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How to apply for a Masters in the Netherlands
How to apply for a Masters in the Netherlands
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How to apply for a Masters in the Netherlands

Find the right study and apply in the Netherlands

Finding the right programme and university is a crucial step towards your career. If you are still not sure what you would like to study, we recommend taking a quick study interests test, which is offered by various study choice websites online. 

Maybe you are familiar with the direction of your study, but unsure how to choose the right programme? Generally, the Masters offered in the Netherlands have a more practical approach. However, they differ from each other in their approach, courses and specializations as well as in their internship opportunities.

Admission requirements for Dutch universities 

Next to a relevant Bachelor degree close to the subject of your interest and proof of proficiency in English, a GMAT or other specific exams might be required as well. Just contact the university for further application details. You should expect to find the following requirements:

  • Bachelor degree in the same or similar area you are applying for
  • IELTS, TOEFL or a Cambridge certificate, proving you have sufficient English skills
  • University language test for Dutch fluency (if the programme is in Dutch)
  • Curriculum Vitae with motivation letter
  • Application form (online or paper)
  • References
  • Visa (for non-EU and non-EEA students)

Tip: Are you looking to enroll in a completely different Masters programme unrelated to your Bachelor degree? Some universities offer summer courses or a preparatory year. Never hesitate to ask for assistance at the university. 

Applying in the Netherlands

The application requirements vary at each Dutch university, but most commonly they include a motivation letter, CV, possibly references as well as a certified translated copy, incl. a transcript of your Bachelor degree. Most universities accept diplomas in English, sometimes even in German and other European languages. 

Once you have decided for the right university and programme, the next step is the application. The Netherlands provides a centralised online application system for higher education, called studielink. To create a studielink account you will need a DigiD Number. 

The DigiD number is provided once you have registered at the city hall. If you are not yet registered in the Netherlands or the neighboring regions (Germany, Belgium), universities may be able to provide you with a temporary number. Therefore, always contact the information centers or study advisors at the university of your choice. 

Application deadlines in the Netherlands

The academic year in the Netherlands starts in the first week of September. Usually, it is possible to apply up to a month beforehand (EU/EEA citizens), but we recommend checking the university website for individual application deadlines. It is highly recommended to acquire more information on this topic and other important dates on the official university websites. For example, you might find that 15th January as the most common application deadline for Masters courses with a selection procedure. If you decide to apply for the spring/summer semester you will have to prepare for more specific application deadlines in the Netherlands.

The average study fees in the Netherlands are € 2,087 per year for 2019/2020 – for Masters students from the EU, EEA countries, Switzerland or Surinam. Internationals from other than these nationalities should expect a yearly payment in the range from € 8,000 to € 20,000 for their postgraduate studies. You may either pay the tuition fees upfront at once or in monthly instalments. You may be charged a one-time administration tax to be able to pay the tuition fees in installments. 

Join fraternities and associations at the Dutch Universities

Student associations are quite big in the Netherlands. Some require monthly fees, very few are free. The associations and fraternities vary greatly in their objectives and activities. There is something for everyone! It is an easy and pleasant way to find new friends. 

Tip: Many universities offer introduction events where you are shown the city (sights, food, parties, etc.) as well as the general university facilities (library, student centers, etc.). Join this introduction to learn more about the place where you will be staying at and to meet fellow students. 

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