Study Programme

Intakes start in October at the University of Salzburg, arrival of students Mid-September. See also > Important Information for new students @ PLUS

CDE lasts for 2 year academic years (4 semesters).

Students start and study at the University of Salzburg, Austria in year 1 and  go to either University of South Brittany, France (Study Track A) or Palacky University Olomouc, Czech Republic (Study Track B)  in year 2.

The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a tool of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) for making studies and courses more transparent and thus helping to enhance the quality of higher education.

One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS credits that are normally equivalent to 1500–1800 hours of total workload. Hours per credit in Austria 25, in France 29, in Czech Republic ~26.

As a CDE student, you should enroll for at least 30 credits every semester.

The academic title ‘Master of Science’ is conferred by three European Higher Education Partners: (1) University of Salzburg (PLUS), (2) University of South Brittany (UBS), and (3) Palacky University Olomouc (UPOL), see more.

No.  All students spend the first academic year at University of Salzburg (PLUS) in order to acquire a set of core Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing competences.

At the time of application for admission, candidates select and prioritize at least one Specialization Track, GeoDSc – University of South Brittany (UBS) or GeoVIS – Palacky University Olomouc (UPOL), offered by the Consortium.

Students will move to the selected joint programme specialization track partner for the second academic year.

No. Study must take place in at least two of the CDE Programme countries partner universities in AT, FR or CZ.

Yes, students may move to another mobility (HEI) partner in the final semester, in a Partner country. Students stay admitted at Programme Country universities, Please see list of CDE associated partners.

Yes, the CDE Study Programme consists of a compulsory internship at any organization or at an associated industry partner.

All MSc theses will be co-supervised by academic faculty from at least two different partner universities – depending on the chosen Specialization Track – , and/or mobility partner. This approach not only tightly connects faculty within the consortium, but also offers students a plurality of scientific views. This jointness aims at securing high quality Master Thesis research.

No. Scholarship holders cannot transfer university credits from courses taken prior to their enrolment in this CDE EMJMD for the purpose of reducing their mandatory activities in the joint programme.

Admission and Application Criteria

The Consortium will only accept online applications for the Copernicus Master in Digital Earth (CDE) programme. You can apply as a self-funded student or you can apply for an EMJMD Programme country or Partner country scholarship.

See the CDE How to Apply webpages for full details.

Yes, an applicant for admission shall hold the equivalent of an academic bachelor’s degree from a recognized academic higher education institution, corresponding to at least 180 ECTS (6 semesters), or a master’s or diploma degree with excellent grades in a ‘spatial’ discipline (see below: Which disciplines are eligible to apply for admission?) and computer science.

You already have completed an undergraduate degree (like a Bachelor or equivalent) or will shortly graduate. You are wondering, if the discipline of this degree qualifies for admission?

Clearly, the answer is – ‘it depends’ 😉

The curriculum states as a requirement ‘a bachelor’s degree in a geospatial discipline or from an equivalent programme at an internationally recognised tertiary educational institution‘. A ‘geospatial discipline‘ is where you do a lot of work with maps, spatial data, measuring/analysing/planning the real world – if your degree is from Geography, Cartography, Surveying/Geodesy, Environmental or Resouces Management, a Planning discipline or even Geoinformatics or Remote Sensing, you should give an application further consideration.

In addition, you are expected to have done substantial coursework with digital geospatial technologies – like Geographic Information Systems, Computer Cartography, Data Acquisition and Remote Sensing Image Analysis. Plus, some programming experience will be an essential asset.

A first degree in Computer Science might be eligible as long as you have experience in geospatial applications like GIS, visualisation or remote sensing image analysis; or are working towards building this background.

In short – you need to be prequalified in a ‘spatial perspective’ and ‘digital tools’. The name of your first degree only allows a limited assessment, we therefore will consider your full transcript of prior studies together with your motivation for a career orientation with ‘Copernicus’ and ‘Digital Earth’ as guiding lights.

First degrees in any geospatial discipline or closely related programme from an internationally recognised tertiary educational institution, such as: Geography, Geoinformatics, Geology, Computer Science, Data Science, Cartography, Remote Sensing, Ecology and Conservation, Surveying and Mapping, Agriculture, Resource Management, Urban/Regional/Landscape Planning, Public Administration, Infrastructure Management, Civil Engineering.

