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Universiteit Leiden
Leiden, Netherlands
Program Terms: Academic Year,
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Homepage: Click to visit
Fact Sheet:
 Program Type:
Exchange / Direct Enroll
 Minimum GPA:
 Language of Instruction:
 Housing Options:
Apartment, Residence hall or dormitory
Program Description:
About the Program Accommodations
Eligibility Dates and Costs
Academics Visa Information

About Universiteit Leiden

Universiteit Leiden, established in 1575, is a fully accredited university withPark in Leiden approximately 15,000 students.  It has eight faculties, including Theology, Law, Medicine, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Arts, Social Sciences, Philosophy, and Archaeology.  Known for its high quality of education and research facilities, Universiteit Leiden has a history of attracting foreign students.  The city of Leiden is a small but picturesque town with a population of only 114,000.  Leiden is close to Amsterdam (only twenty minutes by train), Rotterdam, Utrecht, and the Hague (only ten minutes by train).

Fun facts about Leiden: Albert Einstein was a professor by special appointment in the physics department at Leiden University from 1920-1946, and Rembrandt van Rijn, the famous Dutch painter, was born in Leiden in 1606.

Richmond students can study at the main Universiteit Leiden campus in Leiden, or at the Leiden University College (LUC) in the HagueThe LUC is a bachelor's level program that focuses specifically on current global challenges of peace and justice, sustainability, prosperity, and diversity.  More information is below in the section on Academics.

Learn more about the student services support available to international students at Leiden Universitity by viewing this video.


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Oude Rijn, Leiden


  • Cumulative 3.2 GPA. (GPA in the major is most important).
  • Prior knowledge of Dutch language not required
  • Robins School of Business students may transfer back credit from only one (1) business course taken while enrolled on the Leiden program to count towards their business degree.  Specific course approval must be given by Dr. Tom Cosse.  RSB students may transfer courses back from non-business subjects to count towards any non-business majors/minors and general education requirements (pending departmental approval) and towards the total units needed for graduation.
  • Note: Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university to study abroad. When reviewing applications for approval, disciplinary records will be taken into consideration and students must be cleared by the Dean's Office to study abroad. Students on conduct probation will not be able to study abroad if their probationary period extends beyond the start date of the semester abroad program.

Course load

Leiden courses are weighted in ECTS (European Credit Transfer System).  For undergraduate students, all credit will be transferred back to UR using the Unit System.  For graduate level Law students, credit will be transferred backLaw Faculty at Leiden University as credits.

Under 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.  EXAMPLE: a 6 ECTS credit class would be worth .9 Richmond units.  Under the credit system, 2 ECTS = 1 Richmond credit.


A minimum full time academic load at Richmond is 3.5 units (for undergraduates) and 9 credits (law students).  Therefore, in order to maintain full-time status undergraduate students should register for a minimum of 24 ECTS per semester, and law students should register for a minimum of 18 ECTS per semester, regardless of how many or how few courses are needed to reach this range.  Most courses at Leiden are worth either 5 or 10 ECTS.


Below is a sample table with the conversion into units as it will appear on the UR transcript. For more information on unit conversion, click Conversion to Units.

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For undergraduates

ECTS Credits

Richmond Units

3 .5
4 .6
5 .8
6 .9
7 1
8 1.2
10 1.5

For Law students

ECTS Credits

Richmond Credits

3 1.5
4 2
5 2.5
6 3
7 3.5
8 4
10 5

city of Leiden, by Karen Baetz

You should inquire at the start of a course what minimum requirements you must fulfill in order to be awarded credit points.  It is quite common at Dutch universities that credit points are only awarded when a student passes the concluding exam.  Also, you may not be awarded any credit points should you fail to hand in one of the required papers.  Credit points are awarded when all requirements are met and are never awarded for attendance only.

Course selection

Students may study at the Universiteit Leiden main campus or at the Leiden University College (LUC) in The Hague.  Both academic programs are described below.

Leiden Main Campus

Courses are available in the following subject areas: Anthropology, Art History, Computer Science, English and Literature, History, Law, Philosophy, Political Science, Pre-Health, Psychology, Social Policy & Administration, and others.

See Leiden's courses in English offered to study abroad students on the main campus.  You may take courses in any area on this website provided you meet the prerequisites and there are no scheduling conflicts.  

