Admission requirements

Educational requirements

A prerequisite for admission is that applicants have a Bachelor (or Master) degree in biology, ecology, environmental sciences, oceanography, marine sciences, geography, geology, veterinary medicine or other equivalent degrees with minimum 180 credits at the latest before September 1st 2019.

Note: students in their last year of such a study programme at the time of application will also be considered for admission. It is the applicant's responsibility that the required degree is obtained prior to the start of the IMBRSea programme.
Note: your degree and transcript of records will need to be duly legalized. See below.

Language requirements

Knowledge of the English language is considered as a basic requirement. All students must provide evidence of their proficiency in English through one of the following documents (not older than 2 years at the application deadline)

  • A recent TOEFL Certificate: minimum score: 87 points (internet based)
  • A recent IELTS Certificate: minimum score: 6.5
  • A recent Certificate of a University Language Centre testifying that the student masters the necessary knowledge of English to function academically (specify CEF-level / minimum CEF-level B2) 
  • A recent Cambridge English certificate: Cambridge English First (FCE) - grade A or B 
  • A certificate proving that you have followed at least 1 year of higher education in English

Diploma legalisation requirements

If you are accepted into the IMBRSea programme you will be required to send hard copies of your higher education diploma and academic transcript of records to the coordination office, in order to finalise your application and to start the enrolment procedure. Please respect the given deadlines.
This is to ascertain the authenticity of your diploma and transcript of records. Please carefully read the information about the legalization methods per country and how to get your documents legalized here (Ghent University).

The legalization method depends on the country where the diploma was issued (check the list of countries per legalization method).

  1. OR Apostille: for contact information on where to get the Apostille seal and requirements on how to get the seal:, check Competent Authority under the Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents
  2. OR Certified copy: A certified true copy of a document is a copy taken of the original primary document by a qualified official who guarantees its authenticity as a true copy. Click here for more information.
  3. OR legalise your diploma at the Belgian Embassy: For contact information on where to have the legalisation done and the requirements: click here.

The list of requirements for each country can also be found via this link where you should enter the following data:

  • Situation: 'Use a foreign document in Belgium'
  • Country: Insert the country where your diploma was issued
  • Document group: 'other documents drawn up or legalised by a competent local authority'

Note that you might have contact the institute that issued your diploma to obtain a certified copy or to find out what the procedure is to have your diploma apostilled or legalised.

Important remark about translation: if your higher education diploma(s) are not issued in English, French, German, or Dutch, they need to be translated by a certified translator and the original and translation need to be added to your application.

Complete application requirement

In order to be eligible for admission (with our without scholarship), you need to submit a complete application form before the imposed deadline. Find all instructions here.

Frequently asked questions: 

I have an unrelated degree, but am very interested in your programme. Can I apply?

IMBRSea is a specialization programme in Marine Biological Resources on Master level. You need to have the sufficient background in certain topics (ecology, statistics, genetics,...) in order to be able to follow this programme. If your degree is not listed in the requirements above, but if you feel you have a solid academic background, we encourage you to apply. The selection board will assess your files to check your eligibility.

In my country the ECTS credit system is not used and the grading system is different from Europe. How will my previous education be evaluated?

There are indeed a large number of different grading systems used in different countries. The IMBRSea selection committee consists of people who have sufficient background in evaluating the diverse grading systems.

Can I learn local languages during the programme?

Language diversity provides an added-value to studying and living in Europe. IMBRSea students have the opportunity to learn a language within the transferable skills course in semester 1.

Can the English proficiency certificate be sent after the application deadline?

While the selection board clearly prefers complete application forms, a slithgly later submission of the language test result will be accepted e.g. if the test dates do not coincide with the application deadline. Please contact the coordination office if you predict that your language certificate will not available before the application deadline.
In such case, upload a proof of the booked test, and send the digital test result to as soon as you receive it.

Acceptance to the programme remains conditional until valid language proof is submitted.

Do native English speakers have to provide proof of proficiency?

No. In this case, indicate 'native speaker' in the application form, and upload a note or your ID card again under the field for 'certificate of test'.

Is there an estimate of the percentage of applicants who get accepted? Is there a limit on non-EU applicants?

For the 2018 and 2019 cohorts, over 300 students applied and 110 students were accepted. So, around 1/3 of applicants get accepted. There is not a limit for students from outside the EU to be accepted or any limits for different countries. 

What are you looking for in applicants?

IMBRSea is focused on training the next generation of marine scientists that will tackle the issues concerning oceans health and promote Blue Growth. For the selection, the academic records, motivation, referee's letters and past experieces are important. We are looking for motivated, intelligent and innovative students!

If my referee submits his report on the deadline day, will that affect my application?

No. We understand how busy can be some referees and the applications are only analyzed after the deadline is over. 

Does my referee need to be a academic professor or can it be someone from my workplace?

Your referee can be a teacher, a boss or someone that worked with you. The important thing is that they must know how you are at class or work environment, your behavior and character. 

Will we get a notification when the referee completes the form?

Yes. You can check if the referee has completed or not the form on your application page. 

I live in a different continent. I already sent all my documentation electronically, do I have to send them again via mail?

Not for applying. You only need to send your documents as hard copies to Ghent University after you are approved. They need to be legalized and properly translated before sending it to Ghent, but not for applying. 

If I have studied at an English speaking University, is it enough to submit my transcripts to prove my English proficiency?

Yes. For English proficency purposes is enough to prove that you have persued a higher education diploma in English for more than one year. 

If I am applying for another program under the Erasmus+ scholarship, does it affects my chances to be selected?

No. But if you already have received an Erasmus+ scholarship in the past, before applying for IMBRSea, you will not be eligible for obtaining another one.