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Find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions related to admissions, the application procedure, academic programme, housing and more.
  • How many students does AUC have?

    AUC aims to admit around 300 new students each year, including both Dutch and international students. AUC has around 900 students in total.

  • What are the 'liberal arts and sciences'?

    A liberal arts and sciences programme is traditionally a course of studies that provides a well-rounded education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences. The emphasis is on acquiring the academic skills, knowledge and intellectual tools that will help students to be successful in any career that they choose. It provides students with a broad academic orientation, an independent critical way of thinking and writing, and in-depth learning as a basis for further specialisation at the graduate level.

    AUC offers a liberal arts and sciences programme that is actively oriented to the demands and challenges of the 21st century.

  • What is AUC’s ranking among world universities?

    AUC does not have a separate ranking; it is a programme of the University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. To find more information on the world rankings of these two universities please view the links below. 

  • Where is AUC located?

    AUC is located in the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The AUC campus is at Amsterdam Science Park in the neighbourhood of Watergraafsmeer in the borough of Amsterdam Oost (Amsterdam East). AUC is around 20 minutes by bike from the city center. 

  • Do I need to bring my own laptop?

    All the ICT facilities at AUC, such as a wireless network throughout the academic building, have been set up to enable students to use their own laptops for their studies. There are no computer rooms with PC's for student use in the AUC academic building meaning AUC students are expected to bring their own laptops.

    Please note that network services at AUC are primarily Windows-based and the technical support offered is also focused on Windows-based platforms. This is a University of Amsterdam policy.

    However, almost all lessons and recommended software used at AUC can be run on Apple devices, but AUC cannot offer any official technical support for these platforms. Therefore, Macs and other Apple products should only be used if you are already sufficiently independent and comfortable with working on the hardware and associated software. 

Admissions and applying
  • How do I apply to AUC?

    You can apply directly to AUC using our online application form on Embark. You can follow the application guidelines to understand what you need to prepare and learn how submit your application.

  • What are the tuition fees? How much does it cost to study at AUC?

    The costs of studying at AUC will include your tuition fee, accommodation, visas (if applicable) and a variety of personal costs that may vary per individual (food, transport, leisure, etc.). You can find the current tuition fees, indications of accommodation costs and average estimates of personal expenditures by following the link below.

  • What's the difference between applying for the 'early-bird' deadline compared to the regular deadline?

    Applying as an early-bird to AUC has some advantages. 

    At AUC, there are two deadlines for which you can apply: the early-bird deadline on 1 December and the regular deadline on 1 February. Applying for the early-bird deadline has some advantages. Applications of early-bird candidates are considered first and decisions on admission (including acceptances) are issued in the first week of February. For regular applicants, their applications are reviewed in February with any offers of admission being issued in the first week of April. Since there is no limit on the amount of early-bird candidates we accept, those applying for the early-bird deadline have a better chance of receiving an offer of admission to AUC than those who apply for the regular deadline, as the first round of offers will have already been made by the time regular applications are reviewed.

    Additionally, those who apply for the early-bird deadline will be able to select from the available rooms in the student residences before those who apply for the regular deadline. This means that those who apply as an early bird are more likely to get their preferred room type. This does not mean that a specific room will be available at the time of selection, but rather that early bird candidates will have the chance to select from the available rooms before regular applicants. Please note that all students who are admitted to AUC, regardless of whether they apply for the early-bird deadline or the regular deadline, are guaranteed a room in the student residences for their three years of study.

  • I am a (prospective) student with a UK nationality. What impact did Brexit have on studying at AUC?

    If you were registered in the BRP (Basisregistratie Personen) before 1 January 2021, you pay the statutory tuition fee (if you have never previously obtained a similar degree from a Dutch institute of higher education). If you were not registered in the BRP before 1 January 2021, you pay the institutional tuition fee.

    Tuition fees for UK nationals

    For more information on the tuition fee level you should expect to pay as a British national, please see the section titled "Meeting the nationality condition" on the page "Who pays the statutory tuition fee level?" via the link below.

  • I haven't had my final exams yet. Can I still apply?

