Strategic Urban Planning & Policies

Apply for the Strategic Urban Planning & Policies track by 1 August!

Deadline extension for candidates who do not require an entry visa for the Netherlands.

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. 

The following studies are considered fully relevant to the track: 

  • Architecture
  • Civil Engineering
  • Development Studies
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Infrastructure
  • International Relations
  • Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Sociology
  • Urban 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:

  • Environmental studies
  • Gender Studies
  • Law
  • Real estate

If your degree is not listed on this page, please feel free to contact the Admissions Office for advice. 

Please do keep in mind that this is not a pre-check service, nor offering a pre-admission. 

Option 1: Email with your background information. We usually reply within 2-3 working days. 

Option 2: Make a 10-minute appointment via this link for an online talk to discuss your case.

We require our candidates to have obtained at least 6.5 (Dutch grading system), 3.0 (out of 4.0), second class lower, B or an equivalent.

Tip: Please make sure the information about your grading system is included in your grade transcripts or upload a supporting document providing information on this topic so that we can evaluate 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. The test report should be valid within two years by the starting date of the master programme. 

You can submit your application while still waiting for your test result. As a non-EU/EEA candidate, you should upload the proof of your test registration, and the test should take place no later than 1 May 2024. For EU applicants, the test results can be uploaded by 1 August 2024.

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 less than 3 years prior to the starting date of the master programme and the duration of your degree programme is minimum 1 year. In such cases students can submit the following two compulsory 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:

  • 90 Internet-based test with a minimum of 20 on each sub-test 

Important note:

  1. 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.
  2. TOEFL ITP test is NOT accepted as an official test

We require a result of 6.5 overall for IELTS Academic test, with a minimum of 6 on each sub-test. 


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.

In addition, it is important that each participant has adequate knowledge on Microsoft Office tools as they will be used on regular basis during the study. Should you be not so confident with your knowledge on these, please make sure to have completed some courses yourself before the programme starts. 

How to make sure your application is complete?

Check the application requirements before submitting your online application.

Selection criteria

The IHS Academic Selection Committee will review your application and decide on your admission status to the programme. Please be aware that this programme is very selective. Fulfilling all the 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 admission to the Master’s programmes.

Note: Plagiarism is not appreciated, and it will lead directly to 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

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