Here you’ll find an at-a-glance overview of general information, eligibility, the admissions selection process, application deadlines, fees & scholarshipsvisas, and housing. For more detailed information on application requirements please see How to Apply. Answers are provided to the most frequently asked questions.

General info

4CITIES is an international, interdisciplinary, two-year, full-time master degree program in Urban Studies. It offers a joint degree (MSc. in Urban Studies) from six partner universities in Brussels, Vienna, Copenhagen, and Madrid, and is taught entirely in English. Learn more about 4CITIES. The program was awarded the Erasmus Mundus Master Course designation and has been funded accordingly since 2013.


4CITIES seeks students who are informed, engaged, experienced, and highly motivated, and recognizes that aspiring urbanists travel many different roads. Applicants can come from anywhere in the world and are eligible for 4CITIES if they have completed a 180 ECTS academic bachelor degree or its equivalent in geography, sociology, literature, cultural studies, architecture, planning, economics, political science, public management, tourism, history, criminology, leisure studies, media studies, or a similar discipline. Additionally, proof of fluency in English is required and should be sought well in advance of the application window (see all requirements in our How To Apply section).

Prospective applicants with a degree from a field not included in the list above should contact us. Please explain how your degree has helped prepare you for 4CITIES and provide more information on the specific coursework you have undertaken. Students who have not completed their undergraduate degree at the time of applying but will do so before the enrolment deadline if admitted to 4CITIES are also eligible. In such cases offers of admission are conditional, meaning that successful completion of an undergraduate degree must be demonstrated before the offer of admission can be finalized. If your official date of graduation is after the start of 4CITIES classes, please contact us.

In order to be considered, your application must be completed in full, in accordance with all stated specifications, and submitted before the application deadline.

Selection process

Each year, 40 students are chosen by the 4CITIES academic board from approximately 600-800 qualified applicants. Successful applicants combine a stellar academic record and excellent recommendation letters with a strong statement of motivation that clearly expresses their perspective on urban studies and specific areas of interest and engagement. Because the first two criteria are assumed, it is the statement of motivation that is perhaps most critical. The final selection of applicants also aims for both geographic and academic diversity.

Many successful applicants have gained relevant life experience, whether through additional academic study, professional employment, or civic engagement, before applying to 4CITIES. The average age of enrolled students is approximately 25, with students in each cohort typically ranging from their early 20s to early 30s.


There are two application windows for the cohort beginning in September 2019. For students applying for a scholarship, the application window is now open. The deadline is 15 January, 2019. All students applying before this deadline will automatically be considered for a scholarship. Self-paying students are invited to submit their applications from 16 January, 2019, until 15 March, 2019.

Applications can be submitted until 12:00 CET (midday in Brussels) on the deadline day. No applications will be reviewed until the application window closes. Applicants applying before the 15 January deadline will be notified of their admission status by 01 March. Students who were denied admission during the scholarship window but would like to be considered for a self-paying spot can simply send us an email letting us know – there is no need to resubmit your application. Admission decisions for self-paying students will be communicated by 15 April.


The participation fee for 4CITIES includes tuition fees at each university as well as a variety of administrative costs. It does not include the cost of housing, food, visas, certain excursions, travel, or other expenses.

  • EU nationals pay a participation fee of 4500 EUR per academic year.
  • Non-EU students pay a participation fee of 9000 EUR per academic year.

Please note that the above fees are per academic year, and that 4CITIES is a two-year program. Approximately 20 Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) scholarships are available each year.


EU students do not need any visa. If you come from a non-EU country (“third country student”), you will have to apply for a visa for each of the host countries (Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Spain, etc.). This process can only be started after you have received an acceptance letter from 4CITIES. It cannot be organized beforehand.

Accepted students requiring a visa should apply for a long stay multiple entry student D visa for Belgium to start with. The first entry to Belgium should be made on a student visa and NOT a tourist visa in order to avoid long administrative procedures and the risk of having to travel back to your home country once your tourist visa expires. Please begin this process as soon as you receive your acceptance notice, as it can be quite lengthy.

Students from China, please keep in mind that you need an APS certificate. We advise you to contact us before contacting the Belgian or any other European embassy.

For more information on student visas, please read through Admissions FAQs or visit the following sites:


You will receive information on how to search for student housing in the different cities once you are accepted to the course. In short, you will need to find private housing on your own in each of the countries.

The international relations & housing departments and/or student unions of the different universities will help you if possible, as will the local 4CITIES coordinators. You can also count on help from alumni and students in their second year of the program.

For more information, please see our Admissions FAQs.


What is 4CITIES?

4CITIES is an international, interdisciplinary, immersive master programme in urban studies. Supported by Erasmus Mundus, its perspective is European while its context is global. Students learn to see the city, to hear it, to understand it, to engage it, and to choose their role in shaping it.

Discover what 4CITIES is all about »

six universities

European Urban Studies in a Global Age

The interdisciplinary curriculum designed specifically for 4CITIES builds on the strengths of each host city, university, and department or research institute. Theoretical coursework is enhanced by field observation, applied skills, and a wide array of excursions. Students are challenged to connect readings and concepts from across the disciplinary spectrum and to analyse urban systems and elements at micro, meso, and macro levels.

The complete 4CITIES course listing »