Regulations of the programme

In each of your courses you will be assessed at different moments and probably also in different ways. You’ll find the different assessments detailed in the Study Guide or the Course Guide (in Blackboard). You have to have undergone all the required assessments to complete your course and to receive a final mark.

To pass your course you must achieve a final mark of 6 or higher. You’ll fail the course with a mark of 5 or lower. Your final mark will be rounded off to one decimal point – e.g., a 7.44 becomes a 7.4 and a 7.45 becomes a 7.5. Marks of 5 or 6 are the exception: if your average mark is 4.95 to 5.49 (both inclusive) you’ll receive a 5; if your average mark is 5.50 to 6.04 (both inclusive), you’ll receive a 6.

Supplementary test

If you receive a fail mark for a course, you will have the opportunity to take one supplementary test to give you a chance to pass. To be eligible for this supplementary test, you must have achieved a final mark of at least 4.00 (before rounding) and have, in the view of your lecturer, satisfied the course effort requirements. Your lecturer will determine the form, content, date and time of the supplementary test. If you pass the test, you will receive a final mark for the course of 6.00. If you fail, your original final course mark will appear in your study progress review.

Supplementary interim test

If at the end of a course you have a passing mark but you have not met the minimum mark requirement (5.50 before rounding) for one interim test, you may be eligible to take a supplementary interim test. To qualify for this you must have met all the course effort requirements. The lecturer will determine the date and time of the test. The content of the supplementary interim test is intended to replace the test component for which the minimum mark was not attained, and in the event of a satisfactory result will be marked with a 5.50. This 5.50 forms part of the calculation as described in the study guide for determining the final mark for the course. If the mark for the supplementary interim test is also unsatisfactory, then the note NVD (‘niet voldaan’ = unsatisfactory) will be entered as the final mark in your study progress review.

Replacement test

If you miss a test, or a part of it, owing to circumstances demonstrably beyond your control, you will be given one opportunity to take a replacement test. To be eligible for this replacement test, you must fulfil the conditions referred to in the “Reporting illness” rules. Your lecturer will also determine the form, content, date and time of the replacement test.

Please note! See the latest Education and Examination Regulations for the complete regulations concerning resit and replacement tests and interim tests.

The general rule applicable to all courses is: you must attend and participate in your classes. For specific detailed requirements for each course, check the Course Guide (in Blackboard). If circumstances beyond your control, for instance an illness, keep you from attending your classes, you will be granted an attendance exemption; see the conditions in “Reporting illness”. If, due to similar circumstances, you are unable to give a presentation or deliver a paper on time, the Course Coordinator will set a new date for you to meet these obligations.

Chronically ill

If you are chronically ill, disabled or have a top-athlete status, you can apply for special arrangements to the Board of Examiners (


If, at a given point in time, your lecturer  judges the effort you put into course participation as inadequate, the Course Coordinator may exclude you from the remainder of the course.

It can happen that you are unable to attend a lecture, tutorial or exam, due to illness or other circumstances beyond your control. Or that you cannot hand in a paper on time because of this. In that case, you have to report this IN ADVANCE to the secretariat of the programme that offers the particular course.    

Contact secretariats

Exam requirement

If you were unable to fulfil an exam requirement (e.g. exam, presentation, paper) on time, then report this to the course coordinator DIRECTLY AFTERWARDS. You can then discuss the possibility of a resit or replacement test. Consult the general Education and Examination Regulations Bachelor's programmes (art. 4.4 and 5.5) for the exact regulation.

As a first-year Bachelor's student, you will be given a binding study advice (BSA) at the end of the academic year. This determines whether or not you may continue your degree programme. The BSA is issued by the Board of Examiners and is based upon the number of study credits you have attained. If you study at the expected pace, you can attain 60 EC in a year.

