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University of Amsterdam

Netherlands Netherlands


THE World Ranking: 60



The University of Amsterdam (also known as UvA, short for Universiteit van Amsterdam) is a respected university in the Netherlands with a story that’s nearly 400 years old and still being written. UvA has trained and inspired lots of important scientists, politicians and cultural figures over the years, including six Nobel laureates and five Dutch prime ministers. Graduates continue to have a global impact to this day, and the alumni network crosses the whole world.


The QS World University Rankings put UvA at 55th, proving that the standard of education and research continues to be very high. All UvA students enjoy modern, industry-standard facilities, expert lecturers and tutors, and all the resources and support services they could possibly need. Courses on offer are varied, with seven faculties offering programmes of study in subject areas from humanities to dentistry.


Almost any potential future student can find a course at the university that suits their interests and professional plans. And once they arrive at UvA, they won’t regret their decision to apply and enrol. Knowledgeable tutors are waiting to help them grow and develop, and so is a learning experience full of interactive, practical moments and important theoretical and academic information.


There are around 40,000 students enrolled at UvA, and over 30 per cent of them are international students from a non-Dutch background. Everyone can feel at home in the large, diverse student community, finding friendships with like-minded people and people from completely different backgrounds. There are also lots of clubs and societies at UvA that students can join to find friends with common interests and hobbies.


UvA mixes a great employer reputation and full career support for students and graduates with the chance to live and learn in beautiful Amsterdam, one of the highest-rated cities in the world (across several categories, from walkability to nightlife to quality of life). International students searching for a university that can prepare them for professional life, deliver a high standard of teaching and offer them lots of extracurricular options should definitely think about applying for UvA.


Teaching Quality


UvA regularly ranks in the top 100 universities worldwide and the top 15 in Europe. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed it 65th. The QS World University Rankings placed the university 55th and confirmed that it is one of the two best universities in the Netherlands.


UvA also ranks highly in some individual subject categories, according to QS rankings. It’s number one globally for communication science, number one globally for media studies, and number three globally for dentistry. Clearly, the teaching quality on offer across the faculties, from media to dentistry, is very high. Students can expect high-quality teaching no matter what they’re studying.


UvA staff and alumni have achieved some great things. Among the professors and alumni, there are actually six Nobel laureates, seven Spinoza Prize winners and five prime ministers of the Netherlands. The list of famous, highly successful UvA alumni is long, and it includes artists, politicians and scientists. What brings all these people together in one place? A focus on quality teaching, collaborative learning and professional preparation. A formula for academic and workplace success.


UvA is also a university with some important research projects and facilities. Staff researchers are working on many different things and creating new insights regularly, and there are lots of opportunities for students to get involved in UvA research initiatives to enhance their studies and improve their employability post-graduation.


In terms of research quality, standards are as high as they are for teaching. UvA has a Leiden Ranking (a score marketing the quality of a higher education institution’s research) of 90th, making it one of the 100 best universities in the world for research and innovation. Knowledge, practical experience and student support are all easy for students at UvA to access, and they all combine to make sure the teaching experience is ideal for everyone enrolled.


Entry Requirements


Students who want to study at UvA should pay attention to the university entry requirements before applying for admission. Some entry requirements are different for certain courses, but there are also some general entry requirements that every applicant is expected to meet.


International applicants interested in an undergraduate degree at UvA, for example, are expected to have completed their secondary education to a high standard. They are also expected to have studied English and mathematics up to their final year of study. Guidance for university qualifications from specific countries can be found using UvA’s diploma calculator. If a country isn’t listed in the diploma calculator, the admissions office will assess candidates from this country individually.


Students applying for a postgraduate degree will almost always have to check the course they are interested in to find out its specific entry requirements. At a minimum, all postgraduate applicants are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, with a GPA of 3 on a 0–4 scale in their undergraduate studies (or their equivalent).


English Score Required


Some UvA courses are delivered in Dutch, but others are delivered in English. Most international applicants to UvA will apply for a course taught in English. If they do, they will need to prove they have the right level of understanding of the English language in order to be considered for admission. This must be a level high enough to get them through all their assessments and allow them to get the most out of their learning experience.


There are several options for proving English proficiency, and application advice from UvA covers these options. Previous secondary education in an English-speaking region at an English-speaking school, for example, might be enough to prove the right level of understanding. If English proficiency can’t be proven in another way, applicants will need to take an English test and get a certain minimum score.


