to give you a better idea of the courses we are referring to with this requirement, you can for example look at our bachelor programme curriculum. In the overview you can see that in the first year our students take the following research related courses: Philosophy of Science, Quantitative decision making and statistics as well as Spreadsheet modelling. In their second year students complete an extensive research project and in their third year Advanced research training and a bachelor thesis.

    This means that when entering RSM master programmes, both students who have completed their bachelor at RSM, and students coming from other universities, need to have obtained a similar level in research methods and statistics in order to complete the master.

    These courses must be obtained during your academic studies and must also be visible in your transcript. If these subjects were a part of your study, but are not clearly marked in your transcript, we advise you to provide additional information in the form of course descriptions, or a statement from your university.

    Also if you are planning to take these courses before completing your current study, but the courses are not yet marked in your transcript, please include an additional document in your application, listing all the planned courses and the corresponding number of credits you will obtain.

  • Once you have submitted an application and uploaded the required documents regarding your educational background, the RSM Admissions Office will determine your eligiblity. Due to the large number of requests, it is not possible to receive this evaluation by email or phone before submitting an application.

    If during the evaluation of your application it is evident that your previous education does not meet the bachelor course related requirements, but is comparable to a research university degree obtained in the Netherlands, the Admissions Office will automatically evaluate your application for other MSc programmes offered by RSM and offer an alternative when possible. It is therefore only possible to apply for one programme.

  • RSM only offers pre-master programmes to students with a  business related degreed obtained at an Applied Sciences University (from Austria, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland). It is not possible to join a pre-master with a research university background in order to obtain more relevant courses.

  • Students who have completed the International Bachelor in Communication and Media at Erasmus University, can continue to selected Master's Programme at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), provided they have taken specific courses listed the IBCoM-RSM Matrix:

    • MScBA Master in Management
    • MSc in Marketing Management
    • MSc in Global Business & Sustainability
    • MSc in Human Resource Management
    • MScBA Master in Management
    • MSc in Strategic Entrepreneurship
    • MSc in Organisational Change & Consulting

RSM requires a minimum level of mastery and ambition from its applicants. RSM defines two categories of students that seek admission to one of the MSc programmes:

  • Students who will obtain a bachelor degree at a Dutch research university (WO) can prove their mastery and ambition with an unrounded minimum grade point average (GPA) of 7.0.

    RSM calculates the GPA's based on all of the grades from your bachelor programme at the time of application. Some universities only use the last two years of your bachelor to calculate a GPA. If this is the case, RSM will not use the calculation provided by your university but will re-calculate the GPA. Additional grades obtained during a second degree, such as a master programme, can be added to the GPA calculation for the benefit of the applicant. 

    An insufficient GPA, based on a Dutch research university diploma, can be compensated with a GMAT test result of 600 minimum. This compensation policy if offered as a courtesy to students and any costs of the tests are at the expense of the applicant.

  • Applicants who will obtain their bachelor diploma from a non-Dutch research university can prove their mastery and ambition with a minimum GPA comparable to a 7.0 in the Dutch grading system and a GMAT test result with a minimum score of 600. Grade point averages can be expressed differently in other education systems. Rough indications of acceptable GPA’s from different countries can be found in the FAQ section.

  • Almost every country has at least one GMAT test center. You can check the availability in your country via the official GMAT website. The current fee for taking the test is US$250.00. The costs of the test are not covered by RSM.

    Take into account that test dates can fill up quickly, particularly during peak testing periods, so we urge you to register to take the exam as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

    The GMAT exam consists of 4 parts: a quantitative section, a verbal section, an analytical writing assessment and integrated reasoning section.  Only the quantitative and verbal sections are used to determine your overall score. Therefore RSM does not require you to complete the analytical writing assessment nor the integrated reasoning section.

    The Language & Training Center at Erasmus University offers GMAT preparation courses at the Woudestein Campus. For schedules and detailed information click here. The costs of these courses are not covered by RSM.

In order to guarantee the required minimum level of  English proficiency, an applicant must be able to show proof of proficiency on at least C1 level (according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Language - CEFR). English proficiency can be proven in different ways:

    • Your secondary school was taught completely in the English language in one of the following countries: USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or within the EU/EEA. If it is not mentioned on the diploma, or on the website of the school that the programme was taught completely in the English language, an official statement provided by the school is required.
    • You have an IB English A Higher Level certificate with grade 4 or higher or IB English A Standard Level Certificate with grade 5 or higher.
  • Your degree programme was taught completely in the English language (equal to a minimum of 3 years or 180 EC) in one of the following countries: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or within the EU/EEA. If it is not mentioned on the diploma, or on the website of the university that the programme is taught completely in the English language, an official statement provided by the university is required.