    Yes, you should apply in the year prior to when you want to start university. If you are still in your final year, our Admissions Committee will review what you have completed until that point. This means that should you receive an offer of admission to AUC, the offer is conditional until you have received your final exam grades and/or final diploma from your secondary school.

  • I applied to AUC. When will I know if I have been accepted?

    For the early bird deadline (1 December), you'll hear back in the first week of February. For the normal deadline (1 February), you'll hear back in the first week of April.

Academic programme
  • Where can I find AUC's academic calendar?

    Each academic year is divided into two semesters. Semester 1 consists of a 16-week period running from September to December and a 4-week period in January. Similarly, Semester 2 consists of a 16-week period running from February to May and a 4-week period in June. Students typically take four courses during each 16-week period and one course during the 4-week period. This means each studen typically takes at least 10 courses per academic year (equivalent to 60 credits). 

    The most up-to-date academic calendar (including semester start dates, class-free weeks and holidays) can be found via the link below. 

  • What subjects can I study at AUC ?

    Amsterdam University College offers a Bachelor's degree programme in the liberal arts and sciences that provides both breadth and depth of learning.

    The programme focuses on far-reaching themes and real-world problems in science and society by crossing the boundaries between the natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities. You will learn to approach complex issues from different perspectives, and to understand relationships between different fields of knowledge. For an idea of the subject areas offered per major (Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities), please see the table and links below.


    Social Sciences


    Maths Health Literature
    Physics Anthropology Film
    Earth & Environment  Sociology Philosophy
    Chemistry Economics History
    Biology Law Culture
    Biomedical Political Science Art
    Health International Relations Media
    Information Environmental
    Economics & Policy
  • What are the requirements for the first year of study?

    First-year requirements

    In the first year, each student will take ten courses (60 EC), subject to the requirements below.

    1.) Academic Core courses required for all students (3 courses, 18 EC) 

    All students take the following courses:

    • Academic Writing Skills
    • The Global Identity Experience
    • Logic, Information, Argumentation

    2.) Methodology courses (1 course, 6 EC) 

    All students then take maths and/or methodology courses. Which one(s) will depend on the major of the student: 

    • Sciences students:
      • Calculus
    • Social Sciences students:
      • Methods for Social Sciences Research
    • Humanities students:
      • Methods in the Humanities I

    3.) Freely chosen courses (6 courses, 36 EC)

    Students will then choose six courses from a wide range of courses to reach the required total of 10 courses (60 EC) for the first year. These are typically 100-level major courses and (depending on the subject) could count toward fulfilling major requirements later on. Students can also follow courses in majors other than their own, provided they meet the prerequisites.

    More information about fulfilling the first-year requirements (and requirements per major) can be found in the Academic Standards and Procedures.

  • What are constellations?

    Course "constellations" guiding interdisciplinary study

    To further support students’ mobility between majors and help them discover synergies between the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences, AUC is developing course constellations. From 2024-2025, six constellations will be developed that relate to VU and UvA research themes and focus on important societal challenges.

    What is a constellation?

    A constellation consists of 12 to 14 courses spanning AUC’s majors that examine complex societal issues. While students continue to concentrate on courses in their major, the selected courses in a constellation will help them discover new pathways through the curriculum to form multidisciplinary perspectives and explore courses they may previously not have considered. Starting in 2024-2025, the course constellations will include:

    1. Cognition and Imagination: This constellation will focus on topics like the nervous system, senses, consciousness, media and the arts.
    2. Digital Worlds: This constellation will focus on topics like information systems, artificial intelligence, digital transformations, games, privacy and security.
    3. Energy and Climate: This constellation will focus on topics like system earth, climate change, energy transition, and governance and legislation.
    4. Health and Society: This constellation will focus on topics like human health, (international) public health, bioethics and health technology assessment.
    5. Human Development: This constellation will focus on topics like evolution, the anthropocene, social and cultural change, migration and urbanisation.
    6. Order and Complexity: This constellation will focus on topics like stability and resilience, cybernetics, origins of life and universe, material worlds and networks.
  • What are the majors?

