Strategic Urban Planning & Policies
Managing Socio-Spatial Dynamics for Sustainable Cities

Admission requirements for Master Strategic Urban Planning & Policies

Who can apply for the programme?

We welcome applications from prospective students with a wide variety of backgrounds, all related to the field of urban management and development. Each application is considered carefully, taking the individual potential of the applicant into account. Before you start your application, please read the application procedure and admissions information carefully. The requirements and the procedure apply to all six specialisation tracks.

  • We require candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree from a recognised university in a field related to urban development. Below you can find an overview of all relevant fields. If you have a degree which is not listed below, please feel free to contact Admissions Office for advice.

    The following studies are considered fully relevant to the track: 

    • Business Administration and Business Management

    • Development Studies

    • Environmental policy

    • Human Geography

    • Political Science

    • Public Administration and Policy Studies

    • Spatial planning

    • Transport and Infrastructure Planning and Management

    • Urban Planning

    • Urban Studies

    The following studies are considered partially relevant depending on the subjects listed in your transcripts and the specialisation track that you are applying for:

    • Architecture
    • Economics

    • Environmental Sciences

    • Natural resources management

    • Other studies that contain courses relevant to the studies under "Fully relevant" category

  • We require our candidates to have obtained at least second class lower, B or an equivalent.

    Tip: Please make sure the information about your grading system is included in your transcripts or upload a supporting document providing information on this topic so that we can judge your performance as fairly as possible.

  • If English is not your mother tongue, an English language test or, in some cases, other proof of English proficiency is required. We only accept certificates from TOEFL and IELTS as official language tests.

    Kindly note that we only accept test reports that meets all of our minimum requirements as the sufficient proof of English language proficiency. This is not negotiable. 

    Exemptions from English language testing are possible, but not guaranteed, if:

    You have previously completed a full university degree through the English medium. In such cases students can submit the following twocompulsory documents for consideration (not guaranteed):

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

    Required scores:

    • 575 Paper-based test
    • 232 Computer-based test
    • 90 Internet based test
      • A minimum of 15 on each sub-test (except for the writing)
      • A minimum of 20 on the writing sub-test

    Important note:

    1. Institutional code for test registration: 7633
    2. For the TOEFL IBT test, MyBest™ scores report is accepted as a supporting document. If your sub-test score is lower than the minimum requirement, we use this report to evaluate whether you can be exempted from taking a new test.
    3. TOEFL ITP test is NOT accepted as an official test

    We require a result of 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 on each sub-test. For the writing sub-test  we require at least 6.0


  • Working experience in a relevant field is considered an important asset during the selection procedure especially if you do not possess a fully relevant degree. However, it is not a prerequisite.

  • Each year our programme welcomes participants from more than 45 countries. It is important to have the ability to interact and work with people from very diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Please make sure to check the Application procedure page for the application requirements, before you start your online application.

Selection criteria

The IHS Academic Selection Committee will review your application and decide on the admission status to the programme. Please be aware that this programme is very selective. Fulfilling all above mentioned admission requirements does not necessarily guarantee you an admissions offer. While assessing your application, we use the following selection criteria to determine whether you can receive the admission to the Master’s programmes.

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

    • Relevance of your previous education
    • The quality of the university where you obtained your previous education
    • Academic performance
    • Relevant professional experience in the urban field
    • Motivational essay (with our prescribed template)
    • Command of English language
    • The overall quality of the application package

    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

Apply for the Strategic Urban Planning & Policies track

Last round of applications: 1 May 2021 – 15 June 2021

Apply here

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