MS in Netherlands: Comprehensive Course Guide

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    Komal Yadav

    Study Abroad Expert

    MS (Masters) in the Netherlands can be earned in the field of sciences, engineerings, mathematics, medicine, and sometimes, more unconventional subjects such as humanities and social sciences. In this country, a full-time research-oriented master’s program usually takes 1-2 years to complete. 

    • Students are required to have a bachelors degree in relevant field with a minimum of 65% to apply for MS in Netherlands universities
    • The average salary after the completion of MS in Netherlands is 70,000 USD- 96000 USD per annum.
    • Some of the states/cities in the Netherlands offering the highest salary package, post a masters degree include Amerstdam, Rotterdam, Gravenhage, Utrecht, and Tilburg. 

    Why Study MS in Netherlands?

    • For a dual-language country, there are around 2100 courses taught in English in the Netherlands. 
    • There are around 13 research, 39 applied science and 14 other higher education institutions in the Netherlands.
    • According to QS world university rankings, Netherlands houses 13 out of 350 top universities around the globe. 
    • Netherlands is the new and upcoming international student hub with around 45,000 international students entering the country each year. 
    • Groningen city of the Netherlands houses students of 116 nationalities.
    • Government-subsidized higher education in Netherlands helps in keeping the cost of studying abroad low in comparison to other countries. 
    • The salary of an MS graduate is subjected to a 9% increment, every 15 months. 
    • A student can work for 10-16 months after completion of the study with Netherlands work permit. 
    • International students can avail different types of financial aid which include more than 400 scholarships.

    Top Universities for MS in Netherlands

    The following table will give you a brief idea of which university is appropriate for you. The table briefs the popular programs, cost of study and world rankings of the university

    QS Ranking 2020 University Popular Program Total Tuition Fees (in USD)
    50 Delft University of Technology Computer Science; 2 years 27,984
    64 University of Amsterdam Accountancy and Control; 1 year 19,144
    102 Eindhoven University of Technology Data Science in Engineering; 2 years 34,086
    114 University of Groningen Computer Science; 2 years 32,268
    118 Leiden University Computer Science; 2 years 40,448
    120 Utrecht University Computing Science; 2 years 42,470
    125 Wageningen University and Research Biosystems Engineering; 2 years 42,266
    183 Erasmus University, Rotterdam Economics and Business; 1 year 16,247
    186 University of Twente Computer Science; 2 years 32,380
    217 Radboud University Computing Science; 2 years 28,734

    Course Details of MS in Netherlands

    Netherlands mainly has three types of universities: Research University, University of Applied Science and Institute for International Education. The curriculum of MS depends upon which type of university is offering the program.

    MS in Netherlands in research universities is more focused on research and academic aspects. University of Applied Science and Institute for International Education focus on professional aspect and practical training. 

    In all the cases, students have to take up at least 60 credits to complete the program. Some of the popular specializations that you can study in Netherlands are:

    • Computer Science
    • Engineering (computer, civil, architecture, chemical, biomedical, etc)
    • Applied courses in Mathematics, Physics, Biology etc.
    • Biomedical Sciences
    • Business-related programs such as entrepreneurship and innovation, digital business, international management, marketing, accountancy, etc. 

    MS in Netherlands: Highlights

    Universities 60+
    Duration of the course 1 – 2 years
    Average Tuition Fees 16,000 USD – 42,000 USD
    Academic sessions Semester-based (spring and fall)
    Number of Masters in English 1300+
    Forbes Global 200 Companies 22
    Percentage of population that speaks English 90%

    Admission Process of MS in Netherlands

    Due to its affordable fees structure and multicultural, diverse and welcoming environment, the admission can become quite competitive. Therefore, eligibility, documentation and visa requirements should be duly filled in order to ensure admission in the university of your choice.

    Where to Apply: Students can apply to Netherlands universities directly via the official website. A common online application portal called the studielink is also available as an option in some universities. 

    Application Deadlines for MS in Netherlands

    The application deadlines for Netherland universities usually lie within a certain range of months. Some of these are briefed below:

    • The application deadlines for most courses is May 1 for the September session.
    • For some universities, the application deadline ranges around February 1 – March 1.
    • The application deadline for the February session is October 1 to November 1.
    • For people applying through Numerus Fixes, the deadline is January 1.

    Note – Numerus Fixes is a degree course lottery system which is used by the government of Netherlands.

    Eligibility for MS in Netherlands Admission

    • A bachelor’s degree in any relative field. For research-oriented programs, the bachelor’s degree should be of a research-oriented program as well.
    • Average GPA score required is 7.5 or higher on a 10.0 scale.
    • Minimum GRE score of 310 to 330 or GMAT score of 600
    • Proof of English proficiency

    Documentation Requirements for MS in Netherlands Admission

    The following section will give you an idea of the general documents required by the top universities of Netherlands.

    • Photocopy of ID and valid Passport.
    • Photocopy of all academic transcripts.
    • Personal essay.
    • Proof of English language proficiency.
    • Letter of motivation
    • Letter of recommendation
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Additional documents such as the statement of research, letter of intent and so on.
    • Financial stability with at least 1,160 USD in a bank account.

    English Proficiency Requirement for International Students

    You are expected to be fluent in the English language since the curriculum of masters at Netherlands universities is English. Following shows the types of language tests accepted with their minimum score requirements:

    Test Minimum Score Requirement
    IELTS 6.0
    TOEFL (PBT) 550
    TOEFL (iBT) 80
    CAE/CPE 169 – 172

    Netherlands Student Visa
    The visa rejection rate of Netherlands is as low as 8.06%. Every student applying for a visa, needs a sponsor, which is usually the university. The application process for study visa for Netherlands are:

    • A student has to acquire a MVV (long stay visa) and VVR (provisional residential permit).
    • The MVV expires in 90 days and the VVR is valid till three months after the completion of degree.
    • The visa application process is carried out by the university you’ve been accepted in.
    • The visa application fee is 220.88 USD along with the additional fees charged by the university.
    • International students are required to maintain 1,160 USD in your bank account and obtain 50% of the credit scores in the university to maintain the validity of the permit.

