The University of Amsterdam

The University of Amsterdam’s origins go back to 1632 and, nearly four centuries later, it continues to attract students from all over the world, and ranks in the top 20 universities in Europe and 53rd in the world (QS,2023). A public, research-focussed university, with 34000 students drawn from over 100 different countries, UvA (as it is commonly referred to) offers one of the largest selection of courses taught in English in all Europe, with over 200 at Master’s level alone.

Amsterdam is not only innovative, lively and exciting, but it has also been ranked 11th in the World Quality of Living index and comes in at No 1. in Europe in The Economist‘s safe city rankings.

The University of Amsterdam-What degrees can I do in English?

  • Actuarial Science
  • Archaeology
  • Business Administration
  • Business Analytics
  • Communication Science
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Econometrics
  • Economics and Business economics
  • English Language and Culture
  • European Studies
  • Liberal Arts and Science
  • Sciences
  • Linguistics
  • Literary Studies
  • Media and Information
  • Political Science
  • PPLE (Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics)*
  • Psychology*
  • Sign Language Linguistics
  • Sociology

NB: *PPLE and Liberal Arts and Sciences are so-called Selective Programs and there is intense competition to get a place, which is why candidates have to undergo a selection process. Since this can be time-consuming, the deadlines for applying to these courses are earlier than for  standard courses.

The University of Amsterdam-What are the language requirements?

You will be asked to submit a certificate of English language competency. This can be:

QualificationScore Selective programsScore all other programs
IELTS7 (6.5 in each section)6.5 (6 in each  section)

Whichever test you choose to submit, it must have been taken in the last two years  and has to be uploaded by 1 May (if you are an EU student).

The University of Amsterdam-What are the entry requirements?

These differ from course to course. If you have a clear idea of which subject you wish to study, then get in touch with us at Elab and we will give you up to date information and guidance. As a leading global research university, with an overall acceptance rate of 26 per cent, and 4 per cent for international students, you need to offer high grades, so start working!

The University of Amsterdam-What is the application process?

You will need to fill in an online form and upload:

  • certified and translated transcripts of your school grades
  • a transcript of your secondary school diploma
  • a CV
  • your English test results
  • The first stage in applying is to enrol on the Dutch Studielink central application system site. You will get an email, within 48 hours, providing you with a username and password. These are important, so jot them down somewhere and don’t lose them.
  • You then activate your account, and can move on to fill in the online application. There can be a time lag between uploading your application and it being received by the university, so make sure that you do not leave it too late and apply to enrol at least one week before the deadline – preferably sooner.
  • You should receive a response, sent to your email, between four to six weeks after you have applied. If you are offered a place, the university will tell you what to do next, when to pay your fees, how you can get a student card etc.
  • Register for university housing and a residence permit.

The University of Amsterdam-What are the deadlines for applying?

  • PPLE -1 March
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences- 1 February
  • Psychology -15 January
  • Business Administration -15 January
  • If you need housing on your bachelor’s program -1 April
  • If you do not need housing -1 May

Check with Elab if you are not sure what category you fall into.

The University of Amsterdam-What are the fees?

If this is your first degree, you will pay half of the undergraduate statutory tuition fee in the first year (50% of 2,530 euros).

If this is your second degree, you will pay an institutional tuition fee, which varies from 15,700 for a one-year Master’s, and 11,300 for a two-year Master’s, to 10,500 if you are taking a second bachelor’s degree (all prices in euros). Contact Elab for up to date fee information.

The University of Amsterdam-How much will housing cost?

The University of Amsterdam has a partnership with a number of non-profit housing associations, who reserve accommodation in twenty locations in the city for its students.

There are four types of accommodation available:

  • Basic shared bedroom with shared facilities 
  • Larger shared bedroom with shared facilities 
  • Private bedroom with shared facilities 
  • Private bedroom with private facilities 

with costs ranging from 450-900 euros a month.

These prices are approximate and depend on the size of the room you are allocated, since it is not possible to specify precisely where you want to be assigned. None of the university accommodation is more than 45 minutes away from the city centre.

You will need to pay a deposit, which ranges from 0-1500 euros, and pay 1 to 1.5 months’ rent in advance. You will also be liable for municipal taxes, for waste collection and water, and a one-off payment, from 300-800 euros to the university housing service.

The University of Amsterdam-What is the research focus?

The University of Amsterdam has a high research output, an international focus and close ties with over 40 universities across the world.

It is impossible to provide a full, comprehensive list of the many areas which are currently being studied, but among them are:

  • Gravitation and astroparticle physics
  • Sustainable chemistry
  • Soft matter
  • Quantum matter and information
  • The brain and cognition
  • Urban dynamics
  • Cultural heritage and identity
  • .. etc.

The standard of research output is extremely high. For example, the University of Amsterdam Media and Communication department is ranked first in the world by QS.

The University of Amsterdam-Does the University have a campus?

Amsterdam is a compact city and the university’s buildings are mainly scattered around the historic canal ring city centre, which is renowned for its fascinating architecture, blending the modern with buildings dating back to the 15th century. The science, medicine and dentistry faculties are located outside the city centre.

The University of Amsterdam-What leisure activities are there?

The university offers 50 sports activities, from aerobics to ice skating, skiing to golf – and everything in between. There are clubs and societies to join, catering to every taste.

Its CREA cultural centre is the home of drama, dance, film and photography.

And then, of course, there is Amsterdam itself, which, as we all know, throbs with life, choices, options and  every form of entertainment under the sun. You will never be bored or at a loss about what to do if you decide to study at the University of Amsterdam.

I want to apply to the University of Amsterdam. What is the next step?

Get in touch with Elab and we can work together to maximise your chances of gaining a place at the prestigious, forward-looking University of Amsterdam. We have sent  hundreds of students to the Netherlands, and have dedicated consultants who can advise you on the courses you could take, and provide you with essential information on living and studying in the Netherlands.

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