The Netherlands is one of the most popular destinations for international students for higher studies due to its affordability and the welcoming nature of the country. The country is a host to many international students with diverse backgrounds studying various disciplines such as IT, Engineering, Medicine, and Social Sciences.

Most of the programs offered by universities in the Netherlands are taught entirely in English, and some institutions have tailor-made certain study programs for international students specifically. However, students can study in the Dutch Language too if they want.

This guide is for international students who wish to apply for a master’s degree in the Netherlands. You will find everything you need to know about applying for a master’s degree in the Netherlands here.

Application Requirements for Applying for Master’s in the Netherlands

Studying for a master’s program in the Netherlands is very popular among international students, and the competition to gain admission to Dutch universities is also pretty high. Hence, there are several criteria that you must fulfill to study in Holland.

There are mainly two types of universities that offer master’s degree programs in the Netherlands; research universities that offer research-oriented programs, and universities of applied sciences that provide professional education programs.

You must have a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 7.5 on a 10.0 scale to apply for a master’s degree. However, if you wish to pursue a research-oriented master’s degree program, the bachelor’s degree must also be a research-oriented program.

You need to submit a transcript of their bachelor’s degree, a copy of their ID and passport, CV, and motivation letter. Some universities may also require you to submit certified references or recommendations and samples of your written academic work.

Master’s Degree Language Requirements for the Netherlands

You can take a master’s program in the Netherlands in both English and Dutch medium. But you must present certification to prove your English or Dutch proficiency depending on the language in which the degree is taught.

If it’s a master’s degree taught in English, you should have either an IELTS certification, a TOEFL certification, or a Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English. Some universities may accept PTE and other such certifications. If the program is offered in the Dutch language, it is necessary for you to sit for a University Language Test for Dutch Fluency.

The University of Twente, which is a top technical university in the country, requires its students to have either an overall band score of at least 6.5 for IELTS, a TOEFL iBT overall score of 90, or obtain an A, B, or C grade for either Cambridge C1 Advanced or Cambridge C2 Proficiency if the students are studying in English.

Similarly, the Delft University of Technology, another high-ranked university in the country, requires its students to have IELTS with an overall band score of 7.0 or TOEFL with a minimum score of 100.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

How to Apply for Master’s Programs in the Netherlands

While different universities have different application procedures, the following steps are the most common for enrolling in a master’s program in the Netherlands. It is recommended to follow these steps to gain admission to your preferred program in the Netherlands.

1. Choose your desired master’s program.

The first step is choosing the university and the master’s program most suited for you based on your preferences and area of study. You can use the official websites of Dutch universities for this purpose.

University of Amsterdam, Leiden University, and Vrije University Amsterdam are top universities that you may want to consider.

2. Check the admission requirements for the program.

The next step is to identify the admission requirements for each program. You must make sure that you fulfill these admission requirements before you apply for any master’s programs. It would be best if you also kept an eye on the deadline for applying for each program.

3. Prepare the relevant documents.

Then, documents such as bachelor’s degree transcription, language certifications, and other relevant documents must be prepared before applying. The specific documents required may differ according to the program.

5. Apply using Studielink.

Studielink is the national database for higher education in the Netherlands. All the students studying in the country must open an account with Studielink. It is managed by the DUO, the executive agency of the Ministry of Education in the Netherlands.

If you are an international student applying for the first time, you must create a Studielink account first. Once you create and login into your Studielink account, you will be asked to enter personal information and some information regarding your past higher education.

After you have successfully entered all the required information, you will receive an online application for your desired university and instructions on how to fill it. Studielink FAQs will help you with everything you need to know about creating a Studielink account and applying.

5. Upload the documents and pay the application fee.

Once you have received the online application, you will be asked to upload all the required documents for the program. Next, you will be asked to pay an application fee for the enrolment.

The steps in applying for a master’s program in the Netherlands are simple, compared to other European countries. Since they have a database for higher education, the application is very student-friendly. During your application process, make sure to take note of the deadlines mandated by the university. In that way, you’ll be able to start your master’s program in your planned year.

Dutch universities charge a €100, mostly non-refundable, application fee. Many international students face issues with international transactions either because of the banking system in their countries or the high extra expenses they have to pay. Wise bank is an excellent solution to all of these issues. You can pay your application fees with no additional charges. You can also save a lot by using Wise as they have the best currency exchange rates out there. Furthermore, they charge you nothing for opening and holding an account, so make sure to be prepared and make an account before you apply for admission at any Dutch university.


I hope that this article on how to study Master’s in the Netherlands was helpful! Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!

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