  • Your master degree programme was taught completely in the English language in one of the following countries: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or within the EU/EEA. If it is not mentioned on the diploma, or on the website of the university that the programme is taught completely in the English language, an official statement provided by the university is required.

  • RSM accepts English course/test results at C1 level (CEFR) taken at any accredited applied science institute or research university institute within the EU/EEA.

    You must be able to provide proof of this in your application. The document must clearly indicate the obtained level. If the course or test was taken as a part of your study, this can also be included in your transcript of records. However the obtained level should still be indicated or additional documentation must be submitted.

    If you have only taken a language test, all aspects of the language must have been included (reading, writing, listening and oral skills).

    NOTE: Online tests (often done without supervision), such as the OLS (Online Linguistics Support for Erasmus+) or Oxford Online Placement test are not accepted.

    The Language & Training Centre (LTC) of Erasmus University, Rotterdam offers intake tests throughout the year, which will determine your current level of proficiency, as well as English courses from September onwards. 

  • Standardized tests accepted by RSM - CEMS specific requirements:

    • IELTS: Academic test minimum overall score of 7.0 and minimum sub scores 6.5
    • TOEFL (iBT): minimum overall score 100 with minimum sub scores of 22 for reading, listening and speaking and for writing 24. Please note that the ITP TOEFL test offered by the Erasmus University Language & Training Centre (LTC) is not accepted. (for other RSM MSc programmes the minimum overall score requirement is 94)
    • Cambridge:
      • Cambridge ESOL: Equal to CAE minimum grade of B or CPE with a minimum grade of C 
      • Cambridge BEC Higher: Minimum grade B

    Both overall and sub score requirements must be met! All sub scores must meet the minimum requirements within one exam, meaning that scores of two exams may not be combined to reach sufficient scores from different categories of the exam.

    Take into account that test dates at the test centres can fill up quickly, particularly during peak testing periods. Therefore we urge you to register to take the test as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Keep in mind that it can take several weeks to receive the results of your test. This means that you should plan to take the test 4-6 weeks before the application deadline. 

    Verification & Validity

    Always make sure to upload a copy of your score report in your application.  

    TOEFL scores can be verified online. Therefore you should request the tests center to send your score report to RSM. The institutional code of RSM is 0798 and for Erasmus University 7199 (you can use either). Scores are verifiable for 2 years.

    IELTS scores are verified online using the TRF code marked on the score report. Scores are verifiable for 5 years.

    In order for RSM to verify your Cambridge score, you need to add your Cambridge candidate ID number and secret number to your application with your score report. If you do not have the candidate ID and secret number, you must contact the authorized examination centre where the examination was originally taken. Please note that RSM can not verify test scores taken before 2005.

  • The Erasmus University Language & Training Centre (LTC) offers intake tests throughout the year, which will determine your current level of proficiency, as well as English courses from September onwards. 

    RSM together with the LTC also offers English tests free of charge on two specific dates per year. The exact dates will be communicated on this page by October 2019.

    • This test is only available to students who will obtain a bachelor or master degree at a research - or applied sciences university in the Netherlands
    • The test will only be offered on two specific dates (December and April).
    • In order to participate in one of these tests you first need to submit your application for the programme of your choice.
    • When filling in the Online Application Form (OLAF) you will be able to indicate on which of the two possible dates you want to take the test. Note that your application must be submitted at least two weeks before the date of the test you want to take.
    • The RSM Admissions Office will then evaluate your application, and if you meet the other minimum requirements, we will register you for the test with the EUR LTC.
    • It is not possible to re-schedule the test due to illness or any other reason.
    • You can only take the test once. If you fail to achieve a C1 level result, you can retake the test at your own cost.
    • After the test you will receive an overview of your results, but you will not receive an official language certificate.
    • The test results are only valid for your application for RSM.

    You can always participate in a Language test at the EUR LTC on their regularly scheduled test dates at your own cost.  You can check for the next possible test date on their website.

In addition to English you are required to provide proof of proficiency in two additional languages. This is a specific requirement for the CEMS programme. For more information about this requirement, please visit the Language requirements pages. The proof must be included in your application (by the 31st of January).