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Welcome to the University of Amsterdam

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) has its roots in the seventeenth century. In 1632, during the Dutch Golden Age, the Athenaeum Illustre was founded in Amsterdam to train students in Trade and Philosophy.

At the moment, the UvA offers one of the largest selections of English-taught programmes in the Netherlands, with more than 130 of our Master’s programmes being taught in English. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted in seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry, with programmes offered in almost every field.

English-taught programmes are offered in the following areas of study:

High academic standards

The UvA strives for excellence in teaching and research, and we continually perform well in all of the internationally recognised university rankings, both for individual universities and for specific disciplines (THE, QS, Shanghai and CHE). We are also a member of several influential research university networks, such as the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and Universitas 21, a group of 27 global research universities. These associations of leading research institutions, including Oxford and Cambridge, share the values of high-quality teaching within an environment of internationally competitive research. Students benefit from these networks through international academic activities and exchange opportunities.


With a population of more than one million, including outlying areas, Amsterdam is the country’s largest city and its financial, cultural, and creative centre. One of the things that makes it so charming is the stark contrast between the seventeenth century ambience and the innovative and progressive spirit of its people. Amsterdam, famous for its historical buildings and canals, is a multifaceted city bustling with knowledge, commerce, creativity and innovation. The tolerant atmosphere and the open-mindedness of its inhabitants form an inviting setting for scientists, entrepreneurs and artists who often work together. It is this dynamic and challenging environment that attracts students to the city.

Prime location

Amsterdam is well connected for travel within Europe and has excellent links to the rest of world. The city has long been a cultural and commercial crossroads, providing access to the many arts, entertainment and social activities of a capital city.

Quality of life

Amsterdam was ranked 11th out of 200 cities worldwide in Mercer’s 2013 ‘Quality of Living Survey’. In the pan-European ‘International Student Barometer’, 94% of UvA students polled were satisfied with safety, and 91% said Amsterdam was ‘the place to be'.

The city as our campus

Rather than a secluded campus, the UvA has old and new buildings organised around four clusters throughout the city. Classes are held in quaint old buildings  overlooking the canals or in high-tech laboratories. Most of the arts and social science programmes are offered in or near the city centre, while the science programmes are taught in state-of-the-art facilities at Science Park Amsterdam.

Practical support

The UvA presently has more than 3,000 international students from over 100 different countries, so our classrooms are truly international. We offer  a lot of practical support to our new international students, for example in arranging visas, residence permits and housing. The faculties have advisers who can help you with your day-to-day concerns.

We have numerous facilities to help you make the most of your time here. These include the Student Service Desk (SSD), libraries, modern study centres, University doctors, dentists and counsellors, sports and cultural facilities.

Entry and English language requirements

  • Bachelor’s - at least a secondary education  equivalent to Dutch university preparatory education (VWO), including relevant subjects.
  • Master’s - at least a Bachelor’s degree in a field relevant to the desired Master’s degree.

Additional requirements for both Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes vary per programme and include a letter of motivation, recommendations, written academic work, additional test scores (GMAT, GRE) and a curriculum vitae.

For all international programmes, students who are non-native English speakers are required to have passed a qualifying test in English. English proficiency scores from the following tests are accepted:

TOEFL, IELTS (academic module) and Cambridge International Examination.

Not every department or programme accepts all these test scores. For more information about the English language requirements for individual programmes, check the programme information at:

Scholarship opportunities

The UvA aims to attract  the world’s brightest students. For that purpose, we have established two scholarship programmes specifically designed to offer talented and motivated non-EU/EEA students the opportunity to study at our institution.

  • Amsterdam Excellence Scholarship (AES) - In 2014 the new prestigious AES programme was launched, targeting exceptionally talented Master’s students from outside Europe. An AES scholarship is a full scholarship for one academic year (25,000 euro), with  the possibility of an  extension for a second year (for two-year  Master’s programmes). Selection is on the basis of excellence, ambition and relevance to a student’s future career.
  • Amsterdam Merit Scholarship (AMS) - Amsterdam Merit Scholarships are for outstanding students from outside the EEA. An AMS scholarship is usually a partial scholarship (except for Science scholarship recipients) and is awarded by the faculty or graduate school. Students are selected on the basis of their previous academic results.

Other scholarships

In addition to the scholarships mentioned above, information on other forms of financial  support for studying in the Netherlands can be found  on the Study in Holland website.

For general questions about Dutch Higher Education visit the Netherlands Education Support Centre (NESO) in Seoul:

Nuffic Neso Korea

C2 Square Building, 3F 
Taepyeongno-1ga, 61-21 
Jung-gu, Seoul 
South Korea, 100-101
Phone: +82 (0)2 735 7671
Fax: +82 (0)2 735 7675

They can also provide you with information  on the Orange Tulip Scholarship for programmes at the Faculty of Economics and Business.

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