UvA accepts a handful of different certified English proficiency testing methods, including the Cambridge English Test, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).


English scores required can change from course to course, especially for postgraduates. Generally, the standard applied to undergraduates is a minimum overall IELTS band score of 6.5, with no individual band scores below 6. Some courses will ask for a higher minimum, so students should make sure to research the requirements for their particular course to confirm their eligibility.




The university admission process can seem scary and stressful to people who don’t know how it works. UvA understands this and is happy to provide applicants (domestic and international) with a lot of guidance to help them get through the admission journey quickly and easily.


To begin, applicants need to choose their programme of study and check its student admission requirements to make sure they’re eligible. Bachelor’s degree applicants should pay attention to whether or not they’re applying to a selective programme, as these programmes have specific deadlines for applications in January and February. This is much earlier than other courses, with final application deadlines at the beginning of May.


Once an applicant is sure of their programme and sure they’re eligible for it, they can fill in an admission application on Studielink, the university application system used across the Netherlands. Studielink’s application form will bring together all the relevant details and ask students for all the required supporting documents requested by UvA (things like academic transcripts, proof of ID and proof of English proficiency).


Once an application has been submitted through Studielink, candidates will receive account details from the university. They will use these on the UvA website to check in on their application. Then, if they’re offered a place, they will use this site to accept their offer and find out their next steps. Students will usually hear back with an admission decision within eight weeks of submitting their application.


Scholarships & Funding


At UvA, the exact tuition fees a student pays are different for every course. Using the UvA tuition calculator, students can learn what their fees are most likely to be. There are two figures to note, the first is the statutory fee for tuition, which all students will pay. The second is the institutional fee, which students will only pay if they’re not from the EEA, Switzerland or Suriname/they are from the EEA, Switzerland or Suriname but they’re completing a second Dutch degree programme.


To give an example of fees from the 2022–2023 academic year for a biology bachelor’s degree, international students who weren’t from the EEA, Switzerland or Suriname would need to cover a statutory full-time tuition cost of EUR 2,209 each academic year, as well as an institutional tuition fee of EUR 12,540 each academic year, adding up to a total of EUR 14,659 annually.


Since funding can be more of a challenge for international students who have to cover institutional tuition, UvA offers some helpful funding support options, individual several university scholarships to put towards study costs.


Scholarships available to international students studying at this university include the Amsterdam Merit Scholarship and the Holland Scholarship, two great options with significant award amounts. Students should fully research all the scholarships they might possibly be eligible for when they apply to this university.


International students might also be eligible for loans through Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO), the Dutch government’s student loan service, and applicants from the US and Canada can apply for loans in their home countries and take their tuition money abroad.


University Structure


UvA has lots of students, and it offers these students many different courses and programmes of study to choose between. It’s also a university recognised for its amazing research efforts, with lots of modern research facilities and important research initiatives. To keep things organised across all the courses and research centres, there are well-organised structures in place. There are seven core faculties:


  • The Amsterdam Law School
  • The Faculty of Dentistry
  • The Faculty of Economics and Business
  • The Faculty of Humanities
  • The Faculty of Medicine
  • The Faculty of Science
  • The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences


In each faculty, there are a number of schools, colleges and research facilities. Some schools/colleges focus on specific subject areas, while others are set up to support students at certain levels of study. There’s also a full Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, which is focused on helping students on courses and elective modules that combine learning from different faculties and subject areas.


Externally, UvA partners with a number of research organisations and facilities, including several national research schools throughout the Netherlands and six Dutch Scientific Institutes Abroad in countries like Italy, Turkey and Egypt. There are around 30 collaborative research centres and 26 total research institutes at the university, including:


  • The Amsterdam Centre for Language and Communication
  • The Amsterdam Interdisciplinary Centre for Emotion
  • The Amsterdam Research Institute for Legal Studies
  • The Centre for Sustainable Development Studies
  • The Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics
  • The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences
  • The Van ’t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences


There are also a variety of boards, committees, and councils at the university designed to keep standards high and make important decisions. These groups can include faculty members, students or dedicated support and administrative staff members.




UvA teaching facilities are offered across a collection of buildings and locations in the city of Amsterdam. Lots of UvA buildings are in the central University Quarter, a busy and exciting student life centre, and students can walk Amsterdam’s historic streets and canals between classes. The Faculty of Humanities and the main library are both located in this area.


Subjects like economics, business, social sciences and law are taught over on the Roeterseiland Campus. Science subjects are taught at Amsterdam Science Park. Finally, medical students learn at UvA’s dedicated Academic Medical Centre (a world-leading teaching hospital).