     On acceptance of the visa application, following steps are required to be followed.

    • Appointment with the Dutch embassy.
    • Submission of a valid passport, 2 passport photographs, biometrics and signature.
    • Interview for obtaining the visa

    Cost of Studying MS in Netherlands

    Your cost of study will include various expenses like, test fees, application fees, tuition fees, cost of living and others. Detailed below are some such expense details that you must be aware about when applying for MS in the Netherlands. 

    Pre-arrival Expense

    There will be certain expenses that will be incurred before landing up in your favourite university. These include application fees, visa application fees, registration fees of tests required to study in the Netherlands, and so on.

    Type of Expense Cost (USD)
    IELTS fees 185 – 190
    TOEFL fees 160 – 250
    GRE fees 205 – 230
    Visa application fees 69

    Tuition Fees of MS in Netherlands

    Radboud University offers the cheapest MS in Netherlands. On the other hand, Wageningen University and Utrecht University has the highest tuition fees among top universities. 

    tuition fees

    Cost of Living in Netherlands

    The cost of living in the Netherlands is a very subjective scenario. It is based on your standard of living, the city you live in and the additional expenses. This table will give you a brief idea of how your monthly budget will look like.

    Type of Expense Cost per month (USD)
    Accommodation 339 – 678
    Food 203
    Travelling 113
    Health insurance 90
    Study materials 57
    Clothes/entertainment 113
    Phone expenses 25

    Financial Aids for MS in Netherlands

    Relatively low fees and more than 400 universities and Dutch agency scholarships available to the international students make Netherlands one of the most sought after destinations to pursue higher education. The students can avail other forms of financial aids such as grants, education loans, work-study options and so on.

    Scholarships for MS in Netherlands

    Following are the few of the many scholarships available to international students in the Netherlands. Some of these are tabulated beow:

    Scholarship Details Amount/Award/Waiver
    Orange Tulip scholarship Available at the Delft University, as well as 20 other universities in the country

    25-100% of the tuition fees;

    in some cases, the cost of living gets covered

    Joint Japan/World Scholarship Extended to all the members of the developing country Cover two air tickets, tuition fee of the master’s program, medical insurance and a monthly allowance
    ERASMUS+ Extended to students studying anywhere in the EU region Varies
    Holland Scholarship Available to international students in master’s programs in the field of science 5700 USD in the first year of the program

    For more scholarships in Netherlands, click here

    Loans for International Students

    International and domestic students also have the option of funding their studies as Dutch universities offer interest-free loans. Funding helps the student cover the entire tuition fees.

    You can apply for education loans through Collegegeldkrediet. The loans are completely interest-free. The eligibility criteria for availing the loan is:

    • Work for 56 hours per month.
    • Under the age of 30 years.
    • Have BSN (social security number)
    • Have DigiD account.

    Scope after MS in Netherlands

    Netherlands is an attractive study abroad destination because of its 96% employment rate. Almost, 84% of the international students get placed before the completion of their degree in the Netherlands. The salary range depends upon level of education and field of study and pursuing in the field of engineering or technology may help you earn up to 75,000 USD.

    In the Netherlands, employees are subjected to 9% increment every 15 months. A master’s degree will help you earn 29% more than a bachelor’s degree. Your salary package depends on the specialization or the course pursued within the masters level of degree.

    Following table provides a list of high paying jobs in the Netherlands after MS degree

    Job Roles Monthly Salary (in USD)
    Electrical Engineer 15121 
    Aerospace Engineer 14898
    Financial Analyst 17233
    Architectural Manager 15343
    C++ Developer 16121
    Business Analyst 15633

    A salary trend report suggests that there has been an increase of 4% of the average annual salaries in Netherlands from 2016-17, a further rise of 3% is observed from 17-18. Similarly another 3% rise has been observed over 2018-19 in the average salaries offered in the Netherlands. 

    Wrapping it up, MS in the Netherlands is a 1-3 years of course costing 50,000 – 170,000 depending upon various factors such as the university, location, standard of living and so on. The country is culturally tolerant, welcoming almost 122,000 students from around the globe. On completion of the degree, the salary range will be around 70,000 – 96000 USD, which makes the Netherlands an attractive destination to pursue your master’s.


    Ques. Is GRE required to study MS in Netherlands?

    Ans. Some of the universities like Delft, University of Groningen, Erasmus university require submission of GRE scores for admission in MS in Netherlands. 

    Ques. Can a student study MS in Netherlands without IELTS?

    Ans. A student has to take either IELTS or TOEFL to prove their English proficiency. However, the students can also take other tests such as Cambridge certificate of advanced English, GRE or GMAT.

    Ques. What is the average duration of MS in the Netherlands?

    Ans. The average duration of the course is round-about 1-3 years. Usually, the research related courses take 3 years.

    Ques. Is MS in Netherlands free?

    Ans. No, MS in Netherlands is not free, but most of the universities are funded by the government. Therefore the education is quite affordable for domestic as well as international students.

    Ques. Is it hard to get admission to MS in Netherlands?

    Ans. Yes, because of its high employment rate and affordability, the admission isn’t a cake walk, specially, if you’re looking for the elite ones such as Gronigen, Leiden and so on.