Urban Governance of Inclusive Sustainable Cities

Prior education

You are eligible for admission to the master’s programme Public Administration if you have obtained a relevant Bachelor’s or undergraduate degree* from a research university that includes at least 7.5 EC in social science research methods and techniques, in the following fields of studies: 

  • Public Administration 
  • Sociology 
  • Political Science 

If you have successfully completed a comparable bachelor’s or undergraduate degree* in disciplines related to public administration and societal processes, you may also be eligible for admission to the master’s programme Public Administration. This depends on the contents of your prior education and results obtained in courses in social-scientific methods at a bachelor’s or undergraduate level as part of your prior education. Examples of some bachelor’s degrees with which you may be eligible for admission are: European Studies, International Relations, Social Geography, Spatial/Urban Planning, Urban Management/Studies, Environmental Sciences, Economics. When you apply to the master’s specialisation of your preference, the Admissions Committee will assess whether you are eligible for direct admission to that master’s specialisation.  

* Comparable to the Dutch academic level according to the standards of the Dutch Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic). 

English Language requirements

A good command of English is essential. Therefore you will have to submit proof of English proficiency in your application.

  • You have obtained a bachelor diploma from a university in the Netherlands; or
  • You have obtained a pre-university education (VWO) diploma and English was one of the subjects included in the assessment conferring that diploma and graded a 7.0 or higher; or
  • You have obtained a diploma of International Baccalaureate (valid for 5 years); or
  • You are a native speaker of English (i.e. a national of one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America) and you have obtained a diploma of secondary education in English for at least 2,5 years in one of the above countries; or
  • You have obtained your diploma of higher education in English (the entire programme) in one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom or the United States of America.
    • We usually deem the level of English Bachelor programmes at West European or Scandinavian universities sufficient as well.

Please mind that in case you meet one or more of the above-mentioned English language requirements, you need to present a proof thereof. For example, if you have obtained your diploma of higher education in English, we need to see a written proof of it in the form of either a passage in the diploma, grade list, or a letter from the university stating that the language of instruction was English for the entire program. 

Please note that the test may not be older than two years at the time of application. Also note that it takes several weeks before the results of the tests are known. 

Language Test

Minimum Score

Minimum Sub-scores

Internet based (iBT) TOEFL (our TOEFL ID Code 5971)*

90 (internet based)


IELTS Academic



CEF (Common European Framework)



Cambridge EFL (English as a Foreign Language) Examinations

CAE level B
CPE level C


* Please note that Institutional (ITP) TOEFL tests are not accepted.

Would you like to take a language test at Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)? The language test, based on CEF, is organised by the Language & Training Centre of EUR and tailored specially for our applicants. More information can be found on the website of the language centre.

If you do not meet our language requirements for the academic year 2023-2024, but already study at ESSB as a pre-master student (in 2022-2023), we offer a special arrangement: you can take the English assessment at the Language & Training Centre of EUR at our expense once.

If you wish to do so, please send an e-mail to (subject “English assessment for pre-master students”) and mention your name, student number, the master programme and specialization you want to apply for. We will inform you on how to register for the English assessment.

The English assessment test rounds will take place in March, April and May. So make sure you email us in time.

This test is only valid for our master programmes and you will therefore not receive a certificate for other purposes.

*If you decide to take a TOEFL or IELTS test instead, this will be at your own risk and expense, meaning you will receive refund with a maximum of €85,-. This refund is based on the cost of the English assessment at the Language & Training Centre of EUR (see above).


In a reasonable amount of detail (1 A4) explain your motivation by providing reasons for applying to the programme; 

  • Demonstrating relevant knowledge, experience and affinity with the field of studies (also supported by means of your resume); 
  • Telling us about your plans for the future. 

Academic performance  

In addition to the credentials mentioned above, the Admissions Board will also take into account your academic performance, i.e. your grades to assess whether you are eligible for admission. The general guideline is often a minimum average grade of 7.0 out of 10.0 (based on a Dutch grading system), but slightly lower average grades can be compensated through excellence in other credentials, for example relevant working experience (CV) or an excellent motivation (motivation letter). 

Contributing aspects 

You may choose to provide the Admissions Board with additional information about yourself by uploading additional documents that you think might contribute to your profile. An example of such documents could be a reference letter. 

The eligibility of your prior education can only be determined after you have submitted an application and only after we have received all requested documents. Prior inquiries will be purely hypothetical. For this reason, we encourage you to officially apply for admission. You can also assess your eligibility yourself by taking a look at the detailed admissions criteria on this page. We have tried to make the criteria as transparent as possible.  

    No, it is a full-time programme. 

    No, the programme starts only once a year, in September.

    A transfer of grades is not possible. Due to the special educational build-up of the curriculum, which mainly consists of obligatory as opposed to optional courses, we, unfortunately, cannot accept transfer students.

    Our programme is an English-taught programme. All lectures and all literature are in English. This requires that you can read, write, speak and understand English at an academic level and thus we need proof thereof from our applicants. This applies to our Dutch and non-Dutch applicants.

    No, you cannot. You will need to do the official TOEFL test at a TOEFL-certified institute. In both cases please visit for more information.

    Yes, in some cases you might be exempted from presenting the results of an English proficiency test. Please have a look on the admission page to find out if you are eligible for exemption. Keep in mind that in case you believe that you qualify for exemption you need to present a proof thereof.

    No, you cannot apply directly to our programme, you will first need to do a transition year/ pre-master (Dutch: schakeljaar). Passing the transition programme makes you eligible to apply but it is no guarantee for admission. Please keep in mind that the transition year/ pre-master is taught completely in Dutch. 

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