There are a few very obvious reasons why the Netherlands is one of the favorite destinations for international students. First of all, education is modern, high-quality and in small groups, focused on practical experience. Most universities offer classes in the English language, as the Netherlands was the first country to enable education in English to attract international students. Furthermore, over 95% of people speak English, making it even easier for foreigners to assimilate.

On top of the premium education and the presence of the universal language, the Netherlands offers a multicultural and open-minded society. Along with warm and welcoming people, amazing travel opportunities, and proximity to many European countries that only emphasize the Netherland’s charm. Medical education is especially promoted as one of the best globally, with multiple offers for research and clinical programs.

If you want to study medicine in the European continent, consider going to the Netherlands. You’ll surely gain quality education and training as a future doctor. But what university should you enter? In this article, we will be looking at the best medical schools in the Netherlands.

Learn More: Cheap Universities in Netherlands

Can International Students Enroll in Medical Schools in the Netherlands?

Yes, according to the official site of the University of Amsterdam you can enroll in medical schools in the Netherlands as an international student. There are however a few things to remember, most universities will demand a test in English or Dutch proficiency, possibly both, depending on the language that classes are taught in. Most Bachelor’s programs are in Dutch, and Master’s are usually English.

The Netherlands is also a good opportunity for international students to cost wise. The relation between the tuition costs and quality of education is more than fair. Also, in the Netherlands, you can work while you study and even reduce some of the expenses on taxes. Another amazing thing is the ability to be a part of scholarships offered by the government that will cover some or all tuition expenses.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

What is the Medical Curriculum Like in Medical Schools in the Netherlands?

The University of Amsterdam site states that medical education in the Netherlands lasts for (six) 6 years. Three out of those years are dedicated to getting the Bachelor’s degree, and then additional three (3) years are needed to get the Master’s degree and be able to practice medicine.

The Bachelor’s program is usually in the Dutch language, so students have to know the language before applying, although preparatory courses do exist. The first three years are usually focused more on academic education, and the last three years are clinical and research-based, along with mandatory internships.

Read More: Steps to Become a Doctor in Netherlands

Best Medical Schools in the Netherlands

1. University of Amsterdam

The University of Amsterdam was founded in 1632, and it’s one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands. It’s also the biggest university with over 30,000 students enrolled, with international students from over 100 countries. This university has (seven) 7 faculties, and medicine is one of the most popular. With the university’s excellent curriculum, prestige, and success of its alumni, this institution is considered the best medical school in the Netherlands.

Medical education in this university is oriented around the patient and organized in small groups. With this, proper learning and transfer of knowledge is achievable, making it even more obvious why this university, in particular, is so popular. The curriculum is divided into three years of theoretical education and three years of clinical education, after which the students receive the Master’s degree and are able to practice medicine in the Netherlands or worldwide.

2. Erasmus University Rotterdam

The Erasmus University Rotterdam was established in 1913, and Erasmus University Rotterdam is one of the best medical schools in the Netherlands and worldwide. Placed on many lists in the top 100 universities, it comes as no surprise that this university is one of the most popular ones for international students.

Erasmus University Medical Center is the official location of the medical faculty and represents one of the most prestigious places to get your medical degree. This is one of the best-equipped and most pristine research facilities in Europe. The university also cooperates with Sophia children’s Hospital and Cancer Institute.

3. Vrije University Amsterdam

The Vrije Univesity Amsterdam was founded in 1880 and today, it represents one of the best universities in the world that always ranks in the top 150. They are more than welcoming to international students and provide Master’s programs in English and preparatory classes in Dutch.

Vrije University Amsterdam is one of the best medical schools in the Netherlands, offering education based on critical thinking and research opportunities. The research is dedicated to five focus areas: cancer & immunology, neurosciences, cardiovascular disease, public health, primary care & long-term care, and movement sciences. Students have the opportunity to learn in the University Hospital, with over 45.000 admissions and more than 400.000 outpatient consultations per year, ensuring high-quality clinical education.

