• When are the application deadlines?

    • Priority deadline: February 1
    • Rolling admission for non-EEA nationals, until April 1
    • Rolling admission for EEA nationals, until May 1 (or earlier if full capacity has been reached)

    Dutch students who wish to apply after the May 1 deadline, please contact the admissions office.

  • How can I best prepare for TI admission during my Bachelor or Master program?

    The MPhil and PhD in economics, econometrics, and finance is a challenging program building upon the quantitative and analytical paradigms developed in the discipline.
    Students in more business oriented undergraduate programs can improve their admission possibilities by extending their curriculum with some quantitative course work (e.g., linear algebra, mathematical statistics and probability theory, calculus). Students from more quantitative programs benefit from some initial coursework in micro- or macroeconomics.
    Students opting for the more challenging Advanced Econometrics track in their first year, should have completed a solid Econometrics course at the level of a graduate economics program.

  • Can TI advise me whether I am qualified to apply?

    Due to the number of applications we receive it is not possible to offer individual feedback on your chances of being accepted to the MPhil program. The admissions board will evaluate your application as a whole. You are advised to check the admission requirements and to read the section in the program brochure about the right preparations for the program (section 3.6) to see whether you feel comfortable with the content of the textbooks there.

  • Are there any special admission criteria for Chinese nationals?

    If you are a Chinese national (even if you are currently living outside China) and you are admitted to the TI MPhil program, you will need a NUFFIC Certificate to be eligible for a Dutch entry visa. A NUFFIC Certificate is a document issued by NUFFIC that provides an assessment of your English language proficiency and of the authenticity of your educational degrees and diplomas.

    One of the documents required for a NUFFIC certificate is an English proficiency test report. Only IELTS (academic) or TOEFL iBT (Internet-based) tests are accepted by NUFFIC.

    Important notice: Meeting the TI admission criteria does not automatically lead to meeting the criteria for the NUFFIC certificate.


  • Which GRE test do I take?

    Tinbergen Institute requires the GRE (revised) general test. You should complete all 3 sections:

    Verbal Reasoning — Measures your ability to analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it, analyze relationships among component parts of sentences and recognize relationships among words and concepts.

    Quantitative Reasoning — Measures problem-solving ability using basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis.

    Analytical Writing — Measures critical thinking and analytical writing skills, specifically your ability to articulate and support complex ideas clearly and effectively.

  • Can I be exempted from the GRE test?

    Valid GRE General Test results are required from applicants with a non-Dutch degree.

  • Is GMAT also accepted instead of the GRE test?

    No. TI requires the GRE (revised) General Test results from all applicants, without exceptions. No other tests are accepted.

  • What is the minimum GRE score required?

    Successful applicants typically perform among the top-10% of test-takers on the quantitative part of the GRE; applicants with a Q score below 160 will not be considered.

  • Which language test do I take, Toefl or IELTS?

    Both language tests are accepted by TI. For the Nuffic certificate an IELTS academic or TOEFL iBT score is required.

  • Can I be exempted from the TOEFL or IELTS test?

    Yes, you can by:

    1. holding a degree from an institution at which English is the language of instruction, or
    2. holding a degree from a Dutch university.

    For Chinese nationals an IELTS academic or TOEFL iBT score report is always required for the NUFFIC certificate.
    Also see FAQ about special admission criteria for Chinese nationals?

  • What is the minimum Toefl/IELTS score required?

    Minimum scores required are:

    • 100 on the TOEFL iBT test
    • 7 on the IELTS test

    If your score is lower than the minimum requirement, we recommend to improve your English level and to retake the test.

    Chinese nationals also read the requirements for the NUFFIC certificate.

  • What is the Tinbergen Institute code for ETS?

    TI‘s institutional code is 3811.

  • Do I have to wait for the official test score reports before I can complete my application file?

    Without GRE and Toefl/IELTS test scores your file is not complete. In case your official test score report has not arrived yet, you may upload a screen shot of the ETS page that shows your GRE or Toefl scores.

  • Will my application be reviewed if my GRE or Toefl/IELTS scores do not meet the required minimum?

    No. We advise you to re-take the test and participate in the next admission round.

  • How long are my GRE, TOEFL and IELTS test scores valid?

    GRE scores are valid for five years after the test date. TOEFL and IELTS scores have a two year validity period.

  • Does TI charge a fee for this application?

    Yes, the application fee is $ 50 (non-refundable). Applicants from countries on the OECD DAC list pay a reduced application fee ($ 10, non-refundable) Payment is by credit card only.


  • How do I complete my application package?

    TI requests to upload the following document:

    • GRE score report;
    • TOEFL or IELTS test results if applicable;
    • Curriculum vitae;
    • Certified transcripts of coursework or copies of diplomas of bachelor and master programs. Certified English translations should be uploaded of transcripts and diplomas that are not in Dutch or English;
    • Statement of Academic Interests and Purpose of Study, including reasons for wanting to study at Tinbergen Institute, your research interests, professional plans, and career goals;
    • Writing sample (optional)

    You will also need to provide names and email addresses of two individuals who are prepared to act as references.

    Incomplete files will not be considered.

    GRE and Toefl/IELTS scores must meet TI’s minimum requirements.

    Go to How to apply or Supporting material

  • Do I need to upload my files in one session?

    It is possible to fill out the application form and upload your documents in multiple sessions. Do not forget to save before you close the form. Once you have submitted, you can no longer make any changes. Contact the admissions officer in case you would like to make changes.

  • How do I find out whether my application is complete?

