When searching for a European country to pursue higher education, one should look no further than Belgium. This West European country is renowned for both its academic excellence and vibrant cultural heritage. Belgian universities take great pride in their innovative approaches to education and the combination of practical and theoretical work. Moreover, each Belgian city has a rich social and cultural scene, which may be quite attractive for future students. For a better understanding of all that this country has to offer academically, here are the five best biology universities in Belgium!

Top Universities for Biology in Belgium

1. Catholic University of Leuven

Biology Program Link

Degrees offered: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Ph.D.

The Catholic University of Leuven is an excellent school for biology in Belgium and is internationally recognized as a research center at the forefront in fields ranging from theology and social sciences on the one hand to engineering and mathematics on the other. Although the university’s name alludes to its Catholic heritage, today it is an open environment welcoming students of all faiths and life-views. Through its decades-long history as an independent educational institution, the university has managed to receive international acclaim and is ranked among the fifty best universities in the world.

One of the most notable departments at the university is the Department of Biology. In line with the university’s contemporary philosophy, the Department of Biology has structured its curriculum to offer a multidisciplinary education necessary for the next generation of bio-scientists. In addition to their academic approach, the department takes great pride in its educational one as well. Namely, it is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment in which all voices are valued and scientific innovation is the product of collaboration and teamwork. Furthermore, the department also strives to create relationships with other internationally-acclaimed institutions and thus provide its students with the opportunity for international exchange and internships.

2. Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Biology Program Link

Degrees offered: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree

Situated in the capital city of Belgium, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally renowned research institution. Even though the university was founded in 1970 by the splitting of the Free University of Brussels, its roots may be traced to the beginning of the 19th century. During this time, the university’s predecessor was established as an educational center independent from both church and state in which academic freedom was considered the greatest virtue and ultimate goal. Presently, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel is a leading university for biology in Belgium and still upholds this idea and is led by the original motto of Scientia vincere tenebras (Conquering darkness by science).

One of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel’s most prominent research fields is the field of biology. The Department of Biology has conceptualized its curriculum in a way that will engage students and future experts with the most pressing research challenges of today’s world. Thus, in addition to acquiring the basic biological postulates, students are encouraged to discuss issues such as the connection between global change and the ongoing biodiversity crisis. Once they have completed their undergraduate studies, students may continue in one of the three subfields provided, each with a large number of electives.

3. Ghent University

Biology Program Link

Degrees offered: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Ph.D.

Ghent University is a top-tier public research institution and a top institution for biology located in the Flemish region of Belgium. It was established in the early 19th century by King William I of the Netherland and is, therefore, the first Dutch-speaking university in the country as well. As of the present, the university has grown and developed into one of the largest research centers in Belgium and includes the University Library and Hospital, alongside a student body numbering over 40.000 members. It is divided into eleven faculties which altogether offer over 200 courses in various research fields and scientific domains.

The Ghent Department of Biology is a prime example of why the university has continuously been ranked among the world’s best educational institutions. Presently, the department’s focus is on four major biological fields – Ecology, Evolution, Functional Biology, and Biodiversity. During their bachelor studies, students acquaint themselves with all of the aforementioned fields as part of interdisciplinary education. Later on in their studies, they are encouraged to select their sub-field of interest and uncover the most crucial biological issues in it.

4. University of Antwerp

Biology Program Link

Degrees offered: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Ph.D.

Situated in the city bearing the same name, the University of Antwerp is an academic center internationally acclaimed for its competitive research and entrepreneurial approach. Although it was founded relatively recently, the university has continuously been recognized as prominent research and educational institution in both Belgium and abroad. Its student body currently numbers over 20.000 students, making the University of Antwerp the third-largest university in Flanders. In addition to its academic excellence, many students are drawn to the university due to the city’s picturesque appearance and vibrant social and cultural scene.

The University of Antwerp’s Department of Biology delivers an outstanding biology curriculum in Belgium and is among its most popular and acclaimed parts. The department covers a wide array of biological research ranging from the life of a single cell to the inner workings of the ecosystem. From the very beginning of their undergraduate studies, students are introduced to project-based research, as this gives them a skill set necessary for their future careers. Once they become accustomed to team and project-based work, students may choose to pursue graduate degrees in one of several biological subfields offered by the department.

5. Catholic University of Louvain

Biology Program Link

Degrees offered: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Ph.D.

A highly acclaimed center for higher education, the Catholic University of Louvain is the largest French-speaking university and among the best schools for biology in Belgium. It is considered to be the first university in both Belgium and the Low Countries, as its founding may be traced to the first half of the 15th century. As of the present, the university is taken to be an international and cultural hub that has expanded to include research and teaching centers in Brussels, Charleroi, Mons, Tournai, and Namur.

The university is organized into three main faculties – the Sector of Human Sciences, the Sector of Health Sciences, and the Sector of Science and Technology. Although all the above sectors offer a world-renowned education, the university has a stellar reputation for its Department of Biology. On the undergraduate level, the department is concerned with familiarizing its students with the field of biology and explaining its interconnectedness with other sciences and research fields. During their master’s studies, students continue to further their knowledge in specialized sub-fields that may lead them to internships in reputable laboratories around Europe or further research and development of a Ph.D. thesis.


We hope that this article on Best Universities for Biology in Belgium was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Programs in Europe for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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