Pre-master programs

Have you graduated from a Dutch HBO or did you obtain a bachelor’s degree from a Dutch university, and would you like to enroll in a master’s program at TU/e? Your prior education has to be appropriate in order to be admitted, but what if your prior education isn’t suitable? Then you could make up for your deficiencies by completing a pre-master program.  


After graduation, you’ll be facing the choice whether to continue studying or to apply for a job. There are several reasons why you might choose for a (pre-)master’s program:

  • You would like to combine the best of both worlds: the practical knowledge of an HBO study with the academic skills gained at university
  • You would like to deepen your knowledge by taking a master that corresponds with your bachelor, or to broaden your knowledge by taking a master with a slightly different approach
  • You are interested in the scientific world and might want to apply for a PhD or PDEng program. In these programs, you’ll be educated to become a researcher or a technological designer.


Every master’s program has its own pre-master program, which consists of 30 ECTS worth of courses and will take you 6 months to a year. Completing a pre-master program doesn’t give you a bachelor’s degree. Instead, you will receive admission to the matching master’s degree program.

Sufficient level of English and Mathematics required

In order to be able to start with a pre-master program, you need to comply with the English proficiency requirements. Also, most pre-master programs will ask for a confirmation of a sound level of mathematics. You’ll need this to be able to finish the pre-master program successfully. You can find more information about the requirements for English and mathematics here.

HBO-TOP program

Are you now studying at a Dutch HBO, and are you already certain that you want to continue studying with a master’s degree program at TU/e? You might want to take a look at our HBO-TOP programs. This is a track with which you’ll receive direct admission to one of TU/e’s master’s degrees.

Difference between Dutch HBO and university

Are you choosing for a (pre-)master program at a university after graduating from Dutch HBO? Keep in mind that there are differences between university and higher vocational education. The most important differences are:

  • The professional knowledge that you’ll gain is more theoretical and abstract and not directed at one or several specific job descriptions. You will become an expert in an academic field and will be able to better interpret developments and research.
  • Your engagement with the subject matters will be deeper and more critical by studying scientific sources and by conducting research.
  • There will be less direct contact hours and you often have to process the (English) study materials independently. 
  • The pace with which you’ll have to digest the study materials will be much higher than you’re used to at HBO. It is therefore very important to keep up with your studies right away.

Practical information about applying


All our pre-master programs start in September. You can apply until May 1st. Applied Physics and Industrial Design also offer a second intake moment. With this pre-master program you can also start in February, the application deadline is November 1st. Applying for a pre-master program consists of several steps:

  • Go to Studielink
  • Filter through TU/e’s bachelor’s programs.  This list also includes the pre-master programs


After your application in Studielink, you will receive a digital application form. We will ask you to submit documents for admission, so we can determine whether you will meet the admission requirements for the start of the pre-master program (relevant HBO/WO prior education, sufficient level of English and mathematics).

We ask you to provide the following documents (in English):

  • A certified copy of your most recent grade list of your current education, preferably with GPA. If you already graduated: a certified copy of your diploma and final transcript.
  • If you have an international previous education: certified copies of your diploma and final grade list
  • Course content (in a pdf). The description should provide TU/e with a clear idea of the content of the subjects mentioned on your grade list. It should contain the full name of the subjects as well as a short description of the content of each subject.
  • Proof of language proficiency in English (more information)
  • Proof of proficiency in Mathematics (not for pre-master programs of Industrial Design and the Build Environment (more information)

Please note: if you are applying for the pre-master program of Industrial Design, we will also ask you to provide this information.


For your pre-master program, you can apply for financial aid. Be aware that when applying for financial aid, you should mention the bachelor’s degree program of which the pre-master program courses are part of.

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