Admissions for Master programme

Admission requirements



At least a bachelor’s degree from a recognised university in a field related to urban development.

The following studies are considered relevant to urban development

If you have a degree which is not listed in below, please feel free to contact Admissions Office for advice.

  • Architecture
  • Civil Engineering
  • Development Studies
  • Economics
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Geography
  • Infrastructure
  • Law
  • Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Real Estate
  • Social Science
  • Urban studies


Academic performance

At least second class lower, B or equivalent.


Tip: Please make sure the information about your grading system is included in your transcripts or please upload a supporting document on this

Proof of a sufficient command of English:


If English is not your mother tongue an English language test or, in some cases, other proof of English proficiency is required.

A. We accept certificates from TOEFL or IELTS as official language tests.

TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language

575 (paper-based) - 232 (computer-based) - 90 (internet based)

IELTS – International English Language Testing System

6.5, no sub-test lower than 5.5 (Writing sub-test at least 6.0)


Students who have completed their studies in English previously:

B. If you have previously completed a full university degree through the English medium you may not necessarily (there is no guarantee) need to provide a proof of English language test completion. In such cases students can submit the following two documents (both of them) for consideration:

  • An example of a previously submitted, substantial essay or thesis in English.
  • Confirmation from the institution that the language of instruction was entirely in the English medium.


Working experience (preferred but not a must)

Working experience in a relevant field is considered an important asset during the selection procedure.

International mind-set

Each year our programme welcomes participants from more than 30 countries. It is important to have the ability to interact and work with people from very diverse cultures and backgrounds



Selection criteria

The IHS Academic Selection Committee will review your application and decide the admission status to the programme. Please be aware that this programme is very selective. Fulfilling all the above mentioned admission requirements DOES NOT guarantee you an admissions offer.

While assessing your application, we use the following selection criteria to determine whether you will be able to successfully complete the Master’s programme:

  • Relevance of your previous education
  • Academic performance and the quality of the university
  • Relevant professional experience in urban field
  • Motivation
  • Command of English language

For your motivational essay, we will further look into:

  • Clarity and relevance of the problem
  • Logic of the essay and the development of the argument
  • Originality of ideas
  • Well-informed (incorporates relevant facts)
  • Clarity on what type of knowledge is sought after at IHS
  • Academic writing skills

Note: Plagiarism is not appreciated and it will lead to a rejection.

Application procedure

1.  Submit your application

You can submit your application through the IHS online application form.

For the application deadlines please see the individual programme pages. We recommend applying as early as possible, especially if you need to apply for a scholarship and/or a visa.

Note: Your application will only be assessed once you have submitted all the required documents.  Please make sure you upload all the necessary documents mentioned below:

  • Bachelor’s degree certificate and transcripts
  • Master’s degree certificate and transcripts (if applicable)
  • Curriculum Vitae (click here to download the instructions/template)
  • Motivational essay: The urban challenge of your city (click here to download the template and the requirements)
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Reference letters (preferably one academic contact and one professional contact)
  • Employer statement (optional)
  • Additional documents that you would like to submit in support of your application (optional)

 Apply here!

2. Expect your application outcome

If the admissions period is open for the master programme (usually between 15 October and 15 July), within 4 weeks we will inform you your application status as either admitted, incomplete, or rejected.

Admitted application: After you receive the admission letter, the next steps of the admissions procedure will be slightly different depending on the source of funding that you indicated in the online application form.

Incomplete application: With a pre-assessment we check whether your application package is complete with the above mentioned documents. Should there any document is missing, we will contact you by email to request you to submit the documents.

Rejected application: Each year IHS receives a high number of applications. We use certain criteria to select only the best applicants. If your application is rejected and you wish to apply again in the next year, we kindly advise you to study the selection criteria mentioned above to improve your application.

3. Accept your admission offer

After you have received the admission to the course of your choice, it's time to arrange your funding and to confirm with us that you accept the offer. With different funding options, the procedures are also different:

Candidates who apply for NFP fellowship

1. Receive your invitation email

You must be invited by IHS to apply for this fellowship. Thus we will send you an invitation email at least 1 week before the NFP application period opens with the detailed instructions on how to apply. Please make sure to have secured your admission to the academic programme before you apply for NFP fellowship.

2. Check your eligibility and prepare for your application

Before you receive the invitation email, you are advised to check whether you are eligible for this fellowship and prepare the required documents stated on

3. Await the selection outcome

The expected selection outcome date will be mentioned in the invitation email. IHS will inform you the result on behalf of Nuffic NFP programme.

If you are selected for the NFP fellowship: IHS Educational Management Office will guide you throughout the process and make the practical arrangements for you. 

If you are not selected for the NFP fellowship and you would like to:

  • Defer your admission: Please email admissions office with your deferral request. You will therefore be notified when the next intake is open.


Candidates who apply for other scholarships or self-fund

1. Complete and return your Admission Acceptance Form

Together with the admission letter you will also receive an admission acceptance form (AAF). By filling in this form you can confirm your participation in the programme and choose your desired method of payment. You should return this form within 4 weeks upon the receipt of your admission letter.

2. Request an invoice

As soon as your funding is secured, you will need to request an invoice and complete the payment. If you didn’t ask for an invoice with the return of the admission acceptance form, you can send an email to admissions office.

3. Transfer your payment

With the account information provided on the invoice, you can make your bank transfer. As soon as we receive your payment, we will send you a confirmation email within 2 working days. Please know that IHS does not accept payment on a credit card.

4. Start the practical arrangements

In the confirmation email of your payment receipt, you will also receive information about the practical arrangement such as visa application, accommodation search, and airport pick up. IHS Educational Management Office is in charge of these issues and they will get in touch with you in due time.