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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 thirty minutes by train), Rotterdam, Utrecht, and the Hague (only fifteen 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.

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


  • Minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA. (GPA in the major is most important).
  • Political science students should have a 3.20 GPA in the major.
  • 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.
  • Participation may be denied, or acceptance may be revoked, if a student's conduct prior to departure raises doubts as to his or her suitability for the 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 BaetzYou 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

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

See Leiden's courses in English offered to study abroad students.  You may take courses in any area on this website provided you meet the prerequisites and there are no scheduling conflicts.  If you plan to attend Leiden in the fall only, only certain subject areas offer the possibility of completing final exams before Christmas.  These areas are law, anthropology, sociology, psychology, politics, and certain Dutch studies courses.  Please check with your study Leiden harborabroad advisor for details. 

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

Students are strongly encouraged to take the three-week intensive Dutch 1 language course, which takes place in August before the regular semester begins or the Dutch 1 language course that takes place during the regular semester.  Each of these courses is worth 5 ECTS credits and at least 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 starting August 1.

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 in town 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 may be offered housing in The Hague, which is about 25 minutes outside of Leiden.

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 the 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.

All students attending the Leiden program receive a living allowance to help compensate for the high cost of living in the Netherlands.  Details are in the Dates and Costs section below.

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 300 Euro.  However, Richmond reimburses all students for the cost of the residence permit if a receipt is submitted according to stated procedures.

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For more information contact Abby Ward in the Office of International Education.  

Updated October 2013

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.