4. University of Groningen

The University of Groningen was established over 400 years ago, in 1614. The same year medical faculty was established, and in 1797, Groningen University Hospital was opened and became a vital part of medical education.

They offer Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Pre-master Medicine programs, and they are open to international students. The University of Groningen is especially known for its research program, which is considered to be one of the top programs in Europe. As an international student here, you’ll be widely exposed for research and learning opportunities during your studies. Since they have a reputation for research and training, you’ll be widely exposed to an outstanding level of research.

5. Maastricht University

The Maastricht University was founded in 1976, and it’s one of the youngest universities in the Netherlands. This top medical school in the Netherlands has a different approach to education because they are constantly improving the curriculum and rapidly incorporating the latest developments and insights. Maastricht University Medical Centre is the first academic medical center combining the functions of an academic and regional hospital.

Education at Maastricht University’s Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences takes pride in their innovative research and education. They take a multidisciplinary approach in their programs and as they continuously provide education to local and foreign students, they ensure the highest quality of learning.

6. Leiden University

Leiden University was established in 1575, and it’s one of the best medical universities in the Netherlands. The university has seven faculties and over 30,000 students, with medical faculty being one of them. Innovative technologies and a modern approach to education make this university a great place to get your medical degree.

The Leiden University Medical Center focuses on academic care for patients, meaning they are orientated on highly specialized tertiary referral care delivered to patients with severe or rare diseases or disorders that are difficult to treat.

7. Utrecht University

The Utrecht University was founded in 1636, making it one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands. This is a public research university with over 35,000 students enrolled and seven faculties. The education at the Utrecht University is high-quality, as among the lecturers, 12 of them are Nobel prize winners and 13 Spinoza Prize winners.

The Faculty of Medicine of Utrecht University and the Utrecht Medical Center work closely together to achieve premium-quality education. This way, students are a part of clinical research from day one, which offers them a unique opportunity to learn practical knowledge, making Utrecht University one of the best medical universities in the Netherlands. This can mean an upper hand in future job hunting.

8. Radboud University – Faculty of Medical Sciences

Radboud University was established in 1923 in one of the Netherlands’ oldest cities, Nijmegen. The university has about 25 000 students studying on its sprawling green campus.

Radboudumc, the university medical center, one of the best in the Netherlands, integrates research, training, and patient care with nearly 10,000 employees and 3,500 students. Training for medical students is through the Faculty of Medical Sciences, which undertakes important research and offers programs in medicine, biomedical sciences, and dentistry at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The Bachelor of Medicine program is a three-year program offered in the Dutch language. It provides the basic training to become a doctor and graduates are eligible for the master’s program in the subject. The university’s Master’s program in Medicine is also a three-year program in Dutch, and graduates become junior doctors.

With the aim to have a significant impact on healthcare, Radboud University’s medical center is an important provider of medical education in the country.

9. Eindhoven University of Technology

The Eindhoven University of Technology was established in 1956 with collaboration between businesses, the local government, and academia. A technical university, Eindhoven is keen to expand the boundaries of the sciences and be a leading producer of research in a rapidly-changing world.

While it does not provide training in human medicine, the university offers cutting-edge programs for those interested in the workings of the human body, and keen on using technology to solve medical problems.

The Department of Biomedical Engineering offers two undergraduate programs: Medical Sciences and Technology (MST) and Biomedical Engineering (BME). Both programs have technical and biomedical components but with different emphases – the MST focuses on studying biomedical problems using technology, while the BME focuses more on developing technology to solve biomedical problems. Graduates of both programs have the skills and knowledge to improve healthcare. Both programs require students to be adequately familiar with both Dutch and English.

The university also offers Master’s programs in biomedical engineering and medical engineering in English. Both programs provide several tracks and specializations for students to follow.

Medical engineering involves working regularly in the hospital, as students are trained to develop medical techniques used in the clinical setting. The program is offered in collaboration with the University of Maastricht and the Maastricht University Medical Center+. The biomedical engineering program brings together many disciplines such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, and basic medical knowledge. It is offered in collaboration with the Maastricht and Utrecht universities to safeguard the program’s medical component.


