Military Wiki
Royal Military Academy (Belgium)
1908, École royale militaire, avenue de la Renaissance, 30, Bruxelles, par les architectes Henri Maquet et Henri van Dievoet.JPG
Type military university
Academic staff Polytechnics; Social and Military Sciences
Students 400/year
Postgraduates Master in Science; Master in Social and Military Sciences
Location Brussels, Belgium
Affiliations ISMS;
Website Royal Military Academy
Erm ecusson.jpg
Academy's coat of arms
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Polytechnique faculty logo
Omega - Ecole Royale Militaire (Belgique) - Promotion toutes armes.svg
S.M.S. faculty logo

The Royal Military Academy (RMA) is the military university of Belgium. The school is responsible for the education of the officers of the four components of the Belgian defence (Army, Air Force, Navy, Medical). The school is located in Brussels in a building constructed by the architects Henri Maquet and Henri Van Dievoet. The courses are given in French, Dutch and English.

There are two faculties

  • The Polytechnics faculty: Master of science in engineering
  • The Social and Military Sciences faculty: Master in Social and Military Sciences

There is also the special division and the Royal Higher Institute of Defence, which are part of the RMA.


Admission to the University is only possible through public exams. First, candidates have to pass military test common to all Belgian military categories (Medical, Endurance and physical tests, and a psychologic evaluation). After passing these, applying students have to compete with each other in public exams. These consist of mathematics and French & Dutch written language tests. The University can only accommodate a certain number of student each year (rough estimate: 400/year) (strongly influenced by the need for officers of the Belgian military). Applying students have to compete with each other for these limited places.


Since 2003, the Academy made some changes to its faculties to conform with the Bologna Process. Both degrees are now taught within a 5 year span. After the first three years, students receive a Bachelor Degree. The Master's Degree can be attained in succeeding the following 2 years. But in contrast to the common Bologna implementation, flexibility in attaining the degrees isn't greatly augmented. Student can only fail for one year within all five. Re-exams are however possible. Student cannot take courses with them to the next year, they have to pass the re-exams. Before 2003 most courses were fixed, however, students had a limited choice between optional courses. A lot of flexibility regarding course choices was added by implementing course modules. Students can opt for certain modules which each hold specific and related courses. For example:

  • Law module
  • Psychology module
  • Weapon systems module (ballistics)
  • Management module
  • Marine science module
  • History module
  • Communication & Information Systems module (Telecom, computer security, electricity).
  • ...

The choice of course module isn't always free, but is related with the chosen military speciality of the student (Infantry, Logistics, Transmission, Air traffic control, Artillery, Naval Forces,..) and often mandatory. The majority of the courses remains fixed in the bachelor years. In the Master years, the student follow more modules than fixed courses.


Soldiers at the Royal Military Academy on parade on Belgian National Day, 2011.

The grand majority of the students have the Belgian nationality, but cooperation with other countries has opened up the University to other nationalities. A lot of Luxemburgian officers receive their education in the University and have a long history in it.

More recently the University received military students from Canada, Congo, Morocco, Tunisia and Rwanda, thanks to military cooperation, training and development programs. However, these student often belong to the social elite of their home country. The foreign student have, in contrast to the Belgian students, no obligation to follow the Flemish (or Dutch) language courses.

Notable faculty

  • Jean Stas (1813–1891), chemistry

Notable alumni

Royal family

The tradition of the royal princes to study at the academy is continuous.

X - Ecole Royale Militaire (Belgique) - Polytechnique.svg
  • Prince Alexander of Belgium : 116th promotion POL (1960–61)
Omega - Ecole Royale Militaire (Belgique) - Promotion toutes armes.svg
  • Prince Philippe, King of Belgians : 118th TAW promotion (1978)
  • Prince Laurent of Belgium : 123rd TAW (1983)
  • Prince Amedeo of Belgium : 144th SSMW (2004-2005 academic year)


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The Belgian Staff College was voted into the International Society of Military Sciences during the November 2011 meeting.[1]


Coordinates: 50°50′41″N 04°23′33″E / 50.84472°N 4.3925°E / 50.84472; 4.3925

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