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Leiden University

4.3 out of 5 (142 ratings / 63 reviews) Leiden, Netherlands
At Leiden University you can make a valuable contribution to tackling the various national and international challenges facing modern society. Our modest community size in the historical cities of Leiden and The Hague creates a highly personal and committed atmosphere. The knowledge and skills you develop here will benefit you for the rest of your life, regardless of the career path you choose!

PhD Programmes

Medicine & Health (2)
Natural Sciences & Mathematics (1)



Founded in 1575, Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands offering a wide variety of programmes. Leiden University is a truly international university, uniting people and knowledge from all corners of the world. The university is comprised of seven faculties, six in Leiden and one in The Hague.


At Leiden University you can make a valuable contribution to tackling the various national and international challenges facing modern society. The research-based education is innovative and multidisciplinary. The students are offered the chance to develop their own talents and interests through a diverse range of academic opportunities and are encouraged to excel through participation in honours and research programmes. The knowledge and skills you develop here will benefit you for the rest of your life, regardless of the career path you choose! 

We offer upwards of 50 bachelor’s programmes, 14 of which are taught in English, and approximately 75 master’s programmes.


International reputation: Leiden has established a firm international position among the worlds top research and academic institutes across a wide range of fields. Leiden performs consistently well in in Dutch university rankings and among the top 100 universities worldwide in 3 prominent international rankings. Quality of education and research: as a student in Leiden, you will be motivated to constantly question the essence of nature, the human mind and the complex interactions between their elements.


With its international reputation of excellence, Leiden University offers its graduates a first-class starting position on the job market. In addition, we are committed to supporting you in building the skills needed to take your career in the right direction. 

Our career counsellors provide advice on planning the next steps in your career. You will have access to our workshops and web-based resources, which include career step plans and job seeking strategies and self-assessment tools. Additionally, each of Leiden’s seven faculties has its own career services department, which embody specific expertise and resources related to the faculties’ programmes. 

University Ranking

World University Rankings by Times Higher Education
68 -1
67 10
World University Rankings is a vital resource that provides the definitive list of the world's best universities.
Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University
74 14
88 5
ARWU World University rankings is the first world university ranking. It ranks the world's top 1000 colleges and universities based on objective indicator.
QS World University Rankings by TopUniversities
122 -13
109 -7
QS World University Rankings is one of the top international rankings measuring the popularity and performance of universities all over the world.
Best Global Universities Rankings by U.S. News & World Report
86 -7
Best Global Universities Rankings by U.S. News & World Report presents all the top universities from the U.S. and 60 other countries around the world.


Student services

As a student of Leiden University, you will have access to various support services designed to assist students. Some of these services, such as the international student advisers are a good place to go when you need assistance during your stay in the Netherlands. You can consult the advisers on a variety of matters, ranging from financial concerns, settling down issues, academic issues and health insurance to dealing with external housing agents or finding a family doctor.

We also have a number of specialised student counsellors available. They can help in legal and financial matters, but can also assist you in developing study-related skills to support you in your academic performance.

Housing services

Leiden University is not campus-based and the university buildings and student housing are therefore spread throughout the cities of Leiden and The Hague. 

Most students rent a room or share an apartment with others. As an international student, house hunting in the Netherlands can present additional challenges. You can independently look for housing via private landlords or housing associations. There are a number of housing organisations that can assist, such as DUWO. You can also apply for a housing offer through the university Housing Office. Here you will be assisted in finding accommodation in Leiden or The Hague. 

Library services

The University has one central library, and many faculties and departments also have their own dedicated libraries.

ICT services

Computer rooms are available at the faculties, the University Library and Plexus Student Centre. Students can also bring their own laptop to university throughout which wireless internet is available.

Medical services

All residents in the Netherlands must have sufficient health insurance. Liability insurance is also recommended. Make sure to check you have the correct insurance for your situation.

Be aware that if you work or do a paid internship during your studies, or you are a salaried PhD candidate, you are required to take out Dutch public health insurance (basiszorgverzekering).

Student Life

Campus life

Ideally situated in The Netherlands, the university is located both in Leiden and The Hague, providing an ideal setting to get the most out of your student life while preparing for an international career. Both cities offer a wealth of social, academic, and housing options for students. Amsterdam is a short distance away, and the rest of Europe is at your doorstep.

Urban campus: Leiden and The Hague are offering a multicultural living and learning environment, and is a student city where students feel safe and secure. 

Sports facilities

The USC offers a wide variety of sports. Your membership allows you unlimited use of our fitness and you can follow any group class you want. We also colaborate with various Leiden and The Hague student sport associations. All in all, you can choose from more than 45 different sports!

Student clubs

Leiden has a rich student life, where students can become a member of numerous social student clubs (studentenverenigingen). In these, students have the opportunity to develop their organisational, communicative and social skills to complement their academic curriculum. Although Leiden University provides financial support and facilities for the student associations, they are independent and are run by students.


Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders

The NVAO (the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders), has accredited all degree programmes. The NVAO is an independent accreditation organisation that ensures the quality of higher education in the Netherlands and Flanders by means of thorough and continuous programme assessment.