The university also offers two-year post-master programs (EngD qualifications) in medical engineering and clinical informatics, especially for healthcare professionals, as well as Ph.D. programs for those who wish to conduct research in the growing field of biomedical engineering.

10. Wageningen University & Research

Another top university is Wageningen University & Research, which comprises Wageningen University and nine research institutes, with a special focus on ‘healthy food and living environment’. The university has 13,200 students including international students from more than 100 countries and works with governments and businesses to contribute to the field of healthy food and living environments.

It offers many programs that explore different aspects of health and society. The program in Biotechnology trains students to find solutions in many fields including medicines, vaccines, and climate change, while the Bachelor’s program in Nutrition and Health trains students in wide-ranging subjects such as cell biology, physiology, disease, and food technology. The undergraduate program in Health and Society allows students to explore health and related issues from a social sciences perspective.

The Master’s program in Data Science for Food and Health is an interdisciplinary program that blends data science with nutrition and lifestyles and studies their impact on health. On the other hand, the program in Molecular Life Sciences combines chemistry, physics, and biology to produce research from the atomic to the cellular scale.

11. University of Twente

The University of Twente, one of the exceptional universities offering medical programs, is a public technical university founded in 1961, which combines science, technology, and engineering with the social sciences. The university’s main offerings in health care and medicine are programs in technical medicine, biomedical engineering, and health sciences.

The Bachelor’s in Technical Medicine equips students with knowledge and skills in technology and medicine and trains them to use technology in novel ways to best provide diagnosis and treatment. Designed at the University of Twente, this was a pioneering program, the first of its kind in health care around the world. It has since been recognized as a complete discipline on its own, and graduates in the field are officially recognized by the government and allowed to independently treat patients. The Master’s in Technical Medicine is a three-year program taught in Dutch, which trains students to assume the role of a Technical Physician, a registered healthcare professional.

Apart from this, Twente also offers undergraduate and graduate programs in biomedical engineering. The three-year undergraduate program taught in Dutch trains students to use their knowledge of different science and engineering fields to design technical innovations in medicine. The Master’s program, on the other hand, is a two-year program taught in English. The program allows students to take courses to suit their interests and professional aspirations.

The undergraduate and graduate programs in Health Sciences are for those interested in contributing to the changing landscape of healthcare, including in managing medical innovations and care processes, and designing novel public health policies.

Twente is an exciting destination for these fields of study. The university is home to the Technical Medical Centre (TechMed Centre), a leading research and innovation hub, equipped with labs, testbeds, and simulated hospital experiences.

12. Delft University of Technology

Delft University is one of the oldest technical universities in the country. Located in a sprawling campus in Delft, the university trains more than 25, 000 students each year. The university offers a range of programs in technical subjects, including in the field of medicine, known to be one of the outstanding medical faculties in the country.

MSc Technical Medicine is a unique joint-degree program offered by academic departments and medical centers of Leiden University and Erasmus University Rotterdam. It is a multidisciplinary program that integrates science and technology with clinical medicine.

Graduates will have been trained to enter the health care sectors, and qualified to be clinical technicians who design and develop innovative technical solutions for medical problems. The primary language of instruction for the program is Dutch.

The university’s other offering in the field is the master’s program in BioMedical Engineering. This is also a cross-disciplinary program that provides training in both biology and medical theory, as well as technical training in science and engineering subjects. Less clinical in nature, this is a two-year program offered in English.


With amazing learning facilities and education centers, it is no surprise that the Netherlands is one of the most popular destinations for international students. This multicultural country is working hard on keeping up with modern technologies and ways of transferring knowledge, making the patient the center of attention.

They are known worldwide for top-notch research centers that provide the students with the actual empiric experience. This is one of the reasons why diplomas acquired here are recognized across the globe. Besides, the Netherlands presents a country worth visiting and exploring, with amazing places and great people to meet.


We hope that this article on the best medical schools in the Netherlands was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Programs in Europe for International Students to know more information like this!

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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