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Exemption from the Master’s degree rule

What is the Master’s degree rule?

The Master’s degree rule limits your ability to be admitted to a new education programme if you have completed a master’s degree programme either in Denmark or abroad (for the latter, the level of the programme must be equivalent to a Danish postgraduate level). 

The rule means that you can only be admitted to a new programme if there are fewer applicants than student places on the programme you are applying for.

Read more about the Master’s degree rule here. 

Who can apply for an exemption?

SDU can decide to grant an exemption from the Master’s degree rule. You must be able to prove that you can no longer use your Master's degree for professional purposes due to exceptional circumstances. 

The term ‘exceptional circumstances’ only means that you are no longer able to work in the profession for which you were trained, e.g. due to a loss of working capacity. 

You cannot therefore obtain an exemption on the basis of e.g.:

  • changed career aspirations or interest in other education
  • that you have not put your Master’s degree to use
  • amended legislation
  • labour market conditions, e.g. unemployment
  • non-occupational disease

Apply for admission and exemption by 15 March at 12.00 noon

When applying for an exemption from the Master’s degree rule, you must apply no later than 15 March at 12.00 noon. Before the closing date, you must: 

  • Fill in the SDU applicattion form for exemption
  • Submit your application for admission and upload relevant documentation as attachments at 

Along with your application at you need to upload: 

  • Master’s degree certificate 
  • Documentation supporting the impossibility of using your Master’s degree programme professionally.

Getting a reply

You will receive a reply to your application via SDU’s self-service solution,

Initially, you will be informed of whether you will be granted an exemption. If you are granted an exemption, your application will be considered on the same basis as other applications. This also means that an exemption does not guarantee admission.

If you are not granted an exemption, SDU will continue to process your application for admission under the Master’s degree rule. 


Admission (Bachelor's programmes) University of Southern Denmark

  • Campusvej 55
  • Odense M - DK-5230
  • Phone: +45 6550 1051

Last Updated 15.03.2024