Admission and Application

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Entry requirements


You will be considered for admission to the Master’s programme in International Relations in Historical Perspective if you have a Bachelor’s degree from a Dutch university (or foreign equivalent) and can demonstrate the following knowledge, insight, and skills:

  • You are able to interpret and understand complex international historical events and processes based on your knowledge of the history of international relations and your acquaintance with relevant theories in this field. You have demonstrated these competencies in your results for relevant courses during your Bachelor’s, especially at an extended or advanced Bachelor’s level (minimum grade average is NL: 7; US: B-).
  • You are able to design and perform historical research in the field of international relations using analytical, methodological, and writing skills acquired during your Bachelor’s. You have demonstrated these skills in your results for relevant research seminars, especially at an extended or advanced Bachelor’s level (minimum grade average is NL: 7; US: B-), and if possible, the grade for your Bachelor’s thesis (minimum grade is NL: 7; US: B-).
  • You are able to demonstrate your interest for and affiliation with the study of international relations based on a convincing motivation letter, curriculum vitae, and a 500-word essay in which you offer your opinion (without annotation) about a recent international political event, dilemma, or development of your choice (in English).
  • You are able to express yourself in proficient English, as demonstrated by the language quality of your motivation letter and writing sample.

Selection procedure

The Admissions Committee will decide on your application. Based on documents submitted by you, the committee will assess whether you will be able to successfully complete the Master’s programme within the nominal duration.

The committee also takes into account:

  • Motivation and talent.
  • Level of required knowledge and mastery of methods and techniques used in the subject area.
  • General high level of professional and intellectual ability.
  • Command of the language(s) used in the programme.

The programme admits a maximum of 60 students each year (Dutch and international). If the number of applications exceeds the number of available places, the Admissions Committee will select the most eligible candidates. The committee then will not only assess whether you meet the entry requirements, but also to what extent.

In order to make a transparent ranking, previous study results (both grades and study progress) are an important indicator. Therefore, do not only add an approved list with your study results to your application, but also give a substantiated overview explaining which courses assisted you in acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to enter the programme.

Previous education

The following Utrecht University Bachelor’s programmes are a good preparation for this Master’s programme:

  • Geschiedenis (e.g. via the IB track)
  • Taal- en cultuurstudies with a major (hoofdrichting) in International Studies
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences with a major (hoofdrichting) in International Studies

If you are currently enrolled in a different UU Bachelor’s programme and thinking about applying for this Master’s programme, please contact the Programme Coordinator for more information. By planning your studies carefully and taking the appropriate courses, you may be admissible.

UU courses or minors helping you to acquire the requested competencies include:

  • Minor in International Relations
  • Minor in Conflict Studies
  • Advanced BA courses that increase your knowledge of the history of international relations and relevant theories, as well as your analytical and writing skills. These courses might include topics like the EU, the Cold War, the system of states, the post-colonial world, humanitarian intervention, and conflict and order in the Middle East.  

Not sure if you are eligible?

Please contact the Programme Coordinator with questions about your eligibility.

When to apply

For admission in September

We will begin accepting applications after October 1. The latest date by which we can receive and process your application is April 1.

Complete your application in time!

In addition to applying online, you are asked to upload a number of documents. Please upload everything well before the latest date of application. If your file is incomplete at that time, we will be unable to consider your application.

When can you expect a decision?

The Admissions Committee will inform you of their decision within three to six weeks after the application deadline of April 1.

Application procedure


  1. Check the entry requirements for this Master’s programme.
  2. Apply in a timely manner, preferably well before the deadline; see ‘When to apply’.
  3. Download the Instructions for applying to a Master’s programme.
  4. Go to Studielink and complete the online application. 
    Please note: if you are registered with a Dutch municipality, you will need to log in using a DigiD. Applying for a DigiD takes five working days.
  5. You will receive an email with login details for OSIRIS Online Application, where you can upload the required documents. In OSIRIS Online Application you can also check the status of your application.

Required documents

During the online application process, you will be asked to submit documents that support your application to study at Utrecht University. You will find an overview of these documents below. The underlined forms can be completed on the computer. Please note that all documents must be submitted in English.

Please note:
Use the relevant courses format to give ​a substantiated overview explaining which courses assisted you in acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to enter the programme. 


Questions about the application procedure?

Please contact the Humanities Student Desk.