Selection quotas

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


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).


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 important that 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

At most programmes a motivational essay is part of the overall assessment in Quota 2.

Programmes with 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 Service 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 International Shipping and Trade 
  • HA i europæisk business 
  • HA i markeds- og kulturanalyse
  • HA i projektledelse 
  • HA(fil.) – Erhvervsøkonomi – filosofi
  • HA(it.) – Erhvervsøkonomi – informationsteknologi
  • HA(kom.) – Erhvervsøkonomi – virksomhedskommunikation 
  • HA(psyk.) – Erhvervsøkonomi – psykologi

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 at other programes than the ones mentioned above, 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 and recommendations for the motivational essay

Naming your essay
It is a requirement that the name of the file that you upload to containing your motivational essay includes the following terms: 'Motivational EssayOR 'Motiveret Ansøgning'. If you give the file containing the motivational essay any other name, it will be excluded from the assessment of your application. You are welcome to include eg. the name of the progamme that you are applying for in the file name, eg. 'Motivational Essay - BSc Service Management' as long as you make sure that 'Motivational Essay' is part of the file name.

Language requirement
  • 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.

Number of motivational essays
You are to write a motivational essay for each programme you are applying for. You cannot upload one motivational essay covering all the programmes. 

You are required to write your own motivational essay(s). 

You are to upload the motivational essay as a PDF file to This means that you will need to save your motivational essay as PDF file before uploading it. If you are unsure about how to convert a file to PDF, you can read  Microsoft's guide on how to convert a file to PDF.

Requirements for assessment

Your motivational essay will only be included in the overall assessment if, by the Quota 2 deadline, a minimum of three months has passed since the completion of your upper secondary education. 

Recommended length of the essay
We recommend that the motivational essay should take up approximately 2 A4 pages. 

You are welcome to use this template: File Template for the Motivational Essay

Recommended form
We recommend that you write your motivational essay in a continuous form, i.e. you shouldn't split up your essay into sections according to the questions and examples. We also recommend that you try to cover all the examples. 

Recommended information
As we strive to have an admission proces that minimises potential bias, we recommend that you do not upload pictures of yourself or any unnecessary personal information. 

Content of the motivational essay

You must write your motivational essay(s) yourself. Doing this will give you the opportunity to get to know more about the programme and find out what catches your interest and if the programme is indeed something for you. 

Remember to be concrete and specific when you write your motivational essay; it is not about showing a mask or flashing a CV. Be personal and show us who you are - and who you are together with other people. 

We want to admit students who come from various backgrounds, with different interests and dreams, and therefore we would like to know more about you:

What do you find exciting about the programme? It could be specific subject areas, combinations of subjects or methods of working during the programme, or perhaps how it will help you build upon your own background. 

What does community mean to you in your studies? It could involve academic collaboration with other students, a safe and inspiring study environment, the ability to be yourself, or something else that is important to you. 

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 is included in the overall assessment (if you have worked more than 12 months, it is only the 12 months that will be included in the overall assessment)
  • 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.

Requirements for assessment

Your work experience will only be included in the overall assessment if, by the Quota 2 deadline, a minimum of three months has passed since the completion of your upper secondary education. 

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

  • PDF icon Employer's declarationPDF icon  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/ 120 hours per month with start- and end date for the period in question) 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.

Work in EU less developed/ transition regions

  • If you have worked in a EU 'less developed region' or a 'transition region', it carries extra weight in the overall assessment.  

Click here to see a map of the regions to determine if the region you have worked in is part of the above: Map of regions

EU decision regarding the regions: Document 

It is your responsibility to point out that you have worked in a EU 'less developed region' or a 'transition region'. 

Travel abroad

Travel abroad is counted when:

  • You must stay 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 can be considered
  • It cannot be the country that you took your upper secondary exam in

Requirements for assessment

Your travel abroad will only be included in the overall assessment if, by the Quota 2 deadline, a minimum of three months has passed since the completion of your upper secondary education. 

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.

NB! From the admission year 2025 you must stay in another country for a minimum of two coherent months (one month is counted as 30 days). You must stay in the same country for a min. of two months. This means that you can stay in a max. of 3 different countries during the 6 months that can be considered.

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).

Requirements for assessment

Your further education will only be included in the overall assessment if, by the Quota 2 deadline, a minimum of three months has passed since the completion of your upper secondary education. 

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/ or signature.

Folk high schools (in Scandinavia)
Folk high school is counted when:
  • You must have resided at the folk high school.
  • A minimum of 2 months in length (1 month equals 30 days).
  • A maximum of 6 months in total. 
  • The folk high school is listed on the following website:

Requirements for assessment

Your folk high school (in Scandinavia) will only be included in the overall assessment if, by the Quota 2 deadline, a minimum of three months has passed since the completion of your upper secondary education. 

You must document your residence at a folk high school

We accept the following documentation:

  • Diploma for completed stay and the period.
  • Documentation that you are attending at the moment with start date, end date and dated.
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.

* Please note that folk high school must be a min. of 2 months.

NB! Double activities will not be part of the Quota 2 assessment from the admission year 2025. Therefore no double activity will be taken into account (regardless of when the activity took place) for the quota 2 assessment for the admission round 2025 and onwards. 

Other activities

Activities done before completing your qualifying exam (upper secondary education) will not be taken into consideration during the assessment of your application(s). Unless you have completed your qualifying exam the year you turned 23 years of age (or more).  If that is the case please contact


The page was last edited by: Web editor - Student Communications // 06/21/2024