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Admission requirements

Do you know which bachelor’s programme you want to follow at Leiden University? First, check the admission requirements.

Automatic admission?

Some Dutch diplomas grant automatic admission to Bachelor’s programmes at Leiden University. Check in the programme information whether your diploma grants you automatic admission. Generally speaking you cannot be automatically admitted, and must instead apply for admission, if:

  • You are an international student (you have a non-Dutch diploma).
  • You are a Dutch student without the appropriate VWO diploma (you have an international diploma or a VWO diploma that falls short of the applicable requirements, for example)
  • You are applying for a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences: Global Challenges (LUC The Hague).

Minimum requirements

The minimum requirement for admission to any bachelor’s programme at Leiden University is a diploma that is at least equal to the Dutch pre-university diploma (VWO). Our Admissions Office has drawn up a list of common non-Dutch diplomas that generally meet the minimum academic requirements. If your diploma does not meet these requirements you may still be admitted, on condition that you sit additional exams. You will receive more information once we have received your application for admission. 

Be aware that there are also specific diploma requirements for our science programmes.

  • For admission to Dutch-taught bachelor’s programmes you must be proficient in Dutch and, in most cases, in English.
  • For admission to English-taught bachelor’s programmes you must be proficient in English.
  • Some bachelor’s programmes also require proficiency in other languages. Refer to the programme descriptions for details.

You can find specific language requirements and minimum test scores in the relevant programme descriptions.

For detailed information about which Dutch or English qualifications are accepted, as well as the relevant exemption criteria, refer to Language Requirements Bachelor's Programmes

The specific academic entry requirements for each bachelor’s programme are listed under the relevant programme description.   

Because of their popularity, some bachelor’s programmes are oversubscribed. For these programmes a quota has been set for the number of students who can be allocated a place. This is known as a 'numerus fixus'.  At Leiden University there are currently nine bachelor’s programmes with a numerus fixus: 

A selection and placement procedure is in place for these programmes. This means that even if you are admitted, you are not guaranteed a place on the programme. You must also be allocated a place via the procedure below. 

Note that you can only submit two selection applications.

Application restrictions

  • In most cases, you may apply for a maximum of two numerus fixus programmes per academic year. These may be at the same educational institution or at two different institutions.
  • For certain programmes you may apply for only one programme at one institution. These are:
    • Medicine
    • Dentistry
    • Physiotherapy
    • Oral health care
  • You must be proficient in Dutch to participate in the selection procedure for Dutch-taught numerus fixus programmes.

Other programmes with selection procedures
Leiden University has another bachelor’s programme with a selection procedure, namely the bachelor’s in Liberal Arts and Sciences at Leiden University College (LUC). This intensive, small-scale programme has its own application procedures and deadlines, which are not the same as those for numerus fixus programmes. Refer to the LUC website for details.

Application procedure for numerus fixus programmes: Steps to take

  • By 15 January 23:59hrs at the latest: application
    Submit an application via Studielink and, if required, request admission via Leiden University’s online application system (uSis) before midnight on 15 January. 
    If you withdraw your application in Studielink before midnight on 15 January, you will not use up one of your permitted applications.
  • 16 January till 15 April: selection procedure 
    More information about the procedures and selection criteria can be found on the webpage of each study programme. On 15 April you will receive a ranking number via Studielink. The higher you are ranked, the greater your chance of being offered a place.
  • 15 April till 31 August: places offered
    From 15 April onwards places will be offered by email. If a student withdraws or turns down an offer, their place will be offered to the next student in line. This means that places will be offered throughout the period April 15 to Auguts 31. If you are offered a place, you have fourteen days to accept or declinem, so remember to check your email and spam folder regularly from 15 April.                  

    Example: a numerus fixus programme has 200 places. 500 candidates participate in the selection procedure. Candidates who receive a ranking number between 1 and 200 will be offered a place on 15 April. Candidates with a ranking number of 201 or higher must wait until a candidate with ranking number 1 to 200 declines his/her place.                             

    Important:
    • If you are offered a place on two numerus fixus programmes, you may only accept one of them.
    • You will only be offered a place if you meet the programme’s admission requirements.                        

Correcting the number of selection attempts

In Studielink you can see how many selection applications you have used. If you fail your final exams, and are therefore not eligible for admission, you can request that your selection attempt be cancelled (corrected). You can do so by submutting a Request correction selection attempts form before 1 September. Remember to also cancel your application in Studielink. Note that your selection attempt can only be cancelled upon receipt of proof that you failed your final exams

Admission via colloquium doctum

Colloquium doctum, which roughly translates as “learned discussion”, is a special admission procedure that you can apply for if:

  • you do not have a diploma that grants university admission
  • you are 21 or older on the day that your proposed study programme commences

As a colloquium doctum candidate, you have to sit a number of exams at Dutch pre-university level (VWO) to determine whether you have the required knowledge to participate in a university degree programme. Note that these exams are in Dutch. If you are successful, you will only be admitted to the programme for which you initially applied – not to other programmes or other institutions. 

Bear in mind that the colloquium doctum route can be very challenging, both during the admission procedure and once you begin your degree studies.

The colloquium doctum admission procedure

The colloquium doctum admission procedure is the same as the standard application procedure, so you can simply follow the steps in this guide.

Be sure to check the colloquium doctum application deadline for your chosen programme, which can be found in the programme information. For most programmes this deadline is 1 November.

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