    You can use ‘Review Application’ at the end of your application form in Embark to check if you have answered all the required questions and uploaded the required documents. We advise you to double check your entire application for completeness. Also make sure to remind your referees to submit their reference letters on your behalf before the admission deadline. You can check the status of your recommendation letters when you login to your application in Embark. You will also be notified by (automated) email if your recommender has submitted your online recommendation in Embark. Files that are not complete (incl. reference letters) at the deadline will not be reviewed.

  • What is a certified copy of a diploma?

    After preliminary acceptance you will need to submit certified copies of grade transcripts and diploma’s (never send us the original diploma’s).
    A certified copy is a photocopy with an endorsement or stamp that states that it’s a true copy of the primary document. You can certify copies of your documents at your school or sometimes at the municipality or notary.

  • I applied last year, do I need to apply again?

    Yes, you will need to apply again and upload all required documents.

  • When can I expect a decision on my application?

    All complete files will be reviewed in the month after the February 1 admission deadline. You can expect an admission decision within eight weeks. After February 15, rolling admission. You can expect to hear from TI within eight weeks.

  • I have specific questions about the application procedure. Whom can I address?

    The TI website and our online admission program provide detailed information. If you still have questions, please address applications@tinbergen.nl. Any other address you use will cause delay.

  • Is it possible to apply to the institute for direct admission to a 3-year PhD research position?

    No, this is not possible. Tinbergen Institute is a gateway to PhD positions for students who completed TI’s MPhil program.

    For PhD positions we refer to the job openings at the universities.

  • What is the annual inflow of students into the TI MPhil program?

    The maximum amount of students annually accepted in the TI MPhil program is 35. The program started in 2003; in the beginning the numbers were small. See below the annual inflow over the years 2013-2017.

    Female students represent a third of students. TI strives to increase the number of female students and encourages women to apply to the programme.



  • What is the academic background (MA/BA) of the students entering the program

    The graph shows the structure of degrees of the entering students. All MPhil students hold at least a bachelor degree; many hold already a master degree (MSc, one year master program).

    Almost 90% of the students have a background in economics; others are trained in for example computer sciences or mathematics , or have completed a liberal arts and sciences bachelor program at one of the Dutch University Colleges.



  • How is the distribution of students accross the TI universities?

    TI MPhil students are registered at one of the 3 TI universities (Erasmus University, University of Amsterdam or VU University). The affiliation of the student plays no role in access to courses, supervisors or PhD opportunities: after the completion of the MPhil program VU students may transfer to EUR or UvA and vice versa without any problem. Diplomas are awarded by the university of registration and by Tinbergen Institute.

  • How high are the success rates for applicants?

    The graph illustrates how many applicants (in %) were admitted to the TI MPhil program over the years 2013-2017. Due to the increasing number of applicants over the years, admission to the TI progam has become tougher.

  • How many students continue in a PhD track after having completed the MPhil program?

    About 85% of the TI MPhil students continue in a PhD track at TI. At the 3 economics faculties participating in Tinbergen Institute, PhD positions are allocated to most graduates of the TI MPhil program. Additional positions are available with external funding (from NWO and other sources). All (senior) TI research fellows, researchers with excellent international credentials, are available for thesis supervision.

    Usually, if the match between student and supervisor is successful, the MPhil thesis supervisor is also the PhD thesis supervisor in the PhD phase of the program. PhD students in the Netherlands are fully employed and have a good salary.

  • How much is TI’s tuition fee for me?

    In the master phase of the program a tuition fee is charged to all students. Tuition fees are due until all MPhil examinations, including the MPhil thesis, are passed. The tuition fees are determined annually by the Dutch government and the universities.

    The annual tuition fee for the academic year 2019-2020 is:

    EEA national € 2,078
    non-EEA national € 15,450
    students holding a Dutch MSc degree € 15,450


    Tinbergen Institute recognizes that talented students who already earned a Dutch master degree may be discouraged by the high tuition fee. Therefore these students are eligible to apply for a TI scholarship.

    In the PhD phase no tuition fees are charged.

  • Am I eligible for a scholarship?

    Tinbergen Institute awards scholarships based on merit. Applicants who wish to compete for a TI scholarship should indicate this on the online application form. These applicants are advised to submit their application as early as possible, preferably by the priority deadline of February 1. For more information, please visit the scholarships section in our website.


  • How many students receive a scholarship from TI?

    TI runs its own merit-based scholarship program for students in the research master program. Over the years, we offered scholarships to some 50% of the students that entered the program. Percentages are even higher for second year students. In the second year, the vast majority of the students gets additional income from part-time appointments as teaching or research assistant.

    Students in the programs’ PhD phase are typically employed by one of the TI departments as PhD researchers. These are full-time positions that come with all the benefits of employment, including a good salary.

    For more information: see our scholarship pages

  • I intend to apply for external funding and need help from Tinbergen Institute. How to proceed?

    Contact applications@tinbergen.nl and explain your case. TI will provide the necessary documents.

  • Is it possible to work while following the MPhil program?

    The core (first-year) program leaves little or no time for any jobs. For second year students Tinbergen Institute offers a number of teaching assistantships. Many second-year MPhil students also find other research assistantships in one of the TI departments connected with MPhil thesis research.

    Also see Nuffic pages working while studying.

  • How do I prepare academically for the TI program?

    Depending on their academic background, students may want to prepare academically for one or more core sequences before they come to TI.

    For them we composed a reading list.

  • There is overlap in TI’s program with my earlier coursework. Can I get exemptions?

    In the case of exact overlap between individual MPhil courses and earlier PhD level coursework, exemptions from courses can be granted. This does not change the ECTS requirements and will be determined in an intake interview with the Director of Graduate Studies at the start of the academic year.

  • I followed (parts of) a master program elsewhere. Can I skip the first, core year of the MPhil program?