Selection quotas

Learn more about selection quota 1 and 2, applying as a dispensee, and how to write a motivational essay.

Quota 1 and 2

All applications that fulfil the entry requirements go on to the selection process

If you fulfil all the entry requirements for the programme(s) applied for and have complied with the rules and deadlines for admission, your application will move on to the next phase in the admissions round: the selection process.
The selection process sorts applications into a ranking list. Study places are then filled up from the top down of this list until all the places are filled.

We handle all qualified applications in one or two of the following selection quotas:

Quota 1: Your GPA determines whether or not you can be accepted

Selection Quota 1 is for applicants with an eligible GPA

Application Deadlines for Quota 1:

  • Applicants with a non-Danish upper secondary school exam that can be converted must apply by 15 March, 12 noon Danish time
  • Applicants with a Danish upper secondary school exam must apply by 5 July, 12 noon Danish time

Further information concerning application and documentation deadlines can be found in Deadlines. You can find Deadlines here.

How to apply in Quota 1:
There is no special way to indicate in your application at that you wish to apply in Quota 1. All qualified applicants who apply within the given deadlines above will be automatically assessed in Quota 1.

GPA only

As there are a limited number of study spots for each of the programmes at CBS, all qualified applicants in Quota 1 are ranked according to their GPA and in accordance with their application priorities if applying for more than one programme. The study spots allocated in Quota 1 are then filled according to this ranking.

We do not know the minimum GPA required to guarantee a spot through Quota 1 until the end of July. By checking statistics from previous years, it is possible to see trends and get an idea but remember that this process is determined by the GPA’s of the qualified applicants.

If you do not have one of the international exams mentioned in the table of comparisons, your GPA cannot be converted into the Danish grading system and you will not be assessed in Quota 1.

It is not possible to improve a GPA. Once an upper secondary exam has been completed and a GPA has been calculated, it is fixed with regards to the admission process to CBS. If you have completed two upper secondary exams or re-taken your upper secondary exam to improve your grades, the GPA dated first will be used (if you have completed an upper secondary education, which GPA can be converted into a Danish GPA, then that will be used).

Quick Bonus abolished as of 2020

As of 1 January 2020, the quick bonus will be abolished, as per Ministerial order "Bekendtgørelse om ændring af bekendtgørelse om adgang til bacheloruddannelser ved universiteterne og de videregående kunstneriske uddannelsesinstitutioner på Uddannelses- og Forskningsministeriets område" (BEK nr 107 af 12/02/2018).

Thus, there will be no quick bonus for applicants as of 2020.



Quota 2: We make an overall assessment of your application

Selection Quota 2 is for applicants with post-upper secondary experience or without an eligible GPA

  • Applicants with an eligible GPA who have completed any of the activities listed further down after graduation from upper secondary school (you will also be assessed in Quota 1)
  • Applicants with an upper secondary exam that cannot be directly converted to the Danish grading system (for example, those from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland) and who do not need a student residence permit for Denmark
  • Applicants who do not have a formal upper secondary exam but instead have 6 subjects at A, B or C level (for example, dispensees)
  • This quota uses an overall assessment as selection criteria for qualified applicants

Quota 2 is for those who want to be assessed on the basis of an overall assessment. It is importantthat you always meet the specific entry requirements. Only extra-curricular activities undertaken after the upper secondary school exam has been completed can be used. However max. 12 months total activities.

An overall Quota 2 assessment includes:

  • Exam results for each specific entry requirement fulfilled
  • Extra-curricular activities such as employment, extended periods abroad, residential periods at a Folk High School etc. 
  • Motivational essay for certain programmes and applicants. 

As this is an overall assessment, it is impossible to put precise figures on the concrete assessment, instead an overall picture of the application, and therefore the applicant's background, is built up on the documentation provided. However, we can say that in the programmes where a motivational essay  is included, it weighs high in the selection. There is no difference between, for example, whether you have work experience or further education. Below we have described all the criteria and activities that can be included in the overall assessment of your application. 

