Programs : Brochure
- Locations: Maastricht, Netherlands
- Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
- Homepage: Click to visit
|About the Program||Accommodations|
|Eligibility||Dates and Costs|
Founded in 1976, Maastricht University is the youngest university in the Netherlands. Its rapidly expanding student body currently numbers about 16,000. Noted for its highly ranked academic programs (they have been consistently ranked top Liberal Arts and Sciences program in The Netherlands by Elsevier), Maastricht University is known as an educational innovator with a strong international commitment. University College Maastricht is part of the Faculty of Humanities & Sciences, which is one of the 7 faculties that comprise Maastricht University. UR also has partnerships with two of Maastricht University's other faculties: the Faculty of Economics & Business Administration and the Faculty of Law.
UCM is located at the "Zwingelput," which is in the historical center of the city of Maastricht. The Zwingelput has been completely renovated to serve as a UCM building. The building comprises a small courtyard and is located adjacent to the park. This is the perfect place to spend some free time in between classes and assignments. Students with laptops can connect to the internet both in the building as well as in the garden using a wireless connection. The building is conveniently located near the University library, several restaurants and lunchrooms, and a five minute walk leads you to the Vrijthof square, which is the historical and geographical center of the city.
The city of Maastricht is situated between Belgium and Germany in the southernmost region of the Netherlands. The German town of Aachen is only a half-hour's drive away, as is Liège in Belgium. Lining Maastricht's cobblestone streets are historic buildings (many with 18th century facades), churches, small shops, and lively market places. Centuries-old fortification walls still partially surround the town. In 1991, the city attracted international attention as the host of the European Summit which adopted the Treaty of Maastricht, enhancing the cooperation between European Community member state governments to include political as well as economic cooperation. This cooperation ultimately led to the formation of the European Union.
Click here for a quick sketch of the city.
UCM bases its educational approach on problem-based learning (PBL) in which a theoretical or practical problem determines the course of a student's academic activities. UCM is also characterized by small-scale teaching, multi-disciplinary integration, skills training, and international perspectives on teaching and learning. All coursework is in English. UCM is highly participatory, with classes held 5 days per week, and is best for serious students. For more information on the PBL system, see this document: Problem Based Learning.doc.
UCM divides each semester into three periods; two course periods of eight weeks and one optional project period of four weeks*. Within each eight-week course period, students take two courses and one skills training. During the optional project period, students work on only one project. The chart below outlines a typical semester. *Students attending UCM in the fall cannot participate in the optional Period 3 Project period because of the end dates.
For UR students, the fall semester is comprised of periods 1 and 2. The spring semester is comprised of periods 4 and 5, with period 6 being optional.
First Course Period
Second Course Period
Total Course 1 (5 ECTS) Course 3 (5 ECTS) Project (5 ECTS) Course 2 (5 ECTS) Course 4 (5 ECTS) Skills 1 (2.5 ECTS) Skills 2 (2.5 ECTS) 12.5 ECTS 12.5 ECTS 5 ECTS 25-30 ECTS
All credit will be transferred back to UR using the Unit System.
To determine the unit value of an individual ECTS course, the following formula will be used by the UR Registrar's office: # of ECTS credits divided by 7 and rounded up to the nearest tenth of a unit.
A minimum unit load at
is 3.5 units. Therefore, in order to maintain full-time status you should register for 24 - 30 ECTS per semester. 30 ECTS is the maximum an exchange student can take per semester at UCM. To learn more, click here: Conversion to Units Richmond
Below is a table with the conversion into units as it will appear on the
2 .3 2.5 .4 3 .5 4 .6 5 .8 6 .9 6.5 1 7 1 8 1.2
Course information, including course descriptions, can be found on the UCM website or in the UCM Course Catalog 2016-2017. When searching for courses, be sure you only look at courses offered in one of the Periods you will be in Maastricht. Students planning to be abroad in the fall semester should only look at courses on offer in Periods 1 or 2. Students planning to be abroad in the spring semester should only look at courses on offer in Periods 4 or 5. Courses are offered in the following subject areas, but please note there are usually only a few courses available in each subject:
- Arts and Literature
- Biology and Microbiology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Computer Science
- Cultural Studies
- Gender & Sexuality Studies
- International Law
- International Relations
- Mathematics / Physics
- Political Science
- Public Administration
Note for students taking science: Not all courses in the sciences offer lab time, or as much lab time, as courses at UR. Students planning to take science courses at UR should see their faculty advisor for specific advising. Amy Bergmann in the Office of International Education can provide assistance in getting detailed course descriptions, including confirmation of lab time, in order to determine if the course would be considered for major/minor/Gen Ed credit here at UR. NOTE: At present, students approved for UCM are not able to take courses from the Maastricht Science Program (MSP), so you should consider carefully whether UCM offers the array of science coursework you may need.
