Frequently Asked Questions


What does a joint degree mean?

MATA is a joint degree programme benefiting from an integrated curriculum and leading to a single, joint diploma awarded by both institutions. It allows students to spend time studying at both The Fletcher School and the College of Europe (Bruges, Belgium or Natolin, Poland), as well as to complete a high-level internship. Graduates  become alumni of both schools

What kind of a degree will I receive upon graduation from both institutions?

Graduates of this joint academic programme will receive a Master of Arts in Transatlantic Affairs (a jointly awarded, 120-ECTS College of Europe-Fletcher School degree).

How long is the programme?

The MATA requires four semesters or two academic years. The fall semester begins in late August (Fletcher)/September (College of Europe) and runs through December. The spring semester begins in January and finishes in late May (Fletcher)/June (College of Europe).

What is the required level of English?

At least a C1 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Do I need a good working knowledge of other languages?

No, the language of instruction is English.  While at the College, it is possible to take courses taught in French, but it is not a requirement.

What is the academic structure of the programme?

The programme is structured into five study tracks:

  • Economic Studies (Bruges);
  • International Relations and Diplomacy (Bruges);
  • Interdisciplinary Studies (Natolin);
  • Legal Studies (Bruges);
  • Political and Governance Studies (Bruges)

Generally students beginning at The Fletcher School are required to take seven courses with at least one course from each of the three divisions: International Law and Organizations; Diplomacy, History and Politics; and Economics and International Business. MATA students spending their first year at the College of Europe are affiliated with one of the five study programmes and follow a tailor-made study track: European Economic Studies, European Interdisciplinary Studies (Natolin), EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies, European Legal Studies or European Political and Governance Studies. All MATA students will also follow a joint transatlantic course during their first year in the programme.

Students spending their first year at The Fletcher School will do an internship in semester 3 of the programme and spend their final semester at the College of Europe and integrate into one of its academic departments. Students spending their first year at the College of Europe can choose to do their internship in semester 3 or 4 and will, during the remaining semester, do coursework at The Fletcher School.

What are the academic requirements?

Applicants need at least four years of university studies and six months of relevant professional experience.
They should also have a strong interest in transatlantic affairs as well as basic knowledge of the EU.

Applicants will typically have a university degree in one of the following areas:

  • International Relations
  • Political Science
  • Diplomatic Studies
  • Law
  • Economics or Business Administration
  • European or American Studies
  • Contemporary (European or American) History

Depending on the study track chosen, specific prerequisites exist. For the Economics track, students should have successfully followed courses in Statistics, Microeconomics and Macroeconomics at an intermediate level. For the International Relations and Diplomacy Studies track, students should have previous knowledge of EU institutions and decision-making. For the Legal Studies track, students should have a legal background and a prior knowledge of EU institutional law.

What is the joint course on transatlantic affairs?

The joint course on transatlantic affairs is offered during the first year of the MATA programme. During the fall semester of the first year, MATA students follow the part of the course on “US-EU Relations in the 21st Century: Multidisciplinary Analysis of Transatlantic Affairs” focused on key historical, economic, legal and political aspects of the transatlantic relationship. In the spring term, MATA students follow “US-EU Relations in the 21st Century: Transatlantic Project” and jointly work on a project focused on solving a problem of a transatlantic nature. The first-semester course is taught out of The Fletcher School, the second-semester course from the College of Europe (Bruges campus). During both semesters, students on the other two campuses participate in the classes through WebEx or Zoom.

What is the duration of the internship?

A minimum of three consecutive months of a full-time internship is required in the framework of the MATA programme.

Do I have to find an internship myself?

In principle, yes. The internship in the public/private/non-profit sector will have to have a strong transatlantic focus and has to be approved by the two institutions. However, the Careers Offices of the two institutions will be able to support you in the search for an internship opportunity related to transatlantic affairs.

Do I have to do my internship in Belgium/Poland/the US?

As long as they have a transatlantic focus, internships may be in any sector and may take place in Europe or North America. In principle, students spending their first year in the US will do their internship in Europe and vice versa.

Do I have to write a thesis?

Yes. You have to submit a thesis on a topic of relevance to transatlantic affairs during the fourth semester. Students will select the thesis topic already during their first semester, and the thesis will be co-supervised by one supervisor from the College of Europe and one supervisor from The Fletcher School.

What is the application process like?

If you wish to start your studies at the College of Europe, you must submit your online application on the College of Europe website between early October and mid-January of the year during which you wish to commence your studies. The deadline for the two (online) letters of recommendation is 25 January .

Your file will be evaluated in February so we can interview (via WebEx) all preselected applicants in February and inform the admitted students around mid-March.

If you want to start your studies in the US, please go to The Fletcher School to find out more about the application process.

Do I need to provide two academic letters of recommendation?

For this programme you will have to provide us with two academic letters of recommendation, from university professors. Additional letters (a maximum of 2), including professional references, can also always be uploaded. Recommendation letters are in the form of online recommendation questionnaires that are automatically sent to your nominated referees via email through your online application. Recommendation letters for applications to the MATA programme should ideally be tailor-made, that is, different from the letters used to apply for other College of Europe study programmes.

What is the cost of this Master’s programme?

See the Fees page.

Are there any scholarship opportunities applicants can apply for?

The College of Europe and The Fletcher School offer scholarships and tuition waivers to a high percentage of their students across all study programmes, including the MATA programmes. Additionally, we encourage students to apply for external funding sources.

Do I need a visa/work permit/residence permit?

As far as your internship is concerned: please check the national regulations for the country where you will do your internship.
As far as your studies are concerned: please check the national regulations for Belgium/Poland/the US.
If you study a full academic year in Belgium/Poland, you will need a visa type D (ask for a Schengen visa, multiple entry).

Can I apply to the MATA and the one-year College of Europe programmes on both campuses?

Yes, you can. However, applying also to the one-year College of Europe programmes will require a separate application form including two letters of recommendation from other professors.

What can I do professionally with the MATA?

Graduates of this programme will be prepared for positions of leadership in a variety of areas – ranging from international and national public sector functions to responsibilities in the private and non-profit sectors – with an international outlook and the ability to deal with cross-border issues in a multidisciplinary manner. 

MATA graduates have embarked on a range of exciting international careers at:

  • International institutions (United Nations, World Bank)
  • The European Union (European External Action Service, European Commission, European Parliament)
  • National diplomatic services and ministries (French embassy to the United States, US House of Representatives, Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Private compagnies (AirBnB, Eni Energy Company, Amazon, Roche biotech)
  • Consultancies and law firms (Stantec, Hanbury Strategy, Energy Intelligence)
  • Non-for-profit and advocacy organizations (Nuclear Threat Initiative, World Monuments Fund, Clean Air Task Force)
  • Think tanks (Center for Strategic and International Studies)

Can I live on campus? How does this work?

If you spend a full academic year at the College of Europe, the College will automatically reserve a room for you in one of its student residences for the entire academic year.

If you only spend the fourth semester of the MATA programme at the College of Europe, the College will automatically reserve a room for you in one of its student residences for the duration of this semester, that is from January to June.

If you do your internship in Belgium and you would like to stay in one of the student residences during the third semester of the MATA Programme, you should check well in advance if a room is available by contacting Mrs Katrijn PIETERS (General Services).
If you do your internship in the Warsaw area and you would like to stay in one of the student residences on the campus in Natolin during the third semester of the MATA programme, you can check if a room is available by contacting