Grades in the specific entry requirements

Your Exam results for each specific entry requirement is a part of the overall assessment in Quota 2.

It is possible to re-take exams in the specific entry requirements and improve your grades. When processing your application, if you fulfil a specific entry requirement in more than one way, we will always choose the exam will the highest grade as part of the overall Quota 2 assessment.
Motivational essay

Take your time when writing your motivational essay

For certain programmes and certain applicants a motivational essay is a part of the overall assessment. We expect you to have written your motivational essay(s) yourself. 

You need to write one motivational essay for each programme that requires this. You cannot upload one motivational, that covers all. 

Programmes requirering a motivational essay

A motivational essay is included as part of the overall assessment for the following programmes:
  • BSc in Business Administration and Digital Management
  • BSc in Business Administration and Sociology
  • BSc in Business, Asian Language and Culture – International Business in Asia
  • BSc in Business, Language and Culture
  • BSc in International Business
  • BSc in International Business and Politics
  • BSc in Business Administration and Service Management (Specific questions)
  • BSc in Shipping and Trade (Specific questions)
  • HA i europæisk business (Specific questions)
  • HA i markeds- og kulturanalyse
  • HA i projektledelse 
  • HA(fil.) – Erhvervsøkonomi – filosofi
  • HA(psyk.) – Erhvervsøkonomi – psykologi
  • HA(kom.) – Erhvervsøkonomi – virksomhedskommunikation (Specific questions)
  • HA(it.) - Erhvervsøkonomi - informationsteknologi

Please note that the motivational essay is not included as part of the overall assessment of applications to any bachelor programmes not mentioned on the list above. Should you upload a motivational essay where it is not required, it will not be included in the overall assessment of your application.

Deadline for the motivational essay

Your motivational essay(s) must be uploaded to your application in by the application deadline of 15 March 12 noon (CET). Motivational essays uploaded after the deadline will not be included in the overall assessment.

Requirements to size, language and format

The motivational essay should take up no more than 2 pages, corresponding to a maximum of 4800 characters including spaces. It is important that you meet the requirement. If you write more than 4800 characters, your motivational essay will be rejected and will not be included in the overall assessment.

  • If you are applying for a programme taught in Danish, your motivational essay must be written in Danish, Swedish or Norwegian.
  • If you are applying for a programme taught in English, your motivational essay must be written in English.

We have made a template that we recommend you to use for your motivational essay. The template can contain up to 4800 characters including spaces. If you write more than that, it will not be shown. 

Template to use for for motivational essay

You must upload the motivational eassay as a PDF file to This means that you will need to save the template as PDF file before uploading it. If you are unsure about how to convert a file to PDF, you can read the Microsoft guide here:

 Microsoft's guide on how to convert a file to PDF


How to write a motivational essay

You must write your motivational essay(s) yourself since it will help you make the right choice of programme. In the writing process you will get a better understanding of your dream programme. This helps you know for certain that you have made the right choice. 


Your motivational essay should include a bit about your background, your past experiences and your future plans in relation to the specific programme. Examples of content could include:

  • Your contribution: What can you contribute to the programme on the basis of your background and experience and what will you get out of the study environment of the programme?
  • Your motivation: Why do you wish to study the programme?
  • Your career plans: What are your future plans and how will the programme help you to achieve your goals?

Remember to be concrete and specific when you write your motivational essay. Be personal rather than professional and reflect and show who YOU are, also when with other people. The essay is not about putting on a front or flashing your CV.

Additional questions for specific programmes:

Several programmes have aditional specific questions that they want you to answer or take a stand on in your motivational essay.
BSc in International Shipping and Trade have the following additional questions:
  • Describe situations where you achieved results together with other people and how you contributed?
  • Are there any concrete aspects of the shipping programme that you already know that you want to immerse yourself in or explore further? And why?

