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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.

Academic requirements

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).

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.

Other requirements

  • 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.

Note that English test results may not be more than two years old. The following types of English test are accepted: 

  • IELTS: academic modules only 
  • TOEFL: internet based
    • We do not accept TOEFL My Best ™ scores (multiple test scores combined). The sufficient score must be obtained in one individual test. Also not accepted are institutional tests such as ITP.
    • We are able to accept the TOEFL Special Home Edition™  for admission to the academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.
  • Cambridge English Exam C2 Proficiency or C1 Advanced, depending on admission criteria

For information on which Dutch tests are accepted, as well as detailed information on language test requirements, exemption criteria and methods of submission, 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 the following 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. 

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 and Oral health care.
  • You must be proficient in Dutch to participate in the selection procedure for Dutch-taught numerus fixus programmes.

Application procedure for numerus fixus programmes

Note that if you miss any of the deadlines mentioned below, you will unfortunately not be included in the selection process. 

Dates & deadlines Steps to take
15 January, by 23:59 hrs at the latest Apply for your study programme in Studielink, and  (if applicable) request admission via Leiden University’s online application portal (uSis)
31 January, by 23:59 hrs at the latest Submit the necessary transcript of grades in uSis, as requested.
* also see ‘Different transcript requirements 2022-2023’ below. 
16 January – 15 April Selection will take place. You can find information on the selection criteria and procedures on the study programme website.
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 – 31 August Places will be offered by email. If a student turns down an offer, their place will be offered to the next student in line. As a result, places will be offered on a rolling basis from 15 April till 31 August. Check your email frequently in this period, including your junk mail folder.     
Within 14 days of being offered a place Accept or decline your offer, according to the instructions in the offer. Note that if you are offered a place on two numerus fixus programme, you may only accept one of them. 

Cancelling your application 

Have you decided you no longer wish to join the study programme? Or have you found out that you will not meet the programme’s admission requirements, for example, you have not passed your final exams? 

You can cancel your application, or cancel an accepted place in Studielink until 31 August. However, as there are restrictions on the number of selection attempts you can make, be aware that: 

  • If you cancel in Studielink by 15 January, your 'selection attempt' will also be cancelled, i.e. it will not be counted. 
  • If you cancel in Studielink after 15 January, your 'selection attempt' will still be counted, except in the following circumstances: 
    • If you find out after 15 January that you have not met the programme’s admission requirements, you can request that your selection attempt be cancelled (i.e. that your number of selection attempts be corrected). To do so, submit this online form before 1 September, making sure to include evidence that you have not met the admission requirements.
Different transcript requirements: academic year 2022-2023.

Due to the exceptional circumstances relating to COVID-19, you may find that the application requirements have changed somewhat for our numerus fixus programmes (programmes with a limited number of places). For example, prospective students who are in pre-university education (VWO) in the Netherlands will need to submit an alternative transcript instead of the 5 VWO transcript that is usually required. Below you will find more information on which transcript you will need to submit.

• International students or Dutch student who passed their exam in 2019 or before:
Go to the degree programme that you wish to apply for to see which transcripts you will need to provide. 
• Current 6 vwo students: Your secondary school will provide you with a certified transcript of your average Schoolexamen (SE) grades. This transcript will include your grade for each subject (to one decimal place) up to the beginning of January. These SE grades will be considered in the selection procedure instead of your final 5 VWO grades.

•    Candidates who were in 5 VWO in 2019-2020 submit SE grade list with reference date 16 January 2021 (i.e. grades up to and including 15-1)
•    Candidates who were in 5 VWO in 2020-2021 submit SE grade list with reference date 15 January 2022 (i.e. grades up to and including 14-1)
•    All other candidates: transition report 5 VWO


Further information
See the Studielink Q&A

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 (first select your programme of choice, then go to 'Admission and application' and select 'admission requirements' for specific programme information about colloquium doctum) For most programmes this deadline is 1 November.

>> Go to the next step: Check the application deadlines. 

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