    AUC offers majors in Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities. When you apply to AUC, you choose one of these majors as your prospective major, and you confirm your choice at the end of your first year. Most students confirm their choice of major without change at the end of their first year. If you want to change your major during your first year, this is possible, but you have to discuss it carefully with your AUC tutor before confirming your choice, as a change of major has a big impact on your study programme.

    Together with your AUC tutor, you will put together a coherent package of courses in your major to follow during your second and third years, focusing on the subjects that interest you most. Your tutor will help to ensure that your study programme will meet the general graduation requirements and the graduation requirements for your major.

    Your tutor will also help to make sure your major and study programme fit with your future ambitions. If you want to go on to study a particular Master's programme, for example, you may need to include specific courses in your major.

  • Does AUC offer a Pre-Med Track?

    AUC's curriculum includes tracks and courses to support students who would like to go on to study at postgraduate programmes in the health and life sciences. In particular, AUC, in collaboration with the Amsterdam University Medical Centers (Amsterdam UMC), has developed a so-called "Pre-Med Track" for students who would like to enter a (Dutch) medical pre-masters programme (zij-instroom) after graduating. The Pre-Med Track consists of eight courses in the medical sciences which cover subjects relevant for admission to the medical pre-masters programmes of VUmc and AMC. You can find more information, including the exact courses and requirements, via the link below.

  • Does AUC offer a Pre-Law Track?

    AUC has developed a Pre-Law Track, which incorporates existing AUC law track courses. If students complete the mandatory and elective courses in this track and meet the Dutch language requirements, they will be admissible to the pre-master programme UvA-AUC ‘Civiel Effect’ Fast-track Law Bachelor (LLB) Programme. AUC, in collaboration with the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam (UvA), offers the opportunity for (Dutch-speaking) AUC students with an interest in a legal career in the Netherlands to participate in the one-year UvA-AUC ‘Civiel Effect’ Fast-track Law Bachelor (LLB) Programme upon completing the AUC Pre-Law Track.

  • How will I know what courses to choose?

    Upon enrolling at AUC, you will be assigned an AUC tutor who will serve as your personal academic adviser. Your tutor will assist you in exploring your intellectual interests, help you to put together a coherent package of courses for your major, assist in ensuring that your study programme will meet graduation requirements and support you in making informed choices with regard to your future ambitions regarding your career or admission to a Master's programme. You will meet with your tutor regularly, usually at least twice per semester.

  • Can I transfer courses from other universities?

    If you have already completed or will complete (the equivalent of) at least 30 European credit points (ecp), you can apply for a transfer of 30 ecp (and in exceptional cases 60 ecp). Please send the completed transfer of credit request form (available via the link below) and all required accompanying documentation to AUC Admissions before 15 June of the year in which you intend to start studying at AUC.

    It's important to note that transfer of credit requests are not based on specific individual courses offered at AUC. Instead, they are assessed in comparison to AUC's graduation requirements. This means that students do not apply for a transfer of credit to take the place of a specific course given at AUC. The Admissions Office will look at how the courses a student has taken (and received credit for) compare to AUC's graduation requirements per major and how the transfer credits may be applied.

    When applying to AUC, we advise prospective students not to base their decision to attend on the expectation of receiving transfers of credit to replace certain courses, a semester or a full year. The deadline for submitting a transfer of credit request is 15 June, which is much later than the deadline for accepting an offer of admission to AUC (first week of March for early-bird candidates, and first week of May for regular deadline applicants). This also means that any decisions regarding transfer credits will only be made after 15 June. For this reason, applicants should understand that they may not know until starting at AUC whether credits from previous studies will count toward their degree programme.

  • Can I take more than ten courses per year?

    The study programme is designed so that students have a workload of 40 hours or more per week. Each semester, students take four courses in parallel during the 16-week periods (September-December, February-May), and one course intensively in the 4-week periods (January, June). This adds up to a total of ten courses per year.

    Taking more than 10 courses per year is possible, though not advised for first-year students, and taking an additional course is not permitted in the first semester of your first year. Before taking any additional courses, we recommend that students first discuss their plans with their tutor.

