University degrees in the Netherlands

Higher educational institutions of Holland offer a wide variety of internationally recognized diplomas. The students can choose from national curriculum programmes taught in Dutch and international programmes in English.

Since 2002 the university education in the Netherlands has been transformed into the the Bachelor-Master structure. Having completed the undergraduate or graduate stage, the student obtains a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree, respectively.

At both Research Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences you can obtain both types of degrees, the Bachelor’s and the Master’s degree.  At the Institutes for International Education you will only find master’s programmes.

Bachelor’s (undergraduate) degrees

To enrol for a three-year Bachelor’s programme at a Research University the student has to have completed six years of high-school education which can be compared with Dutch secondary education. After three years of full-time study and obtaining 180 credits the student will be awarded a Bachelor’s degree (Bachelor of Sciences - BSc or Bachelor of Arts - BA).

In case the student has completed five years of prior secondary education, they can apply for the four-year Bachelor’s programme at a University of Applied Sciences and will be awarded a Bachelor (B) degree. Here they have to acquire 240 credits and spend four years with full-time study. After both types of Bachelor’s programmes the alumni can continue with their studies at a Master’s programme. See Bachelor programmes in Eurogates' database.

Master’s (graduate) degrees

The Master’s programmes at all types of academic institutions take one or two years to complete and require 60 to 120 credits. It all depends on the discipline the student chooses. Some fields of study, e.g. Medicine, require up to 180 credits to complete. After successful finishing of graduate programme at a Research University a Master of Sciences or a Master of Arts will be given. Universities of Applied Sciences grant a Master (M) degree. See Master programmes in Eurogates' database.

See application deadlines for Bachelor's and Master's programmes at Dutch universities.


A doctoral degree (PhD) is only awarded by the Research Universities and can be obtained after the minimum of four years of study. Among the conditions for enrolment there is a Research Master’s degree.


InstitutionDegree and Duration
Research Universities  Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc): 3 years

Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MSc),
Research Master of Sciences : 1-2 years 

  PhD: 4 years
Universities of
applied sciences
Bachelor (B): 4 years or short track 3 years
  Master (M): 1-2 years 
Institutes for
Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MSc): 1-2 years



PhD (only possible at 1 institute)

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