Students interested in studying at Leiden in the fall semester should only look at courses on offer in Semester 1 (Blocks 1 & 2).  Students interested in in studying at Leiden in the spring semester should only look at courses on offer in Semester 2 (Blocks 3 & 4).

When selecting courses, undergraduate students should avoid 500- and 600-level courses.  These are graduate level courses.

If you plan to attend Leiden's main campus for the fall semester, only certain subject areas offer the possibility of completing final exams before Christmas.  Please check with Amy Bergmann for more details.

Students are encouraged to take a Dutch language course, either intensively before the semester starts (August or January), or as a regular course during the semester. Courses are credit-bearing and 80% attendance is required.  It is the student's responsibility to register for the course they wish to take.  UR will cover the cost of tuition for Dutch course, but the student is responsible for his/her living expenses during the course.  If you are considering the three-week pre-semester course, do not forget to ask for your accommodations to be available to cover this period as well as the regular semester dates.

Here is an interesting video describing some of the teaching methods and class styles you will encounter at Leiden.

Leiden University College (LUC), The Hague

The LUC is a bachelor's level program taught entirely in English that focuses on current global challenges of peace and justice, sustainability, prosperity, and diversity.   These areas are explored from an interdisciplinary point of view in small class settings.  Faculty are international and often have practical industry experience in their area of expertise as well as academic expertise. This program is based in The Hague, the international city of peace and justice.

This program is ideal for students interested in pre-law, human rights, gender studies, international studies, environmental studies, global health, and journalism. The spring semester at LUC is a better choice than fall for students interested in journalism.

See the most updated course list offered on the LUC website.  Exchange students may select from any course offered at LUC, regardless of which "major" or "minor" it is assigned to, as long as the student has the necessary prerequisite courses.

Students studying at LUC in the fall semester should look only at courses on offer in Semester 1 (Blocks 1 & 2).  Students studying at LUC in the spring semester should only look at courses on offer in Semester 2 (Blocks 3 & 4).

View this 13-minute video of what it's like to study at LUC and live in The Hague.


Grading scale

Grades in the Dutch system are based on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 denoting a failing grade and 10 referring to excellent work.  In general, grades of 9 and 10 are rarely given.  Richmond students must earn a 6 or better in order to receive transfer credit at Richmond.


UR Equivalent



Very Good 




7 Satisfactory


6 Sufficient/Pass


5 and below


*Grades of 5 and below earned at Leiden will NOT receive transfer credit back to UR.  Students must earn the equivalent of a "C" or better to earn credit at Richmond.
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There is no campus at Leiden, therefore, there is no "on-campus" housing; however, The SEA Housing Office at Leiden does mediate student housing rental in student dormitories.  SEA will do their best to find housing for students who meet the application deadline.  Students must respond to their first offer of housing from the accommodations office; otherwise, they will be removed from the housing list entirely.  Even if students meet the deadline, housing is not guaranteed.  Students who do not receive housing through the Leiden accommodations office must find their own housing in town.  See your study abroad advisor for some helpful hints if you do not receive housing at Leiden.

Housing is especially competitive in Leiden for the fall semester, and therefore, some students studying at the main campus in Leiden may be offered housing in The Hague instead, which is about 15 minutes from Leiden.  Students studying at LUC in the Hague should likely elect to live in The Hague, since that's where all of the classes will take place.

SEA requires a significant deposit and 5-month rental contract even if students will not be in Leiden for a full 5 months.  Students should be aware of these terms of the rental contract before choosing Leiden as their study abroad program.

Students may also choose to find their own housing.  Initial information and tips on this process are provided by Leiden University, however, students electing to find housing on their own should be prepared to do it mostly independently.

For more information, visit the Leiden Housing Website.

Dates and Costs

Click here for Leiden Dates and Costs

Visa Information

Currently no visa is required for U.S. citizens to study in the Netherlands.  However, once in the Netherlands, students must apply for a residence permit.  Currently this permit costs approximately 300 Euro.  However, Richmond will pay for the cost of the residence permit if the student follows the given procedures for having UR pay on their behalf after acceptance.

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For more information contact Amy Bergmann in the Office of International Education.

Updated February 2015

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 notices programs and the conditions under which they are offered.

This program is currently not accepting applications.