BSc in International Business and Politics have the following additional questions:

  • How are business and politics intertwined at the international level?
  • What’s the best way for business to help society?

BSc in Business Administration and Service Management have the following additional questions:

  • Give three examples of skills and capabilities that make you a desirable team member.
  • Why do you think that the topic (your preferred specialization) of the programme is an interesting subject to study?

HA i europæisk business have the following additional questions:

  • Hvad mener du er et godt og inkluderende studiemiljø?
  • Hvad håber du at få ud af det obligatoriske udlandsophold på 5. semester?

HA(fil) have the following additional question:

  • Hvad synes du virker interessant med kombinationen erhvervsøkonomi og filosofi?

HA(kom.), Erhvervsøkonomi - virksomhedskommunikation have the following additional questions:

  • Hvorfor har du valgt HA(kom.) i stedet for en anden kommunikationsrelateret uddannelse, herunder professionsuddannelser?
  • Hvad er et eksempel på et kommunikationsrelateret job, som du synes virker spændende?
Work experience

Work experience is counted when:
  • Work experience is only included if it is a minimum of 1 month block (it must be ONE employment) 
  • Maximum of 12 month blocks.
  • A month block is achieved only for working minimum 30 hours per week for 30 consecutive days or minimum 120 hours per month.

No differentiation is made between different types of work experience. Voluntary work, military service and maternity / paternity leave are also included under the category of work experience.

You must document your work experience
We accept the following documentation:

  •  Employer's Declaration or
  • Wage slips are also accepted as a form of documentation for employment. We need to be able to see the hours worked per week clearly in your wage slip and the dates of the duration of your work from start to finish

An employment contract is NOT valid documentation.

 To document self-employment we need the following:

  • Annual report/statement of accounts, and
  • Business plan, and
  • Solemn declaration of your working hours (min. 30 weekly hours) and that you did not receive any transfer income in the period in question, and
  • Documentation from the municipal authorities if you received public funding for your company, such as enterprise allowance, etc.
Travel abroad

Travel abroad is counted when:

  • You have to be in another country for a minimum of one coherent month (one month is counted as 30 days). You can be in different countries in that month
  • Maximum of 6 months kan be considered
  • It cannot be the country that you took your upper secondary exam in

You must document your travels abroad 
We accept the following documentation:

  • Passport stamps or
  • Boarding cards or
  • Documentation for activity abroad, such as employer's declaration, grade transcript etc.

Travel plans/bookings and bank statements are NOT accepted as proof of travel abroad.

Further education

Further education is counted when:
  • Further education is defined as continuation from upper secondary school level and is thus at a higher. We do not use any form of education that is at a lower level than this.
  • In blocks of 5 ECTS-points (equal to 1 month of full-time education). If your grade transcript uses a different system of credits other than ECTS-points, we will calculate the conversion for you.
  • A maximum of 60 ECTS-points (equating to 12 month blocks).

You must document further education
We accept the following documentation:

An official grade transcript showing the total number of ECTS taken (or credits, teaching hours etc.) and showing that you have passed the exam. The transcript must be verified with stamp and signature.

Folk High Schools (in Scandinavia)

Folk High School is counted when:
  • You must have resided at the folk high school.
  • A minimum of 1 month in length. One month equals 30 days.
  • A maximum of 6 months in total. 
  • You cannot double up your residency with work experience or further education. You can, however, double up your residency if you have been to a folk high school abroad.

You must document your residence at a folk high school

  • We accept the following documentation:
  • Diploma for completed stay and the period.
Double activities

Double activities is a combination of the following:

  • Travel abroad and work experience 
  • Travel abroad and further education 
  • Travel abroad and residency at a folk high school.

These blocks can only be doubled up with travel abroad if both activities have been done at the same time. You can double up for a minimum one month and a maximum of 6 months.



The page was last edited by: Web editor - Student Communications // 02/13/2023