The Netherlands is one of the first choices for students pursuing higher education for several reasons. The first is of course the country’s stellar academic reputation and innovative approach to education. However, students do not come to the Netherlands solely for its academic recognition. They often choose this country because of its multicultural and welcoming environment. For those considering studying at a Dutch university, this article examines the five best biology universities in the Netherlands!

Top Universities Offering Biology Programs in the Netherlands

1. Leiden University – Institute of Biology

Leiden University is a top-tier public research institution situated in the Dutch province of South Holland. In 1575, the university was founded by William, Prince of Orange as a token of gratitude for the city’s defense during the Eighty Years’ War. Furthermore, throughout history, Leiden University has been hailed as a center of intellectual tolerance, welcoming scholars such as Baruch Spinoza, René Descartes, and Rembrandt. As of the present, Leiden University is a leading school for biology in the Netherlands and is concerned with honoring its motto of the Bastion of Freedom in its five clusters of science.

One of the most prominent areas of research at the university is the field of biology. The university itself defines the field of biology as a never-ending source of inspiration aimed at improving the areas of both medicine and biodiversity. At Leiden University, biology is studied at the Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL). Concerning the field of biodiversity, students are taught how to search for and develop long-term practical solutions in the fields of Animal Sciences, Microbial Sciences, and Plant Sciences. Those who choose to focus on biology in the medical realm will have the chance to be at the forefront of antibiotic research and development.

2. University of Groningen – Faculty of Science and Engineering

Established in 1614, the University of Groningen is considered to be one of the most prestigious and traditional institutions for higher education in the Netherlands. The university has international acclaim as well, as it has continuously been ranked among the hundred best universities in the world. In addition to its academic excellence, the University of Groningen is an excellent school for biology in the Netherlands that offers students a chance to learn in a unique and beautiful Dutch city. The university encompasses several buildings and research centers scattered throughout this vibrant and international city.

Although many universities offer biology programs, the University of Groningen has the advantage of allowing its students to select their preferred specialization as well. After one semester in which students get acquainted with the vastness of this research field, they may choose to focus on sub-fields ranging from Ecology and Evolution to Biomedical Sciences and Integrative Biology. Regardless of their specialization, students will be taught by world-renowned experts, among whom are several Nobel Prize Laureates.

3. Radboud University Njimegen – Faculty of Science

Situated in the picturesque Dutch city of Nijmegen, Radboud University is an internationally acclaimed center for higher education. It bears the name of a 9th-century bishop, famous for both his intellect and work in underprivileged communities. As of the present, the university’s main goal is to nurture a free and healthy world that will provide equal opportunities for all. Honoring both the figure it was named after and its philosophy, Radboud University is one of the top schools for biology in the Netherlands that aims to create a sense of commitment in its students for both the community and society as a whole.

One of the university’s most highly acclaimed fields of study at both the undergraduate and graduate levels is biology. Currently, the field of biology is divided into seven major research areas at Radboud University. Within each field, the focus is placed on integrating biological research into society and thus providing effective and sustainable solutions for the future. Furthermore, each area of study provides numerous opportunities for practical work in innovative research facilities such as the greenhouses or the root laboratory Phytotron. During their studies, students will also have the chance to develop their research skills through internships in various top-tier laboratories.

4. University of Amsterdam – Faculty of Science

Situated in the Dutch capital, the University of Amsterdam is among both the oldest and most prestigious universities in the Netherlands. Since its establishment in the 17th century, the university has been home to many notable scholars among which are Nobel Laureates and high-ranking government figures. The University of Amsterdam is a recognized institution for biology in the Netherlands and is presently divided into seven faculties located throughout Amsterdam. As the university is scattered throughout the city, during their studies, students come to uncover not just their respective fields but the uniqueness and beauty of Amsterdam as well.

Within the Faculty of Science, students may further their education in the field of biology. Here, the primary focus is placed on uncovering the interconnectedness of the world. Thus, biology students will have a chance to learn about everything from elementary particles to the newest trends in medical innovation. Furthermore, from the very beginning of their academic studies, students will be immersed in practical work in the laboratory, which will complement the theoretical knowledge they gain inside the classroom. The curriculum is conceptualized to give students a comprehensive overview of the biological field and spark their interest in one of the many sub-fields available to them during their graduate years.

5. Erasmus University Rotterdam – Department of Life Sciences

Situated in the maritime city of the same name, Erasmus University Rotterdam is one of the most notable and prestigious universities in the Netherlands. It was established in the early 20th century and bears the name of the acclaimed theologian and humanist, Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus. Although it is the youngest university of all previously mentioned, it has continuously been ranked among the hundred most prominent universities in the world. Presently, Rotterdam University is one of the best universities for biology in the Netherlands and is best known for its economic and business school, which has educated some of the leading figures of today.

Within the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the field of biology is considered a part of the research field of Life Sciences. Here, students may focus on fields ranging from molecular and cellular biology on the one hand to physiology and medicine on the other. Regardless of the biological sub-field they select, all students will be taught by internationally acclaimed scholars and experts. In addition to the theoretical and practical knowledge, biology students will obtain the tools necessary for applying their knowledge in a multidisciplinary way as well.


We hope that this article on the Best Universities for Biology in the Netherlands was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Programs in Europe for International Students to explore your study options!

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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