Selective Admission

There is selective admission to graduate programmes at Utrecht University.

Why is there selection for our Master’s degree programmes?

Selective admission to graduate programmes at Utrecht University is aimed to ensure an optimal match between your abilities and aspirations and the Utrecht University learning environment. Utrecht University is committed to promoting excellence, equality of opportunity and to further the diversity of its student body.

On what basis does Utrecht University select?

The primary consideration is whether you will be able to complete the programme in the time allotted. Prior academic achievement is a strong indicator used to make that determination. The programme decides which specific academic achievements with proven relevance for the assessment of your suitability for the degree programmes will be considered. These may include your GPA/grades, standardised test scores, proofs of proficiency, work samples in relevant subject area(s), relevant skills and proficiency in the language of instruction. All master's programmes use at least two qualitative selection criteria. The admission requirements are clear and transparent on the application page and in the education and examination regulations, so that you are aware in advance of the requirements you must meet to be admitted to the programme.

Are all Master’s degree programmes equally selective?

No. Some Master’s degree programmes have taken the policy further than others. This is due in part to the fact that some Master’s degree programmes have a lot more students interested in them than seats available. The Executive Board may establish a fixed quotum on admissions for certain master's programmes. This may prevent students who are eligible from being admitted. Programmes like that are more selective because more students need to be turned down.

How can you best prepare for the admission process?

You should do the following ahead of time:

  • Familiarise yourself with the programme’s subject matter (review the curriculum and course descriptions and explore future employment opportunities).
  • Consider whether the programme matches your talents and ambitions.
  • Investigate whether you meet the admission criteria and, if you don’t, what remedial efforts are required.  

More information

Utrecht University’s vision on education and admission to graduate programmes is laid down in our Utrecht University Education Guidelines (pdf, 166 kB)