As far as you outline your prior qualifications, these would in principle meet the expectations between a background in a ‚spatial‘ discipline. Please be aware that this does not preempt any assessment and decision by the selection committee based on your complete application. You are definitely encouraged to apply once this process is opened.

Applicants in their final year of Bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply. See details in the call document.

Yes, you are eligibe to apply for a scholarship.

Student/Candidates can apply for an EMJMD scholarship to any of the Erasmus+ Erasmus Mundus courses of their choice (EMJMD catalogue) but are limited to a maximum of three different joint programmes per academic year.

This is meant to encourage students to focus their choice. To this purpose applicants are required to specify in their application whether they have applied to other courses. The Commission will verify if students have been selected on more than one course and notify the relevant EMJMD consortia of such cases.

The application procedure is divided into three steps: (1) Application, (2) Selection of Candidates, and (3) Registration for Admission. For Self-Funded Students the same procedure shall apply as for funded students.
STEP 1 – Application. Interested candidates submit their application. The submitted files are first screened on a technical basis (eligibility test) by the Coordinator and Selection Committee Members, within two weeks after the application deadline.
STEP 2 – Selection of Candidates. The selection procedure is established according to the minimum requirements set by the European Commission. It guarantees the transparency of the selection process and an equitable treatment of individual applications. Information to an appeal procedure will be available to all CDE scholarship applicants.
STEP 3 – Registration for Admission. The CDE Programme Office together with partner universities admission offices will facilitate admission as degree-seeking students.

Candidates submit either a copy of their original German or English language documents. Original foreign language documents (except for English-language documents) must be accompanied by certified English translations which were carried out by court-certified translators. Translators must attach the original documents to the translation so they cannot be separated. If the translation is not carried out in Austria, the translator must be authorised by the responsible Austrian Embassy.

Please note: You have to distinguish between legalization and translation of documents. We only accept documents in languages other than German or English if a certified interpreter (translator) has translated them into English language.

Yes, applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting standardized English/instruction language test scores, if prior degree studies have not been entirely conducted in English language.

We accept a Certificate of Proficiency in English C1 or a higher level; B2 level shall be accepted as well; or a certificate of completion of at least four-semester study in English language at a recognized post-secondary educational institution.

Candidates either upload a language certificate C1/B2 or a certificate confirming completion of at least four-semester study in English language at a recognized post-secondary educational institution.

No. EMJMD scholarship holders cannot at the same time be beneficiaries of a grant for student or staff mobility in the framework of other higher education programmes funded by the EU budget, and vice versa.

All students not receiving an E+ scholarship within the EMCDE programme are considered as self-funded. This includes everyone either funding their own studies, getting financial assistance from family or friends, beneficiaries of scholarships other than Erasmus+, taking out a student loan etc; see definition of terms.

Once you have submitted your application the Selection Committee checks it is:

  1. admissible (complete and properly put together) and
  2. eligible.

Before applications are ready for evaluation, they are checked for admissibility requirements, eligibility and for completness. Please note that we can only process duly completed applications. Eligibility checks include basic checkings: if they meet standard and eligibility conditions according to criteria.

Online Application Form

The “Duration Until” field under the “Current Work Experience” field only accepts a date. How does one fill in the field if the current job is full time and permanent?

In this case you can enter a current or future (if allowed) date, primarily we are looking for past work experience, not for any contractual status. You can always reflect this in more detail in your CV if desired.

Do I have to send documents copies after completing the application? If yes. Do we need to upload scanned copies of Reference letters from teachers or do they have to upload on personalized like some of the other programs is ERASMUS?

Requested documents have to be uploaded as requested. If you are not able to submit all compulsory documents within the call deadline, you will need to re-apply for the next intake. Documents only have to be sent at a later stage when selected for admission to the university, and the reference letters have to be uploaded by yourself – as you have seen we request their contact details in order to get in touch with referees as needed. 

Do we need to upload scanned copies of reference letters from teachers or do they have to upload a personalized like some of the other programs is ERASMUS?

Reference letters are not mandatory. We do not provide a template; if you wish to provide letters, a pdf version has to be uploaded by yourself – as you have seen we request contact details in the online form in order to get in touch with referees as needed. 

In the attachments section, you ask for a “Signed declaration”, what is it exactly?

