Leiden University is famous for, amongst other things, being the oldest university in the Netherlands. Founded in 1575 by Dutch historical hero William of Orange, the university now has over 18,000 students, six faculties which host over fifty departments, and it offers more than a hundred master’s programmes with around 250 specialisations. In 2011-2 Leiden offered 74 English language Master’s programmes, and there were around 1600 international students which comprised 15% of Leiden’s students. The 2011 QS World University Rankings ranked Leiden as the 88th best university in the world, and the 37th best for Arts and Humanities.
Leiden aims to cultivate its international reputation and strives to attract ever larger numbers of skilled international students. To do this, one of Leiden’s main aims and strengths is to create an international environment for all students, making all services available to both domestic and international students, and providing as much information as possible in both Dutch and English.
In the 2010 International Student Barometer Leiden performed very highly. It was ranked by international students as:
#1 in the Netherlands for lecturer expertise (#8 worldwide)
#1 in the Netherlands for the English language skills of the lecturers (#10 worldwide)
#2 in the Netherlands for the quality of lectures (#10 worldwide)
#2 in the Netherlands for language support (#15 worldwide)
If you wish to apply for Master’s programmes, the easiest way is to apply online. If you experience difficulties or would just prefer, you can also request a paper application form by sending an email to Study Infoline at firstname.lastname@example.org However, applying using paper forms will drastically increase the time it takes to process your application and is recommended only as a last resort.
If you are applying to a Master’s program, you will need to provide the following documents as part of your application:
Normally, when applying online, you will just need to upload digital copies of the documents. You may need to send some documents by post if requested.
To apply to Leiden, you must pay an application fee of €100. Your application will only be processed after you have paid this fee. You can pay the fee with bank transfer or credit card using the Application Fee payment form (pdf).
You can receive a refund of this fee if you submit your application before your given deadline, and you have been accepted to and have fully registered with your course. If you are rejected or do not complete registration, you will not be able to receive a refund.
To receive the refund, you should send a complete application fee refund form (pdf) and a copy of your Leiden University student ID to the Financial Service Centre.
Once you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed by the Leiden Admissions Office together with the faculty that hosts your programme. You will eventually receive a formal reply which will tell you whether you have been accepted or not. If you have been accepted, you will then receive something called an enrolment package together with your statement of admission, which you will need to bring with you to finalise your enrolment.
For questions about Studielink or difficulties with registration, contact the Studielink student help desk.
For information on how to apply for admission with Leiden University Admissions Office, read about how to Apply online.
For information about how to register as a student and obtain your student ID card, see the Pre-departure & arrival information page.
Students from the EU/EEA/Switzerland/Suriname pay the same tuition fees as Dutch students. For the year 2011-2012 this was €1713.
All other students will have to pay higher fees. These vary depending on the programme you are applying for, so you will have to check the programme descriptions.
If you have already completed a Master’s degree, you will have to pay a much higher tuition fee.
When you have been accepted for your programme, you will receive an acceptance letter and instructions on how to pay your tuition.
If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss student you can choose to pay before or after arrival.
If you wish to pay before, you pay with bank transfer to:
Student Administration, Leiden University
If you have a Dutch bank account, you can pay directly to the Leiden University Student Administration. You can also choose to pay in eight installments by creating a standing order. This can be arranged when you have arrived in Leiden.
2316 XC Leiden
Bank Account: 1606.32.285
These payments are made payable to: Leiden University Admissions Office Finance B.V., Leiden, The Netherlands
For clarity and safety, you should put your name and the name of the programme you are applying to on the bank transfer.
If you wish to pay in installments, you can choose from either two or four payments. The first payment must be made before either 1 September or 1 February obviously depending on when your programme begins.
While these dates can vary according to circumstance and the programme you are applying for, the general application deadlines for people who need either a visa, residence permit, or housing, are:
1 April for programmes starting in September
15 October for programmes starting in January
It is crucial to check with your individual programme to confirm the deadline dates. If you miss the deadlines, in some cases you may be lucky and the department you are applying to will still accept your application, but otherwise your application will be put on hold for the next possible start date for your programme, which is usually one semester.
If you do not require a visa, residence permit or housing, you have more time to apply:
15 June for programmes starting in September
1 December for programmes starting in January/February
Leiden Visitor Centre
Stationsweg 41 (see location on map)
2312 AT Leiden
Tel +31 (0)71 516 09 95
Fax +31 (0)71 516 09 99
Tuesday 0930 - 1200
Wednesday 1300 - 1500
Thursday 1400 - 1630
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