  • What kind of degree does AUC offer?

    Honours programme

    AUC offers an honours programme characterised by intensive lectures, small classes, student engagement, self-study and discussion. Distinctions (Honours, Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude) are awarded to AUC students who graduate with a final GPA above a certain level, receiving a note of the Honours programme on their diploma.

    Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts

    If a student majors in the social sciences or humanities, they will qualify for a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. If a student majors in the sciences, they will qualify for a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree. More information on graduation requirements can be found via the link below.

    Dutch law distinguishes between Bachelor's degrees awarded for 'research-oriented higher education' (wo-bachelor) and those awarded for 'higher professional education' (hbo-bachelor). AUC offers a wo-bachelor. The Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic) offers more information on Dutch higher education and English translations of Dutch higher education terminology on their website.

    Accreditation by NVAO

    The NVAO (the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders) formally accredited the AUC programme on 2 September 2008.The University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam jointly applied for accreditation for the AUC programme. On 6 October 2011 the NVAO formally converted the accreditation of the AUC programme to a joint degree of the University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

  • What are the general requirements for the bachelor degree?

    Requirements for the AUC Bachelor's degree

    The following requirements must be met for the degree:

    • Students complete 180 European credit points in six semesters;*
    • Students complete the requirements for a major;
    • Students complete at least two courses listed as a Humanities course, two courses listed as a Social Sciences course and two courses listed as a Sciences course;
    • Students attain a cumulative GPA of 6.0 or higher (for students starting in academic year 2022-2023 or after) or a 2.0 (C) or higher (for students who started prior to the 2022-2023 academic year);
    • Students complete the required Academic Core courses as specified per major;
    • Students complete a Capstone;
    • Students complete a community project or an internship

    *In certain circumstances, students may complete the study programme in more than six semesters

    For more specific information on degree requirements, please review the Academic Standards and Procedures available via the link below.

  • Is the AUC programme accredited?

    Yes, the AUC programme is accredited.

    The University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam jointly applied for initial accreditation for the AUC programme. The NVAO (the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders) formally accredited the AUC programme on 2 September 2008.

    On 6 October 2011 the NVAO formally converted the accreditation of the AUC programme to a joint degree of the University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In June 2012 the NVAO awarded the AUC programme the “Distinctive feature of small-scale and intensive education".

    After re-accrediation in 2014, the NVAO formally re-accredited the AUC programme again on 15 July 2019. Findings, consideration and conclusions of the accreditation committee were brought together in a report, which concluded that “AUC brings the research strengths of the two parent institutions together by realising a distinctive residential teaching-learning environment that addresses real world challenges through a flexible approach to learning and development”, and that “AUC delivers graduates of a high standard who easily find their way in top-ranked university programmes”.

  • How much time do I have to finish the programme?

    AUC's degree programme is designed to enable students to finish their studies in three years (six semesters). If students do not obtain 30 EC per semester, this can impact their binding study advice (BSA). Student performance is evaluated continually, with no assessment counting for more than 25% of the final grade for a course, and there are no extra opportunities to retake exams or other assessments (no re-sits). Additionally, students should keep in mind that housing in the AUC student residences is not guaranteed beyond 6 semesters (and can be very difficult to find in Amsterdam).

  • What happens after graduation?

    As an AUC graduate, you will have an internationally recognised Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Sciences degree. You will be qualified to apply for Master's and Doctoral level studies at major universities both in the Netherlands and abroad. Follow the link below for more information on the destinations of AUC graduates.

  • Where do AUC students live?

    AUC students live in modern purpose-built student residences run by DUWO housing association in Amsterdam Sciences Park. The student residences are just a few minutes' walk from the AUC academic building in the neighbourhood of Watergraafsmeer (around 20 minutes by bike from the city center). AUC guarantees accommodation for all its students, and all AUC students live in the residences for the three years of their studies.

  • Do I have to live in the AUC student residences?

    Yes, all AUC students must live in the AUC student residences for the three years of their studies.

