If you do not meet the entry requirements for your Master’s programme, you might be considered for a Pre-Master's programme.

A Pre-Master’s programme is a tailored-made programme, and composed of courses from the Bachelor’s programme which are taught and examined in Dutch. A Pre-Master’s programme has a course load of max 30 EC and will remedy deficiencies found with regard to knowledge and skills required for the Master’s degree programme.

The Pre-Master courses can be scheduled within one semester (semester 1 or 2) or spread across the entire academic year. You must successfully finish your Pre-Master’s programme before you can start the Master’s programme.

The tuition fee for the Pre-Master’s programme is not a regular tuition fee and therefore it is not possible to receive a refund when you terminate your enrolment. Please find more information about the tuition fees on the page Tuition fees.

A Pre-Master's Programme is only available for:

  • Dutch students
  • Non-Dutch students with a Dutch educational background who do not need housing, and who do not have or require a residence permit for study purposes
  • Refugee students with a Dutch residence permit or a W-document who do not need housing

When in doubt about your residence permit, you can send an email to Utrecht University's International Student Admissions (ISA), including a copy of both sides of the permit. Please state clearly that you are inquiring about a Pre-Master’s programme.

Note that you cannot apply directly for a Pre-Master’s programme. A Pre-Master’s programme is a tailored-made programme. Students are only admitted to a Pre-Master’s programme following a decision from the Admissions Committee of the Master’s degree programme.

This means that you always have to apply for a Master's degree Programme first. The Admissions Committee will review your qualification(s) and documents. If you need to complete a Pre-Master’s programme you will receive an admission letter stating that you are admitted to the Master’s degree programme under the condition that you complete a tailor made Pre-Master’s programme first. The Pre-Master’s programme has to be successfully completed within 12 months.

When to apply? For admission in September the deadline to apply is 1st of June (or 1st of April for selective Master programmes, such as Science and Business Management). For admission in February the deadline is the 15th of October. Please submit your application for the Master’s degree programme with all required documents well before the final date of application.

Upon receipt of your admission letter, stating that you are conditionally admitted to the Master’s Programme, the Student Desk will cancel your registration for the Master’s degree programme in Studielink. As soon as you have received this admission letter, you need make sure that you register

yourself for the correct Pre-master programme via Studielink. You are urgently advised to do this pre-master registration in Studielink before the 15th July (for September start) or 15th November (for February start).

The Bachelor Student Desk from the Science Faculty will register you for the courses which are stated in your admission letter. They will do this period by period, so registration of the courses in period 1 will occur first. You are, however, responsible to check in Osiris Student whether the course registration is correct and corresponds with the courses in your admission letter.

You can start with your Master's degree Programme as soon as you have successfully completed your Pre-Master's programme, not before!

This may have implications for those students who start their Pre-Master’s programme in September, only have their courses scheduled in period 1 and 2, and are aiming to start their Master’s degree programme in February. As long as you pass your courses in period 2 in one go, you will be able to start your Master’s degree programme in February. In the scenario that you fail a course in period 2 and have to take a re-sit, then you will have to wait until the September-start of your Master’s degree programme (this as the re-sits of the courses in period 2 are not scheduled until after period 3, which is around April).

Please note: you have to register yourself again via Studielink for your Master’s degree programme as this was cancelled by the Student Desk upon the start of your Pre-Master’s programme. You don’t have to go through the UU application process again. Following a successful completion of your Pre-Master’s programme you will be notified by the Student Desk that you are unconditionally admitted to the Master’s degree programme and they will also confirm your Master’s registration (yet, they can only do so once you have arranged the Master’s registration in Studielink).

In case you have failed a course or multiple courses within your Pre-Master’s programme, you will not be able to continue with the Pre-master’s programme, and therefore will not be able to start with the Master’s degree programme. Unless there are personal circumstances which prevented you from successfully completing your courses. In case of personal circumstances it is always important that you contact the study advisor at the earliest possible opportunity.

Steps to take in Studielink to ensure correct registration

> Upon being conditionally admitted to the Master's programme (i.e, you have to take a Pre-Master first), the Student Desk will cancel your registration for the Master's degree programme in Studielink

Following this cancellation, please ensure you register yourself in Studielink, this time for the correct pre-master's programme:

  • Before the 15thJuly for the Pre-Master's programme starting in September
  • Before the 15thNovember for the Pre-Master's programme starting in February

> Upon completion of the Pre-master programme, please ensure you register yourself in Studielink this time again for your Master's degree programme

  • Before the 31st August for the Master starting in September
  • Before the 31st January for the Master starting in February

For further questions, please contact your Study Advisor. Contact details to be found under the menu “Contact”.

Questions around admission can be sent to the Admissions Committee of the Master's programme of your choice.

On several occasions throughout your studies, you may need permissions from the Board of Examiners (e.g., extra testing provision, exemptions, etc). Please contact your study advisor, to receive guidance on how to get in touch with the relevant Board of Examiners (this is often the Board of Examiners of the Bachelor’s programme).