Wherever a student is based at UvA, they’ll have the facilities and amenities they need to complete their studies successfully. From specialist libraries to industry-standard laboratories to large lecture theatres, there are lots of well-designed teaching and learning spaces available. In fact, there are a total of 4,100 study spaces across the university’s sites, including group study areas, project rooms and independent study rooms.


When class is over, the facilities at UvA are just as useful. There are some great accommodation options. There are three restaurants run by the university and each one is a popular student activity centre for meeting friends and taking a break after classes. There’s the CREA, UvA’s student culture centre.


There’s even a full student recreation centre for those who want to stay active during their studies. The University Sports Centre has seven locations across Amsterdam (including four gyms, a yoga studio, a boxing gym and tennis courts) and UvA students can try everything from yoga to boxing at a discounted rate.




UvA offers around 3,000 accommodation spaces to new international students, and they are encouraged to apply for these spaces as soon as they can if they want to be guaranteed UvA-organised university accommodation.


UvA student accommodation is all within a 45-minute commute of the university’s teaching sites, and all accommodation options come fully furnished. The most basic options have shared bedrooms and shared facilities and will usually cost somewhere up to EUR 410 monthly. There are also some more luxurious rooms available for higher monthly costs.


Students who are not assigned a room by UvA or who are going into their second year of studies at the university will have to find their own place to live in Amsterdam. Again, this is something they should start looking for as soon as they can because the private rental student house market in Amsterdam can be very competitive.


Some private companies offer university-hall-style student accommodation, like Student Experience and DUWO, if this option is preferred. Students can register on sites on Studentenwoningweb and ROOM to search for their housing, exploring all the options available to them in one simple place.


Student Support


UvA cares a lot about student health and success. To promote these things and make sure every student at UvA can be happy and comfortable during their studies, there is a full student support programme available at the university, complete with a wide range of student support services. These student services include academic advice, career guidance and confidential mental health counselling.


The first point of contact for students who have an issue at UvA will often be the Central Student Service Desk. This desk deals with a variety of administrative issues and can be phoned, contacted online or visited in person for advice. Even if the desk staff can’t help, they will be able to act as student guides, pointing a person in the right direction to receive the student support they need.


Academically, each student has a dedicated study advisor to speak to about course-related issues. Since this advisor knows the student directly, they can get to know their study needs/situation well and provide more specific advice.


Outside of course concerns, student counsellors are easy to book appointments with. Plus, there are some services for certain student groups. Disabled students can access a range of learning and accessibility services. International students can get help with everything from the immigration process to settling into student life in the Netherlands.


Graduate Outcomes


UvA has a great reputation with employers in the Netherlands, Europe and the wider world, and students enjoy strong graduate outcomes and job prospects. The QS World University Rankings put UvA in the top 150 universities worldwide for the graduate employability category.


The reason UvA graduates are so prepared for the world of work and so successful once they get into their graduate jobs is that they are prepared for professional life every step of the way. They are taught to meet high standards in the classroom, and outside of the classroom, they are offered a lot of different career services. These include:


  • Job postings boards for opportunities at UvA/at companies across the city of Amsterdam
  • Career counselling appointments with a career guide (the perfect chance to explore career options and make a strong plan for the future)
  • Entrepreneurship and start-up business support
  • Career fairs and networking events
  • Online resources
  • Employability workshops
  • Work experience programmes (internships, placements, research projects and so on)
  • Degree upgrade options (like elective classes that upgrade a degree to include honours)
  • Skills classes through UvA Corsizio


With so many different easy-to-access employment services and sources of advice, it’s easy to see why a UvA graduate might be more prepared than the average student who has just left university. Whatever career path a student wants to take, UvA is a great place to start that journey.

Subjects you can study at University of Amsterdam

  • Applied and Pure Sciences Applied and Pure Sciences
  • Architecture and Construction Architecture and Construction
  • Business and Management Business and Management
  • Computer Science and IT Computer Science and IT
  • Creative Arts and Design Creative Arts and Design
  • Education and Training Education and Training
  • Health and Medicine Health and Medicine
  • Humanities Humanities
  • Law Law
  • Social Studies and Media Social Studies and Media

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Key facts and figures at University of Amsterdam


Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023
Source: THE


QS World University Rankings 2023
Source: QS


Academic Ranking of World Universities 2022
Source: ARWU


Student life in numbers










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