You will generate this declaration in the online form; confirming correctness and understanding.

The problem is that I don’t have diploma yet, because I graduate from university this summer. However, I heared that it’s possible in some EU universities to attach a proof that I do study (and I do graduate in this June) and send diploma later (after graduation). So it’s not clear to me if I’m eligible to apply.

Applicants in their final year of Bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply under the ‘combined’ section – E+ Scholarship and/or Self-funded student – and are requested to provide current transcript of records and an official confirmation of enrolment, including graduation date in the relevant upload section of the online form. They might be offered an E+ scholarship or accepted as self-funded student, depending on their application’s evaluation results. 

I am still in my final year for having my bachelor’s degree. As I was filling the information, I found I have to add my thesis info. Does it mean I have to graduate in order to be able to apply for it?

Please complete the application and add a comment or your proposed thesis topic/title. Current undergraduate students who have not yet a final degree certificate at the time of application are eligible to apply, see call page 2: 

In the online application form, do I have to submit the legalized document or upload my original document for Step I of the application? I have my foreign documents (university degree and transcript) in English and I am not sure whether to get it certified in Application (Step 1) process.

Original German and/or English language documents are eligible. Original foreign language documents (except for English-language documents) must be accompanied by certified English translations which were carried out by court-certified translators. Translators must attach the original documents to the translation so they cannot be separated. If the translation is not carried out in Austria, the translator must be authorised by the responsible Austrian Embassy. See

Is a copy of the certificate an original eligible?

No, only a verified copy of the original document which has been signed and dated by someone who can confirm that it’s the same as the original. 

When I try to upload my ” signed Declaration of correctness and understanding uploaded” it shows one of the entered fields have too many characters, please re check.

Be sure to use ‘short’ file names in pdf format.

About age restriction, is there any limit for application in this specific program?

There is no age limit to participate in any Erasmus+ mobility activity. However, you will need to fulfill the selection criteria.

About TOEFL, how mandatory is to have the minimum required?

All formal and language requirements have to be fulfilled.

Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting standardized English/instruction language test scores, if prior degree studies have not been entirely conducted in English language. ‘Completed Degree in English Language’: Certificate of completion of a study programme in English language (minimum four-semester study at a recognized post-secondary educational institution). See also

I’ve submitted my online application. Do i need to send documents by post?

No, we do not require sending documents. If selected as a student you’ll need to take all your original documents to Salzburg.

I have completed my entire education with English as medium of instruction. I have also attached a certificate issued by my university stating the same.
Do I need to give TOEFL scores?

No; if you marked yes for ‘English as language of instruction of prior degree’ in your online application, the attached document will serve as proof.

I’ve submitted my online application. but I was not prompted to submit any application fee. Is there no application fee for this course?

No, we do not charge an application fee. However, there are participation costs if you’ll be selected for studies, see

Is there a maximum word count for the cover letter and the personal motivation letter?

Both cover and motivation letters are an integral part of the application form. For the cover letter you will be asked 5 questions, 1000 characters each,
the personal motivation letter is asking 4 questions, 1000 characters each; spaces are included. 

Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory in Austria for those meeting certain criteria. The CDE Consortium covers the health insurance costs for all scholarship students. Self-funding students should arrange their own health insurance. Erasmus+ approved insurers such as EXPAT & CoMarsh or IPS-Lippman are recommended to obtain the minimum health and accident insurance coverage.

Researchers and students from third countries will only get a residence title for staying for more than six months if they can provide proof of having a “health insurance covering all risks”. will be provided to EM CDE scholarship holders;  learn more

Students from EU/EEA countries, who are in possession of valid health insurance in their home country, need the European Health Insurance Card.

Visa and Residence Permit

To enter Austria for study purposes, one might need a visa and/or a residence permit – depending on your nationality and your duration of stay. Learn more:

Depending on your nationality you might need a Residence Permit – Student (for stays longer than six months). See also:

What is a Schengen visa? A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel to any members of the Schengen Area.

Depending on your citizenship and other categories you might need a visa that grants you with the permission to enter the Schengen Area. Read more on ‘Who Needs and Who Doesn’t Need a Schengen Visa to Travel to Europe?‘ 

Visa C permits you to enter all Schengen countries and to stay in those countries for a total period of 90 days within 180 days provided that you fulfil the general entry conditions.

