Degree types in the Netherlands

Students who enroll in higher education programmes in the Netherlands will obtain a bachelors degree upon completion of the undergraduate phase, and a masters degree upon completion of the graduate phase.

Institutes for International Education offer masters programmes, but no bachelors programmes, as opposed to Research Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences who award both types of degrees.

Bachelor's degree

A research university bachelors degree program in the Netherlands requires 3 years of study (180 credits). Graduates obtain a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science (BA/BSc) degree, depending on the discipline. A bachelors degree programme offered by universities of applied sciences requires 4 years of study (240 credits). The degree indicates the field of study (for example, Bachelor of Engineering, B Eng).

Master's degree

To meet the entry requirements for master's level (second cycle or graduate) studies, you must: A research-oriented masters programme in the Netherlands requires 1, 2 or 3 years (60-180 credits) of study. Graduates obtain a Master of Arts or Master of Science (MA/MSc) degree. A masters degree awarded in the applied arts and sciences requires the completion of 60-120 credits. Graduates obtain a degree indicating the field of study (for example, Master of Architecture, M Arch).

PhD Programs

Research is carried out by research universities, research institutes and companies in the Netherlands. The research universities are the only institutions that can award PhD degrees in the Netherlands, but since research bodies normally work in close collaboration with the 14 research universities, they are also able to provide positions to PhD candidates.

Earning a PhD is a hands-on activity that involves very little course work so PhD students in the Netherlands start doing research from day one. Through work with their supervisors, students are able to develop their own ideas and priorities while performing their research. Research schools and graduate schools provide an inspiring research environment, offering tailor made study programmes, master classes, conferences and seminars.

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