The application deadline for all students wishing to begin their studies in September, 2023, was 16 January, 2023. The application window is now closed.  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. Admission decisions will be communicated by 01 March, 2023.

The information here is provided as a guide to the application process. All official application instructions are included within the online application module (available while the application window is open). Please read through the entire online application module before beginning the application process, as it contains essential updated information not found on the website, and also before contacting us with questions. Any emails asking questions that can be answered by reading through the application module will be disregarded.

How to Apply for 4CITIES

STEP 01: register for the online application module (only possible while the application window is open). You will receive a link to the module via the email address you register with. Once you’ve received it, click the link and begin the application process. IMPORTANT: read through the entire online application module as soon as you register, as it contains updated information not available on the website.

STEP 02: complete the online application module before the application deadline, including uploading all required documents. This is the most time-consuming part of the process. Make sure you leave plenty of time for gathering and preparing all required documents. We strongly advise you to start this process well in advance of the application window, particularly in regards to the English language proficiency requirement. You can save your progress and come back to the online application module as often as you like.

Required documents include:

  • Diploma from previous studies (PDF)
  • Marks list from previous studies (PDF)
  • Motivation letter (PDF)
  • Curriculum vitae (PDF)
  • 2 Recommendation letters (PDF)
  • Proof of English language proficiency (PDF)
  • Proof of relevant activities over the past 5 years (PDF)
  • Valid passport (PDF)
  • Passport-style photograph (JPG)
  • Residence certificate (PDF) (only necessary for EMJMD scholarship applicants)

Note on languages: 4CITIES is an English language program. However, the diploma and marks list will be accepted in English, Dutch, French, or German. If either the official diploma or official marks list is in another language, then two versions must be submitted: the original and a certified translation into English, Dutch, French, or German. Recommendation letters and description of activities must be submitted in English. Other required documents may be submitted in their original language.

See below for a more detailed description of all required documents.

STEP 03: wait. All applications will be reviewed and ranked by the academic board. Three outcomes are possible: selected, waiting list, not selected. Applicants will be notified of their status by 01 March, 2023.

Required Documents

All of the following are required as per the regulations detailed in the online application module. No exemptions are possible.

01 / Diploma: Eligible applicants must have previously completed at least a 180 ECTS academic bachelor degree (or its equivalent). A scanned copy of the official diploma of each academic degree earned must be submitted online. Accepted languages include Dutch, English, French, and German. If the official marks list is in another language, two versions must be submitted: the original and a certified translation.

02 / Marks list: An official marks list from all universities you have attended. As with the diploma, accepted languages include Dutch, English, French, and German. If the official marks list is in another language, two versions must be submitted: the original and a certified translation.

03 / Motivation letterThe motivation letter is perhaps the most critical part of your application. It should be no more than two (2) pages and should focus on both your academic interest in 4CITIES and what you hope to achieve by studying in 4CITIES. Why do you want to join 4CITIES? Why are you interested in urban studies? What specific issues or questions motivate you and how do you intend to address them? Additional relevant information can also be included, and you may refer to your CV to save space. Please refrain from describing the 4CITIES program unless doing so is relevant to your argument.

04 / Curriculum vitae: standard CV covering professional, educational, and other relevant activities.

05 / Recommendations (2): We need two reference letters from academic referees (i.e. your former teachers at university or other academic personnel that is able to judge your academic qualities and potential). Recommendations from employers or secondary school teachers are not eligible and will be disregarded. We make use of an online referee module which you can activate through the online application module. You only have to fill in the email address of your referee, and he/she will receive an email with a link to the online referee module. To allow referees enough time to respond we advise all candidates to activate the online referee module as one of the first steps to do after they have gained access to the online application module.

06 / Proficiency of English: All prospective students need to provide a proof of sufficient knowledge of English. This proof can be provided by presenting a language test or a certificate that your current/former language of instruction is/was English (see list below).

You should meet one of the following criteria:

  • having a diploma of secondary or higher education where English was the language of instruction
  • having a diploma of higher education where English was the language of instruction
  • or having successfully completed one of the following language proficiency tests corresponding to the Common European Framework of Reference with minimum level B2:
    • TOEFL iBT with minimum level: 79
    • IELTS with minimum level: academic module 6.5
    • ITACE with minimum level: B2
    • Cambridge English Qualification Scale with minimum level of B2 First (FCE) with minimal score of 170


  • Proof of previous studies in English (see option above) should be signed and stamped by the Educational Institution
  • Only the language tests mentioned above are accepted; no exceptions will be made

Note: emails asking for exemptions will not be answered

07 / Proof of activities: For reasons related to the financing of our universities we need to know your main daytime activities over the last 5 years (counting backwards from the current submission deadline). Start by summing up your periods of study (higher education and, if relevant, secondary school education). You have to cover the full 5 years. July and August do not have to be accounted for. Note that Bachelor or Master study years count as full years (12 months). If your former studies do not cover the full 5-year period (because you worked, travelled, etc.) please fill the gaps with your primary activity during these periods. Again, July and August do not have to be accounted for, but during the other ten months there can be no gap of more than one month.

The aim is NOT to include ALL your activities, but to cover the full period of five years. For example, if you were a full-time student for the past three years, simply indicate this and in addition list your primary activities for the two years prior to studying.

Most students ask their (former) employer(s) or institutions to write a letter in English, to print it on company paper, and to sign it. To limit their workload, you could prepare the contents of the letter including the start and end dates of the activity. Documents can be in French, English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, German, or Portuguese.

While proof of activities is necessary for administrative purposes, it will not factor into your admission decision. You will not be judged on how you spent your time.

08 / Copy of valid Passport (PDF): a scanned copy of your passport with all relevant information clearly legible. Passport must be valid for the duration of the 4CITIES program.

09 / Photograph of yourself (JPG): in accordance with EU regulations for passport photographs, 3.5cm x 4.5cm.

10 / Residence certificate (PDF) (only for EMJMD scholarship applicants): an official proof of your residential address. The document must have been issued within 12 months of the submission deadline. This can be an official document from your municipality or any other authority that issues resident permits or the like. If your passport or ID lists your address and was issued less then 12 months ago you can use this as proof (upload the relevant pages with your name, date of issue, and address).

Non-EU students whose (local) authorities do not issue these kinds of documents are requested to upload a statement mentioning that no such documents are issued in their region/country. In case you get selected we will contact you to decide which official document should be used.

For more information on the application process, see Admission 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.

How 4CITIES works »