A Visa D entitles you to enter and stay in Austria. It can be granted for a duration of 91 days up to 6 months. Holders of a Visa D also enjoy freedom of movement to other Schengen countries for up to 90 days per half year provided that they fulfil the general entry conditions.

Learn more:

I want to find out when will be the ideal time to start the Residence Permit application process?

If all necessary documents have been submitted, the residence authority will process your application within 90 days. Get in contact and check at/with Austrian Representations world-wide if you are entitled to submit your application in Austria. 

In the Student_handbook, I realised that we are to apply for a Residence Permit and a Schengen Visa but on the new updated information under the “Pre-arrival Tip: Visa application” we are asked to apply for a VISA D after a positive decision from the “Residence Permit-Student” application. I will humbly appreciate a clarification on this.

That’s correct, you need to apply for a residence permit, and ….If the residence authority in Austria decides to grant you the residence permit, you have to apply for a Visa D at the representative authority to be able to enter and stay in Austria. The representative authority will issue the Visa D for a validity period of four months.

Visa types ‘Visa D’ is the national Schengen visa allowing you to enter and stay in Austria…… A (national) D visa that is issued by Austria or another Schengen state in combination with a valid travel document entitles the visa holder to move freely across the other Schengen states’ territory for up to 90 days within a period of 180 days… Residence visa D (Aufenthaltsvisum D) take the duration into account!

I don’t need a Schengen visa to enter Austria, do I need to apply for a residence permit?

Students who are entitled to enter Austria without requiring a visa (check ‘Who Needs and Who Doesn’t Need a Schengen Visa to Travel to Europe?‘) submit their application for a “Residence Permit – Student” at the locally competent residence authority in Salzburg, Austria.

In Austria it is compulsory to register with the municipal authorities (Meldeamt: Gemeindeamt, Magistratisches Bezirksamt) within three working days of entering the country.

EU/EEA nationals need neither a visa nor a residence title. They, however, have to register with the authority in charge of residence within three months of entering Austria. see


Apply for a student accommodation in Salzburg as soon as possible. The University of Salzburg itself does not own any dormitories or guest houses for students. Therefore, if you want to stay in a student dormitory, it is your duty to contact the dormitory(ies). Check information provided in the Student Handbook.

Duration of stay in Salzburg: Mid-September to Mid-July (academic year 1), departure will depend on your internship arrangements.

Arrangements for housing in Vannes and Olomouc will be supported by UBS’ and UPOL’s International Offices during semester 2.

The security deposit is a sum, usually in the form of money, that a tenant agrees to pay to a landlord before taking possession of and moving into a rental unit. The deposit is usually based on the monthly rent.

Depending on your housing contract, usually before or upon arrival.
Depending on your housing contract, usually 1-6 weeks after your moving out, your deposit shall be transferred to your desired account, if no damage occured.

Student’s Responsibilites and Duties

Yes there are! Students must:

  1. sign an acceptance letter. Successful candidates receive a letter of acceptance and are requested to respond with a confirmation. Offers of ERASMUS+ SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS are communicated separately and are subject to immediate confirmation by the recipient. The acceptance letter sets out all rights and duties concerning full admission and scholarship conditions; it includes a grant payment table. Duties e.g. include that students shall report on their activities as agreed upon individually (e-portfolio). All periods of absence must be reported to the host institution and the coordinator, etc.
  2. sign a student agreement. The student agreement is describing the programme of study. This document defines all classes and credits to be taken during the study period, any teaching obligations as well as research to be done. Furthermore. selected candidates must:
    • commit themselves to actively participate in the planned course activities,
    • study according to the CDE curriculum in at least two different Programme Countries of the EMJMD consortium, and spend the minimum of agreed months at the host institution,
    • undertake an internship,
    • contribute, after their studies, to the promotion and dissemination of Erasmus+ and EMJMD in general, and the CDE study programme in particular by  joining the Erasmus+ Erasmus Mundus Student and Alumni Association and other activities.

E+ Scholarship Holders receive:

  1. a scholarship covering their tuition, travel and living costs, as well as
  2. health and accident insurance.

They are awarded a fully recognised double degree (comprising a Joint Diploma Supplement) after having successfully completed their master.

latest update: December 3, 2019