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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, (bio)chemistry, biotechnology, geography, geology, veterinary medicine or other equivalent degrees with minimum 180 credits at the latest before September 1st of the academic year you start the IMBRSea programme.

Note: students in their last year of such a study program 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 2: 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 to follow classes. All students must provide evidence of their proficiency in English through one of the following documents: 

  • A TOEFL Certificate: minimum score: 570 points (paper) or 87 points (internet)
  • A IELTS Certificate (in person or online): minimum score: 6.5 
  • A 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 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

The IMBRSea Programme Board can, at its own discretion waive the requirement for proof of English language skills, if English was the official language of instruction/teaching for at least one year of the previous successful Higher Education studies.

Diploma legalization requirements

If you are accepted into the IMBRSea program you will be required to send hard copies of your higher education diploma and academic transcript of records to Ghent University, in order to finalize your application and to start the enrollment procedure. Please respect the given deadlines.

Hard copies are required to ascertain the authenticity of your diploma and transcript of records. Please read carefully the information about the legalization methods per country and how to get your documents legalized at Ghent University here.

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

  • OR Apostille: for contact information on where to get the Apostille seal and requirements on how to get the seal, click here. Check the Competent Authority of the applicable country under the Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.
  • 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.
  • OR legalize your diploma at the Belgian Embassy: For contact information on where to have the legalization 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 legalized by a competent local authority'

Note that you might have to 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 legalized.

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 both the original and the translation need to be added to your application.

Complete application requirement

In order to be eligible for admission, you need to submit a complete application form before the imposed deadline. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

IMBRSea is a specialization program 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 you feel you have a solid academic background, we encourage you to apply. The selection board will assess your files to check your eligibility.

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.

Take into consideration that 1ECT = around 20h of studying.


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.

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.


No. In this case, indicate "native speaker" in the application form, and upload a note on your passport again under the field for "certificate of test".

For this new version of IMBRSea we will accept students during different rounds. The limits will be the spots available for the desired Thematic and Specialization Modules. We expect around 100 students to begin on September 2020. 

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!

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

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. 

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. 

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