Quota 1 and 2

Selection quotas - 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:

Selection Quota 1 is for applicants with an eligible GPA

  • You have an eligible GPA if you have a Danish GPA or an international GPA that can be converted to the Danish grading system. 
  • All applicants with an eligible GPA are handled in Quota 1 (even those also handled in Quota 2)
  • This quota uses the GPA only as selection criteria for qualified applicants

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

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 Apply.

How to apply in Quota 1:
There is no special way to indicate in your application at Optagelse.dk 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.

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

Quota 2 is for those who want to be assessed on the basis of an overall assessment. This may be because you want to be assessed on something other than your grade average OR because you  have an upper secondary exam that cannot be directly converted to the Danish grading system, or you do not have a formal upper secondary exam, you are a dispensees. 
It is important for both groups that you always have to 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.
Work experience

Work experience is counted when:

  • Work experience is only included if it is a minimum of 1 month block  
  • Maximum of 12 month blocks.
  • A month block is achieved only for working minimum 30 hours per week for 30 consecutive days.

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 follwing documentation:

  • Employer's Declaration 
  • 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

Documents for self-employment

We accept the following documentation for self-employment:

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

An employment contract is NOT valid documentation.

Travel abroad

COVID-19: CBS encourages you to follow the advice of your national authorities. Remember that other activities are as good as traveling, for instance work experience (including volunteer work or internships).

Travel abroad is counted when:

  • Minimum of 1 month block. A month block is achieved by travelling abroad for 30 consecutive days.
  • Maximum of 6 month blocks. 

In order for travel abroad to be assessed as part of your application, you need to have stayed in a country in which you have:

  • NOT taken your upper secondary school exam

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

  • Passport stamps
  • Boarding cards
  • Proof of rental payments. 

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 follwing 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

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 follwing documentation:
  • Diploma for completed stay and the period.

Double activities

CBS encourages you to follow the advice of your national authorities. As this is a concrete overall assessment, it will also be included in our assessment that there are not the same possibilities to travel under Covid-19.

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.

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. A list of the programmes which take the motivational essay into account can be seen below.

Your motivational essay(s) must be uploaded to your application in Optagelse.dk by the application deadline of 15 March 12 noon (CET).

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
  • BSc in Shipping and Trade (Specific questions)
  • HA i Europæisk Business
  • HA i Markeds- og Kulturanalyse
  • HA pro. – Erhvervsøkonomi og projektledelse 
  • HA(fil.) – Erhvervsøkonomi – filosofi
  • HA(psyk.) – Erhvervsøkonomi – psykologi
  • HA(kom.) – Erhvervsøkonomi – virksomhedskommunikation
  • 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.

Motivational essay content
The motivational essay should fill no more than two sides of A4. If you are applying for a programme taught in Danish, your motivational essay must be written in Danish. If you are applying for a programme taught in English, your motivational essay must be written in English.

You must write your motivational essay(s) yourself. This not only helps us to get a better impression of your personal side, it also helps you to think carefully through your programme choices in your application.


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.
For applications to programmes that look at the motivational essay, it comprises a large part of the overall assessment in Quota 2.

Additional questions:
The BSc in Shipping and Trade have the following additional questions:

  • Describe situations where you achieved results together with other people and how you contributed?
  • What are your most important strengths in relation to customer contact and teamwork? Why?


Apply for an appraisal (pre-assessment), if your upper secondary exam is from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland

This section is for applicants who have completed their upper secondary education outside of the EU/EEA/Switzerland or who are applying as a dispensee. You can apply for a bachelor appraisal between 15 October and 15 November

If your educational background is from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, then please refer to our table of comparisons given under your country in Entry Requirements.

Applying for an appraisal

A Bachelor Appraisal is only for applicants whose educational background is from outside of the EU/EEA/Switzerland or who are applying as a dispensee. A Bachelor Appraisal will tell you whether or not you fulfil the general and specific entry requirements for one of the bachelor programmes at CBS.

When can I apply for an appraisal?
You can apply for a bachelor appraisal between 15 October and 15 November.

How do I apply for an appraisal?
You need to fill out the PDF iconAppraisal form and send it by email, along with scans of all necessary documentation, to: bacheloradmission@cbs.dk within the given timeframe.

When can I expect an answer?
You can expect an answer to your appraisal in January before the application round opens on 1 February.

For how long is my appraisal from CBS valid?

Your appraisal from CBS is only valid for the next immediate Application Round. For example, if you have applied for an appraisal on 15 November 2020, the answer that you receive in January 2021 would only be valid for the 2021 Application Round.

What do I need to be aware of with regards to an appraisal?

  • You are only allowed to apply for an appraisal for one bachelor degree programme.
  • You need to check which documents are required from your country to fulfil the general entry requirement for an upper secondary education. You can check that here.
  • You need to send documentation for the specific entry requirements. Remember to include course descriptions and documentation concerning hours studied for each relevant subject per year during your upper secondary school / university years.
  • You need to translate your documents into English, if they are not already in English (please remember to scan and send documents in the original language as well as the translations though).
  • When you send the email, please write ‘Bachelor Appraisal’ as your subject line.
  • An appraisal is not an application to CBS. You will still need to apply from scratch via Optagelse.dk once the application round opens on 1 February.
  • When you do apply, please remember to upload your appraisal answer along with all your documentation to your application at Optagelse.dk.

Applicants with refugee status

If you are an applicant currently in Denmark, or another Nordic country, with refugee status and you are interested in starting or continuing your further education at CBS, you can consider the following:

  • Come to our Bachelor Open Day
    This event offers a good introduction to the different bachelor programmes offered at CBS as well more practical information concerning the application process and deadlines. Further information regarding this event can be found here.
  • Come to our International Applicant Day
    This event gives an introduction to life as an international student in Denmark as well as the opportunity to network with other potential international students. Further information regarding this event can be found here.
  • Consider taking a GIF as preparation for studies in Denmark
    The GIF programme is a one year programme that is designed for refugees and immigrants interested in completing a Danish upper secondary exam. This exam can then be used to fulfil the general entry requirement plus potentially some of the specific entry requirements. Applicants to the GIF programme must have completed high school level in their home country plus have a certain level of Danish. Further information can be found here.
  • Apply for an appraisal
    CBS offers an appraisal round for prospective applicants with a non-EU educational background. CBS assesses the documents sent in the appraisal application and confirms whether or not the qualifications fulfil the entry requirements for a particular programme. The appraisal round deadline is 15 November. If you have missed this deadline but have an official refugee status in Denmark or another Nordic country, please send us an email to discuss your options. Please be aware that the application deadline for bachelor programmes in Denmark is always 15 March, 12 noon and if you miss this deadline, you will not be able to apply until the following year.


We cannot accept any applicants who do not fulfil the entry requirements. If you are not able to provide part of the official documentation of your qualifications due to circumstances, you should try to gather as much other information and documents as you are able to, to show your qualifications. We will consider application on a case by case basis and help you to find the best solution. Consider also researching single courses or language tests to document the specific entry requirements.


How to apply? Go to: Apply

The page was last edited by: Student Affairs // 09/27/2021