The grading system in the Netherlands may differ significantly from the grading system you are used to. Our university uses a 10 point grading system: 1 is the lowest grade and 10 the highest. In the Netherlands, grades 1-3 and 9-10 are rarely awarded. The lowest passing grade is a 6.
Utrecht University also uses the Anglo-American letter grading system (A to D, F = Fail) in a few specific programmes.
Grading policy at Utrecht University
Grades are given on an absolute basis, which means that lecturers test the extent to which students have sufficiently achieved the learning objectives. They do not grade on a curve. It is not possible to compensate a low grade for one course with a high grade for another course. You must obtain a passing grade for all courses that are part of your degree programme to graduate.
International Diploma Supplement
At Utrecht University a weighted average grade is calculated by multiplying all numerical grades on the International Diploma Supplement with the credits obtained for that course, and dividing this sum by the sum of credits. The average is built up gradually; only the final average is recorded on the International Diploma Supplement. Utrecht University includes grades obtained in the first year of studies in the calculation of the weighted average.
If you fail a course but score at least a 4, you will be given one opportunity to take an additional or substitute test to pass the course. If you fail this as well, you must retake the course. You can retake a course as often as you need to achieve a passing grade. Only the passing grade is recorded on the International Diploma Supplement.
The Grading Table below explains the grading culture at Utrecht University by showing the statistical distribution of passing grades awarded in all bachelor’s courses at Utrecht University. This (unweighted) distribution is based on all passing numerical grades for courses offered by Utrecht University, obtained by students enrolled at Utrecht University in the three most recent academic years. The grades are rounded off to whole and half numbers. The Grading Table is updated annually.
Grading Table for Bachelor's courses (September 2019 – August 2022)