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Questions & Answers

Any questions related to photonics, our research, photonics innovation or our master in photonics?


  • What impact does COVID-19 have on my studies?

    VUB, the Faculty of Engineering and B-PHOT will communicate as accurately as possible. Check this page to see the latest updates.

    As you are currently in the process of planning your academic career, we realize that many of you wonder how the start of the next academic year will look like at the Brussels Faculty of Engineering. At this stage, we cannot foresee when travel and mobility restrictions will be lifted. However, rest assured that we are continuously working to find and to implement solutions for international students who may not be able to attend classes on campus as of the first week of the academic year in September 2020. We understand that this may be due to travel restrictions, embassy closures or visa delays, or sanitary and safety reasons.

    Our primary goal is to open for the autumn term 2020-2021 for full-degree and mobility students. This might cause changes to the teaching and student environment due to required compliance with sanitary guidelines and social distancing on campus. For international students who are not able to travel to Brussels in September, we will offer online teaching and blended learning to ensure optimal study experience and to avoid disruptions in their study programme. Faculty and teaching staff will offer full support. In addition, and for those courses where this is found relevant and implementable (e.g. laboratory-based courses), peer guidance by fellow students that will be on campus will be available to those who will start with studying remotely.

    The safety of our community is of key importance, and we hope that by offering this flexible approach we will be able to offer all students an excellent study experience at the Brussels Faculty of Engineering for the year to come. We will keep updating you on the progress of our efforts and policies, and we remain available to answer any further questions or concerns at short notice ( for VUB registered students; for ULB registered students). Should you have any further questions regarding the programme you have applied for, please feel free to attend one of our online info sessions. Following such a session is a unique opportunity to have a one-to-one conversation with a professor who is deeply involved in the programme and to gain a comprehensive view of your programme at the Brussels Faculty of Engineering.

    Finally, we would like to thank you for your patience and understanding, and we wish you all the best during these challenging times.

  • I don’t have a degree in Electronics or (Applied) Physics, can I apply?

    Yes, we have accepted students with a degree in Computer Science, Biomedical Engineering, IC Design in the past. If there are sufficient courses in Applied Mathematics, Electromagnetics, Semiconductor Physics, Electronics, Optics & Optoelectronics or Telecommunications, you fit our profile.

  • How can I prove my English language capabilities?

    We accept the following as proof:

    • - a TOEFL-TEST, showing a score of at least 570 (paper-based) or 87 (internet-based)
    • - an original “test report from” (TRF) from IELTS, with a minimum overall band score of 6.0
    • - Cambridge-ESOL: First certificate in English (FCE).

    Some applicants are exempted from submitting one of the above in the following cases:

    • - If you have a diploma of higher education awarded by a (recognised) institution of higher education in the Flemish Community.
    • - If you have successfully completed a minimum of 1 year (60 credits), be it secondary or higher education, where the medium of instruction was English (an official certificate must be submitted).

  • How do I legalize my diploma and diploma supplements?

    For more information regarding the legalisation method for your documents, please visit

  • I am already applying to three Erasmus Mundus master courses (EMMC), can I still apply for the Master in Photonics?

    Yes, students can still apply to the Master of Science in Photonics Engineering. The Master in Photonics is a former EMMC and therefore will not be taken into account for the maximum number of three EMMC one can apply to.

  • Is there a late application call?

    Late application deadlines will be announced on our website, so please check regularly for updates.

  • I don’t have direct access to my recommendation letters, what should I do?

    If the letters are in a sealed envelope, mail them (or ask the professor to mail them) to the Photonics Secretariat. If professors prefer not to send the letter directly to you, they can always email their recommendation letter to

  • Can I get my legalised copies back?

    Yes, if you are not accepted for enrollment or if you wish to defer or cancel their enrollment, can reclaim their legalised copies without additional cost.

  • I’m in my final year of Bachelor studies, can I apply for the programme?

    Yes, Bachelor students in their last year of study can also apply, but need to successfully finish their Bachelor studies prior to the start of academic year.

  • How can I obtain a scholarship?

    All students who apply for this programme are therefore eligible to be awarded a VUB Scholarship (no separate application procedure is required). These Scholarships will be awarded on a competitive basis among all accepted Master in Photonics students. To obtain a grant or scholarship from one of the external funding agencies, students must follow a separate procedure (next to the Master in Photonics application procedure). The procedure to obtain these grants is completely independent of the Master in Photonics Admission Process and the Master in Photonics Board has no involvement in the selection or decision process of these external funding agencies.

  • I am not accepted to the programme, what should I do?

    In case of non-selection and if you have grounds to believe that your application file has not been processed properly through the selection procedure, you can start an appeal procedure by sending a letter to the Master in Photonics Secretariat by registered post. The letter should clearly state the reason for the appeal. The appeal must be lodged within 30 days after the communication of the selection results from the Master in Photonics Secretariat. The Chairs of the Master in Photonics Programme Board will verify whether your file was eligible and whether the selection has been carried out correctly. The Master in Photonics Secretariat will communicate by e-mail the outcome of the appeal procedure within 30 days after receiving the appeal letter.

    Students are always allowed to apply for the next intake. New additional elements (new courses followed, training, recommendation letters) may lead to a different outcome of the selection. If there are no additional elements, the result of the selection procedure will not change as well.

  • I have not taken any courses in – e.g. Telecommunications – , am I still eligible to apply?

    Yes, students who did not follow courses in 1 (or 2) of the basic subject fields (Applied Mathematics, Electromagnetics, Semiconductor Physics, Electronics, Optics & Optoelectronics or Telecommunications), can still apply.

  • General questions

  • How do I contact a specific researcher?

    You can find our team members and their contact details on our Team page. You can also reach us at

  • Research

  • What kind of projects does B-PHOT work on?

  • Innovation

  • How does B-PHOT work on co-innovation?

    We work together with industry. All our technology platforms are accessible to companies. Want to collaborate on innovation? Contact us or check out the platform pages!

  • What is ACTPHAST?

    ACTPHAST is a unique one-stop-shop solution for supporting photonics innovation. ACTPHAST provides photonics and non-photonics companies and researchers with one-stop-shop access to a wide range of existing cutting edge photonics technology platforms from Europe’s top research centres. The ACTPHAST network offers a single streamlined way to access 200 of the best experts and technologies from 24 of Europe’s leading photonics research institutes, covering the entire supply chain to accelerate the demonstration of exciting new scientific breakthroughs towards a working prototype, and beyond into mass manufacturing.

    Currently, 2 ACTPHAST projects are running to support innovation with Photonics:

    • ACTPHAST4.0 is specially designed to support European companies who want to boost the innovation of their projects with photonics. This project is supported by the EU ( Grant Agreement No. 779472).
    • ACTPHAST4R aims to support researchers who have a conceptional breakthrough and would like to realize their prototype (or some components for their prototype) with mature photonics technologies. This project is supported by the EU (Grant Agreement No. 825051).

    Read more about ACTPHAST.

  • STEM

  • Want to know more about our STEM and Outreach work?