Home Education Higher Education University of Amsterdam: Facts & figures
Last update on June 08, 2021

If you’re thinking of studying in the Netherlands, the University of Amsterdam was founded in 1632 as the Athenaeum Illustre, which taught philosophy and trade.


Total Students Enrolled (2013): 31,123

International Students: approximately 8 percent of student body.

Overall Ranking (2013)

QS World Rankings: #58 in the world

Times Higher Education: #83 in the world


The University of Amsterdam began in 1632 as the Athenaeum Illustre, which taught philosophy and trade. Students were educated in their professors’ homes, as the school lacked a basic university structure and the institution remained small, with 250 students and eight instructors, until the 19th century. Finally, in 1877, the athenaeum become the University of Amsterdam and was able to award the highest educational degrees. In the decades to come, the school’s population grew dramatically as it expanded its academic offerings to include seven faculties and hundreds of professors.

Campus and setting

The University of Amsterdam has no main campus and its buildings are spread throughout downtown Amsterdam (though some faculties are located on the city outskirts), including various libraries, administrative offices and lecture halls. The various locations of the university are easily accessible by bicycle and many are within short distances of one another. The city of Amsterdam itself has much to offer students, with numerous places to eat, drink, dance and socialize, in addition to numerous cultural attractions like museums, galleries and festivals.


The University of Amsterdam has over 250 degree programs in seven faculties: the Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Amongst these options, one undergraduate program and 58 master’s degrees are taught entirely in English.  The UVA is also affiliated with Amsterdam University College, a small honours school offering undergraduate degrees in the humanities, social sciences and sciences, taught entirely in English. For non-degree seeking students, the University of Amsterdam also has many summer courses and certificate programs. According to the University of Amsterdam website, the school’s mission is to “‘to offer an inspiring international academic environment in which both staff and students can develop their talents optimally. Characterized by a critical, creative and international atmosphere, the UvA has a long tradition of open-mindedness and engagement with social issues, in keeping with the spirit of the city with which it is inextricably linked’.


Admissions standards at the University of Amsterdam vary for each faculty, but all programs require a secondary school diploma. There are also varying requirements in concern to Dutch and English language capabilities, some of which require proficiency testing. Non-EU residents also need residency permits, and possibly visas, in order to study at the school.


Tuition for Dutch, EU, EEA and Surinamese students, studying for a first bachelor’s or master’s degree, is EUR 1,771 for the 2012/2013 school year. International student fees range from EUR 9,000 to EUR 11,000, with medical and dental studies costing EUR 20,000 and EUR 25,000 per year, respectively. Master’s program fees for international students range from EUR 19,500 to EUR 12,000 and are again dependent on major. Dutch and EU students attending Amsterdam University College pay EUR 1,771 per year, while international students are charged EUR 11,491. All students, regardless of nationality, pay an institutional fee of EUR 2,130.

Living expenses

The University of Amsterdam estimates the average student will require EUR 850 to EUR 1300 a month for expenses like rent, transportation and food. Books, insurance and other fees will add to the price of attendance. Foreign students will need to prove they can cover these costs when applying for residence permits. Though both European and international students are permitted to work while studying, restrictions and rules apply. Scholarships and grants may be available to help students with the cost of study.


UvA Service and Information Centre (SIC)
Binnengasthuisstraat 9
1012 ZA Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Telephone: +31 (0)20 525 8080 (regular students)
Telephone: +31 (0)20 525 3333 (prospective students)
Website: www.uva.nl