    AUC guarantees accommodation for all its students for three years. Living together in the student residences means that your time at AUC will become a true intercultural and social learning experience. The residential aspect of the international campus is an important part of life at AUC. You will be able to cooperate and discuss issues with fellow students and lecturers both during and after class hours, and engage in various social and cultural activities.

  • How are the rooms allocated?

    If you are offered a place at AUC and you accept it, you will be placed on the list to select your room in the selection system in May-June. AUC will upload your personal details into the selection system and you will receive an invitation to log in and choose your room.

    In the room selection system, you will be able to see all available rooms. There will be places on offer in shared units (of 2 or 4 students) as well as a very limited offer of single rooms. Each of the rooms may have slight variations in terms of its location in the building, window placement, etc. Most of the room listings in the selection system will include a floorplan, dimensions and rental price. Unfortunately, it does not include any personal information about your roommates. It is not possible to select a shared unit with a tenant of the opposite sex.

    In a small number of cases, first-year students may be allocated a temporary occupancy room that is a shared, furnished unit for either two or three students. These rooms are of a temporary nature as all students placed in these rooms will be given a permanent room by the end of their first year.

    Since the accommodation is a mix of shared and single units, it is not possible to give all students a single unit. Especially in your first year, there is a larger chance of living in a shared unit. Towards the end of the spring semester in your first year, you will have the opportunity to change rooms during the summer break should you not be satisfied with your initial room. Nearly all students will then be able to select a single room if they wish.

    All units have curtains, floor coverings and kitchen cupboards with a sink, as well as a toilet/shower. The units are rented unfurnished, so you are expected to bring your own furniture and kitchen equipment (including appliances such as a refrigerator, hot plate, microwave, etc.). There are many options for purchasing furniture and appliances for your room, from online ordering systems from larger shops such as IKEA (or equivalent) to physical shops in the immediate area such as Hema, Blokker, Praxis or a variety of "kringloopwinkels" (second-hand stores). You may also be able to buy some of your furnishings from graduating AUC students through various listings on Facebook or other digital platforms/markets.

    Please note that all practical questions about the student residences should be directed to DUWO (see link below).

    Housing requests for health reasons or physical needs

    In some cases, students may want to request a certain type of room from the start of their studies for health reasons or physical needs. For example, a student who uses a wheelchair may wish to request a room near an elevator, or a student with a severe food allergy may want to request a single room. If you would like to make a special request for your accommodation, please contact the AUC Student Life Officer via the link below for more information.

    The Student Life Officer will review your request and place you on a waitlist for special accommodations in housing. Please note that due to the limited amount of rooms, all such requests cannot immediately be accommodated. If you have accepted an offer at AUC, you should be sure to inform the Student Life Officer of your request for specific housing needs related to physical or medical reasons as soon as you have received the instructions for choosing a room from AUC (typically in late May - early June if starting your studies in September). 

  • How much will the student accommodation cost?

    For estimates of the cost, please see the links below. The exact amount will depend on whether or not you are allocated a single unit or shared unit, if you will receive rent benefit (huurtoeslag) or not, and your eventual service costs (electricity, water).

Living in Amsterdam
  • Is Amsterdam an expensive city?

    Although it is a capital city, Amsterdam is not as expensive as other world cities, especially if you consider that you will have access to social housing at prices well below free-market rates. However, Amsterdam is not necessarily a cheap city either and tends to have 'big city' prices (although bargains can always be found). The strength of the Euro can strongly affect how expensive Amsterdam 'feels' to people from non-Euro countries.

  • Is Amsterdam a safe city?

    Amsterdam is generally a safe city, particularly when compared to other world cities. You should, of course, keep a close eye on your personal belongings, as you would in any city.If you buy or rent a bike you must always lock it very securely, as bike theft is relatively common.

    You should also take precautions just as you would at home, including always locking your door and closing your windows when you go out, even if you won't be away for long. Violent crime in the city is rare, and Amsterdam usually rates among the safest world cities. As long as you take sensible precautions, as you would in any city, then you aren't likely to have any issues with safety in Amsterdam.