Due to the academic calendar and PBL system, UCM does not have a drop/add period so students should make their initial course choices very carefully.
Very Good (B)
*Grades of Insufficient (F/FX) earned at UCM will not earn transfer credit back to Richmond. Students must earn the equivalent of a "C" or better to earn transfer credit.
Visiting students are housed in the Guesthouse located at Brouwersweg, a student residence hall that is a 10-minute bike ride from UCM. The Guesthouse is made up primarily of the C-Building and P-Building and has 350 rooms (single & double available), and 45 Master rooms/studios. Rooms have either individual or shared kitchens. All rooms have internet access. Accommodations are booked on a first-come first-served basis, so you must act promptly to reserve your room as soon as you are accepted by UM and know the dates of your study. Richmond students are not permitted to book off-campus/independent housing.
A linen package (this includes a duvet, duvet cover, and pillow case) can be bought at the front desk for 40 Euros. The Guesthouse also allows students to borrow items such as a bicycle pump, vacuum cleaner, telephone books, and a tool box at the front desk. Faxes and copies can be made for free at the front desk also. There are also a tennis court and basketball court that students can use for free, including equipment. The Guesthouse has laundry facilities in the C-building and P-building. In each you will find washers, dryers, an ironing board, and an iron. The hallways, communal kitchens, toilets, the floors of the communal kitchens, and living rooms are cleaned by a cleaning service provided by the Guesthouse UM. Upon your arrival, as part of your fees, you will pay for the final cleaning of your individual room. During the time of your stay, all students are responsible for keeping their kitchens, living areas, and rooms clean.
Richmond students are responsible for arranging and paying for their own accommodation and meals at Maastricht. Accommodations are self-catering, meaning students cook for themselves. An on-campus cafeteria is open on week days and offers snacks, salads, and hot and cold meals at student-friendly prices. For more details about applying to the Guesthouse in Maastricht, use the Maastrichthousing.com website, which includes room costs and details.
Click here to see the University College Maastricht Dates & Costs
Currently there is no visa required for U.S. citizens to study in the Netherlands. However, students must obtain a residence permit after they arrive in the Netherlands. The cost for the residence permit is currently 300 Euros. Richmond will reimburse students for the cost of obtaining the residence permit if a receipt for payment is submitted to the OIE in a timely manner. Specific details about the permit are on the Student Services Centre page of the Maastricht website. More information will be given out about the Residence Permit after a student is accepted to the UM program.
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Image: Flower auction (the Dutch are
known for growing lovely tulips).
For more information contact Amy Bergmann in the Office of International Education.
updated December 2016
This document represents the most accurate information available at the time of publication. Statements contained herein are not contractual obligations, and verbal or other representations that are inconsistent with or not contained within the document are not binding. The University of Richmond reserves the right to change without specific notice programs and the conditions under which they are offered.
Courses at UCM are taught using Problem-Based Learning (PBL). The PBL format gives you an academic problem to solve, emphasizing independent learning via a group process. There isn't a professor standing in the front of a lecture hall, flipping through a PowerPoint Presentation. Rather, there are "tutors" who will sit with you and facilitate your learning by working with your "tutorial group," which is no more than 12 students. Five of the seven steps of the PBL process--clarify concepts; define the problem; analyze the problem; classify the problem; and formulate learning objectives--will be done together. You are then challenged to research independently and report your findings in the group.
It isn't uncommon for classes to take place gathered intimately around a few tables pushed together or outside in the courtyard. While the atmosphere is relaxed, the students at UCM are very motivated and really care about their studies. That being said, you won't get away with slacking or depending on the group process to carry you to success. I found the PBL format to be very rewarding because I found myself genuinely learning, not just memorizing, and developing interpersonal skills by collaborating with my peers.
|— Spring, 2015 Participant|
|Read what others have said about this program.|