“I can’t stress enough how innovative and visionary this programme is.”

Volodymyr Koman MIT Photonics

Volodymyr Koman (MIT)
Master Photonics Alumnus

“I can’t stress enough how innovative and visionary this programme is.”

Volodymyr Koman (MIT)
Master Photonics Alumnus

Study Photonics in Belgium!

The Master of Science in Photonics Engineering (MSPE) is embedded in a world-class research environment that helps you to build your career path in key domains of the future. Our English taught inter-university programme to two years (120 ECTS) leads to a joint degree from Ghent University and Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Enjoy a vibrant cultural and social life at the heart of Europe, surrounded by international decision-making organisations. Or discover our online track!

PHOTCAST is a podcast initiative from students, with students, and for students. Discover our Master Programme in Photonics in a fun way! We discuss every aspect of photonics & engineering, studying photonics in Belgium, student life and future job perspectives.

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Studying in Belgium in times of COVID-19

Worried about the implications of the Coronavirus outbreak on your future studies? Our primary goal is to provide a flexible and accessible programme for every student. 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. Students will be able to follow all photonics courses online. Please contact us for more information.


The programme allows students to take courses and/or do a master thesis abroad, during one or two semesters. Students can also go for an international internship.


Next to grants and scholarships from our universities and research groups, there are Flemish, Belgian and European programmes that support students financially.


You get the chance to use the large industry network of VUB and UGent to kickstart your career in photonics.


Our programme officers Majorie and Bert make sure you are in direct contact with the universities and professors! They are available for all your questions.

The programme equips you with an exquisite skillset, combining theoretical expertise with hands-on training in world-class research labs. A highly rewarding experience I would strongly recommend!
Martin Skënderas
During my thesis, I had the chance to cooperate with international research groups and companies which further developed my research and communication skills.
Sidney Goossens
To get a truly international experience, this master programme offers many exchange opportunities at some of the best universities in Europe like ITMO, EPFL and DTU.
Tanvi Pradhan Photonics Student Master in Photonics Engineering
Tanvi Pradhan

Our team!

Meet THE programme directorS, OFFICERS and MORE!

Join our group!

Come and join an international group of more than 60 students studying in Ghent and Brussels. Broaden your horizon and discover new cultures while obtaining a master’s degree in photonics!

A graduate of this programme is a ‘EUR-ACE® Master’. EUR-ACE® is the European quality label for engineering degree programmes which have been accredited in accordance with the EUR-ACE® Framework Standards and Guidelines. The Master of Science in Photonics Engineering was accredited by the accreditation agencies CTI and NVAO.


Most frequent questions and answers

All students who apply for this program 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 EMSP students.
To obtain a grant or scholarship from one of the external funding agencies, students must follow a separate procedure (next to the MSPE application procedure). The procedure to obtain these grants is completely independent from the MSPE Admission Process and the MSPE Board has no involvement in the selection or decision process of these external funding agencies.

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.

We accept the following proof of English language proficiency:

  • A secondary school diploma from the Belgian educational system;
  • A certificate from the institution where you completed secondary or higher education, stating that English was the language of instruction;
  • A certificate of one of the following language tests corresponding to the Common European Framework of Reference with minimum level B2:
    • TOEFL (internet-based test) with minimum level: 79
    • IELTS academic module, with minimum level: 6.5
    • Cambridge English minimum grade scale score of 170
    • ITACE with minimum level B2
  • We also accept the TOEFL IBT Special Home Edition and the IELTS Indicator. These are variants of the classic TOEFL and IELTS tests that can be taken at home.
  • This proof can be provided by presenting results of a language test or documents issued by your home institution. Please note your language test results must not be older than 5 years at the moment of application.

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

VUB website

UGent website

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

Last chance!


• For non-visa-required EU students
• Starting in academic year 2023-2024
• Up to €10.000