Because of the current Corona crisis, the rules concerning BSA have been adapted for this academic year:

  • Positive BSA: at least 45 EC at the end of the academic year.
  • Negative BSA: 7,5 EC or less at the end of period 2. You may ask the Board of Examiners to take special personal circumstances other than the Corona crisis into consideration when making their decision. See below under > Special personal circumstances.
  • Deferral / postponed BSA: 15 EC of more at the end of period 2 and less than 45 EC at the end of the academic year. You will receive a positive BSA if you have obtained at least 60 EC at the end of your second academic year.

Please note! Credits attained from any exemptions you have been granted and from any interim tests you may have passed do not count towards calculating how many EC you have attained. A binding study advice only applies to the Bachelor's degree programme in question at Utrecht University.

If you think you may not attain sufficient credits to meet the requirements of the binding study advice due to circumstances beyond your control, please contact your Study Advisor.

The Study Guide of the Bachelor’s programme Global Sustainability Science presents an in-depth and detailed overview of the contents and organisation of the programme. In the most recent study guide you will find the most recent policies and procedures. In the study guide of your first year of enrolment, you will find information that applied in that moment, such as the courses on offer or the structure of the programme then. This can change per academic year. In this study guide you will also find your exam programme. The exam programme of your first yearr of enrolment (cohort) remains in effect throughout your entire study programme.

Here you can find a report on the development dialogue with the assessment panel Environmental Sciences​.

Regulations of the University

Grading Tables

Your UU-grades abroad

To help foreign universities to interpret the value of our grades, UU publishes Grading Tables:

  • a table for Bachelor’s courses and
  • a table for Master’s courses.

The Grading Tables provide statistical distributions of grades awarded at Utrecht University. They show which percentage of all passing grades that were awarded in the three most recent academic years were (rounded-off) a 6.0, a 6.5, a 7.5, etc. The tables will be published on the International Diploma Supplement of all students who graduate after September 1st 2017.

In addition to the Grading Tables, UU also publishes a weighted average grade on the ten point scale on your International Diploma Supplement.

What do Grading Tables not show?

Grading Tables do not show whether you belong to the 10% (or any other percentage) of your class. The tables do not contain information about the average either, nor are they just about your fellow students.

The most recent Grading Tables (September 2016 – August 2019)









































Grade Point Average substituted by Grading Tables

Until 1 September 2017, Utrecht University published a Grade Point Average (GPA) to provide help institutions abroad to interpret UU-grades. Many Anglo-Saxon universities use this four point scale to express their weighted average grade. The GPA always needs clarification. The standards according to which the GPA is calculated differ between (international) universities.

The Final GPA was published on the International Diploma Supplement, an addendum to your diploma, for all students who started their Bachelor’s or Master’s programme after September 2007 and who graduated before September 1st 2017. The GPA was calculated by firstly averaging your grades, weighted in study points. This weighted average grade was then converted to a Grade Point Average expressed in two decimals according to this table.

Calculating the GPA

The GPA of Bachelor’s students was calculated slightly differently from that of Master’s students. For Bachelor’s students, results obtained during the first year of their studies were not included in the final GPA.

Utrecht University considers any form of academic dishonesty to be a very serious offense. Utrecht University expects each student to be familiar with and to observe the norms and values that ensure academic integrity.The most serious forms of deception that can impair this integrity are fraud and plagiarism. Plagiarism is a form of fraud and is defined as the wrongful appropriation of another author’s work without proper citation. See the further elaboration on what may be considered fraud or plagiarism.

If the university discovers a case of fraud or plagiarism, then the study programme’s Board of Examiners may implement sanctions on the offender. The most serious sanction that the Board of Examiners may implement is the submission of a request for expulsion to the Executive Board.

If you feel you have not been treated properly by someone employed by Utrecht University, or if you disagree with a decision that affects you personally, you can respond in a number of ways. You can submit a complaint, an objection or an appeal.

For the full details about the various procedures and which procedure is applicable for your situation, visit Complaints, objections and appeals.

Utrecht University processes a substantial volume of personal data. In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) the university is responsible for ensuring that personal data is processed properly. Also see the Privacy Statement on the Utrecht University website.

Sets out all the rights and duties of students and the University. Download the 2016-2017 Students' charter (pdf).